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1995 Dodge Caravan Transmission problems

The transmission keeps slipping into a lower gear, within the first 200 yds after I start the vehicle. The repair man said he couldn’t find any thing wrong, but that it seemed that my transmission is at the end of it’s life. Is there any hope?

Hmmmm…no one can see the van. No one can drive it. We don’t know how many miles are on it. We don’t know anything about its service history. We don’t know if the fluid has been checked for level/color/smell. We also don’t know what kind of a “repair man” looked at it and on what basis he said he couldn’t find anything wrong. We don’t know what it does for the first 200 yards or what happens after it downshifts…

So…you see the difficulty of making any useful comments…? Can you fill in all of the blanks?

I can mention 2 things as very general. One is that these transmissions are pretty much impossible to evaluate without the right scanning equipment. I doubt that your repair man has such equipment. What you need to do is get it to a local shop that specializes in transmissions only - they should have the right equipment. (Not a national corporate chain franchise).

Second, there is this one very simple thing that has created unneeded havoc for people with these transmissions which is a loose/broken/corroded/etc. ground strap for the transmission. If this is bad or getting bad the transmission can’t do all of its electronic control work and it will go to “limp mode.” You might have your “repair man” check and clean that ground strap. A new/extra one can also just be added.

But the most likely thing in your future is the right kind of transmission shop.

But the most likely thing in your future is the right kind of transmission shop.

Which translated means Don’t take your car to one of the national chains (like All Transmission Must Come Out!)

Thanks - I’m new to this. The vehicle has 149,000 miles on it. And yes I do need to put transmission fluid in it every so often. I drive between 300-400 miles a week and I put some in every month. There has been a high pitch sound for the past 3 or 4 years that this mechanic said is coming from the transmission. But I’m not sure. I just weird that it only happens after I first start the vehicle and not all the time. Thanks again.

You do realize that what “it” is remains completely fuzzy (as in “it only happens”). So you put it in drive…you hit the gas…it upshifts…to what gear? (count the shifts)…it then downshifts…for no apparent reason?..and then…what happens next?

First things first. Is this a 3 speed or a 4 speed automatic? It makes a world of difference. The whining sound is most likely the converter. This is a common issue in the 4 speeds. Do you know what the “Repair man” did to diagnose the transmission?


AAMCO= All Automatics Must Come Out.