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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286
    ....its trans oil change, but I am afraid I do not know about the newer 2002 models.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    It has to be changed infrequently enough such that I let someone else do the transmission fluid/filter change. I too like to do most routine maintenance myself.

    Next time I will go to the dealer, though as the chain transmission place I had it done last was a bit less than impressive. I think they caused more problems than they solved. This was on a 96 Caravan W/3.3 V-6, by the way.

    I had a small shaft seal leak which I knew about beforehand, which they fixed when they did the fluid/filter change, but soon after I developed another leak. I took it back to them thinking it was related to their error, and they claimed it was a leak in the solenoid gasket, supposedly unrelated to their transmission fluid change. So I paid them to replace this gasket

    Later on I still had a leak, and this time I looked into it myself and found that the hose clamps at two of the four ends of the transmission cooler hose lines had not been tightened up enough,. probably left loose by them. The third one had been overtightened and stripped so the clamp would not pull tight. I replaced one and tightened them all on my own and now all seems well.

    If I had it to do over, I would have gone to the dealer for the service, and hopefully their better(??) trained mechanics would have not screwed up. I think I may have paid for a solenoid gasket replacement that was not the problem, but I have no proof.
  • denise5denise5 Posts: 9
    I have a 2002 dodge grand caravan and it had to be towed to the car dealership because it was losing power and making a whistle sound when I stepped on the gas. They told me they had to take the transmission apart and see what the problem is. They said the torche converter was broken off the engine, it needed a front pump and overhaul kit. Cost $1900. I have had this car 3 1/2 years. This is not right. I contacted the Dodge Corp. and am working with them. I told them I should not have to pay for this because this has been a problem that has been going on for 15 years with these transmissions. I would like to know if there is anyone else out there that has had this problem. I have 52,000 miles on the van, we do all the maintenance that needs to be done on it regularly.
  • denise5denise5 Posts: 9
    See my message above.
  • on our '93 Grand Voyager since we bought her. She had 98k miles on her and a shudder moving from 3rd to 4th, around 35-45 miles per hour. Five years later she has 281k miles, same shudder, maybe a little worse, and one she picked up along the way that happens around 70 mph under certain circumstances. I think it's when the torque converter tries to go into lockup mode and the RPMs aren't high enough. To the best of my knowledge, this has the original Chrysler 3.3l engine, original tranny, and even the original timing belt! We tried to get a tranny flush a while ago but they wouldn't do it. Said on a tranny with that high mileage, new fluid would be too strong for it and would blow the seals. So for the last (almost) 200,000 miles, all we do is have the tranny fluid topped off every few oil changes. The moral of the story is that if you have an older one of these, you may be better living with some idiosyncrasies than pouring megabux down your local repair shop.
  • my 1995 T&C LXI transmission only works in second (45 mph/3500 rpm) and reverse.
    a couple of times in cold weather the transmission would shift out a gear when first starting in the morning, but it would go "normal" right the way.
    yesterday it slipped going down the highway exit.
    since then i only can get second gear and reverse.
    any ideas on how to diagnose the problem.
    the van did not have any transmission work or fluid change in the last 60,000. it has now 165.000.
    thanks for the help
  • chuckgchuckg Posts: 69
    Sounds like your transmission is in "limp mode." Have you checked the fluid level when the engine/transmission are warm and the vehicle is running?

    If it were me, the first thing I would do is get a transmission fluid flush and a new filter. Make sure they use the correct fluid for your transmission. I believe you need ATF+3 for that year vehicle (check your owner's manual). Using the wrong fluid type will really screw things up.

    I'd start there and hope for the best.
  • ohvanohvan Posts: 26
    I have a 2003 T&C ex. Yesterday while having the brakes inspected and pads changed at a local "auto center - TUFFY", I was told that the 30,000 mile recommended maintenance included changing the transmission fluid, I asked if the fluid used is the correct type for the Chrysler van and the tech said yes . . they added some type of added to make the formulation correct.

    After looking at my manual and reading some of the post on this site, I'm not sure I did the right thing. The recommended maintenance suggests inspecting the fluid but not changing it at 30,000 miles. Should the fluid be changed at 30,000 miles?

    Also, if I don't know that the newly installed fluid is ATF +4, should I change it again, or??

    Any informed advice would be appreciated.
    Additionally, we hear a hum or whining sound coming from our van while driving at low speeds, particularly when cold. It's unclear where the sound is coming from. Any thoughts on the source and significance?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think that the general consensus is that if you even remotely suspect that you've got the wrong stuff in your transmission, get it out of there like right now. To the best of my knowledge, there is no such a thing as an additive to normal tranny fluid that makes ATF +4, and as such, I'd demand my money back for that portion of the job.

    Best Regards,
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    Get that fluid out of there now!!!! Use only Chrysler AFT+4 and nothing else! Take it to your Chrysler dealer and tell them what happened so they can flush your transmission completely.
  • bymbym Posts: 2
    Hi this is my first time posting here. I have a dodge caravan with a basic 3 -speed automatic transaxle, but the transaxle is junk. I also have a dodge caravan for parts, it has a good automatic transaxle, but it is overdrive. Can I put an overdrive transaxle in a minivan that has a non-overdrive transaxle in it. I don't care if the overdrive doesn't work, as long as its drivable.
  • ohvanohvan Posts: 26
    Today I discussed the ATF +4 with the Tuffy representative. He said that ATF +4 was installed. He said that you can purchase at any Autozone, not just from Chrysler. Is there a difference between the off-the-shelf ATF +4 and the Chrysler product?

    Should I still pursue replacing the new "Tuffy installed ATF +4" fluid with a product produced by the OEM?
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    I have has this discussion before with friends that like to go to the Quick Lube places and the following is what I was told from the Quick Lube place near me. The mgr. said that they have a "bulk" 500 gallon transmission oil container in the ground that holds Dextron II and they just add a different package to this transmission fluid to make it compatible with Chrysler/Honda or whatever they need to put it in.

    If they used AFT+4, ask to see the bottle! If they can't produce the container marked AFT+4, run and get it to your dealer for the correct fluid type. I haven't any idea if the AFT+4 from Autozone is the same as from Chrysler.

    If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for this transmission service? Was it a flush or a drain and fill? How many Qt's of transmission fluid did they use?
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    Just4fun2 is correct. I have read here in these boards that only Daimlerchrysler has the ATF +4. I have read about how these quick lub places changed the trans. fluid and all was well for about 10K and the trans. needed to be replaced. If I were you, I would go to a Daimlerchrysler dealer and explain what happened and what was told to you by Tuffy (bring the Tuffy receipt too). Have them to do a completed flush of the trans. which should cost about $150.00. (It's better to be safe then sorry.) See if your local dealer can give you some kind of letter that would support you in proving that the Tuffy placed did not use the correct Trans. fluid to get a full refund. God bless you. :shades:
  • ohvanohvan Posts: 26
    The costs were: transmission flush and fill labor: $53.00; transmission fluid (18 units @ $3.22/unit): $57.96 and ATF conditioner and converter: : $14.99.

    Total cost was about $116.00. I have a sick feeling in my stomach now . . I probably just wasted $116, right? This is on top of a front brake job that cost $76 for pads, $69 to install, $20 to machine rotors, $10 for parts cleaner, $7.60 for contact point cleaning abrasive, $8.99 for small parts,$39.99 for hardware, $59.99 for brake fluid bleed and flush, and $4.00 for brake fluid. A whopping $292. Any thoughts or helpful advice?
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    Ok, let's take this one step at a time. Get the transmission flushed and the correct fluid/filter put in. Go to your Chrysler dealer for that. The fact that the Quick lube place added an "ATF Conditioner" tells me that something isn't right with this.

    Some of the parts/services for your brake job is out of line also, but that's another story. Contact the the CEO of the quick lube place explain your position and ask for your money back for the transmission service. If your out $116.00 for the transmission service it will be cheaper in the long run than a $3000.00 transmission replacement bill later.

    Good Luck.
  • vullinvullin Posts: 1
    On a '98 Dodge Caravan Sport Automatic with a 3.3 Liter Engine, sometimes when starting out, it stays in first gear and does not shift into second gear even when I wind it out a bit. I have to pull over, shut off the engine and start it back up again, and then it works and shifts fine. Except that sometimes - when it is shifting like it should do, the engine speeds up, or winds out a little, or freewheels, when shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear for just a fraction of a if the 2nd gear clutch sometimes does not engage soon enough when the 1st gear clutch disengages. Also, just to let you know, the check engine light stays on and is on continuously...even when it is shifting fine. I would appreciate input from resolutions of similar problems and from those knowledgeable in these matters. The largest concern is the thing not shifting at all, as first mentioned. Thank you.
  • I am looking for any input on the transmission in my 99 voyager (68000
    miles) with a 2.4L Inline 4, 3 speed engine. The gears started acting
    up, i took it in for a radiator and transmission flush. They pulled
    the trans dipstick and it was a milky pink color. Opened the
    radiator-same milky pink color. they said that moisture was getting
    in somewhere-no leaks found. They said it looked like radiator was
    cracked. Took it it to get fixed-new radiator (was cracked) and both
    coolant and trans flushed 2x. A few days later trans started acting
    up. opened hood, pulled trans dipstick out, back to cloudy color.
    Opened the plastic coolant container-very dirty. opened actual
    radiator-was green and clean but noticed dots of red trans fluid
    floating. Neighbor had me turn on van and run and he told me that it
    coolant wasn't turning like is should. Any help or in put-the radiator
    and flushes where done by a mechanic friend of a friend and dont want
    to go back to them but dont want to get taken for a ride either.
    I should mention that the trans was slipping periodically while in (3yr/36000)warranty and dealership charged me for the checkup when they checked it and found nothing wrong)
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    First, did you check the fluids before you left the mechanic to see if the service you paid for was done? If not, they might not have changed anything. Does the engine run hot? You say that you have a 99 Voyager and that when you looked in the radiator the coolant was green (antifreeze coolant). I'm not sure about this, but you might want to check your owners manual to see if the coolant system uses DEX (Coolant antifreeze) which is kinda of orange color or regular (antifreeze) which is green and used in older vechicles. :shades:
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    When they replaced the old cracked radiator, did they put in a "new" radiator (out of the box) that would have a new transmission cooler installed or did they recore your old radiator and re-use your old transmission cooler? If the transmission cooler was recycled back inside the rebuilt radiator, I would bet that the transmission cooler is leaking transmission fluid into the radiator fluid.

    You will have to find out what repair they did to correct the old cracked radiator and go from there.

    Good Luck!
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