Clogged trans filter -- trans pump going bad -- could be a couple of things
If you can shift gears with your foot on the brake and hear the shift actually happen, it isn't likely the solenoid. Could also be a planetary going bad (fwd Chrysler products infamous for it, but no way to check except for pulling apart the transaxle half way.
If I had to come up with a cheap attempt you could make, replace the other speed sensor (should be two, one for vehicle speed, one for trans speed) and **** out a quart of your old fluid to put in a quart of lucas.
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Here is what the service manual says about the EPC solenoid, the processor looks at allot of different inputs to command the solenoids, such as Throttle Position Sensor, Vehicle Speed Sensors, Transmission Range Sensor and RPM signal, The PCM controls the shift patterns for the transmission. Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) Solenoid The electronic pressure control (EPC) solenoid is located on the main control valve body and is controlled by the PCM. The EPC controls line pressure used to apply and release clutches and bands in the transmission. The 2-3 shift solenoid is located on the main control valve body and is switched on and off by electrical signals from the PCM. The 2-3 shift solenoid activates the 2-3 shift valve which controls the automatic shifting between second and third gear. Second gear is established when the 2-3 shift solenoid is switched on. The 2-3 shift solenoid is switched off when vehicle speed increases and requires a second to third gear upshift. The 3-4 shift solenoid is located on the main control valve body and is switched on and off by electrical signals from the PCM. The 3-4 shift solenoid activates the 3-4 shift valve which controls the automatic shifting between third and fourth gear. Third gear is established when the 3-4 solenoid is switched off. The 3-4 shift solenoid is switched on when vehicle speed increases and requires a third to fourth gear upshift.
I had a similar problem with a Dodge Caravan - On the Dodge, it's called limp mode, designed to protect the engine and tranny. If you can get the OBD-2 engine codes and look them up online you may find that the problem is elsewhere in the drivetrain. Not really an answer, but a solid suggestion of where to go from here....
What kind of problem do you have? If it is a 4 cylinder caravan, they usually have a 3 speed auto that doesn't have any shift solenoids. If it does have the 4 speed auto, the shift solenoids are on the front of the transmission case.
The transmission is controlled by the Transmission Control Unit (TCU).
position, rpm, and speed are input parameters to the TCU. The TCU has a
default set of shift patterns. These shift patterns change over time
based on your specific vehicle setup and driving habbits.
shift patterns are only slightly affected by driving habbits over many
driving cycles. But, changing the relationship between the throttle
position and the actual speed being reported by the speed sensor can
have an immediate effect on shift patterns.
While your speedo
may now be correct, the realtionship between rpm and thottle position
has not been corrected. That would take a gear change in the
The TCU can be reset to an inital learn base line. When this is done, the TCU will instantly learn the dynamics of your setup.
Any shop with an advanced ODB scan tool can reset the the TCU. The dealer or a transmission shop would be preferable.