transmission troubles when cold? [Archive] - Forum


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01-29-2010, 01:09 AM
My grand am has a problem in the mornings when it is cold. I start it up, and it runs fine. I take off, and it drives fine. I get going up to speed, and as soon as I slow down, and start to go out on the highway the car stays like in high gear, and it doesn't want to get up to speed very fast. I have to floor it to even get it to move. After 15-20 minutes of driving it stops doing this though. I checked the fluid, and everything is good. It doesn't do this unless the car has set out in 25 degree weather and colder all night. If its a bit warmer out like 30's it doesn't do this? I'm confused. Why would it be getting stuck in high gear when I stop? Anyone else have this problem?

01-29-2010, 07:29 AM
It sounds like your torque converter isnt unlocking when you need power. There really isnt an easy fix for this.

When you say you checked the fluid how did you do this? The fluid is not visible from the hole in the top of the transmission and if it is is is way overfull. There is a plug on the back of the tranny behind the drivers side tire where you need to do the check. When you undo it you should get maybe a tablespoon of fluid out of that hole. Any more and it is too full, any less and youre low.

When was the last time you changed the filter and fluid? It may be that your filter is clogged up too.

It could also be a shift solenoid getting stuck in the cold but releasing once the fluids are warmed up.

Lots of ifs and maybes. Your best bet is to take it to a shop that deals with these sorts of problems on a daily basis.

01-29-2010, 04:24 PM
Yea I checked the fluid once the car was jacked up level all around. I've never changed the transmission fluid. The person who owned the car before me said he changed it a couple years back. Whats weird is though. If I take of right onto the road from my house it shifts perfectly , and drives fine. Its the first stop I make that triggers it. It like will stay in the highest gear I was in. Then it just chugs trying to get up to speed. Like I said though it only does it when the car is cold though. When its warm out I have no problems what so ever.

02-01-2010, 11:16 AM
This is exactly what's happening to mine. After searching around, I really think it's my torque converter not unlocking. It only really happens when the car has been sitting outside overnight in sub freezing temps. After 10 min. of driving or so, it's fine. My tranny fluid and filter are only about 30k miles old, but I think they may need changed again. If you've never changed your fluid and filter, I think that's most likely the root of your problem. Have a shop do a fluid change (NOT a full flush), put in a new filter, and see if that helps any. I'm going to be doing the same here shortly.

02-02-2010, 08:31 PM
Sounds like the shift sellinoid. When it does it again try shifting it into 1 and going through the gears like it was a standard and see if it still does it.

02-03-2010, 04:14 AM
I've already tried that. No matter what gear your in it does it till it warms up. I think I'll try changing the filter and fluid. I have another question though. Would it be safe to use B&M trick shift fluid, and how much does the refill call for?

02-03-2010, 09:41 AM
Id say its the filter not letting enough fluid through it for the transmission to shift back down again. It probally stops doing it when it warms up because the fluid flows better and can get throuh the dirty filter better. Personally, I would just use normal transmission fluid (I don't know what type it takes off the top of my head, but it you go to NAPA they can tell you) with no additives.

02-03-2010, 11:16 AM
^^^ Yep, I think that's the main problem. I had my fluid changed about 30k miles ago, but it hadn't been done in a VERY long time before that. So, I'm thinking all the deposits that the new fluid kicked up 30k miles ago are now clogging my filter. It seemed as though it just started doing it really badly this winter, so I think i'll get the fluid and filter changed in the near future. I'd suggest the same, Leslie. Gotta keep our 11 year old red GT's runnin' well!

02-03-2010, 12:54 PM
Use Dexron VI to refill your transmission. At this point dont bother with a power flush. Just drop the pan and drain out what comes out and put in a new filter and new pan gasket and top off with the same amount that came out.

02-03-2010, 09:38 PM
I was just wondering if anyone ran the trick shift, because it is almost half the price of the Dexron VI. lol

02-04-2010, 06:55 AM
From their product page:

Ideal for towing, light trucks and RV applications as well as racing. Not recommended for electronic controlled transmissions.

Use Dexron VI.

02-04-2010, 07:23 AM
Alright. Thanks alot for that info. Thanks for the help guys. I
ll let you know if it works after I change the filter and fluid.

02-04-2010, 11:22 AM
I see that Coastal Dexron VI is about $6 a quart at Autozone. My question is, how difficult is it to do the filter and fluid change yourself? Is a lift required, or will a jack and jack stands work? I know that you need to put in 7 quarts of new fluid because the torque converter holds on to about 6 quarts (total 13 quarts), but how do I know exactly how much I need to put in? I don't wanna pay a shop an arm and a leg for something that I can do myself, but I also don't wanna screw up my only form of transportation.

02-04-2010, 11:34 AM
Since we're on this issue, I've really been wondering about having the filter changed in my trans. I'm at 115K, and I've never had an issue with shifting, even in the cold. (aside from the shift points are a bit different due to the fluid not being warmed up) To my knowledge, the trans was never serviced in it's lifetime. The fluid is still clean however. Should I change the filter soon? Reason why I'm nervous of doing it, I changed just the filter in my pop's old 00 Grand Marquis (trans had 0 issues before) after 100K, and it fell apart after being cracked open. Lost 2nd and 3rd, then would drive at all.


02-04-2010, 05:31 PM
change is easy to do. u can do it with a jack and stands. there is a how-to on here somewhere...