1996 Intrepid won't shift out of first gear! Check engine light on! HELP! - DodgeForum.com

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1st Gen Intrepid 1993 through 1997 Intrepids

1996 Intrepid won't shift out of first gear! Check engine light on! HELP!

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  #1  
Old 10-19-2009, 10:24 AM
red s/c
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Default 1996 Intrepid won't shift out of first gear! Check engine light on! HELP!

Just the facts...

1996 Intrepid 3.5 liter
135,xxx
Check engine light on
Transmission fluid looks good, no smells, up to proper level
Speedometer doesn't work
Cruise control doesn't work, later found that the fuse was pulled out of fuse block
Been sitting for 4+ years
Installed newer battery and meticulously cleaned the terminals

I (not them) pulled the codes at Auto Zoner

P1698
No communicative between DDC and the TCM

P0500(a)
Speed sensor The "a" suffix tells them that it is the input speed sensor, not the output

I just bought this and don't have any history, but I do have a history of broken cars in the driveway that my girlfriend is not happy with !!!
I bought this car after my best friend got a 95 w/ a 3.5. waited for one with a 3.5 instead of one with a 2.7. I have noted that there was a lot of them out there with bad transmissions, must be the weak link when you put it behind the mighty 3.5 liter!! He also had a 94 Le baron 3.0 w/ a bad transmission. Had it rebuilt- same problem- wouldn't shift out of first.. Turned out to be a bad TCM. Also he recently had the same problem again, cleaned the battery terminals and it was a new transmission!

Other symptoms- may or may not be related 1) Engine runs poorly. Could be check engine light on, or 4+ year old gas, just put in $10.00 to get home. 2) Ran better after I took it to the car wash and washed the engine, man was it dirty- I can't stand to work on a dirty machine! I will address the tune up problems when I get it to shift into O/D 3) Cheapo CD player make static noises thru the speakers like a power supply problem 4) Windshield washers don't work, but wipers and turn signals work on the multi-fuction switch 5) Indicator for the transmission lights up all green, but when you put it in drive the reverse position lights up red?

I'm a Ford kinda guy (EEC IV) but I don't want to turn into a "parts changer" like at some repair shops. I would rather talk to some one who is knowledgeable out this, or has gone through this before! Where is the input speed senor? They both look alike in the parts book. Also every Shucks in this town has both on the shelf, hummmm... Is it that common of a problem?

Help! Ron
 

Last edited by red s/c; 10-19-2009 at 10:46 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2009, 12:29 AM
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master tech
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Replace the output turbine speed sensor. The output sensor is for your speedo.Both sensor are on the driver side of the transmission. under the car. input would be close to the torque converter and output would be close to the rear of the trans.
 
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2009, 08:49 AM
92dak5.24x4
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Originally Posted by red s/c View Post
Just the facts...

1996 Intrepid 3.5 liter
135,xxx
Check engine light on
Transmission fluid looks good, no smells, up to proper level
Speedometer doesn't work
Cruise control doesn't work, later found that the fuse was pulled out of fuse block
Been sitting for 4+ years
Installed newer battery and meticulously cleaned the terminals

I (not them) pulled the codes at Auto Zoner

P1698
No communicative between DDC and the TCM

P0500(a)
Speed sensor The "a" suffix tells them that it is the input speed sensor, not the output

I just bought this and don't have any history, but I do have a history of broken cars in the driveway that my girlfriend is not happy with !!!
I bought this car after my best friend got a 95 w/ a 3.5. waited for one with a 3.5 instead of one with a 2.7. I have noted that there was a lot of them out there with bad transmissions, must be the weak link when you put it behind the mighty 3.5 liter!! He also had a 94 Le baron 3.0 w/ a bad transmission. Had it rebuilt- same problem- wouldn't shift out of first.. Turned out to be a bad TCM. Also he recently had the same problem again, cleaned the battery terminals and it was a new transmission!

Other symptoms- may or may not be related 1) Engine runs poorly. Could be check engine light on, or 4+ year old gas, just put in $10.00 to get home. 2) Ran better after I took it to the car wash and washed the engine, man was it dirty- I can't stand to work on a dirty machine! I will address the tune up problems when I get it to shift into O/D 3) Cheapo CD player make static noises thru the speakers like a power supply problem 4) Windshield washers don't work, but wipers and turn signals work on the multi-fuction switch 5) Indicator for the transmission lights up all green, but when you put it in drive the reverse position lights up red?

I'm a Ford kinda guy (EEC IV) but I don't want to turn into a "parts changer" like at some repair shops. I would rather talk to some one who is knowledgeable out this, or has gone through this before! Where is the input speed senor? They both look alike in the parts book. Also every Shucks in this town has both on the shelf, hummmm... Is it that common of a problem?

Help! Ron
i definitely wouldnt just throw a part at the sensor. you'd really want a scanner that can read just the trans computer. the engine computer codes are really more generic and not specific enough. no communications between modules is a bus related problem. i found several of these gen 1 lh cars with defective ignition switches causing your exact symptoms but in no way am i saying that IS your problem. in my cases the engine ran fine but the trans is stuck in 2nd (limp in and same as you not first gear). using proper testing methods with a wiring diagram i came up with the problem at the fuse (can't remember which one) with the fuse out(open circuit) I had 12v with the key on fuse in the voltage read .1v which told me i had a very poor connection which in open it was able to carry voltage and with a load, the circuit opened. anyway that's all i know about that
 
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  #4  
Old 10-22-2009, 01:23 PM
red s/c
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Default Update- Oct 22

Sorry I've been busy with gf's seasonal yard maintenance issues...

Since the car was throwing just a input speed sensor, I purchased one at Shuck's for $16.99. I found out 2 things. 1) I am to fat to get underneath the Intrepid, 2) I'm to scared to jack the car up all the way with the factory jack in the Shuck's parking lot. I was going by a small 2 bay garage and they told me that they could change it out a little later in the afternoon for 1/2 hour min. charge ($37.50). In the interim I went to the local glass shop and had the windows tint checked to see if it was legal (it failed). During the check I had to roll down the window and I had to jiggle the key. I went back to another Shuck's and purchased the output speed sensor ($16.99) since they were min. charging me and returned to the shop where they had just replaced the input sensor on another Chrysler, and repaired the problem. Went and had a beer and the car was just coming back from test drive- same symptoms.... They charged me $20.00 and I tipped the tech $10.00 for the good service and karma recharge. The sensors weren't covered in metal particles or grime. I also went and unhooked the battery and had another beer to clear the codes.
Yesterday I went back to Shuck's and pulled the codes with the same 2 coming up. I cleared the codes 4 times and they came back the same. Went and had a beer. Took the car down to a local tranny shop and they put the big scanner on it, no communication to the TCM.
They switched around some relays and checked the fuses, tried several different keys to the input cable of their scanner to no avail. They didn't want to commit, but their best guess is the TCM or wiring. They recommended that I go to the HUGE local wreaking yard and get a TCM for $60.00. Their usual charge is $37.50 to scan, the owner let me go @ no charge!!! I have checked several of what I thought were pertinent fuse input voltages and they are close to battery voltage.
The local yard let me in 20 min after they closed and checked stock, out of TCMs (?) May go to local Pull and Save....
I also thought about the ignition switch (Ford has had their problems) but after looking more at the drivers window it looks like the window regulator is acting up, because the armrest is pushing out, then binding the window.

1)Is there any way to voltage test the ignition switch? 2) Is there any way to test the TCM? 3) Replace or check the wiring harness between the TCM and the main computer? (Also the tranny shop said that body computer was O.K.!)

I value your input in this forum, some one must have repaired their car with the same problem. Right now getting my own scanner and factory manuals are kinda out of the picture. I got hurt at work and am awaiting a couple of surgeries. My 1990 Prelude is running on 2 1/2 cyl (blown gasket between 2 and 3) and won't make it thru the winter. I bought this car for $330 with a good set of Coopers and American racing wheels, the body and interior are in good shape. Working on this car is good mental therapy for me right now. In a perfect world I could just take it to the Dodge dealer and have them fix it, but at what cost- At what cost I say financially, emotionally, and spiritually!!

Please let me know your thoughts!

Aloha, Ron 509.251.2205
 

Last edited by red s/c; 10-22-2009 at 02:37 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2009, 04:59 PM
92dak5.24x4
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Originally Posted by red s/c View Post
Sorry I've been busy with gf's seasonal yard maintenance issues...

Since the car was throwing just a input speed sensor, I purchased one at Shuck's for $16.99. I found out 2 things. 1) I am to fat to get underneath the Intrepid, 2) I'm to scared to jack the car up all the way with the factory jack in the Shuck's parking lot. I was going by a small 2 bay garage and they told me that they could change it out a little later in the afternoon for 1/2 hour min. charge ($37.50). In the interim I went to the local glass shop and had the windows tint checked to see if it was legal (it failed). During the check I had to roll down the window and I had to jiggle the key. I went back to another Shuck's and purchased the output speed sensor ($16.99) since they were min. charging me and returned to the shop where they had just replaced the input sensor on another Chrysler, and repaired the problem. Went and had a beer and the car was just coming back from test drive- same symptoms.... They charged me $20.00 and I tipped the tech $10.00 for the good service and karma recharge. The sensors weren't covered in metal particles or grime. I also went and unhooked the battery and had another beer to clear the codes.
Yesterday I went back to Shuck's and pulled the codes with the same 2 coming up. I cleared the codes 4 times and they came back the same. Went and had a beer. Took the car down to a local tranny shop and they put the big scanner on it, no communication to the TCM.
They switched around some relays and checked the fuses, tried several different keys to the input cable of their scanner to no avail. They didn't want to commit, but their best guess is the TCM or wiring. They recommended that I go to the HUGE local wreaking yard and get a TCM for $60.00. Their usual charge is $37.50 to scan, the owner let me go @ no charge!!! I have checked several of what I thought were pertinent fuse input voltages and they are close to battery voltage.
The local yard let me in 20 min after they closed and checked stock, out of TCMs (?) May go to local Pull and Save....
I also thought about the ignition switch (Ford has had their problems) but after looking more at the drivers window it looks like the window regulator is acting up, because the armrest is pushing out, then binding the window.

1)Is there any way to voltage test the ignition switch? 2) Is there any way to test the TCM? 3) Replace or check the wiring harness between the TCM and the main computer? (Also the tranny shop said that body computer was O.K.!)

I value your input in this forum, some one must have repaired their car with the same problem. Right now getting my own scanner and factory manuals are kinda out of the picture. I got hurt at work and am awaiting a couple of surgeries. My 1990 Prelude is running on 2 1/2 cyl (blown gasket between 2 and 3) and won't make it thru the winter. I bought this car for $330 with a good set of Coopers and American racing wheels, the body and interior are in good shape. Working on this car is good mental therapy for me right now. In a perfect world I could just take it to the Dodge dealer and have them fix it, but at what cost- At what cost I say financially, emotionally, and spiritually!!

Please let me know your thoughts!

Aloha, Ron 509.251.2205
you can use a tcm out of a minivan too. but dude, sounds like your throwing parts at it. idk why youd even spend the money on a speed sensor if you had a code for no communications. get yourself a troubleshooting guide. i think if you have a public library, see if they have shopkey or mitchell on line where you can get a print out of wiring diagrams and trouble shooting proceedures. oh and drink less beer. it wont help you fix the car. i dont get the connection between the ignition switch and the window regulator ?
 
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:44 PM
red s/c
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Default 2nd Update oct 22nd 7:30p.m.

Conditions up to this point...

Car in limp home mode, 2nd gear (I stand corrected! It just seems like 1st !)
No Speedometer, odometer, cruise control function.
All lights on transmission are lit up on the indicator are green, except for reverse which is red.
Check engine light is on.
Replaced both speed sensors, mostly because of minimum rack time, OBDI II indication of input sensor, speedometer not working, relative cost of the sensors, and that every Shuck's has them in stock and sell a bunch of them, the need of balanced voltage between input and output speed sensors (some say that they can become imbalanced with metal filings if the trans is giving off shavings & some say that they need to be cleaned when you change fluid- I say just cheap insurance)
Took the car to a transmission shop and had the cars engine, body and transmission computers scanned. Transmission computer was not communicating.
Checked voltage between the standing battery voltage and the input to every input voltage to the fuse block and found them at a maximum of less than .4 volts .
Followed the shops recommendations and tried to buy a TCM yesterday, but they didn't have one.

ACCORDING TO WHAT I HAVE FOUND-

A 1996 Intrepid Is a one year TCM and there are 2 of them in this year, one is Autostick (which mine is not !)

A mini van, K car, diesel pickup or what ever won't work-

1996 Intrepid
1996 LH
1996 Concorde
1996 New Yorker
with a 3.5 are the ONLY replacements for this TCM.

Went to the local Pull and Save and purchased these parts.
Washer pump with sensor and wiring harness, Ash tray w/ receiver and 3 lighters, like new Goodyear Gator serpentine belt, all fuses and relays in the passenger and engine compartment, new battery cables, ignition switch w/ connector, owners manual, cup holders in the arm rests and the CORRECT TCM.

Total cost $20.85

After about a hour and a half there I was beat. Went down the road a little and realized that the TCM did not have a ground thru the body mounts, Gained the energy and pulled in to the the local grocery store and pulled the connector off and installed the new TCM......

And SUCCESS !!!!

The transmission indicator only indicated the gear that I was in!!! The check engine indicator light was still on- but I had all gears!!!
Drove it to Shuck's and cleared the codes and drove it and the lights were still off!! No engine, body, or transmission codes!!! Drove it up the highway @ 70- shifted like a dream....

As for throwing parts at it.
It was indicating an input speed sensor Suffix "a". Logic tells me that when EVERY Shuck's in town stocks both of them, logic tells me the cost is there, and logic tells me the install is the same- Logic tells me to do it, and if not I am still some what of a gambler... total gain was I eliminated the under car sensor problems and and gained 3 friends at that shop. They also gave me sound advise and told me to install a used TCM from Spalding's.
Confidence shaken, logic told me to take it to a place that had the latest diagnostic tools and they gave me their best guess at wiring or TCM
Yes, I have a library card and I use it- they have the same source as Auto Zoner. I also looked at other forums and data bases. For other people that are not as lucky as I, the next step is to reground the wiring harness and clean the connector to the computers.
Logic tells me to approach people that know more that me or have had the same experience that I am having.

The connection between the ignition switch and the operation of the window regulator is that it took me about three times to encounter the failure of the window operation to figure out that 1) the ignition switch might have been bad, not providing enough voltage to operate the lift motor, and therefore might be the root problem of my transmission problems 2) the lift motor might be going out, 3) the switch or body wiring may be bad.... Ultimately it is probably a bad window regulator- which is just by my previous MN 12 Ford experience... window regulator or transmission is bad and it pushes out the arm rest... Just a product of knowing the symptoms, just what I was asking for in this forum...
 

Last edited by red s/c; 10-23-2009 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:08 AM
Cristian Rios
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Originally Posted by 92dak5.24x4 View Post
i definitely wouldnt just throw a part at the sensor. you'd really want a scanner that can read just the trans computer. the engine computer codes are really more generic and not specific enough. no communications between modules is a bus related problem. i found several of these gen 1 lh cars with defective ignition switches causing your exact symptoms but in no way am i saying that IS your problem. in my cases the engine ran fine but the trans is stuck in 2nd (limp in and same as you not first gear). using proper testing methods with a wiring diagram i came up with the problem at the fuse (can't remember which one) with the fuse out(open circuit) I had 12v with the key on fuse in the voltage read .1v which told me i had a very poor connection which in open it was able to carry voltage and with a load, the circuit opened. anyway that's all i know about that
Hey sorry to bring an old thread but I have the exact same problem tranny stuck in limp mode everything else seems to work fine just wont shift out of 2nd, i just bought the car for 500$ at an auction and want to get that fixed but dont want to just throw money at it, could it also be a short?
 
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