Rough Downshifting



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Thread: Rough Downshifting

  1. #11
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    Rough downshift after transmission fluid / filter service

    Replaced fluid / filter for 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport this week and am now experiencing noticeable downshift at about 40 kms/hr when gently slowing down (not noticeable on more abrupt stops), very similar to downshifting manually into 3rd. Discussed with Transmission Shop, who used proper Mopar ATF-4 transmission fluid, and was told the transmission computer was relearning my driving habits and problem should lessen or go away after numerous driving cycles (70, I bellieve he said, but don't quote me). If it didn't then they asked I bring the van back so they could relearn?? the computer with their equipment. I don't expect any charge for this if it needs to be done. Otherwise the transmission shifts smoothly and works like before.
    Last edited by Jeepman; 06-07-2010 at 11:09 PM.

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  3. #12
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    I just noticed this problem 2 days ago when i was driving on the highway. When slowing down, the car jerks abruptly at around 30 mph. After reading through, is this an issue with the transmission, or computer? The Chrysler dealer is not so close for me so before i bring it in.... I am still covered under the powertrain warranty.

    Thanks
    2002 Chrysler Town & Country LXi
    2003 Mitsubishi Galant ES

  4. #13
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    Have heard of the noticeable downshift concerns with relatively new Caravans (a 2005 that was purchased new for example) which the Dealer said was normal. With my van, I might have noticed a rough downshift once a month, but certainly not frequently, until this recent transmission service. Suggest that you come up with a good description of the problem (such as "similar to shifting manually down to 3rd") and talk with your dealer, hopefully with someone (not the Service Manager, who may not have the "savy".) such as the transmission technican or alternately with a reputable Transmission Shop. Is fluid level okay?
    Last edited by Jeepman; 06-07-2010 at 11:10 PM.

  5. #14
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    mine clunks when downshifting from 3rd to 2nd gear. just a slight nudge that you can feel and hear. and its when its in the normal drive/shift setting.
    tranny fluid not replaced yet that i know of. i bought mine used with 65k miles and now have 72k miles.
    anyone else have the 3-2 shift bump? is this a sign im heading for a rebuild since the 3-2 shift is less common.?
    '03 GC Sport
    3.8L Midnight Blue 93k miles
    '93 Concorde LXI
    3.5L 367,000 miles and counting.

  6. #15
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    Jeepman:

    What you are describing is very common after a fluid change, especially if not done for a while. The tranny had adjusted to the old fluid and is now re-adjusting to the new stuff.

    The tranny shop seems to know what it’s doing and their advice is correct. If the shifting doesn’t improve in a few days, bring it in and have them do the “quick re-learn” on the computer.
    2007 Town & Country Touring, Special Spring Edition, 3.8

    Past:
    2000 Town & Country LX, 3.3
    1992 Voyager, 3.0

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    Transmission Woes

    Pappy: Thanks. The 1995 Caravan I had, Son has it now, and with over 300,000 kms on the odometer - in spite of being broken into 3 times and stolen for joy riding once - left abandoned in a pile of alders - the transmission and engine have never been replaced. Very durable. I expect no less from my 2002 with 160,000+ on the odometer.

    Toubis: I wouldn't be worried but would follow up with Chrysler transmission technician or reputable Transmission Shop for reassurance.

    Wabash: Same advice I gave to Toubis. I expect the roughness is from 3rd to 2 in mine as well as there is absolutely no roughness in my vehicle when shifting from 3rd to Overdrive and back. Watch your RPMs if you have a gage and you can see that shift (in / out of overdrive) occurring frequently on the highway. The roughness occurs at about 35 Kms / hour (30 miles / hour). Chrysler electronic transmissions are no exception to concerns as all Manufacturer' have had their share of electronic transmission problems. Check Phil Edmunds 2006 version of Lemonade for SUVs, Vans, and Trucks where he mentions problems with Asion transmissions as well.

  8. #17
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    I have had the same 2-1 hard downshift issues (betwen 25-30mph) for the last week on a '03 Voyager (3.3). Everything else shifts flawlessly. I purchased the van used with 35k and it now has 51k. A couple of days ago the van was in with my usual mechanic to track down the cause of the P0456 EVAP LEAK MONITOR SMALL DETECTED code (problem = cracked /damaged hoses). He made the repair, and then I had him check the tranny and said that no codes came up and there were no solenoid issues.

    The thing that scares me is that the common theme with the previous posts seems to be recent tranny fluid changes, which I haven't had. A fluid check this week showed that the fluid level was perfect, clean and good color.

    The only difference in the time that the hard downshift has been occuring is that the WI weather has been between -4 and about +10. Can the extreme cold actually have an affect? Could the vaccum leak have thrown something off? If not, would it be recommended to first try a fluid change (it's due anyway) and then if it continues bring into the dealership for the "re-learn"? Or just go straight to the dealership?

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    Transmission Woes

    I believe the durability / functionality of these transmissions depends heavily on clean fluid and the proper fluid (can't stress that one enough - Mopar ATF 4 or whatever is specified in your Manual) - regular maintenance per Owner's Manual is key. A fluid and filter change might improve Winter operation as well. If the transmission has been flushed in the past there could be dirt from the backflushing on the filter. The Transmission Shop I dealt with this week does not do flushes and showed me a filter (extremely dirty) that he had removed from a vehicle that had been flushed. His concerns are that contaminated fluid is used for the flushing and the filter should be replaced after the flush (not normally done) to get rid of the dirt collected on it. He does fluid / filter changes realizing, of course, that some fluid still remains in the torque convertor which does not get changed. Not a perfect world for sure. Any thoughts out there on flushing versus fluid / filter change?

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
    I believe the durability / functionality of these transmissions depends heavily on clean fluid and the proper fluid (can't stress that one enough - Mopar ATF 4 or whatever is specified in your Manual) - regular maintenance per Owner's Manual is key. A fluid and filter change might improve Winter operation as well. If the transmission has been flushed in the past there could be dirt from the backflushing on the filter. The Transmission Shop I dealt with this week does not do flushes and showed me a filter (extremely dirty) that he had removed from a vehicle that had been flushed. His concerns are that contaminated fluid is used for the flushing and the filter should be replaced after the flush (not normally done) to get rid of the dirt collected on it. He does fluid / filter changes realizing, of course, that some fluid still remains in the torque convertor which does not get changed. Not a perfect world for sure. Any thoughts out there on flushing versus fluid / filter change?
    I will never ever have my automatic transmission flushed. Period, full stop, the end. Pan-drop, filter change, top off the fluid (with exclusively ATF+4 for my minivans), and I'm good to go.
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
    Sold: 1998 Chrysler T&C LXi 3.8 (Final odo: 190,000 miles)
    Sold: 2003 DGC ES 3.8 (Final odo: 172,000 miles)
    1998 Audi A4 Quattro (5-Speed manual)
    2001 Honda Accord EX V6 (4-Speed automatic)
    2009 Mazda3 i Touring (5-Speed manual)
    2012 VW GTI (6-Speed manual)

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