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Brad, Dealership Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 8063
Experience:  19 Yrs Chrysler/Dodge Technician..ASE Master Certified(L-1)
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I wanted to get some advice about dealing with the PT

Customer Question

Hi. I wanted to get some advice about dealing with the PT Cruiser's transmission. It slipped out of gear, then wouldn't go into gear. After having it towed to an independent mechanic, the problem couldn't be reproduced. I then took it to a Chrysler dealer. They said it had a DTC 35 and P0944 code and recommended a new transmission. I like the car and would like to keep it for occasional use, but it's a 02 and can't see rebuilding the transmission. I'm wondering/hoping there might be some other explanation for the problem.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Brad replied 1 year ago.

Good morning..

The code you have is P0944-LOSS OF PRIME which means the pump has failed and damaged the transmission.. I agree you will need to pull it out to inspect the damage and at the very least replace the front pump..

Glad I could help and don't forget the rating!!!

Have a great day,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you explain what the DTC 35 means and, roughly, how it is that the symptom of a slipping transmission could have not reappeared since the incident several weeks ago?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In some other replies, you stated that P0944 could have been caused by debris and didn't indicate that the transmission was necessarily damaged. Did I misread those replies? (P.S. I'll gladly pay you a little more to continue this conversation).
Expert:  Brad replied 1 year ago.

Code 35 is invalid as we go by P1234 codes such as the P0944..

The pump supplies fluid pressure and when it fails it will take out a transmission. Anytime I see a loss of prime and it will not move it's a guaranteed it will need to come out...

Glad I could help,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply concerning "DTC 35" and your explanation for why you a recommending pulling the transmission. I'm still hoping for a response to my questions about: 1) How the symptoms could go away by themselves, and 2) Whether the P0944 could be explained by debris, as you suggested in other answers.
Expert:  Brad replied 1 year ago.

You said the symptoms went away, so it's working fine now? If it's not moving the pump has failed and it very likely will not move again... To test the pump you will need a scantool to monitor the pressure and if it's 0 when you start and rev the engine then the pump is bad and will need to be pulled.. If the pump has failed then it could have caused components in your transmission to loose lubrication thus you have metal in the pan which could clog the filter...

If it will not move then it will need to come out..

I hope this helps and don't forget the rating,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as I said in my original question, the symptom of going out of gear and then not going back into gear were gone after it was unloaded from the two truck. No problems have re-occurred since then. It's been driven without incident off and on for several weeks now. I'll ask the Chrysler dealer if they looked in the transmission pan and what they saw. Are there any additional tests that can be run without pulling the transmission?
Expert:  Brad replied 1 year ago.

When it stops pulling if you have P0944 then I wuld suggest replacing the pump before it damages your transmission if it hasn't allready which you will be able to tell from debri in the pan...

The P0944 will need to be active to run the tests...


Expert:  Brad replied 1 year ago.

I see you haven't rated yet.. Do you need more help?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not more help, just the same help I've already ask for twice, namely:
1) How is it, roughly, that the symptoms would exist for 24 hours about three weeks and not appear again since?
2) Is it possible that the cause was due to debris or some other temporary condition that could have cleared itself or be addressed by a filter change, as you suggested in some other answers you gave regarding P0944 (e.g.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
about three weeks => about three weeks ago
Expert:  Brad replied 1 year ago.

The link you posted was not me reply... And the filter could be clogged causing the pump to starve of fluid which would cause the code.... But if you have changed the filter /fluid then that will be the only thing you can try and if it does it again you will at least need a new pump.