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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe that you can get rear disc brakes on any short wheel base DC minivan. However, rear disc brakes are overhyped anyways as the vast vast majority of braking is done by the front brakes on almost all vehicles. This is why you will generally see that disc brakes on the rear of those vehicles that do have rear discs generally have non ventilated rotors, while the fronts are ventilated. The rears are not really doing much, no matter what style they are.

    You can check right here at Edmunds new car section to see what options are available on the various DC Dodge or Chrysler short wheel base minivans.
  • On minivan, all the weight will be loaded at the front while stopping, rear drum will do the job and save you some money on wheel cleaner
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Disc brake dust on wheels is highly dependent on the brake pad material. Some OEM and perhaps afermarket pads are really bad. On others it is not an issue.
  • Disc brakes stop better and smoother then rear drum brakes. This is important when considering the gross vechicle weight of a mini van.
  • olizerolizer Posts: 38
    On all vehicles the majority of braking, approximately 70 %, is on the front brakes. That being said disc brakes are much more efficient, easier to change, self adjustment always works and do not fail when wet. My T&C has drums on the rear while my Jeep GC has 4 wheel discs. I would take the 4 wheels discs in a heartbeat AND there is no dust on the rear wheels due to the fact that the fronts work twice as hard.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have a 96 with 80,000 miles on it. Just had to rebuild the transmission. Any experience with 96 models? If so, should I dump it, or keep it? Your advice would be appreciated. It's been ok except for this. But if it's going to become a hanger queen, now that the warranty is up, I won't be too happy.
  • I have a 93 PGV LE with over 163,000US miles on it. I had the transmission rebuilt around 87,000 miles. I guess that means I have 11,000 miles left to go :) You say it has been ok so far. My advice is fix it and keep on driving it.

    I have had to fix a few things, like the drums, struts, plugs, wires, O2 sensors, a tie-rod, and heater core (late December'01, burrr), engine mount, rotors, windshield (2x4x12 almost fit:) ), bulbs, tires, etc. I don't let any of these bother me because I know that any new vehicle will cost me several hundred a month. Oh yeah, the AC hasn't worked for two years. Humm, maybe I'll need a new van in June? I don't mind suffering a little to delay the next vehicle. I'd like to pay of the wife's 03 Camry (with working AC) before its my turn again.

    Sorry to stray there, but I'd suggest keeping the vehicle
  • They are terrible. I picked up some silverstar (9007ST) replacements. I did this for my daughters car for big improvement.
    Now my problem...I can't get the OEM bulbs out of the Caravan. I managed to get the outside clipped on wire harness off, but I can't budge the rest. I thought the light bulb housing would pop out??
    Any help woild be appreaciated...Thank You
  • Read your owners manual it shows the two long bolts that hold the whole headlight assembly. remove them and you will have no problem getting the bulbs out.
  • Actually there is no need to take ANY screws out. I was not aware that the bulb was held in by a removable bracket that comes out by turning it c-clockwise. I thought it would come out with a simple turn while pushing in. So after taking wire harness off you must also take an outer bracket of. Once I figured it out it took all of 1 minute to do both. At first glance that removable bracket looked like a permanent protective shroud.
  • I'm with NVBANKER, the T&C is history. Let the dealer deal with Quality Control issues.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, I'm back in Florida (enjoying the incessant rain) right now, and put tires on the old Caravan today, so I guess we'll soldier on a while longer with it. It is awfully solid and wearing very well for the miles and age. Drives and runs great (with the new transmission). There's a lot I really like about this van - lots better than the Windstars I've rented. But if she keeps giving me trouble, I'll send it down the road. It's a love/hate relationship I guess.
  • In the past month my 2003 Caravan ( bought Nov. 28/03) has had to have the transmission cooling line replaced and the connection to the radiator tightened, then it had a power steering cooling line leak due to a stretched hose clamp. Both times I was told it was due to the cold weather. Is this a *normal* thing or am I right to believe my van is a lemon? There are thousands of these vans made but no one else I talk to has this problem. I was told that I should not drive it when it is cold out. I warm it up 10-15 min before I drive it. This sounds like a crock to me.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    I was told that I should not drive it when it is cold out.

    You are correct--that is a crock. My '99 GCS was sitting out all night in -21 F weather this weekend and started and ran just fine, just as it has for the past five Minnesota winters.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Who told you not to drive it when it's cold? They deserve a dope-slap! That's the silliest thing I've ever heard! I don't know if you have a lemon or not, but I wouldn't make payments on a car I could only drive in good weather, unless it was a really expensive convertible! My advice is keep driving, keep fighting, or trade the thing in on something else that is cold weather approved.
  • The service manager told me it was too cold for the van. They even put in writing ( on the work order) that the problem was caused due to extreme cold weather. yes it was -43C with a wind chill of - 50C but everyone else was driving and they should be. We can't stay indoors just because it's cold.
  • I forgot to say to nvbanker that we just traded our 2002 on the 2003 in November 2003. The 2002 was in the shop so often that we just wanted out of it. We would loose too much to trade again so soon.I feel like telling them to keep it and not make the payments but what would that do to our credit rating?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That would give you a voluntary repo on your credit rating - not good. Guess Chrysler can't make it in the cold. In Florida, mine is fine on that score.

    Try a Volvo? They're born in the cold, they should work fine there.....
  • I used silverstar. The lighting is still terrible. I used silverstar on a Nissan Sentra and there was a big improvement. Maybe these lights are too low on the GC??
  • My 2001 T&C with 47,000 miles has had two items replaced; an antilock wheel sensor and a fuel injector. Except for an occasional rattle under the dash associated with heater door position, a rattle in the right center bucket seat, and warped brake discs, there is nothing else to find fault with.

    Lately, the driver's seat warmer refuses to heat. There’s a fuse labeled “Seats” in the “Fuse and Relay Center” box under the hood, but all motors in the seats work. I don’t recognize any other fuse or relay that might apply. The rocker switch indicator lights light up when either “Low” or “High” is pushed.

    Has anyone experienced this problem? Is there an easy fix?
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