2002 Dodge Cravan Transmission 3.8L engine

Car wont go past about 40 miles per hour with 4 rpm. makes a noise and wont shift right . Here are the codes

734,732,841,846,871. I was told I needed a new transmission. Of course I do not want to do this. What else can I do?

What else can I do?

Get rid of this vehicle and get another one - ?

Get a second opinion? Who told you you needed a new transmission? Was it a large chain shop (such as AAMCO or Lee Myles)? Places like this very often just want to do a rebuild regardless of the problem. You need a good, locally owned & reputable shop that specializes in transmissions. Many problems can be fixed without total overhauls or replacements - most aren’t cheap, though.

That said, chances are that you will need a new, used, or rebuilt transmission. I don’t have the technical knowledge to make guesses based on those codes, but FYI 732/734 are gear ratio problems (2nd & 4th) and all of the 8xx codes are fluid pressure issues. While these problems might stem from the same thing, my WAG is that there are multiple problems. You will likely end up in a situation where a rebuild is either the only option or the only thing that makes sense b/c the cost of band-aids might rapidly add up.

Also FYI: the transmission is in “limp mode” - the control computer has detected a problem severe enough that it has limited transmission functions (probably to 2nd gear only) so that you don’t do more damage to the trans. The idea at this point is that you should do only one thing which is “limp” it into a repair shop.

Did this happen all of a sudden? Or was the transmission function gradually going downhill? How is the fluid? How many miles are on this car? What has the maintenance history of the transmission been?

i am not familiar with the codes, but I will say that most of the times the problems with the Caravan transmission are related to loose connections and solenoid packs, but the transmission gets changed instead. So I will have it checked by a shop that is not a chain and has good local reputation.

Also, it could be that only the solenoid pack for the trany is bad.

Dont go doing anything yet. Let me check out those codes when I get to my shop in the morning. I can tell you for sure the first two are gear ratio codes, for 2nd and 4th gears. The 841, 46 and 71 have to do with the pressure sensors. Im not totally sure which clutches off hand but I’ll look it up in the morning and post back. I dont want to tell you the wrong thing.


Ok, the codes you have there are for the L/R (Low/Reverse) clutch, the 2/4 and the O/D clutches. With 3 pressure sensor codes, the most likely cause is low fluid level or a filter that is restricted. But, if the fluid level is good the next step would be to check the pins in the solenoid connector and in the TCM connector. These pins are known for bad connections. Next step would be checking the solenoid pack then the TCM in that order. Has it been serviced lately?? If the filter is stopped up with converter clutch debris, this would do it too.


Ok Thanks. I am going to start with a flush and a filter change then go to the next step. We didn’t own the car long so I think it was all of a sudden out went out but I could be wrong. Anyone know what kind of filter? Is it obvious how to replace the filter. Any other ideas are greatly appreciated.

Anyone know what kind of filter? Is it obvious how to replace the filter.

The filter is a specific “part” that you would get from a parts store - in this case a pan gasket/filter kit. Your question is confusing as it isn’t clear what you mean when you you say it is “obvious how to replace the filter” - its not obvious at all as the transmission pan needs to come off to get at it. Are you thinking of messing with this yourself? The flush part you can’t do yourself. I would probably not do the flush but just a couple of filter/gasket changes within about 5k of each other. I also wouldn’t keep my hopes up that this will help.

A friend of ours is doing the flush he knows about cars. So you think just changing the filter with out the flush?

If you haven’t owned the car for very long, and you don’t know if or when the trans fluid was last flushed, and you don’t know how much clutch material is sitting in your pan/filter, do you really want to flush it? That runs the risk of stirring up the sediment and having it find its way into the valve body.

I’d recommend skipping the flush. Just drop the pan, clean it, replace the filter, and refill with the correct fluid.

Opinions about that vary. A lot of people would say that the flushing stands a good chance of stirring up gunk that is better left alone. I’m not sure about that, but my own preference is always to just regularly drop pan & filter. transman would be your best source of advice here.

Either way, the thing is that by the time a transmission is showing the problems that yours is (e.g. going into limp mode) you’re very unlikely to have anything like fluid/filter changes make a difference. No matter what is done, the new filter has to go on first.

ok we decided against the flush but did drain the trans fluid and changed the filter. we didn’t see any metal. it runs better however it stall when breaking at times is the a downshifting problem or something else.

The stall while braking could be a few different things. One is a torque converter clutch (TCC) that is stuck on - that can be a mechanical or electronic problem in the transmission. It can also come from a failing power brake booster which has nothing to do with the transmission. It can also come from general problems with the engine - poor running from bad plugs, wires, fuel/air filter & such. If it is running fine at idle I’d worry about the brake booster & TCC.

Its good that the pan looked good - how gunked up was the filter?

The filter was horrible. I don’t think it has ever been changed. I will drive it more and see what happens. Ill get back to you.

I also heard that sometimes these vans need a quick learn after a fluid change is this true. Do I have to pay a dealer to do this or can I do it myself. I heard if you unplug the battery over night this will do it. Any ideas?

OK I have an update. The car is a lot better however it jerks slightly when slowing down, at 25 MPH and when going into neutral. only downshifting not when speeding up. Any ideas what this could be. The codes were cleared but came back on today. There are 3 codes 2 of them are new. PO700, P1775, and P0455. They said the 0455 code had something to do with the gas cap or a leak or something I thought maybe when they changed the Tranny fluid that they may have loosened a hose or something. Any ideas of what the next step should be. Do you think it is a solenoid or TCM problem or something else. I just want to say it drives great except this small jerk at the same speed every time as stated above. The codes came on several days after driving the car.

What you really need is a transmission specialist and I assure you that I ain’t it. But I also know how hard it is to get good reliable info & sometimes you just do what you can. I can give my thoughts and bump your Q in case anyone comes along.

In relation to the symptoms & codes you first posted transman wrote that: “If the filter is stopped up with converter clutch debris, this would do it too.” - and after you dropped the pan you said “The filter was horrible. I don’t think it has ever been changed” (It will, btw, be something of a small miracle if you don’t need a rebuild sometime soon).

So you changed the filter and the trans now functions fairly well - I’m assuming it has all 4 gears & torque converter lock-up? But it downshifts a bit harshly. That is quite promising. What I would do is buy a bottle of “Transtune” by SeaFoam, and following the directions add it to the trans. I would then drive another 1-2,000 miles and do the pan/filter again. I would then probably drive another 5k and do the pan/filter again. All of this is assuming that this trans was so ill-maintained that it is now incredibly dirty inside (witness the filter). The transtune & new fluids are meant to try to clean it out. If it still had any quirks after that, I’d give up on fluid.