1990 Dodge Caravan shift soleniods


Transmission problem
1990 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 200000 miles

I had my tranny rebuilt 2 years ago and it was working fine until a month ago. I took the vehicle to a reputable transmission shop and the technician did a code search. The search reveiled the problem was a shift solenoid. This tech. Comes highly recommended and he quoted me to fix the problem would cost up to $600.00. My question is, is this something I can fix myself. I have changed the tranny fluid and filter on several ocassions and I am pretty familiar with wrenching on cars. Are the soleniods attached on the valve body and if so, are they visible when I drop the pan? I never really noticed their placement. If you could advise me on how to fix this problem I would appreciate it Thanks so much. Bubba Dunning

Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 AT 9:33 PM

1 Reply


Hi Bubba Dunning. Welcome to the forum. You have to remove the electrical connector so you can remove the foam rubber noise reduction cover. That will expose the solenoid pack on the front, right above the pan lip and below the cooler hoses.

I've never actually changed one myself but the service manual shows three bolts on the top of the unit. You should be aware though that diagnostic fault codes rarely identify a defective component. The codes are meant to get you into the correct system or circuit to start your testing. While one of the solenoids could indeed be defective, you should measure their resistances first to verify your suspicions. The code could also be the result of the transmission computer not seeing the expected change in fluid pressure when it activates one of the solenoids. That incorrect pressure could be due to internal leakage, a sticking solenoid, a broken or corroded wire, even a problem in the computer itself.

Without diagnostic equipment at the ready, the fastest way to verify the solenoid pack is the problem is to just replace it and see what happens. If you're lucky, it will solve the problem. If the problem persists, more diagnostics will be necessary but the code is always the place to start.


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Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 AT 1:19 AM

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