Slipping transmission in cold weather.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1993

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1981 Olds Cutlass with an automatic transmission. The problem is that it will not shift out of low gear in cold weather. The colder it gets, the longer it takes for the car to shift out of low gear. I've had the filter and fluid in the transmission changed, and that did not help. What is the problem?

TOM: The problem is you're done for, Tom.

RAY: Automatic transmissions often slip when they get old, due to the normal deterioration of the bands, clutches, seals, valves, and other parts inside the transmission. And if you're really lucky, changing the fluid and filter will clean things up enough to fix the problem.

TOM: Unfortunately, you're not really lucky.

RAY: Right. If changing the fluid and filter didn't help, then the problem is the transmission itself. So it's time to decide if you still love this car, Tom. If you do, and if it's in good shape otherwise and isn't rusting away, then either spend a few hundred bucks on a junkyard transmission, or spend few hundred more and and get a rebuilt one.

TOM: Or, if you've been looking for an excuse to dump this Cutlass and get yourself a '93 Eldorado...this is it, man.

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