Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dodge Stratus Transmission Shifting Issues

Transmission Shifting Problems


It just bumps when shifting sometimes at various speeds. No check engine light. Had trans serviced at 45,000 ago. Doesn't do it all the time. Is it ok to drive or is trans fixing to quit on me?

The Problem occurs mostly when slowing down, it was serviced at the Dodge dealership.. nothing has been added.. it has been happening for maybe 5,000 miles.. but now just about does it every time I drive it.



Expert's Reply:

If it's happening when slowing down then it is most likely a clutch volume index that is too high.

Have you recently checked the fluid level, with the engine running and trans in park? The root cause is often low fluid level.

As per the problem described, it sounds like the bumping is harsh downshifting due to a clutch volume index (CVI) being too high. 
The transmission control module (TCM) controls shift firmness through manipulation of the CVI's. 
If a CVI is higher then more fluid is being applied and the shift will be firmer, a lower CVI uses less fluid and the shift is smoother.


Is This Common Problem?

It's not uncommon for the under drive CVI to climb too high because of lack of prime from sitting, an internal leak in the trans, or low fluid. If the car sat for a longer period of time that could be contributing to the problem. 


Any Other Possibility For Such Problem To Occur?

It's also possible for clutch seal leakage to cause a CVI to climb too high but that would often come with harsh or chattering upshifts, which you haven't mentioned.


Any Important Suggestion From Where To Start The Troubleshooting?

At this point the first thing I would recommend is having it quick learned  This is done with a scan tool and only takes a few minutes. A quick learn sets the CVI's back to a baseline and let's them adapt correctly again.


Any Important Note Regarding Part Replacement?

You will also want to consider having the fluid changed again. The TCM software relies on specific frictional properties of the fluid to be able to correctly apply the clutches. Worn or incorrect fluid will cause problems with shift feel and could cause the CVI's to climb. 
The maximum interval for trans fluid replacement on your car is 60,000 miles with 30,000 miles being recommended, so with it being 45,000 miles since the last replacement and the fact that you're having problems I would recommend doing it again along with the quicklearn. 

From Where Should I Get This Job Done?

If you go to a dealer you shouldn't have to worry, but if it's done at another shop be sure that ATF+4 is the fluid used and no additives are put into the fluid.


This Details Will Help.
Thanks.

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