My Dodge Caravan SE with a 6 cyl. 3.3L eng. has 115k miles on it. Runs great. Like to keep it. The auto tranny is known to be troublesome for the Caravan line, but I have not experienced any problems yet. However at this time,the fluid looks to be slightly burnt. What can I have done in the order of preventive maintenance. Also, is it worthwhile to invest the money into this vehicle?
The trans fluid should be changed about every 30k miles. If it has been neglected up to this point and smells burnt then this usually means you’re trying to close the barn door after the horses done got out.
What “investment money” are we talking about - trans fluid/filter change? If so, then yes it should be done and hope for the best.
My feeling is that most transmission complaints can usually be traced back to either abusive driving habits or lack of regular fluid changes. JMHO anyway.
By all means, get the fluid and filter changed as soon as possible. Be absolutely sure that the shop uses ATF+4 ONLY. Anything else will lead to problems.
And add an auxiliary transmission cooler. Cooler fluid=happier transmission (to a point, of course)
With proper maintenance, the 3.3L will go another 200K.
Change the tranny fluid, ASAP! It should have been done long ago.
There’s nothing saying that you can’t keep the rig going for another 100k miles. Basic maintenance will keep most any car on the road.
Here’s the thing, and I’m going to launch in to a gripe here. This is not directed at you by any stretch of the imagination, I assure you it’s simply an airing of general grievance that seemed appropriate at this juncture.
ANY car, regardless of its age, make, model, etc., needs maintenance. If you have an automatic transmission, then you’d better by-God be changing that fluid at recommended intervals. And you’d better be doing regular oil changes, and you’d better be checking the coolant, and you’d better be checking the brake fluid. The gripe continues.
People buy a BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, etc., and they have the preternatural ability to open and -get this- READ the periodic service schedule. Then -and here’s the kicker- they actually take the car IN for service! Wha? It seems to be some kind of secret that GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been prescribing regular maintenance for their vehicles just as long as the other makes. Some how, the owners of those cars keep their periodic service schedules hermetically sealed, as if they were some rare text that will someday be the highlight of an episode of Antiques Roadshow. Coolant stays in until its anticorrosive properties are gone and then entire cooling system turns in to a fine rusty powder. Transmission fluid gets hot enough to forge steel and turns to an acrid orange-and-brown goo. Oil becomes sludge, fuel filters are never changed, brakes become metal-on-metal spark shows, and pretty soon “That Damn Ford never made it past 130k miles! I should have bought a Toyota!”