I have a 2002 Dodge Caravan with @115,000 and a 3.3 motor. Did not have any previous issues. Coming home from work acted like it didn’t want to shift correctly slowed WAY down. Then it would not come out of 1st. At this time I was less than a mile from home. Put it in low went less than 10mph. Was going up very small grade and it stalled. I was able to coast back into someones drive. My husband thinks that since there was fluid in it and no foreshadowing clues, he may be able to replace the solenoid. He have worked on many different vehicles, but is a little uncertain about the solenoid. Any suggestions? Thank you!
So seems like your husband checked the fluid level? One thing I don’t get, if the car stalled, does it turn on now? Because if not you might actually have a non-transmission problem, that would be the engine and my guess would be the fuel pump.
If the engine runs, then I will have a shop read the codes and decide. The solenoids on these are notorious for going bad, bad there is a long list of other stuff that goes bad too:)
Actually if the car isn’t running then there is no way to check the transmission fluid.
He should not just replace the solenoid pack on a guess. That is a very expensive way to go about things.
As galant suggests the first order of business is to scan it for codes.
My husband was able to start it, he said it runs fine. The problem is it won’t shift out of first. He said from first to neutral. That’s it. Thanks for your thoughts. Any new suggestions, or do you still think having it scanned is the way to go?
The transmission is most likely stuck in “limp mode” - that’s what the computer does when it sees a problem and it does that to minimize damage from whatever the problem is.
So yes - you need to get it scanned. Otherwise all you have is guessing - and it gets expansive fast.
The solenoid guess might be right on-lets say 60% probable. But what if it is not, that’s why you need a scan and a diagnosis. Find a reputable local transmission shop to do this.
On second thought you might want to disconnect the battery for an hour and reconnect and see if it will change.
Scan it and post back with the code/s. Do not do anything else with it yet. A solenoid pack is way too expensive of a part to just “Throw” at it on a whim.