A faulty transmission range switch can cause several problems, the most common being the transmission getting stuck in gear (limp mode) and not changing gears.
In some cases, the engine may not start because the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) can not determine if the gear selector (shifter) is inPark. The shifter needs to be in Park to start the engine.
The transmission range sensor on an Audi or Volkswagen may also be referred to as a multi-function switch, F125, neutral safety switch, position sensor, safety switch, or range sensor.
Problems related to the Volkswagen transmission range sensor include:
- The range sensor itself can fail
- Corrosion at connector
- Damaged wire harness from ECU / TCM to transmission
- Defective or damaged park/neutral position switch
- Improperly adjusted park/neutral position switch.
- Defective, shorted, or damaged wiring to the transmission range sensor
- Misaligned shifter linkage
- Misadjusted park/neutral position switch
- Park/neutral position switch harness is open or shorted
- Park/neutral position switch circuit has a poor electrical connection
Even though the transmission range sensor on a Volkswagen often fails, as you can see, the problem may not always be the transmission range sensor itself.
In some cases, even low transmission fluid levels can develop similar symptoms, such as transmission not shifting gears or limp (failsafe) mode.
Volkswagen transmission range sensor can fail and cause several problems, including limp mode, no gear, or bang when putting the transmission in gear.
VW transmission range sensorproblems are often caused by worn-out contacts inside the transmission control sensor or corroded contacts at the plug that connects to the range sensor. Similar symptoms can also be caused by a bad Transmission Control Module (TCM); therefore, check the TCM for water damage and corrosion.
This is a list of possible symptoms caused bya faulty position sensor switch. Typically only one or two problems are present depending on how your sensor range sensor fails.
- Car won’t start
- Car won’t move in Drive
- Vehicle in limp or fail-safe mode
- No gear is shown on the cluster. The block of PRND letters highlighted
- Gearbox goes in limp mode when in Park
- The car starts only in Drive
- The car starts only in Neutral, not in Park
- Inability to switch gears
- Transmission in failsafe mode
- PRND does not show current gear
- The transmission gear indicator is not working, and the car won/t start
Some of these symptoms may also be caused by low transmission fluid level, faulty valve body, bad throttle/pedal sensor, misaligned shifter cable, input/output shaft sped sensors, or water damage transmission control module (TCM). It is important to read the fault codes from the transmission control and engine control modules with a Transmission OBD2 Scanner to narrow down the problem before replacing any parts.
Common fault codes triggered by a faulty transmission range sensor areP0705 and P0706. Thesefault codes typically mean that the transmission range sensor does not communicate data to the PCM (powertrain control module. Therefore the Engine Control Module does not know which gear the transmission is in or which gear the driver has selected.
- P0706 / 17090 – Transmission range sensor A, circuit range performance.
- 00293 VW Code – Multi-Function Switch (F125): Implausible SignalOn 5-Speed Automatic Transmission (01V)
- 17091 – Transmission Range Sensor (F125): Signal Too Low
- 17090 – transmission range sensor F125, implausible signal
- P0707: Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Low Input
- 01119 – Gear Recognition Signal
- P0814: Transmission Range Display Circuit
- P0708: Transmission Range Sensor Circuit High Input
- P0709: Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Intermittent
- P0819: Up and Down Shift Switch to Transmission Range Correlation
- 00293 Multi-function Switch (F125) Undefined switch condition error
- U102600 Transmission Control Module Read Out DTC
- P0919 Gear shifter position control error
- P1624 Malfunction lamp on / check engine light on
P codes are generic fault codes. They often come up on VW cars such as Jetta, Bora, Golf, GLI, Beetle, CC, Rabit, Tiguan, Routan, and Passat, but they can come upon any car with afaulty automatic transmission range sensor.
Codes that start with a number are Volkswagen-specific codes.
In some cases, a faulty code that points to a faulty transmission range sensor may be caused by a faulty Transmission Control Module (TCM / TCU). On Volkswagens, the TCM is often mounted on the floor of the passenger footwell. Water can get to the TCM module and either damage or cause corrosion. Before you replace the range selector sensor, it is recommended to inspect the TCM for water damage and corrosion.
Troubleshooting Transmission Range Sensor Problems
Check Fluid Level
If you have problems with your VW transmission going in limp mode or fail-safe mode, you first need to check the transmission fluid level. You may think many of the symptoms caused by a faulty transmission range sensor can also be due to low transmission fluid levels.
Use a Volkswagen Audi OBD-II scanner to read fault codes from the engine control and transmission control modules. Pay attention to all codes that show as CURRENT / PRESENT or ACTIVE. These codes will tell you what is wrong with your VW.
The YOUCANIC Full System Scanner can read and clear fault codes through every vehicle’s control module.
Fault codes that show as PASSIVE can also give you a hint, but don’t worry too much about passive codes until you fix the ACTIVE codes first. Fix the ACTIVE codes, then address the PASSIVE codes if they return.
Remember that generic OBD-II scanners will read engine control module codes but can not read codes from the transmission control module. If your check engine light is not on, a generic OBD-II scanner may not show any codes, even if fault codes exist in the transmission control module.
Next, use a digital multimeter to check the battery and alternator voltage. If your VW has a below 12 volts voltage with the engine running, you may have an electrical problem putting the transmission in limp mode.
Transmission range sensor connector
The next step is to check the connector that goes to the transmission range sensor. The connector can be loose or corroded, causing communication problems between the transmission range sensor and PCM.
Next, check the Transmission Control Module (TCM) for water damage. The TCM is mounted in the passenger footwell on some VW models, and water can potentially get to the module and destroy it.
Once you have checked the basics and ensured there is no corrosion or water damage, replace the transmission range sensor. The transmission range switch is also called a neutral safety switch because it prevents the engine start if the transmission is NOT in the park and neutral position. The PCM sends voltage reference to the sensor, while the sensor sends a different voltage back to the PCM, depending on which gear the shifter is in.
Since VW and Audi share many parts, including transmissions, these steps and problems apply to many Audi vehicles.
This guide covered problems with transmission range season on Volkwagen, but since the same symptoms, causes and functions can be applied to other vehicles with automatic transmission such as Acura, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Volvo, Ford, Dodge, GMC, Chevrolet, etc.
Where is the transmission range sensor located?
The transmission range sensor is typically mounted on the transmission housing. Depending on the model, the transmission range sensor will be mounted on top of the transmission or the side of it. The Volkswagen transmission range sensor serves many functions to determine the driver’s desired gear ( P R N D ). The transmission range sensor sends the signal to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Will a car start with a faulty transmission position sensor?
It depends on how and how the transmission range sensor fails. The transmission can go in limp mode, stop changing gears, or the engine may not start at all. In addition to telling the transmission control unitwhich gear the driver has selected ( P R N D), the transmission range sensoralso performs a critical function. It prevents the engine start if the shifter is not in Park or Neutral.
That’s why, in some cases, the vehicle will not even start if the transmission position sensor is faulty. If the engine control module (ECU) can not determine that the vehicle is not in Park ( or Neutral), it will not allow you to start the engine.
Can I drive with a bad transmission range sensor?
A faulty transmission range selector will cause problems such as forcing the car to get stuck in one gear or what is known as a limp mode. In other cases, it may prevent you from starting the engine. Problems with the transmission range sensor (neutral safety switch) should be repaired as soon as possible.
Which VW are affected by this problem?
Most vehicles with automatic transmissions have a transmission range sensor. This guide applied to most VW and Audi vehicles with automatic transmission, including the four-speed (01M) or five-speed (09A).
We hope you find the Volkswagen Transmission Range Sensor | F125 guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Volkswagen.
Rushit Hila • ASE Certified
Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.
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The Transmission Range Sensor tells the PCM the position of the transmission shifter. The PCM uses this information to control which gears of the transmission to enable or disable. When the TR sensor fails it can cause wrong gear starts, no upshifts, or what feels like a falling-out-of-gear condition.Can you drive with a bad transmission range sensor? ›
In most cases, you will be able to operate your vehicle if a P0705 code is showing, but with significant performance issues, therefore it is strongly not recommended. However, suppose your vehicle is experiencing problems while shifting or going into limp or reduced power mode.Can transmission range sensor cause transmission problems? ›
A malfunctioning transmission range sensor can cause a variety of problems, including difficulty shifting gears, transmission slipping, and even stalling. That's why it's important to have your transmission range sensor checked and replaced if necessary. Over time, the transmission range switch can fail.How do you reset a transmission sensor? ›
Turn off your vehicle's ignition and wait patiently for 5 to 10 seconds. Start the engine and allow it to idle for several seconds. Switch off the ignition and wait patiently for another 30 to 40 seconds. Repeat these steps 2 to 3 times in order to reset your vehicle's transmission control module.How do I fix error code P0705? ›
- Repairing an open or short in the TRS circuit.
- Replacing a faulty TCM.
- Replacing a faulty ECM.
- Changing the transmission fluid and filter.
- Adjusting the linkage connecting the shift lever on the transmission to the gear shifter inside the car.
When your vehicle is unable to shift out of neutral or park, this is a clear indication that there is a serious problem somewhere in the transition system. A failing transmission position sensor may no longer send the right signals to the Powertrain Control Module, or PCM.What causes transmission range sensor failure? ›
Issues with the transmission range sensor circuit, such as damaged wires or poor connections. Defective valve body. Defective shift linkage. Faulty TCM or PCM.Can a sensor stop a transmission from shifting? ›
It's also common that a problem with these sensors can impact the shift timing, extending the interval between transmission shifts. An automatic transmission is hydraulically controlled and designed to operate smooth.How much does it cost to fix a transmission range sensor? ›
The average cost for a Transmission Position Sensor Replacement is between $273 and $322. Labor costs are estimated between $139 and $175 while parts are priced between $134 and $146.Can a car run without a transmission sensor? ›
While it's technically possible to operate your vehicle without a properly functioning vehicle speed sensor, it is strongly discouraged. A faulty VSS can negatively impact multiple aspects of vehicle operation—which is why it's best to replace a bad speed sensor as soon as possible.
- Having found the sensor or sensors to be faulty, remove the connector between the sensor and the vehicle's wiring.
- Using the proper socket, remove the faulty sensor.
- Connect the new sensor to the vehicle's wiring.
- Install the new sensor.
- Lower your car.
- Start the engine.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix Code P0705? If you take your car to a shop for diagnosis, most shops will start with an hour of “diag time” (the time spent in labor diagnosing your specific issue). Depending on the shop's labor rate, this typically costs somewhere between $75-$150.What does the transmission range sensor prevent the engine from doing? ›
Its function is to prevent you from attempting to start your engine while it's running unless the transmission is in the 'neutral' or 'park' position, or if your car has a manual transmission if you depress the clutch pedal.Will disconnecting battery reset transmission? ›
Disconnecting a battery will not typically reset the transmission. However, it may reset the vehicle's computer systems, which could affect how the transmission operates.Why would you reset your transmission? ›
Carrying out reset and relearn is important to prevent transmissions failure because the oil is replaced.What is the code for bad transmission speed sensor? ›
The OBD scanner shows the code P0720 when the PCM detects an Output Speed Sensor Service malfunction. If there is a problem with the output shaft or the circuit, or the engine and input shaft speed are at an RPM that is not in sync with the output shaft speed, the vehicle's computer stores the error code P0720.What is the code P0705 transmission range switch circuit? ›
Error code P0705 is the result of a failure in the circuit. Your powertrain control module either doesn't recognize the signal or is receiving no signal at all. One possibility is that the speed sensor registers movement while the TRS sensor doesn't register your vehicle in drive.What is P0700 and P0705? ›
A P0700 code indicates there is a problem with the transmission control system; this could be a system malfunction. A P0705 code usually represents an issue with the transmission range sensor circuit of the car.How do I know if my shift solenoid is bad? ›
- Delay shifting upon acceleration and deceleration.
- Your transmission is stuck in neutral.
- Rough shifting.
- Engine revs loudly even when you apply the brakes.
- Your transmission cannot downshift and the engine is loud.
Unlike a brake light switch or brake caliper that can last as long as your vehicle, you can expect your transmission speed sensor to last between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. However, as is the case for brake pads, your speed sensor's life also depends significantly on your driving conditions.
This repair takes on average 1.20h - 1.47h for a mechanic to complete. During a transmission speed sensor replacement, a mechanic will remove your faulty sensor and replace it with a functioning one. If the transmission speed sensor is malfunctioning, it can make shifting gears difficult or impossible.What are the common sensor faults? ›
Four common types of sensor faults: (a) bias, (b) drifting, (c) complete failure, and (d) precision degradation.Could the oxygen sensor mess up any shifts with the transmission? ›
For example, in some situations an oxygen sensor can cause poor shifting in your transmission - if the engine isn't running correctly, the transmission control module may misinterpret when and where it's supposed to be shifting, causing erratic behavior at the transmission.Which transmission solenoid controls shifting? ›
If your car has an automatic transmission, the shift solenoid will shift the gears for you. The transmission control unit will take the information from the engine and speed sensors along with other parts of your vehicle to then decide when to shift gears for power and fuel efficiency.Will a bad transmission show a code? ›
Often (though not always) a faulty transmission will trigger an engine diagnostic code and trip the Check Engine Light to let you know. Same goes if your engine overheats because of a bad transmission. Problems with a solenoid, speed sensor, slippage, and more can cause the Check Engine Light to come on.Is it easy to replace a transmission speed sensor? ›
For most vehicles, the speed sensor is plugged into the transmission (or transaxle). When the speed sensor fails the speedometer stops working and shifts may become erratic. Replacing a speed sensor is easy. Nothing is more frustrating than getting into your car and the gear shifter lever being locked in Park.Can you repair a transmission speed sensor? ›
Keep in mind: On some makes, one of the engine mounts may need to be removed to access the failed part. Transmission speed sensors cannot be repaired, only replaced.Does a MAP sensor have anything to do with the transmission? ›
MAP – The Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor creates a signal based on vacuum levels in the intake manifold, which indicates engine load. A faulty MAP sensor can cause late, harsh shifts, early / soft shifts, or even prevent the transmission from shifting at all.How many sensors does a transmission have? ›
Typically, two sensors communicate the transmission data to the vehicle's powertrain control module. The first sensor, referred to as the input sensor, monitors the speed of the transmission's input shaft. The second sensor is the output sensor, which monitors the output shaft speed.Can a bad transmission speed sensor cause loss of power? ›
If you notice that your car starts to lose power; especially when you apply pressure to the throttle, this might be caused by a damaged or malfunctioning speedometer sensor. This problem could be potentially harmful to other mechanical components on your vehicle, so don't ignore the issue.
Can You Drive with P0706 Code? It's a safety hazard to drive with this trouble code, mainly because your car may shift in and out of park or neutral while driving, and you will have no control over the car in such a situation.How much does it cost to replace transmission switches? ›
A functional transmission oil pressure switch guarantees that you can shift gears successfully, so it's important to ensure yours is in good condition. They typically cost between $20 and $90 to replace—but most vehicles won't require a switch replacement in their lifetime.How do I fix code P0706? ›
- If necessary, flush and fill transmission fluid.
- Repair or replace any damaged or faulty wiring or connectors.
- Check battery voltage levels.
- Repair or replace any damaged or defective circuits or connectors.
- Repair or replace damaged or defective transmission range sensors.
The transmission range sensor is also known as the park/neutral safety switch or the manual lever position switch, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.What are the signs that the sensors are failing? ›
- Check Engine Light Comes On.
- Noticeable Loss of Fuel Efficiency.
- Sulfur or 'Rotten Egg' smell from Exhaust.
- Black smoke from exhaust.
- Emission levels reach high levels.
- Your engine hesitates, skips, begins bucking or has power surges.
The average cost for a Transmission Position Sensor Replacement is between $273 and $322. Labor costs are estimated between $139 and $175 while parts are priced between $134 and $146.What causes a transmission pressure sensor to go bad? ›
Over time, the transmission oil pressure switch can wear down because of the hard environment it works in. It is subjected to heat and friction on a daily basis, so the switch can become broken, fail, or not read the pressure accurately.Is the transmission range sensor the same as the neutral safety switch? ›
The transmission range sensor is also known as the park/neutral safety switch or the manual lever position switch, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.What happened when an sensor fails? ›
If a pressure sensor fails, it can cause the entire control system to fail and lead to inoperable equipment or system down time; depending on the type of system, significant damage can occur to the equipment and surrounding environment.What happens when a sensor is broken? ›
When one sensor stops working, it can cause the entire system to malfunction. The Onboard Diagnostic Computer relies on the information provided by the sensors to ensure the system works correctly.
Engine Misfires and Rough Idle
The tell-tale signs of a failing oxygen sensor include the engine misfiring or your vehicle running roughly or irregularly during idle. Additionally, there are other engine performance issues associated with a failing oxygen sensor such as stalling, hesitation, and loss of power.
Common signs include harsh or improper shifting, cruise control not working, and the Check Engine Light coming on.How much is a transmission shift sensor? ›
The overall cost to replace the shift solenoid in an automatic transmission ranges from $200 to $500 for a single solenoid. If the damage requires you to replace the entire solenoid pack the cost increases to between $250 and $700.