That is called "limp mode" and it allows you to drive slowly to the repair shop without needing a tow truck. Definitely not at 60 mph. It is defaulted to second gear, not third.
There will be a diagnostic fault code stored in the Transmission Computer. Having that read is the place to start. The code will direct you to the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis. You can make some generalizations. If it starts out in second gear as soon as you shift into "drive", it is likely a sensor or some other electrical problem. If it starts out in first gear, then bangs back to second gear during or right after an up-shift, it is usually worn clutch plates or leaking internal seals. The Chrysler scanners and some aftermarket ones will read the "clutch volume index" (CVI). That is a set of four numbers representing the volume of fluid it takes to apply each clutch pack. An experienced transmission mechanic can tell you how much wear is left in each one before a rebuild will be needed.
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Saturday, June 30th, 2012 AT 12:08 AM