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Chrysler Repair/'06 PT Cruiser: won't shift out of 2nd gear


QUESTION: My mother in law just purchased a 2006 PT Cruiser with the same issues as this lady below had. She had it "worked on" but seems to be having the same issues. It won't shift out of first but is she stops and turns the car off and lets it sit for a little bit it seems to run fine. She also has to accelerate slowly, if she hits the gas too fast it won't shift out of first. Any suggestions how what she should do?

Chrysler Repair/'06 PT Cruiser Transmission limp-mode

Expert: Roland Finston - 11/22/2011

Hello Roland, I have a 2006 PT Cruiser that every now and then will not shift out of limp mode (2nd gear)my son and I removed the battery cable while we were looking under the hood;and we noticed that when we replaced the cable and took it for a test drive it was shifting fine. Then I took it to a dealer and left it with them,and after 2 days they were unable to find anything wrong with the car,and about a day or two later it did the same thing. So once again we removed the battery cable to reset the transmission, I live in a rural area and for me to have a tow truck would cost me an arm and a leg. Any Ideas what this could be???? Thank you for your time.   Laura

ANSWER: Hi Mark,
It is actually defaulted to second gear which is called "limp-in mode" and it does that when the trans controller detects a fault in the operation and it is trying to prevent any further problem. So get a transmission fault code readout from a shop asking for the fault code numbers, what they mean, what they would recommend. Then let me know the results and we can see what the manual says about those codes. You may be able to get a free readout at a nationwide auto parts store (e.g. Autozone) but in any case a shop shouldn't charge more than $40.

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QUESTION: She's had a readout but didn't have it with her when we visited. I can ask if she can get another readout. The shop cleared the "engine" light when it was in the shop but I don't think they did more than that. I've done some reading and this seems to be an issue with 2006 PT Cruisers but I haven't seen any recalls on it either. Thanks for the help, I'll write back once she gets a code readout.


Hi Mark,
Maybe the shop will have a record of the receipt they gave her and can tell her what the code(s) were. Clearing the check engine light will be part of the code readout so they should have the codes or well do the readout again for free. Be sure to get all the code numbers. I don't believe having a transmission going into limp mode is unique or more frequent for the PT.

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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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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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