Erratic behavior

My 93 Eagle Vision TSI (24v 3.5litre, automatic)with 147,00 miles runs great most of the time, but in certain situations it starts to jerk like it’s missing. Recent tune-up, so I think its transmission related. This can happen at 35mph or 55mph, or any time it’s not working to maintain speed. I can downshift to 3 or accelerate to over 3,000 rpms and it rides smooth as silk! This has a fluid torque converter that I suspect is causing it, but I’m not ready to take it to the dealer and shell out more than the car is worth. Any ideas or experience with this?

Are There Any Trouble Codes Stored By Your Car’s Engine Control Module ?

Being a 1993, you don’t have an OBD 2 socket, but with the engine off, try turning the ignition key :

from “off” to the “on” position (not start),
then to “off”,
then to “on”,
then to "off,
and then to “on” (the third “on”) and leave it there.

Do this “key dance” within 5 seconds and get ready to count how many times the “Check engine” light blinks. It will send out a code or codes if it’s got any stored. The codes are 2 digit numbers.

blink, pause, blink, blink, pause . . . blink, blink, blink, pause, blink, blink, blink, would be two codes - code 12 and code 33. The codes may repeat after the first time through. You may have to try this over again to catch it. It takes a little practice. You should get a code 55 “End of Message” at the end of the other codes.

See if you can do that and post the codes here and we’ll see if it helps with anything.
Is the “check engine” light on at this time?


When was the last time your transmission was serviced (fluid and filter change)?

'm not ready to take it to the dealer

There is no reason to take it to the dealer. There are independent mechanics with their own shops who can work on your car. Dealers are not better (or worse) than independent mechanics, but they are almost always more expensive.

At each oil change (approx. 3,000 miles) I have the trans fluid checked. The guy who does my oil says the trans fluid appears fine and not in need of changing. Maybe I should insist.

I did the check engine light code and it came out 333 55. I thought all the codes were 2 digit numbers, but I did it two different times and got the 333. The best I can tell from my Chilton’s Manual, 33 is about air conditioning. My a/c has been disconnected and doesn’t work.
Any advice about this code would be appreciated.

Apparently, your mechanic is one of those guys who thinks that a visual inspection of the trans fluid is a tell-all regarding its condition. Unfortunately, he is very much misinformed.

Transmission fluid needs to be changed every 3 yrs/30k miles (whichever comes first) because of two factors:

The anti-wear additives in the fluid become depleted over time
The friction surfaces of the transmission deposit particles in the trans pan as a result of normal wear and tear. The presence of these particles, and their tendency to circulate to very sensitive areas of the transmission, can cause major problems as the transmission ages and as the filter becomes clogged with debris.

This transmission should have been serviced by having the fluid (and filter) changed 6 times so far in its lifespan. While changing the fluid at this point will not save a transmission that has not been maintained properly, a fluid change may extend its life by a bit.

On that basis, I would suggest that you take the car to an independent transmission shop (NOT AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain operation) to have the pan dropped and cleaned out, the pan gasket replaced, and fluid and filter changed. That may buy you some additional time with the transmission. Just don’t expect miracles, as you can’t undo damage from lax maintenance.

It’s Likely That Your Code 333 Is Actually A Code One-Two (12) And Code Three-Three (33). Both 333 And 12 & 33 Have 9 Flashes, Only The Pauses Are Different ! Check The Pauses.

Code 12 at the beinning is normal and code 55 “end of message” is also normal. You are then left with 33 for your A/C and you already knew that wasn’t working.

I don’t think the car’s OBD fault codes will help you with this.

Here’s a link to a good site. Scroll way down this page (that covers 3.5L engines and talks about Eagle Visions). Stop and check out “Common problems”.