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Hello, I need help with a 04 Kia Rio. It’s an automatic transmission. The transmission is stuck in third gear “failsafe”. It had a PO707 “Transmission Range Sensor A circuit low Input” code, and I replaced the Range Sensor and cleared all the codes. The Range Sensor code is now gone and now new codes have been set after a 20 minute drive. The trans is still stuck in third gear though. I can manually run the gears up, but it will not go into overdrive. I also noticed that when I put it into drive the D light on the gauge cluster does not come on. When I put it into low 1 the 1 light comes on about half the time, the other half the time it doesn’t come on either. PRN, and 2 all light up as they should. I suspect this might be related to my issue, perhaps the PCM does not realize the car is in drive. I’ve been reading other threads and the speed sensor is often to blame when the trans is in failsafe mode.

Here are my four questions:
Are the speed sensors a pretty good bet?
Are there two speed sensors on the Rio, Input and Output, or just one?
Where is/are the speed sensors located? Next to each other on top of the trans?
Should I grab a TCM if I go to the junkyard and where is it located?
Do you think the D light not lighten up could be related or a symptom? Or just a coincidence?

I’m fixing this car for a 70 year old grandma I know from work that has zero dollars to spend on parts. I’ve already thrown about $200 of my own money at this car trying to make it safe for her to drive. I’ll buy what’s necessary but don’t want to throw parts at it and cross my fingers. Before I started working on it the car was unsafe in many regards. If I can get this problem fixed it’ll be ready for her I hope. If anyone is interested I can go through the list of problems this car had, it’s pretty awful that someone had to drive around in such a profoundly unsafe car.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your help.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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That's what I thought also Ron... The range switch may be out of alignment and still "in" on the "center" positions...where the position may not be as critical.
If the range switch is "out" the tranny will go into "fault"/3rd gear mode.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yes, great info on that site, I didn't see any special allignment instructions. if you have any tips let me know. P, R, N, and 2 all work as they should.

41. Install transaxle range switch.
A. Turn manual shaft to N position.
B. Install transaxle range switch.
C. Tighten transaxle range switch mounting bolts.
Tightening torque:
70~95 Ib·in (7.9~10.7 N·m, 80~110 kg·cm)
D. Verify that the selector lever range position and transaxle range switch correspond.

troubleshooting from that site helps, here is there list of things to check for similar symptoms
1. Selector lever installation or adjustment incorrect
2. Input/turbine speed sensor malfunction
3. Vehicle speed sensor malfunction
4. Throttle position sensor malfunction or misadjusted
5. Transaxle range switch worn or maladjusted
6. Line pressure low
7. Linear solenoid valve malfunction
8. O/D switch malfunction
9. Shift solenoid valve (A, B, C) malfunction
10. TCM malfunction
11. Control valve stuck
12. Powertrain damaged (forward clutch, 3-4 clutch, 2-4 band, one-way clutch 1)
 

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2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
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Did you get it fixed? Make sure the switch and the mark's on the tranny line up for each gear selection if not keep at it. if they do look for a wiring issue check the schematics on the kia site to help. Also i know you don't have money to throw at it BUT when was the timing belt replaced last you can do all this work and if the timming belt breaks say good buy to your engine or at least lot's of money to get it fixed it is an interferance engine. If you get the car back in shape that would be the first thing to get done ASAP Good luck. Reguard's Ronjohn
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks not yet, I'm going to make sure the tcm is reset then test again. I read if you remove both battery cables and clip them together that will ensure everything gets reset. Then if the issue is still present I'm going to the junkyard and grabbing both speed sensors and another range sensor, then swap them in one at a time. Past that it's going to the shop. Thanks for the tip on the timing belt. What is the service interval on that? The car’s at 106k. I can look it up but if you know offhand.
 

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2012 Kia Soul+, Kia Sportage SX FWD
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I would drop the pan and change the transmission filter. Those trannys seem to like lots of maintenance and run really hot (fluid up to 300 degrees....not kidding) and I hear if you skip the maintenance they quit at quite a young age. If I remember correctly the filter is to be changed every 30K miles?? Double check me , but low line press, is one possible cause and a clogged up filter will do that. They are very small. I did mine (2004 ) awhile back when I owned it, and all the bolts are accessible except one which needs the cross member dropped slightly. Not too hard to do actually... Be sure and use the right fluid it doesn't hold much. Might buy some time down the road even if it isn't the cause of the code...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the advice, I'll put that on my list of things to do on this car as well. I'll update once I have a chance to work on it. thanks again all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here is an update for anyone troubleshooting a similar problem in the future. I changed both speed sensors. One of the speed sensors is under the battery tray but removable without removing the tray which looks like a PITA to remove. The other speed sensor is NOT on top of the transmission but on the back side of the engine toward the bottom, not hard to get too though. The problem remains. I tried another range sensor, no help. Today I changed the transmission fluid and filter, still no good. I had to give the car back to the grandma broken as I am out of ideas and she needs it back.

When I put the car into drive the D light on the indicator does NOT light up, also the low 1 does not light up either. A few times the 1 low light has lit up and the car went into first gear. I think the lights in the indicator are a symptom of the problem. As it’s not the range sensor and not a range sensor misalignment I’m stumped. Maybe a wiring circuit problem or a TCM issue?
 

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2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
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I would think the indicator light's should light up if the range switch is correct. Think like i do it's only a switch if it's made the light should light up. If it doesn't the switch is bad or not lined up and if it isn't the TCM won't know what to do. What you could do is use kia tech schematics and check the switch out with a meter and some test clips and verify the switch is working in all posisitions. it could be your cable is a little sloppy. I looked at the 04 schematics on kia tech the switch feed's the TCM and the light's on your panel. Check it out good and also check the connections. Best of luck with it
 

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Discussion Starter #11
you are right I need to run through the switch troubleshooting on the tech info. it is the third switch though so probaby wiring. thanks again Ron.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
it finally set new codes, p0707 p1500 and P1529. I think it's a wiring problem between the speedo and PCM, so I'm going to poke around under the dash.
 

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Ok, old thread but I searched all over found lot's of people with tranny's stuck in 3rd grar "limp mode" and not one solved thread. It happened to me in my 2006 optima and the ultimate culprit was...wait for it...A MOUSE. The little Fu__er had chewed through 2 tiny little ground wires that bolt to the driver's side fender near the battery. They come out of the wiring bundle that goes to the headlight assembly.
 

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2001 KIA Sportage 4x4 automatic
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My Sportage was stuck in third. Hold light was also flashing. Turned out the hold button on the shifter was shorted. I un-plugged the button's wire under the center console and the problem went away.
 

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2005 Kia Rio
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2005 Kia Rio , Could a TPS cause this? Mine only coast in drive -all other gears work except Drive and the D indicator light does not come on. My TPS Test bad but would it cause the D light to go off and to now only coast. I cleaned the throttle body with crc throttle cleaner.
 
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