2004 Dodge Stratus

Transmission problem
2004 Dodge Stratus 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 15,000 miles

A little background.

I purchased this car from an elderly relative, and the car sat for roughly a year and a half before I acquired it a month or so ago.

What the car needed:
New front brakes and rotors
New Battery
Coolant was about 1 gallon low
And standard oil change, air filter, etc.
Small crack in exhaust pipe weld

The last problem now, is that the transmission is rough at low speeds I think between 1st and 2nd gears. Such as when moving forward at a traffic light etc. All high gears are 100% ok.

What can I do to troubleshoot the problem?
September 12, 2009.

Check tranny fluid and make sure it fuel and clean
check for any trouble codes
check engine operation
check spark plugs and wires

PCM may need flash and reprogram

Sep 13, 2009.
1. Check tranny fluid and make sure it fuel and clean
Done. Transmission fluid is at the right level and looks and smells like new.

2. Check spark plugs and wires
Done. Both are in excellent condition.

3. Check for any trouble codes
Will borrow a code reader from a friend tomorrow. Could there be trouble codes without any check engine lights on?

4. Check engine operation
What should I check in particular?

5. Could the exchaust leak/crack be causing this issue?
Why only in the lower gears?

Sep 13, 2009.
Technical service bulletin
Flash - Engine Roughness, Idle Fluctuation, or Low Speed Transmission Bumps
This bulletin involves selectively erasing and reprogramming the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) with new software.
2004 (JR) Sebring Convertible/Sebring Sedan/Stratus Sedan.

Sep 13, 2009.
No trouble codes.

In regards to the TSB, is this something I can take care of myself, or is this something I would need to pay a dealer to do?

Sep 18, 2009.
Special tools and new software are available (I believe) at the dealer only

Sep 18, 2009.
Thank you for the information. I called the dealer and they did not know of any TSB on the vehicle, for reflashing the PCM.

Do you know the TSB #?

If so, they said it should still be covered under the original warranty.

I have an appointment scheduled for Monday. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Again !

Sep 19, 2009.
Sorry I did not get back to you sooner. Just wanted to say thank you.

I took the car to the dealer and they flashed the PCM under warranty. Savings of $98.50.

Flashing the PCM resolved the rought transmission issue.

Thanks again !


Oct 1, 2009.
I am having the same problem with my 2004 Dodge Stratus but when contacting the dealer they informed me of the same thing no recall or anything on the vehicle. I can bring it in and pay them $50 bucks to look at it then they will flash the computer. Hate thinking that there was some bullentin and I just need to find it to prove it to them before shelling out cash. Any help is appreciated. Hhoffman1@maine. Rr. Com

Mar 10, 2011.