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Automatic transmission will not engage

 
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 11:29 am
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Default Automatic transmission will not engage

My son's 2005 PT Cruiser, automatic transmission...

last night we were driving up a hill at about 10 mph and it seemed to slip out of gear. Now if we put it in gear, forward or reverse, it acts like it's in neutral. It does not feel like it even tries to engage. It was on a country dirt road at night so we have not been able to look at it much yet. This old car is not worth any real transmission work so I am hoping it's something like low fluid or the transmission solenoid.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

We need more information.

How many miles on the transmission?

When was the last time the transmission oil and oil filter changed?

Have you taken the PT Cruiser to a transmission shop to scan for transmission trouble codes?

Was anything done to the transmission recently?
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

>>How many miles on the transmission?

176K

>>When was the last time the transmission oil and oil filter changed?

No idea. When we replaced the CV axle we topped off the fluid but did not change it. Could low fluid really show these symptoms?

>> Have you taken the PT Cruiser to a transmission shop to scan for transmission trouble codes?

No. I am going to go to the car now with my code reader. Should it be throwing codes for this?

>> Was anything done to the transmission recently?

No, nothing at all.
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

Unless you have an advance Scanning tool or DRBII or higher or equivalent Diagnostic scanning tool that is capable of reading the TCM you will not see any DTC except possibly the generic P0700.
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwaterson67 View Post
>>How many miles on the transmission?

176K

>>When was the last time the transmission oil and oil filter changed?

No idea. When we replaced the CV axle we topped off the fluid but did not change it. Could low fluid really show these symptoms?

>> Have you taken the PT Cruiser to a transmission shop to scan for transmission trouble codes?

No. I am going to go to the car now with my code reader. Should it be throwing codes for this?

>> Was anything done to the transmission recently?

No, nothing at all.

The average OBDII Scan tool does not recognize transmission codes. You might get the generic code P0700 that tells you there might be a more specific transmission trouble code.
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 01:01 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

haha! beat you to it this time. Normally you are the fast response draw Steve!

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Old 04 Feb 2017, 01:19 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

I would suggest pulling the dipstick out to check fluid condition.

Fluid Color: Look closely at the transmission fluid on the end of the dipstick. Is it Red? Dark Red? Brown? Dark Brown? Very Dark or Black?

Fluid Smell: Smell the transmission fluid. If it has a burnt odor, the transmission might have overheated and the oil is oxidized . A transmission with oxidized fluid will not last long.
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 02:38 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

The fluid level is good and is a nice red color, not very dark at all. We have no gears, not even 2nd or reverse for the "limp home" mode.

Any ideas as to what to check next? I am about to go read the codes but the Check Engine light is not on.
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 03:08 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

There are not codes stored or pending. If the transmission fluid filter was clogged would I be seeing a code for that?
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Old 04 Feb 2017, 03:16 pm
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Default Re: Automatic transmission will not engage

you checked the trans fluid with the car running and in park, correct? sorry to ask, but we get all levels of DIY'ers here.

just making sure since you mentioned a hill. my mothers trans temporarily slipped once entering a gas station/going up a hill, and when i checked it for her it was about a quart low
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