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2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 31 Aug 2011, 09:35 am
CherylM's Avatar
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Default 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

I have a 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question...I put it under 'performance' because I didn't want to assume my problem was related to one area or the other. 60K miles....automatic....I bought it pre-owned from CarMax in May 2010. Over the past month I would say I have noticed what I call 'hard shifting' occasionally when coming to a stop...but it doesn't happen all the time. Now within the past 10 days 2 or 3 times it has 'hesitated' when trying to accelerate from a stop. It felt like it wasn't even in gear. But it only lasted for a second or two then it 'went into gear' and I was able to proceed as normal. I searched various forums and such over the internet and it seems to indicate that it could be transmission related. Not wanting to throw my hard earned money to the wind and immediatly take it to a dealer I found that one of the first things to do is to check the obvious 'check the tranmisson fluid level'. After driving about 25 miles from work to home I checked it immediately with the engine off and in park. It was near the lower level mark on 'cold' on the stick. btw....I have read both that you should check it with the engine running...and others say with the engine off. Which is best ?

Any help you might offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 31 Aug 2011, 09:49 am
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Cheryl,

The old school of checking the automatic transmission is with the engine warm and running at idle on a flat surface.

The transaxle in the PT isn't the best and it's a good guess that whoever traded in your PT at 60K didn't have the transaxle flushed before doing so. My advice, and maybe others will jump in here with theirs, is to have it flushed before you go any further. Yes, it does cost a bit (somewhere around $150) but well worth it. You can use a shop other than the dealer for whoever you use, make sure they use ONLY ATF+4 fluid. See it with you own eyes that the container says ATF+4 on the label. Don't let anyone say that what they have is "compatible" with what your supposed to have.
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Old 31 Aug 2011, 10:03 am
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

It actually had around 56k when I bought it and it came from a car rental fleet. Yes, I have seen it stressed in several places to only use Mopar AFT+4 so I will make sure I do that.

**oppsss....it had 52K when I bought it in early May 2010....it has 60K now***

Last edited by CherylM; 31 Aug 2011 at 07:20 pm. Reason: update
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Old 31 Aug 2011, 04:05 pm
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Hi there. My wife has an 07. She also had the hard down shift issue. Take the car to a Chrysler dealer and the will reprogram the computer as there was a tech bulletin on the 07 for this very issue. We did it along with the trans flush and the results were great. Hope this helps.
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Old 31 Aug 2011, 07:28 pm
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Ok...today I drove it around about 10 miles in the suburbs and then out in the country. I came back and parked it on a level driveway...left the engine running...and checked the fluid level. I wiped and checked the stick multiple times....and the fluid level comes up to only about a 1/4 inch on the stick ! Even with my lack of mechanical knowledge I know that is a big red flag ! So tomorrow I am headed to the closest Chrysler dealership and buying some Mopar Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF+4 ! My question is given the fluid level I described, how much do you think I might need ? I didn't find out what the fluid capacity is in the manual. I did find out that with tax it is about $9 per quart. So I don't want to buy no more than I have to ! Thanks
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 08:14 pm
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Full capacity is listed at 4.0 Qt, so one should be enough. Add it a little bit at a time and drive around the block and recheck. Don't fill above the cross-hatch area or you could blow out internal seals from overfilling.
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglestar3 View Post
Full capacity is listed at 4.0 Qt, so one should be enough. Add it a little bit at a time and drive around the block and recheck. Don't fill above the cross-hatch area or you could blow out internal seals from overfilling.
I'm assuming you are referring to the 'hot' cross-hatch area ?....being of course if the engine is still running and hot
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 10:15 pm
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Cool Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedeepsea View Post
Hi there. My wife has an 07. She also had the hard down shift issue. Take the car to a Chrysler dealer and the will reprogram the computer as there was a tech bulletin on the 07 for this very issue. We did it along with the trans flush and the results were great. Hope this helps.
THIS ^^^^
Odds are a fleet car did not have them checking the PT sites for software updates. (Flash the computer for the transmission update)
They just probably did regular service themselves.
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Old 03 Sep 2011, 03:20 pm
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Does the dealer charge to reprogram the computer if an upgrade is needed as per the tech bulletin. If so what does that run because my '07 also has the hard downshift in the automatic transmission.
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Old 09 Sep 2011, 09:48 pm
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Default Re: 2007 PT Cruiser Performance Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglestar3 View Post
Full capacity is listed at 4.0 Qt, so one should be enough. Add it a little bit at a time and drive around the block and recheck. Don't fill above the cross-hatch area or you could blow out internal seals from overfilling.
I actually added about 2 1/4 quarts to bring it to the proper level. So far no further problems with hesitation...but I do still get the hard downshift from time to time coming to a stop. I am going to check it every couple of days to make sure it is maintaining the proper level. There has been no leaking seen on the driveway so far. I have had the oil changed twice since I got my cruiser and the dealer said that they do one of those multi-point free inspections which includes checking fluid levels. I assumed that they checked ALL the fluids. But I checked the check list after I started having problems and saw that they do not check the fluid level on the transmission fluid. And I also assumed that the fluid level was correct when I bought it. So needless to say I will check the fluid levels on my own and not ASSUME that it was already done.
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