Tranny slow to engage in drive when cold



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Thread: Tranny slow to engage in drive when cold

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    Tranny slow to engage in drive when cold

    and I mean when its very cold , It is because of the way its designed ?? Man i dont miss a lot of thing from my Pontiac Montana but I sure miss the tranny

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    When it's REAL cold the transmission fluid is just thicker, and flows slower. The Chrysler ATF+4 could be a thicker fluid than the GM Dexrom III, or maybe the Chrysler tranny is just valved differently.
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    A few thoughts --

    1. ATF+4 is full synthetic. I would expect that it would perform better at lower temps than dexron (and Allpar has a note saying that ATF+4 has better cold weather performance than ATF+3, anyhow).
    2. Is it doing this with just Drive or with both Drive and Reverse? Do you notice any unusual shifting behavior as it cycles through the gears 1-2-3-4? How long of a delay are you seeing? Jason could be right - it could just be the programming of the transmission control module when it is cold.
    3. Regarding the GM tranny, GM had something like 7 years' head start on Chrysler when it came to the 4-speed auto. GM's early 4-speed automatics were really bad too and had quite a reputation for a few years But the 4T60 in my '91 buick was still going strong & smooth when I sold that car at nearly 250,000 miles.... I'd expect Chrysler's tranny reputation to improve with time....

    - G
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    When really cold, the transmission on my '02 is slow from 2nd to 1st and sometimes does not shift and makes a big bang because I step on the gas and it's kinda changing gears...
    2004 Durango Limited AWD

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    Welcome to Ontario. My van is a slug when its cold out.... once it is warmed up , it seems to shift a bit better. I'm certain it is a viscosity issue.

    You should hear my steering wheel on a cold morning.... just like fingernails ona chalkboard......screeeeech.
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    Hmmm, here in New Hampshire, both of our vans (which are now running 100% ATF+4) have no problem shifting at any temperature. The coldest we've experienced so far is about -20 F, and the only thing I notice is that when dropping it into gear for the very first time after a cold start (maybe 10 to 15 seconds of warm up time), the transmission takes a moment or two longer before it is fully engaged. Beyond that, I don't notice a single difference in operation (other than the lack of TC lockup until the tranny is warm that is).

    Thinking about this from another perspective, I've been communicating with an individual on another board who just had his tranny flushed by the fine folks at Pep Boys. They maintain that Dextron III fluid plus their super secret special additive somehow morphs the Dextron into ATF+3, which according to them is the correct fluid for his Gen4 van. Yikes! I've told him "Wrong and wrong again" but he seems to believe that the folks at Pep Boys know what they're talking about.

    So, what does the above have to do with this topic? I'm wondering of some of the vans with sluggish cold shifting could possibly have a Dextron brew in them instead of ATF+3 or ATF+4 (or some mix thereof). Thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baveux View Post
    and I mean when its very cold , It is because of the way its designed ?? Man i dont miss a lot of thing from my Pontiac Montana but I sure miss the tranny
    After some research It look like you have a brand new 2006. When you put it in drive and it does finally engage, does it engage smoothly or harsh? Since it's still under warranty, it wouldn't hurt to have it checked out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shipo View Post
    So, what does the above have to do with this topic? I'm wondering of some of the vans with sluggish cold shifting could possibly have a Dextron brew in them instead of ATF+3 or ATF+4 (or some mix thereof). Thoughts?
    Nope. My '99 does it and it is 100% ATF+3. It isn't sluggish to engage in gear, but the tranny definitely feels like it needs a cup of coffee in the cold morning to get it shifting correctly. I have noticed that really delayed bump shift in cold conditions Ian talked about as well.
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    I need to add some information.

    The tranny is fine in reverse. The delay is only in drive, from reverse to drive, or dircetly from park to drive. Otherwise the tranny shift correctly.

    Its not a problem, its just an annoyance, sometime you back up into a street from a driveway and you stay there 2/3/4 second , I really dont know how long but its kind of too long ;-)

    However thanks for your input guys, its a great board here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baveux View Post
    I need to add some information.

    The tranny is fine in reverse. The delay is only in drive, from reverse to drive, or dircetly from park to drive. Otherwise the tranny shift correctly.

    Its not a problem, its just an annoyance, sometime you back up into a street from a driveway and you stay there 2/3/4 second , I really dont know how long but its kind of too long ;-)

    However thanks for your input guys, its a great board here
    Hmmm, that "sounds" a bit too long. After a below zero cold start, both of our vans will lethargically shift into "D", however, that's only relative to how quickly they get into "D" after a cold start on a warm day. I'd say maybe one to one and a half seconds tops from "P" to "D" when it's really cold out. I don't believe I've ever experienced either of our vans take even as long as two seconds to do anything and certainly not four.

    Do you have a fair idea of the makeup of the fluid in your tranny?
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
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