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Discussion Starter #1
My mom's 2007 Grand Caravan starts whining very loud after driving 50-100 miles. She has no noise problem with local driving. I talked to one transmission guy who said it was related to the transmission fluid being hot after driving that far, that the transmission was going bad and that mom should sell the car now. But, the van is loaded, so we would like to fix it. Problem is it doesn't make the noise in the shop, so the local dealer fixed a tie rod instead. (Of course, that did not work.) Ideas? Should we flush the transmission?
 

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My mom's 2007 Grand Caravan starts whining very loud after driving 50-100 miles. She has no noise problem with local driving. I talked to one transmission guy who said it was related to the transmission fluid being hot after driving that far, that the transmission was going bad and that mom should sell the car now. But, the van is loaded, so we would like to fix it. Problem is it doesn't make the noise in the shop, so the local dealer fixed a tie rod instead. (Of course, that did not work.) Ideas? Should we flush the transmission?
How many miles? Any shifting problems? Can you remove the transmission oil pan yourself?

My simple answer would be yes. Have it drained and flushed and if it has the 41TE, make absolutely positively sure no matter what that nothing is put in that transmission other than ATF+4

My WAG on this one would be someone, somewhere topped it off with the wrong fluid. I can't emphasize enough how critical it is to use ATF+4 if you have the 41TE transmission.

Keep in mind, however, that the transmission is not the "only" thing that can whine. Power steering pumps and alternators can make loud whining sounds as can wheel bearings and idler / tensioner wheels.

Personally, I have found the 41TE (if that's what's in your mom's car) to be very resilient and tough. If her's is overheating it could be radiator related or a pinched / kinked coolant line.....or a more serious internal issue or low fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Misty: Thank you for your knowledgeable and helpful post. One of the best I have seen on this site.

We have an appointment to have the transmission flushed tomorrow. I will discuss all of your ideas with the mechanic. It sure seems like a transmission whine, but your other suggestions should be considered. The fact that mom's 2007 Grand Caravan only starts whining after driving 50-100 miles makes it hard to diagnose the problem. Have you ever heard of a regular, delayed whine like this before?

Thank you, again, for all of your advice. In answer to your questions: 80000 miles, no shifting problems and I am not mechanically adept enough to remove the pan.
 

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You're welcome. I hope I help you at least a bit. I really like these minivans.

Ok. It sounds kind of odd to say this...but make double sure they use ATF +4
Sadly, I have heard of far too many "qualified shops" use the wrong fluid.
(And again, this is under the assumption you have a 41TE transmission.)

If the transmission is shifting and operating normally that's a very good sign.
Dropping the pan would reveal if there are any metal particles in the fluid. (That would not be good).

As far as the noises...
One trick to finding engine noises is to use a "mechanics stethoscope".
If you're not comfortable with the procedure, by all means have someone who is perform it.

It involves using a 1/2 to 1" dowel rod of 2 - 3' length to carefully place on areas and components of the engine (while it's running) to find the exact spot the noise is coming from. Some noises can be isolated by removing the serpentine belt.

You do have to know what you're doing and be VERY VERY careful because obviously if you place that rod in the wrong place it could have serious consequences. But you knew that :smile
 

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The transmission guy we went to was knowledgeable. Said he puts ATF +6 in dodge transmissions. He did not find metal fragments, but said the fluid badly needed changing. If that does not work, he said he will try something else.
 
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