Growling on Acceleration, especially on incline

For about 4 months now, wifes van has gas a growling sound on acceleration from a dead stop. Sound lasts about 20-30 seconds, until car changes gears, if you ease into throttle doesnt make the noise as much. I have read possible transmission fluid issue. I have checked with “homemade” dipstick, which gives no real reference. Could fluid/screen simply need changed? Can DIY’er do that?

How old is this van?
How many miles on the odometer?
Yes, it is possible that the fluid/filter need to be changed.
If it is more than 3 yrs old and/or if it has more than 30k on the odometer, it is overdue for this important service.

That being said, the noise could be due to other causes.
A loose/bent heat shield on the exhaust is one possibility, as is a separation in the exhaust system.

Odometer mileage well over 30 k, We have actually replaced an engine probably 20k miles ago. Can a DIY’er accomplish this by pumping fluid out? I dont believe that theres a drain plug on the transmission.

Of course it is well over 30K… that is 30,000 miles. Did you mean over 300,000 miles? So you replaced the engine at 280,000 miles??

If I have those numbers right, the growl may be a bearing inside the transmission.

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How do you plan to pump the fluid out ? How are you going to dispose of the fluid properly ? How are you going to know if you put the correct amount back in ?


We started having engine issues, mechanic diagnosed internal engine issues. Engine was replaced about 18 months ago, hence 20k miles. I believe chassis/engine had 170k before engine swap. Vans’ previous life was a rental when we bought in 2016, I only hope PM’s were done by rental agency. This trans issue started after engine swap was done. I’ll look into the fluid/screen swap. Hopefully that’ll fix issue. Internal trans work is super expensive.

What do you mean you thought the engine and chassis had 170k? Doesn’t the odo work? My math on that says the van now has 190,000 on it. Where did the other 110,000 go? Ot was that a misprint?

What else are you leaving out? How do you expect us to help if you don’t give accurate, complete info?

Where is the noise coming from? Is it where the transmission is?

I would recommend changing the fluid and filter if possible. If you cant find a drain plug, go out to your favorite auto parts store or rockauto. com and buy a Haynes repair manual for the car, and see how hard it would be to change the fluid. If you want to take it in to a shop, find someone who will do a flush, which is different from a change.