Got a mind boggle. Need some opinions.

A good friend of mine has an early 2000's Dodge Intrepid and when he starts the car and puts it in reverse the car starts backing up. When you stop to pull it down to engage drive and apply throttle it stays in reverse for a few seconds then suddenly decided to allow the transmission to switch into drive and starts pulling forward.

Any ideas?

Is this a maintenance issue with fluid levels?

What are some troubleshooting techniques I can employ to discover the root cause of the problem?

  • 1
    Does that vehicle have shift indicator lights on the dash and, if so, do they also show reverse for a few seconds? I.e. do they match the intended gear, or do they match what the car is actually doing.
    – Jason C
    Aug 4, 2016 at 16:09
  • 2
    Check the trans fluid?
    – rpmerf
    Aug 4, 2016 at 18:32
  • 2
    Has the trans fluid ever been changed and the trans filter changed?
    – Moab
    Aug 4, 2016 at 20:27
  • 1
    Sounds like a sluggish servo or solenoid, possibly due to bad/dirty fluid.
    – SteveRacer
    Aug 5, 2016 at 11:06
  • 1
    Change the fluid and filter as already suggested by others. If that doesn't fix you will have to rebuild your transmission or drive it until it breaks completely and get rid of the car.
    – rana
    Aug 16, 2016 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


"He actually just scrapped the car because it suddenly wouldn't pull in any gear and the fluid had so much metal in it and it was just too far gone to put the amount of money and time it'd take to find and replace the tranny since its pretty much a disposable car to begin with. In my opinion the intrepid was a failed experiment anyway and without my opinion being spoken to him I think he came to that conclusion too. Thanks for all the help though guys."

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