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Ask -Brad- Your Own Question
-Brad-, Dodge Dealership Tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 7828
Experience:  16 Yrs Chrysler/Dodge Technician. ASE Master Certified(L-1)
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The dashboard shift indicator 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan

Customer Question

The dashboard shift indicator for my 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan occasionally will not recognize either the Park or Neutral position and will therefore will not start. (Although it does shift into Park & Neutral, the black border around the P and N settings will not appear). After the car has cooled down for a few hours, it might start again.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  -Brad- replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon and welcome to JustAnswer!!

My name is ***** ***** I have worked for a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealership for 19 years and I will do my best to help.

I work part-time here on JustAnswer to help you and other repair their own vehicles, and I get credited by your ratings.. So before leaving the site make sure and leave me a rating. You can still reply to me as many times as needed, even after the rating.. I will need for you to be my hands and eyes since I'm not there, and to be honest with today's electronics a scantool may very well be needed to retrieve the codes or to monitor data to see what's going on...

It sounds like your range sensor is bad and will need to be replaced.. The range sensor on your transmission which is the 41TE is on top of the valvebody which means the valvebody will need to be dropped to replace it.. The range sensor tells the instrument cluster what gear it's in and they commonly fail...

If you need anymore assistance feel free to reply and don't forget the RATING before leaving the site!!

Have a great day,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last night we put a new "Standard" Range sensor (safety neutral switch) in the car and it still does not recognize P or N. Does the wear on the plate that the pins in the sensor ride on ever cause a problem?
Expert:  -Brad- replied 1 year ago.

I would make sure to use a OEM range sensor and if you still have issues then you will need a scantool to see what is wrong..

The Transmission Range Sensor (TRS) communicates Shift Lever Position (SLP) to the PCM/TCM as a combination of open and closed switches. Each shift lever position has an assigned combination of switch states (open/closed) that the PCM/TCM receives from four sense circuits. The PCM/TCM interprets this information and determines the appropriate transaxle gear position and shift schedule.

Since there are four switches, there are 16 possible combinations of open and closed switches (codes). Seven of these codes are related to gear position and three are recognized as “between gear” codes. This results in six codes which should never occur. These are called “invalid” codes. An invalid code will result in a DTC, and the PCM/TCM will then determine the shift lever position based on pressure switch data. This allows reasonably normal transmission operation with a TRS failure.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought and installed the OEM part as you suggested and it still does not work. The diagnostic scan shows no codes. Is there anything else I can check?
Expert:  -Brad- replied 1 year ago.

If you have a new range sensor installed and the PRNDL boxes are not lighting up correctly then you will need a transmission simulator tool to monitor the signal from the range sensor to determine the issue.. Here is the steps:

STEP 1) SIMULATOR TOOL: Use trans simulator tool #8333 and the scan tool to perform the shift lever position test / trans range sensor test / reverse lamp switch test. STEP 2): GEAR SELECTOR: Inspect all gear selector linkage or cable system components for excessive wear. Replace any worn or damaged parts. Adjust gear selector linkage or cable system. STEP 3): CORRECT TCM: Verify correct trans control module (TCM) is installed in the vehicle. See Mopar part listing. STEP 4): CIRCUIT WIRING: Check all related circuit wiring / connectors / power and ground feeds. To test ciruit wiring for high resistance suggest use headlamp or fog lamp to place load on the circuit being checked. Circuits with high resistance may illuminate a standard test lamp normally but a larger lamp will be very dim. STEP 5): Check for electrical add-on equipment or device. Remove add-on equipment if required and discuss with owner. STEP 6): TRS: If no circuit wiring problems are found replace the trans range sensor or PRNDL switch (used on early models with 41TE / 41AE trans). The TRS is part of the solenoid assembly on 45RFE / 545RFE trans. STEP 7): FUSE JUNCTION BOX: Applies to 1999 - 2000 (NS) models only. Short circuit may occur in the fuse junction block. If opening one of the passenger doors or removal of the courtesy lamp relay eliminates the condition replace the fuse junction box. STEP 8): VALVEBODY: Applies to models with 41TE / 41AE / 42LE transaxle only. Loosen valvebody to trans case bolts one turn each. Bias the valvebody towards the trans range sensor as far as possible. Torque valvebody to trans case bolts to (105) inch pounds (12 Nm).