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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems

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  • I have a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan. I need some help in figuring out what the problem is. Here are the "symptoms"...

    1. When its cold if you put it in gear jerks and turns the engine off.
    2. When you stop sometimes turns the engine off.
    3. The transmission sometimes jerks when it goes into gear.
    4. You can give it gas and when it goes to 2nd gear sometimes turns the engine off.

    What do you think? Do I need to buy a new transmission?
  • keith74keith74 Posts: 3
    edited May 2011
    I have a 2011 T & C we purchased April 5 that does same as your van. I am now aware of five 2011 model Chrysler vans that do same. I have an ongoing active complaint case file with Chrysler Customer Service. The latest info from them is that Chrysler is aware of the problem, is collecting data but does not have a fix!!! I suggest you call Cutsomer Service and file a complaint. Hopefully, the more owners that report this problem, the more likely we will get help from Chrysler. Their phone 1-800-763-8422.
  • leadfoot69leadfoot69 Posts: 31
    Assuming u have 4 speed trans, sounds like the lock up touque convertor is sticking.
  • gg1328gg1328 Posts: 16
    I have a 1998 Plymouth Voyager, 3.3 engine. My driver's side cv axle broke in half. I tried every which way to try to get the part that goes into the transmission out. No success. I tried with a crow bar. I believe they call it the cat's paw type. I feel if I pull hard enough I will snap the crow bar. Is there a special tool that I can use, or some other Ideas?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    George
  • gg1328gg1328 Posts: 16
    Dear Mr. Shiftright:

    I finally got around to checking out the broken axle. It was just like you said, a broken axle (driver side) You may not believe it, but I did it myself. The reason it took me almost 3 months, was the fact that almost every weekend it rained or was cold. I purchased a rebuilt axle from a local automotive store and installed it.

    Thanks for all your help!!!!!

    George
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,528
    edited May 2011
    Well congratulations on a job well done!
    image

    MODERATOR

  • I have a 1994 Chrylser Town and Country that is having an issue. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.

    Son was driving home last night in it and said that it "wouldn't go". Hubby went and met him and hubby said it feels like it is shifting into neutral. Strange thing is if you turn the key off for 8-10 seconds then restart, it will go another 200 feet or so and then do same thing. We bought it used and haven't had a lot of issues with it other then changing the fuel pump about a month ago.

    thanks for any help!
  • mr_curiousmr_curious Posts: 2
    First things first, check the transmission fluid. Similar problem and the fluid was nearly gone. I don't thnk that is the case with you, but, it was a simple and easy fix for me. Generally speaking, the automatic transmission for the pre-1999 Chrysler vans were good for 90k, and with the transmission cooler installed, 100k. Luck.
  • tallen469tallen469 Posts: 2
    I just fixed my van with the same problem, 1st gear only(not limp mode!) shifted into Nuetral instead of 2nd gear, no reverse. Not an easy fix! In mine the rear carrier inside the transmission busted. I had to take the transmission out and basically rebuild it. If your not good at working on cars and have a good tool collection I wouldn't try doing it yourself.
  • papo191papo191 Posts: 1
    your problem happened to me a year ago an just spend $90.00 dollars just replace the transmission filter and new transmission oil and your problem will be solve
  • vanfixedvanfixed Posts: 4
    We had almost an identical experience to yours, and now it's completely fixed. During hot weather, our 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan's automatic transmission would go into "safety mode" but we didn't fix it due to money. It gradually went into "safety mode" all the time, so we had to take it to a transmission shop. They had to rebuild the transmission. Because we drove it for so long in safety mode, it ruined the transmission. Even after being fixed, we had to take it in periodically due to the "safety mode" problem again. Recently, with the hot weather again, it started acting up again so the transmission shop checked the engine code, and said the code showed that the electrical relay system was off and therefore not sending the power to the transmission. They sent it to a regular mechanic down the street. After about 2 1/2 days, we heard there was a loose connection (wire), that the mechanic unplugged and replugged it, and cleaned around it. Finally, our transmission is working in hot weather. We've had it back one day. It has more get up and go, also. Hope this helps somebody else not to ruin their transmission when it might just have a loose connection in the electrical relay system.
  • vanfixedvanfixed Posts: 4
    We had almost an identical experience to Moody Blues, and now finally it's completely fixed. During hot weather, our 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan's automatic transmission would go into "safety mode" but we didn't fix it due to money. It gradually went into "safety mode" all the time, so we had to take it to a transmission shop. They had to rebuild the transmission. Because we drove it for so long in safety mode, it ruined the transmission. Even after being fixed, we had to take it in periodically due to the "safety mode" problem again. Recently, with the hot weather again, it started acting up again so the transmission shop checked the engine code, and said the code showed that the electrical relay system was off and therefore not sending the power to the transmission. They sent it to a regular mechanic down the street. After about 2 1/2 days, we heard there was a loose connection (wire), that the mechanic unplugged and replugged it, and cleaned around it. Finally, our transmission is working in hot weather. We've had it back one day. It has more get up and go, also. Hope this helps you not to ruin their transmission when it might just have a loose connection in the electrical relay system.
  • swill8295swill8295 Posts: 1
    We have a 98 Grand Caravan LE with the same exact problem. We don't want to spend a lot of money or go to the dealership (because they are going to tell us to rebuild the trans no matter what with the mileage we have on it). Can you please tell me which specific wire your mechanic replugged in and cleaned around so that me and my dad can try the same thing? Thank you very much.
  • Same problem on 2002 Voyager, 31TH transmission, didn't shift out of 1st when in Drive, no OBD codes. Solved by replacing the governor. As a part of governor valve, there are 2 pistons moving by the centrifugal force of the governor rotation (one of the pistons is also spring-loaded). That way the governor senses output shaft speed and sends that information back to the valve body as a variable pressure. Both of those pistons are moving in their "cylinders" cut in aluminum case. Even though those pistons and cylinders are lubricated by transmission fluid, one of those cylinders got chaffed and its piston got stuck (the one without spring load). By replacing the aluminum case only, the problem was solved. Aluminum case for the pistons was taken off a Neon transmission from a junk yard. Note that Neon governor has different weight of the pistons, most likely the shifting speed is lower because Neon is lighter vehicle than Voyager. So only the aluminum case was taken off of Neon governor; the rest of the governor was kept original Voyager, including the pistons. This post may be too late to help tiger125, but anyway here it is for the record and future forum search.
  • keanezrakeanezra Posts: 8
    Thanks for the info. I will call their CS. Maybe we should call NHTSA, you think they can help expedite this process? I'm hoping this is something minor. I'm planing to keep the car over 100K.
  • jdebbinsjdebbins Posts: 8
    I think you have another problem, namely a cold solder joint on your speedometer circuit board. Next time this happens, bang your fist down hard on the top of dash above speedometer.... if it clears up that is the problem. Remove and fix, common electrical problem for this vintage van. Look for my other posts on this issue.
  • jaguar3djaguar3d Posts: 1
    Hello Rick, i also have a 2008tc. DId you ever get a solution on how to check the level. I think taking it to the dealer is stupid to check oil. I notice seeping between the gaskets when i went to change the regular oil. I want to add but not sure which type of oil to add.

    thans Rick
  • vanfixedvanfixed Posts: 4
    We are already having the same problem again, so I'm going to take it back to the transmission shop and find the exact code and name of the part on Friday. Our transmission is under warranty but the part was not part of the transmission so we will have to pay to replace it. I remember last time the transmission guy thought the part was about $60 to replace it but we had no money at the time. This time I will find out the code and just replace it. My husband also said that I was wrong about there being a loose wire. The mechanic told him he had just cleaned around the suspected part. There wasn't a loose wire. I'm going to investigate a little before taking it in. I don't know what "electrical relay system" means. "Ugly guy" mentioned replacing the Speed Idle control (Air Throttle Control) and said it was $66 for original part. Are these the same part? I don't know. I will investigate. My husband is pretty mechanical about normal things on cars. I don't know too much. I will post more after problem is resolved.
  • vanfixedvanfixed Posts: 4
    We've had the van back a week from the shop, and the problem seems fixed finally! The mechanic said it was the engine control unit that was the problem. The first time they replaced it, I had to return it the same day because it still had the same problem. When I got in the van to go somewhere, it did a hard shift into reverse and when I put it in first, I saw all the boxes lit up. It also drove in "safety" mode. The mechanic said sometimes they get a bad engine control unit, so they would return it and ask for another one. They replaced it, and test drove it a lot, especially in hot weather. So far, so good.

    Since we drove our van so much in "safety" or "overdrive" mode so much last year when the weather was hot, it ruined the transmission so that it began slipping, etc. and we had to have major work done on the transmission, plus we had to have this engine control unit replaced this year. The transmission work was $1,700. The engine control work was $600. Better to pay only $600 and not drive it in that mode, instead of both. The repair cost breakdown was $80 for diagnosis, $324 for replacement engine control unit or module, plus about $200 labor for replacing and reprogramming the unit. I asked the mechanic if there was a warranty on the part and I think he said 4 months or 96,000 miles.
  • keith74keith74 Posts: 3
    edited July 2011
    Keanezra, I missed seeing your June 07 post until today. I am today sending the second letter to the Chrysler Customer Assistance Center reporting the problem and requesting our van be repaired. I sent the first letter May 23 and received a letter dated May 26 advising our case is being reviewed. Neither us or the Dealer has heard back from Chrylser about the problems with the transmissions. If I can't get repair help by trying to deal directly with Chrysler (and the Dealer), I will contact the NHTSA, our State Division of Consumer Affairs and maybe the BBB. I would certainly like to have any updates that you might have about the transmission problems. Do you know of a practical way to get other owners to join together about this problem?

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110329104142AAeNaTx

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/questions/chrysler_town-country_2011
  • keanezrakeanezra Posts: 8
    One owner had just found out that cam phasers could be the problem. I know phasers could cause shuddering/rough shifts. I suggest having your dealer check it out. I'll bring mine asap.
  • keith74keith74 Posts: 3
    Thanks for that info and I will inquire with couple dealers. That may also explain why we get some shaking/shuddering when the transmission shifts into the top gear. Please let us know what you learn. It seems Dodge is having the same problems as per attached link.
    http://dodgeforum.com/forum/dodge-caravan/293523-2011-grand-caravan-trans-issues- -begin.html
  • lisa110lisa110 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 T&C van with 132,000 miles. Bought it new. A month ago when I started the van and put it into D it started to go into reverse. This happened 2 times. Shut it off and re-started and it was fine. Last week after starting it I put it into R and it started going forward. Both times on level ground. Re-started it and it was fine. Was told I probably need a new transmission. Should I put a new transmission in or look for another car?
    Is it OK to drive?
    Thanks,
    Lisa110
  • andjamandjam Posts: 1
    Hi all, I've got a 2005 Grand Voyager V6 3.3. She's done 79k miles and regularly serviced. I changed the ATF about 2k miles ago. My transmission let me down in a busy city centre, it had started to jump about a bit, earlier in the day and had done 275 miles that morning. I thought it was just a bit warm and hoped it would be OK after it cooled down. But on a busy junction it locked up. The gears all seem to work, but seems to be stuck in park. Big panic, Police turned up, etc, but couldn't move it. After a while, the engine started to get hot so I turned the engine off and the car rolled back a bit. Long and short of it is:- With the engine running, it's stuck in park but the gears seem to work and won't move. Turn the engine off and the car rolls and goes into park when you move the shifter to P. Any ideas??? I did start scrolling through the pages on this site, but with over 200 pages, I'm not sure I'm going to live long enough to do them all and I'm getting depressed about all the other problems that could develop. They are the a lovely motor and I'm not ready to move on yet. Many thanks
  • ta2025ta2025 Posts: 1
    My 2002 T&C ES with only 79,000 miles has just done the same thing and my parents had one that did the same at 75,000. I smell a Lemon or a recall but Chrysler wont do anything. Transmissions should last longer than 75,000 when they cost $2500!!
  • meastonmeaston Posts: 1
    My tranmission may be developing problems 2008 3.8 95k

    1. Drove 200miles and parked it for a week.
    2. For the first 5minutes of driving under minimal load and accelleration and at highway speed RPM would fluctuate say 2k to 3k at a steady speed. The car didn't feel like it was shifting during these changes.
    3. Stopped and checked transmission fluid and it was fine
    4. After a block or two of driving the problem seemed to correct itself and I drove 200miles home without a problem. Stopped at a couple of spots and drove through a couple of small towns.
    5. The next day it seemed to drive fine.
    6. The next day the problem seemed to return.

    To me the on again off again problem smells like a sensor rather than a mechanical failure. No engine light seen during any of this, which supports a transmission problem. The car is in the shop so I should have codes soon.

    The car was purchased at 75k and appeared to have had the tranmission serviced at 60k which I suspect is the fluid and filter change.
  • My Mother In-law has a 1995 Dodge Caravan. It has a V-6 with an automatic transmission. The van has been sitting unused for close to 3 years. I charged the battery and it started right up. Under acceleration it has a brutal vibration that goes away when coasting or in neutral. Seems to shift well and pulls away from a stop normally. Before it sat for so long it operated just fine. What to do?
  • I have a 2003 T & C that I put an Advanced Auto Reman in. I have the shudder in the downshift between 35 and 45 mph that my mechanic can't figure out. Put another reman in with the same problem. Suppose the cam phaser could be that problem too?
  • Did you have the dealer do a relearn procedure done to the moduals?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,528
    Flat-spotted tires perhaps? I'd give them a good look. Also possibly a seized up CV (axle) joint.

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