Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • Glad you had it done at the dealer, I've read too many horror stories about quick oil change places. What did the dealer say after flush and re-flash did not solve problem? I would also check out this page:
  • checked out the page but no help dealer is saying they need to rebuild it and wont know a cost until they get into it and see what is wrong. I had it rebuilt before at a trans place but I think they ripped me off it cost 1700.00 and has ony lasted 2 years. I figure this time I will go through the dealer.
  • I have a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country with 31,000 miles and 22 months in service. At first the dealer tried to tell me that failure to shift into reverse and rough shifting during acceleration was normal for Chrysler T&C. Two tranmission rebuilds later, one at 7500 miles and the other at 31,000 miles, and I am still have no confidence that there won't be more rebuilds in the future. This transmission continues to tear itself up. No rough driving, no towing, just my wife driving in town mostly. Chrysler's response is that I don't need to worry the warranty is for 7 years/70K, but I didn't pay $38,000 to have a vehicle that needs a transmission rebuilt every year. I am initiating a claim against Chrysler through an attorney. You may want to consider getting your vehicle into the repair shop until they find the problem. You need to pursue the repair before you can have a case. I suspect Chrysler still has a design problem with these tranmissions.
  • You got surprise coming. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I used to think the same as you do. Chrysler has not fixed their transmission problems, that is why the warranty is 7years/70K. I know, my 2003 T&C with 31,000 miles and 22 months service has had the transmission rebuilt two times. Take a look at the numerous problems with new Chrysler mini-vans, you will find a lot of transmission problems.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    You got a lemon. Most owners of recent DC minivans are NOT having transmission problems.

         BTW, the darlings of CR (Odyssey and Sienna) are now having transmission problems. Just go read in the problems forums for Odyssey and Sienna here in the Town Hall.
  • I also smell a lemon. Instead of repeatedly rebuiling that lemon transmission you should insist that they install a "new" one. It won't be new, but it has to be better than the one you have now, and will carry the same warranty.
  • I have a '90 Plymouth Grand Caravan 177k mi approx that suffered a tranny problem while driving up a slight incline at freeway speed. No bang or anything, just disconnected engine from wheels. It's left with first gear only (no reverse either).Tranny makes grinding noises while moving. Is this fixable with parts, or is the unit toast? It's been a great van, but it is 15 yrs old and my wife doesn't want to fix it if it's big bucks...


  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    3 speed or 4 speed?
  • I have a 96 T&C LXI(3.8L ) the trans was replaced almost 30 mos and 38 k miles ago after it broke a shaft on the inside at 101k miles. Dealer did not want to open it up just replace with new reman form Chrysler. Now the reman just broke a shaft for the 3rd gear (bad weld). Called Chrysler and they went

    in for have of the repairs $700 total. Now I have a van with 140K two trans repaired for a grand price of $2900 in 38k miles. We were going to look at the new PACIFICA but who can keep putting in money for junk like this. HELLO LEXUS they might not be any better but they will stand behind it.

    Now to make our government start working for us and not the car company s. If they build junk make them recall it and not suck up to the big 3 any more.
  • I think it's a 4 speed. There's no O/D control switch anywhere, but the dashboard indicator lists "OD", "D", and "L". PS Thanks - help is really appreciated...
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Go read in Odyssey problems forums to read about much newer Odysseys that have had more transmission repairs than your '96 T&C LXi lemon.
  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    Sounds like a mechanical problem. If it were just an electrical or computer (TCM) problem you would still have 2nd and reverse. And it's probably not first but 2nd that is working. If you can have it taken to a dealer and have them check the error codes on the TCM (transmission control module) and get the CVI's (clutch volume indexes). If the CVI's are out of spec it's more than likely time for a remanufactured unit to be installed. I know that's not what you want to hear but 177K miles is a lot of miles for a A604 ultradrive unit.
  • Thanks - I will fight the urge to tear it apart and fix it. With a value of about $1000, it looks like a bad deal to sink $$$ into it. Think I'll look for another one, of a more recent vintage... Are any years to be avoided (more than others)?


    Thanks Again for taking the time to share your valuable experience!
  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    From what I have gleaned from the 'net and other sources, model year 2001+ are your best bets. 1996 is one year to avoid - they seem to have lots of problems in addition to the tranny.


    Chrysler upgraded the tranny fluid in 2000 to ATF+4 which is a semisynthetic. From what I have read and heard the incidents of outright tranny failures has gone down tremoundously. I have a 2000 Chrysler T&C Ltd AWD that we purchased 2 years ago with 78k miles - no problems so far. I just replaced the tires it had when we purchased it. Planning on having the tranny serviced real soon and R&R the spark plugs also. It has 118K miles now so it's kind of overdue. Although it is running fine. Probably will replace the belts, and have the coolant replaced as well as the hoses.


    Good luck in your search. Are you thinking of new or slightly used?
  • Hello, I'm actually writing for my sis who's comp is down at this time. She just bought a 1992 dodge caravan (automatic). She says that SOMETIMES the vehicle will not shift from 2nd to 3rd, and also sometimes it will only go into reverse as well. She says that it doesnt happen all the time, but when it does, if they turn the vehicle off and on 3 times it (resets) itself and works properly again until the next time. I have never heard of anything like this before but she says that a few garages have told her that its either the "brain" OR the "tranny" and theres no way to tell until it actually goes. Does this van have an electronic tranny? Could the brain effect the tranny in this manner, or in anyway for that matter?
    If anyone has any idea of what the problem could be, please write me back and let me know. i would like to help her out as she spent all the money they had on this vehicle and now are afraid to take it anywhere, and I would also like to learn myself what could cause such behavior.
    Thanks much in advance!
  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    You'll need to take it to a dealer and have them scan the TCM (transmission control module, ie, "brain" of the transmission) for error codes and CVI's (Clutch Volume Indices - tells how much wear the clutches have). Depending on the error codes found and the CVI's they can tell you whether or not she may need a rebuild or not.

    Just as an fyi, the tcm will default to 2nd gear(limp mode) when it has a hard error. Under these conditions you will only have 2nd and reverse. If either one of those fail then indications are you will need a rebuild or install a remanufactured unit. If you have to go that route a Mopar remanufactured unit is best as it comes with a 3/36 warranty.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Dude, the transmission in a Chevy Trailblazer has virtually nothing in common with the transmission in a Caravan. There is no such a thing as a "one size fits all" with regard to the fluids that go in modern automatic transmissions.

    FWIW, I just took a look at that web site, and to me at least, that stuff smells like Extract of Snake. Buyer beware, I doubt seriously that Chrysler would honor any kind of a warranty if they found this stuff in a transmission.

    Best Regards,

    You don't perchance work for/own the outfit responsible for this stuff. If so, you are in serious violation of the Membership Agreement here at the Town Hall.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,957
    It's gone :-)

    Steve, Host

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • okay, don't laugh, but i have a 1996 plymouth voyager, which is a piece of junk, and it needs some transmission fluid. the problem, of course, is that i don't know where to put it. please tell me where to look. i have the fluid, and i need to get it in quickly, while i still HAVE a tranny!
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    First, have you checked it with the engine running, warmed up fully,on level ground and in park?

    If you've found the dipstick, you've found the filler hole as well. Use a funnel into the dipstick tube.

    There are a lot of warnings about being careful to not overfill it, so beware. I myself always have had some trouble checking the level as it never seems to be all that stable when the engine is running--churns the fluid enough to make it hard to determine how full it is. My 96 Caravan transmission is still going good at 81K miles, knock on wood!
Sign In or Register to comment.