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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

My caravan is shifting down abruptly I slow down. When I slow down to about 40 Km it shifts down in a way I did not experience till the weather warmed up; is it weather related, as in some problem is now more pronounced on warmer weather.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Any CEL light? codes? gas? starts back up? rough idle? EGR valve?
 
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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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Trans service done, ever? How long ago?
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I've owned the car since December last year and have not done transmission service.
What's involved?
 

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OK Carbuff2, gasket or RTV? :)

You can pump the fluid out through the dipstick tube and put back in as much as you pump out, or more, if it's down. If down though, you have a leak somewhere to attend to.

Otherwise, a pan drop and fluid/filter change. Lots of info on here about that plus online videos (41TE transmission). Check your Owner's Manual re the interval for a change. The following use requires more frequent changes. With normal use, it's never for the 4th Generation. You might want to follow the 120,000 miles/192,000 km stated for the 5th Generation 62TE..
Change automatic transmission fluid and filter if using your vehicle for any of the following: police, taxi, fleet, or frequent trailer towing
 
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I suggest to drain and fill the ATF. Make sure you use ATF+4 and I suggest full synthetic. O'Reilly has it by the gallon. Also recommend replacing the filter. You will need to drop the pan and replace the gasket. I strongly recommend against having a shop use a flush machine. ATF flush machines can kill your transmission. If you bring it to a shop request a "drain and fill without flush machine". The transmission pan lacks a drain plug so if you do it yourself it can be messy. I have an electric fluid pump which connects to the battery. I pump out most of the fluid from the pan with the electric fluid pump before dropping the transmission pan. Be sure to torque the pan to spec evenly and in a criss-cross pattern. There are videos on youtube. Drain and fill the ATF will only replace 4 quarts out of 12 so if you want to get most of the ATF it will require 3 changes with a few days of driving between changes. Make sure to check the ATF level per the owners manual. Engine should be hot and running, set the parking brake, shift slowly through all gears and back to park, then check the level. If it is low add ATF in small amounts and recheck. I think it is 1 pint from the low mark to the high mark. Good luck!

2005 Town and Country 251k miles bought new
 

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Good information DIY Fan. Thanks for the Post.

Chrysler ATF+4 uses Group III base stocks as the carrier fluid apparently. They may have used a blend at one time, early on.. Then there's the additive package that takes up volume and completes the fluid as a product.
"Full synthetic" just means it doesn't contain any Group II conventional, I assume, it certainly isn't Group IV base oil which is a non petroleum synthetic. It may have some group IV oil in it, but I don't think so, BUT, the Pour Points for ATF+4 tend to be impressive at -40C to -50C compared to many "full synthetic" motor oils at -35ish C (5W-20 and 5W-30).

Some Dealerships will insist on a transmission "flush" so watch out for that money maker. They wouldn't back flush though, hopefully. The flushing chemicals they use is what Chrysler is concerned about and which may void the warranty. Chrysler has a service bulletin on that, only thing requiring flushing is the coolant. Some Dealerships want to "flush" everything in site, including your wallet. Imagine that, a nice clean wallet. :)

As for checking the level, there are three ways, cold check working better than hot in my experience. The fluid only has to be in the range on the dipstick, not to the top of the range. Check the wording on the dipstick and what the Owner's Manual says.

Transmission Fluid Level - Quick Cursory Check
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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OK Carbuff2, gasket or RTV?
😇LOL, I know that opinions vary here, about changing ATF and the filter. :rolleyes: Some say NOT NEEDED, other members say do it on a regular basis. (SEVERE SERVICE recommendation was 60K miles I think)

Jeepman refers to the factory's practice of sealing the trans pan with RTV. Aftermarket trans filter 'kits' often include a gasket. And, MOPAR also had (has) a trans gasket available.
 
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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
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Before you go stir crazy, check and clean any sediment accumulation on the input and output speed sensors - esp. if you get the classic "butt slap" (delayed downshift) when coming to a stop.

Otherwise keeping fluid lever in correct range and making sure the trans has ATF+4 in it are good start.

RTV for the pan, it's only coming off 2-3 times over the useful life of the vehicle (per 75/100 Kmi service interval) and the threads on the pan bolts are easily overtorqed and stripped...
 

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And it's reusable too (part number 5011115AA).
As much as they want for that gasket it must have gold embedded in it. I can buy a lot of RTV for that price. I have sealed hundreds of pans using RTV with minimal issues. I will continue to use it where it is called for.
 

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2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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I have sealed hundreds of pans using RTV with minimal issues. I will continue to use it where it is called for.
How much time do you spend cleaning the old RTV off?

Perhaps I'm missing an easy way?
 

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How much time do you spend cleaning the old RTV off?

Perhaps I'm missing an easy way?
I'm not sure there is really an "easy" way. I use a single edge razor blade or gasket scraper to get the majority of it off then take the pan to a wire wheel on a bench grinder. If one has access to air/power tools one can use a die grinder with abrasive pads or wire wheel to get it clean. These pans are stout and you don't have to worry about scratching the sealing surface. Use a small screwdriver or pick tool to get RTV out of the bolt holes in the pan. No magic just elbow grease.

Whether one is using RTV or a gasket one very important thing is to make sure you get the RTV off of the bolts and particularly out of the threaded bolt holes in the trans case. Again use a small screwdriver or pick tool to get it all out. I've seen trans cases split due to non-compressible RTV being left in blind holes.

These pans are designed to be used with RTV. I have seen more leaks with aftermarket gaskets than properly used RTV. I had never heard of the Mopar gasket until I saw it in this thread.
 

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I've always used a gasket, even reused it. Some types of RTV are acidic and can eat into the steel or aluminum (so I've heard). If I had to pick a sealant, it would be expensive stuff like what Toyota uses or "Great Stuff" FIPG in a can. Then you also have to wait for a day in warmer weather for the sealant to cure before filling with fluid. Nope, gasket is cheaper, faster, and easier for me. Not saying I wouldn't use it, but a gasket is just more convenient for me. YMMV
 

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...Then you also have to wait for a day in warmer weather for the sealant to cure before filling with fluid...
No waiting necessary if you use the Mopar RTV.
 
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