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Fixing a Chrysler suffering with automotive amnesia

Friday, October 4, 2019 - 06:00
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I was called to a body shop on a 2015 Chrysler 200 with a 2.4 L engine with an automatic transmission (Figure 1). The vehicle was involved in a minor collision and was moved around the shop to different bays during the repair process. The vehicle encountered an issue where it would no longer go into drive or reverse and it was stuck in the neutral position. There was no shifter handle in the vehicle, but rather a knob on the center console that was turned to select a gear. The shop did not know what caused this condition during their repair process and were not too quick to condemn the transmission. It was at this point I was hired for my diagnostic services.

Figure 1
Figure 2

When I arrived at the shop, I entered the vehicle and quickly observed a few lights on the dash with the vehicle running. The Check Engine, ABS and the Electronic Parking Brake lights were all illuminated (Figure 2). I even noticed the selector knob was indicating that the vehicle was in neutral (Figure 3). When I tried to select drive or reverse, it would not engage so it was at this point I decided to hook up my Chrysler Wi-Tech Scan Tool to make sense of it all.

Figure 3
Figure 4

The Wi-Tech uses Topology layout for the controller network. This is very helpful to the technician because it gives you a quick visual result of what is going on in the vehicle (Figure 4). The Topology map is always live and will show all control module icons in blue if there are no codes, yellow if there are codes and red if the controller is inoperative. The gray icons indicate that the controller is an option and is not used on the vehicle. Their screen showed 17 active controllers on board with seven of them indicating codes present or stored. What is also helpful on the screen is the fact that the controllers are linked by network lines they share and the lines are color coded for the types of networks they are linked to. In this case light blue is CAN Buss IHS and black is CAN Buss C. Because this scan tool is online, a green flash icon is placed over the TCM icon to indicate an available update for the transmission control module. As you can see, the Wi-Tech Tool was built with the technician in mind.

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