1995 Chrysler Intrepid transmission

Tiny
ETHICKID
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 CHRYSLER INTREPID
  • 226,000 MILES
Shifted from 4th to neutral by itself while driving. Clutch was in drive. My light was on drive. When I parked the car and got it into drive it stayed in first gear. After I was able to park again and turn it off and restart the car, it worked perfectly fine. I am now afraid to drive the car for fear it shifts into park by itself.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 2:54 PM

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Tiny
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I wanted to add, after reading a related article it could be it went into limp mode. Its an automatic 3.3. Please help me out. Is it safe to drive?
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
If it's in limp mode it will stay there, have a trans guy scan for codes.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 4:06 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
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Ye syou can drive it but not on eway your mileage will suffer as well
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 4:07 PM
Tiny
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Once I turned it off and restarted it it ran perfectly fine
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
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It did it sooo suddenly. Then when I got it parked and restarted it, it rus fine. Shifts normal and everything.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 4:10 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Limp mode is when it shifts to second gear and stays there until you turn the ignition switch off and restart the engine. Shifting from fourth to second at highway speed can feel like it went into neutral. It's not going to go into "park" by itself. That's a mechanical thing that you have to do. Shifting in drive is an electronic thing controlled by the Transmission Computer, (EATX). That's "electronic automatic transmission controller".

That computer detected a problem that could be electrical in nature or due to wear in the transmission. When that happens it goes into limp mode to allow you to drive slowly to a repair shop without needing a tow truck. Your mechanic will start by reading the diagnostic fault code(s). Those will give him an idea of where to start the diagnosis.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 4:11 PM
Tiny
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When it happened I was driving at 90km per hour. I was coming up a small hill, then the car just reved up. When I tried to use the gas all it would rev like it was in neutral. When I finally got it to go again it stayed in or second. Then when I turned the car off and on again, it works great.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 5:10 PM
Tiny
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Could I perhaps keep it in 3 and drive it until I can cover the cost of the repair? I have to wait until the 20th of sept for pay day. The top speed I would go is 60km per hour.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 5:13 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You can try third gear but it depends on what's causing it to go into limp mode. The fault codes will tell you that. As a general rule, if it goes into second gear as soon as you shift into drive, even before the car starts moving, it is a sensor or other electrical-related problem.

If it starts out in first gear like normal, then bangs back to second gear during or right after a shift, usually an up-shift, it's clutch pack wear-related. There's an input speed sensor that monitors engine speed, and an output speed sensor that monitors wheel speed. The computer knows how fast one should be going compared to the other one for each gear. When there is a discrepancy, the computer knows there is slippage taking place in one of the clutch packs. That's due to mileage and wear. Years ago we had a year or two worth of sluggish shifts and engine "runaway" during shifts to let us know that wear was taking place and a rebuild would soon be needed. With Chrysler's computer controls the computer makes up for that wear by releasing one gear a little later giving the new gear more time to lock up solidly. It updates those shift schedules continuously throughout the life of the transmission. The advantage is you always get nice crisp, solid shifts like when it was new. The disadvantage is you don't get the year or two of warning that the wear is taking place. One day it shifts fine and the next day enough slippage occurs to send it into limp mode.

If it goes to limp mode while driving and you can identify when it always occurs, you may be able to get around it for a while. For example, if it only occurs when it shifts from third to overdrive under light throttle, you can accelerate more aggressively in third to reach a higher speed, then let off the accelerator pedal and let it go into overdrive with no load on the engine or transmission. Overdrive will lock up solidly within a couple of seconds, then you can continue accelerating moderately, like normal. With no load there won't be that slippage, and since there's no slippage to detect, it won't go into limp mode.

Besides reading the fault codes, your mechanic can use his scanner to read the "clutch volume index", (CVI). That is a set of four numbers corresponding to the number of ccs of fluid it takes to apply each clutch pack. Based on those numbers an experienced transmission mechanic can tell how much life is left in the clutch plates.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 6:31 PM
Tiny
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This is very helpfull. Thank you sooo much.
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 AT 6:38 PM

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