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1999 Caravan Won't Shift Out Of First Gear

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4 replies to this topic

#1 Nitevision (converted)

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Posted April 17, 2006 at 09:13 pm

My 1999 Dodge Caravan 3.8L 4 Speed Transmission has check engine light on and will not shift out of 1st gear.
The error codes are:
P0700 Transmission Control System Malfunction
P0731 Incorrect 1st Gear Ratio

The reverse works and it works fine in first gear but want shift to 2nd or higher. Also the speedometer needle doesn't move when I'm driving, it is on zero.

I tested both input and output speed sensors and they appear to work fine.
I'm wondering if anyone has seen this before or could give me an idea where to check next. The next place I would think to look is the TCM (Transmission Control Module) nut not sure how to test it.
Could I get one from a wrecker and try it out?
Any ideas?



#2 NYBo


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Posted April 17, 2006 at 09:39 pm

The speedometer problem sounds like the VSS, which is located on the back of the transaxle. However, if the TCM is fried, that may prevent the speedometer from functioning.

#3 somedude (converted)

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Posted April 19, 2006 at 09:09 pm

Check Fluid? You probably have but I understand these trannies are real sensitive to fluid level.Also, after checking and adjusting fluid, I think you can reset the tranny computer by disconnecting the battery for a short time. It will "re-Train " itself.You might want to research these things a little though.I'm fairly new to the Caravans.

#4 Alex's dad

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Posted April 19, 2006 at 09:16 pm

The proper method would be to take it to a dealer and have the exact codes checked.

Check the fluid. If that's fine disconnect the battery for 5 min and see what happens.

Also try doing an advanced search on these forums (not only minivans) for the same problems.

Edited by Alex's dad, April 19, 2006 at 09:19 pm.

#5 Nitevision (converted)

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Posted April 19, 2006 at 11:52 pm

:D It's working now. It was a bad output sensor on the transmission, a $35.00 part.

Ok this is what I did. I bought the input and output sensors and tested them to see how the new ones worked. I connected my AC voltmeter on low scale to the electrodes on the new sensor and passed a magnet in front of the sensor. I could see a small amount of ac on my meter. So I then took out the two sensors from the transmission and tested them the same way and they appeared to have the same readings as the new ones. I then figured they where good.

I then called a person who works on dodge vehicles all day long and he said that 9 out of 10 times the problem is a bad sensor. If the output sensor is bad, the speedo does not work and you can't get out of first gear. If the speedo works and you have transmission problems then it is most likely the input sensor.

So I went ahead and changed out the output sensor and she works great. The speedo works and I have all my gears working, I mean the gears in the van that is.... :-)

This mechanic also said I should replace the fuel filter since I have 118,000 Km on it because they can cause problems if they are starting to get plugged.

Thanks to everyone that replied to my post.



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