P0741 is a generic OBD-II code that is supported by various makes and models. This particular code involves your torque converter clutch or TCC. In this article, we will go deeper into what this code means, as well as its possible symptoms and triggers.
What Does the P0741 Code Mean?
Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0741 stands for “Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid Circuit Performance/Stuck Off.” To put it plain and simple, code p0741 triggers when an onboard computer, referred to as a control module, perceives a problem with the operation of the torque converter clutch (TCC).
The torque converter is a fluid coupling that transfers (and multiplies) rotational force from the engine to the transmission. Also, to prevent stalling when the vehicle is at a standstill, the torque converter acts as a clutch between the engine and transmission.
At certain speeds, the torque converter clutch (located inside the converter) creates a mechanical connection between the engine and transmission. The control module operates the TCC via one or more solenoid valves. Applying the TCC improves fuel economy, reduces engine speed, and lowers the temperature of the transmission fluid.
The control module may store a P0741 code when it detects the TCC is slipping, operating erratically, or not engaging.
Note: Although code P0741 is a generic code specified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the code’s definition may be different depending on the vehicle manufacturer.
You can read more about the possible differences in this code’s repair and diagnostic procedures based on vehicle make and model here.
What are the Possible Causes of the P0741 Code?
Here are some of the most common causes of code P0741:
- Malfunctioning torque converter
- Internal transmission failure
- Worn valve body
- Failed TCC solenoid (when equipped)
- A problem with the TCC circuit, such as damaged wiring or loose connections (when equipped)
- A faulty sensor inhibiting TCC lockup (on electrically controlled TCC systems)
- Low or dirty transmission fluid
- Issues with the control module, such as software in need of an update
Note: If there are other codes stored in addition to P0741, the causes and symptoms may differ from those listed here.
What are the Common Symptoms of the P0741 Code?
In some instances, the only symptom of a P0741 code will be an illuminated check engine light. In other cases, you may experience noticeable drivability problems.
Take note that the symptoms of this code will depend on your vehicle’s make and model, as well as the severity of the problem.
Here are the symptoms you should watch for:
- Illuminated check engine light
- Overheating transmission
- Harsh shifting or slipping transmission
- Decreased fuel economy
- Increased engine RPMs
- Shudder felt throughout the vehicle at certain speeds (this can be a breakdown in fluid friction modification)
- Flashing overdrive light
There are many other OBD-II codes involving malfunction in the torque converter clutch solenoid. These include code P0740, P0742, P0743, P0744, P2769, and P2770.
How to Diagnose the P0741 Code
Diagnosing and testing your vehicle’s torque converter clutch system requires advanced tools. To ensure that your vehicle is diagnosed properly, it’s a good idea to have a professional test and repair your vehicle.
If you decide to give it a try, these videos will give you an idea of what the troubleshooting process involves:
How to Fix the P0741 Code
If you do decide to tackle fixing the code yourself, keep in mind that different types of vehicles may require their own distinct solutions. For that reason, you should always consult the appropriate repair information for your application.
Repair manuals, such as those from Chilton, are useful, but an ALLDATA subscription is even better. ALLDATA has single-vehicle subscriptions for DIYers that provide detailed factory repair information.
Other Notes About P0741
As mentioned, P0741 is a generic OBD-II code which means that it may appear on vehicles of any year, make, and model. However, it is important to note that the diagnosis and repair of the different codes may vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
For one example, a P0741 on a 2016 F150 is listed by Ford as “A non-electrical DTC.” What that means is that on a Ford, the torque converter is operated by hydraulic rather than electrical circuits and includes a regulator valve that may be damaged or worn. But on 2016 GM vehicles, the torque converter clutch is applied by fluid pressure delivered through a duty cycle solenoid.
Chrysler vehicles in that same vintage may have a P0740 code listed but no P0741, and Dodge trucks in the 2016 model year may have neither of those codes listed. Toyota trucks don’t list a P0741 (or equivalent) code either.
Torque converters on older vehicles were either locked or they weren’t. But since about 1990, torque converter clutches are usually applied in percentages from 0% applied to 100% applied or anywhere in between for a controlled slip, and the PCM compares crankshaft speed, turbine shaft speed, and output shaft speed to determine gear ratios and torque converter slip calculation.
The P0741 is typically a “performance code,” which means that if there is a solenoid, the electrical element of the circuit is functioning properly and that the TCC command has been sent but that the speed information from the crankshaft and the transmission output shaft indicate that the torque converter either hasn’t applied at all or is slipping more than it should. It is also important to note that most transmission fluids now contain friction modifier to prevent the torque converter from chattering during its controlled slip. This can feel like speed warning bumps or a surge during low speed cruising.
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