Is your Check Engine light on and refusing to go out? Or the Brake lights on your dashboard keep popping up but yet your brakes feel fine?
These could be urgent warning signs of a potentially costly repair or simply be a tripped sensor that only needs to be reset. Being able to identify and understand these fault codes in your Chrysler, in most cases, is the difference between a simple DIY fix and one that could potentially cost thousands of dollars and multiple trips to the repair shop.
Most Chrysler vehicles from 2005 upwards are installed with an ECU – Engine control unit, that indicates and communicates potential faults and problems in your car ranging from minor to severe issues to the vehicle owner. These faults are read using a fault code scanner and would easily tell you the condition of the car and what issues you need to know and pay attention to solving.
These fault codes may be severe as Check Engine or as minor as Door Ajar and other open fault codes.
But how do you know which is minor and possibly fix them without having to pay heavy per hour rates?
We’ve identified the 5 most common errors on a Chrysler below and DIY fixes to save you money.
How to Fix Fault Codes in Your Chrysler
To fix Chrysler fault codes, you need to understand what they mean, the symptoms, and how crucial they are.
It is important to address issues as soon as fault codes pop up on your dashboard to avoid severe damage.
If you are driving and a fault code pops up, you can fix them either temporarily or permanently yourself.
Here are a few DIY tips you can use to fix fault codes in your car:
1. Check Engine Fault Code
The check engine light warns the driver that there is a malfunction with a component of the engine. When this fault code comes on, you may notice one or more of the following. A decrease in fuel economy, overheating or shaking engine, poor acceleration, etc. may be seen.
There are common problems that trigger this fault code. Some of these problems include spark plugs malfunction, catalytic converter, vacuum leak, EVAP leach, etc. One of the most common problems that trigger the Check Engine fault code in Chrysler is a loose gas cap. If this is the case, your vehicle’s performance would still be normal. To fix this, check the gas cap and tighten it till it clicks.
To reset the Check Engine fault code without an OBD-II Scanner follow the following steps:
- Chrysler engine resets the Check Engine fault code automatically after 40 successful runs. If the problem with the engine has been fixed the fault code fix itself but if it doesn’t, it means there is still a malfunction.
- Drive your Chrysler for a few feet forward and reverse a few feet – do this a few times and turn off the engine, this should force the computer into “Successful Run” mode. Turn on your car to see if the fault code is cleared.
- Reset everything in your vehicle by disconnecting your battery for a few minutes. Restore all your settings after connecting your battery back. The fault code should be cleared.
- Use a scanner to run diagnostics and clear fault codes. Connect the scanner to Assembly Line Diagnostics Link (ALDL) found under the dashboard. Turn on the engine and follow the steps on how to clear the fault code.
It is advisable not to ignore this fault code as it can cause severe damage to the engine and the catalytic converter. It is recommended to pull over and have the fault code fixed to avoid expensive repair costs and lasting damage to your Chrysler.
2. Transmission Oil Temperature Fault Code
Usually, a red indicator, means that the temperature of the oil in the transmission is too high, this puts the transmission at risk of failure. In simple terms – your transmission is overheating. This is bad for your transmission as heat is the most common culprit for transmission failures than anything else.
The best temperature for your transmission is 200 degrees and anything beyond that reduces the lifespan of your transmission. Other than the fault code that appears on your dashboard, if you smell a sweet odor from your vehicle it is a sign your transmission is overheating. Pullover when driving and allow the transmission to cool before driving again.
Check transmission fluid level – this can help you determine if the transmission is overheating. Transmission fluid doesn’t burn up quickly, if the fluid level is low it means there is a malfunction. Also if you check the fluid and notice it is dark it means it is overheating.
To fix transmission fluid level yourself, add transmission fluid until it gets to the required level. It is important to detect transmission problems early to prevent severe damage to the transmission. It is recommended to have your vehicle checked by a professional if problems persist to avoid further damage.
3. Charging system trouble lights
With this fault code, there may be two possibilities – a bad battery, which does not charge, or a bad alternator, which does not charge the battery enough. Either way, if not treated in a timely manner, it may lead to further issues But if there is a main underneath the battery indicator, then the issue is with the hybrid battery service indicator, this needs to be serviced by professionals.
This fault code comes on if it detects battery voltage is too low, you may have a struggle starting your car and the fault code stays on. This indicates that your battery is bad and needs to be replaced.
If your alternator is bad, you will know when the engine is already running. You will see your battery light on this indicates that the alternator is no more providing enough watt to power the different electrical components and charge the battery. The alternator will have to be replaced to fix this problem.
Whether it is a failing alternator or weak battery if the problem is not rectified your vehicle will stop running and both will need to be replaced. The battery and alternator have to be tested to trace where the problem is and have the components fixed or replaced.
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4. Brake Trouble Fault Code
This fault code is different from the anti-brake system, this shows that there is a problem with the physical brakes of your vehicle. The light could indicate a problem with the brakes although the indicator will also light up if the handbrake, emergency, or the brake is in use.
If the handbrake is not the problem and the fault codes pop up when you push the brakes, it is an indication that the pressure in the braking system is low. Check the master cylinder to confirm if the brake fluid is low – add more oil to fix though for a short time. This is a temporary fix until you fix the brake leaks permanently to avoid brake failure.
If there is a difference in pressure between the two circuits that cut the brake system in two, the fault code will pop up to report this difference. To fix this you need to disconnect the harness plug located in the master cylinder
Some vehicles will activate the fault code if brake lights are bad. This can be fixed by replacing the bulb with new ones. The best way to fix brake trouble fault codes is to have it checked by a professional by having it towed to the workshop.
5. Oil Change Fault Code
When this fault code comes up it shows that the vehicle is running low on oil, your vehicle is low on oil pressure and in extreme cases, your car is in need of service. In any of the cases, the oil level must be checked. If the oil level is low, refill the oil and the fault code should clear. Ensure that the oil you use is the right oil for your engine type to avoid engine damage.
Once this fault code pops up without going out after few seconds, you have to safely pull over. Once you have pulled over, check the oil level using the dipstick. If the oil level has dropped drastically, you will need to check for leaks. There could either be a tear in the gasket or the oil filter is not fastened properly
To reset this fault code after an oil change, first, turn on your ignition to run without starting your engine. Then depress your accelerator pedal slowly three times. Turn off the ignition and restart the engine, this should reset the fault code.
Even if you fix fault codes yourself, it is always recommended to have your vehicle checked by a certified mechanic. This is to avoid potentially compromising your safety and secondary/hidden problems and. that only a professional may detect/interpret.