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jazzmaster
jazzmaster, ASE Certified Tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 2951
Experience:  ase certified--32 yrs experience
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Where is the transmission range sensor in a Dodge Neon?

Customer Question

Where is the transmission range sensor located in a 2005 Dodge Neon SXT?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  jazzmaster replied 5 years ago.

Hi, here is the location of the sensor, also the description and operation

graphic

The Transmission Range Sensor (TRS) is mounted to the top of the valve body inside the transaxle and can only be serviced by removing the valve body. The electrical connector extends through the transaxle case (Fig. 304).
The TRS has four switch contacts that monitor shift lever position and send the information to the TCM.

Transmission range sensor explained

Transmission range sensor (TRS) or neutral safety switch is a protection device used to prevent a vehicle’s starter operation in all other gears except “Park” or “Neutral.” The TRS relays information about current gear selection to the Transmission Control Module (TCM).

Cars manufactured with automatic transmissions are intended to start only in park or natural. The vehicle and driver’s safety may rely on this feature. If the car starts in the wrong gear, it may accidentally move in the wrong direction unintended. For this reason, automotive companies began installing range sensors that prevent the starter controls in any gear besides park or neutral.

Dodge Neon

After a while, the transmission range sensor may start to fail or wear out. There are a few symptoms that are noticeable when this happens.

Car does not start or go into gear

Without the transmission range sensor relaying the proper “Park” or “Neutral” setting, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) will not know how to start the engine. If the transmission range sensor has gone out, the PCM will not receive any gear command at all, rendering the vehicle immobile.

Transmission does not go into selected gear

If the TRS becomes worn out, it could send the wrong gear information to the PCM. This could cause the PCM to send a command to a different gear than selected by the driver. If the TRS sends incorrect information, causing the wrong gear selection, an accident can happen.

Limp mode

Some vehicles can still be manually placed into gear when the range sensor fails. Doing so will bypass the PCM, and the TRS will mechanically lock into a specific gear. The bypass is what is known as “limp mode.” Depending on the manufacturer and the transmission design, the limp mode may be locked into 3rd through 5th gear or Reverse.

Additional warning signs of a faulty TRS

If the vehicle has a defective transmission range sensor it will

  • Not start
  • Start in the wrong gear
  • Cause the “Check Engine Soon” light will come on and stay on

The transmission range sensor was designed to keep vehicles and their owners safe by preventing the car from starting in the wrong gear. However, even things that are designed to keep us safe can wear out and cause protentional harm. If you suspect that a faulty transmission range sensor is causing your transmission problems, ask an Expert to help find a solution.