Reader Question: I have 1998 Plymouth Neon Automatic. When I “gun it”, the transmission ends up not auto up shifting at the correct speeds. I do not have a tach, so I do not know the RPM, but the auto upshift into second and third gears wind out and will not upshift properly.
Automatic upshift 1st to 2nd at 25-30mph; 2nd to 3rd at 55-60mph (way too high!). Then, during deceleration, the automatic downshift from third to second is not smooth and slow, but smooth and rapid.
This issue continues even after coming to a stop and reaccelerating.
If I come to a complete stop, leave the engine on, shift the car into Park, and then shift back into D on the console, the issue goes away as if the transmission “resets” itself.
What is the deal?
I have heard of similar issues with the Plymouth Neon transmission but to be very honest, I just refer those customers and their vehicles to a transmission shop for diagnosis and repair.
We tried to diagnosis a similar issue a few years ago and it ate our lunch. You might be able to call the dealership service department on a slow day and get some info out of the service writer. I know they have seen this issue before and know the trick.
Problem is getting them to reveal the trick to you. Seems most transmission shops I deal with lately just want to overhaul and not diagnosis. They too must be getting their lunch eaten from mis-diagnosis of problems like this.