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Transmission trouble - slips into neutral when cold

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Old 02-04-2011, 10:44 AM   #1
skderen
Pittsburgh, PA
'94 XLT
 
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Transmission trouble - slips into neutral when cold

My transmission just started acting up in the past two weeks, so I'd like some advice - that a girl could understand too please. I know enough about cars, but not like some of you gearheads who know every term for every single little thing.

Have a '94 XLT with 116,000 miles. This tranny issue only happens in the mornings (when the car's been sitting for 12 hours or so, although I DO have a remote starter and always let it warm up for about 10-15 minutes) and only when it's really cold out (like this morning, it was about 15 degrees outside). It also only happens once per morning, usually within a block or two of my house; once I get the car REALLY warmed up, it stops. When I come to a stop light or stop sign, heading uphill, when I try to go again, the tranny will slip into neutral. If I turn the engine off and then restart, it's fine and I can drive again and stop pissing off all of the traffic that's stuck behind me.

I have no problems with any other gears/shifts. I did put a quart of Lucas Transmission Stop Slip in about 1 1/2 weeks ago, and it was fine and dandy for about a week, but then started doing this again the past few days.

Any thoughts? Is my tranny going bad or is there something small that I'm just missing? Haven't tried to take the transmission apart at all yet, so I'm just going on how it feels while driving.

Thanks, guys and gals!
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:10 PM   #2
Anime
GREEN SCREAM!!
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Could be the tranny going, as is normal for the A4LD automatic in these.

Best bet might be checking the ATF fluid level, and maybe even a fluid change.

Additives rarely help, though even if they do, they are just a band-aid until it's eventually so bad a rebuild is necessary. Usually it's better to just use the correct ATF (possibly a synthetic) and no additives at all.

In terms of money, sometimes it's best to just do a fuild change with two gallon jugs of generic Dexron III/Mercon ATF from the parts store, rather than spending $$$ for brand name fluid, only to find the problem is still there. If the fluid change fixes it, you can change the fluid later on with something better if you want, or just run the generic stuff until it's time for a rebuild.




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Old 02-04-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
skderen
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Thanks Anime. Have some work to do tomorrow installing new ABS sensors, so I'll check and change the ATF while I have it on the jacks. Anything that's cheaper than a rebuild, ha ha.

Last edited by skderen; 02-04-2011 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
elbow2342
Lacenter wa.
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tranny goes to neutral

Hi -JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE. MY 94 XLT DOES THE SAME THING WHEN COLD( after setting for 12 hrs. or more) and has done it off and on for a year and a half now. When it first started I serviced the trans ( new filter and fluid and adjusted the bands ) to no avail.still the same problem .Inquired again at this site and had suggestions of valve body problems so Ibought a kit and overhauled the VB.And put a Viton seal on the 1st and rev.acuator piston and it did make a difference in the up shifts,But I still had the original problem.Another member at this site suggested I try an additive, as he had a similar problem and solved it with an additive. Long story short I went to Walmart and bought an additve for automatic trans ,made by Bars/Leak in a two part bottle for around 8 bucks.And there was a vast improvment. Though the problem still rears its ugly little head once in a while it is nothing like before.If you can get another year or two of service by adding an additive it beats the high $ alternative of overhaul or replacement.I mean lets face it. if We had bux delux we would not be driving 17 year old cars huh ? Elbow:
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:02 AM   #5
94explorer
kernersville
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i have a similar problem but with most gears whenever i do get down the block to a stop sign it comes out of gear into neutral i have a 94 limited 4wd and its slippin going into reverse and most of my forward gears ive changed the fluid and filter but still really no change im considering a rebuild but i have yet got any advice from this forum.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:53 AM   #6
The Driver
Clayton New Mexico
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Have you all scaned them to see what that says. You mite be facing a rebuild. I was around a ranger that we thought had the tranny going out so we changed it and it didnt change a thing no codes were thrown ether. We heard about taking off the positive battery cable for 10 minutes so the computer would reset and that fixed it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:32 AM   #7
BrooklynBay
Brooklyn, NY
 
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You should check the valve body gaskets to see if they are deteriorated, and the valve body bolts to see if they are loose. Sometimes bad O rings on the filter might cause a similar issue.
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