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David Dill
David Dill, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1314
Experience:  19 years as Technician, 14 years with Chrysler Group LLC
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auto transmission will not shift when cold

Resolved Question:

auto transmission will not shift when cold
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  David Dill replied 7 years ago.
Possibly a seal issue, as the trans warms the seals start to expand and get a bit more pliable. What kind of vehicle do you have?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
1997 1500 magnum V8 Laramie SLT, auto trans with overdrive. Was driving a week ago and notice check engine light come on. Antifreeze was very low. refilled with 50/50 mixture . (1 gal did it). thought engine light wwould go off. all other fluids good. I resumed my local trip and the auto shifting problem started.
While driving when cold, need to raise the rpms to 4k and it seems to want to shift and does so but will not hold. It returns to lower gear (maybe 2nd) and back up to 4k rpms again. speed of vehilce is between 30 and 45 at 4k rpm. It will iterated back and forth for about a half mile and then successfully shifts and works properly.
Expert:  David Dill replied 7 years ago.

That has been a fairly common issue that I have seen. The key is that as the temperatures inside increase you get normal shifting. Now I'm not a big advocate of additives but the only other option you have would be a tear down and reseal.

If you check engine light is still on, head over to a parts store like AutoZone and have the code read. Maybe that will add something to what is going on.

David Dill and 2 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

David here's what happened upon following your insite. Went to advanced auto and check codes. It said I needed a vss (vehicle speed sensor). Bought the part for $48. After much frustration with the little bolt to remove the old, used sawzall to cut the part out. Installed new part and took a ride. Check engine lite was off. (good). Went down the road to the DQ ready tocekebrate. It shift good one time. Then the problem returned with not shifting at all but the check engine light stayed off.

On the way home however, it began to shift correctly and symultaneously the check engine light came back on. Ate the ice cream and went to bed. Called a recommended auto trans place and they said I could come in and reread the codes and they would let me know what it would cost. They fund another code came up the the output sensor was faulty. replaced and charged me $80. Problem solved. Thanks

Expert:  David Dill replied 7 years ago.
Glad it workd out for you. Sometimes those universal code readers can give goofy descriptions of codes!