Transmission - 1998 Grand Voyeger van

Should I replace the original transmission with a brand new one or go the rebuilt route. Plan on keeping car about another three years. I am new to San Diego, any good transmission places out here?

What is the problem with the transmission? Let’s start there.


It is having trouble moving out of first gear. The sound it makes I liken it to ratcheting, in its attempt to move to second gear. Once the car has been driven for a while it has trouble moving through the gears. The usual car salesman generally asks what make is my car and when I respond it is a grand voyager they all seem to ask has the transmission been replaced. So I am assuming the transmission is on its last legs and should be replaced.

Plenty of choices here.
I assume it is a 4 speed automatic?
If so it could be in “fail safe”
The transmission controller sees a “problem” and won’t let it shift out of 2nd gear until the problem is repaired or on the next key on off cycle.
A good tech with a scan tool could pin the problem down.

The minivan forum at is a good place to get more info about your van’s transmission, and to post any questions.

A competent diagnosis is the first step. Many problems are simple to repair - replace a bad sensor, for example. The concensus at seems to be that if a rebuilt trans is called for, the genuine Daimler-Chrysler rebuilt is the best bet.


 The first thing you want to do is to have the computer scanned for codes.  If the computer has found a problem, it will place the transmission in 3rd gear limp mode which means the transmission stays in 3rd gear to keep it from damaging itself.  This ratcheting sound you are hearing, when does it occur??

Start with a scan and post back with us and we’ll go from there…