You aren't going to find broken parts by removing the transmission pan.
Defaulting to second gear and staying there is "limp mode" which allows you to drive slowly to a repair shop without needing a tow truck. Once it goes to limp mode there will be a diagnostic fault code in the Transmission Computer identifying the circuit or system with a problem that needs further diagnosis. It's important to not disconnect the battery or let it run dead, and to not disconnect the computer. Doing either will erase the code(s) and you'll lose that valuable information.
A simple trick to finding a short is to replace the blown fuse with a pair of spade terminals, then use small jumper wires to connect them to a 12 volt light bulb. A brake light bulb works well. When the circuit is live and the short is present, the bulb will be full brightness and hot so be sure it's not laying on the carpet or against a plastic door panel. Now you can unplug electrical connectors and move things around to see what makes the short go away. When it does, the bulb will get dim or go out.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 AT 12:45 AM