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On a 2004 3 S with a 2.3L engine, 4 speed automatic, on Friday the car suddenly refused to keep moving in 4th gear and the AT light appeared. The car will drive in 1-3 to about 20 mph, but when it states that it shifted into 4th it basically does not engage the powertrain. There was a pending P0772 engine code, which is listed as solenoid E stuck open. So, I installed a new filter and solenoid E, and cleared the code, but the car drives as before. I only had the car a few wees, so I discovered the transmission fluid was black. After droppiing the pan twice, removing old fluid and adding back new fluid, the color is light red. Also, no new codes were present, although the AT light again lit up.

Btw I checked the solenoid I replaced and it read 15.9 ohms, within spec. I checked 4 out of the 5 solenoids and they were all within spec.

So the question is how to analyze further and determine whether it is a mechanical failure or perhaps an electrical problem-- this model lacks a TCM so perhaps the PCM?
 
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