The OBD2 error P0741 code triggers when the torque converter in your automatic transmission system is not functioning properly. This can be a serious problem, affecting your vehicle’s ability to change gears and potentially causing long-term damage.
In rare cases, there are no drivability symptoms associated with this code. Even so, it’s important to fix it as soon as possible. Read on below to learn what steps you should take if P0741 activates in your vehicle.
P0741 Code Definition
P0741 Code Definition (Generic): Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off
P0741 BMW Code Definition: (TCC) Circuit Performance or Stuck Off
P0741 Cadillac Code Definition: Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) System Stuck Off
P0741 Chevy Code Definition: TCC System Mechanically Stuck Off (4T40, 4T45-E)
P0741 Ford Code Definition: TCC Mechanical System Range/Performance
P0741 Honda Code Definition: TC Clutch Stuck Off
P0741 Toyota Code Definition: Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid Performance (Shift Solenoid Valve SL)
What Does P0741 Mean?
In vehicles with an automatic transmission (as opposed to a manual or standard transmission) there is a torque converter between the engine and the transmission. This increases the output of the engine and gives more drive power to the rear wheels.
A fluid coupling mechanism inside the torque converter is what actually connects the transmission to the engine. This multiplies the torque to about 90% efficiency.
The flow of hydraulic fluid is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) or powertrain control module (PCM). It sends commands to the solenoids on the torque converter clutch (TCC), which engage the torque converter and increase drive efficiency. In some vehicles, there may be a dedicated computer for the transmission, known as the transmission control module (TCM).
The torque converter’s rotation speed and revolutions per minute (RPM) of the transmission shaft should be the same. When the P0741 trouble code activates, either the TCM or ECM/PCM has detected a discrepancy between these two speeds. This is similar to the trouble codes P0740, P0742-P0744, P2769, and P2770.
In most cases, the P0741 trouble code will activate when the difference between the transmission shaft RPM and torque converter rotation is more than 200 RPMs. This can vary from one vehicle to the next, however. Consult your manual to learn the exact specifications for your transmission.
What Are The Symptoms Of The P0741 Code?
There is sometimes no difference in engine performance when the P0741 trouble code is active. The most common are normally mild, and can include:
- Activation of the check engine light
- Reduced fuel efficiency
- Occasional stalling after driving at high speeds
- Inability to shift gears at high speeds
- Misfire-like condition in the engine
What Are The Causes Of P0741?
- Faulty torque converter solenoid
- Internal short in TCC solenoid
- Faulty or damaged wires around TCC solenoid
- Damaged transmission wiring harness
- Faulty engine coolant temperature sensor
- Faulty torque converter clutch
- Transmission fluid is dirty or old
- Faulty valve body
- Faulty TCM
How Serious Is The P0741 Code?
The P0741 is severe. Your transmission may not be operating properly when this code is present. Continuing to drive with these problems may cause further damage to your transmission system. You should stop driving your car and repair the problem as soon as possible.
How To Diagnose And Fix The P0741 Code
Tools you’ll need:
- Scan your vehicle with the OBD2 scan tool. Record the freeze frame data, verifying the conditions under which the code was set. Also check for other trouble codes, especially those related to the transmission, which may help you to pinpoint the source of the problem. Clear the codes, test drive, and re-scan to see if P0741 recurs.
- Check your transmission fluid. If it’s old or dirty, drain and flush your system and replace the filter.
- Inspect the wiring harness and wires for the transmission system. Replace any that are corroded or damaged, and check that all connections are secure. If your transmission system has fuses or relays, check those as well.
- Use a multimeter to check the internal wiring harness for the transmission. A null or infinite reading indicates a short or open circuit on the ground point of the TCC solenoid. Repair or replace as necessary.
- Use the multimeter to test the wires of the transmission, even if you don’t see any visible damage. The resistance on the wires should be very high or over limit when the negative lead of the multimeter is connected to a ground. If two or more wires fail, consider replacing the entire wiring harness.
- If you have an advanced scan tool, you can use it to check when the TCC solenoid activates the torque converter, and verify that the torque converter is functional. You may need to go to a repair shop to have this test performed.
- Remove the transmission harness plug and check the resistance of the TCC solenoid. Use a digital multimeter, connecting the positive lead too the TCC circuit and the negative lead to a ground point on your chassis. If the resistance is low, there is likely a short.
- Check that the TCC solenoid is receiving power. Use a multimeter set to volts and attach the positive lead to the wire, with the negative on a good ground point. If there is no voltage, trace the circuit back using the wiring diagram in your vehicle manual to find the source of the fault.
- In some cases, the TCM is not sending the signal properly to the TCC solenoid. This is a costly and complicated repair, so you should take your vehicle to a mechanic for diagnosis if the P0741 code still will not clear.
Common Mistakes To Avoid While Diagnosing The P0741 Code
The P0741 code can be misdiagnosed as a misfire issue, or a problem with the driveline and internal transmission. Pay close attention to the readings you take with your OBD2 scan tool. This is the best way to determine the true root of the issue.
Tips To Avoid P0741 In The Future
Dirty transmission fluid can clog the passages of the torque converter, leading to failure. Make sure you stay current on your preventative maintenance and change your transmission fluid if it becomes fouled. This simple step can save you a costly repair down the line.