Dodge Grand Caravan Not Shifting – What Could Be Wrong?

The Dodge Grand Caravan has been around for years, providing consumers with expansive cabin room and impressive performance. However, just like other vehicles, issues may arise, such as improper shifting in the transmission. So what could cause your Dodge Grand Caravan to have shifting problems? We did the research to bring you the answer.

Here is a list of the possible reasons why your Dodge Grand Caravan isn't shifting properly:

  • Faulty throttle pedal pad
  • Incorrect adjustments in the throttle housing
  • Dirty transmission fluid
  • Faulty transmission solenoid
  • Faulty throttle position sensor

We know that may seem like a long and confusing list, but don't worry. In this article, we will discuss each of these issues and how to diagnose them. In addition, we will cover which Dodge Grand Caravan model years to avoid. Without further ado, let's get into it!

Picture of female hands and gear lever, Dodge Grand Caravan Not Shifting - What Could Be Wrong?

Dodge Grand Caravan Shifting Issues

The Dodge Grand Caravan is a very dependable minivan. However, just like anything else, your car may start having problems. If you have noticed that your vehicle isn't shifting properly, then a few things could be causing this problem to arise. Below we will discuss these issues in greater detail.

A shift gear knob inside of a vehicle

Faulty Throttle Pedal Pad

The throttle pedal pad is a part of the gas pedal that makes it easier for your foot to push down on the accelerator and make your vehicle go. Over time though, this can become worn or even frayed!

If you have a small hole in your throttle pedal pad, then there is a chance that your car isn't shifting properly because the pedal is worn and isn't responding as it should! So if you suspect that your throttle pedal pad may be causing your vehicle not to shift correctly, then it's a good idea to replace it!

Incorrect Adjustments in the Throttle Housing

Another possible reason your Dodge Grand Caravan may not be shifting properly is a faulty throttle housing. The throttle housing makes it easier for you to manipulate the gas pedal so that you can accelerate or decelerate your vehicle.

The throttle housing is a tube that goes from the top of your gas pedal to the engine. Thus, it makes it easier for you to push down on the pedal so that you can accelerate and make your Dodge Grand Caravan go faster! Unfortunately, over time, this part can become dirty or need adjustments. If you suspect that the throttle housing might be causing your minivan not to shift properly, then it's a good idea to have a mechanic see if the throttle housing needs adjustments.

Dirty Transmission Fluid

Another issue that could be causing your Dodge Grand Caravan not to shift properly is dirty transmission fluid. This fluid helps to lubricate the gears and other internal components of your transmission so that they can function properly.

Without it, things may start to wear out or lose efficiency. Check your transmission fluid, and if it's dirty, it's highly recommended that you take your car in for a checkup and get the fluid changed.

Faulty Transmission Solenoid

The transmission solenoid is a part of your transmission that makes the gears move more efficiently. It also senses when you are shifting into another gear to shift gears properly!

If the transmission solenoid is faulty, then it will not be able to shift gears and could lead to problems such as incorrect shifting, or if not fixed, your Dodge Grand Caravan will not shift at all!

Faulty Throttle Position Sensor

This sensor on your vehicle detects and tells the computer how far you are pushing down on the gas pedal. This information then gets relayed to the transmission to determine what gear should be shifted into and how fast. If you have a faulty throttle position sensor, it may feel like you are pushing down harder on the gas pedal than you actually are. This could lead to incorrect shifting, and if not fixed, your Dodge Grand Caravan will not shift at all!

Do Dodge Grand Caravans have transmission problems?

While it may be easy to believe that Dodge Grand Caravans are perfect and never have any issues, this is not true. Your vehicle can have a transmission issue, and you might not know about it until it totally goes out. In addition, there is no way of knowing if you will ever run into problems with your transmission until you do. This is why it's so important to check on the health of your transmission and get regular inspections done!

If you are having problems shifting, we recommend that you contact a local mechanic or automotive shop to repair your Dodge Grand Caravan. The professionals will give you an estimate on how much the repairs will cost and if it is worth it to repair your vehicle.

The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan has been criticized for its transmission issues. An overwhelming number of drivers have complained about the failure at around 67,000 miles, and on average, it costs $3,500 to fix this problem.

Red colored Dodge Grand Caravan minivan parked on the street, Here's What The Dodge Grand Caravan Interior Is Like

How much is a new transmission for a Dodge Caravan?

The average cost to replace the transmission in a Dodge Caravan can vary between $1,800 and $3,500. The price is dependent on what type of transmission it is and which model year it is for.

If your vehicle has been having issues shifting, contact a local mechanic or automotive shop for assistance with repairing your Dodge Caravan. The professionals will give you an estimate on how much the repairs will cost and if it is worth it to repair your vehicle.

You can also buy a used transmission to save some money. However, depending on how many miles are on it, the transmission can vary from $800-$1,500.

What is a limp mode on Dodge Grand Caravan?

Limp mode is a safety feature that car owners can depend on in case of a problem with their engine or transmission. If the car detects any issues, it will switch off less important parts such as air conditioning and reduce speed so you can get to a service center easily. Of course, you should drive directly to one if possible; limp mode won't help you much when there's an issue!

How do I get my Dodge Caravan out of limp mode?

Once you find your vehicle in limp mode, you should see if the engine is still running. If it is not, put the car in park, turn the ignition off, wait ten seconds, and then restart. Then, if it doesn't start, try repeating the process. If it still doesn't work, then contact a local mechanic or tow company for assistance. 

If it does start back up, let it warm up and start driving slowly. While driving, take caution since your acceleration will be limited. Try to get it to a service center as soon as possible to reduce the chances of being stranded or having more issues arise.

What year Dodge Caravans to avoid?

Dodge Caravans have been known to have transmission issues at around 67,000 miles. So if you are looking for a cheap Dodge Grand Caravan, then the older years such as 2002-2008 may not be the smartest choice because of this. As stated above, the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan is notorious for having transmission issues.

Dodge Grand Caravan mini van on display during the 2014 Charlotte International Auto Show at the Charlotte Convention Center

It's tough to say whether the newer vehicles — such as 2018-2021 — are good or bad. This is solely because they haven't been driven long enough to see what common issues arise.

How Long Do Dodge Grand Caravan Transmissions Last?

Passenger car with a roof rack parked on the road

With a Dodge Grand Caravan transmission, you're looking at between 130,000 and 180,000 miles before the vehicle will likely experience any major problems.

To keep it running smoothly for as long as possible, make sure to check fluid levels regularly, especially if there have been issues reported in that area of the car, such as strange noises or other warning signs like smoke coming from under your hood near the engine compartment while driving.

If you hear these sounds, make sure to get your Dodge Grand Caravan transmission checked out as soon as possible because it could be on the verge of needing a complete replacement, and doing so as quickly as possible will minimize your cost.

When To Change Transmission Fluid on Dodge Grand Caravan?

Car mechanic drain automatic transmission fluid

On average, the transmission fluid on a Dodge Grand Caravan should be changed every 120,000 miles. However, if you do a lot of excessive driving with your van, then Dodge Caravan's Owner's Manual suggests changing the transmission fluid every 60,000 miles instead. Doing so will ensure the ultimate performance and increased life expectancy of the van. 

Final Thoughts

The Grand Caravan is a good minivan, but you should always get regular inspections on your vehicle. If you are having problems shifting, we recommend that you contact a local mechanic or automotive shop to repair your Dodge Grand Caravan. The professionals will give you an estimate on how much the repairs will cost and if it is worth it to repair your vehicle.

If you enjoyed this article on the Dodge Grand Caravan, then you might also like:

Here's What The Dodge Grand Caravans Interior Is Like

How Many Seats In A Dodge Grand Caravan?

Does The Dodge Grand Caravan Have Bluetooth?

Do you have a Dodge Grand Caravan? Leave us a comment below!

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  1. I have a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.8L

    The old trans wiped out at about 387K and I picked up a used trans with 100K on it and put that one in. I replaced all sensors. Now the used trans came from a Town and Country 3.8L.

    The major issue I am having is: When the throttle is stepped on where the vacuum drops down, all power is lost and I can floor it and it will not go over 10 MPH. Now if the throttle is lightly stepped on while on a level road, it will go right through to 75 MPH every time. But if a hill is hit where the throttle is now stepped on further to maintain speed, all power is lost and the engine will drop down to nil.

    My question is: Being this trans was from a Town and Country, is it mandatory for me to have the brain reprogrammed at a dealership for the trans to work properly?

    Or is this something else?

    I note I also replaced the six injectors with new ones also.


  2. I replaced the throttle position sensor now the transmission won’t shift worst vehicle I ever had spent 4000 on it already don’t recommend anyone to buy one they are a hunk of junk even had a new one 6 years ago broke down all the time

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