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  • The transmission had numerous quality issues, chief of which was this P0741 error, and
  • Higher-geared, more fuel efficient transmission options became available

P0741 Diagnosis and Repair

The P0741 indicates an electrical fault and often means that the torque converter clutch (TCC) pulse width modulation (PWM) solenoid is shorted out and/or no longer working. This happens when the powertrain control module (PCM) over-stimulates the TCC PWM solenoid over time.

This over-stimulation occurs when the PCM is trying to compensate for a loss of seal in the channel plate, which causes a loss of the fluid pressure used to engage the converter clutch. The loss of pressure leads to slippage, and the car’s computer over-works the TCC PWM solenoid to compensate for the issue. The driver may notice a slight loss of power between gear shifts, “clunky” or abrupt shifting, and perhaps a slight grinding when gears are temporarily missed.

As you can reason from the explanation above, replacing the TCC PWM solenoid is only a temporary patch (at best) for the real problem, which is ruptured seals inside the transmission.

If these seals are not repaired, this problem could eventually lead to complete transmission failure as the fluid overheats and breaks down, losing viscosity and thus lubrication capability. It’s more cost effective in the long run to repair the transmission now rather than later.

Unfortunately, this problem is not a simple fix and requires transmission removal and partial dis-assembly to repair. This is type of transmission repair is generally beyond the knowledge level of the average do-it-yourself home mechanic, and is probably best managed by an experienced transmission repair technician.

Author Jason Lancaster has experienced transmission failure first hand on two separate occasions, both of which left a dent in his wallet. Jason works with GMPartsOnline.net, a company that sells genuine GM rebuilt/replacement transmissions at deep discounts, and (as of this writing) free shipping is available. Learn more here.

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