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I have a 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan that is stuck in 4th gear the code says and it grinds when you try to put it in reverse and not engage. So what is stuck

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Your vehicle has an electronically controlled transmission. It also has a "solenoid pack" which actually controls the shifting by "fluttering" valves that steer the transmission fluid into the right ports. You have probably heard a "ratcheting" sound in the past, especially when coming to a slow stop. You probably have one or more of those valves stuck.

You can remove the control cable from the transmission control computer, and, if you run the vehicle that way, it should go into what they call "limp mode." Limp mode gives you reverse, and drive, but only in first and second gear (out of four forward gears). But the experiment will tell you whether the problem with your transmission is mechanical or electrical.

A lot of people have made the monumental mistake of using Dextron or Mercon fluid, in a transmission that was designed to use ATF+3 or ATF+4 fluid exclusively. The wrong fluid has ruined multiple thousands of otherwise amazingly durable transmissions! Most of those will outlast the rest of the vehicle, at 250,000 and more miles ... IF you use the proper fluid! The wrong fluid will give you maybe 25,000 miles before major transmission problems appear on the scene.

Posted on Apr 20, 2017

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