Transmission problem in 2002 Caravan?


#1

When my Caravan slows to 30 mph, there is a soft clunking noise and a slight hesitation. My mechanic hooked it up to the computer and there were no codes found. He says it’s something to do with the gears switching from second to first, but seems baffled on what to do.



Should I be worried about my car? Do I need to get a new mechanic?


#2

Was the transmission control module also scanned? Has the transmission been serviced? If it hasn’t been done recently, have the flid and filter changed, and be sure only ATF+4 fluid is used.


#3

Could bea one of many things, Low fluid, faulty or slow solenoids or faulty speed sensors. There is a test called “CVI” I thiink which is a measure of the wear in the clutch packs and they can perform pressure tests on the varioius clutches to insure they are not leaking and reacting fast enough. How many miles on the box and oil?


#4

My guess is you need a new solenoid pack


#5

yellow pages, or friends referral. transmission repair, rebuilding.

they wont waste your time, and can trouble shoot it for you.


#6

Thanks for the replies, people. I will mention your advice when I talk to the garage tomorrow. He did flush the transmission and added “conditioner”. I’ve got about 102K on the beast. I probably should add that I’m a car moron…


#7

Fluid change and the “conditioner” sounds like he did not put the ATF +4 that is necessary for this tranny to function properly. The conditioner would not change the specs of the fluid. Have the shop flush and change with the ATF +4. Also anything in the pan?


#8

He did say nothing was in the pan. What is ATF +4 and why do I need it? Thanks in advance.


#9

It is the specific type of transmission fluid that this transmission (along with basically all Chrysler/Dodge transmissions) need to function properly. The wrong fluid (such as Dexron or Mercon) can cause shift mechanism problems similar to what you’re experiencing, and given enough time can cause damage to the transmission.

You mentioned a transmission “flush”, and that worries me. If it was a power flush, those have been known to create problems since they blow loose a lot of gunk which can then plug up fluid passages. Did he really flush the tranny, or simply change out the fluid and filter?


#10

Would be inclined to agree. If you have some “Non ATF+4”, eg Dexron, + conditioner elixer in there. You will have shifting problems, eventually if not immediately.

That said, if the first time the ATF was changes was at 102K, you probably will have problems anyway.

You might want to flush it again.