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3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28 Mar 2011, 11:22 pm
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Angry 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

So I bought an 02 PT Cruiser with 120k miles. Shortly after the transmission messed up. I took it to a shop they rebuilt the trans, then replaced the transmission computer, and solenoid pack.

Everything was cool for a couple months until I took it on a 3 hour trip south of the border for the weekend. Upon my return to the states after sitting in the very slow paced stop-and-go-one-car-at-a-time traffic we finally crossed back into the states. Then the tranny troubles started it wouldn't shift and lost fluid I don't know from where or which came first but it had to be rebuilt, luckily it was still under warranty.

So they rebuilt it under warranty and I had it for another 5 weeks until I went north on the I-5 about 4-5 hours to Tulare. I exited about 30 minutes before my destination to refill on gas and the trans wasn't shifting and I got a ball of smoke.

I had the car towed from over 3 hours away the 2nd time to get it repaired under warranty yet again. They rebuilt the trans again and replaced the solenoid packs again.

About 5-8 weeks later (this weekend) I'd been driving fine to work so I decided lets test it out again. So I went south of the border about 3 hrs again for the weekend. Upon my return after finally crossing the border again the tranny troubles began it wasn't shifting and lost fluid again. So I parked it in a $5 a day parking lot and took a bus home.

So this is where I am at I'm going to have to rent a tow dolly from uhaul again for 50 bux bring it to the shop to have it fixed under warranty, again.

Is there something the shop is missing that I can inform them about?
Should they be responsible for the charges I've incurred because they haven't fixed it right?
Any suggestions at all that can help me out here?

Thanks a lot guys and sorry if my post is long and drawn out.

TIA
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Old 28 Mar 2011, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

Sounds like the shop sucks and they need to fix it right. Are you sure they actually rebuilt the trans because the solenoid could have been what they thought was the issue because it's a problem and they never fixed the transmission.
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Old 28 Mar 2011, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

They definitely rebuilt at least once cuz I'm sure the Tranny was fried the first time. And it was fine each time I picked it up from the shop during everyday driving to and from work.

Only after long trips that it seems to go bad almost as if the tranny reaches a certain temperature and I don't know if the fluid breaks down or something. I don't have a clue I just know that its happened after either a long trip or very slow stop n go traffic crossing the border back into the states.
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Old 29 Mar 2011, 06:32 am
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

I might have missed it but I take it your not going to the dealer but a "shop". Chrysler trannys only run with ATF=4 fluid. Are they using the right stuff?
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Old 29 Mar 2011, 07:32 am
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by datkwikracer View Post
So I bought an 02 PT Cruiser with 120k miles. Shortly after the transmission messed up. I took it to a shop they rebuilt the trans, then replaced the transmission computer, and solenoid pack.

Thanks a lot guys and sorry if my post is long and drawn out.

TIA

Sounds like you have one of those after market warranties companies. Besides technical assistance; I can give you good advice on how to deal with the players involved.

at this point:

I would demand to speak to the managers manager on the phone of the company warranting your auto repairs; get his name; demand to talk to the same person everytime you call. Be assertive.

Get everything in writing faxed to you the same day you talk to that manager. Don't let them fax it 'tomorrow'. The papers always get misplaced or lost.

Make sure you get a re-manufactured transmission, not a used one

Demand to take it to your own local shop that specialize in Transmissions; or better yet; the Local Chrysler Dealer. The Shop/Dealership will give you their own warranty.

Any money you spend (uhaul) save the receipts; take it out of the deductible you own. What is it $100 or something?

If this is your 3rd time; don't pay for anything (u hauls, deductibles) out of pocket; if you do save your receipts; demand a refund.

Start a complaint with the Better Business Boru. That usually gets a company moving in the right direction.

When you call in; always speak with the same person every time (the top manager) They will learn your case personally; and treat you more like a person rather than a number. Also find out who your claim adjuster's supervisor is; and go over the adjusters head and call the supervisor directly...

Local Better Business Bureau Location Guide

Pull out your warranty, and read all the fine print closely. It was probably written by a high power lawyer. If you want to make a point; refer then to the contract; and read it word for word.

If your out of pocket expensive get over $500; you will need to go to a lawyer. Show up with all your receipts and paper work. They will probably have their para-legal send over a letter to the warranty company asking for a full refund of your expensive and legal expensive. My lawyer had a pre-written letter; and put some of my details in it; and charged me 1 hour of para-legal services' $150.00. Before you see the lawyer; also prince a copy of your Better Business Boru Complaint.

People think lawyers are only for million dollar suites. Paying for 1 hour of legal services will clear everything up; and rather quickly as well...

Last edited by SergeantPtCruiser; 29 Mar 2011 at 07:45 am.
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Old 29 Mar 2011, 08:22 am
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

Agree with others -
seems 2 possibilities:
1) Place you took it to is incompetent
2) They didn't use ATF + 4 fluid
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Old 29 Mar 2011, 10:54 am
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

Yes .... ATF+4 is ATF+$ .... the spec is for fully synthetic oil. Some shops don't use the expensive stuff .... I have seen complaints of dealerships not using full synth oil when the owners manual calls for it ... my VW Turbo buddies have had this experience.

From reading your problem description yesterday, I would say there is a cooling problem. Sounds like you are OK with your daily commute, but on long trips you are lucky to make it one way and the trip home always involves another mode of tranportation. Did you check your tranny fluid level before going on the long trips? Was it normal or low since it sounds like whenever the car comes back from Mexico there is tanny fluid missing. The tranny usually cools through a portion of the radiator, it could be clogged, restricted or leaking into the radiator and mixing with the engine coolant. Check the radiator for signs of tranny oil. Also .... find out exactly what parts were replaced for all the repairs and find out if the cooling lines were flushed out and pressure tested.
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Last edited by SilverSport; 29 Mar 2011 at 11:17 am.
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Old 03 Apr 2011, 12:13 am
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

Thanks for the replies and advice.

I've been going to this shop for over 8 years with other cars and have never had an issue. Which is why I am dumbfounded with this problem.

The warranty is from the shop, they farm out trans rebuilds to another party.

I'm assuming they use an aftermarket rebuild kit and not an OEM Chrysler kit. If that's the case does it still need to use atf+4? Or is that only for OEM kits and trannys?

Will using Dexron cause this type of failure on a transmission so soon after being rebuilt?

I will have to look into the fluid line that runs through the radiator. Also where would it leak the atf from?

Sorry for all the questions I just want to get this fixed and I need the advice of Chrysler enthusiasts.

Last edited by datkwikracer; 03 Apr 2011 at 12:19 am.
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Old 03 Apr 2011, 10:39 am
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by datkwikracer View Post
Thanks for the replies and advice.


Will using Dexron cause this type of failure on a transmission so soon after being rebuilt?
Dexron or Dexron III is NOT ATF 4. These transmissions are spec'd for ATF 4.

alan
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Old 03 Apr 2011, 11:58 am
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Default Re: 3rd Auto Transmission in under 20k miles!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanrw View Post
Dexron or Dexron III is NOT ATF 4. These transmissions are spec'd for ATF 4.

alan
I am aware of this, but will using the wrong fluid cause this type of failure this soon is what I want to know?

Or should I be looking for another culprit besides the fluid?
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