Question about 2003 Dodge Neon

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When you put the neon into drive it takes a minute to pop into gear. Also sometimes while just regular driving its like its not shifting properly. Have any ideas whats wrong?

We have changed the filters and the fluid. I check the fluid its always clean and full.

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  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Nov 22, 2013

    If you follow your shifter linkage to transmission where it attaches, there is a piece , like a lever that is suppose to move/rotate back and forth approx 180 degrees

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Nov 22, 2013

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  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Nov 22, 2013

    Sorry, wasn"t finished. Anyway, that lever gets seized often and needs to move around and back independant of other linkage. It's like a kickdown/throttle valve, that when gas pedal is pushed far enough, it shifts down for better acceleration, as normally in all automatics. When it gets seized it basically has the transmission thinking you are on hard acceleration all the time, thus late shift up and shifts down hard as well when stopping. You may need to remove battery and tray to work on it easier. Spray penetrating lubricant all around the top of where the linkage connects and keep trying to move that lever around and back until such time it is really free and returns by itself . Then spray it with a good coating of lubricant to deter it happening again. "WARNING" What ever you do, DO NOT, REMOVE NUT ON TOP. That will cause shaft to drop down and you will be off to the transmission shop to have it fixed, as pan and valve body have to be removed to get that shaft back the way it needs to be for transmission to work. Leave everything as is, and work lever by hand until it is free. Prett sure that will cure your problem, as it did on my Neon, 2 or 3 times while I had one. Keep me posted.



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Does it appear to stay in lower gear too long before shifting up when driving or any other symptoms?

Posted on Nov 21, 2013

  • Keith
    Keith Nov 21, 2013

    It does that once in a while in second, but not often. Mainly the problems are taking a few seconds shifting in to drive, the occasional staying in second which fixes by turning the car off. Also when you brake hard it slams while down shifting.



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