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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I just bought a 2015 500e with 51,000 miles and within 2 days the "Service PRND!" light was on. I rebooted the car by disconnecting the 12V battery as I saw in a thread here, crossing my fingers that it was a temporary glitch that wouldn't come back. It came back within 2 days. I checked my VIN on the NHTSA website: there are no unperformed recalls. So I ordered an OBD2 adapter according to the instructions on another thread so I can get more informative error codes. (Some of these threads are really useful!) While I'm waiting for the adapter arrive, how much should I be freaking out? What are some likely causes?

More details: just before the "Service PRND!" message comes on, there is a "Service Electrical System" message. That disappears when the "Service PRND!" message comes on and stays on.
 

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I rebooted the car by disconnecting the 12V.. It came back within 2 days.. how much should I be freaking out? What are some likely causes?
I'd say if possible try a 30-HOUR 12V disconnect, since someone else here had luck with that after 30 seconds didn't work, but you shouldn't be freaking out very much, since you don't mention any actual problems, just the warning of a problem, which is probably just an electronic glitch.

I get more glitches requiring power disconnect on my DVR, blueray, & Kureg, all of which are much newer than my Fiat, which sometimes needs a quick key cycle, sometimes a full key shut-down (til the screen goes totally black), & once in 5 years needed a 30-second 12V disconnect.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Does this happen at all times? Does the car exhibit any symptoms beyond this message?
After a reboot, I can drive a day or so (5-10 miles?) before the message comes back. The message does not go away unless I reboot. No other symptoms.
 

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I'd say if possible try a 30-HOUR 12V disconnect, but you shouldn't be freaking out very much, since you don't mention any actual problems, just the warning of a problem, which is probably just an electronic glitch.

I get more of those with my DVR, blueray, & Kureg, all of which are much newer than my Fiat, which sometimes needs a quick key cycle, sometimes a full key shut-down (til the screen goes totally black), & once in 14k miles needed a 30-second 12V disconnect.
30 hr disconnect huh? Where did this new golden nugget come from?

After a reboot, I can drive a day or so (5-10 miles?) before the message comes back. The message does not go away unless I reboot. No other symptoms.
There’s another thread with a lot of good suggestions, maybe around parking prawl on this same forum
 

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I don't normally care much about little typos, but the search field probably does: I'm pretty sure it's "pawl" (no "r").

I believe the 30-hour 12V disconnect experiment wasn't exactly intentional. 30 seconds hadn't worked, so the user was going for an hour or more & then ended up leaving it off until the next day, by which time the error was corrected. Maybe someone could try 1 hour, then 2, 6, 12... to determine the minimum for such errors that aren't resolved in 30 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, my OBD2 bluetooth adapter arrived. Meanwhile, I had reset the 500e yesterday by disconnecting the 12V battery one more time. The "Service PRND!" message has not appeared since then. When I get into alfaOBD, I see about a dozen functions, each with about a dozen controllers I could connect to. I checked a few with names that looked promising, but didn't see any faults. Are there specific things I should look at, or is it better to I wait for "Service PRND!" to come back on? If/when that does happen, will alfaOBD tell me straight up what is happening, or will I have to hunt through all these functions and controllers?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, my OBD2 bluetooth adapter arrived. Meanwhile, I had reset the 500e yesterday by disconnecting the 12V battery one more time. The "Service PRND!" message has not appeared since then. When I get into alfaOBD, I see about a dozen functions, each with about a dozen controllers I could connect to. I checked a few with names that looked promising, but didn't see any faults. Are there specific things I should look at, or is it better to I wait for "Service PRND!" to come back on? If/when that does happen, will alfaOBD tell me straight up what is happening, or will I have to hunt through all these functions and controllers?
I should clarify that I got the demo version of alfaOBD.
 

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OK, my OBD2 bluetooth adapter arrived. Meanwhile, I had reset the 500e yesterday by disconnecting the 12V battery one more time. The "Service PRND!" message has not appeared since then. When I get into alfaOBD, I see about a dozen functions, each with about a dozen controllers I could connect to. I checked a few with names that looked promising, but didn't see any faults. Are there specific things I should look at, or is it better to I wait for "Service PRND!" to come back on? If/when that does happen, will alfaOBD tell me straight up what is happening, or will I have to hunt through all these functions and controllers?
You’ll have to look at each different module, good luck and report back!
 

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Have you seen this thread?

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have you seen this thread?

Yes, but I have none of the other symptoms described there, just the "Service PRND" message. Not the extreme version of the message that says "continue driving do not shift or turn off vehicle until you reach a desired location. You may not be able to shift again to D until serviced", and no problems shifting or driving.
 

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I rebooted the car by disconnecting the 12V battery... It came back within 2 days... just before the "Service PRND!" message comes on, there is a "Service Electrical System"
It seems to be about 2 days again now, so I wonder if the error message came back, & if not, what was different about the last reboot that made it work.

It would be nice to know if maybe when a 30-second 12V disconnect doesn't work, maybe even 1 hour isn't needed, just 1 minute, or maybe 2, or 5 or 30 minutes, but at least not 30 HOURS! (I think the 1st report of the latter working was actually more like 18 or 24 hours)
 

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It seems to be about 2 days again now, so I wonder if the error message came back, & if not, what was different about the last reboot that made it work.

It would be nice to know if maybe when a 30-second 12V disconnect doesn't work, maybe even 1 hour isn't needed, just 1 minute, or maybe 2, or 5 or 30 minutes, but at least not 30 HOURS! (I think the 1st report of the latter working was actually more like 18 or 24 hours)
Still stuck, buddy? I have info.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was waiting to see if the longer disconnect really cleared the error in a way that the shorter disconnect did not. I have some data now:

--first 30-60 disconnect: error cleared, but came back in 2 days
--second 30-60 disconnect: error cleared, but came back in 1 day
--90-minute disconnect: error cleared, but came back in 8 days

I suppose one could conclude "longer disconnect = longer reprieve" but with so few data points this could also be due to variability in whatever factors are causing the error. Now that the car is displaying the error, I plan to read it with alfaOBD tonight.
 

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Hi. We have one car with the error, as of last week, two without. I think the plan is to remove a good parking pawl motor and put it in the other vehicle. See what happens.

In the past, it seemed like the issue was with the connector.

If this doesn't work, I guess we will shoot it over to the Dealer, but I think they already said they don't know how to fix it, except replace the whole gearbox.

Sorry for the delay. there is some more background info in the thread where I was looking for scrapped 500es.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks. My update is that when I got home yesterday I was not able to put it into park. At that moment the P, R, N, D, lights all turned on and stayed on. So now my symptoms ARE just like those in this thread: https://www.fiat500owners.com/threads/service-prnd-unable-to-press-any-shift-button.64753/ and I will be posting over there. (Those who suggested I check out that thread were prescient!) Thanks for your tip to check out the connector. That's buried early in the other thread and I had forgotten about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What about the obd scan? Did i miss that?
Sorry, forgot to add that it was P1640 like in the other thread (not sure why the other thread has 2 extra zeros). That helped convince me that the other thread discussed the same problem. But in reviewing that thread, now I see that for the original poster there the problem was a broken wire/bad connection, while for a later contributor they just had to manually adjust the parking pawl position once and everything reset. My car seems to behave more like the OP in that thread.
 

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Sorry, forgot to add that it was P1640 like in the other thread (not sure why the other thread has 2 extra zeros). That helped convince me that the other thread discussed the same problem. But in reviewing that thread, now I see that for the original poster there the problem was a broken wire/bad connection, while for a later contributor they just had to manually adjust the parking pawl position once and everything reset. My car seems to behave more like the OP in that thread.
Looks like a very generic error. Just curious if you tried clearing it, and what did the car do/not do at the time, did it come back right away?
 
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