Tales From the Bench - December - 2018

An Uncommon Fix for Code P0882

Chances are you’ve had to deal with the dreaded P0882 code in a Dodge. It’s often caused by a faulty PCM (Powertrain Control Module) or TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module).

But lately we’ve been running into an uncommon fix for this code: Replacing the solenoid packs in the 545RFE, 68RFE, 42RLE, and 62TE transmissions.

To understand why, we’ll need to look at the conditions that set the code and how the system works. Then we’ll discuss how to test the solenoid and a quick, easy bypass test you can perform.

HOW IT WORKS

When you turn the ignition key on, the PCM sends power to the TIPM on the transmission control wire: pin 18 on the C4 connector at the PCM (figure 1).

When the TIPM receives power, it turns a relay on and sends power out to the PCM. Power leaves TIPM from pin 9 of the C10 connector; the PCM receives power from pins 19, 28, and 38, plus it powers the solenoid pack through pin 10.

Note: Some vehicles don’t have a separate relay; the relay is built into the TIPM.

The TIPM has two main functions: One is, when computer sees a circuit problem, it turns the relay off to protect the wiring. The other function is, when the PCM sees a transmission problem, such as a ratio code, it turns the relay off to put the transmission into limp mode. This prevents the condition from causing more damage to the transmission.

CODE SET CONDITIONS

The P0882 code (TCM Power Input Low) sets when the PCM sees less than three volts on the PCM output wires: pins 19, 28, and 38 on the C4 connector.

There are four main reasons for this code to set:

  1. The PCM doesn’t send power to the TIPM to turn the relay on.
  2. A faulty TIPM — it gets a signal from the PCM but doesn’t send power to PCM.
  3. Bad connections and wiring on the transmission control or transmission output control wires.
  4. A shorted solenoid pack, which pulls the power down and sets the code. The solenoid main power wire is spliced into the transmission control output wires.

So it just stands to reason that part of your diagnosis has to involve testing the solenoids.

TESTING THE SOLENOIDS

To test the solenoids, use the solenoid connector pin locations in figure 2.

Notice that all of the solenoids receive power from pin ten. So each solenoid test will be between pin ten and another pin.

For example, to test the LR/TCC solenoids, check the resistance between pin ten and pin two. This solenoid should have about 1.8 ohms resistance. If you found a low resistance of, say, 0.003 ohms, you found the short.

If you don’t see any problems with that solenoid, continue testing the rest of the solenoids. The line pressure control solenoid should have around 3.7 ohms resistance; the rest of the solenoids should all be around 1.8 ohms.

You’ll also need to check the resistors to make sure they aren’t shorted. Pin ten is common to each resistor, so check between pin ten and 11, 14, 15, and 16. Each resistor should have about 300 ohms resistance.

We all love easy tests where we don’t have to do a lot of work, so here’s another option: If you have a hard P0882 code where the code sets without starting the vehicle, just unplug the solenoid and plug in a spare solenoid outside the transmission. Clear the code, then turn the key on and see if code resets.

If the code doesn’t reset, replace the solenoid. If code still comes back, you’ll have to finish diagnosing the transmission control wires, output wires, PCM, and TIPM.

We used the 545RFE transmission in this article for demonstration purposes, but we’ve also seen solenoids cause code P0882 in 42RLE and 62TE transmissions. None of the factory information says anything about a solenoid as a possible cause for code P0882. This uncommon fix has been showing up a lot on the HotLine, so it’s one you should consider the next time you see it with one of these units.