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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have a 15 T&C, 78xxx miles, no issues up until today. Wife driving, moan from drivers side of engine bay. Does even have enough power to get up the hill she was on. Pull over, calls me, I limp to our dealer which is literally 1/4 mile away. Dealer calls back tonight, says it needs a new transmission to the tune of $7,200.

First, how does a transmission implode literally in seconds with no signs? Also, being that this model year had multiple vehicles recalled with transmission pump failures, how can FCA say that the others not in the recall that are also failing are not the same issue? I am disgusted and will NEVER buy another FCA vehicle.

And yes, I called Chrysler Customer Care who basically said too bad, so sad, not our problem.
 

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is there any reason you're just going to let the dealership do that?

transmission replacement cost me half that price, your van is much newer so it should be more but not 7200, go to a mechanic
 

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is there any reason you're just going to let the dealership do that?

transmission replacement cost me half that price, your van is much newer so it should be more but not 7200, go to a mechanic
If I do replacement, it will probably be elsewhere. Just trying to decide whether to dump it or not, as I will not put money i dont have into a nonreliable vehicle.
 

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yup - mine (2014) did that at 71000. turns out the "lifetime" fluid had been slowly getting low. Got it replaced with a reman at a local tranny shop for about $4k if I remember right. Came with a 3 year warranty but turned out to be useless as the shop closed up right when covid hit and closed everyone down. Fortunately it is still working fine. From what the mechanic said, the transmission cooler lines were seeping fluid at the metal connections, and since they are covered with a plastic corrugated sheath it is not easy to see them, so a miniscule drip over the years goes undetected.
Looking back, there were clues if I had known what to look for -
First, I would have gotten or made a dipstick and learned how to check the fluid level, in spite of the numerous written documentations saying it was "good for life".
Second, the loud whistle I heard when starting it up when really cold (20f or below) should have warned me something was up. The whistle went away after about a full minute or two as the car warmed up.
Third, starting out on the highway after a short warmup in the winter there would be a very short high pitched whine at the shift under acceleration - would only do that once each time.
Fourth, I would watch the hydraulic fittings for signs of seepage.
 

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I got the trans in my '16 Grand Caravan replaced at 40k miles under warranty. Further, I bought a Mopar lifetime warranty (before the 3/36 expired) so I'll be covered if it blows up again.

I would assume your trans had been leaking for a long time (mine had been leaking slightly) and lost sufficient fluid that it died. Mine was shifting a bit funny but primary symptom was a leak. I'm guessing you had oil (trans fluid) spots where you park. If you see oil spots, it's a good idea to get your vehicle evaluated and repaired.

No reason you couldn't trust your van after the trans is replaced (don't use the dealer). They use the same engine and transmission in the 20-foot-tall Promaster vans so if anything, it's got more capacity than needed to pull around a minivan.
 

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Maybe this should be a warning, to everyone, to check their transmission lines. Assume they are leaking. Every Chrysler that I have had, in the last 25 years, has required their replacement. I think, only once, while they were still covered by warranty. I have never seen a drip, in the driveway, so it is not an obvious leak.
 

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If you decide to go to a transmission shop to install a reman trans, request the trans shop to throw in a transmission cooler install. Transmission coolers go for about $30-150 (depending on what you want) and will likely help extend the life of your transmission as heat degrades many mechanic parts, especially a transmission.

I also recommend getting a good OBD phone scanner that allows you to track in real time the transmission fluid temp. Android—Torque Pro; IPhone—OBD Fusion. This way you can properly measure the transmission fluid.

Unfortunately for me, I had a trans go out at 109k, but still shifted ok, but leaks from every conceivable place in the trans. Instead of messing with dropping The trans and fixing a seals, it was actually cheaper to replace with a reman
Where specifically would one check the tranny lines? Picture or link to pictures?
find a YouTube video on transmission line install. Here is a picture of mine when it was leaking.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Electrical wiring Gas

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design

Bicycle tire Automotive tire Tire Bicycle part Bicycle wheel
 

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I think the 2015 already has a "heavy duty" transmission cooler. Started that with the 3.6L engine, I believe. Check the build sheet.
 

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Where specifically would one check the tranny lines? Picture or link to pictures?
Nopics but you simply trace the smaller tubes coming from the radiator to the transmission and/or cooler. Get a small bright flashlight to assist. Not easy to get good pics showing the pipe for many installs. I suggest also looking up replacements on rock auto, or the like, and seeing what the pipe looks like, helps to spot it amongst the jungle.
 

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On my '16, although the leak was a symptom, the front bearing was also turning itself into shrapnel. Under warranty, the dealer put in a remanufactured Mopar transmission, new cooler lines, and a new trans cooler which interestingly is a unit with the A/C condenser.

If there is any possibility of metal particles in the lines and cooler, change all the stuff out... And the A/C condenser is a surprise and unintended part of the job.
 

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One of my trans cooler lines leaked on my ‘14 T&C

I replaced both of them around this time last year. I posted a procedure on how to do it on the forum.
 

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I got the trans in my '16 Grand Caravan replaced at 40k miles under warranty. Further, I bought a Mopar lifetime warranty (before the 3/36 expired) so I'll be covered if it blows up again.

I would assume your trans had been leaking for a long time (mine had been leaking slightly) and lost sufficient fluid that it died. Mine was shifting a bit funny but primary symptom was a leak. I'm guessing you had oil (trans fluid) spots where you park. If you see oil spots, it's a good idea to get your vehicle evaluated and repaired.

No reason you couldn't trust your van after the trans is replaced (don't use the dealer). They use the same engine and transmission in the 20-foot-tall Promaster vans so if anything, it's got more capacity than needed to pull around a minivan.
That's the thing, no leakage whatsoever. Actually store flattened cardboard under both my vehicles, and this one didn't have even a drop.
 

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Maybe this should be a warning, to everyone, to check their transmission lines. Assume they are leaking. Every Chrysler that I have had, in the last 25 years, has required their replacement. I think, only once, while they were still covered by warranty. I have never seen a drip, in the driveway, so it is not an obvious leak.
Good information. In my case, it was in the garage for its annual safety inspection just two weeks prior, and I quote "clean as a whistle" underneath.
 

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You don't state your engine. The 3.3L used the 4-speed (41TE). The 3.6, 3.8, and 4.0L used the 6-speed (62TE) which is a derivative of the 41TE. Both are termed "Ultradrive". I have the 41TE in my 2002 T&C. It is an excellent transmission. Mine has 282K miles. I rebuilt it at ~200K miles simply because I had to remove it to replace a cracked flexplate and figured it needed it. The clutch plates inside were barely worn, only 1 mil, all rubber was fine, and no gears showed wear. I replaced all clutches and rubber anyway. I wonder if Chrysler messed up the design since 2002. By 1998 they had fixed little issues which were mostly due to seal and gasket designs. The many transmissions which failed were mainly due to shops filling them with cheaper Dexron fluid.

I wonder how a leak would harm the transmission. Usually that just loses fluid drive in the torque converter, so it just spins uselessly. Adding fluid fixes it, with no damage. Perhaps if you keep revving the engine, going nowhere, you could wear out the clutch plates if they are slipping, as true in a manual transmission too. Sounds like the main problem is a leaking cooling hose. Try replacing that first. For hoses like that with metal ferrules, rather than buy the expensive hose assembly, I just cut and peel off the ferrule and replace the hose. The aluminum ferrules are easy, or the thin steel ones often used on engine coolant hoses. AC "barrier hose" will work for transmission or engine oil hoses. You can also buy hose marked "transmission oil" at NAPA and others. I have a ferrule crimper tool for AC hoses, so often use that, or you can buy Oeticker stepless ear clamps on ebay for a slick factory look. A screw clamp will also suffice. If you do need a rebuilt transmission, they run ~$1700. Better to have yours rebuilt at a local shop, if it even needs that. Removal and re-install is about half the effort, especially on my T&C with AWD.
 

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You don't state your engine. The 3.3L used the 4-speed (41TE). The 3.6, 3.8, and 4.0L used the 6-speed (62TE) which is a derivative of the 41TE). Both are termed "Ultradrive". I have the 41TE in my 2002 T&C. It is an excellent transmission. Mine has 282K miles. I rebuilt it at ~200K miles simply because I had to remove it to replace a cracked flexplate and figured it needed it. The clutch plates inside were barely worn, only 1 mil, all rubber was fine, and no gears showed wear. I replaced all clutches and rubber anyway. I wonder if Chrysler messed up the design since 2002. By 1998 they had fixed little issues which were mostly due to seal and gasket designs. The many transmissions which failed were mainly due to shops filling them with cheaper Dexron fluid.

I wonder how a leak would harm the transmission. Usually that just loses fluid drive in the torque converter, so it just spins uselessly. Adding fluid fixes it, with no damage. Perhaps if you keep revving the engine, going nowhere, you could wear out the clutch plates if they are slipping, as true in a manual transmission too. Sounds like the main problem is a leaking cooling hose. Try replacing that first. For hoses like that with metal ferrules, rather than buy the expensive hose assembly, I just cut and peel off the ferrule and replace the hose. The aluminum ferrules are easy, or the thin steel ones often used on engine coolant hoses. AC "barrier hose" will work for transmission or engine oil hoses. You can also buy hose marked "transmission oil" at NAPA and others. I have a ferrule crimper tool for AC hoses, so often use that, or you can buy Oeticker stepless ear clamps on ebay for a slick factory look. A screw clamp will also suffice. If you do need a rebuilt transmission, they run ~$1700. Better to have yours rebuilt at a local shop, if it even needs that. Removal and reassembly is about half the effort, especially on my T&C with AWD.
Its a 2015, which all came with the Pentastar 3.6 and 62TE. Again, no leaks external to the engine. I wish transmissions were that cheap around here. Nobody actually rebuilds, and the lowest estimate I received was $4,400 installed.
 

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Toss the plastic engine cover so you can better monitor what's happening under your hood. I have been lucky with my transmission. Replaced solenoid pack, replaced cooler lines when they leaked and have tried to change filter and fluid at 50K. Now at 182K. 4-7 thousand for a transmission isn't bad when you look at the price of a used vehicle in this market.
 

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I'd also suggest a fluid level issue. I had a leaker on my 2001 Sierra and it was undetectable until the vehicle stopped getting power to the wheels while cornering, fluid level sloshing to the sides. So, THEN I had a look and sure enough one line had started leaking, a little over time, but never a sign of any leak while parked. A fresh leak leaves the part looking pretty clean, washes off any accumulated dirt if the flow is great enough.
 

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We lost our 2010 DGC to an transmission issue that sounded like the ones previously described. It only had 125K miles and everything else was great. I have never owned a vehicle where the tranny completely failed before and we usually keep them to 200K or the repair bills start to become constant. Although this was the first Chrysler product we ever owned.

I purchased a 2018 DGC and have been very happy with it. You could definitely feel the difference and see an increase in gas mileage when we went to the new engine. We now have 75K on it and I have been following your forum and seeing the transmission questions come up a lot. I am no mechanic so doing things myself is limited to head lights, marker bulbs, batteries, wiper blades and other simple plug-in or fit-in components. I want this van to last as I now have kids in college and don't have the extra $ for replacing either the vehicle or transmission.

So what do I do?
Transmission flush and refill?
Transmission drain and refill?
Transmission service where they drop the pan, replace the filter, clean the magnet, and refill?

Then the next question is how to find a reputable shop?
Do I take it to transmission place?
From the comments read it sounds like dealerships can be iffy from one to another.
I live outside Cleveland so there are many places, but I don't have any friends or family members who keep their cars for more than 3-4 years. So there is no one to get advise from.

I would appreciate your thoughts and advice.
 
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