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Limp Mode Again! Code P0888


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joezapp
User

Aug 8, 2021, 9:02 AM

Post #1 of 63 (2001 views)
  post locked   Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Good morning! Once again I'm in limp mode with my 2003 Dodge Stratus. What a joy! Back in 2015, I entered limp mode with a different code, and Gary from this forum was my savior. Gary recommended first changing the crank sensor, as in his experience that resolved it 50% of the time. I changed it myself...and indeed it resolved it!

So I'm back here with a new code, P0888, which code reader says it's a "TCM...Control Module Power Relay" fault. The web describes it as a "Transmission Relay Sense Circuit (or Relay Output Always Off)" fault.

To quote, "This code is thrown when fewer than three volts are present at the transmission control relay output terminals of the PCM (powertrain control module) as the PCM is energizing the relay."

The most common potential repairs that I'm seeing after verifying that the code returns are:

- Inspect the TCR to ensure it’s working and that the ground is not faulty.
-Visually inspect all wiring and connectors.
-Ensure that there is no 12-volt signal at the transmission control module, indicating an open circuit.
-Inspect input and output sensors for dirt and grime. Use contact cleaner if necessary.
-Replace TCR if necessary.
-Replace TCR harness if necessary.
-Replace transmission solenoid/pressure switch assembly if necessary.

I'm hoping that the very knowledgeable Gary has some experience with code P0888 and can offer some suggestions, insight and direction.

Many thanks, as always!

Joe


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 8, 2021, 9:29 AM

Post #2 of 63 (1991 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Are you sure this code isn't P0688?

I don't see P0888 as an option for that car,



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Aug 8, 2021, 9:31 AM)


joezapp
User

Aug 8, 2021, 10:29 AM

Post #3 of 63 (1982 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hi Hammer Time. Yes, I'm sure. The Engine Code is 0700, and then the P0888 further narrows it down, as apparently my code reader gives the code that the TCM is throwing.

What I've noticed is that the "Check Engine" light comes on soon after start-up if it's going to come on at all. No dash light = no limp mode. Last Saturday it came on, and after letting the car sit 3 hours, I cleared the code and the light and limp mode didn't return.

The next time I drove the car was yesterday. It was in limp mode all day, and clearing the code was no help as the light came right back on repeatedly. I cleared the code last night, and just went for a ride now. No "Check Engine" light, so no limp mode.

So diagnosis is limited until the "Check Engine" light returns, but I have to be ready to begin diagnosis and testing when it returns!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 8, 2021, 10:39 AM

Post #4 of 63 (1976 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

I'm not concerned about the symptoms right now. I'm concerned that you are chasing the wrong code.

The P0700 is a generic code that refers you to reading more specific codes from the TCM.

As I stated, this is not a programmed code for your particular vehicle. This is according to Alldata which is service information obtained from factory manuals.

If you still want to look at it, the TCM relay is in the Power distribution center under the hood. It is powered by fuse #9 20A



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Aug 8, 2021, 10:40 AM)


joezapp
User

Aug 8, 2021, 11:15 AM

Post #5 of 63 (1964 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

While I cannot verify at present with the symptom not currently present, web searches show that owners of this and other model years of the Stratus, as well as the similar Neon and Sebring, have had their TCM throw off code p0888. I realize that this is not 100% proof positive. I'll verify again when the failure returns.

In the meantime, fuse #9 is a big help as a starting point. Thanks!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 8, 2021, 11:22 AM

Post #6 of 63 (1960 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Oh yeah, you can believe anything you read on the Internet.

Scanners do make mistakes.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



gsferraro
Enthusiast

Aug 8, 2021, 4:32 PM

Post #7 of 63 (1932 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hello,
Code P0888-Relay out put always off. Have you tried swapping out relays, some of them may be the same? Gary


joezapp
User

Aug 13, 2021, 10:20 PM

Post #8 of 63 (1800 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hi Gary. Thanks so much for assisting me once again with another "limp mode" situation. Much appreciated! This is a weird one. The fault appears very soon after start up on the 2nd or 3rd start up of the day, or after the car has been parked for about 3 hours. This seems to be the cycle. That makes it a short window for diagnosis. I have re-verified that the code is indeed p0888.

Swapping out the relay (they are all the same) when the fault is present sounds like a good starting point. Hopefully the underside of the fuse box cover clearly identifies which relay I need to swap. If not, I should be able to find a diagram.

I'll report back once I have the fault and have swapped the relay out. Many thanks!

Joe


joezapp
User

Aug 14, 2021, 1:58 PM

Post #9 of 63 (1552 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hi Gary. It's amazing how much like clockwork this has become. I have to plan my highway driving for the first start-up of the day, because it likely isn't happening on the 2nd start up, and definitely not the 3rd! I drove 15 miles on the Interstate this morning fully prepared to take the local roads back. And sure enough, I had to, as I was in limp mode the entire way home.

So therefore I can begin the diagnosis, as I'm within the 3 hour window that the fault will remain present. I found that the EATX relay is #26. I swapped starter relay #27 with EATX relay #26, cleared the code, and drove to the corner. Check Engine light came back on, limp mode enabled. Fortunately, if I'm going to be in limp mode, I always know right away. For the record, I see nothing amiss with EATX Fuse #9 upon examination.

So we continue on with the diagnosis, Gary. I look forward to your guidance! To summarize what I've learned so far about this...

Trouble Code is P0888 "TCM...Control Module Power Relay" ... "Transmission Relay Sense Circuit (or Relay Output Always Off)" fault.

"This code is thrown when fewer than three volts are present at the transmission control relay output terminals of the PCM (powertrain control module) as the PCM is energizing the relay."

"The most common potential repairs are:

-Inspect the TCR to ensure it’s working and that the ground is not faulty.
-Visually inspect all wiring and connectors.
-Ensure that there is no 12-volt signal at the transmission control module, indicating an open circuit.
-Inspect input and output sensors for dirt and grime. Use contact cleaner if necessary.
-Replace TCR if necessary.
-Replace TCR harness if necessary.
-Replace transmission solenoid/pressure switch assembly if necessary."

"POSSIBLE CAUSES
- FUSED B+ CIRCUIT OPEN
- TRANSMISSION CONTROL RELAY OUTPUT CIRCUIT OPEN
- TRANSMISSION CONTROL RELAY
- TRANSMISSION CONTROL RELAY CONTROL CIRCUIT OPEN
- TRANSMISSION CONTROL RELAY GROUND CIRCUIT OPEN
- TRANSMISSION CONTROL RELAY CONTROL CIRCUIT SHORT TO GROUND
- TRANSMISSION CONTROL RELAY OUTPUT CIRCUIT SHORT TO GROUND
- TRANSMISSION SOLENOID/PRESSURE SWITCH ASSEMBLY
- POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE
- INTERMITTENT WIRING AND CONNECTORS"


"Flow Chart Diagnostic Procedure:

TRANSMISSION - NGC P0888-RELAY OUTPUT ALWAYS OFF — Continued TEST ACTION APPLICABILITY
All 5 Turn the ignition off to the lock position. Install a substitute Relay in place of the Transmission Control Relay.
Ignition on, engine not running. With the DRBIII ® in Transmission Sensors, read the Switched Battery voltage. Does the
Switched Battery voltage read battery voltage?
Yes → Replace the Transmission Control Relay. Perform 41TE (NGC) TRANSMISSION VERIFICATION TEST - VER 1.
No → Go To 6 All 6 Turn the ignition off to the lock position. Remove the Transmission Control Relay. Note: Check connectors -
Clean/repair as necessary. Using a 12-volt test light connected to 12-volts, check the Transmission Control Relay Ground
circuit. NOTE: The test light must illuminate brightly. Compare the brightness to that of a direct connection to the battery.
Does the test light illuminate brightly?
Yes → Go To 7
No → Repair the Transmission Control Relay Ground circuit for an open.
Perform 41TE (NGC) TRANSMISSION VERIFICATION TEST - VER 1."

"Flow chart says hook test light up to battery positive and relay ground test light should illuminate.

The relay pins used are 1, 2, 3 and 5. You need to reference the terminal numbers on the relay. 1 or 2 is ground."

I'm not a mechanic, but I'm capable of doing some things. I have a test light and a multimeter. My mechanic friend has the expensive scanning/diagnostic tools, but he's better at changing parts than diagnosing my Chryslers with their many oddities. Basically I have to learn about my issues and the steps to take, and then share what I learned with him if necessary.

I await your reply, Gary, as to what you what your next steps would be!

Thanks so much,
Joe


(This post was edited by joezapp on Aug 14, 2021, 2:02 PM)


gsferraro
Enthusiast

Aug 17, 2021, 7:11 AM

Post #10 of 63 (1207 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hello,
Not easy to diagnose, i can look into the code and see what it says. Gary


joezapp
User

Aug 17, 2021, 1:59 PM

Post #11 of 63 (1181 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Thanks so much, Gary. I really appreciate it, as always!

It sounds like you haven't run into this one much if at all. My web research so far shows that many have had the code, and many have thrown many parts at it. But I haven't read anywhere that anyone actually resolved it.

I'm hoping that maybe some of the facts lean in a direction and help rule some things out. It is a fact that when the car is cold the code won't present itself for a complete drive. It presents itself half a block into a drive upon a warm start up, and clearing the code won't help. It comes right back. So limp mode continues until a cold start up (3+ hours of sitting) after clearing the code.

I appreciate your efforts, Gary!

Thanks,
Joe


joezapp
User

Aug 21, 2021, 9:15 PM

Post #12 of 63 (1019 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hi Gary. The symptom cycle remains the same. However, my code reader is getting multiple additional codes now. At this point it's best for me to get the codes that are being sent from the TCM. Give me a few days to get them. Let's see if I can narrow this down further.

Thanks,
Joe


gsferraro
Enthusiast

Aug 23, 2021, 5:42 PM

Post #13 of 63 (958 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

ok


joezapp
User

Sep 6, 2021, 11:33 AM

Post #14 of 63 (879 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hi Gary. Limp mode is happening less often past few days. Have had some consecutive starts without Check Engine/limp mode. But it's not absent. Cross fingers kind of thing. Sure seems to be aggravated by heat and humidity, which has waned here in NJ. Mechanic friend says TCMs don't act up until hot? He's isn't able to help much with this otherwise. While he knows where the TCM is and can point to it, a lot of parts need to come off the top to get to it.

So my code reader comes up with Code p0888, as does AutoZone, as does my mechanic friend's $5000 diagnostic tool.

Will AAMCO's free courtesy check narrow anything down further for me? I have a week to work on this and come to a conclusion as to what I'm doing with this car. It's very dependable and a comfortable ride when not in limp mode! But it's monetary value is only $1300.

Many thanks,
Joe


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 6, 2021, 12:00 PM

Post #15 of 63 (875 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Sorry to interrupt any progress in finding out a "why" for this mess.
So a WAG is it's setting this off because of low voltage? All those items and codes are unlikely a maybe is confused by as simple (maybe) as a loose belt, alternator that's not behaving or good strong connections all over but especially to battery.

> Where is the battery in this? Is this one with it in front of a front wheel + behind a splash shield? Go there if so it has to all be good.

> Hope for you it's something that crazy like quick loss of voltage would cause brain damage to the whole car's systems.

Heat + humidity? Anything but a best of weather all the time messes with things New Jersey (anywhere in the state) has all kinds of all weather and switches by seasons is a miracle anything keeps working properly for a 2003 anything or lots younger than that,

Tom



joezapp
User

Sep 6, 2021, 10:14 PM

Post #16 of 63 (850 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hi Tom. Good to see you!

Yes, what you present are possibilities for sure, especially with this Dodge car that always seems to have a fix that is supposed to have nothing to with the problem, but it does. It's happened multiple times before.

The battery is indeed in front of the the wheelwell, but it's an Interstate battery (the better model) not even 2 years old yet, and I installed it myself very securely. I'm thinking it's not likely the culprit here? I suppose I can check to make sure the terminals are tight. It's not like I never experienced loose terminals before.

Yes, temperature extremes here, which many car parts don't like! And yet I have a 96 Escort that is always ready to go in any weather. This will be the last Chrysler I will buy, for sure

Thanks,
Joe.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 7, 2021, 12:01 AM

Post #17 of 63 (848 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Good to see you too Joe. If you saw or read I'm inland ~25 Mi. in MA is or would be just a bit colder than NJ anywhere so vehicles I've seen, fixed that are exposed to here do take a beating just being outdoors to use or parked then throw in the ROCK SALTS used for ice/snow corrodes plastic even. Washes out wiring things, connections etc anywhere if exposed AND used on roads with that salt - just a little mist of it violently spraying around off your tires or vehicles in front of you.

> That's what took me "out of the box" thinking if all this is going wrong then what's the common denominator?

> AS we know - no electricity or improper ranges stop the show on lots of things.

> I saw the frustration here Gary, Hammer Time -- you are dealing with very experienced techs lost with that code?

> I cheated and just put that in a Google search and voila, up comes Dodge with that exact code most was about voltage dropping below 3V would not actuate (move) an actuator then all hell breaks loose. It's all monitored stuff that can throw codes to mislead you and default how this thing runs to "Limp Mode" for a while or till source found. Heat, water and time it has run seemed to matter.

It's not funny but putting a battery (engineering on this) in a wheel well is beyond STUPID as if forgotten it would need one when designed!

> However it cranks and starts which is the most load on battery and any wiring just for the short time of cranking. Then alternator charges up what starting took and runs this (all designs for vehicles) from then on also covers spikes or dips in voltage this regulated thru the ECM (computer) grounds the field is all it's doing along with 10,000 other functions!

> With that if the thing has something that interferes with alternator's working, which BTW needs a good battery or doesn't work right or burns inside partially on come the voltage spikes up or down.

> Naturally you'll never catch it (Murphy's Law) when watching or live checking so the plain checks of where things corrode, get manhandled or might break wire anything or the items it uses.
****************
Those are the clues it left YOU I'm just noting everything said here is leading to YOU or someone finding where the fault is. Codes help or mislead.

Careful not to just parts toss NEW anything isn't proven yet too much can IMO, too many are faulty new things so if you go there do it one at a time (if reasonable) let it prove you hit the right spot.

SAVE any old parts till this proves itself fixed soon or after more hair pulling that it wants to play hide and seek.

Good luck - all ears if you can read my novels + please try to read thru or point out possible typos that I don't catch,

Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 7, 2021, 4:19 AM

Post #18 of 63 (831 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  


Quote
I saw the frustration here Gary, Hammer Time -- you are dealing with very experienced techs lost with that code?


I'm not lost at all. This requires electrical testing while the problem is present. The problem is intermittent so that's pretty hard to do and impossible over the Internet. If Gary wants to throw out guesses, that's fine but I'm in no position to do that.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



joezapp
User

Sep 7, 2021, 9:26 PM

Post #19 of 63 (789 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hammer Time: Gary, being an experienced transmission man, is very capable of throwing out good guesses. He came through for me big time right here in 2015. You gave him gold stars. But that was a code he'd seen before. It seems he hasn't seen this one. Unfortunate for me, but fortunate for him!

Tom: Always a pleasure reading your knowledgeable posts. The Dodge Stratus has always required "outside the box" thinking. "Codes help or mislead"...ain't that the truth!

You have a good grasp of what's going on here. Thanks so much for taking the time once again. The code is thrown when fewer than three volts are present at the transmission control relay output terminals of the PCM
(powertrain control module) as the PCM is energizing the relay. You probably saw through your google searches the same thing that I saw...Stratus owners throwing a lot of parts and money at this, but not one Stratus owner declaring the issue "solved".

I'm going to take humidity (water) out of the equation, because today was very dry and I still had to "limp" home after a trip to the grocery store. It's been mostly dry here since Thursday. So let's narrow it down to "heat" and "time" being the main factors to make the fault present itself or not.

I'm going to pull the wheel off either before or after the oncoming thunderstorms and make sure the terminals are tight on the battery since that's the natural start point (after swapping the relay didn't work). After that, I guess I have to start throwing some money at this. I can either start with pulling parts off to examine/clean the connections/wiring around the TCM (or the PCM), or start with the alternator.

My mechanic friend doesn't seem to think he has the electrical testing devices to help diagnose this. He was trying to explain what transmission shops use. Is there anything I can do with a test light or multimeter to narrow things down? Is there a way to determine that the alternator is working optimally and is not a likely culprit, for example?

Many thanks,
Joe


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 8, 2021, 3:32 AM

Post #20 of 63 (778 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  


Quote
Is there anything I can do with a test light or multimeter to narrow things down?


Sure there is.......... if the problem was there constantly. It's very basic electrical testing using a wiring diagram to test at various points in the circuit to determine at what point in the circuit the failure is occurring. The problem you have is that the problem is intermittent and not always present. You can't fix what isn't broken so testing is futile if the problem is not present at that moment.

The issue isn't whether a tech has seen the problem before. Diagnosis is done systematically, not from memory so if you can't reproduce the issue, you can't track it down.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 8, 2021, 4:43 AM

Post #21 of 63 (768 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

True Joe: IF it doesn't do it when tested it can/will show OK?
Hope this pic shows for others too the problem isn't unheard of. This battery is exposed, side post type, twin pos cables so with experience that must be checked and re-checked.
Note on side post cables/batteries. The post (8mm bat bolt) will show good on a good one but not the eyelet unseen. Peel that back plain look at it.
Pic> Another is that doesn't show> Not showing? Here's a YouTube on similar > Chrysler Cirrus - Dodge Stratus battery - YouTube
THAT'S A NIGHTMARE if new with wet paint on this car right out of the factory!
Wish you luck and yes test it but also LOOK. Trouble is it starts at that time will test fine DVOM or a test light. If you find it bad looking (high bet) fix it. Use battery/dialectic grease with cover removed too is Silicone will survive salt sprayed water to a point.


That storm is coming this way Joe - I have lot to get done before the lightening show forecast you probably have now?


Again - good luck and start looking. It may have been a cause now problem will be down the line if recurrent such as this is well known out there if you go hunting,


Tom



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Sep 8, 2021, 4:59 AM)


joezapp
User

Sep 8, 2021, 5:00 AM

Post #22 of 63 (758 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

The problem remains present for about 3 hours. Once the car is cold it's not present until a warm start and a 1 block drive. I realize 3 hours isn't necessarily a good diagnosis window.

But "This code is thrown when fewer than three volts are present at the transmission control relay output terminals of the PCM
(powertrain control module) as the PCM is energizing the relay." My web research shows that the proper voltage is 12. So when it's 3 or more volts it won't throw the code and hence won't "limp".

But I'm inclined to think (maybe incorrectly) that it's still not getting the proper 12 volts in those "non-fault" moments. If I'm correct, then diagnosis should still be possible even with the car cold and not throwing a check engine light. Agree?


joezapp
User

Sep 8, 2021, 5:36 AM

Post #23 of 63 (751 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Hi Tom. Pics not coming up on web site, but the video link works. Were the pics pointing out the same thing? Yes, that is exactly my battery setup. It is rather well sealed from the elements in there, but agreed, not a convenient location to examine physical battery condition, and should be examined more often. Storms are supposed to get here about 6PM. Will wait until they pass sometime tomorrow afternoon and get in there!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 8, 2021, 5:58 AM

Post #24 of 63 (747 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Quick for voltages: A 6 cell, lead/acid battery should put out 12.6v or 2.2 per cell. The electrical items for starting, will show a drop if ever below ~ 9V there's problem. CCA or cold cranking AMPs is "power" and voltage is "push" to look at that way.

The computer controlled things by sensor should be about 5.5v some maybe fractionally higher or lower there's loss thru just long wire. DC current so if below 3v - that sets this off like a power outage in anything not made for a range of power lots wider than vehicles.

That is regulated by a computer on most this old even.

It's just funny, Mopar or Chrysler sold the first alternator in a 1959 Chrysler Valiant I believe because you get all the AMP output at lower RPM and it weighs half. Other's to follow took a decade more?

Placement of things needs a human eye not computers on a screen.

Hard but can find video (you look) of how violent the road spray is off a tire even lower speeds than you think.

Mopar: Let's put a battery there! Any questions? I didn't think so,

Tom :-)



joezapp
User

Sep 9, 2021, 4:33 PM

Post #25 of 63 (720 views)
  post locked   Re: Limp Mode Again! Code P0888  

Thanks for the lesson on voltage in a car, Tom. Yes, stupid to put a battery in there. Wheelwell shrouds crack! Fortunately mine is still in good shape.

Rain lasted most of the day. Will get into the battery tomorrow. Would love to find a loose terminal! Will report back.






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