1998 Dodge Neon Transmission Problem

I recently inherited the above mentioned 1998 Dodge Neon when my Grandfather passed on. The car is I excellent condition and only has 36,000 miles on it. The only problem I have encountered is that at highway speed (50 +) the transmission will not up shift unless I slip it into neutral and then back into drive. This solution works but aside from being annoying I fear that this solution is stop gap at best. In addition because this car does not have a tachometer I have to listen for the engine speed and I don?t really want to rely on that to make sure the engine doesn?t over rev.

Start with replacing the transmission filter and fluid. Then, if still a problem, let your favorite transmission shop have a go at it. The problem may not be inside the transmission.

How difficult is that to do(replace the fluid/filter) and/ or what sould the approximate cost be for the work to be done professionally
Thanks for the input

Sounds like an issue with the direct clutch, possibly leaking. You can try a can of Berrymans in it to try to swell the clutch piston seals enough to cause a shift.


Fluid topped off?

According to my father, who had the car breifly before I started driving it, diagnostically everything checks out, the computer reports everything ok, the fluids are normal and the filter and fluids were changed when hw got the car. Ill try the berrymans but im starting to think it is an adjustment problem inside the transmission. Thanks for the input

These things take at most an hour and my transmission shop charges $65 for the service. Yours might differ a little. This is a routine service, which many people forget.

I have owned three NEONS, including a 1998, all used. {not at once!} I drove them up to 80 or 85K and none had transmissions problems. I thought it had a “peppy engine” for its size and good handling. After 10 yrs., must be an age related problem. Good luck.

The transmission in this vehicle is not computer controlled, the transmission shifts by way of a governor. From what you are describing, you are not hitting 3rd gear all the time. This problem could be due to old hardened clutch piston seals in the front drum, which are internally leaking or possibly a sticking governor or sticking 2-3 shift valve. Try the Berrymans B-12 Chemtool and see what happens. There are two adjustments on this transmission, the front or “Intermediate” band and the rear band. Neither band is applied in 3rd gear so I dont think adjustments are going to help your issue. Let us know what happens with the Berrymans. You can find it at Advance Auto Parts, PepBoys, and Wal-Mart.