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Chrysler Repair/Stalls when shifted into drive gear: '08 T & C


QUESTION: I have a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country Touring van 3.8L v6 that stalls when I put the car in drive . I cleaned the throttle body which was fouled up badly. Then drove a short while parked then stalled. I started the car the idle was good no stall waited a while put car in reverse waited no stall and so forth until I put it in drive then it shut off immediately. Can you help - Thank You!

ANSWER: Hi Fermin,
That sounds like your torque converter clutch in the transmission is engaged which it should not be until your vehicle is travelling 40 mph or faster. It is as if you had a manual trans vehicle, had it 1st gear and then tried to start the engine while the clutch was engaged.
The engine will die immediately, rather than slipping somewhat via the torque converter being nearly free to spin until you get moving.
That clutch is controlled via the powertrain control module which is possibly sending it the wrong signal. Or the clutch could be faulty.
You could try doing a fault code readout to see whether the module has recognized the problem and assigned a 4-digit code number to its memory. Turn the ignition switch "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time.  Then watch the odometer window in the cluster to see if the mileage reading is replaced by a 4 digit number preceded by a P. Let me know if you get such a number.
Otherwise I would go to an independent transmission shop and let them try it and see what diagnosis they give you. Let me know and we can check that against the service manual for the vehicle.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you! One thing I forgot to mention but you reminded me when you spoke of the transmission does that vehicle have a transmission shift solenoid that possibly is bad or not. Can it be changed by me if it has SOMETHING like that. I've worked on older cars I've had (1984 Oldsmobile 98 regency as an example lol) but the new ones have me stumped. Thanks again

Hi Fermin,
There is a "valve body" in the transmission which includes the torque converter clutch solenoid and that valve body is accessible from underneath after removing the oil pan on the underside of the trans. It is a detailed removal and install so you would want to have the pages that show how to do it. But first I would try to get a fault code readout to validate the hypothesis that the clutch is what is causing the problem. I assume you have checked the fluid level in the transmission.
Thanks for the rating and nomination. You are welcome to repeat both of those again is you so choose.

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Roland Finston


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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