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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Most dealers are out to make as much as they can at our expense. In the past couple years GM has gotten their oil life senser working very accuracely and now people are finding out that they don't need an oil change every 3000 miles as they were lead to believe. The senser with the computer computes speed, distance, temps, and someother things and counts down from 100% to 0. The dealers are crying major tears. Hopefully someday all cars will have it.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    what we really need are good oil filters. if we had those, we'd rarely need to change the oil because it wouldn't get so contaminated.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Paper filter should last six months so what's wrong with just changing oil and filter every 6 months as most manufacturers recommend?? Why obsess over the best oil change interval when dino oil and oem filters are designed to last 6 months as proven by tests of on-road driving, e.g CR test of NY taxicabs several years ago. Changing oil every three months is a waste of time and creates unnecessary polution.
  • slanzslanz Posts: 2
    deciding to buy today. "new" with only 200 miles. $28K good price?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,418
    Not a bad idea to check the True Market Value on your way out the door. Look for the "Customized Appraisal" button too. Good luck.

    Steve
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  • slanzslanz Posts: 2
    It says the dealer retail is $26751. Dealer here in MT says he can't go lower than $28. He must have more room to work with us?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,418
    Tell him that there is a glut of used cars on the market due to all the zero interest promotions out there. And that even though the '01 is new, the depreciation hit on one year old cars is big. Tell him you're thinking of driving to that big internet Dodge dealer in Kellogg, Idaho (if you really want to make him crazy).

    Even better, take a sourpuss grump along as your first baseman, and have him keep telling you to go look at Ventures (or whatever), since GM is dealing on them :-)

    Don't forget to listen to your gut too (that van may be worth 32k to you)....

    Steve
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  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    pluto5,

    i'm talking about filters that are so good that you would just change the filter every 3k miles and the oil at 50k intervals. i know these new types of filters were being tested on trucks somewhere and getting great results. but i'm not sure what happened to them. sounds like a plot by the petro companies to keep them off the market, cause if you only had to change your oil every 50k, the demand for oil would slip significantly...
  • beemombeemom Posts: 3
    I have a one year old T&C (purchased in March 2001)that was purchased in Seattle. In August we moved to Madison, Wi. When we arrived in Madison, it was the hottest, most humid day of the year. Since moving to Madison, the vehicle has a fit starting in the morning when it is humid. (not when it is cold, dry and 15 degrees). The van is kept in an enclosed garage that usually keeps to around 40+ degrees. When I start it on slightly humid mornings, the van will shutter, struggle. It does not die when I back it out of the garage into the driveway. I usually let it warm up a minute before shifting it into drive. This is when it dies, the engine idel speed just deteriorates. It even dies when I lightly put on the gas. No problem lights appear on the dash when it dies. I took it to the dealer late fall and left it with them overnight for them to experience the problem. They thought that one of the computers that mixes the air/gas in the fuel injector may have been confused coming from SEattle (no humidity) to Madison, expecially when going over LoLo pass in Montana (high altitude/humidity). They cleared out the computer chip so that the sensors could respond to Madison's climate. Worked ok for about 2 weeks, it is back to its old problems even though it seems to only die once instead 3-4 times as I would drive down the block (when I took my foot off the accelerator to break). Any idea what is going on???????
  • beemombeemom Posts: 3
    Same van bought in Seattle. After van was warmed up (driven 2 or 3+ miles)occasionally the van would emit a very high pitched whine/squeal when I would be turning right. At the beginning this would only occur on warm days and when I was turning a corner. I am not braking when this occurs. I took it into the dealer in Seattle at least 2 times and they could not replicate the noise. They did check the suspension, however, but nothing. I now notice it when I am driving on arterials at around 35-40 MPH and veering right (not a hard veer). I never know when it is going to start which makes it really frustrating to take to the dealer. Also, its embarrassing to drive a new car that makes such a loud sound. Its hard to tell where the sound it coming from (back, front?) If I turn off the car, the sound doesn't necessarily restart. Anyone else experiencing this? The sound started probably at around 3K miles and the van now has 13K.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    huhhh...it's not humid in seattle, but it's humid at a high altitude mountain pass!!!! very strange post!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Just saw a new 2002 (no miles) T&C LX AWD advertised here in the Twin Cities for $27k. You may not live in as large a market as mine, but it does seem there should be more room on a van that will be one year old (but with low miles!) the moment you drive it out of the dealership. Also, if it has 200 miles it was probably used as a demo, and the dealership has received value from that use that they should be willing to deduct from the price.
  • beemombeemom Posts: 3
    Let me clarify about Seattle, Montana and Wisconsin's humidity. While Seattle does have rain, it doesn't get sweltering and humid like the midwest/south. Van started fine every morning while we were still living in Seattle (5 months). Started acting up soon after we got to Wi, particularly those mornings when it was like a steam bath. Wi repair shop said that rich/lean sensor may have gotten confused during our excursion to Wisconsin during the hottest and at times most humid time of last summer (Lots of thunderstorms/downpours/90-100 degree days). Arrived in Wi during hot, humid, monsoon season (100% humidity, 95 degrees). HOpe this clears up the difference in humidity and its apparent affect on our Van.

    Looked at Hondas. Rode like a truck, noisy, no guts, and for tall front seat passengers, no leg room (seat is stationary) - like our 1995 voyager. Also, didn't like the idea of having to order the van and buy it without test driving it first. This 2001 was a pleasure to go cross country in with two kids, dog, cat and cartop carrier. I have a bad back and the seat support was wonderful. Also, the AWD was great during our WI snows. Really confident and responsive, and this for a life long Seattle snow wimp.
  • dallahdallah Posts: 1
    I am looking at a 1993 Voyager Grand SE. It has 82000 miles on it. The exterior paint is chipping somewhat. The present owner tells me he has owned it since 1994 and it has not had any mechanical problems. He said that other then regular maintenance he has not needed to do a thing to it. It appears in good shape and drives okay. What mechanical problems/symptoms should I watch out for? He is asking $3695.00 for it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Paint chipping? Be sure to look for signs of crash repair (uneven surfaces and colors, overspray, different paint textures, tire tracks don't line up) and ask if there has been any damage repaired. Also, since he says the van has had regular maintenance, ask to see the records or talk to the shop he takes it to. And it's always a good idea to have a mechanic give it a thorough inspection, check compression, transmission etc.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Look for ABS module replacement; there was a recall of these as I recall. DC changed to another unit the following year. Paint delamination on horizontal surfaces is another common problem, as is failure of the AC evaporator coil. '95 is probably the best year in the older models. For '94, the safety of the structure was improved, and reliability appears to have improved in '95. Of course, any single vehicle sample can be an exception to the average but safety-wise I would go with '94-95 due to strenghening of front structure and improved side impact protection.
  • I own a 2001 T&C LTD. Last fall, after about 7000 miles, the van starting making a whining/buzzing noise between 2000 and 3000 rpm. The noise comes from the engine compartment, on the passenger side of the van. The noise is present about 65% of the time, and is more noticeable when the weather is cold or when the engine is under stress. This does not seem to be the infamous 2100 rpm vibration, because it does not go away above 2300 rpm, but instead continues to get louder. I have had the van to the dealer three times for this. First, they replaced a bracket for the a/c. No difference. The second time, the mechanic could not duplicate it. The third time I took the service rep out myself and the noise was there. They replaced the fuel pump. No difference.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions would be appreciated. The van is going back for the fourth attempted tomorrow.
  • miltwmiltw Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 2001 GC Sport with 32K. Is the power steering wine typically louder on these vans at very low speed turns ? Sometime it actually seems to cause the van to vibrate. Has anyone else noticed this characteristic in these vans or should I take it to the dealer b/f warranty runs out ?

    Also, has anyone notice a sometime quirkiness with the power sliding doors on these vans. One time it just decided not to open and close. An hour later it was fine.
  • kowmooskowmoos Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 T&C LXi w/ only 190 miles and it's back at the dealership with the same problem. The dealer has it for the past 2 days and still hasn't find out the cause of the problem. Did you ever get it fixed? if so, what was it?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    1999 GC Sport with 29N

    30K summary

    Miles Covered: 29,913
    Running Cost : $2,767.49
    Running Cost per mile: 9.25 cents

    Gas consumed: 1,460 Gallons
    Cost of Gas: $2,030.57
    Average Economy: 20.5 MPG
    Best: 28.1 MPG
    Worst: 13.4 MPG

    Maintenance Cost: $736.92
    Maintenance Cost per mile: 2.1 cents

    Gas Cost: $2030.57
    Gas Cost per mile: 6.8 cents

    Miscellaneous costs: 0.35 cents per mile

    (Still working on Total Cost of Ownership with depreciation and insurance)
  • chip34chip34 Posts: 1
    I have a 92 Grand Caravan LE. The power windows occasionally stop working - which really stinks when they are down and its raining. Its not the motors and it affects both windows and door switches. I've had all the problems I'm supposed to- replaced the tranny,paint pealed off in 3 years,etc. But the electrical problems on this thing kill me. I bet I replaced the driver's side head lamp seven times.

    With the odometer approaching 95k, I'm looking to get another van. I'd look at the Honda, but my wife loves the Dodge.

    Has anyone had this window problem?

    Do the new vans have better quality than the 90s models?
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I don't have power windows but noticed that the outer covering on many of the electical leads has deteriorated on my '94 GC so I am looking at finding some material to replace the outer insulation. Perhaps your vehicle has a similar condition in the wiring that could lead to shorts if the wiring is damaged.

    I would be interested in buying another SE if I could get the quad seats, but they are no longer an option on the SE. Many newer vehicles suffer from electrical problems, not just DC vans, but I feel that I've avoided some potential problems buy avoiding models with all the bells and whistles. Just my opinion.
  • mendez1mendez1 Posts: 4
    I have a 1998 dodge caravan SE 68000 miles. The problem is that there are times when I turn the ignition key to shut the car off but the car wont shut off. I then have to play with the key and shifter for it to then sut itself off. What's going on?
    Also, when I'm driving over 50 miles an hour, the car is very noisy. What can be done to fix this?
  • I am due for a tune-up and wondered about how to get the fuel tank leak "not really a recall" repaired and also get the gen 3 buckles replaced. Has anyone actually had luck getting their dealers to fix these problems and what should I say to have it done without any hassle? I am surprised that more people are not upset about these issues but the seat belt buckles really concern me since I have small children in car seats installed on the capt chairs. Thanks in advance for any info!
  • I have talked to several dealers and they say there is no way to fix those things even at my expense. They say the parts aren't available. Just keep complaining to Dodge until they do something about it. I also have children in the captains chairs and it angers me to no end. I'm gonna stay on their butts until something is done.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    people driving around with fuel leaks!!!! simply amazing, are all minivan drivers like this??? or do they even have a minivan??
  • iaameeiaamee Posts: 4
    Where do you guys buy these locking gas cap for 1998 Grand Caravan SE? Does Mopar have it?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Do you mean the fuel rail recall problem or something else? If the fuel rail problem, try another dealer. My dealer did the recall, without my asking, ahead of schedule, on my '99 GCS a few weeks ago when I brought it in for an oil change. Said they didn't want to inconvenience me by making me come in later. No wonder I've had my Caravans serviced by them for the last 11 years.
  • jasper42jasper42 Posts: 7
    Our 2day old EX has a pretty noticeable pull to the right. It happens when accelerating or just going down the road. I am going to take it back in next week, but it seems I read a posted message somewhere a few days ago that someone else had the same problem and the dealer wasn't having any luck fixing the problem. Does anyone else have this problem or know what may be causing it on a vehicle with only 100 miles. Other than that, I really like the vehicle.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    tires cause lots of problems!! if alignment is in check, have them rotate the tires to see if pulling goes away. if it does, a tire or tires are suspect and goodyear (or whoever) can replace them...
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