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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • this site has a list of the best transmission shops by area: mountain-view.html

    its also helpful because it has background write-ups on each company to help you choose a good transmission shop for your needs...hope it helps!
  • I have a 1999 Plymouth Voyager 2.4L with the 3 speed 31TH transmission. It has 132,000 miles on it but around 128,000 miles the tranny began having what felt like a short slip from 2nd to 3rd. It only happened occasionly on the highway. Well I had it flushed and filter changed also adding lucas transmission additive for high mileage transmissions. The trans seemed to be fine for awhile then around 130,000 miles a whining sound with the smell of trans fluid began. I checked for leaks but found none so my guess was it was overheating the transmission. Shortly after it lost any shifting into 3rd gear at that time we turned around and headed back home half way there it kept sliding in and out of gears droppingus down to 20 MPH now the trans will shift into first some times and other times barely. PLEASE IF YOU CAN HELP I NEED TO GET THISS PROBLEM SOLVED IS IT SIMPLE OR LARGE? I have rebuilt transmissions before but never on a dodge. I have done one GM and three Ford but all have been manuals please let me know if you can help me with this problem.

    Thanks Guys.
  • mckcrichmckcrich Posts: 1
    You may want to check the level of your power steering fluid. I had a similar whining noise on my 2005 TC with about 42,000 miles on it. The noise changed as engine RPM changed. I found my power steering reservoir to be a little low ( it was at the bottom of the ok range). I filled the reservoir with ATF+4 fluid up to the top of that range and my whine issue is gone. Make sure you use ATF+4 and not power steering fluid. There have been several people that have reported having issues with a leaking seal in the rack and pinion and the dealer wanting $800 to change the rack and pinion. It seems to be somewhat wide spread. When I checked the level of the fluid I found that someone had painted a blue line on the reservoir which was near the upper end of the ok range. I’m guessing my dealer noted the level of my fluid during one of my oil changes because they know there is an issue with seal leaks. Hope this helps.
  • kempekkempek Posts: 1
    While I have not experienced this first hand, my pastor had his transmission fail suddenly on him. His was an older (1999) but it only had about 100000kms on it. The transmission shop he took it to found that the pin in the differential had worked it's way out after the keeper failed. It had been thrown out the side of the transmission. I have done some research and talking with our local transmission shop and he said that up until the 2006 model year this was a problem for the Chrysler(Dodge and Plymouth) minivans. It happens specifically when the tires are spun(if the vehicle gets stuck). The shop he went to said that there is a very simple fix for this problem, change the pin and keepers to the ones used in the 2006 models. It is only a 2 hour job and it can save thousands. I will be doing some calling on Monday to find out about this fix and post an update. I just wonder why Chrysler hasn't seen fit to bring this potential problem to light?!?!?!?!?
  • nyfreezenyfreeze Posts: 1
    Had the same problem on my 2000 caravan last Aug. took it to shop had to replace speed control sensors only 1 was bad but was told when 1 goes bad other isnt far away. so it cost me about 250.00 to have them fix it. They over charged me for parts. they were 25.00 a piece at autozone. they charged 80.00 a piece so labor wasnt much at all about 1/2 hour job. I didnt know what was wrong with it so I had to suck up the cost . Sincerely Martin Baker
  • Have you solved your front end shake problem? If so, what was the problem?
  • tnvolfantnvolfan Posts: 2

    Did you resolve your whining noise? My 06 Grand Caravan does the exact same thing. I drive mostly around town, but have noticed on longer trips on the interstate of 45-60 minutes I have the whining sound you describe. If I stop the car for a while and restart, the sound goes away until I travel again at higher speeds for the longer trip. Last time I heard it, I drove at slower speeds on a side road for about 10 minutes and the sound went away before I had even stopped the car. My husband has never been with me when the sound has occurred. As I travel out of town with the kids alone occasionally, I'm afraid this is a sign of a problem that will cause me to be stranded on the side of the interstate. My car is currently at a dealership getting checked out, but I'm afraid they think I'm crazy as they haven't heard the sound yet. They are currently checking out the transmission and power steering. Any details from your investigation that could help me out in leading them to my problem?
  • dad22dad22 Posts: 1
    Any leads on the whining noise? My 06 Grand Caravan has the same problem. We drove 2 hours to visit family over Easter and it was really bad as I stopped for gas. Five minutes with the van off while filling up, no noise?? A month ago I stopped for fast food after driving for 5 hours, I could barely hear the noise after sitting in the drive through for 5-7 minutes?? I am very curious what the dealer says. Are you still under warranty? My van has 96K miles because I travel for work. It looks like rancherat and dadto3 have the same issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • tnvolfantnvolfan Posts: 2
    Dad22 -

    After 3 days of investigating (supposedly) the dealership service department determined that the whining was coming from the power steering pump. They replaced it under warranty. We have around 20k miles on our van. We haven't taken any long trips since the repair so we don't know for sure that our problem is fixed. Hopefully, it is and this info helps you.
  • dadto3dadto3 Posts: 17
    They determined mine is the power steering rack that is causing the problems and it's being replaced this week. They topped off my power steering fluid, which stopped the whining, but I'm also slowly losing fluid, so hopefully this new rack will take care of the problem. I'd say top off your power steering fluid and if that eliminates your whining noise, then I bet you need your rack replaced as well.
  • I took mine to the dealer and they hadn't heard of the issue before..No suprise there. Mine still has the noise but only after long drives. I'm going to check the PS level and see if that's a help. I've got 68,000 on my LX and that's the only thing I've had problems with. Thanks everyone! Is the rack going to be a recall thing or just our problem?
  • joshockeyjoshockey Posts: 13
    hi everyone im in need of advice this is my first van and have been pleased so far i have a 3.3 v6 and runs flawless but my transmission is acting up.i cannot shift past 35 to 40mph or 2500 to 3000 rpms now i have no clue if the transmission is bad the fluid is still pink and so fourth now i did go out and pull out the input and output sensors i have not replaced these as of yet but is this the most likely problem or something else.btw the check engine light is not on either but i was told this was most likely my issue because my cruise control no longer functions and the air bag light had came on at the same time as the cruise control went out. emotorcons/emo_sick.gif
  • joshockeyjoshockey Posts: 13
    hi everyone im in need of advice this is my first van and have been pleased so far i have a 3.3 v6 and runs flawless but my transmission is acting up.i cannot shift past 35 to 40mph or 2500 to 3000 rpms now i have no clue if the transmission is bad the fluid is still pink and so fourth now i did go out and pull out the input and output sensors i have not replaced these as of yet but is this the most likely problem or something else.btw the check engine light is not on either but i was told this was most likely my issue because my cruise control no longer functions and the air bag light had came on at the same time as the cruise control went out. emotorcons/emo_sick.gif
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    your statement of your transmission fluid being "PINK" if your fluid is pink it has water in it. if its red its good fluid. input and output sensors are cheap replace them and also the PIGTAIL that connects to them its a common failure point. if your fluid is pink you may want to look at the radiator closely since pink fluid indicates water the radiator is suspect. unless the vehicle has been in water
  • joshockeyjoshockey Posts: 13
    update sorry for my lack of knowledge on these vans the fluid is red im partialy color blind lol replaced both sensors today and it seems to be shifting ok but id like to know what intervals the transmission shifts rpms i think coming out of second to third may be shifting late around 40 to 50 mph it is a 3speed 3.3 liter as far as replacement of the pigtail where do i get these a boneyard or new. :sick:
  • justnowjustnow Posts: 2
    I also had same problem with 2005 TC at 24000miles 3 months ago, i checked the fluid and it was low, with no leaks on the driveway. Still under warranty and the power steering pump and rack and pinion steer box was replaced. I had noticed a popping noise, about 12 months ago, on driver side, when I would go over speed bumps at the mall. That popping noise also had stopped with the replacement of pump and rack and pinion. now my vehicle at 26000 miles is still making noise in morning then stops after about 4 minutes. the same problem with pump and rack and pinion. Dealer replaced pump and rack and pinion, the next day the mechanic was going to do alignment and it started the noise again. I had told him before I took the van in, THAT I NOTICED THE RESERVOIR FLUID WAS JUMPING UP AND DOWN A LOT at idling park. He told me that he called the manufacture and was told that air is leaking into the system, due to the hoses. My van is still at the dearler.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    ok if you replaced input and output speed sensors you have a 4 spd 41TE transaxle the 3spd units will only have 1 speed sensor and that is located on the passenger axle housing. the pigtails are available at your local dodge dealership.part number is #922445CK/04419478 if i may add a suggestion to all of this i suggest you take your vehicle to a trans shop near you and have them quick learn the trans control module this will reset factory settings. also tire size makes a difference with this trans. the "pinion factor" must match the tire size this can also be performed by the trans shop.AND all 4 tires must be the ssame size or trans shift problems will occur due to wheel speed sensors reading differently
  • engr2go1engr2go1 Posts: 10
    No I didn't. I now use it for short trips only. I have taken it to two dealerships and they don't see the problem. I think I will know soon though because I think one of my CV joints is going and that may be the problem.
  • angnjasangnjas Posts: 2
    Had a rebuilt transmission put in. Had the torc converter clutch soloniod replaced and It was running great for a week. Now the van seems to have problem when down shifting in the 30 mph range. It runs good on highway. Problem only occurs when slowing down. The car bucks or seems to down shift real hard.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    is this a 3spd transaxle or a 4 spd transaxle if the only solenoid in the trans is a tcc solenoid then its a 3 spd with lock up. these transmissions are known for major metal in the unit and can sometimes contaminate the governer assembly creating erratic and strange shift patterns. we normally use a inline filter in the cooling lines to catch any left over debris that might come thru the cooling system it may require the valve body to be dropped and disassembled again to be cleaned also I would take the van back where you had the trans built and make them fix it right ie: clean governer,valvebody and install inline filter into cooler RETURN line just my thoughts hope it helps...
  • rogyordrogyord Posts: 2
    i recently bought a 91 plymouth voyager le allwheel drive with 134k it runs good and the transmission( 4 speed auto) is fine i have no idea if its been rebuilt or not,the fluid seems to be in good shape a nice red color but i was wanting to change the transmission filter,,,now here is the thing does it take dextron or the atf+4? what about an additive??or maybe should i just leave it alone being that its working ok??? :confuse: :blush:
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    You need to use only Chrysler transmission fluid that is recommended for that vehicle. There have been numerous cases of catastrophic transmission failure because non-Chrysler fluid was used for the fluid change. Good luck.
  • joshockeyjoshockey Posts: 13
    if your going to change the filter and gasket make sure you scrap the old gasket off ,dont nick into the metal just enough too get all the old loose crummy stuff of then put your new asket one (dont use any atv sealant just the gasket) using bothe defeats the purpose you can use a little in each corner to hold the gasket on the pan after putting the filter and new o ring on hand tighten all of the bolts to a snug and i mean snug fitting over tighting makes it worse if your fluid is red it should be fine to reuse but id recommend using new fluid atf+4 when filling your tranny up as its ideling crawl underneath of course it will leak a little because at this point this is when you need to completly tight/tourgue the bolts again do not overtighten just tighten your bolts now to where the gasket is sealing. after all is said and done here hop in and move your gear selector thru each gear at least 30 seconds to a minute thru each gear especially reverse when you have moved the selector thru all gears put in reverse dont give it any gas let it go in reverse ideling then put in drive and take it out for a drive dont dog it just enough to get the fluids thru the tranny. after about 20 miles get out and check your level if your a little low this is normal means all the fluid is in the convertor refill and you shold be good to go i own a 96 3.3ltr v6 with a 4 speed id also invest in the input and output sensors there very cheap and are very important to make sure are changed good luck wish i could find an all wheel drive. any other help let me know :)
  • joshockeyjoshockey Posts: 13
    sorry for that i really am intelligent i was just typing really fast. :(
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    First off.. YOU ARE WRONG chrysler transmissions come from the factory with ONLY RTV sealant for pan gaskets and side covers and it is not recommended to use any form of gasket on this transmission pan. as they are prone to leaks. use only rtv sealant and a high quality sealant such as locktite 598 or 599 ultra grey... sorry to bust your chops. but the rest of yourr info is good about the input and output speed sensors.....
  • rogyordrogyord Posts: 2
    thanks for the info,,ok now where do i find these input and output sensors??? are they a dealer item or can i find them at the local auto parts store???
  • hugefirehugefire Posts: 3
    If you search this forum for the problem, you will see that it's not uncommon, and usually occurs after a transmission fluid change. For some reason, the Transmission Control Module (TCM) senses a loss of prime in the transmission and the problem shows up. I have an 03 T&C and it was doing the same thing. Took it to local AAMCO and they cleared a "battery disconnect" code and then reset the TCM and the problem was solved. I would take yours somewhere to have the TCM reset before trying anything else.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry, but I've got to push back on this one. I've removed the RTV from any number of Chrysler vans (as part of a tranny oil and filter change), and have always used conventional gaskets when putting it back together. The truth is that I've yet to see a single aftermarket gasket leak, however, I just did a van a couple of days ago that had fluid leaking past the factory RTV gasket. My personal take on this is that I think evil thoughts directed toward the individual(s) that decided to use RTV whenever I'm faced with a pan drop on a transmission with a pan sealed with RTV.

    Best Regards,
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    to each his own. ive been rebuilding transmissions 28 years or so and attending seminars both factory and aftermarket atsg atra just to name a few and from the factory ALL front wheel drive transmissions that chrysler built ie: 404,413,470,670,604,606 all came from the factory with rtv sealant and the transmission overhaul kits DO NOT come with any type of pan gaskets. I wont argue with you about it one bit, these trans's need "quality" rtv on the pans and no pan gasket. thats the factory recommended setup, and thats the way I have been building these transmissions all of my life.

  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    i suggest for you to only use oem speed sensors since some of the aftermarket are of much less quality and theres only a cpl bucks difference in price dealership for these parts
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