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Old 12-28-2003, 07:43 PM
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91 Caravan lost 3rd/4th gear

My wifes Dodge mini van trans acted up by loosing 3rd/4th gear. It is an overdrive 4th gear trans. The trans acted up by up and or down shifting at about 40/45 mph then No 3rd/4th gears. Reverse is fine, 1st and 2nd pull fine but no 3rd. What do you think? Trans fluid is/was full. What is this I have been hearing about a goveror? The garage wants $1400 to fix the problem and won't even talk about a used trans instillation, of course??


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Old 12-28-2003, 07:52 PM
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Which engine and trans combo does it have?
I already know it has a V-6 as my books on mine show no 4 cylinder came W/OD I have a 1991 with the 2.5 & 3-speed in mine.
I also have an extra 2.5 and 3-speed I am willing to give away sitting in front of my garage, they came out of my sisters' 88 Plymouth Voyager she hit a deer and wrecked the hood and all lighting, and tweaked the sliding door off the track which we found out was not long for this world anyway.
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Old 12-28-2003, 08:01 PM
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This one has the V6 4spd over drive trans. Where are you located? I'm In Ohio, near Cleveland and Lake Erie. I am in Amherst, a few miles from Elyria and Lorain.


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Old 12-28-2003, 09:40 PM
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dodge mini van

604 tranny you need to check the tranny computer for codes before you proceed any farther.
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Old 12-29-2003, 11:04 AM
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Then I had better get a good book. I don't have any type service manual on the 91 Caravan. Will I need a seperate book on that trans?


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Old 12-29-2003, 04:33 PM
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This response is directed to two seperate posts, with the same question subject. The "computer" gets signals and readings from the transmission as well as the engine.

According to the information I found in my Chiltons, and Haynes manuals. 1984-1995 Caravan/Voyager/Town & Country

1. The Single Board Engine Controller (SBEC), also referred to as a Powertrain Control Module (PCM), is located behind the battery.

2. The SMEC, SBEC, SBEC II, or PCM, are designed to test their own input and output circuits, if a fault is found in a major system, this information is stored in the SMEC, SBEC, SBEC II, or PCM for eventual display to the technician by means of the instrument panel [color=orange]CHECK ENGINE[/color] or by connecting a diagnostic readout tester and reading the numbered display code, which directly relates to a general fault.

3. To enter self diagnostics, start the vehicle and cycle the transaxle selector, and A/C switch if applicable. Then shut off the engine. Next in rapid succession turn the key switch [color=yellow]ON, OFF, ON, OFF, ON[/color] and read the [color=orange]CHECK ENGINE[/color] flashes to interpret the fault codes stored in the SMEC, SBEC, SBEC II, or PCM.

4. The SMEC, SBEC, SBEC II, or PCM only stores fault codes for a period of between 50 and 100 iginition key ON/OFF cycles.


5. If the battery is disconnected for a short period of time, and the same procedure is followed as reading the codes, turn the ignition key to the on position, cycle the transaxle selector, and A/C switch if applicable. Then shut off the ignition key switch, and reconnect the battery, the SMEC, SBEC, SBEC II, or PCM will then go into a learning mode starting with the basic parameters which it was given upon manufacture.

There aren't too many codes listed in my manuals pertaining to the transmission, but enough to not spend the time to list them all in this thread.

Last edited by M&M CUSTOM; 12-29-2003 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:34 PM
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604 tranny

save your self the trouble, pay some tranny shop in your area 40 bucks to scan the tranny computer, unless they are ripping you off they should be happy to show you in less than 5 minutes if the codes show inside or outside trouble.I don't charge for scan here its part of doing business.
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Old 12-31-2003, 07:07 AM
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Thanks guys, I called shop's, they told me to bring the van in the first of next year....Ha...Ha.....They also said the trans was in safe mode???? Not one of the shops I called offered to check the trans fault codes??


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Old 01-01-2004, 02:57 PM
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These transmissions go into a 'limp mode' or 'safe mode' when a fault code is generated. This mode leaves her stuck in 2nd gear. My '90 Caravan started doing this and I kept having to pull over and shut her off so she would shift again after restarting. Mine had excessive slippage and would usually go for a while between setting a code and going into 'limp mode'. If you have a 'hard fault' she will stay stuck in this mode. Like stated, have her checked by a trans shop. They are common transmissions.


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