Dodge Caravan 2002 Transmission Problem

Marsh Monster wrote:
Why are those Chrysler transmissions so particular about the fluid? Shouldn't the computerized adaptive control actually make them more
tolerant of different fluid characteristics?

Do you know Swamp Thing? He owes me money, and I'll cut you in for some of it if you help me find him.
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If it were just the main gear clutches at issue, then what you say might be true. However, those transmissions modulate the torque-convertor lockup clutch and spend a fair amount of time with it in a partial-slip mode (in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears, with 100% lock only occurring in 3rd and 4th). Its the torque convertor clutch and operating it in partial lock mode that demands special fluid characteristics.
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

So why did Chrysler respec the fluid 3-4 times since introducing their 1st 4-spd auto? Was it because they had no breakdown problems?
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On Sun, 23 Oct 2005, MaceFace wrote:

The question is a complete nonsequitur. Are you still interested in the answer?
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Retards'
Of course they had breakdown problems. However what you originally posted was a comparative survey that picked one item - the transmission.
When people own cars their vehicle satisfaction is driven by expectations and what the actual maintainence history.
For example I would be extremely dissatisfied with a vehicle that had to have all 4 tires replaced every 4 years and each tire cost $500. I do not think it reasonable to pay $2000 for a set of tires every 4 years. However this is exactly what the people who drive around in trucks with giant-ass tires jacked up into God's ass do, and they apparently have a high level of satisfaction with their vehicle.
Those same people might be dissatisfied with a vehicle that has a transmission that breaks down every 4 years requiring a $2000 rebuild. I on the other hand might be perfectly fine with this if I was putting 20,000 miles a year on the vehicle, delivering pizza.
With your survey, focusing on a transmission, the truck-jacked-up-into-god's-ass would rate very high, the pizza car would rate very low. Even though both myself and the truck-jacked-up-into-gods-ass drivers would have an equally high level of satisfaction with our vehicles.
This is what Daniel is objecting to with the CR surveys, and what he's trying to get you to use your brain to figure out for yourself. I hope that you aren't insulted that I spelled it out for you.
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

Because the OP mentioned the transmission.

So why do some brands of a given type (minivan, pickup, sports car, etc.) have much worse reliability rates than others of the same type? I doubt it's because Chevy owners are slobs and Toyota owners aren't.

CR says their surveys show no correlation between satisfaction and reliability. And since this thread hasn't been about reliability, why do you bring up satisfaction?

That's not the impression I got from him. I thought he didn't like the surveys because they didn't include nearly enough information to make sound conclusions.

You haven't spelled out anything, at least not well or in public.
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expectations
Consider the use the vehicle is put to. A sports car is going to have worse reliability simply because people that buy sports cars don't drive them like little old ladies that only drive it to and from church on Sunday.

"problem rate" of transmissions isn't about reliability?

That's silly. Are you arguing that people have a high level of satisfaction with vehicles they consider to have low reliability?

I think the problem is you haven't been paying attention.
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

But that doesn't explain why some sports cars are much more reliable than others or why some frumpy sedans compare poorly to other frumpy sedans.

It is, but for some reason you mentioned satisfaction, which is different from reliability or quality.

Why is it silly when more than one survey has shown a lack of connection between reliability and satisfaction? For example, many owners of European sports cars love them even though owners tell surveys that they're very unreliable.

You're the one who introduced satisfaction into this discussion, even though it has nothing to do with the original thread, reliability, or Daniel's objections to CR's reliability survey.
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Well, in that case your original transmission survey must mean that people love the -older- Chrysler products with -less- reliable transmissions even better than the new ones with -more- reliable transmissions.
Thus, Chrysler screwed up because they made the transmissions more reliable.

Why then don't you tell us what Daniel's objections to the CR reliability survey are, since you know them so much better than I do, and why his objections are wrong?
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

The problem with your thinking is that CR's satisfaction surveys ask only about the whole car, not each component, as their reliability surveys do.

Daniel can explain his viewpoints better than I can.
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

When did I post it? All I asked was why Chrysler changed the fluid specs so many times.
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MaceFace wrote:

The fluid was never about "preventing breakdowns," it was to allow the torque-convertor clutch to be used in a partial-lock mode that no other transmission had done before. The fluid was re-specced to improve its lifetime and performance (reduction of shudder) not because it was causing failures.
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On Mon, 24 Oct 2005, Steve wrote:

Quite correct. The laughability of the Consumer Reports chart is that it shows apparently-big differences in transmission reliability between Chrysler minivans of different model years *that use transmission systems identical in every respect*. There are only two plausible explanations:
1) The actual differences in transmission problem rates are insignificantly small between CR's "much worse than average", "worse than average", "average", "better than average", and "much better than average" categories, such that the classifications are statistically meaningless and therefore meaningless overall, or
2) CR's sampling methods are sufficiently garberated as to produce random results.
Or, (3), both of the above.
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

Couldn't manufacturing problems also cause big differences in reliability?
If you look at CR's reliability charts for vehicles that differ only in name, like a Chrysler Voyager vs. Dodge Caravan, you'll rarely find no more than a one-rank difference, i.e. the engine of one may be rated much better than average but merely better than average for the other vehicle. It seems that when the differences are greater, then the vehicles or their parts came from different factories.
What about the possibility of defects in manufacture?
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Consumer Reports reliability reports are based upon its subscriber base which submit reliability information once a year.
I find their general trends to reflect reality in the market place. The reports for Chrysler transmissions show that they were a real problem back in the early to mid 90's and that they have significantly improved ever since.
The best source for reliability data would be the much larger sample Chrysler has based upon warranty work; but Chrysler keeps that data close to its vest.
Consumer Reports did find that US made short wheel base models had different reliability issues than long wheel base Canadian built mini-vans. This turned out to be quite accurate. But giving any one rating for any one area too much weight gives too much credibility to their reliability reports considering their relatively small data base.
Richard.
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On Mon, 24 Oct 2005, Richard wrote:

"Self-selection" and "Sample population" are concepts covered in any first-year stats course.

I don't. Not since about 1984!

Agreed.
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(regarding Consumer Reports)

which was several years after they comparison-tested a Toyota Celica V6 and a Mustang II I4. Guess which had better acceleration.
--
Joseph J. Pfeiffer, Jr., Ph.D. Phone -- (505) 646-1605
Department of Computer Science FAX -- (505) 646-1002
  Click to see the full signature.
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Steve wrote:

Do you mean I can run the transmission without any? ;)

If it wasn't about breakdowns, why did they issue a bulletin warning Ultradrive owners to ignore the DEXRON marking stamped into the dipstick?
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Because it affected the performance and shifting. As ATF+ has different properties then Dextron. If you have Dextron in your car (why? I don't know). It will provide enough efficiency in moving your car to a repair facility if you are out of or low in fluid. BUT IT Must be drained. If not it will cause Harsh shifting and chatter, as the Fluid co-efficeny is different then the specs of ATF+
But are you trying to say, that tranny fluid protects from "breakdowns" of gears that are flawed, tranny cases leaking, and external damage. After-all they all can cause a breakdown! Let alone the sensors that short out causing limp-mode "breakdowns" If you want to know what specific breakdowns mention them! Oh, I guess an alternator failing, causing a "breakdown" is due to fluid too! Lets also mention Fluid "Breakdown" caused by heating and cooling and wearing of the components.
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On Tue, 25 Oct 2005, David wrote:

True, but there is no "t" in DEXRON.
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