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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    My guess is it's held on with a large hose clamp that they forgot to put back on. Wasn't there any other vans around you could have looked at? I doubt that the procedure changes year to year.
  • Drop your transmission down to a lower gear when decending on steep hills, this will enable the motor to take some of the load off the brakes.
  • Raise your headlight adjustment slightly, this will greatly improve your visibility.
  • fhohiofhohio Posts: 10
    Regarding the Odessey, just note that in Consumer Reports Annual Auto issue, the 1999 model made the hit list of "used vehicles to AVOID." First year for the new version, obviously, had its share of problems reported by that magazines's subscribers. My 1999 Caravan has been almost perfect-one minor repair in the first 3 years. But low mileage. Yes, I bought an extended warranty only because of the transmission history, which is unfortunately a continuing concern for some folks.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Thanks for the reply. It was raining and almost dark when I noticed the gas leak so I wasn't inclined to do any more than look underneath to see where it was coming from. Had it been dry and light, I would have attempted to fix it myself although it's a real pain in the [non-permissible content removed] when a "full service" repair shop misses something basic when putting something back together. I'll probably not go back to them for any future repairs.
  • Does anyone know if the O/D in the 4 speed auto can be turned off ?

    I've heard a few people mention that turning it off would help going up hills or something.

    I have a 91 grand voyager 3.3L and a 98 grand caravan 3.8L. Both with 4 speed o/d. Neither of them seem to have a way to pull the tranny out of o/d once it gets upto speed.

    On the 98 there is a light by the gear label light part saying "O/D OFF". Like it can be illuminated, but i can't find a button anywhere or how to do it. ???

    what's goin on ???

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    On alot of automatics they have L/1, 2, D/3, and OD/D. So is there one of those combos availible? Also on some Ford trucks 3rd gear was not a direct drive 1 to 1 and made it run at higher RPM's than it should have. Forced you to use overdrive even if you didn't want too.
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 223
    Rich, My '95 Caravan has a cluster of pushbuttons to the left of the gage cluster that on top are 2 buttons controlling rear wiper and washer. Below these is a button labeled "O/D off" which lights when activated. Its use is discussed in the owners manual, stating to turn O/D off when conditions would cause frequent shifts in and out of O/D. For me that is city driving. Roy
  • plrodplrod Posts: 13
    to my list of automakers of "cars I will not buy again"; Ford is the only other on my list. We've a 95 Grand Voyager with just over 60K on the odo and a very thick file of stuff that's been replaced under warranty. While this van has served it's purpose, the list is just too long of what went wrong with this van. I will not buy another and cannot recommend it. I'll now hold out to see what awaits in a new era of non warranty repair. They can keep their D Neon rentals for people who own them.
  • Hello all,

    I have a Dodge Caravan with approx. 23000 miles on it. It is a 2000 and we bought it new at the end of Aug 2000. We had it in for inspection in May (around 17000 miles) and no problems were found. In the beginning of October the brakes grinded to a halt and the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The problem was the inside, front driver side brake pad was found to be worn. The inside brake pads do not have squealers on them so there was no indication that these were failing. My question is, is this normal for the inside brake pad to go without the outside brake pads even reaching the level to set off the squealer. Also, is it normal for this to wear this bad in the 6000 miles since inspection? Our dealer had to replace the rotors and brake pads which cost almost $300. I realize that 23000 is a lot of miles but the car is only 13 months old (when this occurred) and it seems to me that for this to happen there has to be a problem with the caliper. I still owe the dealer the money and, based on the feedback I get from this post will determine if I pay them or not. Dodge has not been of any help either because they said there was nothing they could do since my wife had given the dealer permission to fix the vehicle (as if she had a choice.)
    Needless to say I will never buy another Chrysler product or will I buy a vehicle from Reedman in Langhorne, PA. Thanks for your replies.
  • It would appear that quite a few owners are
    commenting on the fact that they consider the
    headlights somewhat "dim". I noticed this problem soon after we purchased our slightly used 99 TC,
    since the light was actually worse than those
    on our '91 Grand Caravan and I was disappointed.

    A bit of an investigation showed me that barely
    12.9 volts of the 14.3 volts available were getting to the actual headlamp bulbs. (These are approx numbers from memory, but they are in the ballpark. Interestingly enough, one side had most of the drop in the positive side, while the other had it on the ground return.)

    Adding extra (thicker gauge) wires in parallel with all the supply and ground wires in all the low and high beam circuits reduced the total voltage drop to less than 0.3 volts, and made all the lights (low and high beams)noticeably brighter.
    Adding almost 10% voltage makes the lights "whiter" as well

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND that this is NOT a typical do it yourself wiring job. I am an electrical engineer with over twenty years experience, and regularly repair everything on our cars. Please do not attempt it if you are not familiar with wiring techniques used in automobiles, and know how to use wiring and wiring tools. It is very easy to have badly installed wiring cause an electrical fire.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    This was a problem on the GM Trucks from 88 until they changed in 99. As a matter of fact there were kits from different companys that gave you new wiring to boast the power going to them. JC Whitney had a kit that even allowed you to have both the high and low on at the same time and they even had high watt bulbs too. I replaced mine with both the kit and bulbs. the 35W dim bulbs were replaced with 80Watt and the 55W high beams were replaced with 100W. When in the boondocks and I kicked in the brights it lit up the world. Instead of 2 55W's I had 2 80W and 2 100W bulbs. Wow what a difference. Maybe there are wiring kits for the DC vans too.
  • I'm considering a 2000 or 2001 Dodge Caravan. I'd like to know if the transmissions are better with these newer models.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    my 2000 chrysler town and country with the 3.3L engine is doing fine now with over 30k miles on it. i have three other neighbors with 99-00 year dc minivans and they have not had any problems with theirs either.

  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Uneven pad wear is not normal and is a symptom of a caliper problem, most likely the caliper was not sliding freely on the pins. This is usually because the slide pins are not adequately lubricated. I saw this on my '96 Explorer but it was at 49,000 miles when it was almost 5 years old.
  • I am planning to buy a mini-van because I have 4 grandchildren from ages 0-10.
    Reading these comments really puts me off. I know nothing about "Vehicles" except how to drive them and what looks good to me. Good looks I've assigned to the Plymouth Voyager.
    As a Granny I can't afford to be sitting beside the road on the way to the mountains or to the beach (or grocery store). And I can't afford alot of time and money on repairs.I do need 7 seats to also carry the children's parents.
    Any sound advice out there???
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 223
    svause: You will find better reliability comparisons on the Edmunds "Used" vehicle information section reliability ratings than from bulletin board posts. Also Consumer Reports April "AUTO" issue is a helpful resource and another web site is
    Alternate 7 passenger vehicles would be stationwagons with 3 seats. Having owned both a 3 seat wagon and a van, the van seems preferable (also much more recent vintage) due to upright seating, all seats face forward and better view at city intersections.
    One last point on reliability is that average reliability is better as time goes buy so our expectations are quite high for few problems and you are less likely to have a breakdown now than ten or twenty years age. Even so maybe you would like joining a travel club with mobile repair help like AAA and carry a cell phone. My wife has found this a great reassurance when on her own.
  • Adam,
    Thank you for the reassurance.
  • plrodplrod Posts: 13
    I believe to be caused by the brake lines traveling to the rear brakes rubbing against the chassis.
  • Thank Imacmil,

    That is what I believe also. They should not wear as uneven as these have. Even the mechanic said that but he didn't find a problem (something obvious that didn't hit him over the head) so naturally I am stuck with the bill.
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