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Transmission issues

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 08:38 am
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Default Transmission issues

Well at least that's what I think it is. It's an 03, when you try to start the engine, it's labored, and even if it's in P or N the vehicle tries to lurch forward like you're starting a manual with the clutch disengaged.

More weird than that, at the same time the headlights started coming on when the key is turned to on- and the bright indicator is lit up even if the headlights are turned off. This car did not have daytime running lights. Because of this, I'm thinking it's a computer, but I'm not sure. I have more OBD1 experience than I do with these newer cars.

Please help, otherwise we're going to have to drive my mother in law everywhere she needs to go!!

Last edited by whynotthinkwhynot; 30 Sep 2009 at 08:50 am.
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Old 30 Sep 2009, 02:45 pm
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Default Re: Transmission issues

Sounds like you have more than one problem which could mean the computer is acting up. Lurches forward when trying to start and it's in Neutral, I'll go with you on the transaxle messing up. Lights come on when the key is turned on could be a multi-function stalk problem. Labored starting could be a weak battery or electrical fault.
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Old 30 Sep 2009, 04:47 pm
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Default Re: Transmission issues

Welcome.
The starting issue could also be the linkage - may not be fully in neutral or park...
The lights are likely the multifunction stalk - easy to replace (with a small torqx screwdriver).


Another thought - consider having the transmission flushed. Be sure place has a flushing machine, and be sure they use ATF + 4 - even if it doesn't cure the problem, it should be done anyway. Should cost a bit under $200.
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Last edited by quicksilverdon; 30 Sep 2009 at 06:12 pm. Reason: added another idea
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Old 01 Oct 2009, 08:03 pm
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Default Re: Transmission issues

Thanks for the advice, we'll try anything before replacing the ECU. I've already checked on the prices and an 03 with AT is a rare bird. The best price I found was $388 + 125 core!!!! No other computer asks for a core- so it must be something special.

Someone told me that if you disconnect the transmission control unit, the trans will go into R and 2. I haven't tried that yet.
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Old 01 Oct 2009, 08:15 pm
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Default Re: Transmission issues

Before replacing the ECU, find a good mechanic. You could throw a new ECU in and still have your problem.
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Old 01 Oct 2009, 08:39 pm
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Default Re: Transmission issues

This sounds like a VERY interesting problem. Quick question. When you start it does the vehicle actually move or does it just kind of shake? Bad motor mounts can allow the engine to move too much and could possibly give you that feel. If you have a battery going bad it can cause the labored starting and can cause an odd feeling when starting. Just for giggles take your PT to Auto Zone or one of the other parts store that will test the battery for free. That's my suspicion right now.
As for the lights.... sounds like a multifunction switch. Fairly common problem.
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Old 01 Oct 2009, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Transmission issues

^^ Oh no, the vehicle moves forward. The battery puts out 12.6 v, but I haven't had it load tested.

I was actually thinking of dropping the pan and removing the solenoids to see if one is stuck.

I'm going to try adjusting the shifter linkage as suggested.

The headlight problem appeared at the same time, never before.
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Old 02 Oct 2009, 08:46 pm
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Default Re: Transmission issues

I have to say that this is an issue I have never come across. I can't see how it would move forward in park due to the parking pawl being engaged inside the transmission which keeps the vehicle from moving at all..... I would certainly like to know what resolves this issue.
Where are you located? If you are in the San Antonio area I would love to give it a shot. I work at Boerne Dodge CHrysler Jeep.
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