Dodge Nitro Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good morning. My Nitro R/T wouldn't drive past 30 suddenly yesterday after being parked for a couple hours - no 'revving'. No check engine light. I parked it. Turned car off. About 10 minutes later it drove fine. I feel like the engine felt hot but...can't be sure if it's just me. Had oil change day before (and drove about 5 miles after w/no problems); got 1/2 tank gas shortly before this happened. (It happened after I got gas, parked car for awhile and then came back to drive).

I'm nervous to drive; can't get it in to dealership until probably next week.

Thank you for any help!

Wendy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,933 Posts
Hi your Nitro has something called "limp home mode" when the transmission detects an abnormal condition ( transmission overheating, low transmission fluid etc ), the transmission goes into limp home mode, letting you drive home or to the nearest garage.

to reset the transmission:
1. stop the vehicle.
2. move the shift lever into P park position.
3.turn off the engine be sure to turn the key to the LOCK position.
4. wait approximately 10 seconds, then restart the engine.
5. move the shift lever to the desired gear range.
if your vehicle is still in limp mode, then you need to take it to a garage to have the transmission checked.

KEEP your eye on the engine temperature gauge, if your rig is getting hot then its possible your transmission is also getting hot, as the fluid from the transmission runs through a cooling radiator at the front of the truck, linked with all the other radiators.
also when the engine is COLD check the coolant level and the engine oïl level.

possible causes: low transmission fluid, cooling fan fault, radiator blocked on the exterior ( bugs and dirt ), driving your vehicle hard in hot conditions, and a load of other possibilities, but mainly the first 2.
hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi your Nitro has something called "limp home mode" when the transmission detects an abnormal condition ( transmission overheating, low transmission fluid etc ), the transmission goes into limp home mode, letting you drive home or to the nearest garage.

to reset the transmission:
1. stop the vehicle.
2. move the shift lever into P park position.
3.turn off the engine be sure to turn the key to the LOCK position.
4. wait approximately 10 seconds, then restart the engine.
5. move the shift lever to the desired gear range.
if your vehicle is still in limp mode, then you need to take it to a garage to have the transmission checked.

KEEP your eye on the engine temperature gauge, if your rig is getting hot then its possible your transmission is also getting hot, as the fluid from the transmission runs through a cooling radiator at the front of the truck, linked with all the other radiators.
also when the engine is COLD check the coolant level and the engine oïl level.

possible causes: low transmission fluid, cooling fan fault, radiator blocked on the exterior ( bugs and dirt ), driving your vehicle hard in hot conditions, and a load of other possibilities, but mainly the first 2.
hope this helps.
Thank you so much. So far, my Nitro has not gone back into 'limp home mode'. I am going to check the coolant and oil levels to be on the safe side (my oil changed Wednesday and coolant checked as well). Still no check engine light. It seems like I really can't check my trans fluid myself - I've read about that on the forum. I wonder why no check engine light (although I guess you can't rely fully on that either). The car didn't seem hot today after driving same distance as I did yesterday when it seemed hot. I'm so confused! Lol. So currently will check fluids, keep an eye on temp gauge and if all seems well I do not think that I need to take to mechanic. If it happens again sounds like I should! Again, appreciate your help. Have a great day!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So just following up. So far everything looks good. This hadn't happened again..'til today. Also, maybe coincidentally, it happened again shortly after I got gas again. Same thing..got gas. Drove a bit. Parked car. Came back out..drove and would not go past 30..the engine did not seem to be revving up at all. At a stop light I turned the car off. Key in lock position. Started it up again and it drove fine the rest of my drive home.
I don't know if this means something to anyone but figured I'd post in case it does!
Thanks for reading..have a lovely day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hi. Just an update in the event that it is useful for anyone else. Went to dealership - just got home from there so haven't had time yet to research the info that I was provided. They said that I have a broken 'transmission lead frame'. Need it to be replaced. Total cost to repair will be about $900 USD.
Specific details: "Tech Performed Diag and traced cause to transmission lead frame shorting. Replacement is only repair option"

Have a lovely weekend
Wendy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,933 Posts
well Wendy, this sounds like a part of your wiring harness has been rubbing against the chassis or transmission, causing a short circuit, this could be an easy fix if you could find the wire which is rubbing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
well Wendy, this sounds like a part of your wiring harness has been rubbing against the chassis or transmission, causing a short circuit, this could be an easy fix if you could find the wire which is rubbing.
Thank you. I'm not even sure how to figure out if this is something that I can check myself? (I am a true beginner unfortunately when it comes to these things). I've tried to google the part and location and I have to admit that it looks a bit over my head (if I'm even looking at the right thing). I'd love to be able to take apart and put back together anything and everything on my Nitro but.. have some learning to do. :)
Right now I'm researching exactly what lead frames are (sounds like some molded plastic that wires run through) and how one would replace it. Plus it sounds like you have to replace fluid, change filter...etc.

Have a great day :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
I did see on another forum where the pan and valve body need to be dropped to replace the lead frame. Also, they were quoting around $300 for the cost of the part.
Still learning myself.

Did you ever get the problem fixed or maybe a 2nd opinion on the Nitro?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wendy

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hi. I actually did get a 2nd opinion this morning from a shop that I found had good recommendations. They said that the problem is a pair of input/output speed sensors in trans. They said that they will drop trans pan (check for metal, check harness) and if all well they will replace the sensors, etc. They said that they are to be replaced as a pair. Total cost $493.
My concern of course is that the dealership said it was my 'trans lead frame' which I believe may be the same as a harness? If so I'm wondering if this shop just has not seen that it needs to be replaced (which is what the dealer told me and was charging $900 for - no mention of speed sensors). Throughout this problem I've been researching and did see that speed sensors came up as a problem for similar 'going into limp home mode' scenarios like mine.
SO..still feeling a bit nervous that I'm spending a lot of $ just to diagnose the car and not sure who to trust. I told this place to go ahead w/it hoping that they don't come back and say that in addition to the speed sensors I need a new lead frame, etc. I'm hoping that I've found a shop that I can trust and return to for maintenance, etc.

Have a great day everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well now I got a call from this shop...and the estimate went up to $950 (which is more than the dealership). No matter what they are charging me $135 for the diagnosis. I already paid dealership $125 for diagnosis. Shop is saying it's not speed sensors - that when they gave me that estimate (and this doesn't makes sense to me) "they put the part number into the Chrysler database and it came up w/speed sensors for x amount of money' and in actuality the part that Chrysler sent over is wrong and what I need is a 'conductor plate adapter' and that the factory original conductor plate can fail and cause the transmission to shift improperly or enter limp mode. I am finding the part online anywhere from $99 - $150.
I told them that I am confused about their original estimate for speed sensors still - they told me that they just now got the part and to give them a few minutes and they will call me back.
I am more confused now than I was in first place. :-(

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Hi. New info: Shop called back. We are now down to $619 total. Conductor plate and plug adapter. Told me can't use aftermarket parts; are Mercedes parts and so the plate is $305 and adapter $15. Have to add fluids, this part is inside trans pan, etc etc etc.
I feel kind of trapped as far as this is my only vehicle and I am responsible for others getting to/from work and school and I must get this repaired.
So.. I think I'll go with it. I feel like the part is definitely highly uplifted based on me being able to find that part much cheaper online but not sure what the feeling is on aftermarket parts. I thought would be ok.
Anyways..will follow up again in future just in case someone else comes across this with same issue.
Thanks everyone.
 

·
Khaki Nitro Nut
Joined
·
29,837 Posts
Conductor plate = lead frame = CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY, Electrical [Official part description in the manuals(Nag1 transmission.)]
All the same thing just different names for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,933 Posts
well after the last few posts, i think i would choose to go with the dealership, i think it's the best choice. despite there high labour costs.

just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Hi Wendy,
Sounds like you're already committed to the second shop, which is fine given "good recommendations" you found before taking your Nitro there.

If you are committed to them, I would ask them to explain what they guarantee before giving them any more money than the diagnostics. The guarantee should be on a written estimate that the shop is committed to keeping. When I worked for Penske Automotive Center, we had the customer sign a written work order and gave copy of the work order with guarantee before any repair was done. It's good business practice for an honest shop.

"$619 total. Conductor plate and plug adapter. Told me can't use aftermarket parts; are Mercedes parts and so the plate is $305 and adapter $15. Have to add fluids, this part is inside trans pan, etc etc etc." Doesn't sound too bad given the $300 I saw quoted for the lead frame/conductor plate. If $320 is parts and the other $300 is labor and diagnostics combined, the price may be OK. Also, if you have the NAG1 5 speed trans, the bit about Mercedes parts is true according to what I've read. I never expect anything from Mercedes to be cheap, so $619 may be the best you can do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wendy

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hello
Just an update. I did have the conductor plate/plug adapter replaced. So far so good!
They did show me the old parts and explained the mix up w/the first estimate so I ended up feeling better.

Thanks for all of your input - it was super helpful and much appreciated.

Wendy
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top