I flat towed our 1992 Grand Caravan for about 5 miles, and now it won't shift out of first gear. Is it done for?

Asked by May 23, 2013 at 07:51 PM about the 1992 Chrysler Town & Country Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

5 Answers


If by flat towed you mean all four wheels on the ground, then yes, I would say your transmission is fried. Never tow a vehicle with the drive wheels on the ground unless it has a transfer case that can be put into neutral. Basically what happened is the transmission was run dry. Even though it might have been in neutral, some components in the transmission still move, but with the engine off, the fluid pump is not sending fluid to these parts, and the burn up. Luckily for you, these transmissions are a dime a dozen.


It sure sounds fired to me too. Check the fluid it will most likely have a burnt smell to it.


Yes, chances are you did some damage to you transmission... BTW, it is a Town & Country or a Grand Caravan...? A lot also depends upon the transmission you've got.... If it's the "regular" 3 speed auto, probably a bit less expensive to fix... If it's the 4 speed "electronic" auto transmission (equipped with the larger V6 motors), it could be simple (that the transmission is "stuck" in limp- home mode - where you only have 2nd, reverse, and park. Either way, you've done some damage, but a lot will depend on having it check out and looked at before you can have it fixed or even know that it's fried or damaged beyond repair.

It's the 4 speed, 3.3 engine. The same thing happened two years ago, after towing it an even shorter distance and after a couple months of limping to and fro the grocery store etc.., it just started working again. It's 1st gear, reverse or park. No burnt smell on the dip stick. Tried the on/off cycling thing, but no luck.


Try this: disconnect the battery using the negative cable, if you can wait overnight, if not push and hold the brake pedal with the key on for a few seconds, turn off key release brake, reconnect battery and try driving it as usual. It it still won't work you can try taking off the shift solenoids off of the transmission and clean them as best you can with eletromotive spray cleaner and let them air dry, you may have a stuck solenoid valve causing your problem. Or you can just replace the solenoid unit but that might get a little pricey. Hope I've helped.

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