Gears slipping on 99 Plymouth Voyager

The car won’t go over 40 suddenly and it sounds like the transmission is slipping out of gear and making a whizzing noise (don’t laugh!) when accelerating or decelerating. Any ideas? I’m hoping it’s not going to need a new transmission…

I hate to tell you this but your transmission is probably going out. The transmissions in this year model (through about 2003) are very weak and failure-prone. Take your vehicle to a reputable transmission mechanic and get it checked out. Make sure your fluid level is correct before you take it in. If it’s low it could explain your “whizzing” noise. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sigh…I have a bad feeling you’re right. Thanks for the response, Missileman.

Provide some more info on miles and also service history. Was the fluid ever changed and was ATF 4+ used as specified? Also what happens if you drive in 3-that is assuming you have the 4 speed transmission.

It’s my husband’s car so I’m not sure of some of the answers. It has 150k+ miles on it and has had the oil, etc changed regularly. Bits of it have been dying over the past couple years and it has lots of new parts. My husband says the transmission fluid was changed about a year ago - no idea what they used but it was done at a reputable shop. The starter motor was replaced 3 weeks ago and the fluid was checked then; it was clear and red, as normal. Now it’s milky and sludgy and my husband says there are drops of water on the dipstick. He was driving it when this happened and he said it doesn’t seem to have either 3rd or 4th gear. He commutes an hour each way to work, so he doesn’t dare take it. It’s basically sitting like a large paperweight.

Seems like coolant has gotten in the transmission. I will stop driving it and tow it to a shop for a full fluid change. I am not sure if you can save the transmission but might be worth a try, depending on how much it will cost and what shape the rest of the car is in.

The moisture in the fluid points to a bad heat exchanger in the rad. It takes out the trans very quickly if not caught in time.

The car is at the shop today and we’ll see what the verdict is. Thanks for the input, folks.