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Chrysler Repair/Auto transmission fault codes: '95 minivan

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Question
My 1995 Plymouth Voyager shifts 123 until it trys to go to 4th and then it jerks 3times-- every time- but wont go to to 4th gear.I have tried changing the solenoid 2 times with the exact same results.It also falls down to 2nd sometimes and I have to turn the key off to kill the fire and turn it right back on and then it will go back to 3rd.But it never goes to 4th. Please help if you can. I thought some kind of pressure switch. If it is that could you tell me where it is located. Thank you very much.

Answer
Hi Larry,
Throwing parts at a transmission situation is the wrong approach.
The best way to diagnose the problem is to use the on-board fault code system to get a two-digit fault code number that would give a cause for the problem. You do that by means of a plug-in fault code reader that plugs into a blue 8-pin socket located at the far left end of the dash on the lower side (called a Chrysler data link connector). The vehicle uses the OBD-I code system so the reader has to be capable of reading those code numbers (the OBD-II system began in '96 model year).
A nationwide auto parts store such as Autozone may do a free readout of the codes. An independent shop will usually do that readout for around $40.
But be sure to get the transmission fault codes (which are different from the engine fault codes which are also two-digit). Ask for the numbers, what they mean, what they recommend. Then get back to me with what you found and we'll compare notes with the shop manual.
When the trans drops into 2nd gear and won't shift up, that is called "limp-in mode" and is designed to minimize damage from driving in all the gears until the issue is resolved. It also means that there will be a fault code to help diagnose the problem.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.
Thanks,
Roland

Chrysler Repair

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Roland Finston

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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.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, or asleep overnight, so try again later.

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"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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