How to Deal With Problems in PT Cruiser Transmission?

PT Cruiser (PT stands for personal transportation) is a car model that is introduced by Chrysler in 2000. This line of automobile is designed with a variety of transmissions, including manual, automatic and semi-automatic.

In the transmission system, there is often a transmission machine to regulate the power of the engine in your car. In general, this part goes through nearly all of the pressure, which could be the result of friction or heat generated from the parts’ movement. As a result, the transmission if a PT Cruiser car would have a lot of problems.

For many people, finding out the problem with the transmission in a PT Cruiser car is a challenging task. In general, most common issues are both electrical as well as mechanical, errors in the form of sounds as well as sensations. In addition, it would cost you a lot of money to replace any parts of the transmission.

The following are some common problems with PT Cruiser Transmission and suitable solutions:​

1. Transmission Fluid is not Consistent

  • When you replace the transmission fluid in your vehicle, it is important to apply a recommended type. Most Chrysler four-speed and six-speed automatic transmissions are quality-sensitive to the transmission fluid. In fact, you must use an ATF+4 in transmissions and also avoid Mercon or Dexron.
  • Sometimes, flushing the fluid in transmission also works. You would notice the flow of clean red fluid coming out after flushing out a half. However, this method is not popular because you just replace a half of the transmission fluid. The best way to solve this problem is to replace all transmission fluid.
  • To check the transmission fluid in your car, the first thing you need to do is placing your car on a flat surface. The temperature of the engine should be at approximately 180 degrees. The dipstick handle needs to be clean. Also make sure the fluid is being in hot region. If you smell a burnt odor or notice contaminated components, then immediately get the transmission fluid examined.

2. Retrain The Computer

  • After replacing the transmission fluid in the engine, the computer in your car needs to be retrained. Similar to most models of computer that control cars, watch the behavior and set up error codes. In times, the computer would not recognize the existing problems, but the issues that do not happen. Sometimes, it also shows some problems that are caused by other parts.
  • Good car dealers will have complex computers to provide your car a large amount of data when they are plugged in. Whenever the computer indicates a severe failure, it will activate limp-in mode so that you can get the vehicle to a professional mechanic or save the information to compensate for an issue in the sensor.
  • The transmission sticking in second gear is one of the major symptoms.
  • The Check Engine light may also lighten due to a loose gas cap.

3. Transmission Solenoid

An automatic transmission often changes gears by using hydraulic fluid under pressure. When this process happens, the computer in your car will activate the transmission solenoid, which directs the fluid to the valve body for correct gear engaging. When the vehicle is moving down a road, the computer will analyze information provided by engine speed as well as vehicle speed sensors.

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There are many ways that a computer in your car would control the transmission solenoid:​

  • If the car is made with a transmission control unit, it could use 12 volts signal to open or close the hydraulic circuit.
  • The Engine Control Unit or ECU could control the plunger of the solenoid by turning on and off the ground circuit.

A solenoid could control multiple or a single gear, depending on its design. There are some common signs of this problem:

  • The transmission does not downshift: This means that one of the solenoids might have been stuck closed or open, which keep the fluid from coming in the valve body and pressurizing the right gear.
  • Erratic shifting: a defective transmission solenoid could be the result of skipping of the gearbox back and forth, or up and down repeatedly.
  • Locked in the neutral or serious delay in shifting: in an automatic transmission, the solenoid has to control the pressure of the fluid to run the correct gear. When the solenoid gets dirty fluid or unstable electrical current, it would remain stuck open or closed. As a result, it is more difficult for gear engagement and makes the transmission locked in neutral temporarily.

After that, the ECU will register an error code and turn on the engine light, which makes the transmission go into a fail or limp mode.

When it comes to solenoid replacement, it often takes from 2 to 4 hours and costs between 150$ and 400$.​

Other Problems

- The ground strap is broken or missing: In this situation, your vehicle requires a new computer or transmission.

- Defective input sensor: When the input on the screen of a scan tool is 0 rpm, you should change the sensor.

- Upgrade comp-firmware: The firmware in the computer might require an improvement.

- Loose electric connection.

- Add transmission cooler: This would help to double up the life of transmission in your vehicle.

- Additives: Even though ATF+4 are one of the most common additives used for car, you need to avoid using these substances if possible. Some major benefits of additives are as following:

  • Have better anti-wear and anti-corrosion feature.
  • Maintain frictional properties.
  • Control oxidation and eliminate deposit of contamination.
  • Prevent anti-foaming.
  • Have a low temperature for operation.
John Henry
 

I am John Henry and I have begun to work in automotive industry since the 90s, specializing in car rebuilding and repair. After nearly two decades of working in this complex section, with extensive experience in repairing, troubleshooting and maintaining thousands of cars, I started to work as an auto blogger to share my practical knowledge as well as skills with car owners all around the world through a wide range of articles in online magazine.

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