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Chrysler Town and Country Transmission: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Chrysler Town and Country Transmission: Overview, Problems, Fluids

The Chrysler Town & Country is a minivan manufactured and marketed by Chrysler from 1990 to the 2016 model years. The third of the Chrysler minivans introduced, the 1990 Town & Country, shared its nameplate with the flagship Chrysler station wagon produced from 1941 to 1988. Today we’re going to look at the transmission of this car. Let’s start with a quick answer:

The Chrysler Town & Country was equipped with the A604 (41TE) transmission when it was launched in 1989, and variations of that gearbox were used until the 6-speed 62TE transmission took over in 2008.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ve outlined exactly what transmission comes with what generation. Furthermore, we talk about the lifespan of these transmissions, the cost of replacement, a detailed overview of problems, and recommendations for transmission fluid. Read on!

What Transmission Has The Chrysler Town And Country Used?

First Generation

  • 4-speed A604 automatic

Second Generation

  • 4-speed A604 automatic

Third Generation

  • 4-speed 41TE automatic

Fourth Generation

  • 4-speed 40TE automatic / 4-speed 41TE automatic

Fifth Generation

  • 4-speed automatic
  • 6-speed automatic

How Long Does a Chrysler Town and Country Transmission Last?

The A604/41TE/40TE and the 62TE have different lifespans per each unique unit of the transmission. Some of these transmissions have been shown to have a lifespan of 200.000 miles before they need replacement. However, all transmissions have had technical problems because of design flaws or wrong use of transmission fluid, which cause some of them to be rebuild or replaced between 50.000 – 100.000 miles.

How Much Does a Chrysler Town and Country Transmission Cost?

Below we’ve mentioned the approximate cost of buying a new transmission for your Town and Country. Please remember that both transmissions have several problems that can be fixed for a much lower price. We advise you to first go through the options. Mechanics will most likely tell you to replace the unit immediately, but several owners have mentioned that they saved more than $1,000 by finding the right fix to the exact problem they have.

If replacing is the only option, expect to pay these amounts for a replacement unit:

  • A604/41TE/40TE costs around $1,600 – $2,500
  • 62TE costs around $3,500

Common Chrysler Town and Country Transmission Problems

Every transmission has some reported issues. Let’s look at some of the most common Chrysler Town & Country transmission problems.

Common Problems with the 4 Speed A604/41TE/40TE

The A604/41TE/40TE is a transmission that has had its fair share of problems. These problems mainly originate from two different sources. First, the transmission isn’t designed that well and is therefore very sensitive to heavy use.

The other problem is that Chrysler and mechanics had a problem identifying the correct transmission fluid for this car. To avoid problems caused by the transmission fluid, please check out the final subheading about what transmission fluid to use.

These problems are something you should look out for if you’re in the market for a Chrysler Town and Country produced before 2008:

  • PRNDL lights malfunctioning when car is in Park or Neutral
  • Slipping, shuddering or loss of acceleration because of a failed torque converter.
  • Speedometer readings when vehicle is standing still combined with shuddering of the gearbox
  • Delay when shifting in Drive or Reverse combined with shuddering of the transmission
  • Transmission going into limp mode

And these are the common causes of each problem from top to bottom:

  • Having the PRNDL lights malfunction is because of a faulty ignition switch or the wiring related to this part.
  • Failed torque converters which are cause by design flaws, overheating or using Dexron ATF instead of the recommended Chrysler-specific Type 7176 ATF (in pre-200 models) or Type 9606 ATF (in models manufactured after 2000. To prevent overheating stay within the towing capacity of the Town and Country.
  • Unexpected speedometer readings are caused by a faulty alternator or a wiring problem related to the output shaft speed sensor OSS signal going back to the transmission control module.
  • A delay in shifting in Drive or Revers is caused by the retainer that separates the lockup control valve. The TCC accumulator valve may need to be replaced.
  • If the tranmission goes into limp mode for no apparent reason try adding new ground wires directly from negative battery cable to one of the bolts holding the TCM to the body and the bolt on the alternator.

Common Problems with the 62TE

The 62TE transmission is an average transmission in terms of quality. It’s not riddled with problems, but it certainly has its flaws mainly caused by improper design. Below we’ve described the symptoms you should look out for, together with what is most likely causing it and how to fix it.

  • High pitched whining noise
  • Poor shift quality
  • Premature wear of the valve body
  • Engine stalls
  • Transmission shifts into neutral instead of 1-2

Of course, each of these problems has its causes and fixes. We’ve outlined these for you below.

  • The high pitched whining noise and/or the poor shift quality can be caused by a faulty bearing in the torque converter that sheds metal into the transmission filter causing it to plug off. Partial disassembly of the transmission and replacement of the bearing and torque converter is needed.
  • The premature wear of he valve body of the 62TE transmission is a design flaw that causes shift quality to deteriorate quickly once the 125.000 miles mark is reached. Changing the valve body is needed.
  • Engine stalls normally occur when the transmission is put into Drive. Mechanical failure of the electronically modulated converter clutch variable force solenoid / EMCC VFS solenoid, which can cause the torque converter clutch to engage when it shouldn’t, is normally the cause. To fix the problem, the EMCC solenoid will need to be replaced.
  • In Chrysler 200’s that are older than 2007 drivers may notice that the transmission shifts into neutral instead of from 1 to 2. Worn sealing rings that land on the low clutch housing is normally what you should look out for. Replace the housing of the piston and, maybe, also the one from the direct clutch to fix the issue.

Transmission Fluids and the Chrysler Town and Country

We cannot emphasize enough how many problems are caused in the Chrysler Town and Country because of the improper use of automatic transmission fluid. Chrysler and mechanics alike have caused problems by stating that Dexron would be a good fit for this car. It’s not.

The transmission that was used before 2008 is susceptible to this issue. We recommend you mainly use MOPAR transmission fluid because that’s what’s recommended by Chrysler these days and works the best.

The transmission fluid on a Chrysler Town and Country should be changed every 30,000 miles or two years (whichever comes first). If the car is being used to tow, then the frequency increases to every 15,000 miles.

  • 41TE/A604 is compatible with ATF +3 (type 7176)
  • 62TE is compatible with ATF +4 fluid (type 9606)

Click on the links mentioned above to be redirected to the proper page of Amazon that sells the correct transmission fluid.

Sources

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