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Chrysler Minivan Transmission Problems



  • Has anyone experienced the transmission changing from Reverse to Drive, while it was in gear? We had one that went while the gas was pressed. Looking to see if this is a one time anomaly or if it's happened before. Thank You.
  • Just thought someone might know whats going on with my van. First thing I backed out of my parking spot and put it in drive and nothing, just the motor reving, after it kicked into gear down the road my speedometer drops to zero, so I stop and check the tran fluid, it was on add, so I added a quart. Left the parking lot and figured out that I am now stuck in 2nd gear (I think) and my engine light is also now on. HELP!?
    My van is a 2000 Grand Caravan.
  • I had a rental Dodge Grand Caravan which was parked in parking lot that was relatively flat. I put the vehicle in park, removed the key from the ignition, which can only be done if the vehicle is in park. Went to a reataurant to have lunch and came out to find the vehicle had rolled into another parked vehicle. A police officer was there and said when they slim jim opened the locked doors the vehicle was in neutral. Do not know why. But could help explain the need for Chrysler to be bailed out for making poor cars.
  • Hello alright guys here goes my issue.

    I bought a 94 town & country from a private owner here in my town and was told that the motor had been replaced with a rebuilt one less then 50,000 miles ago and the purr that it produces leads me to believe that is true but just yesterday I had to tell my wife to pull off the freeway because I felt it was not shifting and rpms were going sky high.

    Now we cannot go past 35 mph without stressing the vehicle as it appears to be stuck in 2nd gear if it indeed has a four speed automatic counting the OD.

    Any help would be highly appreciated since I need to get to work and it is 25 miles away and it is the only vehicle I currently have for me and the wife&kids.

    Please advise me as what steps I need to take, I have checked the tranny fluid and it is full.
  • input and output sensors are culprits and sounds like that is your issue ;)
  • As shockey said, an input or output speed sensor can cause the computer to go into limpmode which keeps the trans in second gear until repaired. Unfortunately there are many electrical and mechanical issues that can that can cause the computer to go to limpmode. Anytime there is a fault that the computer picks up,the computer has the same reaction..2nd gear only. The first thing you need to do is find out what codes have been stored to cause the limpmode to begin with. If you want to try to avoid professional opinions & repairs and try to do it yourself... Autozone will usually pull the codes for you for free..once you know the fault or faults..then you can think about what to repair or replace.
  • I am sorry if I sound naive but I really have no mechanic experience and am only trying to avoid costly repairs because I am not at my best financially, with that said if I go to auto zone and have the codes pulled will that tell me if the input and output sensors are at fault?

    If they are the issue then how much more or less would they cost and how hard are they to remove then install?
  • Using a scanner is the most accurate way to check them but In most cases yes, it will be a simple input ss or output ss circuit fault code "if" that is the problem. if anything else like, fault after shift, gear ratio errors in a certain gear, eatx relay codes, solenoid or pressure switch codes then its not the problem. Don't waste your time and money changing them. A gear ratio error code may be accompanied with the sensor code. I suggest when you get to autozone, unhook the battery for about 30 secs, clearing the codes, hook it back up, drive the vehicle till it goes to limpmode (may be in limp when you crank it up) then have the codes checked right after so you can focus on the immediate fault code only and not associated codes.
    If it is a sensor they are relatively cheap, round 30 dollars and easy to change, They simply screw into the side of the transmission, you do need a 1 inch socket though. Keep in mind bad connections and wiring can cause the same code.
  • my 96 t/c with a 3.8 has a tranny issue,when i start it and put it in gear,it will take off in 1st then shift to second then 3rd,wont go to o.d.then i stop at a light and it wont downshift to 1st ,,stays in will go up and sometimes shift to 3rd but then revs freely .then re-engages.there is no slip when taking off in 1st or when it does go to will stay in 3rd for a bit then you can rev it ,sometimes it goes back in sometimes not.if i shut it off and start it back up at a light,it'll be in 1st,shifting can be eratic..ther were no issues leading up to ths it just all of the sudden started doing it.
  • Great advice!
    Thanks now I only have one little issue Autozone said they no longer pull the fault codes and I have called my local Napa Auto Parts and they said they do not do it either.

    I got a tip from a co-worker who said I can find my reader at harbor freight for really cheap but to add to my recent string of bad-luck I have had the readers were for models ranging from 1996 and above my van is a 94.

    So is there any other places to look where I can have the codes pulled free of charge?

    I am located in Central California "Fresno Area"

    Thanks in advance like always all help is greatly appreciated!
  • nanc4nanc4 Posts: 1
    Im having shifting problems.I've changed the trany filter an that worked for a while,I was on hwy then all sudden car wouldn't accelerate so got off hwy an put car in park started up again went to change to drive.nothing happen reverse nothing n nothing. i accelerated on gas in n an then went to drive a it went,next day nothing so now im stuck can anybody tell me if its a sensor prob.please someone help.give me options
  • Well this Saturday I am going to a reputable Mom&Pop shop where they will hook my "94" up to a OBD1 reader to pull my fault codes for about 70.00$.

    If you think that a sensor may be causing this issue I believe you should be able to purchase aOBD2 reader for approx 50.00$ since your vehicle is a "97"

    If you have a harbor freight near by you they would have a reader approx 50.00$
  • I have only had this van a few months and the probelm started within a couple weeks. It was not possible to question the previous owner regarding this, and the van only has 76k miles on it. 2 shops have checked the computer and it turns ot NOT to be the speed sensor. The best they can figure, withiout opening it up on the bench, is that there is a loose clip that holds the clutches or gears in place . The clip breaks or comes loose allowing too much play between the gears (sliding back and forth?) I dont know but its okay as long as the van runs cool and the engine light doesnt come on. If the light comes on it starts to malfunction and soon I have to restart the van to get it to shift normally. That only works breifly, then it locks up in 3rd again (limp mode). It also works fine if I can get on the highway before it locks and dont slow below 50 mph.
    I'm pretty handy mechanically and wondered about R&R the tranny and open it myself. I dont have $2k for a new tranny and it jsut seems wrong to have to spend that kind of money on a vehicle with less than 70k on it.
  • I need urgent help plans were changed due to financial limitations not allowing me to have the codes read, however I was able to count the check engine flashes and pulled codes 12 and 17 can someone please help as I am still stuck in 2nd gear.

    Just to clarify the vehicle is a 94 Chrysler t&c 2WD 3.8L

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,330
    There are an enormous number of reasons why your trans is in limp mode and this requires very careful step by step diagnosis. Aren't your mechanics hooked into ALLDATA? They give a very precise way of checking everything, from relays to TMC to overdrive switch to internal seal leaks to excessive clutch clearances. just to name a few possibilities here.

    Sorry, no simple answer because no simple problem.

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  • (qoute)
    There are an enormous number of reasons why your trans is in limp mode and this requires very careful step by step diagnosis. Aren't your mechanics hooked into ALLDATA? They give a very precise way of checking everything, from relays to TMC to overdrive switch to internal seal leaks to excessive clutch clearances. just to name a few possibilities here.

    Sorry, no simple answer because no simple problem.

    this sounds trivial but its a long shot at best check your connections at the speed sensors if they are loose they can create issues. as far as the shifting issue to me this sounds more like a computer malfunction than a trans issue. transmission shops are very easger to tell a costumer "oh your trans is malfunctiong" or some other excuse to talk you into getting big cash out of your wallet and ive seen it before. these shops should be able to pinpoint what is wrong with the trans with alldata. i have the software on my home computer (laptop) =( though that doesnt help you none. call as many shops as you can and get different opinions.
  • I have pulled a code of 17.

    Please help!
  • This sounds like it is the solinoid pack acting up.
  • code 17 is 17 Dodge Coolant system temperature remains below normal (Cars 1985-97) (Trucks/Vans 1987-97) (Jeeps 1993-97)
  • code 12 Chrysler Direct battery input power to computer lost or interrupted (Cars 1983-97) (Trucks/Vans 1987-97)
  • i have a 96 caravan with the 3 speed non electronic trany and started doing some grinding/rubbing noise and apears to be 2 gears at one time. seems to be stuck in 2nd gear all the time and then try and shift to other gears did this for a couple days and now stuck in second gear only no other gears at all including netral or park.when placed in park it does put the lock on but second gear is still engaged.
    Was wondering if i changed vavle body if that might fix it or is it done and requiring a new one?
  • Thanks for all the information fellas!

    Can you please now instruct me as to what steps I will need to take so i can get this van back up and running normal again?
  • well you need to change the temp sensor on engine. and that will tell ecm engine is running warm enought to use overdrive. when engine to cold it doesn't allow overdrive to work to keep rpm's up to warm for the code 12 don't worry about that it just means you battery at one time was either discontected or dead and it sets that code.
  • i guess i should have asked this befor hand those trouble codes you listed where they pulled out from the check engine light or using a scan tool and pulled for tcm(trans control mod)?? if engine light then codes are as i posted if from tcm the code 17 is an internal tcm failure and the tcm needs to be replaced. But your really going to need to go get the codes pulled out from tcm to really determine the prob with trans as most of the codes the engine light gives you are just for engine not trans.
  • Where is it located and how hard is it to change?
  • not to sure never had to change one but there usally in the back part of engine close to top of engine posible in the center head. when you pick up new sensor then you just match it up to one in that area.
  • I bought this van the other day. It has 158k on it. The test drive at the dealeship was done when the van was cold. It worked perfect. I drove around one mile ( it was snowing).
    I bought the van and trailered it home.
    Today when the license plates arrived I let the van run a long time outside ( 8 degrees outside). The first time driving the van at normal engine temperature - the transmission will not shift out of low.
    I have reverse and low. No check engine lights are on.
    The fluid is a nice bright red and filled to the full line.
    The dealership - Buhler in Hazet, New Jersey will not assist in any repairs or refund.
    Any adivse would be helpful as I have to sell one of my work trucks or cars to fix my wifes new/used mini van.
  • what motor and tranny are in this van?
    and did you bring engine up to redline and stilled didn't shift?The reason i ask this is because these trannies will shift even if you have it in low on gear selector when approaching redline engine will make tranny shift that is if it has the 4 speed electronic tranny.and that could be an indication of a bad selector sensor or kick down cable stuck down.
  • cridezcridez Posts: 3
    I have a 1997 T&C 3.3 engine. The reverse will not work, and I am getting a trouble code says -Incorrect gear ratio2 and another code about the trans control unit. I Replaced the selonid pack, unpluged the trans computer, cleared codes and still no difference. I also changed fluid, with the atf4 fluid and new filter, I did not notice any fresh metal in the pan. It will start to drive a bit then just loses the drive, if I reset it it will start to drive again, but then lose out. But No reverse at all. Any help would be much appreciated.
  • Whats the code numbers?
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