What Does the Engine Code P0944 Mean?

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If your car is showing the P0944 engine code, there is a loss of pressure in your hydraulic pressure unit. This is an extremely serious issue and should be diagnosed immediately. If not, your car won’t move as the transmission will not engage.
Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) help identify problems that your car engine is having. While an OBD-II code reader allows you to see which codes are active, you’ll need to understand what the different engine codes mean to evaluate the problem and find the solution. 
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What does the engine code P0944 mean?

Definition: Loss of hydraulic pressure unit prime (loss of pressure)
The P0944 engine code indicates a problem with your car’s hydraulic pressure unit losing pressure, which is vital for providing hydraulic pressure to the motors, cylinders, and other parts of the hydraulic system. 
This code is most commonly used by Dodge and Jeep vehicles as well as in some Volkswagen vehicles.

How much will it cost to fix?

Running a diagnostic for the P0944 will cost one hour of labor, which will come out to $75 to $150 per hour.

What can cause the P0944 engine code?

If your car is showing the P0944 engine code, there may be a faulty component in the transmission hydraulic pressure unit or pump which is causing a significant drop in pressure.
The hydraulic pressure unit includes a motor, fluid reservoir, and a pump to form a self-contained unit. The unit applies hydraulic pressure to drive the motors, cylinders, and other parts of the hydraulic system.
Other potential issues that could cause this engine code include: 
  • Transmission fluid is low
  • Failure of the transmission pump
  • Blockage in a transmission fluid channel
  • Transmission cooler return filter is loose
  • Main regulator valve is stuck
  • Transmission filter or seal is cracked or incorrectly installed 

Common symptoms of the P0944 engine code

You may not see many symptoms accompanying this engine code other than the check engine light turning on. Other potential signs to watch for include: 
  • Delayed transmission shift
  • Transmission not shifting at all

How serious is the P0944 engine code? 

The P0944 engine code is very serious and should be dealt with immediately since it is a transmission-related issue. Without fixing the problem, your car may be unable to move at all since the transmission is unable to engage.  

Can I fix the P0944 engine code myself?

It may be possible to fix the P0944 engine code at home, but you must diagnose the issue correctly before beginning any repairs. Depending on the source of the problem, you may need to: 
  • Replace a faulty pump
  • Replace a damaged or clogged transmission filter
  • Replace a damaged internal seal and topping off fluid
  • Refill the transmission fluid
Incorrectly performing these fixes could lead to high repair costs. If you’re not sure what repairs your car needs, it’s a good idea to bring it to a professional for a thorough diagnostic inspection and repairs.

Repairing the hydraulic pressure unit

If you do decide to repair the P0944 code yourself, you’ll need to follow these steps: 
  • Identify the correct parts and transmission fluid your vehicle takes
  • Inspect the hydraulic pump unit to find any damaged components. Run the engine for a few minutes before checking the transmission fluid levels with the dipstick
  • Disconnect the car battery before any repairs
  • Clean the clogged transmission filter with disc brake cleaner and use a toothbrush to dislodge any particles stuck to the filter
  • Refill the transmission fluid through the dipstick hole until it reaches thewarm” line

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