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Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Dodge Grand Caravan, Transmission, Van
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#625 of 2083 Trans Downshifting problems when cold
Nov 07, 2004 (1:15 pm)
1996 Dodge Caravan 3.3 auto. I had my transmission completely rebuilt around 150000kms. Seemed fine until the end of winter when it got minus out. The transmission would then not downshift completely when I stopped. It would downshift upon acceleration from the stop then shift up to second. Once the vehicle warmed up it would no longer do this. I took the van in to have it looked at and they could never find anything wrong with it. They checked the pressure, vacuum and codes. Now it has been an entire year and winter is starting. It shows up more now that it is cold again. The trans oil is synthetic. The transmission control module was replaced two years before the rebuild. Any suggestions?
#626 of 2083 Transmission going bad?
Nov 08, 2004 (1:58 pm)
I have a 00 Grand Caravan with 100k miles. Over the past month or so the transmission has surprised me by shifting a little jumpier. This happened again today when the car was cold. Does anyone know if this is an indication of a transmission going bad?
I have been thinking of selling this car outright since the new car dealer will only offer $2000.00 for it. I would hate to sell it to someone and have the transmission go on them.
Thanks for your thoughts
#627 of 2083 Re: Transmission going bad? Sell vehicle or trade it in?[lee9]
Nov 08, 2004 (6:49 pm)
Have you used Edmund's pricing to get trade-in and retail for your 00 GC with the options and condition yours has?
An 00 GC Sport with many options in good condition is probably worth about $6000 as a trade in. Dealer's always try to "steal" a trade in by offering an absurdly low value for your old vehicle.
Most dealers make more money on a used vehicle than is made on the new one.
#628 of 2083 Re: Transmission going bad? [lee9]
Nov 09, 2004 (4:42 am)
Regarding your transmission, if this was my vehicle, the first thing I would do is change the transmission fluid and filter. The important part to remember here is that you must use the proper type of fluid. I believe that for your car you need AFT-4 fluid (check your owner's manual). You may want to have this done at a Dodge dealer.
If this solves your problem, then you could sell the van with confidence. If not, trade it.
#629 of 2083 Re: Transmission going bad? [lee9]
Nov 09, 2004 (7:23 am)
Thanks Hanasiena & Chuck for your replies. I'll go ahead and change the fluid...hasn't been done in a while.
Regarding the Edmunds pricing I wondered if it was realistic. There are a number of vans like mine in our area that remain in the paper for around $4500.00.
#630 of 2083 Re: Trans Downshifting problems when cold [mueller]
Nov 11, 2004 (2:39 pm)
Okay, I know this is going to be sacrilegious to some.
I would bet that you have used an aftermarket synthetic ATF. If that is correct what you have is a Dexron-Mercon equivalent in semi-synthetic base. This is not the same thing as the recommended ATF+4. ATF+4 is also a semi-synthetic but contains an exclusive pour-point depressant and friction modifier package that is not available from anyone else but Chrysler.
I'm not saying that something else couldn't be wrong, but your transmission acts fine in warm temperatures but acts up when cold. This indicates the possibility of a partially clogged filter or incorrect transmission fluid.
ATF+4 has a pour-point 55 degrees F lower than Dexron-Mercon. Most of the synthetic Dexron-Mercon ATFs will only take you down about 10 degrees.
#631 of 2083 To the $2,000 person...where do you live?
Nov 14, 2004 (7:28 am)
I have a 2000 Town and Country Ltd. with 130,000 miles and took it to two places that buy your used car outright. One offered $5900 and the other somewhere in the five thousand range--I'd have to go look up the exact number. I would have just sold it to the $5900 place but I haven't bought a new vehicle yet and didn't want to rent one. It is as loaded as you could get them in 2000 and the inside is immaculate, but the outside has the typical bumper scuffs and bumps, the usual "I didn't wash it often enough" bug juice stains on the front, and the nicks and dings of countless parking lots. I used to try not to park it next to a big SUV or truck with heavy doors, but I stopped caring about that after a year or so, and it looks it.
So what I'm trying to say is, yours is worth more than $2K unless its really messed up. By the way, at 130K my transmission is working fine, knock on wood. Just needs its front rotors straightened out or replaced, but they knew that at the car lots.
By the way, one trade in dealer offered $3000 for it sight unseen. Suggested I try to sell it myself or take it to a used lot.
#632 of 2083 Re: Trans Downshifting problems when cold [dustyk]
Nov 14, 2004 (8:08 am)
Thanks, I'll try changing the filter and replacing the trans fluid and see what happens.
#633 of 2083 Re: Trans Downshifting problems when cold [mueller]
Nov 17, 2004 (12:26 pm)
I had a 1997 with the same problem and had it rebuilt around 80K miles. Then learned that the problem is in the trans filter that resides in the pan. It becomes clogged and once you leave it warm up enough it the oil thins out enough to get through the filter. Suggest that you take it to a Dodge dealership and have the transmission fluid changed. Don't take it to one of the quick oil change places because all they do is suck the oil out and replace it. To have it done right requires that they drop the pan and replace the filter. Good rule of thumb is that this service costs about $130. If your spending less then they're not doing right service.
#634 of 2083 Re: Trans Downshifting problems when cold [cjordan]
Nov 17, 2004 (8:06 pm)
Not sure about other areas, but in Tennessee a proper transmission oil and filter change on Caravan is about $80 at a dealership shop. This includes dropping the pan and changing the filter.
This should be performed every 30,000 miles. Our transmission lasted to 140k miles doing this and included pulling a popup camper for some long distances.
In case someone cares... the full rebuild by a local (honest and reputable) shop was about $1200 and included new "rebuild" kit, solenoid pack, orbital gear, torque converter and some other items that I cannot remember right now. They noted that the Chrysler transmissions and many others are very easy to rebuild nowadays and that the cost usually isn't very high if performed honestly. Our van was a 96 Caravan and the rebuild was performed in July 04. It was wrecked and totaled one month later. We are now looking at vans again.