Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • Popular Mechanics has an article about replacing these - see - look in the Automotive section, Saturday Mechanic, "Hood and Hatch Strut Service", June 1997 I think.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    When replacing the tailgate strut, be careful of the bolts holding it (the struts) in place. I remember that my '94 Grand Voyager LE AWD had a recall a few years ago for the strut bolts. Apparently the bolts holding the struts in place could come apart, leaving the strut unattached and causing it to spring open and break the rear window when the tailgate was closed. In any case, they replaced the bolts and the struts for me, even though I didn't have any problems with them.

    Good luck with your install!
    Drew Townhall co-host
    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories conferences
  • While driving down the run the other day in our wonderful 15 degree weather my heat suddenly went out. None of the defrosters or floor heating vents work anymore. The blower is still working and its blow extremely cold air. I'm thinking its my thermostat that went out but there has been no change to my coolant guage to indicate that. Its within the normal operating range. The hoses look okay too. Does anyone have any ideas. My van is a 1998 Plymouth Voyager. 3.0l engine.
  • My 1998 Caravan - Won't Start until I move Steering Wheel from side to side while attempting to start.. This is intermittent only.. I have seen cars do this before..

    Can someone suggest part I need.? I can do most anything there is to do to a car..

    Dallas, TX
  • My 1996 Dodge Caravan's transmission failed at 48,000 miles.Is this a common problem? The dealer not only would not do anything but wanted to overcharge me so I had it fixed elswhere. I have all my records
    but this happened 3 years ago and I no longer have the vehicle (DOG).
    Do I have any recourse?
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Yes, it's common that these units fail around that mileage, and yes, DaimlerChrysler knows about the problems and has since this transaxle was introduced (for the 1989 model year). And yes, many people have success getting DaimlerChrysler to reimburse for repairs - but it is not likely you'd have any success if you've since dumped the vehicle.


    for some links about this problematic trasaxle.
  • axle59axle59 Posts: 28
    I don't know if it works the same way in DC vans but I had the same problem with my 91 aerostar. The HVAC controls work off of a vacum line system that open and close various pathways to the vents. You may a vacum leak in one of you hose thus causing no heat. If you are not getting any heat at all then it would probally be the main duct by your heater core not operating.
  • Has anyone had electrical problems like the ones I have been having with my '99 Grand Voyager SE (twin of Grand Caravan)? Currently I have 26K and have had a another electrical type of problem now twice; the second time tonight?

    I will try to be accurate, but brief.

    At about 6K miles, I pulled onto our street and the entire vehicle just died. Turned the key and nothing -- no click, no sound, no lights, no radio, etc. DEAD. Turned out to be a electric command module of some sort, but it took over 4 days to diagnosis, get the part and fix.

    Everything was fine until tonight, when a somewhat similar -- but not exact -- electrical problem happened. When I inserted the key, it would NOT turn. However the steering wheel was NOT locked. I was able to turn the steering wheel until it indeed did engage in the lock position. Ironically, I held the steering wheel to one side, and I was able to turn the key and start the car! Great I thought...

    Until I realized that my BRAKE, AS, and AIR BAG warning lights STAYED LIT. I also did not have any power to the center portion of my dashboard -- no radio/time light, nor did my fan or defroster work (I live in central WI and tonight it was +3F degrees.

    I quickly drive home and backed the vehicle into the garage incase I could not drive it to the dealer on (yikes) Tuesday.

    Again -- anyone have similar tales or adventures? Although it may seem quite minor to a few, I am somewhat frustrated at 26K miles.

  • The problem that I listed above was simliar to the question you asked -- in being that I could not start the my '99 Voyager minivan without as the key could not turn...(for details see my question on Electrical problems)

    What has been your experience?

  • Just wanted to share some problems we are having with our 99 Caravan E. Now at 27,000 miles have had the following problems: Ringing noise in engine, brought in 3 times, changed belt, said will continue, only hemp fix, brought in two more times for same noise; transmission went out at about 20k miles, sensor needed to be replaced; panel circuit board went out which controls odometer, etc gauges ; loud moaning noise when turning steering wheel, replaced rack & pinion and steering column; now my cruise control went out on the highway, works when it wants and also my rear a/I vents sound like they are blowing, but no air coming out. Will bring in again! Not happy at all. Anyone having similar problems?
  • Bought the van new 7/97. It has 68K miles on it now.

    Front brake pads at 53K, normal wear
    Leaky transmission solenoid 57K ($330)
    Frozen serpentine belt tensioner 59K ($135)
    Right now, I have very small on/off water pump leak. The power steering pump has started to leak and the front driver side strut has started to leak. TOO MANY LEAKS AT 68K!!!!

    For power steering pump leak, I have put one of those "stop leak" products in the reservoir.
    Will let you know if it works.

    No transmisson problem so far. I changed the fluid/filter at Chrysler dealer at 55K. On suggestion about the transmisson; make sure you make complete stop while changing gear from D to R or visa versa. And if you leave in icy /snowy area, do not let the wheels spin too much on icy roads.

    Our old '89 Mazda MPV with V-6 engine and 156K miles ( sold it in '97) did not have as much problem.

    At the time that we bought the Dodge, there was nothing out there that was comparable to Chrysler's vans. If the new Honda Oddessy was out at the time, we would have bought the Honda.
  • And we bought the GC after we had placed a $500 Non-refundable deposit on a GG 99 Ody LX-C in March 1999. Reason: Got many more nice comfort items for less money with GC.
    Go read in Odyssey and Sienna Problem Forums. There are more reported problems with Ody or Sienna than there are with Chrysler minivans... even though DC minivans have outsold either of the others by a margin of 4 to 1. The Sienna and Ody have not had the freedom from problems that the Camry and Accord have reported in the past.
  • At $25,700 that I paid for this Dodge GC, I should not have nagging leaks here or there. I very much doubt that Oddessy would have had these type of MAJOR mechanical problems.

    I have no trouble with the way the van looks or drives. In fact, I think '96-'00 Chrysler vans are the best looking vans out there. I wish they had the mechanical reliability to go with their looks!

    I am just not used to be nickle and dimed for repairs with anything I have ever owned, and $25K is the highest I have ever paid for a vehicle.
  • I recently purchased a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan ES with 79,000 miles from a used car super store.
    I purchased an extended warranty with the vehicle for engine/transmission.
    Overall I'm extremely happy with the vehicle. It's a great ride, comfortable on long trips, and it drives much like a car. I love all the room, and the driver's position relative to the road.
    Being a used car, there are some minor things, notably:
    I've noticed a little slip in the trans, but at the next oil change am having the transmission fluid and filter changed. And if there is a problem I have the warranty(famous last words, right!!).

    I have been experiencing 2 problems that I have seen on another site Dodge has TSB's for. The first one is the ubiquitous windshield-wiper activating-on-its-own problem. The second is a creaking sound under the car when going over bumps; although there is also a knocking sound occasionally as well. They are both intermittent problems. Does anyone know what could be causing the knocking and creaking(sounds like a bed spring squeaking), as the WS's seems to be pretty well documented here? 2ndly, does anyone have any experience with getting TSB work done on a vehicle they purchased used? Did you have to pay for the repairs?
  • I bought a 2000 Dodge Cavaran Base for $14,000 thanks to Edmunds TV price. The mini van has only 2,000 miles. I would like to know if somebody has any early problems with this model.
  • I live in Northern NY and my windshield wiper deicer does not work and we do need it in this area. I have been to the dealer 8 times, they even replaced the windshield it still does not work. The mechanics do not seem to know what else to do, is anyone else having this problem and if so how was it solved?
  • I own a 1995 Dodge Caravan with a 3.0 motor with 82000 miles on it. This past month, this vehicle failed the PA state emissions testing. The problem is that at idle, the hydrocarbons are too high and the hotter it gets the worse it is. However, at 2500 RPM the hydrocarbons drop down to an acceptable level. Since the first test, I changed spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor, PCV valve, and replaced a bad fuel injector. On retest the same results were obtained. The idle is a little rough at rest but off idle it runs fine--no hesitation. Any ideas greatly appreciated.
  • axle59axle59 Posts: 28
    Possibly an O2 sensor?
  • Discovered this site tonight! Wish I'd found it before I bought my Van! Good news / bad news to see others have the same problems I'm having...frustrating that the dealer acts like I'm the only one. Gone through transmission problems including failure to engage when shifting to/from reverse, failure to shift out of 2nd gear and finally stalling at an intersection that resulted in an error code! Dealership finally said the transmission control module had failed. $500 and 3k miles later and so far so good. Current problem is electrical related...wipers that run on their own, front blower switch that doesn't operate for about 10 minutes or keeps running with key removed (hell on batteries if you don't notice, rear blower works 4.0 in heat and A/C), and intermittent starting...haven't tried moving the wheel but will try that next! Already changed starter and investigated bypass switch for starting in gear. Seriously considering selling and leaving Dodge after 2 tries! Wife wants out of mommy mobile anyway...midlife crisis? May go back into SUV.
  • Scanner.. Ignition key would turn without glitches.. But when turning the wheel to one side usually it would enable the van to start.. Any comments are appreciated.. Again. this is related to not being able to start my 98 Caravan until moving the steering wheel a few times.. Some contact must be corroded of dirty.???

    Craig Wilson, Dallas, TX

    >>#566 of 579 Craigwilsontx by scanner Dec 21, >>2000 (03:06 pm)
    >>Does your problem also happen to coincide with >>not being able to turn the ignition key?
Sign In or Register to comment.