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Chrysler Repair/2001 Durango Sport in Limp Mode, code 0733


Hi Roland, I have asked for your help once before ( ) and you were so helpful, I am again here seeking your expertise.  

I have a 2001 Durango Sport 4.7 that has gone into limp mode.  This happened several years ago and I just parked the car until I had time to figure it out, it has been parked about 4 years.  Before parking it, we were getting the code P0700.  60,000 miles on the car and fluid levels were correct.

Decided it was time to get it going again, and before we could get it started we had to replace the battery and the fuel pump.  After getting it started, we drove it around a few blocks and the transmission worked perfectly .  Got it back home borrowed a scanner and got the following codes:  the p0700 came up again, followed by a p0733 and two others related the evap sensors.  P0455 and another.  Ran the scanner 2 more times just to be sure of the codes and 2nd and 3rd time the P0733 did not show up, never showed again.  Taking car out for 2nd drive the transmission was once again in limp mode.  

Fixed the Evap code issues and still am left with the p0700 and in limp mode.  I am hoping that because the trans ran perfectly on first time out, before the computer threw it a code, that the transmission is okay and it is an easy fix, after much reading, i figured we would try the I/O speed sensors.  A friend of our picked some up from the salvage yard on an identical durango, still have the same issue, but I think the I/O speed sensors could have also been bad on the salvage vehicle.  Once again have already checked fluid levels, sort of tried the I/O speed sensors :-), thats about it.

I am wondering if the P0733 code that came up just once was a clue or just a fluke and what would be your next step in diagnosing this issue.  Husband has just started new job and finances are tight so it may be difficult to pay for the scan tool diagnostic which can read the TCM code that it might be giving.  I don't think AutoZone does it anymore for free.

Any suggestions would be helpful and as always THank you for the invaluable help you offer to I am assuming thousands of others.

Hi Elizabeth,
A code readout at an independent shop should be less than $40. Continue to drive it a bit longer locally in limp-mode and then see if a plug-in reader corroborates the 0733. That code says there is slippage in 3rd gear. There are many reasons any one of which involves removal and rebuilding of the specific issues with that gear, and there is one possibility: that the solenoid/pressure switch assembly has a fault that if so would be a much less expensive fix.
My inclination if the 0733 stands would be to replace that assembly.
In the past week another owner of a car with the same electronic transaxle had the 0733 (also known as code 53 in the earlier system of code numbering) and this is what I told her:

"On the transmission side of the issue there are both internal possible faults which would require its removal and repair of parts (I can list all the possibilities for you later), or it might be a problem with the solenoid and pressure switch assembly which is mounted on the outside of the transmission (the box on the side facing the front of the car) and which is usually replaced in its entirety, and you can do it yourself as well with simple tools and the instruction in hand (let me know if you want those, and tell me your email address, but use
'at' instead of the symbol @). That "pack" is in the several hundred dollar range but that is so much less than remove/rebuild of the transmission proper that it would be worth a try to replace the assembly first to see if that might solve the problem.
The 53 code says there is slippage in 3rd gear, but doesn't say exactly why. The scanner will not sort out the detailed cause, only the overall possibilities (of which there are 9, separate from the 'pack' being the problem).
Please rate my answer, and consider a 'yes' in answer to the question about a nomination of me to be 'volunteer of the month'."

Now I don't have a '01 Durango manual but there is shown the '04 Durango manual a difference in the specific location of the solenoid/switch assembly, which is in that year's transmission different from that in the car that I was describing above. If that is true in your '01 then instead of their being a "box" external, the assembly would be inside the trans but would be accessed by dropping the main oil pan and then removing one assembly called the transmission range sensor in order to then remove the solenoid pack. A do it yourself level of expertise along with the pages from the manual would probably be worth a try if your husband or you want to. It would be much less expensive than having a shop remove the transmission and disassemble it. But it does involve jacking up the truck and working on it from underneath which may prove more of a challenge than you would like. So see if on your transmission there is or is not a definite 'box' next to where the vertical gear shift rod enters the transmission.
Thanks for the previous rating and nomination which you are free to do again if this has been helpful to you.
Thank you,

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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