What is causing my 2003 Seabring to hard shift into 3rd. 54,000 km is all the use it has had
Country: CanadaMake: ChryslerModel: SeabringYear: 2003
flushed the transmission and replaced fluid
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!
Did this start after the flush was done?
No. The flush was done to try to correct the problem given the age of the car and the mileage.
Is it a harsh upshift or downshift that you're having?
Only a downshift from drive to Third
Great, that's what I figured.
Your underdrive clutch's clutch volume index (CVI) has climbed too high. The only time you can feel the underdrive clutch come on while driving is a 4-3 downshift, which is why this is the only time you feel it.
Several things can cause this. The root cause is a loss of fluid prime. This can happen when doing work to the trans, if the fluid goes low from a leak, or failure in the trans that causes delayed engagement when cold (pump, low/reverse piston, etc.).
With your very low mileage it's obvious that the car sits for extended periods. As the car sits it will lose fluid prime naturally and there's no way around it, other than periodically starting the car and letting it run. In your case what most likely happened is it lost prime while sitting and that caused the CVI to climb high.
In any event, what needs to be done to fix the harsh downshift is a quicklearn. Quicklearn is done with a scan tool and sets the CVI's back to a baseline to allow them to learn correctly again. This just takes a few minutes to complete using a capable scan tool.
Can anyone other than a Chrysler dealer do a quick learn? Do ordinary mechanics have the reset tool or do I have to find a Crysler trained one
Since the appropriate scan tool costs in the $3-5,000 range not all shops will have the equipment to do it. Any Chrysler dealer will, and any trans shop will have the capability (just don't let them sell you a trans overhaul while you're there). Some independent shops will have the capability but not all, so if you have some particular shops in mind just give them a call and see if they are able to do it or not.
ASE Master & Advanced level certified, Chrysler Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
Thanks for your clear explanation. I hope that the reset works.I bought the car " third hand". the first owner drove it very little, the second owner drove it everyday, and I drive it almost every day but just around town. It does sit for two or three days sometimes.My mechanic and I were hoping that as the new fluid got thru the system that maybe things would clear up without more intervention. It sounds likely I'll have to visit a dealership.The car is in superb shape except for the rough down shift so I'd like to keep it.
You're welcome and good luck with your car. It sounds like it should last you quite a while with such low mileage on it.