1991 Plymouth Vogageur- Transmission Problem

Bought this vehicle a year ago, 3.3 Liter V6. The vehicle has over 180,000 miles on it and the second 4-Speed Auto Transmission. The transmission
refused to shift up and remained in the lower gear. After a few stops and starts I could not engage the tranny in any gear. I'm trying to determine if the transmission is gone or whether it might be another problem? I have never had to top up the fluid level until the garage mechanic checked and advised down about 1/2 quart, which he added, Chevron Dexron 2. That was about two weeks prior to the failure. The dipstick reads" Use Mopar ATF 7176, If unavailable use Dexron 2." I am assuming the tranny contained the correct ATF fluid because it operated normally up to that point. The fluid was always very clean. Anyway I have the remaining 1/2 quart ,Chevron Dexron 2, on hand. Might this be the problem. possible mixing ATF with 1/2 quart Dexron? The guy that topped it off is the owner and qualified mechanic. I doubt I would have any recourse against him but would certainly approach him if I think his action was the primary cause of the failure. Appreciate comments.
Dextron?
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On Mon, 24 Nov 2003, ken baer wrote:

The transmission is seldom "gone" unless it is driven for much time in the "limp home" mode of permanent 2nd gear. Prime suspect is the input speed sensor; the output speed sensor and a great many other individual components can cause this symptomology, however, so you need to get the van to a *competent* transmission diagnostician. NOT a franchised "throw in a remanufactured transmission" place! A suitably-trained diagnostician can read a great many values with a diagnostic computer and find out exactly what isn't working right.

The correct fluid is ATF+3 **ONLY**. Use of Dexron is an emergency measure only, it's not a "Well, we'd rather you use ATF+, but y'know, whatever, Dexron, it's all good". It is all NOT good. At the same time, it's unlikely that adding a pint of Dexron would cause a failure. Are we sure he checked the fluid level using the correct procedure? It's unusual for this transmission to lose any fluid without an obvious external leak. Overfilling, on the other hand, is a very bad thing.
DS
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Dexron is BAD for this transmission no matter what the dipstick or owners manual says. There's been lots of discussion of this in this newsgroup. Go back and look at the faq or previous posts. Also, look on www.allpar.com.
Chrysler's 4 speed tranny is not good transmission.

if
checked
ATF
would
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David J. Allen wrote:

Yes, it is important to use the proper fluid to maintain the performance and life of this transmission. Just like it is important to match your blood type when you receive a transfusion.

Hogwash. Once the initial teething problems were resolved (many years ago now), these transmissions are as good as any others in minivans. Mine has 143,000 trouble-free miles to date. The only car I've put more miles on was a 1989 Acclaim that had 146,000 when my wife totaled it taking out a deer.
I'm not saying it is the all-time best transmission ever made as I don't think it is. But it certainly is a good transmission, just maybe not a great one.
Matt
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This is an old subject, but I'll just say that my experience in this newsgroup over a number of years and my own experience with Chyrsler minivans and the experience of friends and acquaintances and finally, the opinion of a couple of tranny shop managers I've spoken with the last couple of days has confirmed in my own mind that this transmission has been and continues to be a problem transmission.
One transmission shop said this is the single worst transmission in terms of failing they see day in and day out in their shop. He did say that he thought the problem may not be so much the transmission itself as it's application in a minivan. He said the transmission was designed for Chrysler's passenger cars and just doesn't hold up well to the beating it takes from the heavy minivans. He also said that even though Chrysler denies there's a problem with the transmission, the service dept. at the dealer down the street always keeps 20 or 30 reman units on hand due to the demand.
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David J. Allen wrote:

Yes, old data takes a long time to purge from the system. Even Consumer Reports, which looks for any opportunity to trash American cars doesn't make any issue with Chrysler van transmissions.
I've more friends with fried transmissions in Windstars and Toyotas than in Chryslers ... and I know a lot more people with Chryslers. Unfortunately, this ng, your experience and my experience aren't worth a cup of coffee. I don't place much faith in J.D. Power or CR, but they are about the best source available for things like this in addition to NHTSA, and I don't see any of these sources claiming that Chrysler minivan transmissions are notoriously unreliable. If they were as bad as you claim, the people that make them couldn't keep up what with probably more than 5 million Chrysler minivans on the road.
I've seen many people post here of getting 150,000 or more miles on a Chrysler minivan transmission. And people tend not to post the good stuff nearly as often as the bad.
I had a similar situation when I was building my house. I planned to use precast concrete walls for my basement. Every builder and building supply store in my area told me how bad these were and how they would never hold up. They all had horror stories and one local concrete block supply house even had pictures of a failed basement. Well, I did some digging and found that most of the horror stories were complete myths. When I asked for names and addesses, I got nothing other than "I heard it somewhere." The few people that could give me a name and location, all pointed back to a SINGLE failed foundation ... the one that the block company had pictures of in their store. So, I called the wall manufacturer and asked about that. They gave me the details. Turned out the builder had ignored almost every instruction in the site prep manual and applied the coup de grace by backfilling before the floor was installed in direct violation of the wall maker's instructions. I ended up using these walls and have been very pleased with them.
The moral of the story is that a few bad situations get spread like wildfire and often get amplified as they go. I believe that is the case with the Chrysler electronically controlled transmissions. I think they had problems at the outset, but I think they've been pretty good for at least the last 10 years.
Matt
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of
the
I agree that this is a problem transmission, but I think the biggest problems are that there's too many transmission shops that do not know how to service them. I also think that a lot more people use minivans for towing than Chrysler ever assumed would do so, and in most of these minivans the transmission cooler is inadequate for towing.
The Chrysle rminivans were basically designed for a single young soccer mom weighing in at maybe 150 pounds hauling around the American average of 2.5 children and their associated shit, total weight maybe about 300 pounds, with occassional carpools of kids and the occassional family vacation with Dad.
But I frequently see minivans repainted with company colors and used as commercial vehicles, (instead of a full sized van) espically used as shuttles hauling 6-7 250 pound typical lard-ass adults. :-) It's no wonder that their trannies fail more frequently.
Ted
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Nope, the problem likely with this kind of mileage is that the notorious A604 has struck again. My '94 T&C is on its third trans. at 125k so this is not unusual. Any "check engine" lights on? You might get lucky and have it just be a speed sensor. Worth checking out.
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