Question about 2008 Dodge Avenger

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2008 dodge avenger. While driving the car last night i felt it surge and then the car would not shift out of 1st gear then the engine light came on. i pulled over and shut car off then restarted it started shifting again then another surge and no shifting again has happened multiple times

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Very likely could be the TCU (transmission control unit) computer. My Chrysler van had the exact symptom. Costly repair, around $800.

Posted on May 20, 2011

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You're in "limp mode"...transaxle shifts down to first to get you home and throws a code.

First and foremost...check the ATF level on the stick ENGINE WARM AND RUNNING. Second: have you added ANYTHING other than ATF+4 (Chrysler spec, full synthetic) to this transaxle? If yes, have the transaxle drained and new ATF+4 (NOT "Dexron 3 with a bottle of magic conversion stuff") and it MAY straighten out. If not, the TCU may be gone, or at least have an open connector. Except for TCU issues, the 42RL is a pretty reliable box. Your dealer or shop may be able to "flash" the TCU to fix the problem, rather than replacing the TCU itself. Another problem...clogged cooler cores, due to not changing fluid. ATF+4 is a 100K mile fluid, but that doesn't mean that friction materials won't clog the cooler! I backflushed mine at 70K and it was pretty bad.

Posted on Aug 04, 2013

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