96 Dodge Transmission is slipping

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  #1  
Old 10-05-03, 12:08 PM
dimpy99
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96 Dodge Transmission is slipping

I have trioed to read all the post on the subject but would like help.

Vehicle: 96 Dodge Caravan 3.0 v6 FWD 125K miles (4 SPeed Overdrive)

I had my battery that died last week and I jumped my van with my other car and took it to the Sears Auto Parts. There I got a new battery, and an oil change which included all fluid check and fill up, if needed.

For the first couple of days, I noticed that my van's transmission and pick up actually imrpoved...which I attributed to the fluid fill and filter change.

But for last four days, my van is slipping gears...for example:

- When I am stopped, and then push the accelarator, it seems as if I am starting in a higher gear whereas I have to keppp pushing very hard and then all of a sudden, it shifts and everything is fine. Note, if I move my gear to 1 manaully (by turning the lever to 1), then it does start in 1.

- When I am slowing down, then it seems the gears are shifting down funny, can't really tell which gear it slipping, but certainly it feels not right. Sometimes, after I come to complete stop, it shifts, or so it seems.

- When I am driving on the highway, I have no problem going close to 80. SO it is shifting to higher gear okay, as opposed to stucj in the lower gear.

- I am driving okay, if I manually change the lever to 1, to 2, and then to Drive. Reminds me of my youth though

Questions:

1) Could this be due to the Sear Automotive mechanics brilliance.

2) What could be the reason for this in your opinion.

3) Could this be electrical, since I had a battery down. How do I check for it. There does not seem to be any warning light on....is there a diagnostic that I can run myself like for the 'Service Engine Soon' one, or a place where a diagnostic can be done free of charge

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Dimpy
 
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  #2  
Old 10-05-03, 01:09 PM
jbrenton
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be sure your engine is running when you do this.

1) check your fluid level

2) smell the trans dipstick and see if there is a sort of burning smell

3 check the dipstick and see if the fluid on it is red or more of a brown color

do this before you go any further.
 
  #3  
Old 10-05-03, 02:22 PM
dimpy99
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1) check your fluid level
Checked and it is above Hot - while van has been running for an hour.

2) smell the trans dipstick and see if there is a sort of burning smell
Did not notice any foul smell

3 check the dipstick and see if the fluid on it is red or more of a brown color
Fluid is red and looks rather clean given the fact that Sears topped it off.
 
  #4  
Old 10-05-03, 03:56 PM
Joe_F
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Two possibilities:

Tranny is somehow in limp home mode (due to the dead battery something gets reset), or the tranny is pretty much toast.

The latter is a possiblity as these trannies are flat out problematic and piss poor. When was the last time it saw a fluid and filter change? This unit is on borrowed time at 125k.
 
  #5  
Old 10-05-03, 07:03 PM
mike from nj
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a 3.0L can come with either a 3 or 4 speed.

your description of the problem is very good, however, that problem can only happen on a 3 speed.

what kind of symbol is on the shift indicator in the dash, a "D" with an orange slide behind it or a "OD"(a "D" inside a circle) and an electrical display

a 3 speed is a completely mechanical trans, no computer on the car for it--so, no codes or tests with a voltmeter.

a 4 speed has those--codes, computers, relays and wiring that can go bad, and it resets the computer each time you cycle the key.

write back soon

i already have a guess what went wrong

(anything not GM is piss poor by joe's standards)
 
  #6  
Old 10-05-03, 07:04 PM
dimpy99
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How do I find if my tranny is in "limp home mode"? How can I check if battery reset something?

Never changed the filter since 70,000 miles...

What surprises me is that I can drive just fine with the manual lever from 1->2->D....
 
  #7  
Old 10-05-03, 07:07 PM
dimpy99
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Oops, just saw your reply 'mike from nj'

My D does not have an O around it....am I mistaken that I have an Overdrive? Could be..

THere is an orange slide behind the D, and that is it.

Please tell me...tell me.....what could it be.

-DImpy
 
  #8  
Old 10-05-03, 07:18 PM
darrell McCoy
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dimpy:
Did sears change your trans fluid and filter? I am a little confused.
 
  #9  
Old 10-05-03, 07:19 PM
dimpy99
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No they did not...Only added transmission fluid for all I know.
 
  #10  
Old 10-05-03, 07:46 PM
mike from nj
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3 speed--no overdrive, and this trans has been around since 1978, pretty reliable too.

the governor valve is sticking inside the trans, the governor valve reads road speed and relays it through fluid pressure to the necessary 'shift' valves so they can do their thing. when it's sticking, the trans thinks it's still at highway speed and won't downshift---it's looking for that 0mph signal so it can downshift.

whatever someone poured into the trans, the fresh detergent package in that new (hopefully correct)fluid loosened up the smallest of particles in the deepest corner of the trans and it found it's way to that valve.

you might have some recourse if you yell loud enough at the place where they topped the fluid (and overfilled it too), especially if they documented the fact that they topped the trans fluid, and hopefully they listed the fluid they used, they should have ONLY used ATF+3, no dexron III, nothing other than atf+3.

the only repair i know is to take the valve out and clean it and slightly sand it too, this will be a permanent repair too.

it is an involved job, the trans doesn't have to come out, but a bunch of stuff has to come out of the pan to get to it.

and i wouldn't let anyone at that place touch anything other than your battery next time, you see where this got you.

you can drive it like this almost indefinitely, just don't overshift and hit reverse, and don't start out in third too many times either, it heats the fluid up quickly, to a point of being too hot.

let us know how it goes
 
  #11  
Old 10-06-03, 07:19 AM
Joe_F
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(anything not GM is piss poor by joe's standards)---
-------------

Mike:

Actually, only things where there are TONS of service bulletins like the Chrysler 4 speed O/D transmission used in some vehicles are the piss poor ones. If they'd actually make one that worked, they wouldn't have to publish reams of bulletins to correct problems they shouldn't have in the first place.

Gotta figure that if the manufacturer puts out enough bulletins to wallpaper the shop walls that the boys in engineering could have done a bit better at the drawing board.

For starters:

21-02-98A JUN 98 A/T - Shudder on 1 - 2/2 - 3 Upshift
21-07-98 APR 98 A/T - 41TE/AE 42LE Delayed Gear Engagement

then we have:

21-05-97 MAR 97 A/T - 41TE/42LE Shudder During EMCC Shift

and:

210896 MAY 96 A/T - Intermittent 2nd Gear and Reverse Only After Start

just for giggles, we then have:

ATRATB320 JAN 96 A/T - 41TE (A604) Solenoid Body Electrical Check
ATRATB321 JAN 96 A/T - 41TE (A604), 42LE Overdrive Clutch Hub/Improved

(BTW: Why "improve" the parts if there was no problem in the first place? Oh, wait there was! ).

There's a few more, but I got tired of cutting and pasting .

Would you buy one of these?
 

Last edited by Joe_F; 10-06-03 at 10:50 AM.
  #12  
Old 10-06-03, 07:07 PM
mike from nj
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i recognize the one bulletin you posted, it involves flushing the fluid twice because someone used the wrong fluid(sound familiar) for a t/c clutch shudder. all the other ones, i've never experienced.

i put my mother in a stratus (41te trans), my two uncles drive stratuses with the same trans. my sister in law has a neon with the same trans, as does her parents. I drive an intrepid with the same trans. i've also driven to the florida keys, north carolina, south carolina, virginia, louisville, finger lakes ny, baltimore(many times) and back with this trans with never a problem, ever, not even once. so, yes, i would own one of these and judging what's in our employee parking lot, so do a lot of people who work on these daily.

does a lot of bulletins make a trans bad---how about your own car, t/c solenoid and valve body modifications, is your's a bad car?

bulletins are for information, it's when engineering comes across something in the field and it's their way of informing us for something to look for and a way to fix it, i find myself 'rarely' using bulletins because those problems are so rare.(not exaggerating) and i find myself usually involved in the 'hard' problems.

a bulletin can be generated by one unique problem, as told to us by an instructor a year ago about a tech who found a problem, determined exactly what was wrong, contacted detroit about it, and a bulletin got generated BY HIM. i would much rather have a lot of bulletins than NO bulletins

i guess i have no grounds to comment on your remarks, as there are no published 'rules' for this forum, but simple 'common sense' would tell a person to stop berating every other car than what "I" drive. i remember doing that in high school, but i've since grown out of it.

here comes the lock on this thread too, as soon as someone gets to work tomorrow, i guess there's too much bandwidth wasted here too, maybe reread this entire thread and see who actually helped this guy and who wasted time by typing nonsense, besides me. and on the last 'carb' thread, YOU alone typed 5 novels boasting QJ carbs, yet all the guy wanted was his question answered---nothing else.
 
  #13  
Old 10-06-03, 09:14 PM
dimpy99
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Mike from nj:

Many thanks for your kind and detailed assistance. It is much appreciated.

It turns out that the Sears Auto Shop used the Spectrum Dexron III Transmission fluid. They won't tell me much more than that in terms of if this fluid contained detergent, etc.

Question:


- Should I drain the transmission and then add atf+3 fluid added in. Would that help?

Also, I have been shifting manaully as I stated and it turned out that after I did that, it is now slipping less of time than what it was doing before. I am not sure if that helps you any to provide me any guidance.

Thanks,

-DImpy
 
  #14  
Old 10-07-03, 04:02 AM
Joe_F
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Original poster:

Wrong fluid. I believe your vehicle does not use Dexron III, so they goofed. Check your dipstick, it's likely NOT going to say Dexron III is the fluid. Have the right fluid installed ASAP.

Mike:

Bulletins that talk about "No shift", "Failure", "Delay" and anything to do with trouble are just that. Whether one person complained about it or 50, if Chrysler or anyone finds the need to publish it, there's a problem. Did GM have this with their THM2004R in my Olds? Sure did. But, 7 years later, GM ate the repair and installed a SRTA GM trans free of charge due to their error. Would Chrysler do that? BTW, my uncle rarely had the car serviced by the dealer, as I have all the receipts from 1984.

I don't know about you, but many of the bulletins published here elicit a "yes, that's what it is!" reply from posters here. So, I'd rather someone check them out first and then determine they aren't relevant.

You might ask yourself this: Friend of mine threw out a laser printer because it double fed paper. Said it was shot. Geez, I go to HP's website and there's a tech bulletin on that EXACT problem with a FREE repair kit. I had a working printer in five minutes after installing the kit.

Had I been pigheaded and started tearing the machine apart, I would have done 2 hours of work when the problem could be solved in five minutes.

Mike: I KNOW you read bulletins before you tackle a customer's car. If not, you should, but that's your choice. I've been around this forum a while, and I can tell you PLENTY of posters have solved problems using bulletins that dealers SHOULD have caught and didn't.

Shame on those techs that don't use databases like TSB's first before taking a wrench to a vehicle. FIRST place to start. Why pave your own road when there might be a highway leading to the exit? Worth a look.

As for the Stratus, my friend inherited a 1997 2.4L from his mother. At 40k, she would complain that it was losing oil to the point of setting the oil light on---yet they were very regular with oil changes so it wasn't maintenance which was the issue.

A couple of minutes on Alldata, hmmm, we have a bulletin. Leaky head gasket on the 2.4 liter engine. Whattya know, that's where the dealer found the leak . Sure enough, after over $1000 bucks later (Chrysler soaked them for a repair that should never had to occur), now it doesn't leak. By the way, Chrysler redesigned the gasket at least 4 times, "improving" it along the way.....why improve something if it works?

Newsflash: It didn't.

The other post was closed because of mud slinging and it getting out of hand. Also, no more additional information was furnished by the original poster, so it was going on and on.

I've said it once, I'll say it again: There's a third moderator's spot available on this forum. Why not join us and "change" things as you see fit? Davo and I could use the help on the moderator's side. Everyone we've suggested that to says, "ummm" when it's brought up, why is that?

If you or others see obvious problems here in your estimation, why not be part of the solution? Your thoughts on that?

Now let's tackle this original poster's problem, shall we?
 

Last edited by Joe_F; 10-07-03 at 01:39 PM.
  #15  
Old 10-07-03, 05:56 PM
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"'common sense' would tell a person to stop berating every other car than what "I" drive."

Whatever you do, don't mention Subarus........Last time it nearly started WW3 !
 
  #16  
Old 10-07-03, 09:35 PM
Joe_F
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EJones:

Did you read the post here about the 2003 Subaru that slipped out of gear, rolled across the street (presumably with a young child in the vehicle or the vicinity), damaged the vehicle to the tune of $2500, could have killed someone, and then to boot the dealer says "Needs an E-brake adjustment" (meanwhile the shifter was still in park!)

Not only that, but Subaru referred this customer to their insurance company and has quagmired the fellow. Adding to the insult, the car was into the dealer earlier this spring for a safety recall and it apparently wasn't done right.

To kick the poor guy when he's down, the dealer is smug about the problem and CHARGED the customer for a tow.

If this happened to you, wouldn't you want to start World War III?

I'd have their head on a platter with a nine course dinner, old friend.

As for "berating" what someone drives, that is your opinion of my statements, but it is hardly the truth. I could care less what someone drives in the sense that I answer every post here and will offer sound advice for those that post questions here.

I know that in this country, we have freedom of speech and can voice our opinion. Also, I refuse to be "polite" so as to sell out and be "correct".

Junk is junk and that will not change. Experience tells you that.
 
  #17  
Old 10-08-03, 01:47 AM
mike from nj
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dimpy, your trans is not technically slipping, the rpm stays low. if it were slipping, the rpm would be going a lot higher than normal. it is sticking in third gear, giving you the impression it's slipping because it's not moving as quick as it should.

if it doesn't stick anymore or all the time, you got lucky. it might just work itself free after a while(the valve). when you shift it to 1, you are putting the trans into first gear, that's why it feels normal then.

i might change the fluid if it was me, i've heard atf+3 is available just about anywhere. all atf contains detergents, just that the wrong fluid contains the wrong lubricants for the particular clutches inside the trans, you might notice eventually a shudder or two on shifts.

there is a bulletin issued from chrysler to fix that eventual shuddering by changing the fluid twice with the correct stuff, maybe someone on this forum could forward it to you for future reference or for your curiosity.

if they only added a quart(of the 8 total that lives inside the trans), it might be ok for now, but how long are you willing to live with the sticking valve problem, hopefully that will fix itself.

joe---i could really write a novel but it won't do any good. i do read bulletins, just not everytime on every job, only when i'm not getting somewhere with what i have in front of me, most of them don't apply to everyday problems, they are unrelated or don't fit into the applicable build dates.

unrelated---my brother was given a tv, remote wouldn't work, he found a bulletin somewhere, called the number, got the parts sent for free, he soldered them in and waalaa, it works too. i know about this stuff.

your friend should have found another dealer, and/or contacted 1-800-chrysler. we're still doing them under warranty--when the car is far out of coverage and the cars have no service history. plus, $100 dollars in parts(generous) plus 8 hours labor=$112 dollars an hour, time for another dealer for sure, warranty pays 5.3 hours and it can be done in that time!

if you really want to know, i was offered a moderator job by somebody you would never suspect, (and nobody from this automotive forum.)hint: higher than you. i told him this, i can't commit to this forum everyday. i don't sit in front of a computer all day so i can't be as responsive as other people are, so the answer is a 'no' for now, hint: if i came in, i think you would be looking elsewhere, as i got the impression. if there was money involved for correct answers, i might have given a different reply. there's your answer 'why'. newsflash---a solenoid pack isn't inside the trans, a coolant sensor can't make a car overheat, tune-ups don't fix the majority of problems, etc....

browse to the electrical, plumbing, appliance or hvac forums. does even one of the moderators answer half of the questions by refering posters to the code book(or autolibrary.org) (hint: no) every one of them earns their paycheck by actually fixing those same things they moderate for. see a trend here? maybe start a 'parts lookup' forum, or a '79 t/a' forum, you are a 'hobbyist' auto technician, nothing more. nobody here knows all my cars, all my college degrees or all my certifications. no need for it.

i have nothing personal against you, if i ever met you, i'd be as friendly as i am to any stranger i've ever met, which can sometimes leads to a good conversation(with complete strangers) i get agitated when people come here(the forum) looking for professional advice and get completely wrong answers, it could get them hurt in extreme circumstances.


that being said, i'm done with this thread(except for dimpy)

ps. also my uncle i (2 years ago) put into an 89 dynasty 41te(3.0L too)
 
  #18  
Old 10-08-03, 10:12 AM
Joe_F
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I'll try answer all of them , here goes...

joe---i could really write a novel but it won't do any good. i do read bulletins, just not everytime on every job, only when i'm not getting somewhere with what i have in front of me, most of them don't apply to everyday problems, they are unrelated or don't fit into the applicable build dates.


---Iatn is founded on the principle of "I have seen this before and I want to share it with you". I think you'll agree that it's a HUGE success. Bulletins are just a corporate way of doing that. Again, why make your own road when there is possibly a highway leading to the exit?

With today's computers, you should be able to punch in a VIN # and EVERY bulletin that pertains to that vehicle comes up on the service writer's screen. Then, they could say,

"Hey Mike, you're working on the transmission of that Caravan over there, right? Have a look at this before you start. Might answer the question". Worth a look. Every time. All the time. I'd insist on it if I were a service writer.



unrelated---my brother was given a tv, remote wouldn't work, he found a bulletin somewhere, called the number, got the parts sent for free, he soldered them in and waalaa, it works too. i know about this stuff.

---Precisely. This is why you should always check for patterned failures before you take a screwdriver to the thing. The trick is to work smarter, not necessarily harder. A TSB does just that. Tells you, "Hey watch out for this".

your friend should have found another dealer, and/or contacted 1-800-chrysler. we're still doing them under warranty--when the car is far out of coverage and the cars have no service history. plus, $100 dollars in parts(generous) plus 8 hours labor=$112 dollars an hour, time for another dealer for sure, warranty pays 5.3 hours and it can be done in that time!

---A goodwill warranty will never get an argument in my book.


if you really want to know, i was offered a moderator job by somebody you would never suspect, (and nobody from this automotive forum.)hint: higher than you. i told him this, i can't commit to this forum everyday. i don't sit in front of a computer all day so i can't be as responsive as other people are, so the answer is a 'no' for now, hint: if i came in, i think you would be looking elsewhere, as i got the impression. if there was money involved for correct answers, i might have given a different reply. there's your answer 'why'. newsflash---a solenoid pack isn't inside the trans, a coolant sensor can't make a car overheat, tune-ups don't fix the majority of problems, etc....

---I never came nor do I ever feel the need to post here for money (Not there is money in this anyhow...lol). I come here to share and learn.

Picture this: Mike Merritt (who is the small engine moderator along with others there) and I have never seen each other. I've never shaken the guy's hand. Never bought him a beer (even though I don't really drink). ****, I don't even know what he looks like, we have only spoken on the phone. Yet he and I will exchange information on small engines, shops, repairs and DIY in general on a daily basis in most cases. He and I work as a team. If Mike reads about a new project I'm taking on (new piece of yard equipment or whatnot), he's the first to jump in to say, "I've got what you need for that Joe..." If Mike needs parts information, he will ask me to lend a hand or dig into my resources to find something for him.

I might throw an angle his way that he didn't realize was there. He had a load of OEM belts for small engines that were nothing more than part #s. But, being in the automotive parts side of things, I know that Gates publishes an electronic interchange of OEM to Gates belt #s.

Walah, Mike now knows what ever belt he has fits and what he can sell it for on a job. Problem solved.

I have also helped former moderator "Smokey" Bentz with his Lincoln Mark VII a few times and Smokey and I always stay in touch and he can depend on me, and I on him. The man is a virtually genius with electronics and I've learned a lot by talking to the guy. Too bad he doesn't post here much, he's an asset to this forum.

Comraderie, assistance, friendship, enjoyment, a few laughs, sharing your DIY successes, THAT is what this forum is all about.


browse to the electrical, plumbing, appliance or hvac forums. does even one of the moderators answer half of the questions by refering posters to the code book(or autolibrary.org) (hint: no) every one of them earns their paycheck by actually fixing those same things they moderate for. see a trend here? maybe start a 'parts lookup' forum, or a '79 t/a' forum, you are a 'hobbyist' auto technician, nothing more. nobody here knows all my cars, all my college degrees or all my certifications. no need for it.

---Perhaps some of them SHOULD put the time into the forums as some others do. I see an awful lot of chit chat in the private moderator forums.....that time could be better spent answering questions and helping folks, agree? All about time management here, Mike.

As for autolibrary.org, I use that often for a few reasons: a) It's easy for someone to follow; b) it says what words cannot (pictures), and c) I don't repeat myself. I'm not going to reiterate what a manual already has. The poster's job is to follow the advice given and HELP themselves. We assist in doing that.

As for sharing projects/things about me, my personal choice. I like to share if I had success with a DIY project. I've been rewarded financially (I won a contest with Sears for instance on a project I had) and above all I've been rewarded with the enjoyment of knowing I turned trash to treasure or saved a few bucks. That outweighs ANY financial gain. I choose to share, others don't. Their choice.

BTW: If you recall, a poster ASKED me what I drove .

I don't proport myself to be an every day technician. Never was my intention to be a full time wrench turner. Could I handle it? Probably. Would I like it? Probably not. I have the next best thing. I do product marketing/cataloging/research, etc for automotive parts. I see, feel and use the product AND use my degree and skills. Can't really ask for better than that.

Are there technicians that can run circles around me? Sure. They'd better, it's putting bread on their tables. We can all learn more. Life is all about learning.

i have nothing personal against you, if i ever met you, i'd be as friendly as i am to any stranger i've ever met, which can sometimes leads to a good conversation(with complete strangers) i get agitated when people come here(the forum) looking for professional advice and get completely wrong answers, it could get them hurt in extreme circumstances.

----Well same here. I don't hold grudges and to be honest, if you worry about what's said here, you need a life. LOL. I've got better things to do with mine and I have seen troublemakers on this forum come and go, and they will come and go.

I think the forum gives solid advice and everyone does a great job here, so I'm not sure where you see wrong information being furnished? I have corrected some posts here and there where I feel that common sense was not being used.

newsflash---a solenoid pack isn't inside the trans, a coolant sensor can't make a car overheat, tune-ups don't fix the majority of problems, etc....

----The solenoid was for a Chrysler, and as I said in the post, I wasn't sure of it because I didn't have my parts book in front of me (I was at home when I made the post). On a GM, it IS in the tranny.

A coolant sensor if it commands the cooling fan would cause a car to overheat if the sensor went dead I would gather .

As for tuneups fixing problems, I can tell you we had a poster with a '98 Camry who got some misfire codes and posted them. My comment was that the problem is likely in secondary ignition stuff (cap, rotor, wires, etc) because the hard parts on that are super reliable.

The poster posted back that the wires were indeed bad.

As for a tune up "solving" a problem, I'd have to disagree. Often the simple things go wrong with a misfiring engine. It is always a good place to start. Especially with a car that's bought used or with no history.

You cannot expect a car that hasn't seen solid service in a long time to perform correctly.

Am I advocating that you just tune up everything? No, but if you are encountering a misfiring vehicle, a tuneup would be a good place to start as it will not hurt anything. Chances are you will uncover something that needs attention (even if not tuneup related) anyhow.

Again, not trying to pick your post apart, just trying to clear the air here.
 
  #19  
Old 10-08-03, 07:01 PM
dimpy99
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Mike from NJ:

THanks for all your support and assistance. It has been very helpful. My transmission has started to behave as normal almost 99% of the time so I think I did get lucky.

Thanks for all your answers.

Keep continuing to help.....It is worth every post.

-Dimpy
 
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