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Dodge Repair/2005 neon: automatic transmission no output

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Question
We were driving home and the car all of a sudden seemed like it jumped to neutral.
RPM jumped up but transmission seemed to be not engaged.
It did not slip prior to this and the oil does not smell or taste burnt.
It will go to park but will not move when put in gear.

Answer
Hi William,
You didn't mention any abnormal noises coming from the powertrain when this happened, which would be a sign of internal damage of the unit. If that is the case, then one possibility is that there is a failure of one of the two drive shafts. Were that the case all the power output would be directed toward the broken shaft so there would be no movement of the vehicle.
I would try to observe the two driveshafts where they exit the transmission to see if either one is rotating when you have the engine running and you are in any gear. If only one turns then there is something wrong with that drive shaft or the connection of either drive shaft to the transmission, internally. You could raise the vehicle and try rotating each tire with the trans in Park to see if one or the other is free to move.
If neither side transmission outputs are turning then it sounds to me like an internal failure of the transmission. You could drop the pans from the transmission (have a large container to catch the fluid) and lower each pan carefully and slowly to see if there is debris in the pan which would indicate such an internal failure.
Let me know what you learn as this is a fairly unusual experience.
Please "rate" my answer (see the PS below).
Thanks,
Roland

Dodge Repair

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Roland Finston

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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.

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

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" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

Experience

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

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

Education/Credentials
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).

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