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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems

bor03929bor03929 Posts: 1
edited December 2013 in Chrysler
We have a 1995 Plymouth Voyager (75K miles) that
apparently needs a new transmission ($1800). With
all the emails and apparent history of problems
with Plymouth/Chrysler transmissions, has anyone
been successful in getting Chrystler to help with
the cost and/or labor to have the transmission
replaced? If so, can you recommend a coarse of


  • livedderlivedder Posts: 1
    Our 1993 Voyagers transmission went out at 60,100 miles so the warranty was done. We called Detroit direct to see if they could help,they told us to have our dealer call them, so after telling our dealer that they(the dealer)decided to do it free. Well after they fixed it, it went out again 10,000 miles later. Called Detroit again and they said they'd split the cost. A lot of headaches, but every little bit helps! Good luck!
  • johnnac1johnnac1 Posts: 1
    I too have a 1995 Plymouth Voyager and at around 62,000 miles the Transmission went out. I was sitting at a red light and I heard an awful clang and the transmission threw something out through the casing and left a big hole. I called Detroit and they agreed to pay for the parts if I paid for part of the labor. As a result I was saved over $1100, because there was a big mess in the transmission as well. We have to make these car makers hold up their end of the warranty even though technically it ran out at 60,000.
  • tekyletekyle Posts: 5
    go to Chrysler paid 1/2 of my last trans repair then I had to sue in small claims for the rest. Just awful.
  • expert1expert1 Posts: 133
    Regular maintenace is the key to the Voyager transmissions. I too had mine replaced at 60,000 miles, but it did not fail. The manual states that no maintenance is required under normal operation. Well who doesn't tow or carry heavy loads with their vans? I regularly changed the oil and filter at 30,000 intervals. At the 60,000 mark I noticed a abnormal amount of metal on the pan magnet and a couple of gear pieces from the transaxle. Since they share a common pan I feel that the transaxle might be the culprit to most of these transmission failures. Even though the warranty was up they replaced it at no charge. There is also documentation around stating that Chrysler will cover it well past the warranty under the "latent defect" clause. Good communication with your selling dealer is the key. Anything Chrysler won't cover hopefully your dealer will as a sign of "good faith." I have nothing but good to say about the service and performance of my Voyager. I did learn though before I bought mine that most of the failures were with the 4 speeds so I opted for the 3 speed auto. I still get from 20-25 mph in my 118,000 mile 3.0l V-6.
  • I recently developed a symptom in my 1994 Plymouth Voyager (3.0L EFI Engine, 60K miles). When braking to a stop the van will come to a complete stop and then try to lurch forward abruptly for a moment; only hard brake pedal pressure will prevent the van from being propelled forward. It is annoying and is a pain in traffic. Could this be the beginning of the fabled Voyager tranny curse?
  • It just amazes me to here people bash the transmission in there Chrysler but I'll bet 75% of them never changed the oil or filter in the transmission.And then they complain that they lost a transmission at 60k.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    Had a previous generation DC van, lost tranny at about 60K, later traded on a 96 Plymouth Voyager and lost that tranny at about the same mileage. This guy had all scheduled maintenance performed to preserve the warranty/scheduled warranty on the vehicle and still experienced two failures in two vehicles.

    I've ridden with him in the van, his driving habits seem quite normal, certainly not abusive. His experience tells me that we were probably right in getting rid of our 97 Voyager before the warranty ran out.

    For those who do have a DC van, I do wish you well.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    Both replacements took three visits to his local dealer to get it right.

    He is done buying DC products for a while. I could understand perhaps one of the two tranny replacements having problems and needing one return visit, but both needing two is kinda strange.

    While the dealer is an independant business, I believe DC needs to be held accountable, not only for the problematic transmission, but also for the low quality of service the dealers are providing.

    One is foolish if he expects a car to be troublefree. However, how the dealer/carmaker deals with that problem can make or break the relationship between owner and the dealer carmaker network.


  • johnm20johnm20 Posts: 1
    Hi: I bought a 96 Grand Voyager new.
    At 22K had a valve burn out. It was under warranty. But I had another problem that I had been charged for and had to go to arbitration to
    get resolved. I have kept tack of all money spend on the van and gas mileage since I bought it.
    For the first 49k I averaged 19.2MPG
    The I changed the transmission fluid and filter.
    This was after market from a major manufacturer. I noticed a lot of sludge in the bottom of the pan but not metal on the magnet. Since I changed
    the fluid and filter I have averaged 2 more MPG
    from 19.2 to 21.1. I ahve a 4speed with a 3.3 L.
    If I had to buy another van now it would one of
    two. If I needed the room a Honda, If I needed more of a family hauler it would be a Toyota.
    Thanks for reading this.
  • I have a 94 PGV, new trans, new air, new powersteering, good thing I had the extended warranty, it saved me thousands of dollars.
  • I have a 95 Plymouth Voyager with the 4 SPD transmission. When I drive at level speed, over a level road, there is a bit of vibration and the car seems to be holding back. I later discovered that when I coast (just remove my foot from the gas), the car will DROP DOWN a gear from 4'th gear (drive gear) into the 3'rd gear. This makes highway driving irritating. I never had this problem when I owned a Caravan with the 3 SPD version. Has anyone out there experienced this and could tell me a what's wrong?
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    with my new DC minivan. Thinking of having it serviced at 20K miles, while still under warranty, just for safeties sake. Overall, it's a nice van. Have a 97 Dodge Intrepid w/60K miles and just had the tranny serviced. It showed no problems, actually looked very good and I think they use the same tranny - hopefully it keeps going and the new van follows suit...
  • bbunchbbunch Posts: 7
    Hey Yogi,
    I thought we where going crazy. We had a 1995 Voyager and the tranny went last year. Had it replaced. The dealer replaced tranny started doing the exact same thing you described a couple of months ago. Dealer said they couldnt find a problem. It felt like it was fighting to maintain speed on the most level of freeways. Then the mileage dropped to about 12-14 mpg (normally 21-22). We said thats it, since it was paid for, we traded it for a new Astro. Wish I could be more helpful. My advice is to sell it will it still runs. (or risk a $2,000+ repair in the near future that will only buy you time).
  • I too have a 95 Voyager that lost the transmission last November at 58,000 miles. After talking with the dealer, Chrysler agreed to pay for half of the $1,800 repair.

    I now get a bad vibration in the front end at 45-55mph and around 70mph. New tires, balancing, alignment, new rotors and new struts have not cured the problem. Dealer cant find any problem. Could this possibly be the torque converter locking up and setting the stage for a second transmission failure? If anyone has any ideas on what this problem could be I would appreciate it.

    It seems the best advice is to sell this thing while it can still move without the help of a tow truck.
  • perhaps you should get your front axles checked for they can be bent.
  • abaltoabalto Posts: 22
    That questions and technical advice web site...

    I have also looked for a good Dodge web site to ask questions and technical advice, opinions, etc. The best site I have found is This site is clearly the best in quality, with over 60,000 posts! Good luck either way Trevor!
  • My 1996 Voyager minivan had the transmission completely fail in February 1999, one month before the 3/36 warranty expired. The dealer replaced the transmission with a new one.

    Then in June of this year, I noticed that about one of every three times I drove it, the transmission would not shift past second. Driving at highway speed would have the thing noisily revving at 5000 to 6000 rpm. Turning the ignition off and restarting would "solve" the problem.

    I had the system diagnosed at an independent garage in July. They got an error code, which I've forgotten, and said that that error code was linked to a long checklist, the final step of which would be to overhaul the transmission. I instead just had them drain and replace the transmission fluid (which had less than 15k miles on it, since it was an 18-month old transmission).

    The van performed fine until late last month, when it again started revving high and not upshifting around 20% of the time.

    Could someone walk me through what I need to do to have Chrysler fix my transmission - correctly - on their nickel?

    Feel free to email me directly at [email protected]
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Presumably they did the service with the proper fluid and filter. If they did and the unit is still failing, see below for one site with information on what is known about these units, and for some links to sites with info on how to deal with DaimlerChrysler's service departments:
  • Have a friend with a 90 Voyager that has only 35,000 miles. Is this a vehicle to avoid because of the tranny problems I see here???
  • What model Voyager and engine and etc? 35,000 on a 1990? where was it driven? Around the block and back once a month? =) We've had a 90 Voyager SE with the 3.0L v6 and 3spd auto. We put 275,000 miles on that van in 5 years. Original tranny, engine and basic 3000 mile oil changes and other maintainance items. That was one great van...which was the reason we bought a 96 Grand Caravan LE and now have a 00 Grand Caravan Sport.
  • I have a 1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager with a 3.0L mitsubishi engine and A-670 3-speed automatic transaxle with 170,000 miles. It has been a great vehicle. Recently a bad whine developed in the transaxle at 45 mph and above. After a day or so of this, the tranny wouldn't shift above 1st and there was a nasty whine in Reverse. I simply removed, cleaned, and replaced the valve body and the tranny works perfectly now. The work only took me 8 hours total (including setup and cleanup ) and I only spent about $70. (Service manual from Chrysler: $50; Filter: $7; ATF and Brake cleaner; $10)
  • eppy5eppy5 Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Ply. Voyager SE, w/32000 miles on it. Transmission is shot and I am just 4 months beyond warranty period. Neither DC nor dealer want to assist in repair cost ($2,000) Car was serviced by dealer, low mileage for 3 1/2 years.
    This is the first American car I have bought in 20 years and my last. Everyone agrees it is horrible and not right for tranny to go but nobody wants to stand behind their product. They have lost a customer for life. Anyone with similar problems on this model?
  • My husband and I are getting ready to purchase a 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE
    with 57,000 miles on the odometer.
    After reading everything on the townhall talk about the transmission going out, I think we should purchase the warranty for $395.00 to cover us. Any advice from anybody that owns a 1998?
  • I have a 90 Voyager too and mine has just under 55,000 true miles. My driving has had to be just in town on the usual chores (grocery, work etc) and have JUST replaced the spark plug cables. Dealership could not believe it was still original equip. Have had only boots to replace a couple of times and the a/c had to have work this year. I feel it has been a great vehicle to drive tho I would get at least a 6 cyl next time instead of the 4 cyl.
  • Has anybody had a problem where you start the
    engine on your Town Country,Grand Caravan,or Plymouth Voyager and when you try to
    change gear, either to drive or reverse, nothing
    happens? The van stays idle and does not change
    gear at all. I have been able to shut the engine
    off, restart it and then it started to work again.
    This is a used 1996 T&C which we bought three
    weeks ago and we have experienced this problem twice. Is it a transmission problem?
  • mpittmpitt Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Plymouth Grand Voyager. I have the exact same problem. I don't know how many miles you have, but I have just under 93,000. A few weeks ago, it started where it wouldn't engage in reverse a few times. Now it happens on a daily basis. Sometimes I can turn it off and back on and other times I drop it down to the lowest gear and back in reverse and it works. I have had it happen in drive about 3 times (one time the gears didn't shift at all). I took it to a transmission shop and they told me the transmission was going and I would have to have it replace. A minimum cost of $1,300. I read above where Chrysler was replacing some of the transmissions, but I noticed they were mostly around 60,000 miles. Would it be worth checking into with almost 93,000 miles on it?
  • We purchased a 91 Grand Voyager with 7000 miles on it in 1992. It had the largest V-6 engine available at that time and the automatic transmission. At about 40,000 miles, the transmission began to shift all by itself at highway speed, usually shifting down. I would be in cruise at 55 mph straight line, with no reason to shift. After several trips to the dealer and several stories about some phantom PRNDL switch nonsense, the van finally refused to shift at all and was towed into the dealer. Oh, and it had also managed to completely void itself of fluid, again on the highway, prior to its final shift into park. The dealer replaced the transmission, their cost. Mind you, there was probably three or four months involved with all of this.
    We got almost 40,000 miles out of the "new" transmission when it started down shifting itself hard enough to almost give me whiplash coming up to a stop sign. I found an independent transmission shop with a computer analyser. He told me that the low end was going out. I took it to him for a complete checkup and discovered what the dealer had done all those miles prior to this. New and old parts had been mixed. I realize that this is standard procedure in some cases, but these parts were not compatible for the long haul. The computer had not been upgraded for the new parts. I was told that even when the transmission was replaced there had been about 26 upgrades to the computer at that time. None of those had been put on my van. Basically, my transmission ate itself up. New and old mismatched parts just made lunch of each other. You should have seen all the metal filings in the bottom of the case. I tried unsuccessfully to contact Chrysler, by phone, for about a month and finally gave up. I had a new transmission put in the van by the independent shop. All new parts and with Amsol fluid (I hope that I am spelling this right). There have been a few things that needed to be adjusted, but I finally have the old pep back when I accelerate. That shop has my business for as long as I have cars. Yes, it was another $2000 investment, but the van has been a real trouper for us and it was cheaper than getting another vehicle. While I am not happy with the service that I got from the dealer, to put it mildly, as long as I have independent shops that I trust because of their honesty, I will stay with the Voyager.
  • Mpitt, I also just reached 93,000 miles on our 1996 t&c. Could this be a coinsidence? Ours is still under warranty so I'm hoping that we can get it resolved at little or no cost to us.
    Eneth thanks for your input as well.
  • jaque1, I have a 1996 Grand Caravan that has/had the same problem. I bought it used in May and started experiencing problems in August. I took the van to a local dealer who "checked" the tranny (67,000 miles)and said it was just low on fluid.

    I have just taken it to an independent transmission repair shop to check it again because the problem never went away. I have now been told that it was 2 1/2 qts low on fluid and now I need a complete rebuild. I now have 74,000. How could the dealer have missed the leak?

    From reading others comments, its appears that this problem is not uncommon. I'm beginning to wonder if I have any recourse from Chrysler for this? Anybody have any ideas?
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