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P0711 Code — Everything You Need to Know

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At some point, the vehicle you love and depend on will break down and need fixing. The OBD-II system gives you the power to diagnose your vehicle issues at home.

In this guide, we will focus on the P0711 check engine light code. This is a transmission code, and it’s a serious one. That being said, the root cause of the issue may not be as serious.

We will walk you through every facet of this trouble code. Diagnostic techniques, causes, symptoms, and more. At the end of it, you should know all there is to know about the P0711 trouble code.

What is the P0711 Code, and What Does It Mean?

In short, it stands for “Transmission Fluid Temperature Circuit A Range/ Performance.” This means that the transmission fluid temperature reading is outside of the normal operating range. In other words, your car thinks that your transmission is overheating. 

This may or may not be true, which we’ll dig into a bit later. What is true, however, is that you should look into diagnosing this code as soon as possible. 

What Causes the P0711 Code? `

The causes of this trouble code will lie within the transmission. Although this makes the diagnostic process easier, it’s still easy to get sidetracked unless you know what you’re looking for. The most common causes are:

  • Failed transmission fluid temperature sensor
  • Low or contaminated transmission fluid
  • Wiring harness issues
  • Transmission failure

Failed Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor

Transmission fluid is designed to operate within a certain temperature range. When a vehicle starts, the fluid needs to warm up. This is why there is a dedicated transmission fluid temperature sensor inside your transmission, which measures the temperature of the fluid and communicates this information to the ECU/TCM.

This information is registered based on a voltage change that occurs inside the sensor as the temperature of the automatic transmission fluid changes.

When the sensor fails, that voltage will fall out of that range, causing the ECU to log a P0711. In most cases, the only solution here is a replacement. If you drive a European vehicle, and you’re looking for a quality transmission fluid sensor, check out our selection. We carry only the highest quality OEM and genuine parts!

Low or Contaminated Transmission Fluid

This is one of the more common causes of the P0711 trouble code. Transmission fluid change intervals are often too long, which leads to excessive contamination. On top of that, a leak anywhere in the system will drop the levels of AT fluid, causing all kinds of transmission issues, including the P0711 code.  

Fluid contamination can also occur when there is a bigger problem with the vehicle. Carbon contamination can occur when the transmission overheats, or a failed radiator or clutch can cause debris to build up in the transmission pan.

Wiring Harness Issues

Of course, the voltage needs to travel to and from the sensor. If this cannot occur, the sensor will be unable to function, triggering this trouble code. 

Transmission Failure

A failed heat plug can also cause the fluid temperature to reach operating temperature slower, as it will only do so once the transmission itself heats up. This can cause the P0711 code and is a serious issue.

Where Is the Transmission Temp Sensor Located?

This sensor is in the transmission oil pan on the valve body. You will have to remove the transmission oil pan and drain the oil to access the sensor.

What Are the Common Symptoms of P0711 Fault Code? 

Transmission fluid temperature sensor for SAAB vehicles.

Transmission codes have distinctive symptoms. Whenever you’re dealing with a transmission code, chances are that your car will have trouble shifting correctly, or worse. But, there’s more nuance to this particular code than that. The common symptoms of the P0711 code include:

  • Check engine light
  • Limp mode
  • Burnt transmission smell
  • Shifting problems

Check Engine Light

Any transmission problem is a serious problem. Your check engine light will be the first sign that something is wrong. Digital displays may tell you more information about the problem and, depending on the severity of the cause, the light may flash.

Limp Mode

Limp mode is a failsafe to prevent further damage to the vehicle and to avoid a safety hazard. With the P0711, it’s likely to occur as it is a transmission trouble code. Depending on your vehicle, you may be limited to a certain gear or speed, or may not be able to drive at all once stopped.

Burnt Transmission Smell

This is one of the most common symptoms of the P07111 code. Burnt or overheated transmission fluid will often give off a burnt apple smell. Of course, any foreign smells or smokes coming from the transmission are a cause for concern.

A sensor failure will often give off no smells, so do not rule out this issue if there are none of these visible symptoms.

Shifting Problems

As the primary role of the transmission is to transfer power from the engine to the rest of the drivetrain, failure means that this may not happen properly. An inability to shift, harsh shifting, or incorrect gear shifts may point to a P0711 code.

How to Diagnose and Fix the Cause of P0711 Code 

Diagnosing and fixing this trouble code can be tedious. The location of the transmission means that you will need a jack or lift to access the sensor. However, it is possible to complete this job at home. Here’s how you can do it. 

OBD-II Reader

This is your primary method of interacting with your vehicle’s ECU. It translates all the 1s and 0s into easy-to-understand trouble codes you can use to diagnose your vehicle. Just plug your OBD scan tool into the connection port and run a full scan of the car. This will reveal the P0711 trouble code and any other codes relating to your vehicle issues.

The conditions for setting this trouble code often vary from vehicle to vehicle. So, you must check your owner’s manual and transmission fluid data for exact operating temperatures and characteristics.

Live data is also helpful in diagnosing the TFT (transmission fluid temperature) sensor. You should be able to tell the exact temperature of the transmission fluid. Normal operating temperature is around 175 and 225, it should increase from a lower starting temperature to that when you start your vehicle.

Additionally, it should not increase more than a certain amount in a short period as this can also trigger the trouble code.

Visual Inspection

First off, you need to check that your transmission fluid is not low and contaminated. Expired fluid is a dark brown color or even black, a lighter brown indicates it is in good condition. Pink fluid can mean that coolant has contaminated it. Metal shavings point to further damage in the transmission.

Check for any external damage to the transmission or wiring harness. Any signs of transmission fluid leaking or fraying on the wiring harness can cause the P0711 code.

Wiring Harness Test

Now that you’ve established the sensor is working properly, we need to test for resistance and the reference voltage. For this test, your ignition needs to be on and the vehicle off, and you need a multimeter to conduct this test. 

First, test for reference voltage. Remove the connector and contact your positive (red) probe to one of the sensor terminals, while the negative (black) probe is safely grounded. This should give you around 5V. Now, change your multimeter to ohms and contact both terminals with the black and red probes. Start your vehicle, the resistance should increase gradually. No resistance or lower-than-normal resistance likely means that the sensor has failed. 

How to Fix a P0711 Code

The only DIY fix here is to replace the transmission fluid and clear the trouble codes. If there are no other signs of major damage, this can fix the P0711 trouble code. The other fixes require you to replace major components or the TFT sensor and are more invasive.

Does P0711 Clear Itself?

With any transmission code, you should not rely on the code clearing itself. Even though there are signs of a major transmission failure, you should use an OBD-II reader to clear the trouble codes before continuing on your journey. This way you can avoid any possible safety hazards.

Is It OK to Drive with P0711?

Initially, you do not know the root cause of the transmission issue. If your vehicle is not in limp mode already, avoid driving your vehicle with the P0711 trouble code. Driving with this trouble code can further damage your transmission and engine, even if it is a minor issue.

Get a Quality Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor! 

Now that you know all there is to know about the P0711 trouble code, it’s time to order the parts that you need to fix it. Here at eEuroparts.com, we have everything you need to fix this error on your European vehicle! Simply select your car’s year, make and model, and search for the parts you need!



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