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2011 DGC SE, 2015 DGC SXT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang,

I have a 2011 Grand Caravan with 118k miles. Trans fluid has never been serviced as far as I'm aware. 90% of the time I get a solid clunk when shifting into reverse and a more substantial one when shifting into drive. I'm mentally preparing myself for my visit to the transmission shop...What's the likelyhood of my needing a rebuilt transmission? Other repairs that are common (and their costs)?

...I really have little desire to drop a transmission into the van, I think the money would be better used towards a lower mileage unit.

Thoughts?
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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Are you sure it's not motor mounts? Have someone hold the brake and shift from reverse to drive while you watch the engine. If it moves much, you have bad mounts.

And at that mileage you definitely need a trans fluid and filter change. I recommend following the severe service of 60k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you sure it's not motor mounts? Have someone hold the brake and shift from reverse to drive while you watch the engine. If it moves much, you have bad mounts.

And at that mileage you definitely need a trans fluid and filter change. I recommend following the severe service of 60k miles.
Oh-good call on the mounts, I’ll check that out, thanks.
Baded on mileage and lack of previous service, I’ve had two transmission shops say they won’t even do the service-crazy. Ah well
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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Buy the filter, some ultra grey RTV, a drain pan, a few cans of brake cleaner, a roll of paper towels, and at least 6 quarts of ATF+4 and do it yourself. Pan bolts are 10mm, think the filter is a T15 torx. Aside from that you'll need a scraper to clean off the old RTV and a hammer and putty knife to separate the pan from the trans once unbolted. (Hint: Leave some bolts in loosely so it doesn't fall off and make a big mess when you break it free.) Shouldn't be hard to find a video on YouTube of it. The fluid chart you need is here.
 
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2014 Dodge Grand Caravan
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I thought for sure I had a transmission issue as well. My clunk was intermittent and would happen during stop and go driveing and parking lot maneuvering. It turned out to be the CV shaft on the drivers side! Also, did not exhibit the usual CV clicking noise while turning. Was a lot cheaper to repair, than the transmission rebuild I was mentally preparing for. :)
 

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2008 Town and Country 3.8L
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I thought for sure I had a transmission issue as well. My clunk was intermittent and would happen during stop and go driveing and parking lot maneuvering. It turned out to be the CV shaft on the drivers side! Also, did not exhibit the usual CV clicking noise while turning. Was a lot cheaper to repair, than the transmission rebuild I was mentally preparing for. :)
I have the same symptoms you described and I drive in stop and go traffic all the time. I thought it could be the cv axles as well. Good to know that someone had the same issue and me and fixed it. Thanks for sharing, I might have to order cv axles now.
 

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Oh-good call on the mounts, I’ll check that out, thanks.
Baded on mileage and lack of previous service, I’ve had two transmission shops say they won’t even do the service-crazy. Ah well
Please elaborate on that, doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps they don't use licensed ATF+4. Better check that out. Maybe they only do flushes (warning involved).

The transmission fluid change interval is 120,000 miles for non severe (i.e no taxi, towing-lots, police) use. 118,000 isn't a red flag at all. Go figure.

When changing the fluid install a new pan with a drain plug so you can easily do future changes yourself.

How is the health of your transmission fluid? right type? right amount, .
 

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The transmission fluid change interval is 120,000 miles for non severe (i.e no taxi, towing-lots, police) use. 118,000 isn't a red flag at all. Go figure.
More of a black flag. That's the one where they force you to get off the track because you're a hazard. :p

I recommend following the severe service of 60k miles.
Seen too many post of people with 80-120k miles needing a trans because they never did a fluid service. My own shifted horribly at 67k before doing the fluid and filter.
 

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More of a black flag. That's the one where they force you to get off the track because you're a hazard. :p


Seen too many post of people with 80-120k miles needing a trans because they never did a fluid service. My own shifted horribly at 67k before doing the fluid and filter.
If I treated my Van like you treat yours, I would be changing the transmission fluid with every oil change. You are wearing out the "bounce back" additive.
Well, maybe 10,000 km isn't often enough. :)
 

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2014 Town & Country
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I thought for sure I had a transmission issue as well. My clunk was intermittent and would happen during stop and go driveing and parking lot maneuvering. It turned out to be the CV shaft on the drivers side! Also, did not exhibit the usual CV clicking noise while turning. Was a lot cheaper to repair, than the transmission rebuild I was mentally preparing for. :)
How’d you diagnose it as a driver’s side CV axle? What a cool find! I’d have never thunk of that (pun intended)!! 😄

But my question was serious despite my silliness. How’d you diagnose it as a driver’s side CV axle issue?
 

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2014 Dodge Grand Caravan
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I can't claim to be the one who done it. I took it to my dealership and they kept it for a week. (It took that long before they were able to reproduce the issue!) When he called, and told me what he found....WOW! Awesome, he will get my business again after that. He replaced the complete CV assembly.
I'd been putt'in up with this for a year and had added LubeGuard to the trans...trying to fix the problem. Which the LubeGuard did not, but it did somewhat improve the overall shift quality for a time. :(
 
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