2000 Dodge Caravan Transmission downshifted unexpectedly

Tiny
DGRACIA
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
Hi,
I was driving my wife's van to work this morning on the freeway (~60 mph) and it suddenly downshifted and stayed in the lower gear. Would not come out of it. Felt like it may have gone into 2nd as opposed to dropping into 3rd. Engine light also came on.

When I got to work, I checked the tranny fluid and it was full, clear (not cloudy), and didn't stink at all (no burned smell). Have not checked the filter because I have no tools here.

Transmission was replaced under warranty in about 2005 and had worked fine ever since. Did my transmission just die or did the care go into some sort of "limp-home" mode?

Thanks,
Dan
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 AT 9:59 AM

2 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi dgracia. Welcome to the forum. Yes, limp-in mode is when it defaults to second gear and stays there. To reset the Transmission Computer, you must cycle the ignition switch off and restart the engine. Once the Check Engine lights turns on, it means there is a diagnostic fault code memorized in the Engine Computer. It will most likely be code P0700 which just means a code has ben memorized in the Transmission Computer.

As a general rule, if the default to limp-in occurs as soon as you start the engine or as soon as you start to move, the problem is sensor related or there is some other electrical problem. The same is true if it occurs while cruising at a steady speed and no shifting gears is taking place. If the default occurs during a gear shift, typically an upshift under light load, the problem is related to slippage of one of the clutch packs.

If your transmission was rebuilt five years ago, there were a lot of updated parts available that reduced internal seal leakage due to tolerance buildup of mating parts and minor wear. Have your mechanic read the fault code(s) in the Transmission Computer. That will provide the starting point for the diagnostics.

Caradiodoc
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 AT 1:49 PM
Tiny
DGRACIA
  • MEMBER
Thanks Cardiodoc,

The trouble codes were P0700 as you guessed, but also P1714 and P1768. As best I can see the P1714 means low voltage received and P1768 is "automatic transaxle". Hopefully that's less expensive than a mechanical problem with the transmission.

Thanks,
Dan
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 AT 2:56 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides