What is OBD-II Code P07AB – Transmission Friction Element E Stuck On

The transmission is a critical component of any car or vehicle. It is responsible for shifting gears to transfer power to the wheels to move the car. The modern transmission relies on a complex system of gears, hydraulics, and electronic controls. These controls are responsible for regulating the transmission’s performance and keeping it running smoothly. One critical aspect of this control system is the Transmission Friction Element (TFE). In this article, we will be discussing the OBD-II Code P07AB and the Transmission Friction Elements (TFE) to understand what it means when the code appears on your car’s diagnostic system.

What is OBD-II Code P07AB – Transmission Friction Element E Stuck On?

The On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system of a car is an electronic system designed to monitor various systems in the vehicle, including the engine, transmission, and emissions. It is a computer-based system that diagnoses and identifies any problems in the car and identifies the fault codes for any problems found.

OBD-II Code P07AB is a diagnostic trouble code that appears on the vehicle’s OBD-II system when the computer detects an issue with the Transmission Friction Element (TFE) E. This code indicates that the transmission’s clutch pack is remaining in its engaged state even when the sensor signals to release the clutch.

The TFE is used by the automatic transmission to adjust the clutch’s timing and how quickly it engages or disengages. This element plays a crucial role in the shifting process, and if it fails, the transmission’s performance may be affected. When the TFE E is stuck in the engaged position, this can cause the transmission to be locked into a specific gear, leading to jerky movements or dangerous driving situations.

What Causes the OBD-II Code P07AB – Transmission Friction Element E Stuck On?

The OBD-II Code P07AB has a few possible causes, some of which may be easily detected by a car mechanic, while others could require a more technical approach. Here are some of the most common causes:

1) Faulty Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor – this sensor is responsible for regulating the transmission fluid pressure, and if it is not working correctly, it can cause the TFE to engage incorrectly, leading to the code.

2) Short Circuit in the Transmission Control Module – the transmission control module (TCM) is an electronic component that controls the transmission’s operation. If there is a short circuit in the TCM, it can produce the code.

3) Failed TFE E component – The friction element within the automatic transmission can sometimes fail or become damaged, causing it to remain stuck in an engaged state.

4) Wiring Issues – There could be Failure in the wiring and the connectors that are responsible for delivering the signal to the TFE.

How to Repair OBD-II Code P07AB – Transmission Friction Element E Stuck On

Repairing the P07AB code will depend on the cause of the problem. As mentioned earlier, this code could be caused by a malfunction in the TCM, the pressure sensor, a failed TFE E component, or wiring issues. Therefore, professional diagnosis by an expert mechanic is crucial for a comprehensive fix.

Here are some of the possible repairs that a mechanic might recommend:

1) Replace the Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor – if the sensor is faulty or broken, it cannot control the fluid pressure, leading to incorrect engagement of the TFE. Replacing this sensor can fix the problem.

2) Check the wiring and connectors – Sometimes, wiring issues cause the OBD-II Code P07AB to appear. Mechanics will inspect the wiring harness, sensors, and connectors for any signs of damage or loose connections

3) Replace the TFE E component – If the TFE E element has failed, then it will need to be replaced. This process, in most cases, will require that the transmission be removed and disassembled.

4) Repair the Transmission Control Module – Depending on how severe the short circuit in the TCM is, repairing this component may involve either replacing a simple fuse or conducting major electrical work.

Case Study

Suppose a driver realizes that their automatic vehicle isn’t shifting gears as smoothly as it usually does. In that case, they may go to an auto repair shop or use an OBD-II scanner to read the code causing the trouble. If the scanner shows the P07AB code, there is a high chance that the TFE E component has failed or has a problem.

In this scenario, a mechanic would inspect the car’s transmission fluid level and check for leaks. Then, they would examine the wiring harness, connectors, and circuit to ensure they are correctly connected and free from any damage. After evaluating these components, a mechanic would most likely realize that the friction element has failed and recommend replacing it to fix the problem.


1) What is a Transmission Friction Element (TFE)?

A Transmission Friction Element, or TFE, is a component within the transmission system that is responsible for controlling the timing and speed of the clutch’s engagement and disengagement process.

2) What causes the OBD-II Code P07AB – Transmission Friction Element E Stuck On?

The P07AB code may be caused by a failure or malfunction within one of the sensors or electronic components responsible for regulating the transmission.

3) What damage can be caused by the transmission being locked in gear?

When the transmission is locked in gear, it can cause jerky movements and even dangerous driving situations. It can also cause significant wear on the transmission system, leading to further damage or costly repairs.

4) How much does it cost to replace a TFE element?

The cost of replacing a TFE element will depend on the make and model of your car and the specialist’s labor and parts required. On average, replacement costs for the TFE element range from $800 to $1500.

5) How often should I check my transmission system?

It is essential to check the transmission fluid level regularly and replace as needed, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. In some cases, checking the transmission system once annually is sufficient. However, if you are experiencing issues such as strange noises, slipping gears, or strange smells, a more urgent inspection may be necessary.


The OBD-II Code P07AB is a diagnostic code that appears on the vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostic system when the computer detects an issue with the car’s TFE E element. If you notice your car jerking or if you are experiencing other troubles shifting gears, it is necessary to get your car checked frequently. To avoid costly repairs, preventive maintenance in the form of being proactive about your vehicle’s health is recommended identifying a component failure before it fails. A professional mechanic expert can conduct a thorough diagnosis and recommend the appropriate repair based on the fault code.

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