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When the CEL shows, an error has been detected by the engine or transmission management system.
In your case, the problem shouod be a problem in the trans control system. When an error has been detected, the PCM would go into limp mode if it is a major fault. This would explain why it is stuck in 3rd gear.
Turning the engine off would allow the PCM to reset itself temporarily till it encounters the problem and then it would go into limp mode again.
Quite often problems like this are caused by sensor failure. If internal components are faulty, it could cause slipping in geasrs and this in turn would cause the PCM to go into limp mode as well.
To understand what is wrong, get a scan done at your local Autozone or parts outlets, they provide free scans. Let me know the exact Diagnostic Trouble Code and we shall see what needs to be done.
Sunday, May 17th, 2009 AT 2:23 AM