Friend said her old woman friend's 2004 Chrysler, 50k miles, has difficulty going into reverse

I recommended transmission fluid change.
Could it be a shifter linkage issue?

Thank you.

I’d recommend checking the ATF level 1st…

And not much info about the car…??.. Looks like there is 10 different models that year, not to mention engine and FWD/RWD/AWD… Different transmissions could have different issues…


Trying to learn model.

Does it have trouble “going into reverse” as you stated? E.G, something linkage related.

Or does have trouble “going in reverse”? If so, does the engine rev with little to no reverse movement? If so, that could be a number of things, like leaking or hardened seals or O-rings.


Trying to learn more.
She indicated that it took some time. A minute? after placing in Reverse before anything happened.
Sorry that I cannot provide useful information at this time. No mention of problems in Drive.

Well I’ve had reverse but no forward gears. Different clutches. In either case an overhaul was required. Trans shop is the place to be.


At only 50 k would an expen$ive overhaul be needed?
Am told that she has been taken advantage of before.
Before the Chrysler ? she drove a Corvette.


Considering you aren’t capable of performing an automatic transmission fluid service properly on your own car, which is one of the most basic procedures . . . I don’t think you should be giving any advice to your friend, in regard to her Chrysler automatic transmission

She’d be better off asking the question herself


I don’t think my mom would ask a website for info. A 20 yr old car driven 2500 miles a year may have never had a trans service. It might help.

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Unlike the shops, I OCD clean the areas where fluid is drained and added.
Then carefully, precisely add thew transmission fluid without contaminating it.
The shop employees are understandably in too much of a hurry to let it drain for a half hour.

Yes, she should take her car to a transmission shop.
I do not know if her 2004 has a transmission dipstick to check level when warm and observe fluid color. But I would not bother. Just drain and fill withew fluid.

I agree with this.
It will be an exercise in foolishness trying to get useful info from a friend of a friend of a friend. @Robert-Gift - I’m telling you to tell your friend to tell her mom to take her non-descript car to a local shop and get it inspected. that’s my $.02


There is no drain plug on a 2004 Chrysler. The transmission pan must be removed, then resealed with RTV sealant.


I have had this issue with old Torqueflight transmission, although these are no longer being used. But I found that putting the transmission into drive first, then into reverse would solve the problem. The problem always occured when going from park to reverse, the reverse did not want not engage immediately, but going from park to drive, then to reverse and it engaged right away.

Saturns were also known for this issue. After warm up, Saturn owners would put the transmission into reverse and let it idle for about 15 - 30 minutes. This pumps the ATF through to reverse circuits that normally don’t get any flow in drive. That cleans out the thickened ATF that accumulates due to high heat and no flow. It is called a “reverse slam”.

After doing this, it would be a good idea to take it to a dealer and get the ATF changed. A flush is not necessary but many dealers will only do a flush, or at least put a lot of pressure on the customer to agree to one. But in either case, it will probal solve the problem for another 20 years.

That was a converter drain back issue due to the front pump (stator shaft) seals leaking and they do not fill the converter in park, that is why you had to check the fluid level in neutral… So when you passed neutral twice it had time to fill the converter, if you started the vehicle in neutral, it would have filled the converter and never had that issue… BTW, I always fix that issue when I have the valve body out of the old 904/727’s…


Better to go to a dealer for diagnostics. My 2003 Dodge was sometimes balky to shift for several seconds after sitting for a week or so but had no problems thereafter. I figured that it was unlikely to be a unique problem and checking on the Internet saw many complaints about expensive transmission work done only to have the same problem return. So I went to a transmission repair shop and asked them to do the diagnostics. They insisted on doing the fluid, filter, and internal exam first, then the diagnostics, so I took it to a dealer, who said there was a programming upgrade for the problem.

A good place for Chrysler-specific knowledge is Find the discussion group for your model and ask there. I have had good advice at their minivan forum.

From the factory, RTV sealant may have been used, but when you buy a new transmission filter, it will come packaged with a molded rubber gasket. You do not use additional sealant with the gasket.

Each time that I performed a transmission service I was handed a filter and a tube of sealant. I purchased an aftermarket filter for my Stratus once, I threw the gasket in the trash.

There is no point in asking: He didn’t check the fluid level or inspect for leaks. He didn’t see the vehicle, could be a PT Cruiser, Town & Country, Sebring or even a Canadian Chrysler Neon. He is not going to repair the transmission.

Hmmm…just asking. I’ve had a couple of the Chrysler A604s (Caravans) and a Neon (the earlier 3sp auto - don’t recall the trans model). After having to clean RTV more than once (PITA) and being a guy who does pans, I always used the gaskets to make the next time easier. I’m pretty sure the gaskets would have been aftermarket as I think the norm is the use RTV. But I never had trouble with them. And it made the next pan r&r easier. Just wondering about reasons to go with RTV instead.