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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • jsw3jsw3 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Chrysler minivan with only 40,000 miles on it and the transmission went, of course out of warranty. It was working fine, then the engine light came on and now we have go get a whole new transmission, something about the torque, pieces broke inside something.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I just went back over the maintenance records for our '94 Caravan (which we no longer own). The transmission was rebuilt at 56,000 miles, but cost us zero because the power train warranty at that time was 7 months/70,000 miles. Over the next 121,000 miles (we got rid of the van when it had 176,900 mile on it), only work done on the tranny was a fluid change at 113,000 miles, and another at 160,000 miles as part of fixing a leaking transmission pan gasket. We never experienced any hesitation in shifts, "clunks" when downshifting, or any of the other symptoms that others have complained about.

    One of the options our van had on it was the towing package. In addition to a heavier duty suspension, that package also came with a transmission cooler, if memory serves me correctly. I think the transmission cooler has a lot to do with extending the life of the transmission fluid and, directly, the life of the transmission, IMO.

    BTW, this was the standard length van, not the grand.
  • Your front end shake sounds similar to mine in a 83 eldorado. After checking all the suspension components several times, and finding nothing worn out, I noticed alot of play in the front axle on the right side. The shake was noticible when driving on the right front. The axle did not make any noise while driving or turning. Replacing the axle solved the problem. On opening the boots of the axle, I found the outer bearing to be out of grease and burnt, but no broken parts. The inner bearing was leaking grease but very little. I would never have expected the axle to have this kind of symptom, because it felt like the wheel assembly was loose.
  • last night i had the oil changed and later my tranny started to shift hard or not shift at all. i took it and had the following codes pulled up.
    P0720-output speed sensor malfunction
    P0732 gear 2 ratio incorrect
    P0731 gear 1 ratio incorrect
    P0700 transmissio control system malfunction
    could they have kncked somethig loose or do i just have a separate problem going on ? its a 3.0 with 100,000 miles on it. thanks jeff
  • It's possible somethin got knocked loose...the po720 code can cause all the other codes. But...that sensor is notorious for having problems and going out at any moment. Probably a coincidence...change the sensor, will probably take care of your issues.
  • i took a look at it testerday and the clip that holds the wire on thatsensor is gone. i fixed that and put the battery back on and the service engine light is off and the tansmission is working perfect. could the wire have been partially pulled out or did the computer just reset and the sensor will go out any way ? thanks
  • I am sorry for your trouble. I have had a disaster with my 2002 Caravan. I am currently on my third transmission. The first went out at 51K miles, the second went out at 102K miles. What luck! Both were replaced by Dodge dealerships and both were remanufactured because there are so many failing they can't get their hands on a new one. The first under extended warranty, the second over $3,600 to me. I spoke with Dodge Corporate and they told me sorry and politely said go away.

    Dodge junk. I am considering my first foreign vehicle.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yikes, what the heck are you doing to those transmissions?

    I ask because while we did lose one in our Gen 3 DGC with (a 1998 model), that one lasted 109,000 miles, and my suspicion is that it failed due to incorrect fluid being put in (it worked perfectly before the transmission was serviced).

    We also have a 2003 (with the same transmission that's in your 2002), and that one currently has 105,000 on it with nary a problem in spite of the fact that it is still running on the factory fluid and filter.

    FWIW, if you've been having your transmissions serviced by non-dealers, the sad truth is that many-many service institutions believe that there is such a thing as universal transmission fluid. Nothing could be further from the truth, if you don't have ATF+4 as the exclusive fluid in your transmission, it is almost guaranteed to fail, period, full stop, the end.

    Best Regards,
  • Has anyone had a problem with a whining noise from the transmission area after traveling on the interstate cruising at higher speeds 75/80. It will make this noise after you slow down and really hear it, its speed realated also. faster you go the faster the noise is after you start again. It will quit after you stop for a hour or so and not do it until I have traveled at a higher speed on the interstate. Very troubling. Its a 07 T&C LX. Thanks
  • dadto3dadto3 Posts: 17
    I have the exact same problem, I believe. I have an '06 T&C and commute on the interstate daily. After I've driven about 45 minutes @ 75 mph, I come to a stop and have a whining noise that gets louder as I come to a stop. Then once I accelerate again, the whine continues. I took it to the local Chrysler dealer and was told it's a common noise in cold temperatures. However, I hear the noise whether it's 2 degrees or 42 degrees. I'm still under warranty, so plan to take it to another Chrysler dealer.
  • this site has a list of the best transmission shops by area: mountain-view.html

    its also helpful because it has background write-ups on each company to help you choose a good transmission shop for your needs...hope it helps!
  • I have a 1999 Plymouth Voyager 2.4L with the 3 speed 31TH transmission. It has 132,000 miles on it but around 128,000 miles the tranny began having what felt like a short slip from 2nd to 3rd. It only happened occasionly on the highway. Well I had it flushed and filter changed also adding lucas transmission additive for high mileage transmissions. The trans seemed to be fine for awhile then around 130,000 miles a whining sound with the smell of trans fluid began. I checked for leaks but found none so my guess was it was overheating the transmission. Shortly after it lost any shifting into 3rd gear at that time we turned around and headed back home half way there it kept sliding in and out of gears droppingus down to 20 MPH now the trans will shift into first some times and other times barely. PLEASE IF YOU CAN HELP I NEED TO GET THISS PROBLEM SOLVED IS IT SIMPLE OR LARGE? I have rebuilt transmissions before but never on a dodge. I have done one GM and three Ford but all have been manuals please let me know if you can help me with this problem.

    Thanks Guys.
  • mckcrichmckcrich Posts: 1
    You may want to check the level of your power steering fluid. I had a similar whining noise on my 2005 TC with about 42,000 miles on it. The noise changed as engine RPM changed. I found my power steering reservoir to be a little low ( it was at the bottom of the ok range). I filled the reservoir with ATF+4 fluid up to the top of that range and my whine issue is gone. Make sure you use ATF+4 and not power steering fluid. There have been several people that have reported having issues with a leaking seal in the rack and pinion and the dealer wanting $800 to change the rack and pinion. It seems to be somewhat wide spread. When I checked the level of the fluid I found that someone had painted a blue line on the reservoir which was near the upper end of the ok range. I’m guessing my dealer noted the level of my fluid during one of my oil changes because they know there is an issue with seal leaks. Hope this helps.
  • kempekkempek Posts: 1
    While I have not experienced this first hand, my pastor had his transmission fail suddenly on him. His was an older (1999) but it only had about 100000kms on it. The transmission shop he took it to found that the pin in the differential had worked it's way out after the keeper failed. It had been thrown out the side of the transmission. I have done some research and talking with our local transmission shop and he said that up until the 2006 model year this was a problem for the Chrysler(Dodge and Plymouth) minivans. It happens specifically when the tires are spun(if the vehicle gets stuck). The shop he went to said that there is a very simple fix for this problem, change the pin and keepers to the ones used in the 2006 models. It is only a 2 hour job and it can save thousands. I will be doing some calling on Monday to find out about this fix and post an update. I just wonder why Chrysler hasn't seen fit to bring this potential problem to light?!?!?!?!?
  • nyfreezenyfreeze Posts: 1
    Had the same problem on my 2000 caravan last Aug. took it to shop had to replace speed control sensors only 1 was bad but was told when 1 goes bad other isnt far away. so it cost me about 250.00 to have them fix it. They over charged me for parts. they were 25.00 a piece at autozone. they charged 80.00 a piece so labor wasnt much at all about 1/2 hour job. I didnt know what was wrong with it so I had to suck up the cost . Sincerely Martin Baker
  • Have you solved your front end shake problem? If so, what was the problem?
  • tnvolfantnvolfan Posts: 2

    Did you resolve your whining noise? My 06 Grand Caravan does the exact same thing. I drive mostly around town, but have noticed on longer trips on the interstate of 45-60 minutes I have the whining sound you describe. If I stop the car for a while and restart, the sound goes away until I travel again at higher speeds for the longer trip. Last time I heard it, I drove at slower speeds on a side road for about 10 minutes and the sound went away before I had even stopped the car. My husband has never been with me when the sound has occurred. As I travel out of town with the kids alone occasionally, I'm afraid this is a sign of a problem that will cause me to be stranded on the side of the interstate. My car is currently at a dealership getting checked out, but I'm afraid they think I'm crazy as they haven't heard the sound yet. They are currently checking out the transmission and power steering. Any details from your investigation that could help me out in leading them to my problem?
  • dad22dad22 Posts: 1
    Any leads on the whining noise? My 06 Grand Caravan has the same problem. We drove 2 hours to visit family over Easter and it was really bad as I stopped for gas. Five minutes with the van off while filling up, no noise?? A month ago I stopped for fast food after driving for 5 hours, I could barely hear the noise after sitting in the drive through for 5-7 minutes?? I am very curious what the dealer says. Are you still under warranty? My van has 96K miles because I travel for work. It looks like rancherat and dadto3 have the same issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • tnvolfantnvolfan Posts: 2
    Dad22 -

    After 3 days of investigating (supposedly) the dealership service department determined that the whining was coming from the power steering pump. They replaced it under warranty. We have around 20k miles on our van. We haven't taken any long trips since the repair so we don't know for sure that our problem is fixed. Hopefully, it is and this info helps you.
  • dadto3dadto3 Posts: 17
    They determined mine is the power steering rack that is causing the problems and it's being replaced this week. They topped off my power steering fluid, which stopped the whining, but I'm also slowly losing fluid, so hopefully this new rack will take care of the problem. I'd say top off your power steering fluid and if that eliminates your whining noise, then I bet you need your rack replaced as well.
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