2000 Chrysler Concorde LXi - Tests Practical?

I've taken pretty good care of this car and it's served me well. Even with 123,000 miles, it looks amazingly good. I put a new suspension system on the car last year (carriage mounts, struts with coils all around).
If a Chrysler mechanic can do what I think he can, I'd like to have my car hooked up to their diagnostic machines and printouts of anything that might be wrong. I've heard there are updates to the computer that impact such things as fuel mileage and transmission shifting. I've never been called for any such updates. Specifically, I'd like to make sure I have no power loss in any cylinder and the transmission is shifting properly. I do feel a slight hesitation - like a little bump - when it shifts from low to drive. Around 15 - 20 MPH I'd say. And over the past 6000 - 8000 miles my MPG has slipped about 0.5 MPG but there has been a change in driving pattern which probably accounts for that (less long distance; more short with stop and go).
Does it make sense to do this and if so, what can I expect to spend for such a thorough checkup?
Reply to
jaygreg
your drop in mileage may very well be due to the dang 10% ethanol fuel we are all forced to run now......
Reply to
Rob
Good point. Got a rough idea when that began filtering in? It's been 9 months since I changed driving patterns.
Reply to
jaygreg
I called a local Chrysler dealer service manager (Summit County Ohio) and discussed my concerns. He asked if my engine light was coming on. When I told him "No", he told me he wouldn't be able to tell me anything by hooking up his machine to the engine. He DID say he could make sure I had the latest computer updates.
Does it make sense to have a dealership flash the computer? I'd a little concerned about that old adage, "If it ain't broke... don't fix it." I was under the impression they could hook their machines to the computer and simply read the output. He led me to believe he wants to update it... and see what happens. I'm not too comfortable about that but.... is this recommended for a car with 124,000 miles on it...and no apparent issues? I simply wanna' keep it that way by catching any significant issues in advance that I can.
Reply to
jaygreg
they do have freeze frame capabilities on the factory scan tool, to check the current operating conditions of the engine and trans. it would be damn hard to trouble shoot a lot of problems if they didnt. but you wind up sending 2-3 hours of labor for checking every system in the car. Really I'd ask about the updates, recalls and leave it at that. if it's running good, the main thing is keeping all the filters, fluids and belts changed at the right time for YOUR driving conditions. one of the most common thing folks forget is the radiator hoses. they do tend to get soft at times, especially the lower one and can suck shut at highway speeds due to suction from the water pump, or cracked and dried up. don't forget the diff fluid too.
I have 191,000 on my 96 LHS i am currently not driving it due to a bad trans, but otherwise the engine is still running strong, and clean as a whistle inside.
by the way, what engine is in there? 3.5?
Reply to
Rob
It has a 3.2 engine. All hoses and belts were changed as scheduled... new water pump replaced when the timing belt was replaced as well.
Any idea what that slight hesitation is was the car shifts at very low speed? I can often "baby" it and avoid it from slamming into gear. But then... I'm not even sure it's the transmission. It reminds me of a universal joint on older cars. I remember that feeling (and replaced the joint myself if I can recall correctly...a bout 45 years ago.)
The car starts to roll fine with no "bump" until it reaches 10 to 15 mph. Then it's a slight hesitation and I get the sensation that a gear is suddenly catching. Not hard, but enough to create a "bump". A passenger wouldn't even notice it unless I described it and pointed it out when it happened. Been doing that for years but it seems to be a little more noticeable.
Reply to
jaygreg
a fluid and filter change ( NOT a flush) and getting the dealer to do TCM update, might be the trick there. its the quickest and cheapest most likely.
Reply to
Rob
I've not been too impressed with the two Chrysler dealerships in my area over the years; mechanic changes. By contrast, there's a specialty transmission repair (Richard's Garage - Akron) that repaired my '85 Sable a long time ago. They're well respected here and that's what they do all day long; repair transmissions.
See any downside to letting them make the update? I assume the task doesn't have to be done by a Chrysler dealer, does it? I doubt it there's a difference in price. My guess is Richards has more experience since dealers run the gambit of repairing everything and may even farm out their transmissions to Richard for all I know.
Reply to
jaygreg
most dealers have 1 or 2 guys that are trans specialists. Plus they get the factory training and tools. that's not to say independent shops don't get that info but the dealers get it sooner and have access to the factory for input if they need it.
Trans shop can do the same updates, and usually the price is good. the choice is yours.
Reply to
Rob
Where can I find this TSB on the web so I can read it and determine if the issue it addresses is the one I'm experiencing?
Reply to
jaygreg
With what fluid?
Dexron has fewer friction modifiers than ATF+4, hence it isn't as "slippery" this can make the clutches in the trans grab instead of smoothly engaging, the TCM/PCM tries to compensate but can't fully. This causes binding and "bump shift" along with potentially destroying the transmission.
If Dexron was used, with or without Lubegard the fluid needs to be changed again but now the system must be flushed too to get what is in the torque converter.
If ATF+4 was used the problem is something else.
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Reply to
Daniel who wants to know

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