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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • I'd go after the following things:

    1) Speed Sensor and Connector: Check, Replace if needed. US$ 10
    2) Solenoid Packs: Check, Clean or Replace: US$ 100

    After that, buy 5 quarts of MOPAR ATF+3, a new filter and have the transmission fluid replaced. :)
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    I recently noticed that there is no wind fluid come out from the two front washer holes while the wind fluid tank is full. I checked the manual and can't find any chapter addressed this problem. Anybody had any experience on fixing this problem? Many thanks!
  • I just use something like a needle to clear the blocked outlet and you can reposition them to you windwshield when fluid begins to flow. That is assuming this is where the blockage is.
  • Does not sound like a transmission problem to me :confuse:
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    You are right. I tried to post this message in caravan's problem section, but it is read only, not allowed to send new post. Any ideas?
  • van7van7 Posts: 1
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Hi, lovecd,

    If kayode65's solution doesn't work for you, feel free to open a new topic if you don't see an existing one that fits your question. Just click "Add Discussion" at the top level here: Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Hello all,
    New to the forum, hope you folks can shed some light. I have a 98 Grand Caravan Sport with 3.8L 4sp AT (106K miles) [Red w/dark tint, alloys, Sony xPlod, XM ]. The other night we were returning home from a road trip and came to a stop sign after about 30 minutes of highway cruising and the van started to shutter a lot, I eased into a gas station and put it in park and the noise stopped. Put it back in drive and the shuttering began again like the torque converter was still locked together. We continued home (another 20 miles) and when I came to a stop in the driveway it lurched and shut off. The next morning it wouldn't go into Rev or any drive gear without shutting off. So I finally put it in L and give it a little gas and it appears to break free and I can at least get it up the hill to the shop for a better looksee.

    After researching the forums I figured I should start with a fluid/filter change so I pulled the pan and found a lot of sludge around the magnet, fluid was burnt as expected and a very small amount of fine metal particles in the bottom of the pan. I didn't do the full flush because I didn't have the tubing etc but I cleaned everything up very well, put the new filter in and dropped 4 qts of Mopar ATF+3 in. Fired it up and took it for a run. I "trained" it as best as I could with about 20 runs from full stop. Got out on the highway and it shifts great, very smooth, ran for about 10 miles and when I took the off ramp to complete stop it had a slight shutter. This time I noticed the shutter didn't start until I had almost come to a complete stop. It did that a few more times on the way home and some more of it in the driveway. It seems like something is trying to engage and it makes a squeaky-clunky sort of sound. I had the wife hold the brake with it in D while I listened from the front and the sound seems to come from the torque converter (she really resisted the urge to let off the brake just a tad to see if I was paying attention)

    From what I know (and that ain't much) and read (which feels like a lot now)about transmissions it seems like the torque converter lockup is trying to engage at an inappropriate time. Also seems like with the fresh fluid and filter it's getting a little better under control but still isn't quite there. The main concern I have is the squeaky-grindy sound, it sounds like big metal parts rubbing, which tends to turn into big $$$ leaving my wallet.

    We don't know when if ever any maintenance has been done on the tranny as we have only had it for about 10K miles. If anyone knows of anything else I should try or look for please let me know. I'll attempt to replace parts/fluids but it'll have to go to the shop if it's anything inside.

    Any help is appreciated. (sorry for the long post)

  • doh3doh3 Posts: 1
    Hello, all. Forgive the long post.

    Our 98 Voyager Expresso, 3.3l, 150k, has been very good to "the family", but recent transmission woes require some proper action, so here I am.

    About a month ago, tranny lurched, then dropped into limp mode while wife was driving it. The next day, the computers reset and it ran ok. Day or 2 later, same thing. Took it to good referral shop, who then did:

    - R&R Transmission and Rebuild, Rebuild torque converter...................$1050.00
    - New Solenoid pack ........$ 89.00
    - 11 quarts fluid ..........$ 23.65
    So after spending $1162.65, and a 1 year warranty on the repairs, it failed similarly on the highway the very next day. Just dropped out of gear while cruising. Was towed back to shop, where mechanic replaced solenoid pack with one that was "brand new from the dealer".

    All this was happening while we were moving out of state, from OK to AR. Now in Arkansas, 6 hours from shop, transmission is faulting again, about a week after the last shop visit. I'm not happy about return shop visits, but can't really expect the guy to include a 12-hour round-trip tow/redelivery cost in my warranty, so, sadly enough, he won't get to touch the car again. I sure as **** ain't drivin' it back to him so he can "look at it again".

    While cruising on highway and running very smoothly, car will lurch/bump ever so quickly, as if it wants to drop out of gear. But it recatches quickly instead. Happens every few minutes. Then it dropped into limp mode, throwing codes P0750(Solenoid Shift Malfunction) and P0700(Transmission Control System Malfunction). After letting car rest while off, computers must have "reset", and car seemed to run fine....straight to an Autozone where the aforementioned, recent codes were read.

    I called original mechanic in OK, (who also replaced the battery at no cost, after hazard lights killed it after his initial "fix").
    He says it couldn't be anything mechanical at this point, and said the computer, probably the TCM, is most likely acting up, sending bad info to the shift solenoids. It's possible, but I don't have any Plymouth stats to back up my electro-mechanical suppositions.

    Taking car back to OK is out of the question. I called the local dealership, who said they can run diagnostics on it for $70.00, after I told them the TCM is suspect.

    If replacing TCM will do it, fine. Question is, does all this make sense? Will dealership diagnostic be able to find intermittant faults in the onboard computers, even if recent Trouble Codes were erased, and problem isn't existing right now? If dealership can't find a flaw in the TCM, due to the intermittant nature of the problem itself, would replacement of the TCM still be advisable? Autozone guy, who said he was ASE cert., said it was prob. TCM, and maybe Speed sensor as well.

    If I can get a correct, used TCM to put on myself for around $60.00 shipped with warranty, wouldn't that be advisable before letting dealership sell me one of their new TCM's? Bet they want over $250 for that bad boy. But then, they would reprogram the new TCM at no cost, and definitely charge me if I replaced it myself. What to do.

    Thank you for reading this far. I'm frustrated because I'm in the " could be the ------." phase of the nightmare.
  • hello abhay,
    did you resolve the problem? what was it?

    I am currently having the same exact problem .
    It feels like the brakes are stuck and will not let the car move.

    did anyone else have this problem?
  • hminushminus Posts: 1
    I'm new to this forum, but after reading many of the posts, I'm finding many similiarities.

    I have a 1999 Town & Country Limited. It was purchased in 2005 with around 82,000 miles. The van had electrical issues right off the bat (but only after purchase!). Dealership seemed to fix the driver's side window that wouldn't work. To this day, when turning the lock on driver's side, the locks will unlock, but then re-lock when taking the key out. It will do this a few times before doors will stay unlocked. This is only on driver's side.

    I did notice that a couple of times, when weather was cold, the van would seem to freeze up, turn hard and die. When restarted, it would be fine. This only happened about three times in the last 1.5 years. I did take it into dealership, but they didn't diagnose anything other than the device that burns up extra fuel in carbeurator?

    I just returned home from a trip and the trans seemed to go out partially, anyway. I can accelerate, but trans will not shift. I had to do 3500RPM at about 47mph in order to make it home. I tried D 2 L (not sure what I have top of head) and gunning it without success. I stopped at rest stop and turned van off. When back on, shift from N to D was very rough and could feel it quite well.

    I am about to go out and check the fluid levels. I'm seeing in here that dealership seems to be the best idea to call first. I did have transmission serviced and flushed about a year ago at non-dealer. It was on a military post garage.

    I have a little work to do, but in the meantime, any experienced insight would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    You may want to check the type of tramsmission fluid put in when you had it serviced. Chrysler transmissions are quite sensitive to the type of fluid. Check the owners manual for the type. Good luck.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "To this day, when turning the lock on driver's side, the locks will unlock, but then re-lock when taking the key out. It will do this a few times before doors will stay unlocked. This is only on driver's side."

    While I'm not going to say that this is a normal wear item, it is safe to say that the switch/lock mechanism in your left side door is worn out. This is most likely a very simple and relatively inexpensive fix. FWIW, my 1998 DGC (with 131,000 miles on the clock) just started doing this too. That having been said, I'm probably not going to have it fixed as I lock and unlock the car via the key fob probably 99.5% of the time.

    "I did have transmission serviced and flushed about a year ago at non-dealer. It was on a military post garage."

    It's an odds on bet that you don't have the proper transmission fluid in your tranny. Unfortunately after a year and a half, there is also a pretty good chance that there is some damage due to the incorrect ATF. This one might cost you some bucks. :(

    Best Regards,
  • Hey all

    I just bought a 93 Town and Country that the previous owner says the tranny is bad. today i started it up and it went into reverse and drive for about 50 yards and just stopped. here is the funny thing when i put it back into reverse it moved. next i restarted the engine and it went into drive again. After reading all this problems with the transmissions i am a loss. Is my tranny bad or is it an electronic problem? with all the electronics on the tranny could this be causing the problems? today i pulled the tranny out and its sitting in the shop. anybody have any comments on this?

    confused. :confuse:
  • carcom2carcom2 Posts: 212
    This could possibly be a solution or maybe way off. But my 1997 GC once wouldn't shift to the next gear & reved high, couldn't drive to fast.

    I thought about what could have happened. The day before I had to change some bad fuses. So after the shifting problem, I decided to check out the fuse box again and discovered I replaced one of the wrong fuses. There is a fuse related to the transmission. When I replaced the fuse in the transmission spot, the tranny shifted as usual back to normal.

    Maybe it's a longshot. Perhaps you want to check the fuse related to the tranny.
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    If you went thru the trouble of removing the transmission from the vehicle, it should be rebuilt regardless. Do you have the expertise to rebuild an electronic 4 speed automatic transmission?
  • Chances are you have probably figured out what to do by now, just in case I want to let you know that I had very similar problem after roadtrip 96 miles away coming home vehicle shuttered like was going to shut off when I came to a stop at the toll booth after my speedometer went out some minutes before. I have a 98 town & country (107 miles). I had vibrating weird type of noise and smoke coming from the front when left idling while waiting for someone the next day. The rpm gage also would no longer go to zero when at a complete stop. I took it to aamco when they removed the pan the magnet was skuzzy and there were metal pieces a lot of small ones and one bigger one that they said was the berrings falling apart and some other part inside was deteriorating. Long story short need transmission rebuilt. I just got my vehicle last year (mid March '06) and do not know previous owner maintenance. But my advise is Aamco or Cottman transmission. Both nationwide and both offer free transmission inspections including test drive, although Auto Zone recommended Aamco over Cottman in my area and a coworker said Cottman tried to tell them they needed a rebuilt transmission and Aamco ended up only replacing some sort of spring!
  • i'm new in this forum my sister-in-law had the same problem i put the computer to read the codes and it said it was the tcc solenoid there is another way to see if your tranny needs service now that you have the tranny out take the valve body out and you are going to see a bunch of little holes each holes is for parts in the tranny with torque converter in the tranny apply 30 psi of pressure you have to be very carefull not to go over 30psi it depent witch way you are facing the tranny this test helps you determine witch part is bad in the tranny the first 2 are for the torque converter then it comes the gears if one of this parts don't hold the pressure is because is bad
  • no i dont know or lets say i dont realy want to tackel that beast. removing the tranny wasnt so bad it took me 3 hours on a lift. i have another possible good one coming soon. the problem i am having is that i am on Guam and parts are very expensive here. has anybody rebuilt one of these and found what is going wrong with them? if its a sensor or switch that needs to be replace that is very easy.
    thanks for your response
  • i rebuild my own trannys now that you are getting another tranny make sure to get your torque converter rebuild unless you are getting the tranny with the tc good luck
  • New poster needs help with 2000 T/C. Tranny indicator light came on and after stopping to check fluid level van would'nt shift out of 1st gear. Limped home and made appointment to have tranny serviced. After re-starting the van tranny shifted normal. Diagnostics checks suggest replacing shifting module.

    Anybody have any idea if I should get the work done or is this maybe an isolated incident?
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    Where did you make the appointment, dealer or scAAMCO? How many miles? Has the transmission ever been serviced?
  • Thanks for the reply. Appointment is with a "reputable" garage near my home. Tranny was serviced at about 50,000 miles at a dealer. Vehicle currently has about 80,000 miles.
  • i am new at this so i hope i do it right. i have a 99 t&c that had a rebuilt tranny put in at 86000 miles. i now have 100500 and when it gets cold out and i dont let the van warm up enough it will not shift. after i let it warm up it runs like it is suppose to. there is no slugging or knocking when i drive it. just a clicking when it is cold and trying to shift. just curious if it is the shift selenoid or what. i noticed a very small leak by the hose going into the tranny cooler. oil is full and looks good. i am kind of stumped but a new selenoid is $190 and dont want to put it in and it not work. any suggestions
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, it kind of sounds like the folks that put your transmission in didn't use the correct fluid, something that isn’t all that uncommon with these transmissions (your 1999 MUST have either ATF+3 or ATF+4, anything else will ruin your tranny). Here in New Hampshire we've had several mornings recently where it was below zero (zero as in zero Fahrenheit) and days that warmed up to a nice balmy four degrees, and other than slightly lethargic shifting when either our 1998 or our 2003 DGC is first started (I don't believe in letting cars warm up, I just start them and drive away while of course taking it easy for the first few miles), the transmission does its job immediately upon start-up.

    Where I park at work is literally 100 meters or so from the ramp up to the freeway, as such, when I start'er up for the trip home I just take it real easy getting up to speed. I simply start the car, click on my seat belt and go, keeping the engine below 3,000 rpms at all times. Within a minute and a half from cold start I'm already tooling along at 72 on Cruise Control. Funny thing though, our transmissions seem to have a programmed in logic control that prevents Torque Converter Lock-Up from occurring while the tranny is still cold. In the summer my transmission locks up as soon as the van gets above 45 mph (unless I'm under strong acceleration), while in the dead of winter, I can drive four or five miles at a steady speed before the TC Lock-Up engages.

    Best Regards,
  • i wonder if i just change the fluid and filter if it will help any? like i said only when it is cold but i never mentioned it had to be sitting outside. if i have it in my garage it is out of wind and works fine. iowa weather need i say more. the torque converter has never locked up or anything. just a cold weather thing. i was planning on trading the van in to the place i have bought several vehicles from but i dont want to sell something broken. of course used cars sit outside in the cold and the problem could persist. i guess it will not hurt to try
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "i wonder if i just change the fluid and filter if it will help any?"

    The problem here is that a simple pan drop/filter swap/refill will only get about a quarter of the ATF in there.

    "if i have it in my garage it is out of wind and works fine. iowa weather need i say more."

    Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. ;-) The only difference between being parked inside vs. outside is that it should get up to operating temperature a little faster if it was inside.

    "the torque converter has never locked up or anything."

    It hasn't? Not good. Once warmed up, your torque converter should lock up at all steady state speeds above 45 mph when you are in "D" and above 30 mph when you are in "3". If it doesn't do that, then you've got a problem.

    Note: the above lock up speeds are for 3.8 liter vans, if you have the 3.3 liter engine it is my understanding that the lock up speed is a few miles per hour higher.

    Best Regards,
  • I have a 2002, 3.8L, T&C ex with 57K. I changed (today) the transmission fluid (ATF+4) and filter and now it down shifts hard when slowing. I've never experienced the problem prior to changing the fluid. There's no problem shifting between gears or upshifting, but it'll give a little jerk when down shifting. Any ideas is greatly appreciated.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Two possibilities:
    1) I've heard that this is normal and will take the computer up to two weeks to re-learn your driving patterns. FWIW, I haven't experienced the post filter change hard shifting myself so this is only heresay.
    2) It is possible that you have the wrong filter for your transmission, especially so if you bought the filter anywhere else but your dealership parts department.

    Best Regards,
  • mudramudra Posts: 18
    I have started noticing a weird vibration/grind on driving the vehicle from a total stop position. :confuse: It has happened only since yesterday..hopefully not related to the cold weather we are having in NJ.
    I had my tranny serviced from PepBoys and have driven around 1500 miles since then. Total miles is around 88500.
    Any advice ? Should I take it back to Pepboys or to the dealer directly ?
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