1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager - Won't shift to third

It will not shift into 3rd and will not go over 35 mph.

Then you have a serious problem. If you post more info about you van, I might be able to give better advice.

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… and the cost of repairs (most likely to the transmission…) could well exceed the book value of this 24 year old vehicle.

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When I take off, it shifts ok until it trys to shift into 3rd. I loose power and can’t get over 35 mph. Is it possible the computer???

The Transmission Control Module has detected a system fault and placed the transmission in limp mode, second gear.

You will need to read the fault codes in the TCM, could be a simple problem like a failed input or output speed sensor, could be something major.


Robert, I still know next to nothing about your van.

Miles on it? Is the check engine light on? What engine it has?

Nevada_545 is on the right track here, I think. You might find good advice at allpar.com. Their minivan site has helped me a lot.

Thank you!

We don’t actually know which engine and transmission this van has. It was offered with the 3.0L V-6 together with the “Torqueflite” 3-speed automatic, as well as with the 3.0L/3.3L/3.8L engines together with the 4-speed automatic. Only the 4-speed transmission is computer-controlled. The 3-speed actually gives the perception of 3 shifts–the third shift is the lock-up torque converter activating.

Since the transmission won’t shift up from second gear there is a 99% chance that this is the 42TE transmission.

This Van has a 3.8 but I do not know the Type of tranny.

The 3.3 and 3.8L engines were only offered with the 4-speed computer-controlled automatic. This transmission uses a solenoid pack, input and output speed sensors, and a TCM. The TCM has a “limp mode” in case a sensor or solenoid problem is detected.

Have you checked the transmission fluid level and condition? Have the fluid and filter been changed as per the maintenance schedule (more frequently would be better)?

Simply having the wrong fluid in the transmission can cause limp-home mode. Unfortunately, running it too long this way will wear out the clutches.