98 Plymouth Breeze trans problems

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Today I took my wife's 1998 Plymouth Breeze on a little road trip to look at an old WWII Dodge truck that was for sale. Well I didn't make it. I got about 20 miles out of town when the car suddenly jerked so I slowed down and came to a stop. I left the enigne running because I thought I had a flat tire. I got out and all 4 tires were fine. I looked under the car to see it by chance I had run over something although I didn't see anything in the road. I noticed fluid leaking. I figured I blew a radiator hose. I then noticed that the fluid was not neon green. I then thought the head gasket had busted. But when I reached under and put my hand in the fluid and brought it into the daylight it was pink...transmission fluid. After calling up a mechanic who works for the Chrysler delaership and also runs his own shop on theside he said he thinks its just a trans line or hose. I was only going about 60 mph when it blew but fluid still splattered all over the underside of the car. It looked like it was leaking between where the trans bolts to the engine but I didn't have a flashlight or a lift to inspect it. Even after I shut it off it continued to leak. I checked the pan think that maybe I ran over something that put a hole in it but it was fine. Anyone else ever have this problem or know what it could be? The engine is too compact for me. I'm old school. I have a 1958 Plymouth in the garage right now that I rebuilt the engine and trans but it doesn't have any computers in it and I have plenty of room to work on it. I pushed it into a farm yard and the mechanic I talked to said he will drive to it in the morning at said I should be able to drive it home as it will take hime only about 30 minutes to fix it. I think I have more serious problems than just a hose/line. Any ideas?? Thanks.


The car has a 2.4 ltr engine and is around 90000 miles. Just replaced the sparkplugs less than 2000 miles ago and new plug wires about 5000 miles ago. Oil is changed every 2000 miles on city driving and 2500 miles on hwy driving. Very minor leak from head gasket (imagine that) 1qt of oil every 2 months. From the other sites I've researched it said that if the trans has a problem the check engine light should come on and the speedo shoudl stop working and it should go into limp mode...2nd gear only and will allow you to drive 35 mph to get to a service station. Well the speedo works fine and the engine light never came on. Don't have a fault code reader or any computer gizmos to check the thing. Could it be a simple fix as the line/hose?

posted by  Bill in SD

Well I found out the problem on my own. I was hoping that someone with some expertice in FWD cars would post and let me know what was wrong. I met the mechanic this morning and we pulled off the air cleaner assembly that's hooked to the throttle body. That way we could actually see what was going on. I guess the transmission cooler lines (rubber hoses) run under the throttle body, over the top of the transmission. Bad news was that they were fine. After jacking up the car and climbing under he pointed out an inspection plate on the transaxle that you can only see from under the car facing forward. The cover is on the drivers side of the car by the way. He that if it had dents in it that some shaft in the tranny had coma apart and a pin caused the dents. Sure enough the cover was dent from the inside. He said it's a common problem with these cars and will require the suspension to be removed and pull off the axles, then remove the transmission. He said he has done them at the dealership and it supposed to take roughly 6 hours. He said he thinks he knows where he can get a rebuilt trans for around $400. He said the dealership would charge double if not triple that. He is also going to charge me only $30 an hour compared to the $60 an hour at the dealership. He figures the labor will be $180 and the trans should be around $400 so for around $600 it will be fixed and should be done by the end of the week. He can't get any parts today as most places have already closed and would have to oder it anyways. In addition he works full time for the dealership and will only be able to work on it at night. Not a bad price to have fixed. He said the dealership here charges $600 to replace the bad head gasket with the new one, a MLS (multi layer steel). Not a bad deal since I can't buy a new car for $600 (even if it ends up costing me $1000 to fix it's still cheaper than a new car). And if I bought a used car for $600 it would probably be a lemon anyways and need lots of repair work. At least this way I know what is has been done on the thing.

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I guess I'm a little disapointed that someone didn't reply to my post as I could have really used the help but I hope that my post will help other people with a similar problem in the future so I guess it wasn't a complete waste of time.

posted by  Bill in SD

I'm just responding to let you know that what went out on your car is a differential pin that holds the spider gears together, kind of like the ones in a rear end. Your friend is right, that is a common problem for that unit. Usually they tear up the case and you have to replace the whole tranny. If you can get a replacement for $400 like you said, you are getting a heck of a deal. Where I work we charge a minimum of $1,000 for one of those (I'm assuming you have a three speed). Sounds like you have it under control, just thought you might like some info on what you got. Good luck

posted by  HD_Softy

Hey I have had a recent problem the same as yours..hopefully you reply to me soon, I was in my girlfriends car and it started reving itself up in park. When we were in drive it felt like it was holding itself back and would sputter every once and a while. We were at a stop light and she went to accelerate and nothing happened. The car was on and in drive but did nothing. I would like to save her money so that no dealership or shop rips here off. If you have any information that could help let me know..I would greatly appreciate it.

posted by  CraigE

check the fluid level maybe?

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

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