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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Trans Issue?

Looking for some advice, have an 02 2.7 Intrepid with 187,000. Engine still runs great, but for about the last two weeks, I suspect a transmission problem.

I live on a hill and in the morning, turn right to go up the hill. Granted it's been cold in the mornings, so that might be related. When I turn up, as soon as I'm completely on the road and start speeding up (it's a 55mph road so I need to get up to speed somewhat quickly if traffic is heavy), the RPM's spike but the car doesn't accelerate much, if any. This lasts for about a 1-2 seconds, then it hard shifts, and seems fine after for the rest of the day. I've tried waiting for a large gap in traffic, and crawl out, and try crawling up the hill, but it has had the same problem.

It never seems to do it after I've been driving all day. I'm not sure if it's because the car is warmed up, or because it's warmer outside later in the day.

Trans fluid is at the right level, but it hasn't been changed in 50,000. Should I try getting the fluid change, or would that be a waste if I have to turn around an repair/replace the trans?

Next time I think I'll try warming up the car for about 15 minutes and see if it makes any difference.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 09:14 AM
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My first down shift every morning is always late. After that, no problems.

Drip some fluid on a white piece of paper or paper towel. Does it look clear and red or muddy and dark?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 12:33 PM
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I've read that there is a check valve that keeps fluid in the torque converter that can start leaking down, and when that happens, it needs to run a little for the pump to refill the TC after startup. That has been offered as an explanation of why it might be slow going into either drive or reverse when you first start it up, so I'm thinking it could explain what you're seeing too.

Are you like jumping in, starting it, and then taking off right away, or do you let the engine run for 20 seconds or so before putting it in gear?


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, it actually stopped having the problem after I posted this, but now its come back. I think the reason is temperature in the morning. Back when I had this problem, it was cold in the mornings, right about the freezing mark. Then it warmed up for a few weeks 50-60's, now it's cold again and the problem is back. In fact, it's colder now 20's in the morning, and the problem is worse.

I have a remote start, and when I start it in the morning, and let it run for 20 minutes, it makes no difference.

Also, i back out of my spot, and it shifts into reverse there fine. Then I shift into drive and drive to the end of the driveway, also fine. It's after I pull out the problem happens. Today I tried an experiment, drove to the end of the driveway (which is a slight downslope), before pulling up the hill. I shifted from Drive to Reverse, took my foot off the brake, and the car rolled forward, shifted back into drive, then into reverse, and reverse engaged. I then pulled onto the hill, same problem as normal -- wouldn't shift up, and car essentially feels like it's in neutral for about 2-3 seconds, then engages and the rest of the day I don't have a problem.

Trans fluid looks good when dripped onto paper as suggested.

Thanks for any advice!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 04:54 PM
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Regarding, the drive/reverse mix-up quirk, mine did that after sitting for a week. I put it into drive and it when I went to take off it reversed. Sounds similar to what you are describing, and could be what Peva is referring to with the fluid draining out of the torque converter.

I would change the fluid and filter; even if it doesn't help the problem it will shift better in general.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 05:31 PM
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Try putting some Lucas Trans. treatment in it!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 06:38 PM
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I would just replace with straight ATF +4 and save the Lucas as a last resort. Has anyone used the Lucas on their LH?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 10:50 PM
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I have used it with no problems, and took the car on vacation from Wisconsin to Virginia!
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