2002 Dodge Caravan Transmisson Failure and Towing

Tiny
SLOAKE
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE CARAVAN
2002 Dodge Caravan Automatic

The transmission died last night while on a trip and towng a trailer. According to all the specs, we researched there should not have been a problem towing a 2000lb trailer with a 6cyl van. It did not have a towing package (transmission cooler) installed.

Before this trip I could feel a slight periodic vibration, which I thought was like the timing belt being off. My husband said that the timing is computer controlled. I am wondering if the vibration was related to the tranny but we didn't recognize it.

If we get the tranny replaced/rebuilt can we still tow the trailer, or will this happen again?
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Sunday, June 6th, 2010 AT 7:46 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Your husband is correct. The timing is controled by the computer. However, the vibrating you felt could have been the clutches slipping.

As far as replacing it, refer to the owner's manual to make sure what they recommend as far as max towing weight. I believe it to be well over 2000lbs with electric brakes on the trailer. Also, when having the trans replaced, have a cooler installed if you plan to continue towing with it. It really will help.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Sunday, June 6th, 2010 AT 11:10 PM
Tiny
SLOAKE
  • MEMBER
The dealer we took it to says its the catalytic converter. It blocked up everything. I guess that the backpressure and/or the computer limited the transmission to low gear.

Thanks for the advice Joe. The cat being the source problem was a surprise to us.
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Monday, June 7th, 2010 AT 11:32 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That is good news. I'm glad to hear it. However, I do recommend having a trans cooler installed if you plan to tow with it. The transmissions in these vehicles are not the strongest, and a cooler would help save it.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Monday, June 7th, 2010 AT 1:11 PM

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