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Davo
Davo, Master technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  ASE Master Technician/Advanced Automotive Diagnostic Technician
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000 original miles..Its a 4 cyl..automatic

Customer Question

This was my mom's car and she took extremely good care of it, and it still has only 80,000 original miles. It's a 4 cyl. automatic. She never had any problems with it and no signs of the transmission going out like slipping or noises, etc. Then she loaned it to my sister who lived on a dirt road (dusty red clay).After a few days, it all of a sudden won't go over 20 mph, like it wouldn't shift into higher gears or something. Someone told me they had the exact same car and it did the same thing, and all they had to do was change the filter on the transmission and that fixed it. Does anyone know if it could be something that simple that would cause it to act like that or could the transmission have just gone out that quick with no warning?? Also, my mom passed away 2 yrs ago and her car has just been sitting in my yard because I couldn't bring myself to drive it or sell it. I've decided I need to fix it and get it running because she's probably looking down at me and upset that her little car is just wasting away. What steps should I take to get her car going again?? Should I change the oil,gas and water before I even attempt to start it??Or do you think I've ruined it by letting it sit for 2 yrs??
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Joe Barcus replied 11 years ago.
in behind the modulator valve theres a shaft that sometimes gets rust on it remove the modulator valve pull the pin clean it up and try it. if that dont do it than its deeper inside.
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
 A modulator valve will not give those symptoms. Even in first gear, the car will go as high as 40-50 MPH
Expert:  Joe Barcus replied 11 years ago.
yes if you want to burn your transmission up. is it a fact that it wont go over 20mph or maybe thats where they the owner is holding back???
Expert:  jon_050 replied 11 years ago.

 Aprox how much gas is in the tank?


 

Expert:  Davo replied 11 years ago.
 I'll tell you what I would do.I would drain the gas tank and fill it up with fresh gas.Change the fuel filter and air filter.The air filter may be completely clogged from the dusty clay road at your sisters house if it was a little dirty before she borrowed the car.A tune up with new plugs,wires,cap and rotor are suggested also.If these maintenence repairs don't repair the problem have the exhaust systm checked for excessive back pressure at an exhaust shop.An oil change wouldn't hurt after sitting all that time either.On a safety note if the car has been sitting for 2 years a thorough safety inspection should be done on the brakes,suspension,lights,wipers,horn,exhaust and steering systems.Brakes tend to get frozen from being parked and brake hoses rot as do the steel lines.Corrosion may form inside the master cylinder,wheel cylinders and calipers causing problems down the road.I tell you this up front so you can assess the value of the car to you before beginning this venture.Money may pile up quickly attempting to get the car road ready.I wouldn't even consider a transmission problem until the other issues are addressed.It feels like the transmission is bad when you have a clogged air filter,fuel filter or exhaust(catalytic convertor).This none of my buisiness but I think your mom would understand if you sold or drove the car.In fact she would probably want you to do something with it instead of it rotting away with no one getting any use from it.Good luck in whatever you decide to do it isn't easy losing a parent.I know because both of mine have passed away.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: I want to thank everybody fo their replies an apologize for not answering. My computer locked up and was beyond repair. I have just gotten new computer so this is one of the first things I'm doing is to thank everybody. Two days ago, we did and oil change , new plugs and wires and it started right up. It smoked some at first but hardly at all now. my son drove down the road and could get it over 20 maybe up to 30 or 40 mph, but it just wouldn't shift into a higher gear even though it sounded like it wanted to. I have decided to give my mom's car to my son, it's what she would have wanted anyways because he was so good to her during her illness. So I'm going to go check my other replies, but if anybody has info on what we've found out, I would greatly appreciate it........Thanks Again to Everybody !!!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joe Barcus's Post: I wrote a reply a to why I haven't been on here. But also wanted to let you know that my son is going to try what you said and I'll let you know if that worked. Thank you.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joe Barcus's Post: I just read your other answer. We got the car running and it will go over 20, it will go as fast you you want but only in the lower gear and I don't ant to blow anything up by winding the motor too high. It sounds like it wants to shift into a higher gear but it just won't. It drives fine in reverse and at low speed. No slipping or anything. The only thing wrong is shifting into the higher gear. It's the 1.6 dual overhead motor and automatic 3 speed if that helps any.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to jon_050's Post: It has about a half of tank
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Davo/diablo666's Post: My son changed the oil and filter, new plugs and wires, etc. and it runs really well. It drives well in reverse and the lower gear and can actually go over 20 but when you start going faster, it just won't shift into a higher gear even though it sounds like it wants to. Also, I just reread your answer and the muffler is apart in one section so it's a little louder then normal but could it actually make it not shift into a higher gear??
Expert:  Davo replied 11 years ago.
Did you do everything I told you that you should do?
Expert:  dave hagedorn replied 11 years ago.
if the vehicle will not shift at all replace the govenor in the transmition. seen alot these go bad. you can get to it without pulling transmition. the splins in the end of the shaft are plastic and they strip out. if this is helpfull please hit the accept button, thanks.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to dave hagedorn's Post: ok........I'll have my son try that, but he might not be able to get to it till next weekend when he is off, but I will definately let you know and thank you VERY much. I'm praying it's not the transmission, so this would be excellent if this will fix it. It seems to run and drive great except for not shifting to high gear so it makes me feel like it couldn't be the whole transmission. I'll be in touch and thank you again !!!!..........Diane
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Davo/diablo666's Post: Yes, except for the rotory buton and cap, but car is running excellent and not smoking at all.
Expert:  Davo replied 11 years ago.
You may have a clogged convertor also the exhaust back pressure test would confirm whether its the case.

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