Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    I agree, that 130,000 miles on a 8+ year old FWD minivan transmission, is unfortunately considered an "acceptable" service life. I would only use ATF+4, now that +3 is no longer available. It is semi synthetic. Also an extra cooler is recommended, the current models already have one installed from the factory. I doubt the use of ATF+4 caused the demise of Shipo's transmission, which was factory filled with ATF+3. I believe there was an issue of torque converter shudder with the ATF+4 when used in a "un-broken in" pre-2000 transmission. how many pre-2000 transmissions are not broken in yet?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While I certainly cannot point a smoking 155mm Howitzer at the ATF+4 that was in my transmission when it failed, I believe that I have quite a number of smoking Derringers, not the least of which is the confusion factor surrounding the three TSBs.

    It will be interesting to see, if over the next year or two we start seeing a spate of pre-2000 minivan transmission failures occuring a few months after ATF+4 is introduced for the first time. Should that come to pass, well... You get the idea.

    Either way, I no longer have to worry about it as I now have an ATF+4 tranny in both of our DGCs. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • joe2222joe2222 Posts: 2
    I came across a website a few weeks ago, that sold aftermarket or rebuilt TCM's. Well my computer crashed so now I can't remember the website. Anyone out there come across any TCM dealers other then Dodge? I have 98 Caravan, 3.0l.

    Thank you.
  • I have a 1999 Caravan SE 3.3L V6 97K. It drives great but when i slow down, it shifts to 2nd gear when i hit the gas again. Most times, i slow down a bot but not stop, so it is fine. But if i slow down to almost stop or stopped then when i accelerate it shifts to 2nd gera and stucks there. I have to turn off and on the engine then it is ok. Till next time.

    I have replaced the transmission filter and oil. No difference. The check engine light is on all the time.

    When we looked at the codes It says "Transmission control system malfunction" Does anyone know what this means?
    Should I replace the Transmission Control Module-TCM? or the overdrive module?

    I would like to resolve this transmission problem soon, any help is appraciated...
  • gregmangregman Posts: 24
    I suggest you let a Chrysler transmission mechanic check it out before you go swapping out parts. It could be needing something minor like flashing the computer.
    With the age and mileage you have, I would start preparing for the worst. From what I've read 100 to 150 thousand miles is pretty much it for these trannies.
  • What is flashing the computer? how much would it cost?
  • lariat10lariat10 Posts: 22
    My sister minivan is hung up 2/4 shifts any ideas about what is wrong and about how much to repair.


  • gregmangregman Posts: 24
    Don't know enough about computer flashing for your tranny to give advice, it's just something I've heard may help. I understand it reinserts instructions to tell the tranny when, where, how, and why to do certain actions. Also will give any new upgrades that may be available. But I am not knowledgeable
    by any means. Good luck.
  • wbundywbundy Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 Plymouth Voyager, the trans was
    overhauled at 115K miles and again recently at
    142K miles, becasuse of planetary gear failure.
    Rebuilt torque converter installed.

    Now the torque converter comes unlocked at high
    speed (70 mph) when there is a very slight
    increase in power to pass, on the interstate.

    Transmission gets hot enough that I can smell it.

    I do not recall the old tansmission doing this.

    Shop says this is normal for new torque converters.

    Is this NORMAL? What is the problem.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I just had a factory reman transmission (and torque converter) put in my 1998 this spring and it didn't/doesn't unlock unless the power increase was significant.
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    i replaced the serpentine belt and the belt tensinor after replacing 6 belts within amatter of 3 months everything was good yesterday until i took the van thrugh a car wash then it started sqealing the serp belt is in tack but on acceleration this sqeualing got louder now the ses light is on this van loves to eat belts i was told that dodge chrysler and plymouths have belt issues please help to date i have over 6000 .00 int to this van with 132 .000 and constant maintinance done on it . do i have a lemon . first the tranny for 3000.00 to rebuild belts tensinor brakes starter alternator everything has been replaced . i am now desperate for answers thank you problem plymouth
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A couple of things:
    1) I don't remember where I heard this; however, I heard somewhere that a number of aftermarket belts have been known to cause problems. IIRC, the only belts that I've heard that work well are Mopar, NAPA and Gates.
    2) Introduce enough water to the pulleys and even the best of belts will squeal.
    3) You may have a pulley or accessory that is binding (i.e. not turning as easily as it should) and that is putting undue strain on your belt. If this is the case, then a short belt life is guaranteed.

    Entirely too many mechanics simply treat the symptom (i.e. the failed belts) in this type of repetitive scenario and not the cause (i.e. a bad pump or pully). My counsel to you is to find a mechanic who will find the cause and use quality replacement parts to fix it.

    Best Regards,
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    thanks for the reply i have been using napa serpintine belts is it true that this was a issue with the dodge chrysler plymouths i was told this yesterday also will this trigger the ses light on
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Your comments are right on the mark, Shipo. Obviously something is misaligned or failing, or defective in the components driven by the serpentine belt. For example on our 1996, the water pump started failing at about 85K miles, resulting in a wobbly water pump pulley. In addition to the initial noise of the pump starting to fail, before we got it in for repair, the serpentine belt jumped a couple of grooves. I managed to get the damaged belt back on the pulleys and limped to the service station.

    These 3.3 and 3.8 L engines are more sensitive to issues such as this as there is one long belt driving everything, however once setup properly and with a quality belt, will go 50-60K with no issues.

    Chowbuick, you should also check to make sure no one removed the big black plastic shield that protects the lower engine pulleys and belt on the passenger side of the engine. I could see a lot of water splashing up on the belt if this is missing.
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    my sheild is there also i have a 3.0 not a 3.3 or a 3.8 this van runs fine but love the belts thanks for you help
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    hello folks its me again i have a horror story for you about a 1998 plymouth voyager to date i have almost 8000 soaked it to this van it eats belts and wears out belt tensoners like crazy the transmission had a leak i was never told about when the pump seal was leaking i found that during a regular oil change appt 3600 for that plus 3 weeks down could not locate a tranmission i had to rebuild what i had this van was never maitained by the former owner i have the original parts that i had to replace and all of them were original chrysler products this van has been rebuilt . at lees than 13000 miles this is highway driven and maintained like a baby ,. today i was at work and i herd a ding ding noise i looked at the instrument panel and the oil light was making the noise found out that it was a sensor leaking oil dealer part only drove to get that part now i need a gasket that fits where the oil filter goes dealer only part when ever i need parts i have to order them and pay through the nose or not find them at all i have taken steps thru my state dealer inspectors and filed a complaint thru them against my dealer we were lied to from the start i bought this van on 1/3/06 from a wisconsin chrysler dealer and have herd some awful stories about these vans fyi plymouth is no longer be made so a word to the wise buyers BEWARE trouble ahead believe me this has made me sick
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    why can i not get parts for this van on saturday i had to drive to duluth mn to a dealer for a oil filter gasket they were the only place that had the part and i needed this van for my job on friday the oil light went ding ding i turned the van off imedeatley got it to a shop they found the oil sensor leaking oil no warning until ding ding this van never used any oil i have 132000 for miles on it and it is highway and very kept up this will be the final repair for me next time this crap dies it goes to the plymouth heavens . what a lemon and a major mistake purchase a 1994 buick century if far better then dodge chrysle plymouth i own one and am darn proud of it
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    ...what a lemon and a major mistake purchase a 1994 buick century if far better then dodge chrysle plymouth i own one and am darn proud of it

    Didn't you post sometime back that you bought this van with over 120,000 miles on it, and with an unknown and/or questionable maintenance history? If that's the case I honestly don't understand how you can come to the conclusion that your car is a "lemon". FWIW, any car that is poorly maintained for over 120,000 miles is going to be fairly unreliable, regardless of whether it's a 1998 Voyager or a 1994 Century.

    As a contrasting point, we have a 1998 DGC and it has suffered only three squwaks in its nearly 120,000 miles of service life to date. Given that we bought it new and I know how well it's been maintained, I have absolutely no doubt that we can get and easy 200,000 to 250,000 miles out of it before it's ready for the bone yard.

    As far as your issue with the "oil filter gasket", ummm, which engine do you have? The filters for the 3.3 and the 3.8 liter V6s (and presumably the 2.4 liter I4) are made with a built in gasket. Hmmm, that only leaves out the 3.0 liter Mitsubishi mill. Does that thing use a separate gasket for the oil filter? I'd be kind of surprised if it did.

    Best Regards,
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    yes shipo i do have the 3.0 motor and it does have a seperate gasket i had to drive to duluth mn to the this part no local parts house or dealer ship had it let me be very honest with you i have HAD TO REBUILD THIS VAN FROM BOTTOM UP IT ONLY HAD 114000 ON IT WHEN I GOT IT I AM SHOCKED THAT THIS VAN IS SUCH I LEMON AS I SAID I WILL STAY WITH BUICK OR GMS FROM NOW ON WHEN THIS PLY MOUTH CROACKS THIS TIME PLYMOUTH HEAVEN IT GOES SORRY TO BE SARCASTIC BUT I HAVE HAD IT 8000 IN DEBEBT ON THIS
  • I gotta agree with you, nosetomuch. We bout our 99 Plymouth GV brand new. It now has 168,000 miles on it with the original trans. I change the trans fluid and filter every 36,000 miles. A mistake a lot of people make is putting Dexron trans fluid. This fluid will result in premature failure of the transmission. The only acceptable fluid is ATF+3 or ATF+4. Here's a web site with more information:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yikes! You're responding to a message that is nearly six years old! ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • My wife has a 98 T&C and loves it. It has a few minor things though. A while back the automatic door locks (when you hit 20 MPH or so) quit working, the traction control quit, and more recently the cruise control quit. The van also will sometimes shift erratically but still goes in & out of gear fine. I was wondering if this is more likely the transmission control module or a problem with the transmission itself? Any help appreciated.
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    hi i just read your post please read my posts on this sight chowbuick i have a 1998 plymouth voyager the transmission pump seal was found leaking like a siv during a routine oil change when they took the tranny out to find the problem my torque cover and case had ahuge crack resulting in rebuliding my tranny to the tune of 3600 and beacause i have over drive it cost that much trannys for my van were impossible to locate even thru plymouth i had 120,000 miles on mine and no shifting problems if you swee my many other postson this sight i have had a nightmare with my van also just for saftey sake watch you serp belt and tensinor if the tensenor is out of alignment it will chew you belt good luck to you ihope you have better luck with your tnc then i have with my voyager
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "...crack resulting in rebuliding my tranny to the tune of 3600 and beacause i have over drive it cost that much trannys for my van were impossible to locate even thru plymouth..."

    I'm really thinking that you need to find a different dealer. These transmissions are VERY easy to find and they do not cost any $3,600 either. We have the 3.8 liter engine in our 1998 DGC (which means that we too have the 4-Speed OverDrive transmission), and when the torque converter failed this spring my local dealer located AND installed a factory remanufactured transmission in three days. Cost? $2,600.

    Best Regards,
  • chowbuickchowbuick Posts: 13
    shipo i dont have the 3.8 i have the 30 everytime i post truth or anything on this site you slam me down i also had to replace my case i have no idea of where you are but i have the bills to back me up if you can find your parts go for it with my blessings but please dont act like this ios a joke because it is not after all there are some lemons in everything i was just unlucky and got one
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Dude, I'm trying very hard to be the voice of reason here in spite of your very negative rhetoric. The fact is that I have a real problem with folks using anecdotal evidence of one vehicle (with an unknown an unknown service history no less) as a blanket indictment an entire model or brand (even brands that I'm not fond of for one reason or another).

    Your most recent post about your transmission woes seem to indicate that you've been dealing with a less than scrupulous dealer (not an unheard of thing for any brand). That you had to pay as much as you were charged (and then apparently had to wait for the pleasure) leads me to believe that you've not necessarily been treated the best. As for which engine and transmission you have; yes, I know that you have a Mitsubishi engine. What I was trying to say is that our vans have nearly identical transmissions and to refute what ever you were told about the availability. Like it or not, there have been millions of these vans made over the years, and there are plenty of these transmissions in the rebuilt/remanufactured pipeline.

    Best Regards,
  • gregmangregman Posts: 24
    Anybody able to recomend a quality cooler for my '05 T&C LX.
    Prefer not to deal with Chrysler on this item due to excessive markups on parts.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    I have used a Hayden unit from PepBoys with my 1999 DGC with no problems. You may want to check those out.
  • gregmangregman Posts: 24
    Thanks for the info vcheng. There are no PepBoys where I live but can you give any details? Did you do the install yourself? Is there any difference amongst coolers?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Hayden oil coolers are sold by a number of outlets. Check whatever chainstores are in your area. You can start your search here:

    There are several models, rated according to GVW. I put in the biggest "Rapid-Cool" unit I could fit in there. I did the install myself. The kit comes with everything that one needs. The cost was about $70.

    If you have a choice, choose a plate-and-stack type cooler as there are more durable and efficient. The pipe-and-fin types work too, just not as well in my opinion.

    Good Luck.
Sign In or Register to comment.