Transmission shift problems - looking for ideas -

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Transmission shift problems - looking for ideas


Old 10-04-2014, 08:56 PM
spiral72 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Default Transmission shift problems - looking for ideas

Hey, I'm researching a problem that just started with my 95 Intrepid 3.3L. Maybe someone can give me insight.

314,000 miles. I change the trans fluid every ~35k miles. Original trans (never rebuilt)
I have a code 12 and code 33 blinked out on the dash, battery disconnected in the last.... and A/C relay circuit. The relay has been a problem for about three weeks. I have been too lazy to fix it.

The trans started shuddering on the 2-3 shift about 1 week ago.... doesn't slip in any gear though. Today I drove her, the transmission downshifted from 4th to 2nd under light throttle at 50mph which lurched the car forward and spooled the motor up. I bumped it into neutral immediately and rolled for 1/2 mile, back into drive to crawl the next hill.... It locked in 2nd gear "limp" mode until I was able to pull over and restart the car clearing limp mode. This happened once more on the way home. During the trip I give it 3/4 pedal up a hill, no slip. The next hill I pushed it to the floor, the transmission did NOT downshift at 55mph so I tried it one more time at 45mph but still no down shift...... no slipping either.

This leads me to believe the transmission isn't toast, but there is a control problem somewhere. I'm a very conservative driver so I have no idea how long it's been since the trans wouldn't downshift.

The fluid is red, topped off Valvoline ATF +4, smells and looks just like it should though it's due for another change soon.

I do not have any speedo problems, electrical or other problems. The engine runs perfectly. I changed a bad crank sensor about 1000 miles ago which was the first time the car has left me stranded.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:43 PM
spiral72 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 73

I found this which contains a lot of potentially helpful information. It might be helpful to me or someone else:

Still looking for a way to diagnose this thing without throwing money at it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:23 PM
spiral72 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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No takers?

I disconnected the battery. Tomorrow morning will be near 40hrs. I also remember if you turn the ignition switch to start for 30 seconds it resets the computer. Maybe that's not even for this car I dunno. It seems to work on my 99 Ram though.

So it'll either make a difference which means the problem was programming, or it won't and that means it's not, or this routine did not reset the TCM or ECU. I also read about a clogged hydraulic screen or something, or a new solenoid pack... Either way I'll have to go back and read it if I decide to go that route.

I've disregarded incorrect fluid (even though I know it's not), cause it's been the same for about 30k miles, and incorrect filter which is supposed to be a possibility.... also 30k miles ago. There seems to be two speed sensors though I'm not positive...... all other systems work which would likely rule that out. I changed a bad speed sensor on my truck which kept it in 1st gear (not second gear).

We'll see
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:29 PM
spiral72 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 73

If anyone is interested:

I'm not a big fan of miracle fixes in a bottle, however after two shops told me the transmission needed an overhaul ($1300 and $1250) I added a bottle of LubeGuard. Whoopie.

I immediately noticed a difference, the transmission kinda squishes into the next gear instead of a clean shift. Ten miles later it dropped into 2nd gear "limp" at about 30mph, so it wasn't quite as exciting that time. I still don't have any error codes. No big disappointment really cause I didn't expect much from the $11 bottle of red pancake syrup.

I swear the trans is fine.... it's a control problem somehow. A plugged solenoid screen or..... something. A solenoid pack is $260 from NAPA.... a bit pricey to shotgun parts with.
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