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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems

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Comments

  • gregmangregman Posts: 24
    Hello all. Have the 3.3liter lx model. Bought from dealership lot with 40k mi. After a month wife noticed fluid drips overnight. Dealer says it's okay, just "overflow" drip. She said bull, it's trans fluid.
    After agreeing it's trans fluid they tell her it's a seal, and repair it. Even tried to hand her a 600 bill for repair!
    Upon reading the receipt (and not paying for warranty work), we read that the front pump was replaced. Isn't this the torque converter?
    Salesman (of course) swore that T&C trans problems have all been resolved in newer models. My question is do I have the same problematic transmission they've been using for so long? Thanks for any insight.
  • I have a 98 plymouth voyager and yesterday when I went to stop at a stop sign the van jerked back and forth 3 of 4 times then the van would not move. The van was stuck in gear but nothing happens when you give it gas. You can shift gears but nothing happens. The engine runs fine only the tranny is stuck. I cound not push the van either sicne the tranny is stuck in drive.
    I had the transmission fluid and filters changed by a reputable mechanic about two weeks ago. Someone told me that the mechanic probably did not get the bearings or something under the filter back in place which directs the tranny fluid to the different areas of the tranny...is he correct?
  • chuckgchuckg Posts: 69
    Jim- I don't know if he is correct or not. I do know that if your mechanic filled your transmission with the wrong fluid, you WILL have problems. That transmission takes either ATF3 or ATF4. Check your owner's manual. Using any other type of fluid will ruin your transmission.

    If the mechanic tells you he used anything else, you'll need to flush that transmission. Don't let the mechanic tell you that using something other than ATF3 or ATF4 is OK. It is NOT.

    Using the wrong transmission fluid is the number one reason for transmission problems in Chryslers.
  • My van has issues. First, and foremost the transmission. It works well in every gear except REVERSE. Also my service engine light remains on. Also all of my instrument lights on the dash do not register. For example I have no speed odometer and can not see my gas gauge as to how much gas I have in the vehicle.

    So I need help. A garage told me there is a replacement switch or part that my fix the problem with power to the instrument panel as well as it will cause the transmission to not let it perform in reverse.
  • Got the call from Dealer, he told me Yes my Tranx is gone .
    They will overhaul it (dont know what that realy mean). Everything will be covered except some cooling thing they need to change will cost me $200. They think that cooling part has caused the Tranx failover. They are ordering all the parts from accross the country so it will take some time. They also give me a rental for 5 days maximum.
    I dont know what is the difference between an Overhaul or Rebuild. I hope whatever they do works fine.
  • Actually the dealer put the rebuild trans. It took them one day to finish the job. Already got the van back and its looking good. They think the trans cooler was pluged which cause the trans breakdown. They replace the trans cooler for $275 and thats all I paid for the whole job.
    This chrysler dealer was real good.
  • gregmangregman Posts: 24
    Help, please! Post #998 is me and I have to decide to buy a Chrysler extended warranty before 48k mi according to their website. Apparently was a rental or fleet vehicle before purchase.
    After getting a "front pump" replacement I wonder if I should be concerned about an '05 needing a trans in the future. I keep my vehicles for a very long time when practical. Owned 2 vehicles in the last 25 years! And I drive more than average. Thank you.
  • MY New 3.3 2005 lx only had 1,800 miles on it when they replaced entire tranny with a new one, not rebuilt, and i had to ask for another new car replacement because of all the noises i experienced in my new car in the tranny, whines, etc., they did a tsb first, did not help, finally they did replace tranny, but not car, also a new muffler system, and i still have peeling paint issue, never again, will i deal with a chrysler product, i thought all tranny and quality problems had been resolved, same old junk from chrysler, love the ride looks, etc., just did not like a remanufactured used car when i was supposed to get a new one, and now they have taken away the 7/70,000 tranny warranty for 2006, be aware of what you might be purchasing when going new anymore
  • My caravan has been going into 'limp home ' mode. It does this after getting up to highway speed ( over drive ? ), and then having to slow down enough ( apx, 30-35 )for a down shift. After it does this , I've been restarting to reset, and it drives fine until slowing down again. This does not happen when driving around town at speeds lower than 40. I finally called the dealer who told me it was probably the input speed sensor that could be fixed for $120. When the tech scanned the DTC code he got P1776. He didn't have any info on this, so called their Dodge hot line. He was told that it was a stuck valve, probably caused by metal debris from the convertor. They recommended replacing the convertor, valve body, pump and seals....$1400. ( the tech did say that there was some fine metal shavings build up on the magnet. This is a reman trans with 50K )

    Dusty had said in #864 that if a restart fixes a problem it Almost always is not the trans . I know that this may not be the case with my problem, but it gives at least a little hope that the dealer is wrong.

    Does anyone have a second or third opinion as to the problem ( if not a stuck valve ), and/or a possible solution that is easier than a rebuild ?

    Thanks, Jeff K.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Jeff,

    My apologies but my response in #864 has misled you.

    In that scenario I was meaning a PCM/TCM reset that is performed by disconnecting the vehicle battery. This wipes the shift algorithm from the TCM and puts it in the default mode.

    In general, correct transmission performance after a reset by simply restarting indicates that the major components are probably healthy as long as the condition is not accompanied by a fault code or "limp in" mode indication.

    If a problem occurs after a restart and there is a fault code or "limp" mode indicated, it generally means that there is a problem with a component.

    In your case a P1776 code is not listed in the book I have. I'm pretty sure your problem is not the TCM. However, I think a sticking front servo or accumulator, or loss of line pressure could cause your symptoms. Of course, a problem in the valve body wopuld be the first thing I'd look for, so your tech's thought is logical.

    You say this is a reman. How many miles on this transmission and did a Dodge dealer install this? A good reman shouldn't have a problem as long as the correct ATF is used.

    Sorry for the poorly written statement.

    Good luck,
    Dusty
  • Since no reply about '05 T&C trans reliability I can only assume it's the same old pos. Still thinking about extended warranty.
  • Dusty,
    Thanks for the response. Your answers have been very helpfull to me in my researching efforts.
    The original tranny blew a pin thru the side after apx. 90 thoasand. The dealer put in the reman. about 50 thoasand miles ago. They say they only use ATF fluid, and I trust them in that.

    They said they didn't recommend just trying to replace the valve body because if the converter was deteriorating it would eventually foul another valve.(or something like that)

    I'm not sure if that alternative would end up being the least expensive in the long run. What do you think?

    Thanks again,
    Jeff
  • I know the older Dodges all had Tranny problems. But they suppose to have been corrected from 04 models. However, when I had by 99 1500 tranny rebuild at 90K 1 year ago, the shop owner told me he has seen newer, 02-04 models, coming in for repair with the same failures.

    Does anyone have info on the more recent models, maybe the 05-06? I like many of the dodge products, but I really hate the deal wiht the tranny problem again.
  • MY New 3.3 2005 lx only had 1,800 miles on it when they replaced entire tranny with a new one, not rebuilt, and i had to ask for another new car replacement because of all the noises i experienced in my new car in the tranny, whines, etc., they did a tsb first, did not help, finally they did replace tranny, but not car, also a new muffler system, and i still have peeling paint issue, never again, will i deal with a chrysler product, i thought all tranny and quality problems had been resolved, same old junk from chrysler, love the ride looks, etc., just did not like a remanufactured used car when i was supposed to get a new one, and now they have taken away the 7/70,000 tranny warranty for 2006, be aware of what you might be purchasing when going new anymore :lemon:
  • My 2001 Dodge Caravan (3.3L Flex-Fuel)tranny is in limp mode. My local mechanich hooked-up the code reader and told me it is a bad TCM (transmission Control Module). Can someone tell me the part number for this computer? Also,where is it located in my minivan? Thanks. :sick:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The majority of problems with the 42TE minivan transmissions are in the valvebody, usually a sticking solenoid or valve. These transmissions are as robust as any from other manufacturers (better than some, actually) but probably more sensitive to dirty or oxidized ATF. Valvebody maintenance could very well be all that your van needs.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My company has a national fleet and we currently have around 4300 Dodge Caravans of various years. I think we've had two '05 transmission problems that required a Mopar replacement. Transmission problem rate in our Chryslers are about the same as our Ventures and less than our Freestars.

    What I appear to be seeing lately on Dodge versions is a problem related to a seal failure that allows ATF to enter the solenoid cavity. This disturbs the operation of the shift solenoid. Newer replacement shift packs should resolve the issue.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • jim98jim98 Posts: 3
    This past Sunday I was traveling in my 2001 T&C with cruise control at 65 MPH. The van had shifted REAL hard once going up hill on the interstate, but then continued operating normally. About 20 minutes later, I lost all power in the transmission and pulled over. Van would not move and would not stay in park, had to engage parking brake. Towed it to local Chrysler dealer and left it with keys and note due to being Sunday. Unfortunate thing is that I was 2 hours from home. Rented a car to get home. Dealer Service called on Monday. Said computer codes indicated clutch failure and that they wouldn't know scope of problem until a tear down at minimum $550. Called today and said Output Shaft broke, metal all over and transmission had to be rebult or replaced. Quoted me $3,800. on a re-manf Chyrsler tranny!!!! I feel that I am being taken advantage of by this dealer, especially since the van is 2 hours from home and I don't seem to have many options. This price seems rather excessive. I would appreciate feedback and/or advice from the community.
  • How many miles? Has your trans ever been serviced? Too bad it's over 2 hours away. I'm sure they would be willing to show you the internal damage. $3800 is high, but will come with a 3/36000 warranty.
  • jim98jim98 Posts: 3
    81,000 miles and yes, the transmission was serviced in August 2005 by another Chrysler dealer.
  • mcheromchero Posts: 6
    Have a 1997 Grand Voyager with th 3.3l engine. I have over 110K on the trans. I had purchased the 100K warranty when new. Did have some torque converter work & front pum work done aroun 70K.

    Now my transmission has a nasty growl when ever it's shifted to 1st or reverse. The growl does seem so wuiet down when it gets up to 4th gear.

    Late fall I did a filter/fluid change & noticed lots of FUZ on the magnet. Cleaned magnet, pan & replaced filter. Same growl as before. Fluid clean & shifts w/o problems.

    Ideas suggestions? I'm past warranty of course and purchasing dealer fast at writing up two quotes, One from refurb trans/torqe swap ($2.500) and the 2nd quote was rebuild at dealership ($1,600).

    Almost tempted to rebuild myself but not sure if I'd need to rebush & new pump & such.

    I love this van! Keep it new looking inside & out, remote starter and best of all...It's paid for!

    Ideas, suggestions?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've been tempted to rebuild the transmission on my 1998 3.8 myself, should the need ever arise. That having been said, I've been "told" that these transmissions need some fairly sophisticated equipment to set them up properly. Is that true? I have no idea. I'm thinking that since mine already has 108K on it with not even a single problem along the way, I'd much rather use this one again than to take my chances with some other unit of questionable history that has already failed one or more times.

    If you find out that these are doable by a reasonably competent mechanic without super specialized tools and equipment, please let me know. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • mcheromchero Posts: 6
    Keep it super clean when tearing down & reassembling is the golden rule. I don't think you need ANY specialized tools. I had rebuilt a number of automatics back in the 80's. When tearing down keep a VERY CLOSE EYE on how it's assembled.

    I'm just afraid that the growling might mean a bad pump or perhaps a new bushing. More than a standard rebuild kit.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, that's good news regarding the equipment needed to rebuild these trannys, and even though the whole "Keep it clean" thing is almost second nature, a reminder like that is always in order on a project like this one. Thanks. ;-)

    It seems that you have more recent experience that I do as the last tranny I did was the venerable A-904 unit from an old slant six Valiant. Geez, I think I'm getting old. :-/

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • aapyeaapye Posts: 3
    Hello, I am the not so proud owner of a Town and Country 2005 limited with the 3.9 engine. Aside from the fact that the DVD player has been replaced every 9 months, and the various extra's not working...The latest problem at 20,000 miles is the transmission will not stay in Park. Other day my wife was on an errand and pulled up to a store and placed the van in park, and ran inside for a quick price check. The minivan 1 min later drove through the front window of the building. Meanwhile the gear selector was in Park the whole time!
    So now we are on the financial hook for the storefront, and the damage to our vehicle. Not sure what step to take next as the minivan has been towed off to the dealership for inspection. Our daughter was in the back asleep at the time this happened. Luckily no one was hurt. Am glad the van was pointed towards the store and not out towards the highway.

    When i called the dealership they acted surprised at this problem. The car was scheduled to be looked at next week, so now they have it a week early. I hope I am not forced to pay for all the damages.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I think you meant you have the 3.8 engine....anyway, how long have you had this van? You state "Aside from the fact that the DVD player has been replaced every 9 months" We also have a 2005 Touring Model and have not even had the van a year yet.

    You said " So now we are on the financial hook for the storefront, and the damage to our vehicle". Do you all have insurance? Sometimes when accidents happen, people call their insurance companys and get them involved. :confuse: Just a thought!!

    I realize this is a little off topic but, your wife left your daughter in the back asleep? :confuse:
  • I have a 1998 Grand Caravan that makes something like a "buzz" sound when I shift into or out of reverse or drive. It only makes the sound when I shift into the gear or when the transmission is changing gears on the highway.

    Any idea on what it could be?

    thanks
  • Hello, I am looking for some technical advice. My 1997 Dodge Grand ES 3.8 liter AWD. Bought it 2 years ago with 30K miles. Now has 55K. Never had the trans. serviced.

    It does not like to down shift out out 3rd gear when you drop in RPM. So you are cruising along, come up on a slight grade, at constant petal the RPMS drop, you would think a downshift would be order. Instead it stays in 3rd at 35 mph and a low drone freq. develops.

    You can force a downshift by pressing the accel. to the floor. Perhaps this is is by passing 2nd and dropping to 1st?

    Now tonight, it seams to shift forward quickly, pull out of stoplight and it shifts into 2nd and 3rd very quickly.

    It has gotten more and more evident. Seems worse when cold.

    Have you seen this before Is this sensors? Seals? Solonoids?

    Is there a place to view technical exploded views?

    Thanks for you help. Mike
  • After reading more I also can say that the fluid is oxidized, I checked it yesterday, it was also somewhat frothing. So I am going to schedule a wynn's flush, filter change, replace fluid with ATF+?? Hmmm, my manual says ATF+2. Please advise.

    Does this problem I have sound like a shift pack issue?

    Thanks, Mike
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ummm, they ALL buzz, going into gear, coming out of gear and shifting from gear to gear. I'm a runner and a cyclist and I can tell when an automatic equipped FWD Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth is approaching me from behind if I'm approaching an intersection or just leaving one simply from the buzzing noise the transmission makes as it does its thing. Please be assured, what you are hearing is simply normal operations for this type of transmission.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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