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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 97 caravan with 136000 on it, purchased new in 98. About 6 weeks ago I went to back out of the drive in the morning and had no reverse. After many attempts rolling backwards down the drive and driving back up (looking like a complete moron) reverse finally engaged. Other than that there were no issues except for a low whining sound. About 3 weeks ago i encountered the same problem when putting it into drive. this only occurrs on cold starts 9after sitting overnight). I have to rev the engine for a coupel of minutes and then the tranny jumps and engages. and it runs ok for the rest fo the day except fo rthe occasional slippage when moving from a stop. Took it to a tranny place who told me that i needed a new one without taking it out for a test drive. I asked about a flush (as far as I know it has never been done) he said it would not help. Any advice? Van has other issues (leaking oil, oil pan rusted) which getting repaired would cost more than the van is worth....do you think a flush would help? Trying to get this van to last through the winter and then purchase somethig else in the spring.... :help:
 

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Flushing it isn't terribly expensive, so what do you loose even if it doesn't work? I had some issues with slippage in reverse with my '97, as well as some shuddering at highway speeds. Last summer, when I broke a drive shaft during vacation, I had it towed into a tranny shop, and they serviced the trans while they were doing the drive shaft. I haven't had a bit of trouble with the trans since. I have right around 132,000 on mine. The thing that bothers me is that you say your transmission has never been serviced, that is probably a bad thing. Still though, I would at least slap in a new filter, and fresh fluid to see if it helps any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well actually my ex took care of all the car repair stuff and it was taken in religiously for servicing (as recommended) while under warranty but do not know definately if that was part of the servicing. So it could have been done, i am calling the dealership tomorrow to see if they still have our service records...and to perhaps book it in for the flush...
 

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What kind of transmission is it? It sounds like a 3 speed. Probably on a 3.0 Engine?

I had a 95 with 3.0 Engine and 3 speed. It had a problem kicking into reverse especially in cold whether until it warmed up. If I warmed it up and revved the engine it would kick in and then all was fine. It rarely slipped in other gears. I ran with it like this for over a year. Then the transmission died and locked up. I did not repair because of major rust problems on the exterior.

Double check the fluid level.

You might be able to make some adjustments to the bands either from outside or when you drop the transmission oil pan, although I never did this.

Whenever I parked I always backed in know I might not be able to back out for sometime!

dlm4ut
 

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I have the same problem with my 96 with a 3 speed (D-2-1). I am going to try a filter change w/band adjust soon. I will let you know the results. Until then, if I let it warm-up for 5 minutes it works fine :rck:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes it is a 3 spd 3.0...appt booked for tuesday...i ahve printed off a bunch of comment i have found onthis site about things to look at to take with me to the dealership...I hope they try to help and not screw me out of $$$...Thank you to those that responded...and this site has ben very helpful to me, glad I found it...
 

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Mine has been not wanting to move after sitting overnight, and I am thinking that when I had the shop replace the soleniod pack they put the wrong ATF in it... only reason i had the shop do it is because I needed it back in a couple days (as opposed to my take my time approach, as in a week)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
my follow up...jsut dropped van off at dealer and am fuming!!!

Ok, just got back from dropping the van off and the service guy told me flushing and changing filter would not help, and that there are no adjustable parts on the transmission??? I made it very clear to him I would not be spenidng $3000 to put a new transmission inthe van and that i had gotten a bunch of info and I mentioned solonoid pack and the bands, but he said that they don't exist??? What does he mean they don't exist? Also wanted to charge me $100 to put it on the machine...asked what the machine would tell me and was told that I need a new transmission...well duh I know that. he claims he doesn't want to waste my money doing the flush...but I told them to do it anyway but nothing else will be done. I think because I am female...well you know the story. So my expectations are the van will be running worse when I pick it up (AND my remote starter will not work as it is always disconnected by them (they say that they are not responsible for resetting it becasue it is not factory installed). <<sigh>> Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated.....
 

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The 3 speed transmission does not have a solenoid pack. However, it does have bands. And they are adjustable. Whether your problem can be fixed by an adjustment with the bands is another question.

See if the flush makes a difference. And see if futzercluck has any improvement with his flush and band adjustment. Like I said before, mine lasted like this for over a year before I had serious problems with it.

If they don't know about band adjustments for this transmission then it might be time to check for another transmission place. Check for an ATRA certified shop (ATRA.com) . I am not a member but at least they have a code of ethics!

dlm4ut
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
this is a chrysler dealer that i took it too...not a transmission shop...would they not know how to do that (I am sure they do, but a new tranny is more than a service)? Ok, so no solenoid pack but there are bands to adjust...thanks for the info. After the flush and fill let's see what happens...futzercluck..if yo are reading...don't forget to post to let us know how it works out.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well the dealer just called and said that they strongly feel it is pointless to do the flush and filter on my transmission, they are not refusing to do it but feel it is going to be a waste of $200. They say it sounds as though there are metal pieces flying around in there...so opinions...do I take it elsewhere and try to get it done...or just forget it and drive it till the transmission goes...and when that happens what can I expect. I only drive back and forth to the school and other areas around town...going to go pick up my huge red paperweight now....
 

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I don't think I like your dealer. I would get a second opinion He seems to ONLY WANT TO DO THE EASY, HIGH PROFIT STUFF! $200 for a flush sounds awful high. I should know by Monday how the fluid and filter change with band adjustment worked. I will post the results then. It sounds like your dealer is set on selling you a new transmission even if he has to lie to do it. Go to your local auto parts store and see if they can recommend a shop.Does it shift OK after it is warmed up? :rck:
 

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See if you can hear the metal parts flying around. You might have to get under the car to hear them. Ask them how they heard them.

You might have them drop the oil pan and watch them do it and have them show you the metal parts that they hear. If there are metal parts, you might just be looking at getting a new car, because the transmission is about to go, if not already. Doing this should not cost as much as a flush. And it would verify what they are saying. If there are not any metal parts, ask them to put in a new gasket and bolt the pan on and refill with ATF-4 and then get out of dodge city. Demand they do this for free because they lied to you.

If you wait until the spring, you need to have a good towing service and cell phone service. Winters are especially hard on these transmissions.

dlm4ut
 

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Sorry kids, I hate to spoil your fun, but I have to agree with the dealer. Since the problem is no reverse engagement rather than partial engagement, that pretty much rules out a band adjustment. Second, if the trans flush is done properly, they have to use about 20 quarts of ATF+4. At $6/qt, the fluid alone comes to $120. So $200 is not out of line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
what do you mean by partial engagement? I do get reverse after the car has run for a while (i.e. sitting in neutral and reving the enging for a minute or so...actually got that hint from this site). then it is fine the rest of the day till the next morning when I need to repeat above to get it to engage... Reverse is not gone completely...
 

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partial engagement=slippling. A band that's out of adjustment or worn causes slipping, not the kind of intermittent engagement you've described so far. Plus, the slipping would be more consistent.

Your first post said that you've never changed the fluid. That means your entire transmission is coated with varnish from broken down fluid. When you put fresh fluid in, it dissolves all that varnish--which usually clogs valves and makes matters worse. In addition, if you have any sludge that may be lodged in the cracks of seals, that too will be dislodged and the seals will leak pressure.

It's true that you don't have a lot to lose here. But I've never seen a fluid flush fix the kind of problems you're describing---unless you have a clogged filter. A fluid flush won't find that because they don't drop the pan.

If you really want to take a shot at this old tranny, take it to a transmission shop and pay them to drop the pan. First have them examine it for metal chips. If they find any, just put the pan back in place and kiss this tranny goodbye. If there are no chips, have them replace the filter and refill the transmission (only about 1/3 of the fluid comes out with a pan drop). Then try it with the new filter.
 

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RickMN said:
Your first post said that you've never changed the fluid. That means your entire transmission is coated with varnish from broken down fluid. When you put fresh fluid in, it dissolves all that varnish--which usually clogs valves and makes matters worse. In addition, if you have any sludge that may be lodged in the cracks of seals, that too will be dislodged and the seals will leak pressure.
I agree that you need to forget about a "flush". A Flush will kill the tranny for sure. If you do anything, just drop the pan and refill as RickMN suggests. I think you need to realize that the tranny will not function for much longer and based on your comments, it is time to walk away from this van:

Charly2001 said:
Van has other issues (leaking oil, oil pan rusted) which getting repaired would cost more than the van is worth....do you think a flush would help? Trying to get this van to last through the winter and then purchase somethig else in the spring....
The best you can do it try to keep it going as you look for a new van. It alway easier to shop around while you still have a working vehicle. If it were me, I would not even drop the pan as it will quicken the tranny's certain failure. Make the best use of the time you have before the tranny goes completely.

Although I do not advise using any additive in the tranny, I have read of a few people who have added LUCAS transmission additive and been able to stretch a little bit more time out of a dying tranny. This is the only time I would recommend it, as you have nothing to lose. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thank you all for all the advice...last night I decided not to do any further repairs (including doing a transmission flush). I have now slapped a for sale sign on it and will sell as is (parts i assume). Throughout this i have been looking around, so will ramp my effort up (currently have my eye on toyota yaris sedan), I only drive around town and can get back home very easily via taxi if need be and will keep the number of the local scrap yard handy when the end does come.

Again, thanks to everyone who replied... :rck:
 
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