Cold weather & transmissions plus strut question

Hello, I have a two part question:

First, I own a 2003 Kia Sedona. I have had no problems at all (except a strange creaking noise coming form the right front strut) but I have noticed that my transmission seems to be shifting weird since it got cold out. About a week ago the temp dropped to -18. I went to put it reverse and it didn’t want to move. On my way to work I noticed that it seems to hange when shifting. Once it warms up it stops doing it. When sitting in my driveway I ran it through the gears and watched the tach and it seems like it takes a second to go into gear from park. The trans serviced this last summer and the van has only 70,000 miles on it. Can really cold cause problems wi the trans??

Do I have anything to worry about?

Now my second question:

I have had this strange creaking sound coming from I believe to be the passenger front strut. When I take off from a stand still I hear a creaking noise coming from that strut. It also makes that same noise when coming to a stop and on certain road surfaces. At first I thought I had a broken engine mount. So I did a test: I opened the hood, put my foot on the brake and put in gear and pushed on the gas and watched to see if the engine would move. I heard the creaking and the engine move about 1/2 an inch. I found a forum about this and a TSB was put out on the strut mount. I guess the sound from the strut is going in the cab of the van. Does this sound correct?? This sound has caused no problems with the van.


Cold weather can make transmissions shift sluggishly for a few miles. Be gentle with it, if you can, while it warms up. That might be a half hour of driving at -18!

Make sure the tranny fluid level is checked with the vehicle on the level and at operating temp with the engine idling.

!/2" of torque movement from the engine is normal.
Sound can travel along the frame and body panels for quite a distance and make noises hard to pinpoint.

Spongebob, in spite of what we said about idling to warm up the car, this is one situation where it IS NECESSARY to let the car warm up before you drive off. I had the same problem with a Pontiac Le Mans years ago. The gear shift was very stiff, and I needed a 5 minute warmup before I could shift. Forcing the gearshift is not recommended, as is driving when it shift erratically.

In very cold regions people use magnetic stick on heaters that calmp on the transmission. Plug those in for about one hour and your transmission will be warm at startup.