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Fault code P0713: Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis!

Many vehicles are equipped with a transmission fluid temperature (TFT) sensor. This sensor is one of the engine sensors that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) uses to calculate certain parameters. The P0713 trouble code is referred to as “Transmission Fluid Temperature (TFT) Sensor “A” Circuit High Input”. If you want to know a little more in depth, we recommend you continue reading about the P0713 fault code .

The P0713 code is one of the trouble codes related to the TFT sensor. If you come across this trouble code, this guide will help you figure out what it means, its possible causes, and the common symptoms associated with it.

What is the P0713 fault code?

This Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is a generic transmission code. The P0713 error is considered a general code because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles. Although the specific repair steps may vary slightly depending on the model.

If the cause of the P0713 trouble code is a failed TFT sensor, then it could cause the ECU to send the transmission into Clean Mode, where the gearbox locks into a single forward gear. If the problem is with the transmission fluid temperature sensor, then the internal components could be damaged by the temperature fluctuation.

The transmission fluid temperature (TFT) sensor is part of the transmission fluid pressure (TFP) valve. It is a thermistor that changes its value depending on the temperature.

As the temperature rises, the resistance decreases and as the temperature falls, the resistance increases. The PCM provides a 5V reference signal to the sensor and measures the voltage drop in the circuit.

When the transmission fluid is cold, the sensor resistance is high, and the PCM detects a high voltage signal. As the fluid temperature warms up to normal operating temperature, the resistance decreases, and with it the signal voltage.

This sensor is used by the PCM or TCM to determine the temperature of the automatic transmission fluid. The signal is used to determine the best shift points and regulate line pressure.

In operation, this will cause the control module (PCM or TCM) to engage the torque converter clutch (TCC) early and disengage overdrive . This is done to reduce the temperature of the fluid if it becomes higher than normal.

This code sets if the “A” sensor circuit has a high signal level that does not match the characteristics stored in the PCM/TCM’s memory.

Symptoms and signs of error code P0173

Sometimes the problem can be related to internal mechanical issues within the transmission. But more often the P0713 error is a problem with the electrical circuit of the TFPS sensor . This should not be overlooked, especially when it is an intermittent problem.

The main sign that a P0713 error has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine light. They can also be warning signs such as:

  • The check engine lamp on the control panel will light up (the code will be recorded in the ECM memory as a malfunction).
  • The vehicle starts in 2nd or 3rd gear (limp mode).
  • You can’t change gear.
  • Difficult gear shifting or transmission slippage.
  • Transmission overheating.
  • Torque converter lockup clutch connection and disconnection problems.
  • Increased fuel consumption.
  • TFT sensor malfunction.
  • Wiring problems.

Causes of the fault code P0713

If the P0713 trouble code occurs, it may mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Possible short to ground in the TFT sensor signal circuit.
  • TFT sensor malfunction probability (internal short circuit).
  • Contaminated or low level of ATF transmission fluid.
  • Transmission fluid passages are clogged or plugged.
  • Mechanical failure inside the transmission.
  • Sometimes the cause is a faulty PCM module.
  • Sudden or delayed changes.
  • The vehicle goes into limp mode.
  • Rough torque converter clutch operation.

How to reset the fault code P0713?

If you have already confirmed the P0713 fault code is obstructing the operation of your vehicle, we leave you some suggested steps to solve the P0713 error:

  • Change the ATF fluid and the filter.
  • Fill the transmission fluid to the required level.
  • Rinse to clean the interior channels of the transmission.
  • Checking and, if necessary, replacing the faulty transmission fluid temperature sensor.
  • Fixes mechanical problems inside the transmission.
  • Checking the connectors and wiring.
  • Flash or replace the PCM.

Troubleshooting and repair

Although the symptoms of the P00713 code may be similar in different vehicles, it does not mean that there is a solution that works for everyone. Remember that vehicles can be built differently depending on their manufacturer. That means the procedures may change depending on the specific vehicle you own.

Always check the Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) for your particular vehicle first. The P0713 issue may already be a known issue with a known fix issued by the manufacturer. This can save you time and money during diagnosis.

The next step is to locate the transmission fluid temperature (TFT) sensor. Once found, visually inspect the connector and wiring. Look for scratches, scuffs, exposed wires, burnt spots, or melted plastic.

Disconnect the connector and carefully inspect the terminals inside the connector. Notice if they appear burnt or have a green tinge indicating corrosion. If you need to clean the terminals, use electrical contact cleaner and a plastic bristle brush . Let dry and apply electrical grease to the contact areas of the terminals.

Using a diagnostic tool, clear the trouble codes from memory and see if the P0713 error returns. If the code returns, we will need to test the TFT sensor and associated circuitry.

1. Wiring test

With the ignition key off, disconnect the electrical connector from the TFT sensor. Connect a digital voltmeter. The black wire to ground and the red wire to the signal terminal of the TFT sensor harness connector.

Connect the ignition key. Depending on the manufacturer’s specifications, the voltmeter should display either 12 volts or 5 volts . Shake the connection and see if the reading changes. If the voltage is incorrect, replace the faulty wires or connector.

2. Check the sensor

Connect one lead of the ohmmeter to the TFT sensor signal terminal and the other to ground. Check the resistance against the manufacturer’s specifications. Shake the transmission fluid temperature sensor connector, checking for resistance . If the ohmmeter reading differs from the manufacturer’s recommendation, replace the TFT sensor.

If the sensor and wiring tests are done, but you still receive the P0713 code. You need to look at the PCM / TCM module as well as internal transmission faults. But you have to do this after replacing the TFT sensor. Most of the time, that’s the problem.

3. Common errors when diagnosing

Ignoring dirty transmission fluid is the first mistake made when diagnosing a DTC P0713. Not thoroughly checking the wiring for a short is the second.

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