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Now that the weather is so cold, my 1999 9-3, auto trans. will shudder and stall when first started. It only does it when stone cold on a cold day (roughly below 35 degrees F). It starts just fine and when shifted into reverse or drive, or from reverse to drive, shudders and stalls. It's like the torque converter is locking up and shutting down the engine. It will start right up and may do the same thing again a minute or two later when pulling up to a stop sign. Once warm, it won't do it again the rest of the day. Tonight, it shuddered and stalled when put into reverse. I restarted it, and it did it again. But the second shudder and stall seemed more harsh. I then noticed that the gear shift was "loose" in reverse and drive - you can rock it back and forth nearly an inch. It was "tight" prior to this.

I've done extensive research and cannot find anything that resolves the stalling problem. A lot pointed to the idle control valve, which I pulled and cleaned. It was very dirty, but cleaned up. I tested it when back in the car by observing the valve when the key is turned on - the valve would flip completely open. Turning off the key and it flipped nearly closed. Subsequent key on/off cycles it did nothing. I don't know if that is normal or not. I put another ICV in from Pull A Part and it did the same thing. Any thoughts are where to go next? I've read about the PCV and EVAP, but have not checked them yet.

I'm concerned about the gear shift. Why is it suddenly sloppy? I know it is connected to the tranny by a cable. I don't see anything obvious wrong with the cable.

Thanks very much for any help and suggestions.
 
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