Originally Posted by MKWrangler
It sounds perfectly normal for an automatic. Low 30's, thats about freezing temps which will make an automatic slow to respond. The fluid needs to be warmed up for it to operate correctly. You said it operates normally once it's warmed up which sounds normal for the conditions you describe.
I would say not normal. The cold shouldn't make such a difference. ATF+4 has very good cold weather behavior.
Mine doesn't behave as you and the OP have described, even when it's well below 0°F.
In fact, I've started and driven when it was -30°F, and did not see what the OP describes. At that low a temperature, the shift schedule is modified, though. It gets back to normal, in stages, once the fluid temp reaches 80°F.
This modified shift schedule would not change how the transmission shifts from Park to Reverse or Drive.
The only time I've seen a delay between shifting and moving was when the fluid level was a little low after a fluid/filter change.
There is quite a difference in fluid level between cold and hot. It's possible to have enough fluid in the sump to operate normally when the fluid is hot, but when it's cold in the morning, it may be too low to shift into gear as quickly as it would normally.
I don't know what may be the problem with the OP's transmission.
My first guess is low fluid level. If he has checked it correctly, there may be something else going on. I don't believe it's solely because the temp was in the low 30's.