What happens when the trans solenoid pack goes bad? - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
 
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#1 Old 12-14-2007, 01:29 PM
sgillett
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What happens when the trans solenoid pack goes bad?

I was wondering if a bad solenoid pack would cause a '96 caravan 3.3 4 speed auto to drive normally one minute and then come to a stop then have no drive at all.
Run the shifter to park and back to drive and it goes into gear and drives away.
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#2 Old 12-14-2007, 08:13 PM
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I don't know too much about transmissions, but it certainly sounds like something that could / would be caused by a malfunctioning solenoid.
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#3 Old 12-17-2007, 09:24 AM
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Any trans guys want to ring in?

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#4 Old 12-17-2007, 11:27 AM
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Okay, here is my limited experience with the Solenoid Pack.

My original problem with my transmission was that the car had no forward or reverse capability. I knew it was not a Solenoid Pack problem because if had no forward and reverse capabillity. A Solenoid Pack problem would have had the forward (2nd gear) and reverse capability. I suspected a major problem in the transmission and rebuilt it. There were no major problems inside and I believe it was the Torque Converter which I replaced with the rebuild. After I fixed all this and got it working again, I did have a Solenoid problem.

When mine went bad, it resulted in the transmission only working in reverse and 2nd gear. I was able to read the codes with my code reader and it clearly pointed to the Solenoid Pack.

Based upon my reading it is possible to have an intermittent problem where the TCM can reset if it detects from the solenoid pack that things look okay again. Also, if it detects a problem at higher speeds, it does not immediately set the error conditions resulting in using just 2nd gear (wise decision), but limits this to lower speeds.

Now concerning your situation, since you said you had "no drive", that seems a little different from what I would expect. The transmission works so that if the solenoid pack/TCM is not working, it would still have reverse and 2nd gear.

Also, I was not sure from your description if you were driving when it stopped working or if you came to a stop and then it would not go forward then. Is this a one time thing or is it happening regularly?

I have no ideas what it might be. Check if there are any codes. You might check condition of fluid and drop pan to see if any major internal problems. I would suspect fluid pressure or clutch problems. However, there are others here who I am sure could provide much more info or help. Just remember it is the holidays and people are much more busier than usual.

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#5 Old 12-17-2007, 01:27 PM
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Do you have any codes? Unless they haven't "matured" you should have a Check Engine Light. The code reader they use at Autozone is capable of reading the TCM codes. I think solenoid pack failure is usually accompanied by codes.

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#6 Old 12-18-2007, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions.
This is a van that my work has just sitting around for around 8 months. I think I can get it for around $100. The battery is dead so any codes are long gone. I don't think the fuel is any good ether so putting a battery in it and driving it is probably not an option before I buy it. If I get it I will flush the fuel lines and start with fresh gas before I even try and start it.
If there is a chance that all there is wrong with it is a $90 solenoid pack, I will try and buy it. If these symptoms are most likely internal to the trans then I'm not sure I want to put a new trans in it. I can come up with $200 but not $2000 at this time of the year.
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Scott

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#7 Old 12-18-2007, 11:22 AM
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Just my $.02, but if you can get it for $100, and it is in otherwise decent condition, even if the trans turns out to be shot, you could probably part it out on Ebay for well more than it would cost you to buy it.
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#8 Old 12-19-2007, 01:47 PM
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Ebay would make some money but my wife and neighbors wouldn't like the van in at the house being dismantled.
I thought if there was someone that had similar symptoms that could tell me what it took to repair their van, I could make a good discission whether to buy this one or not.
There is someone in LA county selling new crated transmissions for $950 on Craigs list so I guess a trans R&R wouldn't be that bad.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
Scott

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'96 Ram 2500 V10 4X4 extended cab, long bed for towing my 28-foot 5th wheel Alfa toy house.
1966 Monaco 500 with a 365 horse power 440 and almost all options, my project car.
'07 Nitro R/T
Economy vehicle: Yamaha FJ1200
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