2002 Mazda Protege- Bizarre Transmission Trouble

Help! Car has almost 300,000 miles. Transmission fluid full and clean (recently flushed). Car drives great- however when starting cold I put into drive and nothing. I will put it into Low- then 2- then back to Drive and slowly starts to creep. I will need to rev motor a bit to get it going. Reverse works normally. Once it is warm it drives great. I can stop and shop for an hour or eat lunch and get back in the car and it drives normally. I sometimes even forget about the transmission problem. Now here is whats weird. I have an oil leak so I check oil and occasionally add a quart. One time I added quart when it was cold and I noticed the transmission immediately drove like normal. Why? Recently coming back from a hotel I had trouble driving- Overdrive light blinking (indicating transmission fault code). Car just did not want to go and once it was moving never drove normally- seemed very rough. I had to rev it to keep it going- tranny never seemed locked in. I stopped and checked oil- very low. I topped off oil (engine oil- not transmission oil) and car drove like normal all the way home and no more fault code. Have checked it with computer- no transmission fault codes stored. One shop says I need new transmission seals- $1200! Nobody has a clue why adding engine oil would affect the slipping transmission when cold. Everyone says it has to be completely unrelated but my wife was with me when I added oil coming back from the hotel. She knows I am not crazy or hallucinating. Adding oil changed the car from “we may have to junk it and buy a new one now” to “hey! It drives great! This is definitely a problem we can put on the back burner”. Any ideas at all?

All the right fluids in all the wrong places, my guess, did the trans filter get changed?

Yes- just took it to the local garage and they double checked the fluids before searching for error codes (none found). Not sure about Transmission filter- could that contribute to the problem?

I’m wondering if the “recent flush” is what did it and lodged some debris. Some of us don’t like flushes, just dropping the pan and changing the filter-unless there are problems. But 300K, no way would I pull the trans apart without overhauling it at the same time. You can try that Berrymans stuff to see if that will help but otherwise . . .

Sounds like the tranny is shot. I would try Berryman’s too. 300k miles is a bunch. I wouldn’t sink money into it.

What’s Berrymans?

Power Steering Sealer! Found it! I will try it and let you know if it worked! Thanks

Hey gang! This OP should not put power steering sealer in the transmission should he?

This is an off label use for Berrymans, with a high mileage transmission it is worth a try. It softens the seals and helps keep the pressure up.

Never used it but I thought there was a Berrymans 12 or something for transmissions. I believe there are several Berrymans products.

Maybe stopping the car and adding some engine oil takes enough time for something in the transmission to heat up enough via heat transfer to work better.

I found it- Transmission Fluid Sealer- added it following instructions. Will update if it is working- thanks all