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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • Thought I would post the problems I had and what I did to fix. The problem: Wife and I going down the road and first the check engine light came on. After a bit, the speedometer started jumping erratically and then just plain quit working altogether. Was not long and it would not shift out of low gear. We were going about 40mph and the rpm's were at 4500. Stopped at a Auto Zone and they hooked up a computer and said there were 6 error codes. Told me to take it to a mechanic.
    I searched the forums here and did not see my exact problem. I did not want to get the big mechanic bill if I could get out of it. So, I bout the input and output speed sensors at Auto Zone. One was $17.00 other was $18.00. Put them in and wala!! it worked. Speedometer and transmission are now working properly!
  • The most likly culpert here is the conecter plugs under the front seats.They sit directly under the seats in a little indent in floor. they tend to get wet alot and conectors rott away.
    Pull the seats out and pull up carpet check connectors.If rotton the cut them out and soder wires together may have to add a small piece to get them to connect together. That will fix interior lights and abs. Abs connector is under the driver seat.
    Not sure if it will fix everything but when things short it will cause all sorts of things depending on what wire is shorting.
  • To start this off my van has 223 000 kms. I purchased this brand new and have been the only owner of the van. Since I purchased it I have put in 2 used and 2 rebuilt trannys. That's right a total of 4 trannys. It seems every 55 000 kms or so i am in need of a new one. This has been the only thing i have ever had to replace on the van other then the alternator belt once. It gets oil changes every 4 - 5 000 kms and i have the tranny flushed and new fluids put in every 20 000 kms. Every time my tranny has gone before i have lost everything, no gears no reverse.. nothing ... This last time however i only have reverse. I have not taken this to a mechanic yet because i wanted a little advice.. Since i purchesd this i have spent well over 7000.00 on trannys alone. the last one was a rebuilt one that costed me 3700.00 I am a total of 16 days over my warrenty on this transmission. I have called the place i got it rebuilt but because i am 16 days over warrenty they will not help. What i want to know is since i have no gears other then reverse is my tranny probably shot?? and even though everything on the van works great other then tranny should i cut my losses and scrap this hunk of junk??

    Thanks,,, and sorry for the long post..
  • Well sorry about your luck with the transmissions. But need more info about van.what motor and tranny do you have in it.
    I would also like to no more about your driving habbits due to beeing 4th tranny shot. Like do you tow anything with this and if so how much weight.? or is loaded heavy in back alot? Does your van have a trans cooler on it?
    And need codes off the tcm if equip with it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    It gets oil changes every 4 - 5 000 kms and i have the tranny flushed and new fluids put in every 20 000 kms.

    If in fact you have been having your transmissions FLUSHED every 12,400 miles, then there's your problem. Flushing is horribly destructive to automatic transmissions in general, and especially so for these transmissions. You would have been far better off if you had simply gone with the 30,000 mile pan drop, filter change and a top off of ATF+3 (when the van was new) or ATF+4 (as now recommended by Chrysler), than all of the money you've tossed in the trash by having unnecessary and useless service done on your transmission.

    Best regards,
  • 3.0 3 speed auto. Have never towed anything with it, use it to go to work and back and to take kids to soccer .. hockey etc. Never alot of weight in the back . i am not mechanically inclined at all i have no idea if it has a trans cooler and dont know what tcm codes would be?? any and all work that has been done on it including oil changes are directly from chrysler dealership from where i purchased it.. I always get done what they reccommend, and they reccommened the tranny flush and new fluids every 20000.
  • welll that tranny doesn't have a tcm so no worries there. But that also doesn't give very good hope either as we know know it not sensor issues.So unless it's a shift cable or linkage then there is not much anyone can do but take it apart and try to fix or rebiuld or replace.
    if your are going to take it somewhere go to a trandmission shop they may be able to fix it where car dealer just going to replace.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "any and all work that has been done on it including oil changes are directly from chrysler dealership from where i purchased it.. I always get done what they reccommend, and they reccommened the tranny flush and new fluids every 20000."

    A few points:

    1) Transmission flushes ARE NOT recommended by Chrysler.

    2) Chrysler recommends that a transmission "service" (i.e. a pan drop, filter swap and fluid top-off) be performed every 30,000 miles or 50,000 kilometers. They DO NOT recommend any services for the transmission every 20,000 kilometers.

    3) Your dealership is at fault here. Why? Because they are engaging in the predatory practice of fleecing their customers by recommending services that are profitable, unnessary, and in many ways harmful to the vehicles they "service".

    4) Were I in your shoes, I might investigate filing a lawsuit against your dealership for damage to your vehicle.

    Best regards,
  • Just wanted to say thanks for the advice to take to a transmission shop rather then taking to chrysler like i normally would have... i had the van towed there which costed 50.00 about an hour after dropping it off they called me to come pick it up. from what I took from their giberish about what was wrong with it, it was some kind of chip?? all i know is it only costed me 67.00 and i have my van back and running good.. I'm glad i never took it to chrysler like before because chances are i would have spent a whole lot more unnecessary money. thanks again for the quick responses to questions and helpful advice from everyone.
  • have them check to make sure the CV shafts are in all the way
  • Input please! Am looking to buy either a 2001 Windstar LX with original 36,000 miles (deceased grandpa owned)....or a 2003 Town & Country also a one owner with all maintenance records with 72,000 miles. Am retired and on an extremely fixed income so don't need any large repair bills. Also am looking at a 2005 Grand Caravan with 65,000. I just lost my 98 Silverado as totalled which would have lasted me to my grave..never any I really need some feedback on the vans. Thanks.
  • I own Dodge Caravan 1995. I have purchased it when it had 120000 km and now it has 400000 km on it. I never had any problems with transmission or engine. What I have found the problem with the transmission is that manufacturer recommends to use ATF3+ in this car but places like Canadian Tire do nit care about it, they put ATF3 not ATF3+ and this creates problems. My mechanic told me that ATF3+ viscosity is different and ATF3 would just effervesce and this would cause the problem. These shops just DO NOT CARE, you will come and spend your money on transmission with them...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    There has never been any such a thing as ATF3 or ATF3+. The tranny fluid that your van was designed to run with is ATF+3, however, ATF+3 has long since been out of production (although there are some companies that sell fluid that is allegedly compatible). When Chrysler developed and released ATF+4, the made sure that the new fluid was completely backward compatible with ATF+3, and as such, that IS THE ONLY transmission fluid you should be using in your 1995.

    FWIW, ATF+4 has virtually identical friction properties when compared to ATF+3, however, where ATF+3 was only good for 30,000 miles, the new fluid is typically good for over 100,000 miles.

    Best regards,
  • Looking for some advice. My mother's 2005 Grand Caravan (approx. 55k miles) was recently in for service and the dealership said there was a "gear" problem and would require a new transmission -- about $3400. Given the history of these vehicles and their transmissions, I suggested maybe it's time for a new van. Chrysler is promoting "employee pricing" and other incentives...

  • well there should be no cost for them to put new trans in as the warrenty is 7yrs or 70 k miles so get new tranny and continue to drive it.
    The replacement trans are ussally better then the orginal. But i would suggest to put a trans cooler on there if there isn't one helps keep it cooler and last longer.
  • She's not the original owner, bought the van in '06 with less than 10k miles from the same dealer. Would the warranty have transferred to a second owner? Thanks.
  • yes factory warenty transfers to any owners
  • maharmahar Posts: 1
    Hi I just bought 2002 dodge grand caravan se 3.8 engine auto trans every thing is working fine just transmittion kick few time before it pickup from stop and then it work fine no other issue I took it to transmittion shop they did not find any problem no codes. It have 194000k on it please help me to resolve this problem thanks for ur time
  • I have a 2003 GC - have had the same problem for years. My local mechanic (who I really trust) - told me it has to do with a known flaw in the water pump and something else...I have now forgotten. Anway - he assures me that it is nothing mechnically wrong that will affect the van - and if I had it replaced, it would and could keep making the noise. So - have lived with it for the past 4 years. It gets some looks though in parking lots!
  • You can try pulling out a few sensors on side of trans and clean the ends. they may have some goop or alluminuin shavings on them.
    Might be a good idea if you haven't done it before or in the 100k a trans oil and filter change.
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