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2001 Chrysler Concorde transmission

I have a friend with a 01 Concorde with 387k on it. The car has been well maintained and is currently in need of new brakes and tires.

The question is, four times in the past year or so the car hasn’t gone into reverse after being started first thing in the morning. Each time it’s happened the car had to sit running a few minutes before the gear would engage. Each event occurred months apart, and aside from that the car is great. The fluid has been changed every 30k or so which included a change about 3 months ago. Nothing appears to be leaking and the fluid level and color look good. Since the change he’s had the reverse issue once.

Two local shops said they would charge $500 or so just to take it apart and look at it. Would you guys recommend spending the money on brakes and tires for a car with 387k on it and a transmission that is questionable?

IF the body is good (no rust) and the rest of the mechanicals are Ok, yes, I would keep the car and fix it properly. A new $20,000 car will depreciate about $8000 in the first 3 years or so, and it is nearly always more economical to keep an older car going. The fact that it has reached the mileage it has speaks well that it has received at least normal maintenance. We seldom see a Concorde with mileage that high.

Most Concorde transmissions don’t make it that far.

No. I would donate the car to charity and walk away smiling. 387K is fantastic. Don’t push it.

I don’t think the vehicle is worth the investment. Tell your friend to sell it and move on.

387k with 30k fluid changes is absolutely fantastic. That reverse delay is just going to be age. Clutch piston seals are leaking due to age and miles. Nothing to do there but overhaul the transmission. I would just ride it out since the problem is rare. How long does your friend plan on keeping it?? Kudo’s to him for keeping it so well serviced. If it gets unbearably worse, a can of Berrymans B-12 Chemtool will soften up the seals enough to make it work again. DO NOT put any other additive such as Lucas in that trans. The ONLY additives I would use is the Berrymans to soften the piston seals and something called Lube-Gard. This is what most transmission techs use. All my rebuilds leave the bench with a bottle of Lube-Gard Red in it.


I like Mopar, and I’ve always thought these cars were underrated. But 387K and a tranny that probably has some internal seals failing is a tough call. You might be better served putting the money into a newer vehicle. (Maybe a 300M or C if he likes Chrysler)

If he loves the car though, and it doesn’t have any other problems or rust, even a transmission rebuild+new tires is still cheaper than what many folks pay for about 6 months of car payments.