Idle fluctuates in PARK

01-21-2016, 12:04 AM
I bought my mother this car and the idle fluctuates from idle up to 1100 rpm whenever the transmission shift lever is in 'park'

With the shifter in neutral the idle holds steady at 750 (or whatever it is).

The car drives fine in all gears.......the idle fluctuation only happens while in 'park'.

2002 Chrysler Sebring Convertible Limited.
Automatic transmission
70,000 miles.
No other problems.

No obd codes.
02-11-2016, 10:16 PM
Pull the idle air control valve and clean it out with "brake cleaner".
It is located at the top of the aluminum housing that bolts to the intake manifold right next to the rubber hose coming from the air cleaner.


02-22-2016, 08:44 AM
I did clean the IAC valve which did not reduce the idle fluctuation problem.

The problem is inside the transmission. Something called "Shift Range Indicator". I took the car to a transmission shop and let them check out the car.

Thier conclusion was that the shift range indicator (an electrical switch) inside the transmission is out of ("electrical") alignment with the PARK/BRAKE shift release mechanism in the center console of the car. :confused: I guess both pieces are supposed to send info to the PCM at the same time.

They started the car (with me looking on) and one of the workers popped the shift cable off the transmission soon as the cable came off the trans lever, that lever moved a slight fraction of an inch and the engine began idling like it is supposed to. Nice and smooth.

So basically I need to replace the shift cable so that the transmission lever can move fully into its PARK indentation (detent) inside the actual transmission. The electrical piece inside the transmission is also responsible for lighting up the PRND321 in the guage cluster.

UPDATE: I replaced the shift cable and everything is working fine again. With the new cable the shifter handle feels really solid where-as before, it felt a little sloppy.

02-22-2016, 08:52 AM
Here's a picture of a similar car......everything looks IDENTICAL except the car I bought for my mother has a dark blue cover for the convertible (called a boot).......oh, and my moms car only has 70,000 miles on it!!!!!!!!! I paid $500 for the car. The previous owner had BMW's and Porches...he bought this car for his kid so she could get back and forth from high school, but the spoiled brat had to have a BMW instead. :iceslolan
02-22-2016, 10:59 AM
I'm glad you got it fixed, AND posted the solution for those who follow !

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