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Former Alty Owner
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2,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if it's really a problem.. but I'll post it anyway. Anytime it is really cold, which if you live in NY, you know what I mean, my car's tranny has trouble getting into D, seems to get stuck in 3rd. As soon as it warms up a bit, it drops into D. Is it just the fact that it is really cold, and just needs time to warm up, or do I have potentially other issues. If anyone knows, I'd like to hear. Thanks
 

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Former Alty Owner
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2,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Remi said:
Do you mean the shift lever itself won't go into D or that the car won't shift up?
No not the lever... the lever had no problem going into D.. The tranny has the problem. you can feel it and hear it. It stays in 3rd
 

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225 Posts
Two possibilities.

1. Defective tranny or

2. Some vehicles with auto nowadays keep the tranny in a lower gear to help the vehicle warm up quicker. Depending on how cold it's getting where you are it could very likely be the latter especially if you're going to highway speeds right away where you'd notice it.
 

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*Donating Member* Member
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878 Posts
Mine will not lock up the torque converter until the car has warmed up a little. However, in SC, that usually only takes driving about 3 miles, as most of the time it does not get very cold.
 

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2,215 Posts
There is nothing wrong with your car, its doing this by design. The OD gear will not engage until the engine/transmission reaches a certain operating temperature; likewise the torque converter will not lockup until the tranny is fully warmed...in some cases here (western Massachusetts) my TQ converter hasn't locked during my entire 20 minute commute to work.

I think the cooling system is partly to blame here...I think it was designed with summertime in Death Valley in mind and not Northeast US winters...seems to be altogether too efficient at cooling off the engine in the winter. I think I'm going to try the old timer trick of a partial radiator cover to reduce the cooling efficiency and see if I can get a little more heat out of it...I have a 3 month old baby and I just can't have her riding around in a cold car.
 

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not your avg 4 dr
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108 Posts
Tdoyle good luck with the trick. I tried that on my old Maxima and she started to run hotter than normal. I ended up removing it out of fear.

Scottlny, Tdoyle and Remi have it right. My Jeep and my old Maxima do the exact same thing. Normally lasts about 2 min for me.
 

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had some 19 degree mornings here in Memphis and experioenced the same thing car stayed in third until ~60 MPH (didnt want to go faster on city streets) but once warm the car acted normally
 

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Former Alty Owner
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2,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
thanks to everyone that posted.. I thought it was nothing, but couldn't hurt to ask. I tend to drive shortly after the car is warmed up, combined with the cold weather we've been having.. most likely is causing these issues.
 

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Be Prepared, son.
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613 Posts
Yes, the same exact happened to me about a week ago. I thought I was crazy for a second, but then I just put the two conditions together and figured it out.
 

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enlighten me
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904 Posts
In a different post, it was reccomended not to let the revs go over 3000 rpm untill the car has warmed up, this seems to negate that idea. Does it not hurt the car to rev the engine over 3000 before it has reached standard operating temp? I'm confused here.
 

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C'mon people. Wake up ten minutes earlier and give you car a extra time to warm up. It works for me. then when you get in it's roasty toasty.
 
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