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Chrysler Repair/'00 Neon; automatic shifting problems


QUESTION: I have a chrysler neon 2000 model .it is cranking but wont start.recently it hasnt been changing gears will jump from 2 to 4 gear.and change down when it reaches 40km/h then it will start jerking.i tried to find out the error gave me 52.what does that mean.please help.

ANSWER: Hi Emily,
Sorry for the delay in responding to your question which I found in the 'question pool' to which it had been referred by Kevin. I was off line for a week due to not having a function computer.
I wonder how you got the trouble code 52? Several years before 2000 the fault code system was changed to show 4-digit numbers rather than 2-digit. Did you use the ignition key (on-off-on-off-on and leave on, doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time)? The watch to odometer window to see the mileage reading be replaced by 4-digit numbers preceded by a P.
The transmission also has fault codes, but typically those won't read out via the ignition key. Rather a plug-in code reader that plugs into a socket under the dash is needed. A nation-wide auto parts store will often do that for free (such as Autozone) or an independent shop will do it for $40 or so.
Let me know what you learn and we'll go from there.
Please read the PS below and respond to it.

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Thanks for the answer
I have another question now anout trsnsmission.the car doesnt change gears properly
It jumps from 2 to 4 and during change down when it reaches40km/r iy starts to jerk struggling to change down further.what could be the cause.

ANSWER: Hi Emily,
The transmission is a non-electronic type which while simpler and less problematic than the electronic type, it does not have any self-diagnostic capability. So to diagnose the problem I need to understand exactly how it is behaving. What you described was not clear to me.
First, there are three forward gears (not 4), and then at about 50km/hr there is a noticeable "shift" when the torque converter 'locks up' which causes the rpm to drop down slightly and thus that seems like a 4th gear. It usually will not do that lock up when you are in 2nd gear unless you have the gear selector in 2 instead of D.
So tell me what happens when you have the gear lever in D as you go through the automatic shifting from 1 to 2 to 3 to "lock up", which I would call 'upshifting'. Downshifting happens when you slow down from road speeds of 50 km/hr or more, when the first thing that happens is the torque converter 'unlocks', then with further slowing it will shift from 3 to 2, and then as you come to a stop it will shift down from 2 to 1.
Does the transmission do the 'unlock' and then those shifts, and if not, please tell me exactly which one is not happening properly.
Once you tell me exactly what is happening I can try to give you some advice.
The other thing to do now is check the level of the fluid in the transmission. It has a separate 'Dip Stick' and you should have the engine running and the transmission in Park when you check what the level is shown to be on the dip stick. If the level is not in the proper range then the shifting is likely to be impacted.
Please read the PS below and respond to it.

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what i can say that happens is that when it starts up-shifting from 1,2 then i think it jumps 3 and goes straight to lockup.if that happens it starts vibrating indicating its in high i do is just to step on the accelerator until it picks up speed and stops vibrating.When down changing too when it reaches 40km/h then it starts vibrating like something is holding the change down.Then when that happens i shift the lever to d2 then back to drive.Some times the gears do get down but sometimes they don't.According to the explanation  you have given its like the toque converter doesn't other words there is no unlocking that takes place.The fluid level is always OK

Hi Emily,
There are several possible causes for what you describe that are fairly easy to adjust or replace. The "front band" adjustment would be easy for a mechanic to try to see if that improves things. The other would be, it indeed there is a problem with the torque converter lock up or its unlocking which would be to replace the solenoid which operates it. That would involve a few more steps to accomplish and the replacement part.
To get an idea about the role of the torque converter lock up in this problem you could start by simply unplugging the electrical connector and take it out of the picture. The plug is on the side of the transmission that faces the front of the car, about mid-line in height and very close to where the wide tapered surface meets the narrower main body of the transmission. It has two wires, dark blue/white and orange/black. After you remove that plug the trans will then simply go from 1 to 2 to 3rd gear, and not then do a torque converter lock up action at all. See how it drives that way. The only loss will be a bit of fuel economy when driving at higher speeds.
What is the situation with your finding a shop that knows anything about the "31TH non-electronic automatic transaxle" in you vehicle? Does any competent mechanic near to you have a shop manual that describes this transaxle and its servicing or repair? I can copy about 10 pages that apply to these two specific suggestions and postal mail them to you if there is no such information nearby.
If there is not a Chrysler dealership then ask at independent transmission repair shops as to their familiarity with this transmission. It very well could be repaired by a competent person with the instruction manual pages available. The entire set of pages about the transaxle number about 140 so it might be better to look for a Chrysler shop manual that covers the entire vehicle, used, on eBay.
Thanks for the previous rating and nomination which you are welcome to do both again if this is helpful to you.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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