2002 Dodge Caravan RPM Spikes

Tiny
JZEITLER
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 137,000 MILES
02 Dodge Grand Caravan started "lurchng" with momentary rpm spikes at high speed. The engine stalled when I stopped. I let it cool down and all was ok for about 10 miles. Same thing. A mechanic rode with me with code reader and could find nothing (it didn't malfunction) during that 20 test! Afterwards, it started again. The cruise control seemed to set it off on uphill inclines as I experimented with different speeds, on/off cruise, etc. The tranny acted up as I started up, then calmed down when I pumped the accelerator a few times. Tried starting out without cruise and no problem at high speed until I set cruise on. Suddenly all was good, no problem for 100 miles. Then notices a lurch starting out from stop sign? The major problem started after passing trhough a heavy rain storm. Tranny or cruise problem? I had noticed some subtile tranny slips at startup a few weeks before this all happened.
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Thursday, May 7th, 2009 AT 10:00 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It sounds like the trans is slipping. When was the last service with a new filter?
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Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 AT 10:14 PM
Tiny
JZEITLER
  • MEMBER
The last transmission service (fluid and filter) was about 70,000 miles ago). Two mechanics have told me the fluid still looks good and does not smell burnt. Another mechanic recently tried "retraining" it and said it seems to work better now. I asked for a fluid and filter change but he said that would not make a difference!
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Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 AT 9:23 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
There have been situations where the filter plugged and caused problems. It was just a thought.
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Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 AT 11:44 AM
Tiny
CASCADES91
  • MEMBER
The technician's advice above is very good.

I'm just a person who must maintain my own vehicles due to economic necessity (low income medical disability). Minivan transmissions seem to be notorious for problems. I believe that one of the reasons is that these newer transmissions are engineered differently, require more frequent fluid and filter changes than older transmissions and this fact is often neglected by owners. (And some mechanics) The owner's manual on my 98 Caravan SE recommends transmission service at 30,000 miles and 15,000 miles under heavy use conditions. Look up the service schedule in your manual. BE SURE TO USE THE CORRECT FLUID! The cost of replacing a transmission due to simple service neglect is too high for me to take any chances. It's inexpensive and as suggested just might help remedy your problem or help prolong the life of your transmission
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Monday, May 18th, 2009 AT 5:32 PM

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