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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    The wiper is fused from fuse 11, 20 amp and the washer is fused from fuse 33, 15 amp. Info from 03 wiring shop manual. If those are OK, check relay marked Accessory relay.
  • tgraytgray Posts: 1
    Hi Selena760-
    I am having the same problem with my 2000 Grand Caravan...It has happened twice and is currently in the "blinking light" mode you describe.
    The first time I called my dealer service department after checking owner's manual (nothing) and online Chrysler Customer Service (no references). Dealer service guy had never heard of this problem. After several minutes on hold, he said he didn't think there was any reset button and that they usually just take the unit out and send it to the manufacturer,etc. Its hard enough to take time to schedule critical service I really didn't want to spend the time and money to take it in, just to find out it was something simple &/or easy &/or cheap that even I could have fixed if I had known (such as a reset button). I tried to find a way into the back of the dash or under the changer with no success. So I just enjoyed the magic of my iPod through the cassette or radio feed as those stupid lights continued to mock me with the constant blinking. I tried every combination of keys, buttons, and sequences ( such as pushing all the load/eject buttons at the same time, with the engine on/off/ , the radio on/off, the key in off/on/accessories mode), thinking it might reset like a cell phone accidently placed in "lock" mode (don't ask).
    I finally concluded that a disc must be jammed in the mechanism. I took an old CD and place it just inside the feed slot and felt the edge of a disc. I gently nudged it up and down and in until the disc finally moved and it the unit began working. Not a very elegant or technical solution, but it worked perfectly for several months and then recently went out again. I tried the same technique as mentioned above but it has yet to work for me. In both cases, the problem occurred when the battery was low and the car and accessories almost - but not quite - started. I think the changer starts to shuffle and then the lack of juice catches the mechanism and you end up with a jam.
    Anyway, I too am back to square one again with regards to the changer, and it took several hours of searching to find this site and your post regarding this issue. But there is an up side...those flashing lights keep my mind from focusing on the nonworking seat heaters that cost over $1200 each and appear to be a common problem with this vehicle, or the clunking right front suspension problem, or the dash board lights that dim or brighten for no apparent reason, or the driver door window that rolls down as designed, but occasionally won't roll up (like when your 16 year old daughter uses it for her driver's license exam in a February downpour). Fortunately, the dealer that has thoughtfully investigated these problems at $90 an hour nd has assured me that nothing is wrong (except, of course, the seat heaters at $1200 each), so I can relax and enjoy the new Lee Iacocca commercials:

    "Remember, if you can find a better car... Buy it!

    Please let me know if you find out any thing about the CD changer problem...I will do likewise. Good Luck!

    -tgray">

    P.S. This is my 3rd Dodge vehicle and 2nd Grand Caravan, so either I'm a loyal consumer or a slow learner.

    P.S.S. I wonder if I can get the "Employee Discount" on the heated seats?
  • The symptoms were the same as what you described. The van would be cruising just fine, and suddenly it would flutter, run rough, sometimes stall (but usually not). I would have to play with the pedals to keep it running. A hard acceleration would perhaps make the engine run smoother, but would not really increase the speed. The transmission seemed to shift hi-low constantly. My van was a 4 cyl, and my guess is yours is a 6. But the symptoms sound so exact that I had to let you know.
    The ignition coil is (was) less than $50 dollars, and is easily replaced by anyone. All you need is a wrench to remove the coil. No adjustments, just remove and replace.
  • We, too, have the same problem. Our 2003 Dodge Caravan has had three sets of brakes within the last two years, the lastest being replaced in July 05. About 50% of the time when braking, we hear the loud grinding noise. It sounds like there are no pads at all. It's going back in the shop today to be looked at. The grinding is so loud that heads turn. Does anyone have suggestions?
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    I checked the fuses and the relay and they seem to be OK. Dealer mentioned that it could be the body control module. Has anyone had to replace their module due to a rear wiper not functioning? I am trying to avoid changing this part due to the expense ($500).
  • Well.... yes and no.

    It turned out that the used BCM came from a caravan that was equipped with an alarm system (mine does not have an alarm). Although the original problem appeared to be fixed, the system was completely confused by the different BCM firmware. The dealer installed the correctly programmed new BCM, and the problem is gone.

    Lessons:
    1. My mechanic tells me that other mechanics have reported the exact same problem on Caravans, Voyagers, and Town & Country vans. Chrysler knows there is a flaw on these vans but refuses to acknowledge it.

    2. Be very careful when replacing Caravan parts with parts from other used vehicles.

    3. The BCM contains the odometer mileage memory.

    4. Not all BCMs are identical. Replacing a BCM with an unidentical unit will cause lots of problems.

    Best of Luck!
  • My 1998 Caravan had the same problem when it was less than 6 months old. At first we could manage to start the van by turning the steering wheel and working the key in/out. Eventually, one day, it just would not turn. The dealer had to send a tow truck to pick up the van, and the lock assembly was replaced (while the van was still under warranty).

    This van has been nothing but trouble from day one.
  • I've got 96 with 151K miles. I had a leak like you described and some stop leak fixed it. Yours probably just needs a new radiator like mine. Any little clogging throws off cooling....Basically the radiator size is perfectly matched to the van and runs at 100% capacity when it's new. Radiator.com will find a shop in your area. They quoted me $475 for part and labor ($189 parts). I found a local guy who would charge me $120 labor. Good luck.

    If you are keeping the van for a few years replace radiator. If not, use stop leak.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Sam55 may need a new radiator, but no way can you state that any radiator is sized "perfectly matched" to the van and runs at 100% capacity when new.

    All cooling systems better be well oversized to take into account some worst case situations, like idling in the desert with the AC on and 115 degree F ambient conditions! Under all other operating conditions, this radiator would be considered oversized.

    A partially clogged radiator may reduce cooling capacity, but unless you are under the most extreme conditions, it will not show up as inadequate.

    Sam55 may have a pinhole leak that only leaks under pressure, and if it is at the top of the system, may only be spewing steam, thus no puddle on the ground. Any good shop will pressure test the cooling system and should be able to diagnose the problem.

    It also could be something like the plastic overflow tank has a leak, or worse, a the headgasket problem allowing coolant to get into the oil or into a cylinder, but then you would likely have some other serious issues going on.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My personal cooling system was horribly over capacity for the first half (outbound leg) of one particular trip, and horribly under capacity for the return leg. This trip dates back to when ATMs were not universal (1990). A few days before this fateful trip I had pulled into the Mammoth Lakes, California Goodyear tire store needing brakes (trust me, the Sierra Nevada’s are not a place to drive a car without good brakes), and for some reason they would only do the job for cash and none of the ATMs in town were on the network that supported my ATM card. Fortunately there was a bank in Bishop (about 45 miles away) that would honor my card and since it was a beautiful August day, I hopped on my bike and rode down (literally) to Bishop. On the way down I actually coasted at a minimum speed of 55 mph for over 20 minutes, and even though it was August, I got rather cold.

    Once there, I got my money, consumed a half of a bottle of water and headed back up toward Mammoth Lakes. For those of you who don’t know the area, Bishop sits at something just a little over 4,000’ above sea level, and Sherwin Summit (the nominal half way point) is something over 7,000’, with my destination being a couple thousand feet above that. I was half way up the climb to Sherwin Summit and realized that I was, A) HOT, B) nearly out of water, and C) not going to make it to the townlet of Tom’s Place (just past the summit) without a considerable infusion of water. Just about that moment, a large motor home (with what can only be described as an enormous radiator) pulled off the road a few hundred yards up the road to cool off its engine. I quickly rode up to its side door, knocked and asked for some water. While talking to the couple who were vacationing from the mid-west I drank an entire gallon of water.

    My thirst sated, I continued up to Tom’s Place where I stopped again, bought a quart of milk, two quarts of water, an ice-cream cone and a beer, all of which I happily consumed on the spot. ;-)

    As for our two Caravans, the cooling system proved to be insufficient only once, and that was climbing a very steep, narrow, winding road up a mountain in 100 degree weather with the A/C blasting.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • bogie5bogie5 Posts: 4
    I have a 01 caravan SE with the same problem. The mechanics found that the flaps that are operated by a motor are warped where they hinge or secure. This is in the climate control box/heater core box. sure enough it was warped, you could see about a quarter inch difference and since there is a heater core behind those, the loose fit of the flaps let hot air in on the drivers side and partially on pass. If and I mean IF they are right I will post again, the part came in today and being installed in the morning. Heres the catch, 7 hrs to take apart, 8 hrs to put back. the part is about 250.00 but with shop labor will run about 1400.00 if they get it right the first time.
  • My mom is having problems with her minivan. Whenever she stops, some kind of alarm starts to make noise, and immediately stop once she takes her foot of the gas. I don;'t think she has an alarm on the car, so we have no clue what the problem could be. If anyone can help, please do.
  • A magazine writer would like to talk with car owners who have experienced auto repair fraud or incompetence. Please send your name, contact info and a few lines briefly telling your story to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Friday, August 12, 2005.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • kfdsankfdsan Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 GC. As with most owners, I have just had the transmission rebuilt, 147,000 miles also new solenoid. After getting it back, about 4 days in, the transmission stopped shifting properly. I contacted my mechanic, and have sent it back to him, he says that everything is working properly with transmission. He says it must be something electrical. This makes some sense, as when it stops shifting, you can turn off the van and restart, and then it will shift again for a while. Also been told it could be electrical short from plug wires. Any ideas on what it could be, or what to try?
  • gtcgtc Posts: 1
    I know this is a response that way too late but...

    It takes time to figure these things out.

    I had serpentine belts last less that five miles. I bet I have use ten in two years. It started after a visit to the dealer to replace the alternator. It was under the warranty.

    This is a 97 grand caravan 3.3 liter motor. I have no idea if this applies to any other year but I'd bet it does. Anyway...

    The Alternator has a spacer behind it. This spacer is as thick as a washer. When the mechanic installed the alternator he assumed this was a washer not a spacer. What this did was offset the alternator pulley by one rib on the serpentine belt This moved the alternator 1/16 or so away from the engine and closer to the side of the car. What happened was the belt would ride up onto the edge of the alternator pulley and then shred. Dealerships are great huh? If you look at the car (if you still have it) you may find the spacer is just below the bolt head not between the alternator and bracket where it belongs.

    Maybe the designer is the person who initially polished the Hubble mirror, it was a washer that screwed that up.

    Hope this help
  • sully68sully68 Posts: 1
    I just has the same problem this evening the clicking sound was coming from a relay under the dash. I wiggled the relay and the car started, does any one know if this means the relay simply needs to be replaced or does it point to another problem.
  • I bought a Grand Caravan with a 3.8 Liter 7/25/05. It ran good for seven days. Then I got in it and turned the key and nothing happened 8/1/05. It has been at a dealer 100 miles from home because we were on Vacation when this happened. (Camping with 3 kids and no trans is not good). The dealer has been getting parts shipped in overnight but it still won't start. More parts coming in Monday 8/8/05. One week after they started. I will keep you posted. :cry: :cry:
  • mcamphrmcamphr Posts: 3
    I too have a stuck door. Any remedies!

    Thanks
    96 grand voyager owner
  • mcamphrmcamphr Posts: 3
    I have 96 Grand Caravan with a stuck driver's side rear sliding door. I can't get it to open. I already checked the locking actuator and it is functioning. All the linkages appear to be in the right positions and are moving freely. I pulled off the interior door panel and the rear qtr panel. Tried opening and closing the fuel door and disconnecting the battery but I still can't get it open. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated - with three small boys we really got used to having two sliding doors and we really don't want to take it to the dealer to get it open.

    Thanks,

    Campdavis@charter.net
  • mcamphrmcamphr Posts: 3
    I got it open! Yea! I had the panel off from the inside and drepress the button to open and gave it a swift kick and it popped right open. Of course, being the thorough troubleshooter that I am I checked the latches (1. door latch and 2. the fuel overlock - prevents the door form opening while the fuel door is open) the steel bar that protrudes about an inch and a half seemed slighty bent so I closed the door and prompty got it stuck again. Well this time it was a breeze to open with another kick. I then went to the hardware store and bought a torx bit set for 13.00 and took off the bar side of the fuel door latch. Lo and behold that fixed the problem. Although, I will be able to open the door now while the fuel door is open. But, I think I will just flip the child restraint switch so the door can't be opened from the inside on the driver's side. I'm sure that a used or new latch wouldn't be too expensive but I'm just going to do without. Lesson is don't slam the door when you are mad!
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