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Recently started having issues with my 2001 T & C. First the check engine light came on. It came up with a generic transmission code. So we reset it to see if it would light up again. It didn't come back on until we used overdrive. Figured it might be the solenoid.

My wife was driving it and she said she heard a noise like a hard shift. Then it started to slip and go into higher rpm's. You could hear the torque converter whining. It would go into limp mode so she would shut it off for a minute and turn it back on to be able to go a half mile before it started to do it again.

I thought after reading through this forum that the filter was clogged and it wasn't allowing fluid to circulate so I decided to change the fluid and the filter, making sure I put in ATF+4. In the pan was very little sludge and some particles on the magnet but nothing alarming. I put the pan back on and filled with fluid. I pulled the output line that went into the radiator to complete the flush. Started the car and nothing came out of the cooler line. Put it in drive and nothing came out. Then I read that trying to run in through the gears then put it in neutral but only a dribble came out. Nothing like I expected.

I'm confused because it shifts in and out of the gears just fine but nothing comes out. Has anybody else ran into this problem?
 

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The whine may have been from the front pump and not the torque converter. If the ATF coming out of the cooler hose has air bubbles in it, there may be a suction-side filter/pump sealing problem. There may also be an internal leakage issue that is keeping pump output pressure low.
The filter o-ring is important and can fall out of place. I have found filters with the old and the new o-rings together in the pump intake hole that didn't allow the filter to seal. The old ring usually stays in the hole and doesn't come off with the filter. It can be overlooked. I have also found valve body bolts loose. Any pump suction-side leaks will cause poor pump output.
The cooler output fitting is the one closest to the engine, correct?
A regular engine code reader will show the PCM generic P0700 transaxle fault code. You need to scan the separate TCM for fault codes which a basic code reader usually can't do. The TCM fault code(s) may help here. Don't guess at parts.

Diagnostics here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/47304900/81/P0944-LOSS-OF-PRIME

TSB here (although it doesn't cover '01's, the same thing may be happening): http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/neontsbs/2003/21-004-05.pdf
 

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There is an internal thermostat so it has to be warm to go out the cooler line. Also an inline filter as I recall behind the nipple on the trans.. had one clog once.
 
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