Last post on Nov 07, 2013 at 3:04 PM
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
#316 of 2083 7 Caravans since '94
Apr 18, 2003 (9:30 pm)
OK. First post here. Let me lend my experience. I have had company leased Grand Caravans since 1994, traded every two years about 50K+. The ONLY transmission probs were the '94 with 3.0 V-6 and push-button overdrive. The problem disappeared after servicing the trans (my predecessor just changed the oil in the engine). The next was a '96 Grand SE with 3.0 V-6 and 3 speed auto (kind of a dog power-wise), and a '98 Grand SE with 3.3 V-6 and 4 speed auto. No problems. Serviced at 5K intervals. I currently have a '99 Sport (short wheelbase) with the 4-speed auto and 3.3 V-6 with about 50K. No. problems. My wife's company trades every 3 years and 50K+, using the base model also since '94. The first with a 4 cyl . The last two, base models with the 3.0 V-6 and three speed trans. No trans problems, and her company doesn't service but at 7.5K intervals. I personally am a "shifter", and like to use the trans for braking and avoid a multi-shift downshift by anticipating an uphill grade or whatever. No problems. My vife's company switched last year to Chevy Ventures. Aside from the On-Star, her fellow managers haven't been wild about them due to heavy maintenance and poor build quality, and wish for the Caravan back. My Goodyear service manager says he buys Dodge rebuilt transmissions direct from the Dodge distributor, "and they don't come back", so somewhere at Dodge, they've figured it out. A rebuild is about $2,600 - $2,900 installed. I haven't needed one. I'd love to put a crate Hemi in my '99 Sport, but that's another story . . . . So, there is some cold, hard experience for you.
Apr 18, 2003 (10:01 pm)
My local Jiffy Lube manager observes that a ton of Dodges (all models) are leased, and somewhat poorly maintained by those driving company cars due to extended and "least costly" service intervals.
I use Mobile-1 synthetic in the engine every 3K in my '99 Sport with 3.3 V-6 and 4 speed auto, and have used Lube Guard in the trans at the first service (30K) with a filter change. I intend to switch the trans fluid to synthetic at the next service (60k). I'll need to find a shop that can also flush the converter for a complete renewal of the trans fluid, and I think it will pay off in the long run. I used to work in a trans shop, and I'm in agreement with earlier posts. There is nothing worse than burnt trans fluid, both in the trans and it's "perfume". So, change the fluid, get a trans cooler.
#319 of 2083 seattlebob
Apr 19, 2003 (4:52 pm)
You worked in a trans shop? What do you feel about the suck it all out method vs. the multiple drain and fill method for tranny service. I use the DIY drain and fill method, usually three times within a few days and the fluid looks nice and new, but I've been wondering about the machines...
Apr 22, 2003 (9:34 pm)
If your trans fluid looks and smells good, and the stuff in the pan is very fine (VS chunks), all may be well. It is sure a lot of work to bust open the pan (not to mention the mess and gaskets) since there isn't a drain plug, VS having a machine set up between the transmission and cooler lines. They claim to get it all out while it is running. Whatever. I would rather DIY my engine oil, too, but I can't get my car into the garage, and the driveway is about 8 degrees. Somehow the Jiffy Lube 20 minute service looks better all the time. 'Don't have to recycle the oil, either. I still have to rotate the tires. I have winter tires mounted on rims and get that done at Goodyear along with an alignment, and try to keep up with all the other maintenance on a DIY basis, including the K&N filter cleaning and recommended inspections of the CV boots, etc. Convienence more than anything.
Apr 24, 2003 (7:41 am)
I've never really been sold on the "suck em dry" tranny machines, but the convenience is certainly there.
#322 of 2083 95 Caravan 4-speed Transmission Problem
May 02, 2003 (1:37 am)
I have a 1995 Caravan 4-speed with 120k miles on it. Recently I have noticed a problem, usually when the car has not been driven for a couple of days. Once the car is started, the shifter is put in reverse or drive and nothing happens. It seems that turning the car completly off and on a couple of times makes this problem go away.
What I was wondering is this a sign of more problems to come, or does this sound like maybe some type of small part or linkage problem that would not be outrageously expensive to repair. The van has been great, and is in great shape. I am thinking about trying to sell it, but I don't want to sell it to someone and have the trans. die on them . I also do not want to have to replace the transmission to sell it, I would not be able to cover the cost of the transmission. I want to take it to have it looked at, but I have heard horror stories about people needing 10 dollar parts, and being told that they need a complete rebuild.
#323 of 2083 Get a dealer to check the...
May 02, 2003 (5:37 am)
...Clutch Volume Indices (CVIs) which will tell you the amount of life left in the clutch packs. That'll give you an idea of what to expect.
Sounds like the clutch packs are on their way out, but if the CVIs are good, then you may want to look for something else.
A good idea would be to have a fluid level check, and drain and refill with Type 7176 (ATF+3) fluid.
What is the maintenance history on the transmission, and your style of driving?
120k miles is darn good overall I think.
#324 of 2083 European Grand Voyagers
May 06, 2003 (6:09 am)
I am in the processing of deciding which new Minivan to purchase and have been following the discussions regarding transmission problems and comparisons to the Odyssey and Sienna. I had a new 95 Grand Voyager that I shipped over here when I moved here but recently sold due to the beginning of the nagging repairs and potential tranny problem. Basically, I enjoyed the van when I was single and also now with 2 kids. I took the risk of shipping it here since the guarantee was invalidated outside of North America. One option that I see as a way to avoid the tranny problem is to buy a 2.5 CRD (Diesel)Manual 5 speed transmission model. These are not offered in the states and are quite popular over here since diesel is cheaper than normal gas. Unfortunately, there are no real alternatives to the Voyager as both Honda and Toyota do not offer their large minivans in Europe. A Honda dealer will import one but the price gets up over $45K! It is funny how different cultures consider which things are important. VW sells a lot of minivans without sliding doors which to me is one of the main reasons for a minivan. The Germans also consider the magic seat to be a safety risk as opposed to the fixed seat. Go figure. I would like to get the Sienna but it looks like I am "doomed" to the Chrysler as the headache of importing a Toyota or Honda and getting it inspected is not worth the aggravation. If anyone has had any experience with the Diesel Grand Voyager or shipping a Honda or Toyota to Germany, please contact me. Thanks
#325 of 2083 Front Seal Problem
Jun 28, 2003 (8:11 am)
After 6 months and 5K miles driving my 02 T&C LXI with 3.8L engine developed a transmission problem. Several times the transmission shifted into reverse very slowly when started cold but other times shifted normally. Then it developed a hard downshift at 30 mph. No check engine light was seen and the oil level was good and smelled good. Dealer checked it out and said there was a TSB on the 02's only to replace the front oil pump which is bolted on the front of the transmission. Two hours later the transmission was fixed and at 7.5K miles continues to shift smoothly. 01 and 03 vans do not appear to have this problem so they must have had a bad batch of pumps. Other than this problem my van has been flawless. Two previous vans I have owned, a 95 Voyager LE with 98K miles and a 98 T&C LX with 57K miles, have not had any transmission problems. I guess I can no longer say my van has been flawless. That's what I get for bragging.