Transmission issues during cold weather

Tiny
BOBERT3
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 DODGE STRATUS
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 91,000 MILES
I have a 2004 Dodge Stratus with an automatic transmission, and in the last couple of mornings it's been very cold out (between 6 and 20 degrees). After letting the car warm up for 2 to 3 minutes I put the car in gear and start to drive. All the sudden it feels like the car is no longer in gear and I step on the gas the engine just revs for a second or two then catches, after that the car acts fine unless I let it sit for a number of hours and its still cold out.

I have noticed a small leak under the car, but it was never enough for me to worry about. (Maybe I should have).

About a month ago I took the car to a Jiffy Lube type place for an oil change, and he mentioned that he had to add transmission fluid. So I'm thinking this was my leak.

Could the cold weather and the leak be my problem? I'm planning to make an appointment at the dealership I got the car at, but I need to save some money first.
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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 AT 7:27 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
BOBERT3
  • MEMBER
We got a bunch of snow last night, and I went to move the car for the snow plow to come thru, it revved a couple of times before catching. So I made the appointment with the dealership I bought the car at. I'll let you know what they say and how much it will cost me.
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Thursday, January 27th, 2011 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
NORTHERNLITES
  • MEMBER
Hi, I am having the same problem with my 2004 Dodge Stratus. I attempted to back up & then put the car into drive & it did the same thing. Only now when I apply the brakes it ******" as I slow down. I have checked the fluid and it's good. Took it to two different places. One tried to tell me rear brakes & other wanted me to replace rear struts. I don't think either is the problem but Hey I am a female so what do I know. (Sarcasm) If you get any answers with your 2004 stratus please post as I am seeking answers & don't want any unecessary repairs if unwarranted. Thanks, Heidi Damn Dodges!
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Thursday, January 27th, 2011 AT 11:26 PM
Tiny
NORTHERNLITES
  • MEMBER
Sorry did'nt know it would obliterate the word****** because I put it in quotes. I also checked the spare tire thinking maybe that was loose but nope. Still upon decelerating & gently applying the brakes it will***** as car slows down. And yes I did notice a little pink fluid when the car got stuck in the driveway during one of our infamous snows here in Maine. Had transmission fluid checked & it was fine. I also just had rotors replaced & thought maybe caliper sticking or pads uneven or needing adjustment. Taking back tommorow to mechanic to try & do adjustment but your scenario too eerily similar. Please contact me at hhoffman1@maine. Rr. Com with any answers. Hope we can work together to figure this out.
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Thursday, January 27th, 2011 AT 11:35 PM
Tiny
NORTHERNLITES
  • MEMBER
Was hoping you would have some answers& posted them but I have done my own research and found out it's related to the TCM transmission control module. It needs to be reprogrammed or flashed but this can only be done by the dealership which will run at 98 bucks. Plus you have to pay them 50 to take a look at it. How convenient is that? Plus now the heater/defrost is acting up. Friggin Dodge, last time I buy one.
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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 AT 7:02 PM
Tiny
BOBERT3
  • MEMBER
My car is now sitting at the dealership waiting for a part to come in tomorrow. It was low transmission fluid caused by a broken seal. Also the torque converter is messed up (I think that's what the service manager explained). Long story short its going to end up costing me $800 in parts and another $800 or so in labor. Ouch!
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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 AT 10:26 PM
Tiny
NORTHERNLITES
  • MEMBER
Sorry to hear that it was your transmission. Was hoping it was something simple like I was going the route of. Like the transmission control module. I just dread taking it in & paying $50 bucks for them to look it over & find other stuff which I don't have the time or funds to pay for. Want to go straight to the TCM & then if that's not the problem then I will go elsewhere. Best of luck with yours but I am thinking of trading it and going Honda or Toyota at this point.
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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 AT 8:57 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Low trans fluid will cause the trans to slip when you first hit the gas then it will catch. As far as the trans fluid you saw on the driveway after spinning, that most likely came from a breather. Now, if the trans fluid is full, does it still have the delayed engagement? If it doesn't find out where the leak is coming from and repair it. The trans pans sit low and get hit at times which can cause them to leak. Also, the control module above the trans pan (facing the front of the car) can leak and make it appear as if the trans pan is leaking. The bad part is the module needs replaced when they leak. I think the book calls for.8 hours to replace it, so that tells you it's not a hard job.
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Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 AT 7:25 PM

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