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stin1974, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 765
Experience:  Domestic transmission diagnostics and troubleshooting. General repair diagnostics and troubleshoot.
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voyager: My 2000..(2.4L) suddenly began jerking..shifting..first start

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My 2000 plymouth voyager (2.4L) suddenly began jerking as driving, like shifting in and out of top gear. When first start in early morning, there is no problem. Only after the transmisison heats up does this happen. I'm operating on a shoestring budge. Would it be wise to do a transmission flush and replace fluid and filter?
Have you checked the transmission fluid condition? Color, smell?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I only pulled the dipstick this morning, but did not notice any burnt smell. color was dark.
How many miles are on the vehicle? 3 speed or overdrive(4speed) transmission?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
120000 miles. I am not 100% certain, (haven't driven it in forever: wife's car), but it does hit overdrive when heavy accelerating, so I would assume the 4speed tranny
It sounds like the overdrive clutches may be worn or burnt up or possibly the sealing rubber for the overdrive may have a leak or be leaking. Being that it seems better when it's cold is what is leading me to this conclusion. Also the fact that the fluid is dark. When the vehicle (trans fluid). I cold, it's a lot thicker which would help if the clutches are worn or the sealing rubber may be leaking. Once the fluid gets hot it obviously thins out and that's most likely why you are having this problem once it's warmed up. I would suggest having the transmission pan dropped and having the (all) the transmission fluid changed as well as the filter. If the fluid is dark, it sounds like it has gotten hot and the fluid is now broken down. The fact that it's dark leads me to believe that the clutches for overdrive may be burnt or have gotten hot to where it falls out of overdrive like you explained. Having the pan dropped to change the fluid will be the best bet because you can see what's going on inside. That why I would suggest to try first.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
as an amateur, is this something I can do easily, or would it be wiser to do at a shop, since they would be able to better interpret looking at the clutches?
Well the thing is, the pan will need to be dropped and see what's in there. If there is a lot of material (clutch) and or fine metal or rubber then that's a real positive indication that it's gonna need replaced. If the fluid was badly overheated and is broke down to the point that it's not doing what it should, there's a small chance that new fluid and a filter and possibly a non slip additive may help. I would suggest having them drop the pan and see what they find. I would be there furring it. Schedule an appointment where you can be there an they can show you the pan when it's dropped. If the transmission is going to need to come out to be repaired, just have them put the same fluid back in the vehicle. So have them save it when they are pulling the pan. That way it won't really cost you anything to find out what's up.
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