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shift lever hard to move

 
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Old 02 Jun 2016, 08:27 pm
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Default shift lever hard to move

When my 08 PT gets thoroughly warmed up on a hot day, the auto trans shift lever becomes hard to move between PRND. This seems to have started happening after a trans fluid and filter change. The level on the trans dipstick is above the 2nd HOT mark when the vehicle has warmed up.

Just wondering if perhaps the trans is overfilled and this is somehow causing the stiff lever. Shifter moves smoothly with vehicle cold.
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Old 02 Jun 2016, 09:05 pm
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Default Re: shift lever hard to move

First, did you make sure that the correct ATF+4 fluid was used?

Second: Can Too Much Transmission Fluid Hurt a Vehicle? | DoItYourself.com
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Old 03 Jun 2016, 03:42 am
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Default Re: shift lever hard to move

trans has always been filled with ATF+4

my guess is that trans may be slightly overfilled... my plan is to drain some of the fluid and see if shift lever frees up when hot, hopefully this clears up the problem, otherwise it's something else

will report back with results
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Old 03 Jun 2016, 07:59 am
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Default Recommendation

If you don't have an aftermarket pan with a drain plug, this pump works great for partially removing some ATF. The included orange hose fits down the PT Cruiser ATF dipstick tube and you can pump some of the ATF out if overfilled. A handy tool for $7

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Old 03 Jun 2016, 11:52 am
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Default Re: Recommendation

rocket

have that pump, have used it to transfer diff fluid... works great

have an aftermarket pan w/ drain on the PT, Dorman p/n 265-801
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Old 03 Jun 2016, 11:55 am
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Default Re: shift lever hard to move

Yes, I put in an ATF pan with a plug also. Very good upgrade.
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Old 03 Jun 2016, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: shift lever hard to move

Even with the drain plug, a pump might be the preferable way to remove a small amount of fluid.
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Old 16 Jun 2016, 06:19 pm
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Default Re: shift lever hard to move

UPDATE

Auto trans was slightly overfilled. Drained 1/2 qt of excess ATF+4. However, this did not seem to make any difference with the "stiff shift lever when vehicle is hot" problem mentioned in my OP. Oh well...
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Old 16 Jun 2016, 06:32 pm
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Default Re: shift lever hard to move

Check the shift bushings. One may be cracked and hanging slightly.
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Old 22 Jun 2016, 06:06 pm
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Default Re: shift lever hard to move

UPDATE
Checked the cable from the shifter to the transmission. Found that it passes close above the catalytic converter. There is a short length of foil covered tubing that is placed over the shift cable but it is positioned forward of where the cable passes over the cat. If it was placed there to protect the shift cable from heat from the cat then it either has slid forward or was not installed correctly in the first place. It is doing no good and serves no purpose in its present location.

Anyway, found a short piece of high temp hose in the garage. Slit it and placed it over the shift cable above the cat. Let's see if this cures the stiff shifter when hot issue mentioned in my OP.

Stay tuned... will update.
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