Question about 1998 Dodge Caravan

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98 Caravan. Tranny. Slips time to time not bad though. Has never had fluid changed. This is my wifes van before we got together. Now, the van wont engage into gear until it has been running for about 20 minutes. You have to shift it into all the gears over and over again before it grabs. You can put it in D and sometimes it goes there but most of the time the gear indicator keeps jumping all over the place. When it does drive, sometimes it changes were it was and will kick out of gear. Not sure what it is. Seems like and few differant things. TCM??? Valve Body??? Tranny Computor???

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  • Dodge Master
  • 6,674 Answers

Yes, Unfortunately transmissions just don't stand up to everyday abuse like they used to. Fluid & filter changes are more critical now than ever. If it were me I would definately have the fluid & filter changed, as well as scanned for codes & perhaps software update. I have heard of many instances where a simple fluid & filter change has remedied the problem in these tramsmissions. If you have it scanned & updated if needed, prior to fluid & filter change, record the codes,then have them erase the codes, do the fluid & filter, try driving for a bit, then re-scan and see what comes up, you may just get real lucky,but no gaurantees. One thing you MUST INSIST on, is that they re-fill transmission with Autopar ATF4 transmission oil & nothing else. No matter what they tell you. Autopar ATF is the only transmission fluid that will give it the best chance to work as it is supposed to. Many cases of erratic, poor shifting has been remedied by changing from some other approved transmission oil, to Autopar ATF. So, go with the fluid & filter first, drive it a bit, and if it doesn't feel quite right, get it scanned again, and see what comes up. If it were me & it felt good after fluid & filter change, I would give it a week or 2 depending on mileage driven, and have it scanned again anyway, just in case. If a code does appear, and is something relatively easy & inexpensive to repair, I'd have it done & save the chance of causing $1000's down the road. People don't think twice about spending $500 + on a brake job,to help them stop, but get mad when it costs $500 to keep them moving. If you don't spend the money to keep you moving, you sure won't need to worry about stopping right? ha-ha Good Luck, keep us informed.

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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lebones337
  • 152 Answers

SOURCE: 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan Transmission Problem

i would try somthing simple first. sound like the tranny filter is cloged and it is taking awile for the fluid to get to the gears. change the fluid, filter and gasket first as would any other shop. easy to do also.

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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