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Old 04-09-2018, 03:38 PM   #1
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Is it really the transmission?

Hi all. Hoping to get some feedback.

Our 2007 dodge caravan has been making weird noises lately. Well more like months. It's a bit whiny and a bit clunky sounding. It kind of also sounds like the way it makes when you have a flat tire. The thud thud thud but a higher pitch sounding one. It's hard to explain in writing, but I always liken it to sounding like an old jalopy going down the road that's about to fall apart. At least from the inside of the car. It sounds worse upon braking/slowing and turning. We brought it to a place back in December that said it was the calibers for the brakes and an issue with the alignment (can't remember what it was called, might have to update this later with the correct thing). My husband had replaced the front brakes several months prior but we were told they couldn't do the calibers without replacing the whole brakes to give their warranty. He agreed and we spent almost $700 for just the front brakes alone. I wasn't happy, especially because we had to dip into savings, and thought we should get a second opinion but was also worried about driving it and the brakes going out. Since they said that was the main problem we figured that would stop the sound. My husband knows more about cars than I do and he wasn't questioning them. They said the backs need done too but we had a little more time for that and the alignment could wait a bit too. It was still making that noise 2 months later so we brought it elsewhere for a second opinion and free basic inspection, which basically said the same things were wrong but offered us work for far less money. We had to wait until our tax return came in to get anymore done and now that it has we brought it to different place (though we had been there for something else in the past) who did a paid and more thorough inspection. They said the brakes are fine, front ones brand new and back ones are decent, but it's the transmission that's the problem. They showed us when it was raised up how the tires aren't working together, essentially one stops then goes then stops, then the other one does the same but not in sync with the other one, all while continuously pressing on the accelerator. At the same time, when the car warms up more, the engine jumps/jerks sporadically. They are saying that's a transmission problem. They also say there is a lug nut that is worn and needs replacing on one of the tires. Granted we are at a little over 130,000 miles, which I have read is a time that these cars may start having transmission problems, but we have known cars that had transmission problems before and that sound was not apart of it. Research online has also said that gear changes are the main issues when it's the transmission and we haven't seen that be much of a problem. It also has had a strong smell when it's running. Not the worse I've smelled from a car, but definitively a strong exhaust smell or something.

Can anyone here tells us at least from this info, if any of it actually sounds like the transmission is the problem? Could something else be going on? We have a tentative appt scheduled with them in a week and the cost is supposed to be $2400, which we are going to have a hard time paying for, so if there is anyone that can offer insight or advice we'd be very grateful. Thank you.
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