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1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem

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Jun 20, 2009, 6:32 AM

Post #1 of 9 (10532 views)
     1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem  

I have a 1998 Dodge Caravan with a 3.0 liter motor and 3 speed automatic transmission. we recently installed a junkyard transmission, and we put a new filter and the correct fluid in it. It worked just fine for a couple weeks and now it does not want to shift into 3rd gear when it is warmed up. It shifts just fine when it is cold, no slipping or anything like that. It has gone into 3rd a couple times when warm, but it downshifts into second gear as soon as you touch the gas pedal. It has no codes come up and the check engine light did not come on. I have a strong feeling that it is something electrical, but I don't know where to start, and I don't want to just start replacing things until I get it right. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Veteran / Moderator

Jun 20, 2009, 10:11 AM

Post #2 of 9 (10519 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

Those Chrsylers have had a problem with their shift solenoid packs. It's mounted externally on the left side (facing the radiator). If you still have your old tranny, take if off & try it on the new one. Just make sure everything is very clean around it (especially bewteen the pack & tranny case) before you remove it.Get dirt into the valve body & you will be creating more problems that you are trying to solve. You might want to also replace the gasket, it is also common for them to leak from this area as well.

From the dealer they are around $300 so I probably wouldn't go out get one with out making sure that is the problem.....



Jul 6, 2009, 3:45 AM

Post #3 of 9 (10489 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

No shift solonoid on the three speed trans, Except t conv clutch. This trans is controlled by mecanical linkage from throttle to lever on trans, try disonnect linkage and see if it shifts? Drive easy! adjustment may be out at the linkage on top of the trans


Jul 20, 2009, 8:24 AM

Post #4 of 9 (10452 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

The problem ended up being the return spring and adjustment on the kick-down linkage. I replaced the spring and then adjusted the linkage in so that it kicks down later and now it works like it is supposed to.


Jul 20, 2009, 8:28 AM

Post #5 of 9 (10451 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

sounds like superbob had the right diagnosis!

Veteran / Moderator

Jul 20, 2009, 5:47 PM

Post #6 of 9 (10444 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

Good call Bob.....

I'm sure Tom, Loren or HT will be forecoming with a star that is redeemable at starbucks.......Wink


Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator

Jul 21, 2009, 5:10 PM

Post #7 of 9 (10436 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

For Bob! Good call.
SW Washington

New User

Aug 31, 2011, 10:19 PM

Post #8 of 9 (8639 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

I had the same problem,have the same van. My mechanic did a diognostic and he said it was'nt the transmission.theres a module box or an electrical box on the transmission thats connected to dsome plugs.and its square.take that out and replace it. its about 140.00 dollars.I replace it and it ran so smooth,gears changed so smoothly. but they recommended also to change the transmission computer,which is located on the passenger side.also a square box connected with a wiring harness with a screw in the to the washer and radiator bottles.reason why because after replacing the module on the transmission it did the same thing again, got stuck on one gear after it was hot. So I unplugged the transmission computeron the passenger side and did a restart on the computer and it worked again for a couple of minutes. so i'm pretty sure is both those boxes.change both. NOTE i have not changed the computer yet but im going to, due to lack of time.but i'll get back at u unless u change it first. and it works.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

Sep 1, 2011, 6:19 AM

Post #9 of 9 (8631 views)
     Re: 1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem [In reply to]  

This thread is 2 years old. If you have a question, please start a new thread.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

1998 Dodge Caravan transmission problem

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