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Transmission ringing sound '18 Grand Cravan

I have a new to me 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan with almost 50,000 miles. I’ve had it about 2 months and pretty much from the get-go heard a ringing sound when I decelerated and got around 20 mph. It is not the brakes. It is the whole time I am going from 20-16 mph and also when I am more or less coasting when approaching a street or driveway at that speed.

I took it back to the dealer after about 3 weeks and they couldn’t find anything wrong.

Well, either it is getting worse or I am just paying closer attention, but now I can ‘sometimes’ hear it around 10 mph–when speeding up or slowing down. It sounds louder at 20mph–but again, maybe I am just paying better attention. I do hear the same around 30 mph but it is rare.

Took it to dealer today with all this down on paper. After looking it over and driving it, they said it is the gears in the transmission but there is nothing wrong with the integrity of the gears. It is the way the gears are cut for that specific transmission. They drove a new Grand Caravan with only 24 miles and it has the same sound, just quieter. They said the noise increases as the gears ‘mesh to each other.’ The noise ‘shouldn’t’ get any louder than it is.

This not an annoying sound but I am thinking transmission problems = $$$$$$$$. They did offer to replace the gears but said the noise would eventually come back like it is now.

Does this sound right? Should I tell them to replace the gears? It is still under warranty but I am hesitant to tell them to tear into something if it’s not necessary.

Thanks for any advice you can share.

I suspect you’ve found out why the 2 year old van was traded in…

Have you checked the transmission fluid? It might be worth changing it to synthetic, or at least putting in some fresh fluid to see if that makes a difference. At 50K miles, I’d have changed it at least once by now myself.

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I have bought 2 used Chrysler minivans. Each time I dropped the trans pan, replaced the filter, and refilled with the correct fluid purchased from the dealer. While the pan is off you can get a look for any debris is in there. Other sounds I used to fear were trans were actually the PS pump and the clutched pulley on the alternator. The first is mostly when started in the cold; the second I had an auto electric shop replace the clutched pulley.


My prior manual transmission VW Rabbit made a sort of sound like that from the get-go, only noticable at low speeds in 1st or 2nd gear. Normal for that vehicle. That sort of sound can come from the rear differential too. Did the shop put it on a lift and have someone top-side “driving” it to the speeds the sounds seem to occur, while a tech underneath listened to where the sound was coming from? I don’t quite buy the theory that it is normal for this sort of sound to get more noticeable as the gears wear normally over the course of just 50K miles. There’s some variability expected in how gears mesh from unit to unit, so I expect your particular vehicle made this same sound when new. As long as the trans and rear differential fluids check out ok, I’d probably just ignore it as being normal for the vehicle.