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Two is Better than One. LR3 Transmission Fault.

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#1
RON CT110

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Hi Folks,

 

TGIF!  Skip the first 5 paragraphs if you don't like to read the preface to my technical question(s).  :)

 

It's 7:45a.m. this morning.  Time to take my two boys to school.  Home made coffee "pressed" on hand, still steaming, black & simple pleasure w/o the added sugar and milk stuff.  Still humming to the tunes from two days ago when we drove the LR3 to see Group Love (opening band) and Imagine Dragons (main show) live in concert at the Golden 1 in Sacramento. 

 

That day and like most days, the LR3, my daily driver, drove flawlessly.  On I-80, headed East to Sacramento, AC on, on the car pool lane, cruised smoothly, smiled while passing the slower lanes, and with the stereo level at a pleasurably db listening to Imagine Dragons' songs as teasers to the concert we looked forward tonight (turned the LR3 into a car karaoke mobile when the song Demons and Thunder came up).

 

Fast forward to this morning, I started the engine, and immediate saw "Transmission Fault: Limited Gears Available", yellow check engine light was on, and the letter "F" instead of "D" for Drive on the dash of the LR3.  I couldn't get the gear out of Park.

 

F for f@#k me, and D for Demons as my inner dragon came out, panicked, and asking myself how am I suppose to get my boys to school today.  Walla!  D2, my over-landing vehicle, to the rescue.  Sound of music was back on; the sky was blue again, birds were chirping, ducks quacking, you got it....  Lol.  No worries.  Got the boys to school on time.  Finished my coffee during the drive, got back home, and figured out how to get the LR3 into drive.

 

That is why I have two Land Rovers; two is better than one IMO.  Certainly not more than 2 for me.  Yes, I've been there; right sized from 4 to 2 Land Rovers, and it feels good to simplify.  To each his or her own right!

 

My questions:

 

First the details: 2007 LR3, 183k miles, Interstate battery is two years old, and maintenance was done this summer: coolant flushed & refilled, transmission fluid changed, and engine oil & filter changed.  May not be related but wanted to mention that the air compressor, alternator, fuel pump and fuel injectors were replaced.  LR3 runs great except for this morning.

 

Error Message: "Transmission Fault: Limited Gears Available" (pic 1)

Check Engine code reads: P0659 (pic 2)

 

Problem: LR3 automatic transmission shiftier will not get out of Park.

I did the following after getting the error msg/check engine light:

- I checked the brake lights, and they are working.

- Checked the battery, no visible corrosion.  The voltage is 12.55 w/engine off (pic 3).

- Turned on the ignition, started the LR3, and the voltage jumped to 14.08.

- With a load (headlights on, and then AC, and then Stereo), voltage reading was between 14.07-08.

- Was able to release the lock (LR3 owners take notes) and finally drive the LR3 by removing the cover (below to the right of the shifter) and inserting my finger to release the lock (pic 4).

 

1) What is the proper battery voltage on the LR3?  The battery in my LR3 is 2 years old, Interstate brand, and reads 12.55v. 

2) Should it be higher, and could 12.55v be the cause of the problem?

3) How about when the engine is running, and with a load; what's the proper voltage?  The voltage reads between 14.07-08 on mine.

4) What else should I be checking? 

 

I forgot to mention that my middle school age son knocked down my 6oz coffee mug from the cup holder last night, and spilled maybe about 3oz directly into the transmission shifter.  We cleaned the surface dry, and didn't bother to open the shifter casing since the LR3 drove fine after.  I am guessing some coffee spilled inside the shifter and maybe into the wiring; could this be the cause of the problem?

 

Or am I doomed as indicated by the transmission status "F". :(

 

Thanks for reading and your feedback in advance!

 

Ron

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Edited by RON CT110, 06 October 2017 - 11:02 AM.

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#2
AdvRovr

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Ron, pretty sure you already found the problem (the coffee spill). Sounds like there are some contacts and connectors under the shifter assy that will cause that fault if shorted/corroded. Check out these threads: 

 

https://landroverfor...vailable-23880/

http://www.landrover...ailable-106282/

http://www.landrover...ked-park-63322/


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#3
Justin

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My guess and Alex's guess is the same. Coffee spilled on your shifter is the cause 

 

Also keep in mind since you got Interstate and its only been two years, its under warranty still. I want to say under 24 months is Free replacement exchange. Anything else over 2 years and under 5 Years is a way better pro rated price. 


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#4
Phil.

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you could have led with the coffee spill. is that what half way into your self imposed sabbatical does to you? my real question is what tunes were you singing? 


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#5
RON CT110

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Lol. Phil, I have time.


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#6
RON CT110

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AdvRovr/Justin, spot on; thank you; pun intended - there was a wet/coffee spot on the circuit board under the shifter cover. Dried it and now the LR3 is back to operating/working condition.

Didn’t think the small coffee spilled could disable the LR3. So I ignored it. Drove it for almost day after w/o issues after the spill. And for the record, it wasn’t Catahoula coffee that was spilled.

Phil, I was singing to the tune of the Beastie Boys Sabotage (which Group Love sang during the concert). It was awesome!

Thanks guys. LR3 is ready; in time for us to go see the Blade Runner movie tonight. Wot wot!


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#7
RON CT110

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Here’s a pic of the shifter area opened up (be careful when taking this apart) and dried up the wet coffee spots. Gross cotton tip from this mess FYI not from my ear.Attached File  IMG_0896.JPG   539.16KB   13 downloads


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Edited by RON CT110, 06 October 2017 - 07:28 PM.

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#8
DiscoChef

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Glad you got it sorted out. I had an Interstate, only lasted three years. Replaced it with a AAA one and it's been holding up well.


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#9
DiscoDavis

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My guess is that it had a slightly low voltage overnight, or had a weird low voltage moment when starting. Low voltage is what caused this fault on mine every time I had one. 

 

IIRC the ideal sitting voltage on those batteries for the LR3 is 12.7

 

Wouldn't worry about it that much!


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#10
RON CT110

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Welcome back Connor!

 

I measured the V w/o the engine running, and it's at 12.55v.  Still started right up.  But I will be keeping an eye on my battery, it's 2 years old, going on 3 next year, and will be replacing it before the time comes & a fresh one @ 12.7v.  Thanks!

 

I really think it's the spilled coffee.  So far so good, starts right now, and no more Transmission Fault message/check engine.

 

I put the shifter, cover, etc.. back together; while at it, I washed all the plastics parts (of course not the electronics) and cleaned the crevices with a toothbrush.  Will be flossing it next.  :)

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Edited by RON CT110, 10 October 2017 - 03:23 PM.

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#11
DHappel

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I agree with you Ron - it's the coffee.  Spills or drips into the console are a well known problem.  Leave the sunroof open in the rain and you're going to have way more problems than just some wet carpet.  As for the battery, 12.55 is a bit low but not *danger Will Robinson!" low.  Ideally you should be seeing 12.7 as stated but the stock charging system does a pretty lack-luster job of getting batteries topped up 100%.  If you have a trickle charger, try putting that on overnight occasionally to bring it up to full.  Also, are you running a standard flooded battery or an AGM?  If AGM, you'll never get 100% out of the stock charging system unless you adjust it's parameters and I'm not sure you can do that (maybe with the GAP tool, but I haven't seen settings for such).


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Don
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#12
aebrownleeiv

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I agree with you Ron - it's the coffee.  Spills or drips into the console are a well known problem.  Leave the sunroof open in the rain and you're going to have way more problems than just some wet carpet.  As for the battery, 12.55 is a bit low but not *danger Will Robinson!" low.  Ideally you should be seeing 12.7 as stated but the stock charging system does a pretty lack-luster job of getting batteries topped up 100%.  If you have a trickle charger, try putting that on overnight occasionally to bring it up to full.  Also, are you running a standard flooded battery or an AGM?  If AGM, you'll never get 100% out of the stock charging system unless you adjust it's parameters and I'm not sure you can do that (maybe with the GAP tool, but I haven't seen settings for such).

Hrm, can you explain the bit about the AGM and charging system issues? 



#13
DHappel

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AGM batteries have a slightly different charging requirement than flooded which are different than gel, etc.  Basically each has it's own preferences.  

 

If you really want to get the most out of a given battery you'd look at the specs from the manufacturer and run a programmable regulator set to those specs.  That's semi-common in the world of cruising boats but not really an option on something like an LR3 which has a computer controlled regulator that plays by it's own set of rules.  It varies the charging output based on a lot of inputs beyond just the battery's needs.  They even vary it based on emissions.  The net result is the batteries are seldom 100% charged even with stock stuff but are 'good enough' to get by.  Changing out to an AGM puts you even further away from 100%.  

 

That's not to say AGM is bad as it has other benefits but you have to understand what you're getting into if you really want to optimize it.

 

While I occasionally deal with programmable chargers on boats, for my own use I rarely mess with that as it's just too much of a PITA.  Instead I use a 'smart' charger that has pre-programmed settings for flooded/AGM/etc.  I tend to pop it on and top off the batteries in my Rovers from time to time and particularly right before leaving on a trip just to maximize things.

 

For reference, I have a Northstar group 31 AGM deep cycle in the LR3 and an Optima whatever in the D1.  Both are AGM, though the Northstar is much bigger than the Optima.  I wouldn't personally buy Optima but it was in the truck when I got it and is doing the job.  I think it's a group 34 'blue top' - meaning a deep cycle.

https://www.northsta...uct/nsb-agm-31m

https://www.optimaba...nd-starting/34m

 

For a charger, I use a Noco Genius 26000.  They've changed it a bit since I bought mine a few years ago but this is the current version.

https://no.co/g26000

 

I don't run dual batteries and have no reason to do so.  I get plenty of life from a single even running a fridge.  Of course, I don't tend to sit for days on end without driving.  If that were the case, I'd probably get a solar charger to maintain and still stay with a single battery.

 

It's too late to get into a full-on battery discussion...I've covered it before if you want to search around.  Or you can pop over to ExPo and search around there as well.  Basically, a big battery(s) is only part of getting the most out of your 12v system.


Don
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#14
RON CT110

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It's possible for two people to be right (Connor, and Don).  :)  Truth is relative.

 

Very cold last night, LR3 has been sitting for 3 days (I was at Tepui Fest) and when I tried to start the LR3, I got the Transmission fault message, saw the F on the dash, and then the auto transmission shifter locked in park.  So Connor - you are right about the voltage drop can trigger this fault message, and (Don & the rest) also spilling liquid.

 

No worries.  This looks and feels familiar.  No coffee or liquid spilled this time.  Took my handy volt meter from the glove box, measured the v on the battery, and it showed 12.3v.   Lower than the last reading of 12.5v, and certainly lower then the ideal 12.7v.  Time for a battery replacement soon. 

 

Manually released the shifter lock, and then off I went to dinner w/o any issues.  The drive home after dinner was about an hour drive (it topped off the battery).   This morning it started right up w/o the transmission fault message.


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