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My 2014 Grand Caravan transmission dead at 60,000 miles

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by mainones, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Gerry G

    Gerry G Well-Known Member

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    The rubber gaskets I have used were able to hold the bolts so the gasket remained in place while I lifted the pan and then threaded in the captured bolts.
     
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  2. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    I have another unused spare gasket, so I will probably try it without any gasket sealer. I am not concerned if it seeps a bit, I know I will be doing another drain and fill in about 500 miles.
     
  3. bguy

    bguy Well-Known Member

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    Use silicone or sealer, or use just the gasket, not both. I have had 100% success when using the gaskets dry.
     
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  4. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    will try dry, I expect torque requirements will be different though with the rubber gasket.
     
  5. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    OK, got it to work this time, although the bolts are not very tight, just snug plus 1/2 turn right now, the rubber is squeezing out in a few places. no leaks though, filled with 6 qts of supertech (smells like EP90 gear lube), started the motor and let it warm up to hot, ran it through all the gears. Had a whine at the start that went away in 20 seconds or so, no more whine though while running. I checked my logs and it went 739 miles since the last drain fill and filter. I might aim for 500 this time and do it again.
    Brought the filter and the coffee filter I strained some with to the lab at work. Some metal "chips" visible in the filter, maybe 3 about 1/16", rest smaller particles, like metalflake. Coffee filter was full of fibers, likely clutch plates. will begin the short drives tomorrow. Still need some guidance on torque settings with the rubber gasket.
     
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  6. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    Well, the weather has been preventing me from doing any serious test drives, but on quick runs down the street and back, there is a persistent but fairly quiet whine from the transmission in all gears. I do not remember hearing that before. Also there is quite a lot of metal "bits" in the fluid I drained from the pan, I filtered another batch through the coffee filter and it looks like "dust" from a bench grinder, very small metal particles, they are everywhere. I did find a shop that would take a look, so will be looking into that angle while it still runs as I dont expect it to go much longer.
     
  7. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    Well, shop quoted $4500 plus some extras, like a new radiator and front end alignment, so probably will not be going that route. Resale on the van is only 7K now, so that seems like too much to put into it for another 3 years. I may consider doing the job myself, its been many years since I turned wrenches in any serious way, but it will probably just take me longer than it used to. Looking at remans and rebuilds, most say they will need a "relearn" but not a reflash. Wont it learn on its own?
    BTW looking through the filter and pan debris, the vast majority is friction plate particles, almost a dust. There are some metal particles, but not as much as the friction plate dust. Been too long since I actually did a tranny rebuild, so I will not be going that route, quicker and easier as I get older.
     
  8. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    It can relearn on its own, but it is highly recommended to do the relearn. If you don't do the relearn (assuming you have a reman installed) there may be some rough shifts until it relearns and that could be a while.
     
  9. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I would consider these expenses to be a necessary part of the job if I were doing it:
    1) Relearn (optional, but highly recommended)
    2) New radiator (unless you are absolutely sure the transmission cooler portion of the radiator hasn't been plugged up and flushes fine).
    3) Front end alignment (I don't believe you get it apart without removing the struts).
     
  10. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    The struts can be left attached to the knuckle. The lower ball joint stud is separated from the knuckle and the knuckle swung out of the way to remove the axles.
    On the alignment, they may have noticed a tire wear condition?
    If debris has circulated through the system, a reman assembly and new cooler is strongly suggested. It is nearly impossible to get all the particles out.
    Make sure that the TCM is at the latest and greatest software revision. While the tool is connected have them perform a quicklearn.
     
  11. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    They have not seen the car, so they couldnt assess the tire wear (which there isnt any). Maybe they thought they would have to pull the struts. I planned on a separate transmission cooler at this point. They are hitting me for $500 for the radiator. Main issue is, If I do it myself I will not be able to do any relearn or TCM flash, thats why I wondered if it would take care of itself. Not too concerned about shift feel, as long as it wont damage the tranny. Dealer here is not at all cooperative, and that family "happens" to own all the dealerships in this town and those towns around it, even the Ford and Chevy dealerships, and a Subaru also.I would likely have to go 40 miles or more to find a dealership outside their reach.
     
  12. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Maybe you can find someone (even a mobile mechanic) who has a scan tool with the relearn feature. There are scanners beyond the dealer ones with that function, though they are still expensive scanners.
     
  13. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    true, or maybe an aamco thing?
     
  14. georgef

    georgef Well-Known Member

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    The transmission cooler is built into the condenser in these vans, not the radiator.
    2014 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN 3.6L V6 A/C Condenser | RockAuto (at https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/dodge,2014,grand+caravan,3.6l+v6,3300338,heat+&+air+conditioning,a/c+condenser,6708 )
     
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  15. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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  16. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    I wouldn't trust AAMCO any further than I can spit.
     
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  17. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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  18. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    Dropped the van at the only other transmission shop around, not my first choice, a dilapidated hole in the wall place, for an estimate. I scrubbed the other shop, it was clean and staffed well, but it was clear they either had never done a dodge transmission before, giving me too much simply wrong information about what I needed to have done (as in the radiator replacement, front end alignment, dropping the entire engine/transmission cradle out, and the factory mopar tranny being the cheapest option).
    This other "shop" has at least replaced the transmissions on several Dodge Grand Caravan Taxis, so at least he has that experience. I will let you know when I hear from him. If he comes in at less than 3500, I will have to go with it, I am out of options short of doing it myself, which I would do except its too cold and snowy to be doing that outside in the driveway. And I am just too old for that stuff anymore.
     
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  19. Scot Wiseman

    Scot Wiseman Member

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    Well, not quite 3500, closer to 3900, but it is what it is. I paid for the tranny up front (2900), still owe for new condenser/cooler and labor. Its in the shop now and is expected to be done next week sometime. Sadly we went from a Nissan fleet to Dodge when the CVT transmissions started having issues, and I am very disappointed that Dodge claims the transmissions and fluid are "good for the life of the vehicle" and then experiences these problems. I no longer trust any new vehicles (new being post 1990), although my 1991 chevy pickup still runs great even if the frame rusted in half. Wish I still had my 1947 Studebaker Pickup...
     
  20. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    My opinion: at 60k miles the problem wasn't the fluid deteriorating, and changing the fluid would not have prevented whatever failure occurred.
     

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