TRANSMISSION SLIPPAGE on 1997 Chrysler Town & Country

97 chrysler T&C van 6cyl auto w/ 124 K miles began slipping trans engagement in 1st gear & reverse when cold weather arrived. Trans fluid flushed &screen changed.Trans works ok when driven a few miles no hesitation in drive gear normal upand down shift) but occasionally hesitates and jerks at traffic lite stop ( first gear). No leak of fluid under car. Obviously a trans shop wants $1200 to replace entire trans. any less costly fixes?

by in Egg Harbor Township, NJ on December 29, 2008
3 answers
ANSWER by on December 30, 2008
Unfortunately, transmission problems are really common these cars. On RepairPal's common problems page, it says "A delay in the transaxle engagement (greater than three seconds) may have multiple causes, including a defective pump, defective internal lip seals, valve body components, the Park Reverse Neutral Drive lever switch, and the output speed sensor." Having a shop check for these problems may save you from having to replace the entire transmission, but it's not a sure bet. Sorry!
ANSWER by on December 30, 2008
Matt is correct, this will probably need more diagnosis. There is a tech service bulletin from Chrysler (TSB 21-07-98) that has decision tree for use in diagnosis. The shop should be able to scan for any trouble codes as well. Unfortunately, reverse is typically the first gear to show signs of transmission problems. Your local dealer would be able to verify that your transmission module has the latest software and diagnose the issue for you, but you'll most likely need to pay for diagnosis
ANSWER by on October 29, 2009
check your ambient temp sensor it might ber bad
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