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Dodge Caravan Transmission Issue

I have a 1998 Dodge Grand caravan. For a while it was making a whining moise and slipping. Naturally, our local dealership gave a quote for a new tranny of $3300. We changed the transmission fluid (ATF 3) and the filter and it runs like new. However, now it has a hard time going from park to drive in the mornings even when warmed up. After I restart it and kind of play with the gear shift, it goes and is fine all day. Would this be the transmission as well, or do you think there is something else we need to look at?

Are you having a hard time moving the shifter or is it a problem of the van not moving when put into gear?

The van won’t go into gear. Its weird, but I didn’t have this problem until after we changed the tranny fluid and filter. Everythign else cleared. This is a new issue.

It’s still not clear to me what the problem is, but assuming you CAN move the shifter into gear, but it doesn’t engage, do the following: Double-check the fluid level. You may also have to drop the pan again and make sure the filter is properly seated. If these things check out, the seals inside the transmission are probaly worn, and a rebuild is ont he horizon.

Sorry. Yes, the gearshift moves smoothly into gear but the car doesn’t. I have to kind of play with the gear shift, sliding it back to park, into low, etc to get it to engage. It finally does and then its fine all day. I can drive it anywhere and park it and it goes into drive fine. Just sitting overnight it kind of gets stuck. Like I said, its a problem that cropped up after we solved all the other problems. I would assume it was the tramsmission, but since it only happens in the morning, I wasn’t too sure. I thought it might be something else.

The pump may be losing prime when it sits overnight. I think a rebuild is the only sure solution, but hopefully one of the more transmission-literate members will give a definitive response.

Torque converter failure is common in those transmissions. Dont be surprised if it has come apart internally and has sent converter material throughout the transmission and cooler.


thats why we call it the A-SLIP-04