Join Date: Jul 2016
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
So, I bought my car used back in July. No problems.
I took a long trip over Thanksgiving. It started having problems on the return trip.
1. While cruising, it was doing these small surging revs instead of staying constant at x000 RPMs.
2. After coming to a stop at a stop light, when I want to accelerate, the tachometer stays at idle around 1000 RPMs. If I press the accelerator pedal, it doesn't respond until maybe after two seconds. Then, it revs up and I take off.
3. The transmission will shudder with metal sounding jolts, and then go into the 1000 RPM idle mode.
4. The "Service Engine Soon" appeared on my instrument panel but not the check engine light. The engine runs fine, as I rev smoothly in park or in neutral.
What I did since.
1. Drained and filled new CVT fluid (5 quarts). This kind of worked. It drove smooth again. But when i went on my long commute, the highway driving for an hour was fine, but when I got near to my destination which includes city driving, it would go into limp-mode at red lights. Sometimes, it would do the shuddering thing.
2. I added a transmission oil cooler and drained and filled with new CVT fluid (5 quarts) again. This made is a bit more smooth driving locally. But now, when it is cold out, it doesn't want to shift down after initial driving. I drove about 5 minutes and it was going into redline and not downshifting. I pulled over into a local road, stopped and started the engine and it drove fine.
3. I replaced the battery. It's a 6 year old battery. It wasn't giving problems but I read that it worked for someone else. So, I replace it. It cleared out the "Service engine soon" message from the instrument panel.
4. This morning, its cold so I start the engine and let it run for a couple of minutes. I stop and start the car and go on my commute. The temp gauge is about 1/4 warm, normal driving temp is 1/2 warm (there's no temp numbers on the gauge). It drives fine driving on local roads and onto the highway. It cruises fine without issues when I get onto the highway. I have a long commute. About 50 minutes, I get onto local roads. When I get to my first stop light, the car goes into limp mode when I want to accelerate from a stop. I pull over onto into a mini mart which happened to be after the stop light. I stop, put the car in park, and start the engine and I reverse and go forward without any hesitation. I continue with my local driving. I get to my second stop light and I stop. When I get the green light, I accelerate but it shudders and goes into limp mode. I put on the hazard lights, put the car into park, stop the engine, start the engine, put it into drive, and off I go without hesitation. Later, I get to another stop light. I stop the car. Then, I put the car into park. Stop the engine. Wait. Start the engine, put it into drive, wait until I get the green light, and my car accelerates without hesitation. Now, I hate my car, somewhat.
After parking my car, I touched one of the tubes going to the transmission cooler. It was warm but not hot.
I've had a manual transmission car in the past. If it drove bad in first gear, it was bad in all gears until I replaced the clutch. If I was driving in snow, I would want to start in second or third gear from a stop to avoid slipping so the car would accelerate slowly and get a grip.
Here, the internal clutch of the CVT can catch fine in the beginning of long drives, in short drives, and after long drives after I restart the engine. The fact that it has a tachometer showing 1000 RPMs at idle tells me the engine is running without issues, so no CEL errors are thrown.
When in "limp" mode, the engine doesn't shut off, but runs at 1000 RPMs like it is engaged in the wrong gear. If it was in the first gear, it would take off. If it was in a high gear like second or third gear, it would drive real slow, but the engine is getting enough fuel not to stall while engaged in that high gear.
I don't know what else to do. I don't feel like I need to replace the transmission. The next thing I've read that might be the problem is to replace the brake light switch, which is kind of crazy if it works considering the symptoms shown.
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