Last post on May 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM
You are in the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan
What is this discussion about?
Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Dodge Grand Caravan, Transmission, Van
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#1115 of 2067 Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???....
May 26, 2006 (5:42 am)
I am looking to buy a USED (1990's most likely) Crysler or Dodge MiniVan/Caravan, and want to make sure the one we buy has a Decent transmission, I don't mind if it needs rebuilt because it has SO many miles on it, but I have heard some of those transmissons only last 40,000 miles or less-it was a REAL problem with constant frustation & $$ headaches. Can anyone who knows about the these Transmission problems, how to identify which transmissions were bad, please please explain. Is it all the 4 cyclynder ones? Thank you so much
#1116 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [overrunmama]
May 26, 2006 (10:04 am)
The older Caravans with the 4 cylinder engine, actually had a very dependable 3 speed automatic transmission. The 3 speed also was available with the 3.0 V6 engine. The 3.3 and 3.8 V6's are much more dependable engines though. They only came with the 4 speed automatic transmissions which used to have a bad reputation. Since the 2000 model year, when they started to use ATF+4 fluid, they have become much more dependable. What you can lok for in an older model is maintainence records of regular fluid changes with ATF+3 ONLY on the older units, or a van that has it's transmission replaced with a Mopar remanufactured unit at the dealership. Any older 90's vehicle of any make is a crap-shoot when it comes to the transmission or any other mechanical issues that may be worn out.
#1117 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [overrunmama]
May 26, 2006 (3:36 pm)
(where the heck did you get that name from?)
Those transmissions for the 3.3 and 3.8L engines are actually strong an sturdy transmissions, but they have to be treated with respect!
You shouldn't go with the 2.4 (4cyl) and 3.0 L engines
The othe rones are way more reliable.
You never know when a transmission goes, but when you buy the vehicle it should shift nicely, up and (kick)down.
Once you own one , you shouldn't spin the wheels (hard here in Canada in wintertime, unless you have wintertires and traction control.
You also want to sevice the transmission according to the mfr's specs. I bring it to the Chrysler dealer for the appr. ATF + fluid every 50000 Km's (30K Mi) That's it
My van has almost 300.000 Km's on it now and the tranny goes lovely!!!! Love my T & C
#1118 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [overrunmama]
May 26, 2006 (5:44 pm)
A couple of other prevention issues for '90s vans, the knowledgable owners added auxiliary coolers. These are like small (about 1/4) radiator looking fixtures between the front grill and air conditioner condenser with black rubber hoses connected to the radiator and transmission.
Second, the overdrive will constantly be engaging and disengaging in city driving. It should be turned off unless you can maintain a constant speed over 40 mph.
As others have said, if you don't use a dealer for service (I don't) you must know the correct fluid, ask for that fluid and ask to see an empty container after the service. Roy
#1119 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [royallen]
May 29, 2006 (9:11 am)
you must know the correct fluid, ask for that fluid and ask to see an empty container after the service.
I would add this:
Don't use equivalent fluid, only use Chrysler ATF fluid that you can buy at your Chrysler dealer.
#1120 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [ntbill]
May 31, 2006 (7:25 am)
Thank you for all the advice on this, we have some friends who bought a Town & COuntry 2002, for JUST $1,200 at a Dealership with only 50,000 miles on it. That just sounded too good to be true. They have only had it a few weeks so far. I just have to wonder why this vehicle was sold this inexpensively. She got no history on it. But all vehicles after 2000 should have a new improved Tranny in it, maybe I will look for the newer ones then--if I see my friends have a good deal here. I might wait it out a year. We have a Suburban, hardy as a tank, but the gas is just too expensive. Thanks to all.
#1121 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [overrunmama]
May 31, 2006 (3:16 pm)
"JUST $1,200"??? or did you mean $12,000 for a 2002 T&C with 50,000 miles??
#1122 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [97xpresso]
Jun 09, 2006 (4:34 am)
She told me just $1,200. That is why I am amazed too, I have to wonder what is wrong with the vehicle for that LOW LOW LOW price. It even looks good, seems to run good for them so far also. Only been a few weeks though. Our Suburban just broke down, so we really need to look for a Mini Van of some sort. My husband likes to do his own work, we can BUY this fluid from the dealer can't we??? How expensive is it ???
#1123 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [overrunmama]
Jun 09, 2006 (2:41 pm)
ATF+3, still available at most auto parts stores, is for pre-2000 vehicles only. ATF+4 is more expensive, but MUST be used for 2000 and up vehicles. You could use ATF+4 in the older vehicles, but like I said it's more expensive. ATF+4 can be puchased at the dealer in quart or gallon jugs. I have heard Vavoline ATF+4 is just starting to show up in auto parts stores for around $4 a quart.
#1124 of 2067 Re: Which used MiniVans have the BAD transmission ???.... [overrunmama]
Jun 12, 2006 (3:16 pm)
I think your friend is confused over what she paid.
Even Chryslers don't depreciate THAT fast!