Have a 2000 chrysler town and counrty that starts fine, then when put into any gear immediately stalls out. It has a 3.3 liter flex engine with about 203,000 miles. Already replaced plugs, wires, pcv valve, egr, fuel pump, and fuel filter. Where do I go from here, check engine light not on. What could be the problem?
Country: United StatesMake: ChryslerModel: Town & CounrtyYear: 2000Engine: 3.3 L flex fuel
Plugs, wires, pcv, egr, fuel pump, fuel filter
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Does it quickly drag down the engine and kill it, much like letting out on the clutch with a manual trans while still holding the brake?
Yes, it immediately stalls out. Purs like a cat in park or neutral though.
You're torque converter clutch is locked up. In the front of the torque converter there is a disc clutch that is turned on at certain times to give a mechanical lock between the engine and transmission. If the converter clutch stays locked up at a stop then it will cause what you are having.
The first thing I would do is make sure there are no fault codes in the transmission control module. If there aren't then you can be reasonably sure there isn't a problem in the valve body. You could also remove the EATX relay and see if the problem still happens. If the problem goes away then you have a sticking solenoid switch valve in the valve body. If the problem is still there then you should be able to rule out a valve body problem.
As long as no debris has scattered through the trans and no damage has been done by trying to drive it this way, then you should be able to get by with replacing the converter and input shaft seals. If there is scattered debris or it's been driven enough to damage clutches, or if the trans itself is high mileage, then you may consider replacing it or having it rebuilt.
Took the EATX relay out still did the same thing, is it reasonable to assume that it is my torque converter?
Yes, it's the converter. The converter clutch is applied by the low/reverse solenoid through the solenoid switch valve (SSV). The SSV is used to direct fluid to either the low/reverse clutch or the converter. The low/reverse clutch is used for first and reverse.
Removing the EATX relay put the trans in limp-in, giving you second gear. The holding clutch in limp-in is the 2/4 clutch instead of the low/reverse, so we've taken the low/reverse solenoid and solenoid switch valve out of the picture by doing this. If it's still happening then you've got a bad converter.
I was thinking that's what it was, but wanted an experts opinion. How difficult is it to replace the torque converter and seal with intermediate mechanical skills?
It's not bad to replace if you've had some experience removing front wheel drive transmissions and have the tools and means to be able to do it. I've had dozens of these transmissions out, have all the tools necessary and obviously use a hoist, and I can have one out in an hour. That's much faster than someone less familiar with them or is working on the ground with limited tools however. If you're working on the ground with limited tools and moderate experience with it I'd expect it to take the better part of a weekend day.
ASE Master & Advanced level certified, Chrysler Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist