P0876 code definition
The storage of a P0876 trouble code signals a problem with the transmission fluid pressure. When this happens a P0876 trouble code is stored on the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and a Check Engine light illuminates. In addition to the P0876 trouble code, the PCM might also store a P0875, P0877, P0878, and P0879 code.
What the P0876 code means
When the transmission fluid pressure is higher or lower than the manufacturer's specifications, a P0876 trouble code is stored and the Check Engine light illuminates.
What causes the P0876 code?
Some of the common causes for the storage of a P0876 trouble code include a low transmission fluid condition, defective high pressure pump, and a malfunctioning transmission. An overheating transmission, bad transmission temperature sensor, and bad PCM can also cause the storage of a P0876 trouble code.
What are the symptoms of the P0876 code?
A clear symptom of a P0876 trouble code is the odor of overheated transmission fluid present. Smoke issuing from the area of the transmission is also a strong indicator of this code. A final sign of a P0876 trouble code is failure of the transmission to engage and a slipping transmission.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0876 code?
Diagnosing a P0876 trouble code requires the mechanic to have an advanced scanner, digital volt\ohmmeter, a manufacturer's wiring schematic for the vehicle with the trouble code, a manual pressure gauge, and a hydraulic pressure diagram. Once all of the necessary tools are gathered, the mechanic should perform the following steps:
- Check the transmission fluid condition. If it smells burned or appears abnormal, then drop the transmission pan to inspect it for debris.
- If debris is present, then the mechanic should consider rebuilding the transmission before proceeding further.
- In addition, the mechanic should fill the transmission to a level sufficient to repair any leaks.
- Carefully inspect the wiring and connectors from the PCM to the transmission fluid pressure sensor.
- After making all of the necessary repairs, the mechanic should fill the transmission fluid to a normal level.
- In addition, the mechanic should clear the code and start the vehicle, allowing it to reach a normal operating temperature before taking a test drive to see if the code returns.
- If the transmission fluid pressure is low, the mechanic should connect a manual pressure gauge to the transmission and use a hydraulic pressure diagram to test the hydraulic pressure pump. The mechanic should compare their findings to the manufacturer's specifications.
- If the trouble code returns, the mechanic should use a digital volt/ohmmeter and a manufacturer's wiring schematic to check the circuits associated with the transmission fluid pressure sensor.
- If the circuits associated with the transmission fluid pressure sensor cheek out okay, then the mechanic should check the resistance and ground of the PCM.
- Once everything has checked out or been repaired, the mechanic should clear the code and test the system to see if it returns.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0876 code
One common mistake made by mechanics when diagnosing this trouble code is assuming that the code is caused only by a transmission fluid leak when in actuality the low fluid condition has allowed the transmission components to suffer damage. Another mistake is for a mechanic to rebuild the transmission when it is not needed.
How serious is the P0876 code?
To prevent serious damage to transmission components, vehicle owners need to have a P0876 trouble code diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. The longer a vehicle owner waits to get it repaired, there is more of a chance the transmission suffers from slipping and even failure.
What repairs can fix the P0876 code?
Repairing and clearing a P0876 trouble code is a multi-step process that requires the mechanic to perform the following:
Start by rebuilding the transmission if it received damage from a low fluid condition. The mechanic should also install a new torque converter.
While repairing the transmission, the mechanic should also fix any leaks.
Replace the hydraulic pressure pump if faulty.
Replace the PCM, making sure to reprogram the new PCM.
Need help with a P0876 code?
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as P0876 OBD-II Trouble Code: Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch D Circuit Range/Performance and was authored by Cheryl Knight.