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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems

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  • Just an FYI . . .

    We recently sold our 1994 Grand Caravan ES with the 3.3L and 4-speed ECT. We got 162K on the original transmission, but it was starting to act a bit weird at times (hard bump downshifts, etc.) prior to selling the van. In excess of 150K is possible on the original transmission, but we drive very conservatively and changed the ATF every 24K or 2 years. The only real strange symptom was about a year after purchase in the spring of 1995, the transmission went into "limp mode," but after a reset all was fine, and it never did it again - very strange.
  • My 2007 trans seems to be fixed, dealer installed computer update for transmission and it is now shifting verry smooth :shades:

    Best Regaurds

    Brokenspoke
  • tom166tom166 Posts: 31
    Happy to hear that your vehcile has been fixed. Mine, it improved a lot but I still have the problem. Will be taking it back in on the 5th.
  • That is good news.
    Dealor called and said the software update came in last week. Taking it in tomorrow. 2007 sxt

    Hope it works.
  • tom166tom166 Posts: 31
    Let me know if that has fixed yours.It helped mine, but I still have the problem ,but not as bad.
  • Just picked up my 2007SXT. Drove it about 18 miles. So far it shifts fine. Nothing like it used to. No more weird downhshift into 1st at slow, stop and go speeds.
    The paperwork references TSB 21-015-07. They reflashed the
    pcm. Good luck. They said this fix just came out 2 weeks ago. Good luck
  • I got a 96 town and country lxi, the transmission started slipping real bad. I want to replace it but it is impossible to find one. is there any other tranny that would work with my 96 lxi motor is a 3.8l please help anyone.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    If you value your van, go to your dealership and have them put in a Factory Remanufactured transmission. The reman is built to the latest 2000 model year specs for that generation of that transmission and is the only Generation 3 minivan transmission designed specifically for the new ATF+4 transmission fluid. That and you get a 3-Year and 36,000 mile warranty for your $2,600.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • izzy5izzy5 Posts: 2
    Computer says it is the TCM - which I thought was located in front of the battery. However, when part was ordered it was not what I thought. We could not find the location of the TCM. I am hoping someone has experienced the same issue and can advise.
  • izzy5izzy5 Posts: 2
    I am experiencing the same problem with my van. I was wondering if you got any answers or how you resolved the problem. Please feel free to email me any suggestions.
  • issyissy Posts: 6
    I purchased a 2007 T & C Touring van top of the line about 5 mths ago. I took it to the dealer about a mth later complaining about the transmission. On stop & go traffic the van thumps and stumbles on 1st gear. Dealer did a computer update but found nothing wrong. I went back 2 wks after that with the same problem. Now the dealer dropped the transmission and replaced the 1st gear. Nothing wrong, yeah right. I again took it in the 3rd time with the same problem and the dealer stated nothing was found wrong it's just how the van rides. I am not convience with this answer so I am taking it to another dealer for a 2nd opinion and a freash set of eyes. I have had many vehicles of different makes and models and never experienced anything like this. Unfortunately I purchased my van before Chrsyler started their "lifetime warranty." I only have 36, 000 miles coverage and my van has appx 10,000 miles on it already. Anyone having the same problem? Any solutions? Thanks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    There is a new TSB out that seems to be quite successful in addressing the rough shifting issues of the 2007 transmissions. Said Service Bulletin is TSB 21-015-07 was released in just the last two or three weeks and according to all accounts that I've read, every transmission that has had the firmware update outlined by the TSB has been successfully cured.

    FWIW, as I understand it, Chrysler "upgraded" the clutches in the 2007 transmissions to some sort of a Kevlar composite that is far more robust than previous versions of the clutches, however, they apparently have a different coefficient of friction and that is what is causing the problem.

    Keep us posted.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • tom166tom166 Posts: 31
    About two weeks ago, I had the updates and tourgue converter installed. It did help but I still have the same problem. Took it back in and they didn't feel what I was feeling. Going to take it back and leave it over night so they can take it out cold.
  • I have an '04 DGC that also had transmission/steering problems at 36,000 miles. All the repairs were covered under warranty. Now at 60,000 miles, here are are going down that road again. So far, repairs are covered under the powertrain warranty. Shouldn't yours have a 7 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty on the transmission?
  • tom166tom166 Posts: 31
    Yes I do have the powertrain warranty and I've had the problem ever sense I drove off the lot with it.
  • I had the update done too. It helped but the problem is still there. Dealer told me to proceed with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) as there is nothing else they can do.

    Papers are signed, just waiting for the hearing.
  • issyissy Posts: 6
    I have a 3 yr/36,000 mile bumper to bumper powertrain warranty. Only 2 1/2 weeks later, Chrysler announced a "lifetime" warranty. I went back to the dealers to see if I could get it and they told me "no." Should have waited but who knew..... I am not very happy with this transmission acting up like this, not normal at all. Never owned a vehicle that did this.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    They lied to you as there was a relatively inexpensive "lifetime" warranty that you could have purchased (although I believe that offer has since expired).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Yep, you should have searched the web a little bit before taking the dealers word for fact. It was readily available from your dealer or you could have upgraded online through several different DC dealers who were selling them. You might still be able to get it but at a higher cost than if you would have purchased before Sept. 30.

    Does anyone know if the lifetime warranty will cover computer updates?
  • I've just spent some time reading some of the posts from 7 years ago about the "fabled Chrysler tranny curse". I'm a Chrysler Master tech of over 20 yrs and I can tell u this. It's late 2007 now and Chrysler has done amazing things with their trannys over the years to make them stronger, more durable and reliable. They've done EXCEPTIONALLY well!!! But...let me bottom line it for you as well. If you own a 2000 or newer Caravan or T&C (Voyager having been discontinued) and you don't take proper care of your transmission (regular and proper flushes) keeping in mind also that the filters don't need to be changed anymore unless you, the consumer, request it, your transmission is not longed for this world or any other. As I saw stated before, you must maintain tranny's properly and THINK about what u're towing with these vehicles. They're NOT designed to tow more than 2,000 lbs. so please don't tow the family boat that weighs 3,500 lbs or a camper. Tow only a maximum of 2,000 lbs., keep up on your tranny flushes (every 30k miles). Don't xpect your vehicle to do something it's not designed to do and then when you've ignored that advise, don't go blaming Chrysler for the tranny blowing out when you've clearly abused it. I wouldn't fix it for free if I was Chrysler, knowing full well you abused it. It's not their fault u overloaded it. You wanna tow something heavy or large? Buy a truck!!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    If you own a 2000 or newer Caravan or T&C (Voyager having been discontinued) and you don't take proper care of your transmission (regular and proper flushes) keeping in mind also that the filters don't need to be changed anymore unless you, the consumer, request it, your transmission is not longed for this world or any other...

    ...keep up on your tranny flushes (every 30k miles). Don't xpect your vehicle to do something it's not designed to do and then when you've ignored that advise, don't go blaming Chrysler for the tranny blowing out when you've clearly abused it.


    Interesting advice. Per the manual for our 2003 DGC ES, a manual written by Chrysler that recommends (among other things) the proper care and feeding of our van; the transmission fluid NEVER needs to be changed. I'm quite happy to say that I've adhered to that rigorous maintenance schedule on our 2003 and so far at least, the transmission seems to be quite happy, of course it only has 102,000 miles on it so there's still plenty of time yet for it to go Tango Uniform. :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Hmmm, what was that all about? who said anything about towing? FYI for all you chrysler techs out there, have you heard about the towing prep pkg you can tow 3600 LB. thats not abuse. :confuse:

    Best regaurds
    Brokenspoke
  • Looks like this forum is infiltrated with folks on Chrysler payroll ;) I had thought of buying a 2008 T&C for 4 months, but decided to go for another minivan. I remember being offered a 1k to 2k loyalty rebate from a local dealer but two Chrysler vans that broken down on me and family just left too many bad memories. No towing, no speeding tics, no abuse whatsoever... tranny fluid maintenance every 2 yrs. Driven less than 8k/yr... well-maintained 96 and 98 vans. I also had about a dozen relatives, friends, and co-workers who opted to stay away from this brand even with the very tempting Lifetime Powertrain Warranty.
  • issyissy Posts: 6
    No towing expected with this van. It's a family van and the only thing towed is the family. Taking van for 2nd opinion on the trans today. Let's see what they come up with this time? Hopefully the 3rd time is the charm. You would think since Chrysler/Dodge was the 1st automaker with a mini van they would have fixed everything by now. American made cars are into quantity instead of quality, they should reconsider their priorities.
  • Hmmm......let me reiterate that I would NEVER tow more than a say a yard trailer or anything else weighing 2k lbs or more since I've had these 41TE trannys apart for one reason or another and EVERY time (no exceptions) I've done this, the vehicle has had a Class 2 (up to 5,000 lbs.) hitch on it. It's pretty bad when the reciever on your minivan has a 7 pin connector on it. Whether u use the 7 pin or not makes no difference. A 7 pin connector provides for use of a trailer with electric brakes. These type trailers are WAY TOO HEAVY for a minivan to be towing. Anything with electric brakes is going to weigh in excess of 7,000 lbs.. That is just plain ridiculous to ask a minivan to do. It's sorta like TELLING you that u're gonna bench press 700 lbs . or die trying. I don't care what Chyrsler tells you is ok to tow with a minivan...having seen what some of these trannys are expected to do...my advise is...don't tow anything weighing more than 2,000 lbs.. It's just friendly advise...do with it as u wish. Good luck!
  • The TCM (transmission control module) is in one of two locations. One.....mounted to the passenger side front fender well, under the hood. Easy access. The other place it will be (if not under the hood) is inside the drivers front fender well. You'll need to remove part of the fender well to access it. Now...keep in mind that even if you change the module yourself....you WILL need to do 2 things that ONLY your dealer (or someone with a scan tool with the correct software) can do...you're going to need to program in a "pinion factor" so your speedometer will work. You'll also need to "quicklearn" the module so it will know it's shift points. The "quicklearn" normally is done at operating temp. All you need to do is let the vehicle run (no driving required) until the trans fluid is about 100 degrees. If you don't do these 2 things, the tranny WILL have a hard downshift from 2nd to 1st and your speedometer won't work cause the module has no clue what tire size you're running. Again...if you don't perform those two tasks, setting the pinion factor and the quicklearn, you will have no speedometer and your tranny will have a hard 2nd to 1st downshift.
  • wow....."nothing wrong...yea right"......I guess YOU have never made a mistake or "missed" anything in your life......yea right. Have patience on this stuff. Sometimes internal problems are not that easy to find. They can be intermittent at times. I understand your frustration but really.....take it easy. You make mistakes too, don't forget. Or do you?......yea right.
  • You have the 3 year/36K mile bumper to bumper warranty....period!! You also, unless you are using your vehicle as a fleet (business) vehicle, have a 7 year, 70k mile powertrain warranty. Please don't confuse these two. Also keep in mind that ANY dealer can and will sell you a GOOD aftermarket warranty of varying levels ( you choose the level of protection you want) for very reasonable prices. Think of it as buying an "insurance policy" for your powertrain. But remember......nothing beats good old fashioned PROPER maintenance. I have an '04 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 that I off road often in AND tow my boat (19' ski boat) and I've NEVER had a problem with ANYTHING on it since new and it now has 42k on it. I'm tickled with it!! Anyway.....just food for thought....good luck.
  • Hey shipo.....no one lied to anyone about a "lifetime warranty" so please don't say things like that. Up until model year 2008 the lifetime warranty has not been available, factory or aftermarket. The best aftermarket warranty has been "maximum care" which covers ALMOST everything but does NOT last a lifetime. Model year 2008 now offers lifetime warranty but that is "limited powertrain" and doesn't cover things like switches and what not. It is limited to engine bearings, rings, that sort of thing and it also covers transmission issues....again...limited. Let me say this as politely as I can.....if you're not absolutely 100% positive about warranty information...please don't tell other people that a dealership has lied to them. You may not even be getting HONEST information from the people who THINK they were screwed. Remember...there are always 2 sides to every story. Let's face....customers don't always tell the whole truth....especially if they think something they did cause a failure that they don't think would be fixed for free if they told the truth. Believe me, I've seen many problems arise from plain and simple abuse and there is no way a customer is gonna tell the complete truth about everything if they think they'll get a free fix under warranty if they say "I don't know what happened, it made a "noise" and quit". Come on......I've seen it all!! Please don't tell someone they got lied to when you can't prove it.
  • Good to hear you take good care of your vehicle and don't tow!! Well done!!! However let me clarify a few things about todays Caravan's vs. YesterYEARS Caravans. One.....the trannys that had the "bucketload" of issues were 3 speeds and were a big piece of sh**. No doubt. Chrysler has come a long way with trans. units. As far as "quantity instead of quality".....I thought u should know that even Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Kia Sedona have also had multiple drivetrain concerns and failures including trans failures. These companies also produce "quantity". In case you haven't noticed...we "americans" demand everything, right away. We have become a society that takes "supply and demand" and turns into "right here, right now, right away or else" and that does take a toll on the manufacturers. Thus we get what we want, right now, no excuses. Just like we demand. Now....to put this into perspective..take a look at car makers such as Rolls Royce, Ferrari, certain BMW's....most of these cars are made BY HAND, ONE AT A TIME. There is a waiting list for these vehicles. Granted they are very $$ but...you get what u pay for and as long as we demand ANY maker to produce what WE want...."right now, right away, no excuses", we're gonna get the quality that is a by product of that demand. How would u feel if someone expected you to work all day, everyday with no pee breaks, no lunch breaks and no time off? Would you be producing "qaulity" when u're trying to keep up with "demand"? Probably not...keep this in mind the next time u question the quality of a product. It's sort of like expecting filet mignon prepared perfectly everytime by an exhausted chef...not gonna happen. Get the picture??
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