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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks, new to the forum and new T&C owner. This is my first Chrysler of any sort, I acquired it from a relative a few months ago with 126,000 miles. It's now at 130,000. Said relative bought it from Carmax when it was a year old. Its been well-maintained, regular oil changes and so on. Transmission was rebuilt around 40,000 miles, so the current trans has maybe 90,000 miles on it. Trans fluid has never been changed and is still pink. It runs well, always starts and there's been no goofy behavior from the transmission. So my question is, would such a vehicle be up for a 3000 mile round trip that includes the Rocky Mountains? Or is it pushing my luck, particularly with the transmission? On a related note, should I get the transmission fluid changed on general principles? I change it regularly on my other vehicles but I've never let them go this long and I'm not sure if it would do more harm than good after 90k.
Thanks for your advice
 

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I'd check for obvious problems like leaks, hoses that are ready to burst, tire bulges / cracks, maybe brake lining condition, fluid levels, etc. If they all check OK, I'd get in it and go.

As for the transmission fluid, regardless of how many miles since it's last been changed or how many horror stories and old wives tales you might hear, you are not going to hurt anything by changing it. If anything, the transmission will likely work better. If a transmission happens to fail right after changing the fluid, it was already on death's door regardless of what was in it. People usually never change their ATF, and when their transmission starts acting up, they try to use a fluid change as a "Hail Mary" to try to save it, when it's already too late.

If you decide to change it, just be sure to use ATF+4 and nothing else.
 

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if the transmission fluid looks good, and is at the right level, i would not change it right before going on a long intensive trip like this, i don't want the transmission to give it up on a trip far from home, i'd rather find out i've upset it or that something is wrong while i'm home

if the trip is a few weeks out, it would be good to do it now and have that time to monitor it's behavior
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd check for obvious problems like leaks, hoses that are ready to burst, tire bulges / cracks, maybe brake lining condition, fluid levels, etc. If they all check OK, I'd get in it and go.

As for the transmission fluid, regardless of how many miles since it's last been changed or how many horror stories and old wives tales you might hear, you are not going to hurt anything by changing it. If anything, the transmission will likely work better. If a transmission happens to fail right after changing the fluid, it was already on death's door regardless of what was in it. People usually never change their ATF, and when their transmission starts acting up, they try to use a fluid change as a "Hail Mary" to try to save it, when it's already too late.

If you decide to change it, just be sure to use ATF+4 and nothing else.
Yeah, before a big trip I generally take my vehicles to the mechanic for a once over so I'll do that for sure. I never know what to think about changing trans fluid, I've even had mechanics warn me not to change it once it's gone past XXXX miles without a change. Then again, some said the same as you, a change never hurts. I'll go ahead and do it after my big trip, trans is behaving perfectly fine now and fluid is still pink. Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
if the transmission fluid looks good, and is at the right level, i would not change it right before going on a long intensive trip like this, i don't want the transmission to give it up on a trip far from home, i'd rather find out i've upset it or that something is wrong while i'm home

if the trip is a few weeks out, it would be good to do it now and have that time to monitor it's behavior
Trip is in just a couple of weeks, so I'll wait until after. Trans seems to be in perfect working order as it is, knock on wood, and fluid is still pink so I'll wait. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
130K high mileage? That's just past the break-in period! Have a great trip!
Hope so! I've never taken a trip this far in an American car with mileage this high (in the past when my Fords and GMs reached this high they were reserved for around-town duty only), so it's uncharted territory for me. Thanks!
 

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Have driven my 250k+ miles T&C from Chicago to Minneapolis and back as well as Chicago to Washington DC and back with no issues. I suggest packing jumper cables, a 12V air compressor, can of tire sealant, extra coolant, oil, and ATF. Make sure the tires are properly inflated. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have driven my 250k+ miles T&C from Chicago to Minneapolis and back as well as Chicago to Washington DC and back with no issues. I suggest packing jumper cables, a 12V air compressor, can of tire sealant, extra coolant, oil, and ATF. Make sure the tires are properly inflated. Good luck!
Hi DIY Fan, for sure, always carry cables, oil and so on in all my vehicles at all times, I'm a bit of a neurotic. How many transmissions has your T&C gone through in 250k? Based on your experience, what kind of life do you think I could expect out of mine? As mentioned, it's a rebuild with 90k miles on it, original fluid from rebuild (still pink). Thanks.
 

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JoeM, the best advice I can give you to prevent transmission and engine overheating in the Rockies, is to use 'third' when going up the mountains. You'll be happier, and your trans and engine will be happier. You will not be hurting anything, and that is why Chrysler gave you the option of 'third'.
 

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How many transmissions has your T&C gone through in 250k? Based on your experience, what kind of life do you think I could expect out of mine? As mentioned, it's a rebuild with 90k miles on it, original fluid from rebuild (still pink). Thanks.
All great advice. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. If it was well maintained, you should be fine. As to the transmission, since you have a rebuild, it's hard to say how long it will last, since not knowing what was changed and brand parts was used to rebuild it.

Our 01 DGC EX has over 318K miles on the original engine and trans. No leaks or issues what's so ever. I do my own maintenance. I changed the trans. fluid every 40K miles and changed the filter every other fluid change. I had to change out the torque convertor at around 189K miles back in 2016, because of a clogged filter that was never changed. I could have prevented the damage, by not driving her, when she started making noise. Get this, our van was always served at the dealership we purchased her from. They only recommended a fluid flush and said the filter is cleaned by back flushing the system. Needless to say, I never went back and do all my own repairs.
 
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I'm at 190 k miles and take trips in the mountains all the time. It's good practice to suck 4 litres of ATF+4 out of the dipstick and pour the same back in. Color means very little but my trans begins to develop really nasty shudders when backing up on hills if I let it go too long before doing the 4 litres, usually every couple years. When my trans goes, the van will be dumped, so I look after it with that $35/2yrs. Super easy with a oil suction device.
 

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Hi DIY Fan, for sure, always carry cables, oil and so on in all my vehicles at all times, I'm a bit of a neurotic. How many transmissions has your T&C gone through in 250k? Based on your experience, what kind of life do you think I could expect out of mine? As mentioned, it's a rebuild with 90k miles on it, original fluid from rebuild (still pink). Thanks.
Original transmission. ATF drain and fill roughly every 40k miles. I know people say not to put anything other than ATF+4 but for the last few years I add half a bottle (12 oz) of Lucas Oil Transmission fix to stop the torque converter lockup bang.
 

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i would not change it [trans fluid] right before going on a long intensive trip like this,
Agreed,

the trans needs a few hundred miles of shifting (not cruising) to 're-learn' its shift points.

+++++++++++++

Also good advice regards the spare and its release mechanism. I filled up our spare before a trip once, and it went POP. :eek:Bought a new tire, lucky too because we picked up a nail on that trip. :mad:
 

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Agreed,

the trans needs a few hundred miles of shifting (not cruising) to 're-learn' its shift points.

+++++++++++++

Also good advice regards the spare and its release mechanism. I filled up our spare before a trip once, and it went POP. :eek:Bought a new tire, lucky too because we picked up a nail on that trip. :mad:
Shouldn't have filled up that spare right before a trip......
 

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Original transmission. ATF drain and fill roughly every 40k miles. I know people say not to put anything other than ATF+4 but for the last few years I add half a bottle (12 oz) of Lucas Oil Transmission fix to stop the torque converter lockup bang.
I've never encountered the 'lock-up bang'? Pretty smooth and the only symptom something is going wrong with the fluid is when I back up on a steep hill and the shuddering is pretty bad. Change out 4 litres of ATF+4 and it stops doing that for 2-3 years, even with a 2,500# trailer on the hitch
 

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Howdy folks, new to the forum and new T&C owner. This is my first Chrysler of any sort, I acquired it from a relative a few months ago with 126,000 miles. It's now at 130,000. Said relative bought it from Carmax when it was a year old. Its been well-maintained, regular oil changes and so on. Transmission was rebuilt around 40,000 miles, so the current trans has maybe 90,000 miles on it. Trans fluid has never been changed and is still pink. It runs well, always starts and there's been no goofy behavior from the transmission. So my question is, would such a vehicle be up for a 3000 mile round trip that includes the Rocky Mountains? Or is it pushing my luck, particularly with the transmission? On a related note, should I get the transmission fluid changed on general principles? I change it regularly on my other vehicles but I've never let them go this long and I'm not sure if it would do more harm than good after 90k.
Thanks for your advice
Made a Rockies trip a few years back in my '06 T&C with 150K+ miles on it. No problems. Although depending on how loaded down you are, expect that sucker to scream 4500 RPM going up the mountains. 6 people plus luggage. Scared the begeezus out of me but worked like a champ.
 

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Made a Rockies trip a few years back in my '06 T&C with 150K+ miles on it. No problems. Although depending on how loaded down you are, expect that sucker to scream 4500 RPM going up the mountains. 6 people plus luggage. Scared the begeezus out of me but worked like a champ.
I'd suggest that transmission programming is the single worst engineering failure of these vans, causes me all kind of issues when running in the mountains. Who designs a trans to shift into 1st or 2nd at highway speeds then upshift into top gear and even lock-up while decelerating sharply, etc. Just the dumbest shifting pattern I have ever encountered and the worst feature of these vans, IMHO. I don't think I've ever made a trip where I haven't cursed Chryco engineers loudly
 

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I'd suggest that transmission programming is the single worst engineering failure of these vans, causes me all kind of issues when running in the mountains. Who designs a trans to shift into 1st or 2nd at highway speeds then upshift into top gear and even lock-up while decelerating sharply, etc. Just the dumbest shifting pattern I have ever encountered and the worst feature of these vans, IMHO. I don't think I've ever made a trip where I haven't cursed Chryco engineers loudly
Really? IMO, my van has one of the best working automatic transmissions I have had. Though, I do keep it in 3rd unless I am steadily going ~50+ MPH.

You should try driving my Mom's Honduh Fit. I swear, that transmission is controlled by a crack-smoking monkey. It shifts at the dumbest times. It's like the transmission doesn't realize that it's being driven by an engine that has no low end torque. It'll shift into 5th gear at 35 MPH, and then two seconds later it's like "oh crap, the engine's falling on it's face.... better shift down two gears.":rolleyes:

To me, the worst engineering failure of these vans is how badly and how quickly they rust out.:mad:
 
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