Lots of transmission codes limp etc


2004 Sprinter out on a tour-

1. Fell out of gear entirely at stop light.
2. Restarted the ignition and in trans limp mode, 2nd gear only
3. Band took it to a shop, shop cleared the codes and got it out limp mode but said it slipped between 2nd and 3rd. I talked to the shop and they said the transmission was bad. I disagreed because they pulled speed sensor and gear ratio codes and asked them to pull the pan and check/replace the conductor plate. They refused and said the only option was to replace the transmission for a used one. In order to keep the tour going I agreed only if they gave me the old transmission as well. They replaced the transmission with a used one.
4. Van drove for 5 more days, a few thousand miles and went into limp mode again.
5. Shop took it out of limp mode and said it was a wiring issue of some sort.

Here are the codes they pulled-

1. P220A - n2-n3 speed sensor mismatch
2. P2502- transmission slipping
3. P2103 - 2-3 solenoid cirucit
4. P2228-001 - transmission ratio
5. P2225-001 - speed sensor voltage fault present
6. P2219-001 - 2-3 solenoid fault
7. P1926 - can communication with other control units not possible faulty ECM, ECM harness open shorted ECM circuit, poor electrical connection

To my knowledge the shop didn't transfer any electric components from one transmission to the other. They just took one down and put the other up.

I don't have the van back yet, it will be here early next week so I can get started fixing it. I did ask if the band spilled anything under the driver seat, they claim they did not. Recommendations appreciated!
I'm wondering if the connector was leaking on the old and or new transmission and it wicked all the way up the harness and into the control unit under the seat causing internal issues with it. I'm thinking off the top of my head the P1926 is indicative of this.


Well-known member
I'm wondering if the connector was leaking on the old and or new transmission and it wicked all the way up the harness and into the control unit under the seat causing internal issues with it. I'm thinking off the top of my head the P1926 is indicative of this.
Yes me too!
But is the exhaust flex section been leaking and scorched the TCM cable nearby!


Formerly Type2Teach
X3 on the wiring harness between the transmission and the TCU under the drivers seat. HIGHLY likely that the seal at the transmission leaked and fluid wicked its way all the way up to the TCU. Quite a common problem that is easily repairable with a $10 plug and a can of electrical connections cleaner...


Ok here's a conclusion to the saga-

I drove my 6.7L cummins dully to Memphis from Pittsburgh with my car hauler trailer, picked up the van and drove it back to Pittsburgh (in a blizzard)

Got the van unloaded and it slipped really bad in 2nd and in reverse.

I went to check the fluid level and discovered the shop that put in the transmission had broken the fill tube very obviously because they forgot to disconnect all the mounting points when swapping transmissions. It broke in such a way that it crushed the tube and the dip stick still had two feet to go in when it reached the crushed part and couldn't go in any further.

I pulled a good tube from one of my parts vans and went to take off the old one. When I pulled out the old one I noticed a thin tree leaf right behind it upright pointing towards the hole where the fill tube goes in. I pulled the leaf out and the tip had transmission fluid on it. This leaf was jammed in the fill tube hole before the tube was inserted. My guess is that they realized they broke the fill tube, had to check to see if there was fluid in the used transmission and the leaf was the best dipstick lying around their shop.

So now this shop put on a used transmission instead of doing what I told them to do (check the harness), broke the fill tube, didn't do a fluid or filter change on the used trans, and stuck a plant part into it.

I used my scanner to clear all the codes and then it stopped slipping and would shift, but would shift really hard from first two second, slip and then slam into gear.

I pulled off the seat cushion and the two torx holding the panel on and unmounted the trans computer. Pulled off the harnesses and low and behold, they were both soaked in oil. I pulled the harnesses apart and the computer out of the plastic housing and used electronics cleaner and shop air to free everything of residual oil. Put it all back together and went for a test drive. Can you believe it it shifts great? Perfectly smooth, no codes. Took me about 3 minutes to diagnose the problem once I had the van in my possession.

Once my fluid change kit from ID parts arrives I can finish the job the shop never should have done in the first place. But I also have to wait until it warms up here. The last place the van was filled was around the Memphis area or somewhere in the south and with the week of 0 degrees here the unwinterized diesel has turned into an ice cube in the tank.

You guys think should sue this shop?


Well-known member
Sue them for what ?
The law requires you to be specific/
Specific performance, or something else?

Of course it begs the question why did you give the work to this shop in the first place?.
Did you have confidence they could do the work?


This "professional" shop probably wanted to get rid of a transmission they had in the back.They didn't care about "honesty" to fix the problem. Quick profit, less work, hell with the customer
2006 2500 118wb standard roof 220,000 fun miles


Formerly Type2Teach
I believe Dennis, while being a bit blunt, is on the right track.
What exactly would you "sue" them for? And -HOW MUCH- are you going to get from it?
Less than $10k? I would pass. I have sued a small auto parts manufacturer and the couple thousand I ended up getting from it wasn't worth all the trouble and work the lawsuit cost me in time and money. And I was my own lawyer. AND I WON.
First of all, before you sue, you have to contact the shop and give them a chance to make good on the work you paid them for that was obviously poorly done.
Take lots of photos. Of everything. Find all the receipts and, if possible, communications you had with them.
To be honest, you just posted what your costs were to repair their extremely poor work: Travel to pick up the van, transport, a few hours at most to repair it.
Did they clearly do a sh!tty job? Yup. Did it cost you? Yup. But I don't think the hassle (and it will be at least a year or two if you are lucky) is worth the amount of money you are able to sue them for. We are talking a couple thousand, at best.
Email them. Call them. Threaten to sue them. Have a lawyer friend or relative send them letters. Report them to the Better Business Bureau. Buy a domain name (less than $20 for a year) with their business name in it so anyone looking for them online will be sent to the page you own and warns potential customers not to do business with them. All of those above suggestions will be way less costly to you in both time and money than a lawsuit.
But paying for a lawyer and actually pursuing a lawsuit is a long, expensive and complicated process that you should avoid, if possible. Especially if the payout isn't going to be that good.
Just my opinion based on my experiences.
Good luck.


I was being kind of facetious when asking if I should sue.

I've actually won four court cases for customers who didn't pay their bills for diesel fuel from the station I own. In those cases I didn't get all my money back even with judgements in my favor. Those were also local cases so the hearing takes place 5 minutes from me at a local magistrate and requires no lawyer because the facts are straight forward- You got a product, you didn't pay.

That being said, what I have setup is tricky. I rent vans to traveling musicians with a contract. That contract states that they must consult me and I must authorize any repair made to the vehicle by a third party. They must also furbish receipts for any repair they pay for in order to take that money off their final bill. This is part of a larger contract that I had drawn up by a lawyer.

In this specific case, when the van broke the first time in Minneapolis the band described to me what happened. They took it to any shop they could find who was willing to work on Sprinters and had time to take them that day (bands on tour have shows every night so missing more than a few in a row ruins a whole tour). I advised the shop on what I thought it was based upon the band's description. Their tech told me he read the codes, cleared them and test drove the van and in his opinion it was the transmission. I said he should check the wiring first, but he said they only would replace the transmission. I would have had them take it to another shop, but the band begged me to let them do the work so they could get on the road again. I said ok because I wasn't there to see how the van was acting myself and left it to the supposedly expert opinion of tdhe shop tech. I also said, "I don't think this is actually going to fix the problem". Also, instead of getting a core charge back, I made them leave the old transmission in the van because I had a hunch it was fine.

The van then started to limp 5 days later. Apparently, the band couldn't find a mechanic to actually look at it more than just clearing the codes and since their tour was done at that point they abandoned the van near Memphis and rented a uhaul to go home.

At that point I reversed the credit card charges for the repair and wrote a laymans description of what happened to the van on company letterhead to my credit card company. So far they refunded all of the bill.

The band lost the physical receipt for the work done and also has not paid me in full for a reduced rental rate based upon missing a few shows on the tour. Technically they have broken the contract and in that case should pay me for the repair (though I don't care since I didn't pay for it) and pay me for my time and costs to travel to pick it up. Since the music scene I operate in is very insular, it will be easy to spread word of the bands negligence and refusal to pay me even what they actually owe and get them blacklisted. In this scenario I should be suing the band for breech of contract and if they want to pursue the shop legally for putting them in danger loosing gear on the freeway and having to rent a uhaul and missing shows that would be their choice.

As for the shop, I know it would be more money than it's worth to sue. A similar issue happened on a previous tour. An alternator was replaced in New York city. The shop bent the alternator bracket, then zip tied the turbo resonator loosely to the bracket and lost the hardware. The van was in limp mode when it came back, so I had to take off the alternator bracket, bend it back into shape and get new hardware for mounting the turbo resonator correctly so it wouldn't leak. On a tour I was actually on a month later, we were passing by and stopped at the shop. I told the mechanic what they did wrong and that I had to essentially do the entire job again because of their negligence. He asked what I wanted and I said to pay me for my time to fix their work. He said they're no way to prove it was him (which is true) and he wasn't going to pay me anything. I told him he was a terrible mechanic and he should be ashamed of his work. That was more important to me than the money.

I have videos and photos of every step of fixing the van and clearly showing what the shop did and how easy it was to actually fix the problem.

At this point I have my old transmission, which is good, as a spare and haven't paid for the new one yet. If the transmission value is $1500, then was $1500 worth driving 29 hours, motel, fuel, etc? Probably not, but at least it's not a giant loss.


Active member
Thank gawd for this forum and its various contributors for making this level of knowledge available. :cheers:

I had my transmission serviced last summer in Calgary at a MB dealer (including the connector, which was leaking) and was able to talk directly with the tech regarding ATF seepage issues. An Italian recently moved from a similar gig in Italy, he was amazed that I was aware of this common problem.

Top Bottom