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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The odds on bet is that you have a 4-Speed transmission. What engine do you have in your van?

    "With all the trouble people seem to have with transmissions on this make/model I was hoping someone would have had these problems before and could suggest a possible solution that I can fix myself."

    Highly unlikely. As with pretty much any modern car and modern electronically controlled transmission, you would need lots of very expensive equipment to diagnose what is wrong and to fix it. Simply trying to get some advice and then throw parts at the problem will most likely cost you WAY more than taking it to a professional for a proper diagnosis and repair.

    Best Regards,
  • 3.3L.

    I wasn't looking for just advice but someone who has had this problem and what it took to fix it. Plus with that information, I can start planning for what I need to have done. Obviously, since it's Christmas, the possibility of getting it fixed, if its over $500.00, is slim to none. I was more just hoping it was an easy fix and not the rebuild the transmission type of fix. Thanks for the advice Shipo.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry if I put you off. It's just that with a complex transmission of this kind, there are so many different potential failure points. The truth of the matter is that there is absolutely no way for anybody to correctly guess over the internet as to whether it's a $100 TCM reflash or a $2,600 factory reman that will cure your problem. You really do need to take it to either your dealer or a transmission professional to have the situation looked at from all aspects.

    Best Regards,
  • I wasn't put off by your reply and I wasn't looking for an online diagnosis but I was looking for someone to say that they had had a similar problem and what they had to do to correct it. After reading most of the messages posted on this site I was sure someone would chime in about a similar thing that happened to their van. In other words, I just wanted to have a point of reference before I start calling around to the professionals. Thanks again for your advice Shippo and have a great day.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    I'm in the "great minority" as well, as our 1994 Grand Caravan ES has 161,000 miles on the clock and the original 4-speed ECT is still working fine. ATF is changed every 20 to 24K like clockwork, and I must say, we drive very conservatively.

    On the other hand, we just blew a head gasket two weeks ago (front bank of cylinders), and I'm just about done with the work. After a quote of over $2K, I decided to do the work myself, and all went smoothly - for a total parts investment of less than $200. I took the head to an automotive machine shop for pressure testing and to check for any warping, and all was OK. The head gasket failed near a coolant galley, and coolant was spewing from the rear of the front head. Coolant was always changed every 24K, or 2 years, whichever came first.

    I've used Mobil 1 5W-30 since purchase with 3K/3Mo. change intervals, and the interesting thing is you can still see the cross-hatch honing marks from the factory in the cylinder bores. So, the cylinders are showing little wear, which is very impressive after 160K miles.
  • eccmjeccmj Posts: 1
    our car hes 190,000 miles on it and is on its second transmission. Now all of a sudden the transmission won't upshift sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't Is there anyone who can help tell us what to do? :sick:
  • Greetings.

    I hope that you may be able to shed some light on my problem. It is, of course, intermittent. :(

    Things that happen (not necessarily all at the same time):
    1. Transmission will drop into neutral while in drive (happened last night while going 70 mpg in innermost lane of expressway)
    2. Upshifting is rough as though it doesn't want to shift up (from first to second, for example).
    3. While stopped at a light, the van lurches. I swear it feels as though the van would lurch through the intersection if I took my foot off the brake.
    4. While in motion, if you're watching the tach, you can watch the needle jump up and down and feel little lurches (as though the transmission is rapidly dropping in and out of neutral).
    5. The interval wipers behave oddly - making mutiple passes instead of just one, not wiping at all, not wiping when speed is adjusted

    The more stuff that's on (heater/radio/back wiper/etc.), the more likely it is to act up. Same with sitting with the car running - the longer it's on without moving, the more likely it is to act up.

    Any ideas? I've had it to the dealer and they've pretty much given up on it. It's a 4 speed automatic and had 40k miles on it when I got it.
  • Hi All

    Two weeks ago I had some clonking noise from the wheels and as I have third party warranty, I drove to my local Chrysler dealer. The noise happened to be the sway bushings which the warranty company paid for. At the same time the mechanics found my tranny pan and solenoid was leaking fluid despite the fact that the warranty company had put in a rebuilt tranny just about four months ago (labor by Chrysler dealer but parts sought elsewhere). After a lot of pointing fingers and two faulty solenoid packs later, the transmission company shipped in a totally different tranny, and I no oil leak for over a week now.

    Yesterday was my first long trip in the van and I tried to use the cruise control, but as soon as I flick the switch, it comes on and goes off after a few seconds. This is too much of a coincidence. I called dealership and my service agent said "If it is something we've done, we will take care of it," Now if I sit in there waiting room for an hour or so, they can come back with something like my PCM module is bad and that will be 400 dollars plus 160 labor. If I decide not to go with them, I will have to pay $85 diagnostic fee if it is not covered under warranty.

    My question is this, Does anyone know if this might be related to some kind of sensor on the tranny before I go in? I found this particular dealership in Brandon, Florida quite unhelpful and I will be going to Dodge down the road instead.

    Any input will be well appreciated.

    merry xmas
  • kknobkknob Posts: 2
    Hey divman,

    Just spoke with the mother-in-law who has a 2001 Town & Country, 82,000 miles. Just had some transmission work done (not sure what), now is not shifting out of first gear and the engine light is on. Briefly, the speedometer and odometer were not registering, returned after shutting down and re-starting (still not shifting, though). She will be getting it checked Monday morning, if I find out anything I'll let you know.

  • kknobkknob Posts: 2
    Re: 2001 Town & Country, 82000 miles, not shifting from first gear.

    Solution was the transmission control module. The problem repeated itself after a couple of weeks, the first replcement part went bad. Replaced at no charge, original fix was approx $450.

  • I'd go after the following things:

    1) Speed Sensor and Connector: Check, Replace if needed. US$ 10
    2) Solenoid Packs: Check, Clean or Replace: US$ 100

    After that, buy 5 quarts of MOPAR ATF+3, a new filter and have the transmission fluid replaced. :)
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    I recently noticed that there is no wind fluid come out from the two front washer holes while the wind fluid tank is full. I checked the manual and can't find any chapter addressed this problem. Anybody had any experience on fixing this problem? Many thanks!
  • I just use something like a needle to clear the blocked outlet and you can reposition them to you windwshield when fluid begins to flow. That is assuming this is where the blockage is.
  • Does not sound like a transmission problem to me :confuse:
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    You are right. I tried to post this message in caravan's problem section, but it is read only, not allowed to send new post. Any ideas?
  • van7van7 Posts: 1
  • Claire@EdmundsClaire@Edmunds Chicago areaPosts: 968
    Hi, lovecd,

    If kayode65's solution doesn't work for you, feel free to open a new topic if you don't see an existing one that fits your question. Just click "Add Discussion" at the top level here: Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan



  • Hello all,
    New to the forum, hope you folks can shed some light. I have a 98 Grand Caravan Sport with 3.8L 4sp AT (106K miles) [Red w/dark tint, alloys, Sony xPlod, XM ]. The other night we were returning home from a road trip and came to a stop sign after about 30 minutes of highway cruising and the van started to shutter a lot, I eased into a gas station and put it in park and the noise stopped. Put it back in drive and the shuttering began again like the torque converter was still locked together. We continued home (another 20 miles) and when I came to a stop in the driveway it lurched and shut off. The next morning it wouldn't go into Rev or any drive gear without shutting off. So I finally put it in L and give it a little gas and it appears to break free and I can at least get it up the hill to the shop for a better looksee.

    After researching the forums I figured I should start with a fluid/filter change so I pulled the pan and found a lot of sludge around the magnet, fluid was burnt as expected and a very small amount of fine metal particles in the bottom of the pan. I didn't do the full flush because I didn't have the tubing etc but I cleaned everything up very well, put the new filter in and dropped 4 qts of Mopar ATF+3 in. Fired it up and took it for a run. I "trained" it as best as I could with about 20 runs from full stop. Got out on the highway and it shifts great, very smooth, ran for about 10 miles and when I took the off ramp to complete stop it had a slight shutter. This time I noticed the shutter didn't start until I had almost come to a complete stop. It did that a few more times on the way home and some more of it in the driveway. It seems like something is trying to engage and it makes a squeaky-clunky sort of sound. I had the wife hold the brake with it in D while I listened from the front and the sound seems to come from the torque converter (she really resisted the urge to let off the brake just a tad to see if I was paying attention)

    From what I know (and that ain't much) and read (which feels like a lot now)about transmissions it seems like the torque converter lockup is trying to engage at an inappropriate time. Also seems like with the fresh fluid and filter it's getting a little better under control but still isn't quite there. The main concern I have is the squeaky-grindy sound, it sounds like big metal parts rubbing, which tends to turn into big $$$ leaving my wallet.

    We don't know when if ever any maintenance has been done on the tranny as we have only had it for about 10K miles. If anyone knows of anything else I should try or look for please let me know. I'll attempt to replace parts/fluids but it'll have to go to the shop if it's anything inside.

    Any help is appreciated. (sorry for the long post)

  • doh3doh3 Posts: 1
    Hello, all. Forgive the long post.

    Our 98 Voyager Expresso, 3.3l, 150k, has been very good to "the family", but recent transmission woes require some proper action, so here I am.

    About a month ago, tranny lurched, then dropped into limp mode while wife was driving it. The next day, the computers reset and it ran ok. Day or 2 later, same thing. Took it to good referral shop, who then did:

    - R&R Transmission and Rebuild, Rebuild torque converter...................$1050.00
    - New Solenoid pack ........$ 89.00
    - 11 quarts fluid ..........$ 23.65
    So after spending $1162.65, and a 1 year warranty on the repairs, it failed similarly on the highway the very next day. Just dropped out of gear while cruising. Was towed back to shop, where mechanic replaced solenoid pack with one that was "brand new from the dealer".

    All this was happening while we were moving out of state, from OK to AR. Now in Arkansas, 6 hours from shop, transmission is faulting again, about a week after the last shop visit. I'm not happy about return shop visits, but can't really expect the guy to include a 12-hour round-trip tow/redelivery cost in my warranty, so, sadly enough, he won't get to touch the car again. I sure as **** ain't drivin' it back to him so he can "look at it again".

    While cruising on highway and running very smoothly, car will lurch/bump ever so quickly, as if it wants to drop out of gear. But it recatches quickly instead. Happens every few minutes. Then it dropped into limp mode, throwing codes P0750(Solenoid Shift Malfunction) and P0700(Transmission Control System Malfunction). After letting car rest while off, computers must have "reset", and car seemed to run fine....straight to an Autozone where the aforementioned, recent codes were read.

    I called original mechanic in OK, (who also replaced the battery at no cost, after hazard lights killed it after his initial "fix").
    He says it couldn't be anything mechanical at this point, and said the computer, probably the TCM, is most likely acting up, sending bad info to the shift solenoids. It's possible, but I don't have any Plymouth stats to back up my electro-mechanical suppositions.

    Taking car back to OK is out of the question. I called the local dealership, who said they can run diagnostics on it for $70.00, after I told them the TCM is suspect.

    If replacing TCM will do it, fine. Question is, does all this make sense? Will dealership diagnostic be able to find intermittant faults in the onboard computers, even if recent Trouble Codes were erased, and problem isn't existing right now? If dealership can't find a flaw in the TCM, due to the intermittant nature of the problem itself, would replacement of the TCM still be advisable? Autozone guy, who said he was ASE cert., said it was prob. TCM, and maybe Speed sensor as well.

    If I can get a correct, used TCM to put on myself for around $60.00 shipped with warranty, wouldn't that be advisable before letting dealership sell me one of their new TCM's? Bet they want over $250 for that bad boy. But then, they would reprogram the new TCM at no cost, and definitely charge me if I replaced it myself. What to do.

    Thank you for reading this far. I'm frustrated because I'm in the " could be the ------." phase of the nightmare.
  • hello abhay,
    did you resolve the problem? what was it?

    I am currently having the same exact problem .
    It feels like the brakes are stuck and will not let the car move.

    did anyone else have this problem?
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