Diagnosing AS68RC intermittent pressure switch/linear solenoid performance codes - Transmission Digest

Diagnosing AS68RC intermittent pressure switch/linear solenoid performance codes

Intermittent pressure switch codes on vehicles with the Aisin Seiki AS68RC transmission have been very difficult to nail down to one specific cause. The two most common pressure switch codes for this transmission are P0746 clutch pressure control solenoid A or linear solenoid A performance or “Stuck Off,” which also includes pressure switch 1 mechanical fault. The second-most common code is P0776 clutch pressure control solenoid B or linear solenoid B performance or “Stuck Off,” which also includes pressure switch 2 mechanical fault. What typically happens is that the diagnostics start with the definition of the trouble code on the scan tool.

The code definitions shown above are the full definition of the code and honestly, if we don’t take the time to get that full definition, we will only get the first four to five words in the sentence. If we are really lucky, we will get the word “performance,” which refers to a mechanical problem in the hydraulic circuit of the solenoid, per the definition on the scan tool. Commonly, the words “pressure switch” will not be listed on the scanner.

Interestingly, the Dodge Ram truck P0746 code lists clutch pressure control solenoid A or linear A performance first; but Mitsubishi applications list pressure switch 1 as being at fault, with no mention of linear A performance.

Furthermore, if we go into OE diagnostics for Dodge, it takes us through five different monitor conditions that are connected to five different set conditions — very thorough, but very complicated. The worst part of it is that the possibilities of the root cause are actually inside this virtual piñata full of maybes. The list includes a harness problem with pressure switch 1, a bad pressure switch 1 or a problem with control valve 1 (which happens to be immediately behind linear solenoid A). It also lists an internal mechanical transmission problem and, of course, a bad TCM.

The issue here is that you may not have access to OE diagnostics, and you have replaced linear A or B solenoid three times, which keeps coming back with this same code intermittently. Without the OE diagnostics, it is like your brother moving the rope for the piñata every time you take a swing with your trusty Louisville Slugger.

Let’s break this down so we can make some kind of sense out of it, now that we have a full description of possibilities. It seems like the common denominator for this code points to a pressure switch problem of some sort, whether it be mechanical, in its hydraulic circuit or a bad connection with the switch. To explain this correctly, we need to first look at the hydraulic circuit to see the items in play. Figure 1 (above) shows a partial circuit diagram of linear solenoid B when it is at high duty cycle.

This solenoid’s output pressure acts on control valve 2. Notice, in Figure 2, that when linear B duty cycle drops, control valve 2 moves to the right and connects line pressure to clutch apply pressure.

Tasc-Tips-May-Figure-2---Linear-Solenoid-B-at-Low-Duty-Cycle
Figure 2.

At the same time, clutch apply pressure is directed to a damper valve and pressure switch 2. Believe it or not, this damper is the most common root cause of a pressure switch 1 or 2 code. Regarding the damper piston, the bore on which the piston rides becomes worn out and allows pressure to leak past the piston. This pressure loss can affect how quickly the pressure switch responds or closes. This, in turn, causes a trouble code to be set, as the TCM thinks the pressure switch is stuck off. The TCM commanded a gear change, and the pressure switch in charge of feedback to the TCM did not change state quick enough. Both dampers connected to pressure switches 1 and 2 oil circuits are identical (Figure 3).

Tasc-Tips-May-Figure-3-Damper-&-Pressure-Switch-Locations-1400
Figure 3.

Figures 1 and 2 also show that there is a damper connected to the solenoid feed circuit which can also wear. These pistons can be easily checked by vacuum testing the exhaust port by the spring end. Wear can also be seen in the bottom of the bore. Figures 4 and 5 show a cross-sectional view of the damper pistons and the location for vacuum testing.

Tasc-Tips-May-Figure-4-Vacuum-Test-the-Exhaust-Port-in-the-Casting-1400
Figure 4.
Tasc-Tips-May-Figure-5---Exhaust-Port-Locations800x700
Figure 5.

Note: When vacuum testing these pistons, be sure that the vacuum reading does not drop when moving the piston from side to side, as this indicates a worn bore. A new piston and casting will test 20-plus-in.-Hg, and worn bores can go as low as 4-in.-Hg. There are also relief pistons in the upper valve body that are for cooler relief and a solenoid feed relief. These two locations can be vacuum tested in the same way: by vacuum testing the spring side exhaust port on the back side of the casting.

This same vacuum testing process can also be performed on AS66RC and AS69RC applications, as they can experience similar wear in the three relief valves.

Jim Dial is a Sonnax technical specialist. He is a member of the Sonnax TASC Force (Technical Automotive Specialties Committee), a group of recognized industry technical specialists, transmission rebuilders and Sonnax technicians.

Read more columns from the TASC Force Tips series here.

You May Also Like

Shift of the shaft: Diagnosing Chrysler 48RE manual shaft issues

The TorqueFlite transmission has been around since mid-to-late 1950s. There have been many changes surrounding the manual shaft and rooster comb through the years. This transmission shaft controls the position of the manual valve that directs oil for the gear ranges, but it also is used for a Reverse light control as well as Park/Neutral

The TorqueFlite transmission has been around since mid-to-late 1950s. There have been many changes surrounding the manual shaft and rooster comb through the years. This transmission shaft controls the position of the manual valve that directs oil for the gear ranges, but it also is used for a Reverse light control as well as Park/Neutral safety control. As it evolved, changes to these safety backup switches caused extra stress against the rooster comb that posed new challenges to the technician. 

Sometimes, a diagnostic code is all you need

With ATSG having the opportunity to help shops solve problems, sometimes we get faced with some real doozies. A shop will call and give us a laundry list of DTCs, leaving us to think someone must have a bulkhead connector unplugged. We then go through the arduous task of deciding which codes prompted other codes

10L80 and 10R80 pump gear differences

You may have seen an article in the August 2023 issue of Transmission Digest called “GM 10L80: A new kind of pump noise,” which goes over how the front cover housing in the 10L80 is fitted with a converter drive gear and idler gear. The idler gear drives the pump’s driven gear, and is press

Shift Pointers: What to do when the 62TE TRS tab breaks

How frustrating it is when on a hot summer day, as you go to open a nice cold can of your drink of choice, and the tab breaks off? You are outside, away from any tools to remedy the problem quickly. It now requires a MacGyver mentality looking around at the resources available to get

Going the extra mile: Proving your transmission repair suspicions

A 2003 Honda Pilot with a five-speed three-shaft transmission came into our shop with a customer concern that the vehicle had no power, and the “D” light was flashing. I first did a scan for codes to see what it came up with, and the scan tool returned four DTCs: P1298 (ELD voltage high), P0135 (H02S

RRfeature-1400

Other Posts

Sonnax introduces Smart-Tech clutch kit for GM 4L series

Sonnax has introduced a new Smart-Tech clutch kit for optimizing clutch capacity and guarding against clutch burnup in GM 4L60, 4L60-E, 4L65-E and 4L70-E transmissions. This kit (part no. 77734-01K) includes eight .067-in. BorgWarner high-energy frictions and seven .095-in. Lindered steels recommended for use with Sonnax Smart-Tech input housings. Related Articles – Alto introduces filters

Sonnax introduces oversized low reverse/overdrive clutch regulator valve kit

Sonnax has introduced a new oversized low reverse/overdrive (4-5-6) clutch regulator valve kit (part no. 144740-43K) for Ford 6F35 transmissions, generations one, two and three. Related Articles – TransGo introduces 62TE high pressure kit for vans – OTC releases TJHP15 transmission jack  – American Powertrain introduces ProTwin disc clutch for GM, Ford and Mopar Sonnax

Sonnax introduces heavy-duty ‘A’ clutch backing plate

Sonnax has introduced a new heavy duty “A” clutch backing plate (part no. 35577-45) for Chrysler 845RE and 850RE, and ZF 8HP45, 8HP50 and 8HP51 transmissions. Sonnax says that this plate can eliminate the flexing/bowing of the clutch pack that leads to comebacks in these transmissions, and recommends installing them in units that have not

Sonnax highlights Chrysler RFE Sure Cure kits

Sonnax highlights its Sure Cure kits for replacing worn areas in Chrysler RFE series transmissions. Related Articles – BendPak introduces new full-rise scissor lifts – Alto introduces aluminum oil pans for Chrysler transmissions – TransGo releases S4 regulator valve for 2018-on GM 8L45, 8L90 Part numbers include: These kits cover Chrysler 45RFE, 545RFE, 65RFE, 66RFE