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voyager transmission problems


eeomega's Avatar
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06-20-03, 06:58 PM   #1  
voyager transmission problems

Transmission does not shift into second gear or higher. Plymouth Grand Voyager 1996 3.3 engine, 138K miles. I checked tranny fluid it appears o.K. and not burnt.

 
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06-20-03, 07:00 PM   #2  
jeff1
Hi,

If that tranny was in a '96 Maytag washing machine I may be able to help you out...but since it is in a Plymouth I have moved this to the Auto forum.

jeff.

 
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06-20-03, 07:48 PM   #3  
knuckles
Are you sure it's not starting out in 2nd?

The trans defaults to 2nd when the Transmission Control Module detects a problem.

Your van has a complex & trouble prone transmision. I have 2 of these monsters, a '91 Grand Caravan & a '96 Town & Country LXi. The '91 trans has been rebuilt twice & updated each time. The last rebuild w/ new solenoid pack cost me $1100 cash & carry.

The '96 still has the original trans. The original owner was a shop owner who knew these things were trouble & changed the fluid every 15K using ATF+4 & a new filter each time.

I suggest you get the van to a good honest independent transmission shop for a thorough diagnosis.

Take it to the Chrysler dealer if you can't find a knowledgeable independent shop. Avoid chain shops as they almost always tell you that the trans is bad & must be replaced.

In reality, you could have a very simple & inexpensive problem such as a bad VSS or solenoid pack.

Lots of info on these vans & other Chrysler products at www.allpar.com.

 
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06-21-03, 04:03 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Knuckles is correct.

If the right fluid is/was not used, the tranny can be lunch in a heartbeat. I also have seen rebuilds off the shelf that were lunched too and were redos. I've even seen Mopar rebuilds that were bad, and I know a reputable shop owner that installed one (a friend of mine) to have it lunch in 500 miles!

 
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06-21-03, 06:52 AM   #5  
These trannys ARE prone to problems if not well maintained, but not anywhere near as bad as the 1991 models. Those were updated time and time again. In fact when I worked at at Chrysler Dealership, Mopar sent out a memo, not to rebuild these to just replace with an updates factory rebuild. Needless to say we did several of them. The solenoid pack is a common problem as Knuckles said. However ATF+4 is not the proper fluid for the 1996 model year. If you have completely flushed the old ATF+3 out then it is feesible to replace with the newer fluid, but do not mix them. ATF+4 did not start in minivans until 2000(some 1999 models, such as the T&C). Your van being a Voyager you could easily have a 3 speed rather than a 4 speed, seeing as you didnt say. But none the less, you have definately received some good info here to make your next move.
Billy

 
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06-21-03, 10:57 AM   #6  
It does appear to be stuck in second gear. How are the solenoid pack and vss checked?

 
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06-21-03, 11:06 AM   #7  
ditto to what billy just said, EVERYTHING needs to be maintained, including your own body! atf+4 is the new fluid(synthetic) and according to chrysler as of today, shouldn't be used as a topping off fluid on pre 2000, it should only be used on a complete overhaul with all old fluid (+3) removed, my opinion is it won't affect a darn thing mixing the two, however is is normal for it's red dye to wear out and an odor to develop(burn't smell) pretty good design, huh.

one thing many people overlook after a replacement is the trans cooler, until the early 90's we didn't even check to see if it was blocked, after then we would just blow compressed air through it, maybe use a little brake cleaner if we had a major failure. not anymore, now we have a cooler flusher machine that must be used with every overhaul/replacement and the pressure and volume readings must be recorded for warranty repairs. you should see the crap that comes out of most coolers. when we clean the sump from the machine there can be an 1/8th inch of metal and clutch dust on the bottom!! i know this contributed to some of the 'bad' units coming from the shelf. it seems the 3 speeds are much more critical to contamination than the 4 speeds.

back to the subject, with your 3.3L you can only have the 4-speed and yes it is completley electronic, anything wrong with any sensor, wire or module will put it into limp mode, (second gear and reverse) if you can get up to maybe 30mph, you're in first gear, 55 is pushing it for second gear but this will give you an indication of which gear you're 'stuck' in. i'm suprised with a 96 that you don't have a check engine light on too, a trans problem will usually trip that too, anyhow, there's not much you can do without a scan tool to communicate with your cars computers.

side note...the trans computer resets itself everytime you turn the key off, everything stays stored in memeory, but it tries to shift normal after each reset until it detects a problem, if it starts out without shifting, you have a 'hard' fault and shouldn't be too hard for someone to figure out

 
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06-21-03, 01:24 PM   #8  
It does appear to be stuck in second gear. How are the solenoid pack and vss checked?

 
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06-21-03, 02:23 PM   #9  
step 1. check stored fault codes with a scan tool

step 2. follow the drivibility test in a manual for that(those) codes by measuring wires for resistance, measuring voltage where it should be, inspecting connectors for spread terminals, actuating the solenoids with the scan tool, even measuring hydraulic pressures with a guage if thats what it calls for(now you know why we charge an hour diagnosis to look at your car)

notes,

--fluid should be checked, warm, level, idling in park
--your car doesn't have a vehicle speed sensor(vss), it was eliminated in 92-93ish, it is measured off the output speed sensor for the computer and speedometer, so, if the speedo works, it's a good bet the output speed sensor is working

 
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06-21-03, 03:46 PM   #10  
Joe_F
Mike is correct. A good tranny shop or repair shop has the proper scan tool to check this out for you.

 
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08-14-03, 07:53 PM   #11  
tranny problems

Believe it or not, we all overlooked the obvious. A short in a wire blew the relay and fuses. $15.00 in parts and alot of time to track down the short. Running fine for now. Thanks for the input anyway.

 
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08-14-03, 08:56 PM   #12  
glad to hear it and thanks for posting back with the results


do you know if it rubbed through on the top of the trans dipstick tube or down on the trans case---(for my knowledge)

 
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