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I own a 2000 Chrysler Grand Voyager with 3.3L V6 engine and 4 speed automatic transmission (41TE transaxle). I am the original owner since birth. Powertrain has performed reliably over the years and currently exhibits no problems either in engine performance nor transaxle shifting. Vehicle currently has 140,000 miles on the odometer. Despite all the negative press about this transmission over the years, I have not experienced any transmission problems nor has the engine or transmission controller set any diagnostic performance codes.

I am starting to wonder what is a reasonable life expectancy with the transmission? At a minimum I want another 8 - 10 years of additional use (100,000 miles) without any major engine or transmission repairs. From discussions on this site and other owner's experiences, the 3.3 V6 is sturdy and I am confident it will deliver the miles as long as it is properly maintained. I am somewhat guarded on the longevity of this transmission. Can I expect the longevity of the old Chrysler 3 speed torqueflite? Vehicle is not used as a daily commuter and tends to set 5 - 7 days at a time before being used. But when it is driven it gets a lot of highway miles and minimal stop and go city driving. I am thinking that has contributed to the transmission longevity to this point in time. I will add that I have been flushing and changing the transmission fluid at 35000 - 45000 mile intervals during its life and refilling with ATF+4 fluid. Transmission filter change has been every other fluid change.

I am toying with the idea of taking the vehicle to a dealership service department and getting a readout of the clutch volume indexes (CVI) values from the transmission controller. I have retrieved the normal values from information at this site and have the values as shown below. Can I assume that as the clutches wear the index numbers will increase and be closer to the upper range of values? Is such information indicative of the level of wear within the transmission?

Clutch Volume Index (CVI) display,

* LR = 35-83
* 0D = 48-150
* 2-4 = 20-77
* UD = 24-70


I like to be proactive and keep ahead of any potential problem but maybe getting the CVI values is a waste of time and money? Thoughts?
 

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KOG
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In my experience the 4 speed will far outlast the three IF you do regular fluid changes using on ATF+4. Since you've been doing that I don't know how long it wil last because we've never lost one doing that. And we've got one at 240,000 miles now. That one did get a new torque converter at about 120K because the clutch started dragging, but the transmission wasn't touched. We had another on lose the TC clutch at 160K and I rebuilt that one while it was out. Every clutch and plate in it measured new. Not just in tolerance, but new, no measureable wear with a dial caliper. We've also had to rebuild three of the three speeds at less than 150K due to losing the internal teeth on the clutch plates and excess endplay due to worn selective shims.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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I've only had one vehicle with the 41TE/A604 - it was a '00 T&C Ltd AWD we purchased used at 78K miles in 2003. 5 years later in 2008 we traded it in for '09 Journey SXT. The T&C had ~161K miles on it with no major transmission probkems - it did have a slightl leak - from the selenoid gasket I think. The only problem remotely related to the transmssion was the flexplate developing cracks at around 145K ($550 repair). I have to admit, I never changed the fluid, though new fluid was added when the flexplate was replaced and I had to add a qt or two when it was leaking.

As KOG posted, with regular fluid/filter changes, I'll bet the transmission will outlive the rest of the vehicle - except maybe the 3.3L engine - they are pretty stout.

Another Allpar member, Stratuscaster, recently acquired a minivan that has now logged over 400K miles - not sure how well it was maintained. Goes to show, they can go quite aways.

As far as the CVI's, I'd only get those if I had it in for service at a dealer - I wouldn't specifically schedule serrice just to get the CVI's.

My '06 Ram has the 545RFE and has 155K miles - no problems. Our '10 Journey SXT with the 62TE has 48K - again no issues.
 

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Have a 2004 PT Cruiser with a 40TE. Currently have about 247,000 miles and apart from changing the ATF+4, nothing has been done to the transmission. Just got back from a trip from Florida to NJ, and the car ran great, averaging over 27 MPG at an average speed (according to my GPS) of 67 MPH.
 

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What sanity?
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Dad's 2002 Caravan was still going at 250k miles on the original tranny with only one fluid change since he got it. The torque converter was starting to go, but otherwise it was doing fine.
 

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My 99 Grand Caravan is about to roll 190,000 miles. Still has the original transmission and shifts great. Now, I don't know if either of the previous owners ever changed the fluid and filter, but I did that shortly after I got it. That was about 20,000 miles ago, so I'll be changing it again around 200,000.
 

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The 41TE is a good box. I would not say that you can really put a definite lifespan on it, it depends on maintenance, and it sounds like you're babying yours. Treat your vehicle well and it will generally return the favor. Will the transmission eventually wear out? Of course, there are wear materials in it that are designed to wear down as they are used. But with proper maintenance, you can expect many more miles of service from the car.
 

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The 41TE/42LE had a major seal/clutch material upgrade in late '95 and became a much better transaxle. In ~2001, the sol pack buzz ended and a floating pinion shaft stopped the grenading differental problem.
Software upgrades for the TCM that address improved shift quality should also extend clutch life. Better ATF cooling can also help if the vehicle undergoes towing/loaded duty. Watch for leaks that may run the fluid low, clutch slip will greatly reduce life.
It took Chrysler awhile, but these transaxles should do well with the proper ATF+4 fluid and pre-emptive regular maintainence. Of course individual results will vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well these reports are definitely encouraging so hopefully I can get many more miles of service from the transmission. Interesting to hear that the older torqueflite 3 speed for rear wheel drive had some chinks in its armor. Good updates! Thanks.
 

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Really? I still hear a slight buzztck when I put my Ram in Drive - it's not loud, but it is there.
The 545RFE has an internal sol pack like the 42LE. They 'duty-cycle' the solenoid to smooth the initial clutch engagement. That is the 'zzzzick' that you hear. They may not have silenced those sol pack applications.
The 41TE has an external sol pack that was really loud, even with an acoustic foam rubber cover in place. I think that the silent sol pack only applies to the 41TE/AE (the 'T' stands for transverse mounted, the 'A' was for the AWD designation in the minivans, Pacificas and Journeys).
 
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