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Chrysler Town & Country 1996 Failed Transmission

cadewafdcadewafd Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Chrysler
I have a 1996 Chrysler Town and Country Minivan. I have 77,000 miles on it. We have a towing
package. We only tow a 16 ft. boat with it, maybe 6 times a year. Yesterday, my transmission
seemed to give out. Is there a history of transmission failures with this model/year?


  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The 4 speed automatic that is used in most of their cars has been known to be problematic, especially from 1990-1997, which includes your van. One of the major problems with the minivan is a high rate of failure of the automatic. Good luck.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Actually, 77,000 miles pretty good for that unit - many of them fail between 40-60,000 miles. If you got that mileage while towing occasionally, that is probably above average performance for this unit, which has been problematic from inception right through the last coupe of years of production.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    See the link below to read up on all the info related to repair and maintenance of this transmission.

    The unit, particularly prior to 1998, seems to suffer from a number of premature failures. However, with millions of these units sold, to say the average mileage is 40-60 k before failure is gross exaggeration. It does seem to be a somewhat sensitive design.

    Good luck, and once the proper repair is decided upon, if necessary, the proper transmission fluid is used. Nearly all repeat failures are a result of improper repair the first time.

  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    The quote about the 40-60,000 mile lifespan of these transaxles came from a transmission-repair technician (see below) and from my experience with one of them, and the comments from the service technicians at the Dodge dealership.

    I agree that failure shortly after replacement or rebuild is an issue with the quality of the rebuild - but the problems with this unit are not entirely due to the wrong fluid being used. You can maintain them by the book or better, using only Chrysler fluids and filter, and they'll still fail - and at rates higher than those of competing models from other automakers.

    This unit has been problematic from the time it was released, and though it has been tweaked and improved somewhat, is still not designed to offer a 100,000+ mile lifespan, as many other competing models are.

    Rumor says it will be dropped from the next generation of front-drive Chrysler Group cars, to be replaced by a Mitsubishi design.

This discussion has been closed.