Need help. '95 Neon SOHC Auto *Long*

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Alright, well to begin...

About a month ago my gear slipped once, it wasn't just a quick slip either, it was out of place for about 10 seconds i'd say. Then I didn't think much of it, I said to myself "I hope to god thats not my transmission" and began to try and comfort myself, telling myself ah, maybe I just need tranny fluid. Well, it was fine for about a month, fine to the point where I had simply forgotten about it. Then on Christmas day, it slipped again... this time just as long.
When I thought about it, it reminded me of my inspection... which expired at the end of December, so I figured I mind as well get it checked anyway. Well, four days later (I haven't had it looked at yet) the car just stalled at the stop sign, accompanied by an "Low Oil" light. I'm not the type of person to let myself run so low on oil as to overheat like that, so I checked the oil; bone dry. Luckily a gas station was nearby, I walked there--got my two quarts of 5w-30 and put them in, the car then ran fine again. Now I figured that the head gasket must be leaking, and I do know that Neons are imfamous for it.
Now, three days later, my car got inspected. A quick undercar inspection revealed a bent FMM and a leaking head gasket. I was relatively low on tranny fluid as well which just then for flushed & filled. The mount and the gasket were left alone just for now, the gaskets leak wasn't that bad at all. Of course I'll have it replaced, but for the moment a little extra oil here and there will do.

This brings us to now (I had written the story above hoping something up there may of had something to do with now).

The day it was inspected I drove it home, a whole 15 miles--no problems, actually just felt better about it. The next day; the car heated up in the morning for about 15 minutes-- drove it 3 miles then. Around 3:00, drove it 3 miles back. Everything fine. A couple hours later I started it, let it run for about 5 minutes, and began to drive it. No more than 2 miles later I stalled at a red light at the top of a small hill... at the time, I didn't think about what the problem could be due to being pissed at a great degree :). Anyway, 30 seconds later I started the car right back up, and this time accompanied by a Check Engine light. I was able to drive it straight home.
Now that next day (yesterday, 7th) I waited till about 5:00pm, and turned the car on; started fine. I then tried to extract the code with the OBD, it returned "12" "37" "55". 12 and 55 I know is normal, 37 though I knew must of been the problem.
37) Torque converter clutch solenoid, or park/neutral switch failure.
I let the car run for 20 minutes, just testing it and heating it up (I heated it up because I know the TCC won't engage until the tranny fluid is pretty hot) then I drove it around the block for 15 minutes--no problems. I then drove it 10 miles on the highway and back, no problems.

After my trips around the block, the Check Engine light suddenly dissappeared... although that specific 37 code is still in the computer.

So what I am asking-- Is it possible that flushing the transmission fluid has anything to do with a TCC failure like that? My own hypothesis is that there was too much fluid to be heated because the fluid was filled to the top, plus it must of been at most 15 degress fahrenheit outside. But then would that also mean that the transmission fluid temp sensor is not working properly--causing the TCC to engage too early and not functioning properly? The Neon's computer says it's the solenoid but I would like to say that its the TCC itself... although I would like to be wrong, considering the TCC is inside the transmission and would require it to be dropped before it's replaced.

Sorry that this was so long, and thank you for reading it :).

Thanks for the help.


posted by  Numb

I'm not gonna touch this for a few reasons.

1. You had a percieved trans problem, didn't check it out (apparently not even the fluid level) until you had trouble a month later.

2. You're "not the type of person to let myself run so low on oil as to overheat" but when you checked it it was "bone dry". Who else can see that your words and actions directly contradict each other?

3. I don't know which I find funnier, this or #4. You obviously don't know alot about your car but you've decided that because it's leaking oil it needs a head gasket. Do you tell the dentist how to work on your teeth too?

4. You have a bent motor mount. A bent motor mount for crying out loud, how in the fuck do you bend a motor mount on a Neon?

From your description there are two main problems with your car. First it's neglected and second it's abused. I suggest you ride the bus. One last thing that really made me laugh. You said "the Check Engine light suddenly dissappeared". Was David Blaine in the car with you when that happened by any chance?

posted by  vwhobo

aww man if Senor Hobo isnt touching this then ill bet youre screwed....i have a 98 Neon as well but its the DOHC Manual version...the only good version might i add, for some opinion.

posted by  SuperJew

sounds like another one hit wonder, didnt introduce but at least he gave a novel of information on the problem.

posted by  stringer001

I'm sorry... I'm new to the whole forum thing, and I know I'm not a mechanic.

A mechanic however, did tell me my head gasket was leaking oil at a rapid rate, therefore I just had it replaced.

And the motormount it bent and pushed to the left... I don't see why it wouldn't be possible in a Neon, again I know you know more about cars--but I had seen the mount myself.

I had come here for help, you have to understand not everyone is as smart as you, and thats why I'm here.

I looked at the replies, saw 4 and said "Great! Maybe I can finally get some advice from people who know about Neons". But instead all I got was criticism.

posted by  Numb

Okay, so you weren't looking for the truth, you were looking for someone to make you feel good. Let's give that a quick try.

Wow , yeah, it's sucks about your car. It sounds like you take real good care of it, it must be a piece of shit.

Now for a reality check. Motor mounts don't just bend, they are bent. The most common way I've seen Neon mounts get bent is from somebody curbing the car. Quite a common occurrence anongst the "I don't know how to drive" set. As for your head gasket leaking oil, well it's possible but not likely. It's extremely common for people to be told their Neon needs a head gasket when all it needs is a cam sensor seal. The difference in the price of the job is pretty substantial ($3-400ish). I've seen alot of shops charge for the head gasket and only do the cam seal. Easy money and you just might have been taken for it.

posted by  vwhobo

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