Transmission fix 98 Dodge Caravan

I have a 98 Dodge Caravan and I’m having trouble with my transmission. Its going to be at least $1500 to fix it. Do I get it fixed or do you think it is a better idea to purchase a used car? Do you recommend a good used car?


What is actually wrong with it, and what does the shop you took it to want to do with it? $1500 won’t buy you much of a used car, and if the rest of the Caravan is in good shape and it doesn’t have a ton of miles, you’d probably be better off getting this taken care of.

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The van has 135,000 miles. The transmission is slipping occasionally and they aren’t really sure what is wrong until they get into it. Also, the transmission is running hot at 240 degrees. Thats why they want to go into it. I could spend about 5000 - 7000 on a used car. Thanks!

The transmission rebuilding industry owes their existence to the Dodge Caravan…They are getting pretty good at fixing them…at 135,000 it’s ready for a tranny. Most cars are at that mileage…Get a fixed price if you can, or at least a maximum possible price, then assume that’s what it will cost to get back on the road. Don’t be afraid to shop around…But remember, they have done a thousand of them, so it’s not a mystery to them…They know what they are going to find…

The transmission rebuilding industry owes their existence to the Dodge Caravan…

Mainly because so many shops put the wrong fluid in them. Mistreat a Honda or Toyota transmission by using the wrong fluid, and they fail too. I had three Chrysler minivans, the newest a '97, with that trans, and they all went to 175K or farther with no problems. By '98, the kinks were worked out, but proper maintenance is the key, as with ANY modern, electronically controlled transmission.

To the OP: DO NOT go to AAMCO or any similar chains. Have an independent shop scan the transmission control module for error codes and CVI values. You MUST use ATF+4 in this transmission.

If its running hot, most likely the converter has come apart and has thrown trash into the cooler reducing the cooler flow. This is not uncommon in these. If you decide to fix this vehicle MAKE SURE THEY REPLACE THE COOLER or at least check the cooler flow to determine how much restriction there is. If the cooler is restricted and not addressed during overhaul or replacement, the new/rebuilt transmission can be destroyed in a very short time.