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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • ntbillntbill Posts: 20
    At first, I thought it could be a steering problem, like the recall Chrysler did for a broken bolt in front suspension. But if the problem is really in the transmission, it could be the differential which as broken, locking or breaking severely the left shaft, which would explain why you went on the left lane. The differential in this front wheel drive car is in the transmission. In rear wheel drive car, it is completely separated from the transmission because the transmission is in front of the car (or in the middle) and the differential is at the rear. For Chrysler minivans,I think they placed the differential in the transmission to save space under the hood and to make sure that the differential receives plenty of oil.
  • Today I will pick up a 2005 Town and Country LX with 11,000 mi on the odometer.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on when I should convert to synthetic tranny
    fluid? And does Amsoil work as well as Chrysler's synthetic ATF 3/4??


  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I would leave it your transmission absolutely alone for now. Leave the OEM fluid in there and make sure you get the proper fluid whenever you have your transmission fluid and screen changed, whether it is the Chrysler brand itself or some aftermarket brand that is specd to meet the Chrysler ATF4 specs. Given that these transmissions have somewhat "nongeneric" transmission fluid, I wouldn't mess around with anything different.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    FWIW, it is my understanding that the ATF 4 that is required for your van IS fully synthetic.

    Best Regards,
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Not only Chrysler tranny fluid, but also Chrysler filter. Don't mess with anything else. I also agree, it's way to early to change fluid in your 2005. It should work fine for you.
  • jg2jg2 Posts: 7
    My tranny blew before Xmas, but it was covered by the 7yr/100K special warranty.

    However, the auxiliary transmission cooler lines were not. Parts, labor and tax totaled $485.

    I can't get anywhere with the dealer, and I am drafting a letter to Chrysler's President. Has anyone had or heard of similar situations?

    Any suggestions where I can go to find more ammunition?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Jeff in Atlanta
  • jg2jg2 Posts: 7
    Did you ever get anywhere? Read my message #819.

    I have a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country with 31,000 miles and 22 months in service. At first the dealer tried to tell me that failure to shift into reverse and rough shifting during acceleration was normal for Chrysler T&C. Two tranmission rebuilds later, one at 7500 miles and the other at 31,000 miles, and I am still have no confidence that there won't be more rebuilds in the future. This transmission continues to tear itself up. No rough driving, no towing, just my wife driving in town mostly. Chrysler's response is that I don't need to worry the warranty is for 7 years/70K, but I didn't pay $38,000 to have a vehicle that needs a transmission rebuilt every year. I am initiating a claim against Chrysler through an attorney. You may want to consider getting your vehicle into the repair shop until they find the problem. You need to pursue the repair before you can have a case. I suspect Chrysler still has a design problem with these tranmissions.
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    That part of the repair is rightfully not covered under the 7/100,000 warranty. However, there is NO WAY that the uncovered portion of the repair should cost that much. Your stealership is just trying to recoup what he "lost" on the warranty portion of the job. How did the bill break down the parts and labor? 4 hours labor, $100 in parts, for a 1 hour job at most?, or did they even break it down in writing? And why would a 2002 need new cooler lines anyway?
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Two down, one to go and then you can hit them with the lemon law I think. Unless there is a time limit.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    There are thousands of Chrysler automatic transmissions that are NOT having this problem, so it's not a design problem.

    My recommendation is to find another dealer. I think you have a dealer problem.

  • jg2jg2 Posts: 7
    The lines needed changing because they said they needed to be changed. I saved them.

    The breakdown of the cost was $328 labor, and $140 in parts. Are you serious that this is a one hour job?

    I questioned that myself, and they said that they have to take off the bumper and all kinds of other crap in order to get to the lines.

    Aside from calling the dealer to get a 'quote,' is there any public documentation available to show the 'normal' costs associated with this type of repair?

  • jg2jg2 Posts: 7
    Follow up:

    I called 3 different dealers, including the one that did the repair. The quotes were from $160-$234 plus tax.

    Right now I am drafting a letter to the dealership president, and sending a copy to my State Attorney General's office.

    I am asking for full restitution. Let's see what they will do.

    Stay tuned...

  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    That's amazing, the dealer that soaked you gave you a lower quote over the phone. I guess it's a five star dealer? I would also send copies to Chrysler Customer Care in Auburn MI. Good luck.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Did the dealer give you a technical reason why the cooling lines needed to be changed?

  • jg2jg2 Posts: 7
    97-expresso: Of course it was a 5 star dealer. That is why they charge 5 star prices.

    Dusty: they said they were leaking.

    Thanks to all for their information and support.
  • chancockchancock Posts: 1
    Okay bought a 1997 T&C used with 111000 miles. Had the dealership look it over, brake job, transmission flush, cooler line replacement, coolant system flush, injector cleaning. Now it runs like a champ. BUT, transmission fluid is leaking and when driving over 80 mph and then accelerating a slight grinding sensation is heard. I'm concerned I might have a transmission rebuild in my future. What do you guys think?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Okay. Did you see the old ones? We're they rusted? Did you have a leak before?

    I've seen transmission cooling lines on fouteen year-old Caravans and Voyagers that were still solid.

  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I live outside ATL, what dealer are you working with?
  • mek0123mek0123 Posts: 33
    Chrysler ATF 4 IS synthetic according to my dealer and Mopar Parts. I have two Dodge Grand Caravans and as the '92 uses ATF 3, which IS NOT synthetic, the '01 requires the ATF4. I have 127K on the '01 and have had it changed two times with the Mopar branded oil, purchased from the dealer as well as the dealer filter. Two of my cousins had their Chrysler minivans changed at quick oil change centers and put in the 'Chrysler equivalent'. ATF 4, but not the Mopar original. Within 3-5K after this was done, they both started having problems.(I had advised them to supply the parts and pay for the labor only, but neither heeded that advise.) After they had the job done again, within 90 days or so, at the dealer with the original preferred Mopar brands, their problems went away for another 40K and 62K before needing rebuild. The mileage on the original trannys gave one 185K and 196K before the rebuilds were needed. My belief is that the 'Mopar equivalent' contains most of the chemistry but not all that is required for Chrysler trans. My point is stick with the Mopar equivalent and if you get them from a dealer, you're probably safer as there has become a biggggggg problem with counterfeit brands at some of the auto parts stores. My '92 has 325K on it's third Chrysler Remanufactured trans, (and I have an admitted lead foot), replacing first at 147k, and second at 265K. Every 50K on trans fluid tends to extend transmission life. Both times during replacement I had the trans cooling lines replaced too for about $60 more. Just trying to give some tried and true advice for longevity on the Pentastar Brand. Both 3.3L engines in these minivans are original less timing chain replacement in '92.
  • justlisajustlisa Posts: 1
    Hi there hoping someone can help me - chrysler grand voyager year 2000. I've been told I need to reset the electrical trip for the automatic door locking and the heated seats - all quit working after needing to disconnect the battery. The dealers in the UK charge crazy rates just for having a look. Thanks Lisa x
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Actually, I think ATF+4 is listed as a semi-synthetic.

    ATF+4 is specifically designed and is an integral part of Chrysler automatics. It contains a special patented additive package that includes a friction modifier essential for correct transmission operation, something that Dexron-Mercon does not, special anti-oxidation control, enhanced anti-foam, rust inhibitors, and viscosity index improvers. ATF+4 also as a pour-point index of -55 degrees F, far lower than Dexron and, for that matter, lower than most full synthetics.

    It is rated as a 100,000 mile fluid based on a maximum operating temperature of 180 degrees F. However, severe duty service requires more frequent fluid changes.

    Best regards,
  • lhjlhj Posts: 3
    I own a 96 Gr.Caravan 3.3, 4 speed. I stopped my van put it in park and removed the key. When I try to start it again nothing happens. The instrument panel shows that it is in Reverse although it is in Park. When I try to move it to Neutral the shifter will move but the N doesn't light up and the van still won't work.

    Any ideas? Thanks
  • nonedarenonedare Posts: 2
    Does my 2002 Caravan 4 speed trans need band adjustment when the filter is changed like my 1994 Caravan?

    The 1994 transmission quit at a little over 100k so I am quite concerned that I was a FOOL to have bought another one even after 8 years of "learning" by DC.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Getting a little over 100,000 on a transmission doesn't seem all that bad to me. Things don't last forever.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    I can remember when getting 100,000 miles out of a transmission was unheard of.

    Now, people get upset when their transmission go's bad after "only" 100,000 miles.

    When it's a Honda, they REALLY get upset! they expect every part on every Honda to last forever!

    Funny, in the "old days" the best automatics were the Chrysler Torqueflights. These were almost bulletproof.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I think front wheel drive puts a lot more strain on trannies than rear wheel drive. But 100,000 miles is good for a tranny front or rear.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    They last longer now than in the RWD days. They are also smaller and lighter then the older units were

    I remember a transmisson overhaul was very common around the 5-60,000 mile range and we thought nothing of it.
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    4 speed trans have no bands to adjust. If your '94 was a 3 speed, I'm suprised the trans did not outlive the van.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I remember a transmisson overhaul was very common around the 5-60,000 mile range and we thought nothing of it.

    That's because back then, you could get one rebuilt for about $500.00.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    But adjust that 500.00 for inflation. Today's transmissions are MUCH more complex too.
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