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Plym Auto Overdrive Trans

grandspan's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 182

12-15-02, 07:31 AM   #1  
Plym Auto Overdrive Trans

1991 Plymouth Acclaim, 3.0 Litre V6 Engine, Front Wheel Drive, Automatic Overdrive Transmission, Original LOW miles: 55,485
The missus started complaining about her car a week ago and I finally got to check it out yesterday. The transmission started acting up. When you first use the car in the mornings, for the first 15 to 20 minutes of driving, the car seems to stay in 2nd gear and not up shift any further. Yesterday I took it out on the expressway and the engine had to rev at around 3500 RPM and above to keep the car at 50 MPH, wouldn’t shift to high gear.
After about 15 minutes of driving I stopped and shut down the car for about five minutes to check fluid and trans linkage. When I started up again the car did shift up through the gears, but very harshly on each shift (bucking) and the same on downshifts when I slowed down.
I keep a good record book on each of my cars, the trans fluid and filter was changed at 30,581 miles in August of 1998, so I know it’s time for trans fluid service and possibly using one the many trans fluid additives that are out there. The fluid still looks nice and fresh, red, not a burned brown color.
Do you think a fluid/filter change will help or is it time for the Transmission shop, probably internal repairs needed? Thank you.

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Joe_F's Avatar
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12-15-02, 01:44 PM   #2  
I believe we are dealing with internal failure here .

Even though you did take very good care of it and have copious maintenance records, this is no winner of a powertrain combination.

The 3.0 is a notorious oil burner and the early 4 speed overdrive transmissions in these Chryslers give up hope in a jiffy .

Have a good trans shop drive it and see if they can diagnose it. Sounds like internal failure from what you described.

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12-17-02, 10:58 AM   #3  

Chrysler overdrives do have thier shortcomings. That said your problem sounds like the spline sensor relay. The cost about 20 dollars. A shop should charge about 100 to put in. The relay is preventing the upshift and allowing the car to limp in. You mention that you change out fluid and filter. Are you sure it has ATF+3 in it. Most shops still put Dexcron and a modifier. This is not right! On early 4 speed autos Chrysler even said you could put Dexcron, and later came out with a statement that ATF+3 must be used. If you have questions about whats in there. Replace all of the fluid about 9qts with ATF+3. That said it does sound like a shaft relay.

Good luck

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