Last post on May 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM
You are in the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan
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Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Dodge Grand Caravan, Transmission, Van
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#1563 of 2067 Re: 2001 Chrysler T & C - Transmission [jrakers007]
Jan 05, 2008 (8:41 pm)
I had the same problem!! The first time I had the transmission serviced on my 2003 Grand Caravan by the dealer (according to the Manufacturer's recommendation), I started smelling a burning smell - then my transmission started to jolt from 0 to first gear. This began at approximately 25,000 miles. Each time I took it to the dealer, they updated the transmission software and could never duplicate the problem. As I approached 60,000 miles, the problem got worse and did it each time I drove. With the warranty getting ready to expire, I left the car again with the dealer (more than a dozen times since this began) - again the dealer could not duplicate. I then drove with the mechanic and the car jolted 7 times! Thus, they rebuilt the transmission as a courtesy under the warranty. When I drove the van home - same burning smell. Same jolting - and now approaching 107,000 miles and the transmission needs to be rebuilt again, costing $2,300 or a remanufactured one at $4,200! Dodge refuses to pay - they will not warrant the work and only rebuilt it the first time as a courtesy. I am considering hiring an attorney due to the dealer not being more proactive in fixing the problem from the start and then not fixing it properly --- leaving me with a piece of junk or a hefty repair bill with no guarantees. I have had it with Dodge/Chrysler MOPAR - owned them since 1982!!!! DO NOT BUY one of these vans - you will regret it....
Jan 05, 2008 (10:42 pm)
"I bought a 1997 GCaravan brand new and the engine snapped in half at 1,500 miles - then the trans went. Even new, Dodge just rebuilt the engine."
Sorry, gotta call a hearty BS on that one. If your engine really did "snap in half", then there's no way it could be rebuilt.
"...and bought another 1997 GCaravan - no problems except it ran a quart low of oil between oil changes (since the day I bought it - new)."
IIRC, your 1997 DGC called for a 7,500 mile oil change interval, and virtually any car will require a quart of oil over the course of 7,500 miles, regardless of manufacturer. FWIW, our 1998 3.8 liter DGC Sport uses a quart of oil roughly every 7,500 miles while our 2003 3.8 liter DGC ES uses a quart of oil roughly every 5,000 miles. In both cases I consider that oil consumption "normal".
"...I bought a 2003 GCaravan - total junk with parts going left and right."
Hmmm, completely different from my experience. Our 2003 DGC ES has 104,000+ miles on it, has the original transmission and virtually every other factory part still intact. To date, that van has needed two batteries, a front wheel ABS sensor, and that's it outside of regular maintenance.
"The first time I had the transmission serviced on my 2003 Grand Caravan by the dealer (according to the Manufacturer's recommendation)..."
Recommendation? What recommendation? Per your Owner's Manual, your transmission never needs service; it came from the factory with ATF+4 fluid which is considered a "Lifetime" fluid. Our 2003 is still running the factory fluid at 104,000+ miles, and it shifts perfectly and has no burning smell.
The fact is that your experience is so incredibly different than the one we've had with our two vans of virtually identical vintage that I find myself wondering of you've used a little poetic license with your posts.
From my perspective, our two vans, which are nearing 260,000 combined miles, have been models of reliability. Last time I checked, our total bill for unscheduled maintenance has yet to reach $3,000, which in my mind is pretty darn good for over a quarter of a million miles of driving.
#1565 of 2067 Re: Transmission Realibility [superwoody]
Jan 06, 2008 (10:21 am)
I talked to the owner again today and he says it has the 3.0 V6, is that supposed to be a reliable motor?
#1566 of 2067 Rust on strut tower
Jan 06, 2008 (12:59 pm)
This is a little off topic but I didn't see any forums related to suspension so I will post the question here. I went and looked at the 1996 Caravan with the 3.0 V6, the tranny seemed to shift fine and the fluid looked good. What bothers me is the clunking sound that I would hear whenever I hit a bump, it was somthing that seemed out of ordinary. There is also a line of rust breaking through inside the engine compartment along the top of the area where the strut mounts, this seems like a very unusual place for rust to start as it is not exposed to the outside. Was there a common problem on these vans with rust forming in this area?
#1567 of 2067 Re: Transmission Realibility [gegrunt]
Jan 06, 2008 (2:08 pm)
The Mitsubishi 3.0 liter motor seems to be farily reliable, that said, it is a bit of an oil burner/smoker. That and it has a timing belt (which requires periodic replacement and that replacement ain't cheap) unlike the Chrysler motors that use a timing chain.
Personally I wouldn't own one even if it was free.
#1568 of 2067 Re: Rust on strut tower [gegrunt]
Jan 06, 2008 (2:14 pm)
The clunking may or may not be coming from the sway bar bushings. As for the strut tower rusting, that is a know problem with the Gen 3 vans. Some weren't properly prepared and have rusted to the point of failure (and a potentially catastrophic failure at that), and while Chrysler has released a repair kit for rusted towers that is apparently pretty good, I'd prefer to have a van like our 1998 that has zero rust around the strut towers.
#1569 of 2067 Re: 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan front end problem [engr2go1]
Jan 07, 2008 (12:08 pm)
I have an old 1969 Ford Econoline that also does this; the problem on my van is tie rod ends and a bushing on the linkage between the inner tie rod ends and steering. It feels like the van is going to shake itself apart when it happens, but it will also continue even if I press the accelerator after it starts. To quiet it, I hit the brakes hard and jerk the wheel in one direction. Silly, I know, but beats fixing it right now when I only put a few miles a year on the old can.
Good luck finding the problem; you might want to get a second opinion on it from an independent suspension/alignment shop.
#1570 of 2067 Re: 2007 Dodge Caravan transmission [ericbenwa]
Jan 20, 2008 (4:21 am)
Hi; just checking to see if you have had any more updates. I'm still having the same problem and it seems to be worse in cold weather .
#1571 of 2067 Re: 2007 Dodge Caravan transmission [tom166]
Jan 20, 2008 (9:46 am)
I had part 2 of the update done (I think it's the torque converter or something?). It's still doing it somewhat, but the weather has been so bad with slush and snow and cold (heater fan makes a lot of noise), that I have not been able to do a thorough assessment of the fix. Will let you know later on. My CAMVAP claim stays open for 90 days pass the maintenance done on the vehicle.
#1572 of 2067 2002 Chrysler T & C Transmission Failure
Jan 21, 2008 (8:07 pm)
The transmission self-destructed at 97 000 km. There were no indications of a problem with this transmission, e.g., no shifting problems and no unusual noises. This vehicle has been well maintained according to the manufacturer's schedule and has never been abused. After traveling for about an hour at highway speed (approx. 100 km/h), the van lurched hard, lost speed and the check engine light came on. It jerked a few more times as I tried to get into the right lane in order to get off the multi-lane highway. Within a few minutes, I was on the shoulder of the highway with no drive power at all. It was a surprise to me how quickly all of this happened. I had one other vehicle in the past 20 years with transmission problems but I had some warning and was able to get it repaired before it was totally gone. The transmission has been replaced at a cost of about $4000. The diagnosis was that a gear had failed due to metal fatigue and the pieces from it destroyed much of the rest of the transmission. Has anyone else experienced sudden failure with this transmission?