Reader Question: I have a 1996 Chrysler Town and Country Van. I love this van. However, my son was driving it the other day and he backed out of a driveway went to put the car into drive and it would not move.
My husband says the transmission is not fully engaging into gear. Now in the past, the transmission seemed a little sluggish but it never failed like this. The fluid levels are fine so I am assuming that is not the problem.
Do you have any suggestions?
If the transmission fluid level is full and you do not see anything hanging loose under the vehicle like part of the transmission linkage..I would suspect you have an internal transmission problem.
If it feels like the linkage is ok, the shifter feels the same as it always did and you can select ALL gears without a problem….there is not much else to look at except what is inside the transmission.
If you have been feeling the transmission slip or hesitate lately, there is probably an internal problem and just an untimely event that it happened when you son backed it out of the driveway.
Call your local mechanic and see who they recommend for automatic transmission repairs, call them and a few other transmission shops in your area to get quotes. How long will the repair take, what is the warranty, what happens if you have trouble out of town/state, etc?
Chrysler might offer a factory rebuilt transmission for this vehicle, which you can buy from the dealership and have your local mechanic install for you. You then get a nationwide warranty with Chrysler and you do not have to deal with a transmission shop, which can be a HUGE plus. Yes, it might cost a bit more but in my opinion will probably be worth the additional expense.
A used transmission from a junk yard is an option if you are on a tight budget or want to get it running just enough to sell it and get something newer. Your regular mechanic can install it for you, but YOU take the risk and liability of buying a used part. The savings could warrant taking that risk though.
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