You are here:

Chrysler Repair/'08 PT Cruiser 5 speed Man. Trans: difficult downshiting


It is very hard to down shift into 1st or 2nd, sometimes 3rd. It does not happen all the time. We traveled from Milwaukee, WI to Knoxville, TN. The car was in a mechanic who redid the brakes and it was good for 3-4 weeks. Pumping the clutch seems to help. I am not seeing if there is a place to check transmission fluid. The car was sold as a 2008 but was manufactured in Nov 2007. Since we are not in Milwaukee I would like to know more.

Hi Billie,
The fluid level in the transmission is checked at its fill hole on the transmission but that is probably not the reason for the difficulty in downshifting.
The first thing to do is bleed the clutch's actuating hydraulic system of some of its fluid because there may be air in the system's fluid which causes the clutch to not disengage fully when you use the pedal. The clutch system actually is 'fed' brake fluid from the brake master cylinder reservoir if it loses fluid, and perhaps in the course of working on the brakes the mechanic allowed the brake fluid level in that reservoir to fall too low and that allowed air to get into the clutch's hydraulic system. 'Pumping' the pedal helping the situation suggests too this may be the reason.
I have the pages which show how to do that "bleed" on a CD which I can copy and attach to an email I would send to you directly. But if you tell me your email address don't use the @ symbol, instead use "at" or the address will be erased. You can then either do the bleed yourself or give the pages to a mechanic to follow.
Mention which size engine (L) you have.

Chrysler Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Roland Finston


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.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, or asleep overnight, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2011 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

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

©2016 All rights reserved.