Car only will go backwards, not forward. Help! o.o

ReanimationLP

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 8, 2005
2,765
25
On the moon.
My stupid Dodge Caravan will now only want to go backwards, instead of forward. It happened one day after a loud popping noise. What could be wrong with it? I really, really need to figure this out and make it as humanly cheap as possible. My last car problem, apparently the engine wasnt being held down to the car. Now this. Oy.

A lot of people have been telling me it probably just needs transmission fluid, which would kinda make sense since I only gave it 2 quarts of the needed 5. Another person told me this happened to their Honda Civic, and they gave it transmission fluid and it started to work again. o.o
 

dornoforpyros

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2004
3,070
3
Calgary, AB
well you should definitely go onto the internet and make a posting on a computer related message board. That'll help the matter.

:rolleyes:

Sorry but really call a mechanic, or at least go check a relevant website for your problem. I mean would you go onto a cooking website and post "Help! my harddrive just crashed!" ?
 

applelabs

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2007
75
0
Maybe one of your gears popped out of place.
Don't worry, you'll get used to it.
Sure your neck gets a little sore from being turned 180 degrees. But unless you get rear-endded (which would be the manufactures recommended front of the car) you'll be supper safe! :)
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
My stupid Dodge Caravan will now only want to go backwards, instead of forward. It happened one day after a loud popping noise. What could be wrong with it?
Have you tried starting the van with a different key to see if the problem follows? Also, make sure that you are sitting at the right end of the van—you want the end with the dials and the big wheel in front of the seat.

If never hurts to repair permissions, just in case, but I'm thinking that you'll probably need to reinstall the drivetrain if the above suggestions don't help.

It's also incredibly useful to mention that I've never had problems with my Caravan.
 

technicolor

macrumors 68000
Dec 21, 2005
1,651
0
><><><><
Have you tried starting the van with a different key to see if the problem follows? Also, make sure that you are sitting at the right end of the van—you want the end with the dials and the big wheel in front of the seat.

If never hurts to repair permissions, just in case, but I'm thinking that you'll probably need to reinstall the drivetrain if the above suggestions don't help.

It's also incredibly useful to mention that I've never had problems with my Caravan.
This is so awesome. I can't stop laughing. :D

To the OP try the transmission fluid. I have no wordly idea why you skimp on the transmission for your car!? My friend had this happened to her car and she needed an whole new transmission.

If I were you though I would just drive it like it is, it could be loads of fun.
 

2nyRiggz

macrumors 603
Aug 20, 2005
6,159
66
Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
So you want to grind up you transmission huh....please put the required amount of fluid in your car. You might already have a serious transmission problem so get ready for the bill.

Also if you see silver shedding in the fluid...you are screwed..have a good day:)



Bless
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,802
CT
If the tranny is bad just save up for a new car because that will be cheaper.
 

beatsme

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2005
1,204
1
If this an automatic or a manual? I'm guessing automatic...

do you mean it will only shift into reverse? Or do you mean it will shift into all other gears but will only move backwards?

anyway, assuming it's an automatic and that your mini-van has a band-type transmission (wherein a flexible metal band is used to engage the gears), that "pop" was probably one of the bands letting go. If that's the case, it'll require a transmission re-build, so you're probably facing at least $1200 in repairs.

informative link here
 

TheAnswer

macrumors 68030
Jan 25, 2002
2,531
1
Orange County, CA
You might want this. :D

But seriously...try adding the fluid. Make sure you use the factory recommended fluid as Caravan transmissions have the rep of being difficult. In the future don't skimp on the love you show your gearbox.

Good luck.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,202
0
sitting on your shoulder
So you want to grind up you transmission huh....please put the required amount of fluid in your car. You might already have a serious transmission problem so get ready for the bill.

Also if you see silver shedding in the fluid...you are screwed..have a good day:)



Bless
Agreed. According to Wikipedia, you most likely have a A604/41TE model transaxle. (Unless you have AWD, then you have a A604/41AE). This model (at least early on) had several known problems (we somehow managed to get our first transaxle to last 120k miles in our '93 Caravan, while others were going out at 30-40k.)
NEVER EVER skimp on essential fluids for your car. Motor oil, coolant, transmission fluid (auto or manual), and if applicable, differential fluid. Always put in the necessary amounts, and for Auto trans fluid, you should probably go with the brand and type recommended by the manufacturer as well.

The pop may have been something in the valve body (which is what controls the shifting), or something in the clutch packs or planetary gearset. Take it to a shop familiar with Chrylser Corp. products (this is a Chrysler design, even if you bought your van after the Chrysler/D-B merger.)


Also, quick note to everyone, never overfill your motor oil. If the crankshaft starts coming in contact with the oil in the pan, it will froth the oil, and that's bad, mmkay?
 

ReanimationLP

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 8, 2005
2,765
25
On the moon.
Agreed. According to Wikipedia, you most likely have a A604/41TE model transaxle. (Unless you have AWD, then you have a A604/41AE). This model (at least early on) had several known problems (we somehow managed to get our first transaxle to last 120k miles in our '93 Caravan, while others were going out at 30-40k.)
NEVER EVER skimp on essential fluids for your car. Motor oil, coolant, transmission fluid (auto or manual), and if applicable, differential fluid. Always put in the necessary amounts, and for Auto trans fluid, you should probably go with the brand and type recommended by the manufacturer as well.

The pop may have been something in the valve body (which is what controls the shifting), or something in the clutch packs or planetary gearset. Take it to a shop familiar with Chrylser Corp. products (this is a Chrysler design, even if you bought your van after the Chrysler/D-B merger.)


Also, quick note to everyone, never overfill your motor oil. If the crankshaft starts coming in contact with the oil in the pan, it will froth the oil, and that's bad, mmkay?
o.o

Heh, our Caravan has about 275k miles on it, and its on its original engine and transmission, though both could have been rebuilt before we bought it used.

I'm trying to keep this car running as long as I humanly can, as its our way from point A to point B, and we're rather poor, so buying a new one really isnt an option. If the fluid doesnt work, I swear I hope my sisters boyfriend mothers boyfriend can fix it, but he can only work on it during the weekends, but hey, at least the labor is free :D. He fixed our last problem, which was the engine mounts were toast. Whats even funnier, is I had 3 other mechanics look at it first, and none of them figured out that was the problem. These were trained mechanics that work at shops too. o_O
 

Monstariley

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2017
1
0
My stupid Dodge Caravan will now only want to go backwards, instead of forward. It happened one day after a loud popping noise. What could be wrong with it? I really, really need to figure this out and make it as humanly cheap as possible. My last car problem, apparently the engine wasnt being held down to the car. Now this. Oy.

A lot of people have been telling me it probably just needs transmission fluid, which would kinda make sense since I only gave it 2 quarts of the needed 5. Another person told me this happened to their Honda Civic, and they gave it transmission fluid and it started to work again. o.o
My 1990 chevy g30 would not go forward it would only go in reverse this means your trans is not out LISTEN go get a bottle of trans x or 2 follow directions and your car, truck, or camper will drive with no problems I did it and it works
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,433
11,628
My 1990 chevy g30 would not go forward it would only go in reverse this means your trans is not out LISTEN go get a bottle of trans x or 2 follow directions and your car, truck, or camper will drive with no problems I did it and it works
It would be really interesting for the OP to come back and tell us how their life has gone since that car trouble ... nearly eleven years ago.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,554
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The Far Horizon
It would be really interesting for the OP to come back and tell us how their life has gone since that car trouble ... nearly eleven years ago.
Yes, "Holy Thread Resurrection".

However, while I can understand the problem of lacking financial means, it is important to draw a distinction between savings that are intelligent and savings that are - simply put - criminally, or illegally stupid. Skimping on transmission fluid falls into the latter category.