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· Registered
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
* Update: Check engine light came on today

I have a 2004 Neon SXT with the 4-speed automatic (41TE?).
At 100,000 miles I had the transmission and the radiator replaced.
Against my inclination, the shop that replaced the transmission maintained that they use their synthetic trans fluid or else they would not give me a 12 month/12,000 warranty.

Now, at 125,000 miles, my Neon is stalling when stopped in drive or reverse.
Also it is hesitating at low speeds, and when it hesitates, the headlights flicker.
Putting the car in park or neutral eliminates the issue.
The fluid level is between min and max, but there is some red fluid showing on the outside of the trans housing.

I only need to get 10 more months out of this car, so I don't want to put much money into it.

First, could changing the transmission fluid help the issue?

Second, should I get the fluid changed at a Dodge dealer or at a transmission shop? Dealer quoted $160, and a local shop (not the same one that replaced the trans) quoted $99.

Third, if you live in Detroit, are there any shops/dealers in the Royal Oak/Troy area you would recommend to have change the fluid?

Fourth, Rick Anderson recommended only using ATF+4 transmission fluid in the following post.
Is this what I should use? +fluid

· Super Moderator
21,331 Posts
Yes, ATF+4 is synthetic and should be used in that transmission. That being said, I don't think your issues are related to the transmission. Sounds more like an electrical issue somewhere.

· Virginia Gentleman
8,704 Posts
Since your CEL is on, I'd check for fault codes. As Mark posted, the electrical issues are probably not related to the transmission issue.

I'd be inclined to use the dealer for the transmission service unless you are 100% sure the independent shop will use ATF+4. ATF+4 is the recommended fluid. Many independent shops prefer to use their own "universal" transmission fluid which in most cases is Dexron. Dexron is fine for GM products, but is death to Chrysler transmissions.

As to the stalling in reverse or drive. it could be low transmission fluid level. Had a similar issue with my Ram. When cold it would stumble as I came to a stop and stall - once it warmed up it was fine. Found the transmission low on fluid - added two quarts and it has been fine ever since.

· Administrator
1,598 Posts
Closest trans shop I know of is Haas in Dexter. They did excellent work on my Daytona. Faster and less expensive than expected and every mechanic, except one,I've talked to about trans work has recommended them.
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