Last post on Mar 29, 2010 at 9:52 AM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Grand Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Transmission, Van
#1 of 18 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE?
Nov 24, 2008 (9:53 am)
I have a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan (with about 130,000 miles on it) that is losing transmission fluid (I have to put in about a quart a month). Where it's going is a mystery! There is no puddle under the car. However, the carpet between the front seats is stained, but it doesn't smell or feel like transmssion fluid.
Also, how much should it cost to have the transmission serviced? What does a "transmission service" entail? Should this find a stop leaks?
#2 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [ojm37]
Nov 24, 2008 (10:06 am)
A couple of points:
1) Your transmission fluid loss is most probably from either the solenoid gasket or the transmission pan gasket. Crawl under the front-left of your van and look at the underneath of your transmission, I suspect that you'll find that it is wet with ATF.
2) Under no circumstances should you put any "stop leak" in your transmission, errr, that is unless you want to buy a new transmission.
3) A proper transmission service entails dropping the transmission pan, replacing the filter, replacing the pan and topping off the transmission with ATF+4 transmission fluid. This service should cost between $75 and $125, depending upon what outfit you have perform the work.
4) Under no circumstances should you let a service outfit perform a "Transmission Flush". If you do you will most likely be buying a new transmission.
5) If the shop insists that they are going to use Dextron or Mercon ATF plus some magic elixir to make it compatible with ATF+4, drive away as fast as you can and find another shop that knows better.
6) Reason your carpeting is wet is either from clogged rainwater drains in the wiper cowling (the black tray under your wipers), or from a missing "drain elbow" that routes condensation from your A/C evaporator out through the firewall.
#3 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [shipo]
Nov 24, 2008 (11:52 am)
Thanks. I'll take a look.
How much should a "new" transmission cost (just in case).
#4 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [ojm37]
Nov 24, 2008 (12:17 pm)
How much? The price varies fairly considerably. When the incorrect ATF was poured into the transmission of my former (traded-in last week after over ten trusty years) 1998 DGC, I had to buy a new transmission, and I opted for a Chrysler Factory Remanufactured unit, which is the most expensive way to go at $2,600 installed. That said, the unit I bought came with a 3-Year and 36,000 mile warranty (which I exhausted in 14 months), which was a much better warranty than the less expensive units that I found on the market.
The good news here is that if you care for and feed your transmission properly, it should last you a good long time.
#5 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [shipo]
Nov 24, 2008 (2:59 pm)
With what did you replace your 1998 DGC?
#6 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [xwesx]
Nov 24, 2008 (7:25 pm)
Up until last Monday we were a two DGC family so given that I've just landed a contract that will having me driving some 25,000 miles per year, I got something a tad more economical than a minivan. Instead of recounting my decision here, I'll point you to an account I wrote a few hours ago.
#7 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [shipo]
Nov 25, 2008 (8:06 am)
Was the $2,600 price at a Dodge dealership, a dedicated transmission shop, or ?
#8 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [ojm37]
Nov 25, 2008 (8:09 am)
My local (at the time) Dodge dealership.
#9 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [shipo]
Nov 25, 2008 (4:56 pm)
Too funny, Shipo. I watch that discussion and just read about your replacement less than five minutes before checking in here.... That's me though. I am a classic
#10 of 18 Re: 1997 Grand Caravan Transmission leak, WHERE? [xwesx]
Nov 25, 2008 (7:53 pm)
I've got to admit, after over ten years and 170,000 miles, I had really grown attached to the old girl, and really miss her. Don't get me wrong, the Mazda3 5-Speed is waaaaaay more fun to drive and gets half again better fuel economy, it's just that after that much seat time in the DGC, it had kind of become part of me.