Today I was put into a situation entering a parking garage. The gate arm wouldn't open. The nose of my 1999 Grand Voyager 3.3 Flex van was pointed down the entrance ramp.
I placed the transmission in reverse and applied the throttle to back out of the entrance (to reverse going uphill). I was rewarded with smoke coming out of the driver side wheel well and NO rearward movement. The van did shudder a bit before the smoke.
A maintenance person got the gate working and I was able to drive the van down into the garage. I parked it and took care of my business. When I was leaving I started the van and placed it in reverse – no movement. The tach RPMs did not drop like they had a load.
I physically pushed the van out of the parking space (flat surface) and then placed it in drive and drove up the ramp with no problems. I drove on the highway at 60 mph on the way home and it seemed normal. No warning lights have come on – no check engine.
I get home and put the shifter in reverse – no movement.
There is handwriting on the trans case indicating a date and mileage of the rebuild. It was rebuilt in 2007 with 115,000 miles on the van. It now has 150,800 miles. I’m the 3rd owner.
27 years ago I was a trained auto tech. I surmise that a reverse band has failed. I’ve read some threads here about changing the solenoid pack but I’m pretty sure that is not the cause.
I'm eager to hear any opinions or experiences from fellow minivan owners. Thanks.