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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I also posted this in minivan forum, so please excuse the duplication if you follow both forums!

I'm having a transmission problem with our 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, 3.8, 4 speed auto, 135,000 miles, transmission has been well maintained. At 10 mph, the vehicle will sometimes shudder or jerk, sometimes once, sometimes several times. Tachometer shows about 1400 RPM. This is not the one – two upshift. That will typically occur at about 15 mph. This occurs intermittently, but generally is becoming more frequent.

I'm reasonably sure this is related to the transmission, because if I keep the shifter in low, this will not happen. It will happen in drive, and I think it's a little more likely to have multiple shudders when in overdrive.

There are no powertrain codes. I pulled the transmission pan, no unusual debris or filings, I put in new filter in. I also changed the solenoid pack, it seemed like that the solenoid pack helped for about a week, but that may have been wishful thinking.

I talked to the service writer at the dealer, who was not particularly helpful, and suggested that I would end up with a transmission rebuild.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Imperial,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.

Last fall, the transaxle was removed from the vehicle, due to a broken output shaft, from the transmission to the differential. It just sheared off clean. The repair was done at an AAMCO transmission place in York, Pennsylvania. They just replaced the broken shaft, they did not do any other rebuilding. I did not think to ask what type of fluid they used.

It sounds like you are suggesting that, if Dexron with additive was used, (which I suspect may have been the case), that clutch wear has occurred.

I don't know of any local independent transmission shops that are very good. I suspect that any diagnostics would have to be done at the dealer.

But it sounds like your guess is that this is actually a clutch problem, and a transmission rebuild would be necessary?

Thanks so much!

Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi again Imperial,

Once more, thanks for your thoughtful response.

I doubt that there's any real possibility of AAMCO doing much with this. We were out of town, and while accelerating on a narrow on ramp to Interstate 83, we heard a loud clunk, the engine raced, and the car rapidly slowed. The vehicle went on a flatbed to the AAMCO, all of my communications with them were by phone at a distance of about 150 miles.they wanted to sell a total transmission rebuild. At that time the transmission had been flawless, so I asked them just to fix what was wrong. It had been fairly clear that the problem was in the differential, Park was not holding the vehicle, so the initial thought was a rebuilt differential. However, when they pulled it apart, it was just a sheared output shaft. So that was all that was replaced.

Initially, the vehicle seemed great. The shifting actually was smoother than it had been before, which I'm now guessing means that a different transmission fluid was used.

The receipt just describes "differential service", it indicates that transmission fluid and filter were replaced, but does not indicate what type.

So at this point I have a nine year old vehicle, run fairly hard with minor body damage, with numerous little quirks like power locks not working, as well as some rust on the rear quarter panels. Our kids are now all college-age, so the seating of the minivan is much less important. I'm wondering whether it's worth putting any money into the van, or just saying that our minivan era is over!

My general tendency is to hold on to vehicles too long, looking back at it the last year tends to be very expensive.


A larger issue seems to be the importance of ATF +4. I have always believed that Chrysler specifies this for a reason. However, it seems that many of the independent shops, including those who should know better, feel that Dexron is interchangeable. Even a retired Chrysler tech that I know believes that "it's all basically the same".

However, it sounds like, in my case, use of Dexron may have done the transmission in. Even if I had a dealer flush to put ATF +4 back in, the damage has already been done.

Again, thanks for your thoughts.

Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ImperialCrown said:
They just seem to do everything well.
Absolutely! This has been our experience:

89 Plymouth GV bought used, 3.0 Went through head gaskets twice, put in factory rebuilt transmission at around 150,000 miles. Sold that shortly after to a friend, the rebuilt transmission pooped out about 20,000 miles later.

97 Plymouth GV 3.0 3 speed auto bought new, went through head gaskets once, transmission went bad at 115,000, had it rebuilt, we kept it until about 150,000 miles, the next owner ran it for about 50,000 more miles.

00 Dodge GC AWD 3.8 bought new, needed new flex plate at about 90,000 miles,then wrecked by my son at about 115,000 miles.

05 Chrysler T+C bought new, some minor electrical problems, needed water pump at 50,000 miles, basically I thought this was the best of the bunch until the transmission output shaft broke at about 122,000 miles.

I agree with you, when you have people or objects to move, you can't beat a minivan. But I just see this one becoming a money pit.

For us, part of the problem is my wife's driving style. I try to drive gently,but she is constantly up and down on the gas pedal, and frequently gas to brake to gas to brake. (We also go through lots of brakes.) I think her driving style,combined with the weight of the minivans, is very hard on the transmissions.

Gene
 
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