Monday, January 21, 2013

2004 Chrysler touring van: Liftgate Automatically Comes Down

Lift Gate Raises Up but with Automatically come down

Liftgate operates with both interior lift switch or with Keyfob button , it will automatically go up when commanded but without giving close command it automatically comes down.
Also when manually lifiting the gate up and releasing the hand the gate slowly comes down.

Its not a issue with liftgate switch or keyfob switch or the issue of Liftgate sensor.
Because if these are the causes then lift gate will not get operated when commanded to go up,so the problem is related to liftgate strut.They are not able to hold the pressure of gate.

It sounds like your problem is simply weak liftgate struts.

  • The liftgate struts are the units on each side of the liftgate that look like shocks. 
  • They contain high pressure inside and are what helps the opening of the liftgate and then holds it up when it's open.
  • Its a common problem noticed on many truck/ van when there is facility of Liftgate system.

Normally at our auto repair garage when a vehicle comes with such lift gate closing issues.We try these test.We manually operate the liftgate by opening the gate , and if the gate comes down slowly,we confirm that issue is liftgate strut.But these test is already been tried by you.And the result is same the lift gate comes down as soon as you release your hand.
Now since the liftgate comes down as soon as you let it go when opening it by hand you know without a doubt that the struts are bad. The struts are no longer able to support the weight of the liftgate and will need to be replaced. Once you get the gate opened about halfway the struts should take over and finish opening it if you let go.

When you operate the lift gate by keyfob fob lift gate switch button the gate is lifted by power motor to start the lift then once the lift gate reaches particular height then further function is done by lift gate strut.
So when you automatically operate the liftgate the gate goes up and these clarifies that Liftgate power motor is working fine,but struts are not operating fine.

The Working of Basic Power Liftgate motor is as follows:------

  • The power liftgate motor is designed to start opening of the gate but it's not designed to or capable of taking the whole weight of the heavy liftgate. 
  • The power system is just designed to unlatch the liftgate, start the opening process and then once it gets about half way the struts need to support the weight. 
  • The motor is still engaged until the liftgate gets to the top but doesn't do anything once the struts take over, and once the liftgate it gets to the full open position the clutch disengages and decouples the motor from the linkage.

Many car owners ask about Liftgate sensors causing the problem.But on such cases its impossible that sensor causing these problems.
There are pinch sensors for obstacle detection when you're closing the gate, but there aren't any sensors for opening. When you're opening it the liftgate module is watching the current used by the motor. If it sees motor current go high then it knows the gate has hit an obstacle, and it will then reverse and close.

In  your case the vehicles  liftgate struts aren't able to support the weight this puts an extra strain on the motor. So the current draw for the motor increases to the point that the module thinks the liftgate has hit something, when in reality it's opening hard because the liftgate struts aren't there to take the weight. This is why with weak struts it will reverse and close again once it gets part way up.

You'll need to replace the struts and that should take care of all of your problems. They are easy to replace and should be in stock at any parts store and most dealers.

If you feel difficult to replace the struts manually then getting it replaced from local car garage is advisable and its not at all a costly replacement.

These details will help.

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1994 Chrysler Caravan: Transmission will not go in gear and goes in Limp Mode

Transmission goes in Limp Mode,sometimes goes in reverse but not always

On these VAN transmission flush and service is done by local transmission repair shop:
Is it faulty TCM or Range Sensor causing the problem.


On such cases for temporary solution try removing the trans relay out then then try shifting and see.

The relay is located under-hood in the fuse box.

See if Van moves forward or reverse with Trans relay out.

Also check the transmission fluid level.

First these basics are to be checked. If all these checked ok,then moving towards most possible causes of these kind of problem.

As per my Auto garage repair experience it sounds like problem is with the low/reverse clutch in some way, which is the holding clutch used for 1st  and reverse gears.

You had asked about the TCM or range sensor, neither of which will cause this problem. There is no range sensor on your VAN model.Your van predates the use of range sensors by a few years, and the TCM is an electrical component. 
Why i disagree with Electrical failure because ,In the event of an electrical failure the trans will still have first gear and reverse, filling off the manual valve in the valve body. An electrical problem can't prevent the trans from engaging.And in your case the problem is reverse.

I suggest you to get inspected the Low/reverse clutch. The low/reverse clutch is located in the back of the case and is the holding clutch used in first and reverse gears. The issue can be the piston seals are damaged and leaking, the piston retainer or it's gasket are damaged, or an issue with the valve body or transmission case causing a leak in the low/reverse apply circuit. Most likely what has happened is the retainer gasket or piston seals were damaged when the trans was assembled by the shop which you previously got your transmission repaired & serviced.

Since the trans was just overhauled and this is an internal problem your best bet will be to return to the shop that did the work because it should be covered under warranty.Ask them to get the trans assembly reinspected.

To inspect the Valve body the transmission assembly has to be come out.Unless the problem is in the valve body (cracked or warped causing a leak in this circuit) then the trans would have to come out and be disassembled. 
If everything else looked ok then its no need to completely overhaul the transmission again unless you chose to, replacing the failed components hopefully is all that would need to be done. On the other hand if the Previous transmission repair shop did damage something when assembling it then they could have caused some other issues too.

But if the repair cost is going too high then i suggest you a bit  cheaper option  to install a used trans, you can often pick them up for $400 for a decent unit. If you can't find a used one in your area www.car-part.com is an online used part locator service and you should be able to find something there.

These details will help.

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2002 Jeep Liberty: Check Engine Light On Dash, Low Fuel Mileage and RPM bit High then Normal

OBD Code P0740 On Jeep Liberty

These Error code gets set when the torque converter clutch either slips or doesn't apply at all when it is commanded to operate.
And issue with  torque converter can definitely cause the issues which you have mentioned and noticed while driving.

As per your vehicle details mentioned the torque converter is located between the engine and trans and is what transmits power from the engine. In the front of  torque converter assembly  is a disc clutch that is turned on at times to give a mechanical lock between the engine and trans to raise fuel mileage slightly. 

There are a few causes for this code. Since there isn't a dedicated torque converter solenoid  on your vehicle model like some transmissions have so  you can rule out a solenoid issue. 
On your vehicle the converter clutch is applied by the same solenoid as another clutch, along with a valve in the valve body. If you aren't setting a code for the solenoid switch valve (P1775) then you can also rule out a valve body problem.

So now on your case i will say then other possibilities can be :-----
Leaking seals on the transmission input shaft, where the converter is fed the fluid it needs to operate. This would be an internal leak, not something you would see on the ground.

Or the other possibility can be worn or incorrect fluid or a fluid additive. Get the fluid quality and type rechecked.
Any of these will cause the converter clutch to slip as it engages and in some cases could cause the code to set.

The most common cause of this would be the torque converter itself. If there is no debris from the failed converter scattered throughout the trans then replacing the converter itself will usually repair it.
But  if the converter is in very dirty and worn out condition , and replacing converter is not solving the problem completely  then a complete trans overhaul by the shop is advisable.

The repair cost may depend on what kind of  repair job is carried on your vehicle.Only torque converter replacing or complete trans overhaul. But if in case you avoid the repair at present and wait for some more time then in that case ,it's very much possible that you could drive it indefinitely without problems if you don't repair it. As long as the converter clutch isn't delaminating and scattering debris throughout the trans then the only symptoms you would have is the engine light, slightly lower fuel mileage, and slightly higher cruising RPM's. 

But if you need my advise and suggestion on these issue then i suggest you to get the  trans pan drop service rather than a flush. This will allow you to see inside the trans and see whether or not there is debris coming from the converter, and will also allow for both filters to be replaced. Make sure that only ATF+4 is used and no additives are put in the fluid when the service is done. If there is no clutch material in the pan then you can probably drive it indefinitely without repairing it.Till the serious seen problem arise.

But if there is no cash issue then dont wait for major problem to arise, take your time and get the trans inspected by profession transmission repair overhaul shop and they will suggest you further about what repair or replacement is required.

These details will help.

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2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Stalls And Cuts Out While Driving

Jeep Starts Runs then Stalls and Cuts Out 

The Vehicle starts and runs fine but immediately stalls and cuts out, these continues.

If i turn off the vehicle ans  start again then it starts fine but same problem continues .....................

A very common issue is causing these problem.

Your vehicle needs proper servicing, and without forget get your fuel system parts inspected and replace the weak parts.

If the fuel filter is not replaced from long time then without fail replace it.
On many of such same cases i have seen faulty fuel filter causing it.

Replacing the fuel filter is very much advisable if you don't know how long that one has been in, generally fuel filter should be replaced roughly every other oil change. 

If you see check engine light coming up on dash then without fail get your vehicle scanned to retrieve the error codes stored in engine computer module.Then will help for further diagnosis.

If there are no fault codes let's start with replacing fuel filter and see how it does.
Why i suggest replacing fuel filter is because , if the filter is plugging then it can drop fuel pressure enough to lose power or kill the engine. And these is what you are noticing on your vehicle.

These details will help.

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Jeep Grand Cherokee Up shift and Downshift issues

Gear Shift issues on 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee

While accelerating from stand still up a slight incline with little bit or 1/2 throttle, the gear box takes 3 to 4 attempts to change from 2nd gear into 3rd gear. Under hard acceleration or on a level road it shifts fine.

As per my Auto garage repair Experience i will say the issue is related to transmission.

First of all get the transmission fluid level checked and next get gear box checked,.

Also if there is a check engine light coming ON dashboard then get the Engine module scanned to retrieve the OBD codes stored in the Module.

To retrieve OBD error codes stored in engine module there are two ways, one by Scan tool and other Manually.
To retrieve the codes manually try these procedure mentioned below :------

Cycle the key from OFF to ON   3 times ending with it ON and watch the digital odometer display. Don't crank the starter, just OFF to ON. The codes start with a P and have four numbers, there may be more than one code stored or at-least one error code stored. 

Once the error code is retrieved the further diagnosis can be performed as per the error code.

For your more help, i would like to share one of my garage repair experience which was exactly similar to these issue.

The vehicle was 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the issue was gear shift and Error code retrieved was P0138

This error code helped us to pinpoint the problem resolve the issue.

Now what these error code means :---   P0138 is for the front upstream oxygen sensor being shorted to voltage. 
This seems unrelated to a transmission issue.There is no direct connection between both shifting and faulty oxygen sensor  but it's not unheard of for a shorted oxygen sensor to cause shift issues. 

If you see on your vehicle to the right side of the valve body in the transmission is the governor pressure transducer and solenoid, together they are used to control up-shift and downshift timing. 
Now the governor transducer is the part that senses the pressure in the circuit and it shares a ground with the oxygen sensors. 

As per our Auto garage repair experience  in these condition what can happen is an internally shorted oxygen sensor will bleed voltage into the ground circuit and cause the governor transducer signal to be incorrect.Which we have already seen on many other vehicles too causing same types of problem.
So these issue directly got clicked.

So in these condition I recommend first replacing the front upstream oxygen sensor, disconnect the battery to clear the codes and see how it does. 

But in case if that doesn't take care of it  then there are a few other possibilities to be checked. 
It can be a mis-adjusted throttle valve cable, which goes between the throttle body down to the transmission. This plays a huge part in shift timing.

Or it can also be a failed governor transducer or solenoid, the 2-3 shift valve hanging up, or the front clutch could be slipping.Which is also very much noticed on such cases.

Now with these kind of problem the repair cost can be anything between  $10-$300 or under, if it's simply adjusting the cable that would only take a half hour or so.This can be done by yourself. But if it turns out to be a leaking front clutch, which I really don't expect for your description, that would require transmission dis-assembly and overhaul. 

As per my personal knowledge on dealing with car repairs i wouldn't get too worried about that at this point unless it's actually slipping in third gear.

Now regarding parts replacement.If you go for replacing parts then i suggest always go for quality and branded parts instead on local cheap non branded aftermarket parts.

I will never say aftermarket parts are bad parts,but these parts dont last long and there fitting compared to original part is very loose and out of its way.And performance way these parts dont give you 100 % results.So at last anyway you have to go for new branded part and your cost of expense gets more then you thought.

These details will help.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Instrument Cluster Gauges Dead NO POWER

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee United States Version :


No movement at all.

When starting the vehicle only ABS light comes on dash board for few seconds and goes OFF.

As per the problem mentioned i suggest you get the voltages checked for the instrument cluster wires.

To do that you will have to remove the instrument cluster and test it's powers, grounds an bus voltages. 

I will mention the list of wiring's to be checked with voltmeter.

The white wire in pin 3 should have battery voltage.
The black wire in pin 5 should have voltage with the key on.
The black and black/orange wires in pins 1 and 2 should have ground.

If these are ok then turn the key on and check the voltage on the white/black and violet/brown wires. These should each be close to 2.5v and fluctuating a bit.

Battery voltage should be Approx to 12volts. If no 12 volts are received then power is not reaching to the wires and that's the issue.

If battery voltage is received then other possibility for the problem is no ground voltages or loose ground wires.

On most of such cases at out auto repair garage the issue was related to ground wires.

Both of these ground wires originate at ground 304.And that is located  under the carpet to the left rear of the driver's seat. You have a couple choices at this point.

Pull the seat up and check the ground. If it's ok then you'd need to work your way from there to the cluster and determine where the wires are broken and then repair them. Since both wires have lost ground either they are both broken or the issue will be the ground location itself.

You can run new ground wires to both of these circuits. You can splice wires to each of these two and take them to a good grounded metal part under the dash.

And these will solve the problem.

These details will help.

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Getting Extended Warranty For the Vehicle

Vehicle Extended Warranty Suggestion

Many car buyers ask these question , Should i also buy Extended warranty for the new vehicle or not?

First what is Extended warranty?

When you buy a New vehicle, the owner of the vehicle receives a warranty for that vehicle.
It depends on brand and model of vehicle.
It on particular vehicles manufacturer about what warranty and additional services it provides.

On most of vehicles its approx 36K miles to 50K miles.Or 3 to 5 years.Which ever comes first.All depends upon car to car.

Now i will move towards answer for your query.
As per our Auto garage repair experience and dealing with Asian and foreign vehicle repairs for more then 20 years.I will say someone who works in a dealer and sees the steadily increasing prices of repairs and the high complexity of modern vehicles I would highly recommend considering an extended warranty. 

Now why i suggest you to go with extended warranty has a reason.
The maker of the product knows the actual working life of his product.
So the manufacturer always provides the warranty for the period the vehicle will hardly give or cause a problem with normal driving conditions.
The actual problem starts mostly after the warranty is over.

Yes i agree that you have to pay handsome amount for the extended warranty,but its worth getting it,instead of driving in a risk of if any major part failure occurs.

Something as simple as a modern radio can approach $2,000 in some cases. Most of the expensive electrical, suspension, steering and interior parts of the vehicle are warrantied for 3 years and 36,000 miles from the factory. So extended warranty will give you driving peace even after the normal warranty period is over.

Extended warranty comes in packages.Its like how much you pay and that particular package ou receive.If you are a safe and slow driver,you can go for low cost packages.If you are a rough driver or you deal with long drives for weeks or month then you have to go for bit costly package,which suits your driving habits.

There are many options available with the dealer for you to purchase. Some of the cheaper ones will cover just powertrain components, more expensive warranties will cover more and more systems and electrical components. I exactly dont know whats you actual plan about your new vehicle.But suppose if you're going to keep the vehicle for 200,000 or more miles it's likely that the extended warranty would save you money in repairs over that period. Now just consider for example if the transmission or engine were to fail after you are out of your factory warranty period those are each thousands of dollar repairs which would cost more than what the extended warranty cost. So in that cases you will save on expenses.

In simple and short way, i will mention that extended warranty is a insurance for your vehicle after the factory warranty is over.So these makes your driving safe when it comes to spend for major engine failures and transmission issues.

These details will help.

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