2000 Dodge Caravan engine dies when cold (tranny problem)

Tiny
KITT78
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
I've encountered some problems with my transmission (Dodge Grand Caravan Sport
3.8 AWD year 2000 ).
I've already exchange transmissin oil three times (once with filter) Oil was
dirty and brownish but smells normally -(not burned). Now is Reddish clear.
I've exchanged Solenoid Pack (brand new)
I've checked by OBDII reader - but no transmission error codes

My main problem is:
When I start my car in the morning (engine is cold and aslo transmission
oil is cold; ambient temp. 15 Deg Celcius)

Engine works fine, idle approx 900~700rpm.

And after changing from PtoR or NtoD or NtoR (and all other combination
when cold - engine stops idle - dies,

-Then I start again engine try to put gear once again sometimes is good> and I can drive - no problems all day(until next morning)

- or sometimes I must afer changing gear to D or R quickly release brake -
- car is driving going forward or reverse.
If in last case if I push brake pedal just after releasing brake pedal
if not Engine will stop idle. But I if I push brake pedal after 100m of driving
it will be no problem all day long)

I was visiting couple mechanics (they dont have DRBII or DRBIII scanning
tool) - first diagnosis Solenoid Pack (it's replaced now brand new).
but after replacement no luck.

It could be in the valve body of the electronic
transaxle where there is a switch valve, a control valve and a regulator
valve all three related to the torque converter clutch.

How to check this Valves - if they are working correctly or not (after disassembly Valve body)?

Or how to diagnose that problem is Torque Converter.
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have the same problem?
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No
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 AT 2:36 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CH112063
  • MEMBER
After 150,000 miles if the job was given to me or I owned it I would still do the same thing. I would first check the level and cond. Of the fluid, then check the PCM and TCM for codes. If none I would moniter all the clutches and test all the sol. Pack valves for function. Bt then I would know what I need to know.
While I had it out and apart I would clean out and check all the valves in the valve body to feel them. Then after the valve body was apart I would use croucus cloth to wipe them down and clean them, replacing any suspected parts. Not just the valves that are part of the torque converter clutch control system. All of them. I would not use a torque converter unless it was a new one. It's internal clutches are not serviceable any longer. I would already know that the solenoid pack was ok not because it was just replaced but because I tested it already before I took the unit out. Then I would seal and reclutch the unit and check all the gears. Since it is AWD it would take about an hour longer. Then I would backflush the cooler and lines replacing anything that failed. Flash or replace the TCM and using the DRBIII quicklearn the new TCM. Roadtest. If it was ok I would keep it overnight and check it cold. If ok then I would turn in the RO and the keys and start another one the same way.
The valve body valves are checked by working them in and out to see if they are sticking. The torque converter is checked using a stall test. The 150,000 miles fact is the most important evidence.
I hope everything turns out ok. They built that unit to last 100,000 miles at the most. There is no stall test that will point out the problem your having intermittantly, but the new converter must be broken in with either the DRBII or DRBIII. OK.
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Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 AT 4:16 PM
Tiny
CH112063
  • MEMBER
I read your question and thought why is the transmission thought to be the problem? I said to my self if the engine was idling too low or had low power maybe there was a problem like a sensor or idle speed motor or dirt in that area, and what do I see, Yes you can clean it, and clean the bore that it mounts into and the blade and throat of the throttle body it screws into. You are on the ball.
But if the windings or controls for this motor are not correct, you can see it with the scanner. All day for years I repaired electronic transmissions and the torque converter locking up was a rare event. How does it run? Ch112063 my name is Joe
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Monday, October 5th, 2009 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
KITT78
  • MEMBER
The most interesting in my issue is:
that if I can start the engine and immediately change gear into D or R everything is working properly (max 1second delay). (RPM is dropping from approx 1750 to 1100 and 800 at finish) Gear is on when RPM are 1100 1300.

On the other hand when RPM drops to 800 and or I will wait for more the 2 5 seconds from the engine start and I put the gear on engine will die, even If I press acceleration pedal and rise rpm to 1100 or even 1500 engine will die.

Also I received some good advices from transmission specialist that Accumulator bushings/O-rings needs to be exchanged - and this could solve the problem.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 4:28 AM
Tiny
CH112063
  • MEMBER
Go for it. I think you have 1. Low hydraulic trans. Pressure(o-ring may help). @. Problem with engine or converter. We will see what happens, thanks for the message. Joe
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 10:52 AM
Tiny
JOEY-D
  • MEMBER
Kitt78, Did you get this figured out? I just installed a used tranny in my grand caravan and am having the exact same problem.
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 12:06 AM

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