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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    I just bought a used 2002 Grand Carvan Sport AWD. It has new tires, and 24K miles on the clock.

    I have noticed @ 35-45 MPH under moderate acceleration, a vibration and harmonic noise that you feel in the seat, steering wheel and, you can hear it and feel it like a deep bass note from a sub-woofer! Other speeds and at idle the car is very quiet. It is not loud, but you are definitley aware of it.

    The noise is still present if you lift off the gas,reduced, but still there. Brand new tires did not fix the problem. Is this a normal characteristic of the car? My 1998 AWD did not exhibit this behavior.

    Any ideas b4 calling the dealer for an appointment?
  • Someone recently posted about a loose side sliding door. A few replies but no one really gave any specifics re: how to repair it (w/out paying $70/hour dealer rates). Our left passenger sliding door is a tad loose. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Can a weekend mechanic fix it?

    FYI, just had our 3 1/2 year old Die-Hard battery replaced at Sears. It had a 72 month warranty on it so I replaced it with the same style (it now has an 84 MONTH warranty) for only $45! I thought that was a heck of a deal and better than spending time hauling a battery around and dropping it in myself.

    To the gentleman considering a 2000 GCS. We have a '96 Plymouth Grand Voyager which I think most people consider to be on the fringe of "bad" or "suspect" D/C vehicles. We've owned it for almost four years now and have 100,000 miles on it. It's had a few goofy things go wrong (weird electrical problem w/wipers, etc.) and one major one, a head gasket replaced for ~$900. But other than that it's been a very solid and COMFORTABLE vehicle. We routinely take it on 15 hour round trip excursions throughout the Midwest visiting relatives. Our record so far is a 20 hour straight (one way) trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. Runs like a champ. Considering you're going to be well within your warranty period I think you struck a great deal (probably got a bargain due to recent style change) and you'll do fine in terms of reliability.

    - Rob
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Suggest you review the shop manual and decide for yourself; it was beyond me. I would consider taking it to a body shop since their rates are probably lower than the dealer.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    I managed to adjust successfully the sliders to cure rattles myself on my 99 GCS. So I would say that yes, a weekend mechanic should be able to do it.

    The reason I did not go into a lot of details is because a) it depends on the source of the rattle to determine which slider(s) to adjust b) the adjustments are obvious with fairly accessible bolts that have oblong holes meant for adjustment c)if you take a look and post your findings and thoughts here, I will try to help you out as much as I can, and d) I thought it was no big deal to adjust, I mean it is not like a head gasket change.
  • Anyone Have problems with the 2002 or 2003 transmissions?
  • This has been an intermittment problem for several months...had it at dealer twice, but they can't recreate it (though how hard they're trying to is questionable since mileage is never been over a mile while they have the car).

    We'll be driving down the road and suddenly the stereo and clock, the fan blower, the power windows and rear wings and the windshield wipers will just shut off. The light on the "power" and "a/c" buttons are still ON, but there is no fan blowing air. You can feel slight cold air seeping through as tho the air conditioner is ON but without blower it's not doing much.

    The power door locks, hazards, dome and headlights, alarm, they work fine when this occurs.

    There seems to be no set parameters to having it happen....kinda feel like it happens more often in warmer weather (70+) because it didn't happen for several weeks when we had 50/60 degree weather...now with 70's again it's happening. Happens whether we're using any of those accessories or not.

    It usually corrects itself in a few minutes, sometimes as much as 15-20 minutes. Have attempted to drive to dealer while it was not working, but always comes back on before I get there....dealer on other side of valley :(

    According to the Dealer this is impossible (their word) because those systems have nothing in common. Beg to differ, they must have something in common if they all quit working together!

    Anyway....has anyone else ever experienced this? Was it ever resolved?

    We're in Arizona and in just a couple short months here it's gonna be a real safety concern when the weather is well over 100 degrees and the A/C cuts out, and the windows won't go down!!

    I have looked up the lemon law and it says same repair must be unresolved after 4 attempts, so we have 2 more to go.....taking it back on Monday for try number 3, gonna talk to General Manager instead of the slick talking "used car salesman" mentality service manager. (He's the same guy that "absolutely guaranteed" me his staff couldn't have been responsible for the theft of change out of the ashtray....hmmm, how do you guarantee the behavior of another person, especially one that only works for you? I told him bull....I couldn't even "guarantee" that my husband wouldn't steal something....might believe he wouldn't, but not guarantee!! Also the same guy who keeps telling me it's impossible for this problem to occur...well, it is occuring. Think my next step will be to keep the video camera in the car and pull over and record it next time it happens.

    Has anyone dealt with the lemon law and used that knowledge to get them to get off their duffs and fix the problem? I'm not necessarily interested in returning my vehicle, I just want it to work properly. Could have kept my old falling apart van if I wanted to constantly take for repairs, and saved myself a few hundred a month!!

    Thanks for any insight you can give me.

    Jan
  • To "Ourbutterflies", have you tried taking the van to another dealership? Don't know the lay of the land by you but in our area of ~100,000 people there are several D/C dealerships within a 15 mile radius. Maybe you want to start by visiting someone else?

    Another option is to find out who the regional D/C service representative is. This person is paid by D/C - not your local dealer - and one of their main duties is keeping retail D/C customers happy...that would be you! Usually this person steps in when the dealership and customer can't resolve an issue. On your next visit I'd ask to speak with the dealership General Manager or owner (set up an appointment ahead of time; they're usually fairly busy). Tell him/her, nicely and firmly, of your past problems and that the service department hasn't been able to correct the problem but you KNOW you're not imagining things (and I'll be the first to admit that male service people often DO think women don't know what they're talking about when it comes to car problems). Then ask that they REPAIR your vehicle and if they CAN'T then you'd like the name of the regional D/C representative. I think this will give added emphasis to their repair efforts.

    Best of luck.

    - Rob
  • I have a Voyager with the electronic "consol" above the rear view mirror. The thermometer that reads the outside temperature does not seem accurate. My wife would like me to find out what is wrong, and how to fix it. Could anyone help me out with it?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ..is likely not adjustable, but the sensor itself lives beind the front bumper with the wiring harness connector up by the right hand (passenger) side foglight area. This is true for 96-00 model years. What year is your van?
  • I am sorry. My van is 1992. Could it be in a different place?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ..do have it in a different place, but I think it is attached to the center support in front of the radiator. Sorry I can't be of more help.
  • Does anyone know the location of the computer is in a 2001 T&C? The manual didn't say.
  • I have a 98 caravan sport version, and I used to replace the transmission fluid with filter by myself at every 15000 miles. Recently, I found there is a minor fluid leaking from tranmission pan(mainly from the back bots of pan), I tighten those bots, and still leaking a little bit, especially after driving. I did not get this problem during the first 2 times I changed them. This afternoon, I take out the pan and check it carefully and did not find anything abnormal, put the new gasket, with new fluid, but still have this problem.

    Does any one else have similar problems or know the solution for this? Thanks!
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ...are very delicate and are threaded into aluminum which is easily damaged. Once damaged, new gaskets or tightening pan bolts will not cure the leak. You will have to determine the cause first and act accordingly: Stripped threads (helicoil repair or oversize bolts), Scarred or unclean mating surfaces (clean, polish and/or thick gasket), bent pan flange (straighten or new pan). Alternatively you could always live with the leakage if not too bad.

    I have changed the trans fluid on my 99 GCS four times and the pan is still as dry as the first day. METICULOUS attention to detail is the answer.
  • xing_cai One thing to check first is look at the hoses and clamps that go between the trans and the radiator. you can see the top one by looking just under the radiator cap on the engine side of the radiator. you may have to remove the air cleaner cover to access it. My leak originated there but the fluid went down the hoses and all over the pan and undercarriage. I ended up replacing the hoses (set of 2) for about $25.00 for parts from the dealer. My was a 96 but the hoses are the same. Post if it helped.
  • gcagca Posts: 1
    In September of last year, we found that our Grand Caravan leaked fuel, not just a drip, when parked on our inclined drive. My mechanic showed me that the gas was leaking from a seal on the top of the tank. The seal was dry rotted and deteriorated and the tank had to be replaced ($737.00) The van was one month and roughly 10k over the warranty period. I explained that gas tanks are not supposed to wear out. However, DiamlerChrysler acts like they don't know me. The dealership doesn't remember me either. They have great customer service until you actually need customer service.

    My letter writing to DC continues, to no avail. My anti-Dodge campaign also continues.

    Having said all of this, has anyone else experienced this problem. If so, what was the outcome?
  • My wife just showed me the advanced rust and paint peeling eminating from underneath the exterior door lock module. Unbelieveable! This thing is 30 months old and rusting like a 70's riceburner! I'm also past the warranty by 6,000 miles but I will definitely campaign for Chrysler to cover.
  • can64can64 Posts: 1
    I have a 92 Dodge Caravan 4.0 cyl. It has 140K miles. I have owned this van for 10 years. With minor repairs this van has been GREAT! Now when I drive it, sometimes it seems to miss allot when driving. Any suggestions, other that could be the tranny.....I have maintained the van properly and hope that it is something else. Please advise... thanks!!!
  • Get this: new 2003 T&C Limited, bought 7 weeks ago, have put 2100 miles on it. Yes, this is a car that hasn't even had it's first oil change.

    Tranny started shifting strangely: bad vibration when shifting from 1st to 2nd, engine slip and rev up when changing from 2nd to 3rd or 3rd to 4th (overdrive?). Also felt "strange" when downshifting - held on too long so that the car slowed down a lot with engine compression, let go suddenly, etc. None of this happened every time - you know, the usual pain in the a$$ intermittent problem that means you'll have nightmares with the mechanic.

    Took it to the dealer expecting the run around. They had it less that four hours and called me back saying yes, the transmission has a problem. Yes, it is internal to the transmission. No, we won't bother trying to fix it - we'll just put in a new transmission. Not what I expected, honestly. This REALLY makes me wonder if they aren't painfully aware of some kind of problem.

    Anyway, what's also weird is that supposedly there is no transmission to be found closer than California (I'm in Richmond, VA). And of course, it's a reman transmission.

    Questions:
    1) They have to ship a transmission from CA? By truck? To Virgina?
    2) A reman? Should I accept this? Remember, the car HASN'T EVEN BEEN 3000 MILES YET!
  • We have a 2002 Town & Country with 16,000 miles. It's been making a "howling" noise after it warms up. Had it in to dealer for a look last week. They replaced belt tensioner, water pump, and power steering pump. Also drained power steering fluid and replaced with tranny fluid per a service bulletin from DC. Over the weekend, howl came back. It's back in shop now and dealer's mecahnics say "they all make some kind of noise like that." Funny thing is, the loaner they gave me to use doesn't! Any thoughts on why they replaced all this stuff and why it's still doing it. Dealer is replacing power steering pump again this morning, thinking this is the problem. I think DC service shops have lost the ability to diagnose a problem and they just shoot from the hip and start replacing things.

    Also already had ignition switch replaced as it wouldn't release key when put into park. That's starting to happen again as well.
  • My 2001 T&C made that kind of noise and the dealer fixed it. DC supposed to fix that problem for 2002 but it won't hurt to show the TSB to them and see it is the same one http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/TSBScans/sb629155.pdf
  • yasw98yasw98 Posts: 1
    About 3 days ago, two cigarette lighters (one in the center console and one in the rear of the van) in my Caravan sport stopped working.
    I was using them to charge my cell phone. Everything else (power windows, radio, AC, all lights inside, and etc.) works just fine. I read the owners manual but found nothing regarding this problem. Any idea? Thanks in advance.
  • jlp8885jlp8885 Posts: 13
    I have a Plymouth Grand Voyager with the 3.3L, it has back and front a/c's
    The problem I have been having is that the R134 is leaking out of my a/c both back and front
    First the back starts loses coolness then the front looses it, the a/c starts making squeelling noses (just like a pig) when you turn it on and its not cooling. I brought it to multiply independent mechanics and they have used dye and couldn't find the leak so they just filled the R134 back up, 4-6 weeks later the coolness drops I need to bring it in to be filled up again. I brought it into different Dodge and Chrysler dealers and they have used dye and could not find any leaks either. BTW, its a 1999 year model.

    Has anyone else had this problem either in their DGC, CT&C or PGV (since they are carbon copies
    of each other) And what have you done short of replacing the a/c units to resolve this problem?

    This has been my only problem I have had since buying the vehicle.
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    Sure sounds like a fuse. BTW, most late model Chryslers have an open, second fuse slot that keeps the lighter hot when the engine is off. Perfect for charging cell phones.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Is controlled by a relay under the long black box under the hood. Open the cover to see which one is for the lighter. It's on the inside cover of the box.
  • arnejarnej Posts: 9
    we got sucker punched by a saturn dealer where we bought our used '94 GC (with r134)3 years ago in Feb. it allegedly had passed their inspection, but once the weather got warm, the only thing it blew was hot air, just like their sales person and used car manager.
    we had it looked at by a dodge garage with the dye added and they said it was the condensor, but then we found a local trustworthy mechanic who spotted leak stains coming from the seals on the condensor. maybe that's worth checking out-it might save ya big $$$!
  • I think your lighter fuse is blown off. This happened to my acura lighter due to bad charging cord. You might have extra fuse in your van or you can get it from any parts shop
  • Please Beware of of road sellers/dealers who are selling dealers vehicles (leased or very roughly used) by advertising as their personal vehicles by bringing them home and selling them.

    By "lie in the deal", I mean that some road sellers will advertise vehicle in newspaper as excellent condition and latest model year and even next trim and sell it as their personal vehicle.

    I was victim of this type of a road seller. This guy advertised a 2000 DC SE 50K miles,excellent condition in paper. I went to see the van and he told me that he used it personally and have taken good care of it.
    After the deal got finalized, when i saw the title, it was not under his name and the van is not even year 2000 and not even SE. It was 1999 (base model 3.0L) and 57K miles. He innocently told that it was Washigton post's mistake, and about title, he said that it is not under his name because he leased from the dealer he worked for and used for his home.

    I found out that he is selling his dealers vehicles by bringing them to home and advertising in newspaper as personally owned veshicles.

    Anyways, since I bought a used vechicle first time and didn't suspect that this man could be lying, I don't know why i believed him and still bought it :( He agreed to pay half, if somthing does not pass in inspection. When i took it to mechanic, to my surprise, i had to repair both valve cover gasket leak, breaks, F. rotors, timing belt, 4 tires and also weird (grinding) sound coming from back. Also steering is giving sound when turned. and this dealer guy changed his ph. no and never picked up his phone after that. Just posting it so that someone like me might be saved from buying such a bad vehicle.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,451
    Most states have "dealer" laws and I bet this guy was in violation (usually they say you can't sell more than X number of cars a year or you have to be a licensed dealer).

    I'd give your local AG's office a call and talk to someone in their consumer protection office. Good luck!

    Steve, Host

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

  • I think he is saved because he is not using his name. All paperwork is as if the dealer sold me the vechicle. I mean the Bill of sale says the dealer company name on it. Its like the Van was owned by dealer. (I don't know how he does that)
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