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Chrysler Repair/1997 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8L Transmission Gear Indicator Problem


Evening Roland:

Earlier I asked you this same question:

Since then I have taken my instrument cluster out and resoldered all suspect solder joints on both the main cluster as well as the separate mileage and gear selector displays +40 repairs).  None of this solved my problem.

Since then I have been experimenting with my gear selector and have the following observations to report:

1) Generally speaking as long as I move the gear selector slowly from quadrant to quadrant everything works just fine.

2) However if I move the gear selector quickly from either the N(eutral) or R(everse) to the P(ark) range there is a delay in the quadrant LED light coming on.  Sometimes when the gear selector is set to the P(ark) range after being quickly shifted from the N(eutral) or R(everse) range ---even though NO "Gear Selected" light is on--- if the car is on even a slight incline...the car moves an inch or two then the P(ark) LED gear indicator lights up and the P(ark)  automatic transmission sear engages.

This symptom does not seem to mesh with any electrical short problem...but looks to me (a decidedly non-expert) to be some sort of mechanical problem.  Why should the speed with which the gear selector is moved change anything?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks In Advance For All Your Expert Help!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Paul,
I have to admit that is a problem I have not seen/heard before. My thought is that it may be due to less than clean switch contacts inside the transmission associated with the transmission range sensor switch. You could check that by measuring and watching the resistance to be shorting to ground on the pin 5, 7, 8, 9, 10  of the 10-pin socket of the trans.
There should either be an open or a short to ground when as follows.
5 PN, 7 NOL, 8 P3L, 9 PRNL, 10 PN. You could also verify the ground strap from the engine/trans cylinder head to the - post of the battery and also the battery ground to pins 53 and 57 or the trans tcm and 10 and 50 of the pcm. There might be a less the clean ground among those.
Other than shifting slowly I don't have any other suggestions.
If you would rate/nominate again I would be most appreciative.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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