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Dodge Caravan 2001 Revs High and Goes Out of Gear

Hello All,

This all started at the beginning of the strong winter and it is getting worse even with the temperature dropping to around -10 and-20 Celcius. The issue is that in the early mornings, after plugging the car in overnight and starts well, I warm it up for close to 30 mins. On moving, it enters into gear and after moving for a couple of seconds, it stalls (the ignition is on, and seems it is on neutral) and later kicks back into gear. It does that for a couple of times and at times, I will be stalled for like a min or more. Also, it revs(up to 4000rpm at 90KPH instead of just 2000rpm at 100kph) so high till after like 15 mins of driving at over 90kph before going to normal at 2000rpm at 100kph.

All the necessary oil is there and on guage… When it revs so high, I have to bring it to a complete stop sometimes, switch off the engine, start again and it begins to rev at a normal rate.

Also, I have tried a trick given by a friend that I should engage the handbrake, put it into neutral N so that the gear would start working even before I start moving… as leaving it on park P would put a pin to block the flow of oil… I tried that and did not seem to solve the problem… So it is like jerking every 50 seconds or so because it is falling out and falling back into gear D. I have tried lower gears and it all seems to be the same thing.

All input shall be highly appreciated as I do not have the money into buying another car just yet.

First of all your friend has no idea what he is talking about. Your vehicle has serious problems and it sounds like your transmission is done for. You need a real shop and frankly I doubt if this 19 year old vehicle is worth the cost to repair everything it seems to need.
So your choice is to replace it ( a vehicle loan like many people ) or a loan to repair this thing .

Additionally, I am puzzled by the practice of “warming-up” a car for close to 30 minutes after it has been plugged into an engine block heater overnight.


You might get some good model-specific help at They have a forum that specializes in Chrysler Corp. minivans.

Thank you @shanonia @VOLVO_V70 it was plugged into a computer reader to get any problem that might be wrong and it was confirmed that the transmission is still OK.

The behavior of the car says the trans is not OK. The computer reader is an aid, not the conclusion, to diagnosis. Good luck and please let us know.

I don’t understand your use of the term “stall”. That refers to the engine quitting which it doesn’t sound like that is what is happening. It sounds like what is happening is the transmission is “neutraling out” or going into neutral or not engaging the forward gears. Since shutting the car off fixes it, it could be just an electronic control, or could be a worn transmission. Either case requires a dealer or a transmission shop to properly diagnose. Unfortunately cars don’t care if their owners have money or not. They have a will of their own.


I could name many modes of transmission failure that will not show up on a computer. Your symptoms + 45 years of experience tell me your transmission is failing.