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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe that you can get rear disc brakes on any short wheel base DC minivan. However, rear disc brakes are overhyped anyways as the vast vast majority of braking is done by the front brakes on almost all vehicles. This is why you will generally see that disc brakes on the rear of those vehicles that do have rear discs generally have non ventilated rotors, while the fronts are ventilated. The rears are not really doing much, no matter what style they are.

    You can check right here at Edmunds new car section to see what options are available on the various DC Dodge or Chrysler short wheel base minivans.
  • On minivan, all the weight will be loaded at the front while stopping, rear drum will do the job and save you some money on wheel cleaner
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Disc brake dust on wheels is highly dependent on the brake pad material. Some OEM and perhaps afermarket pads are really bad. On others it is not an issue.
  • Disc brakes stop better and smoother then rear drum brakes. This is important when considering the gross vechicle weight of a mini van.
  • olizerolizer Posts: 38
    On all vehicles the majority of braking, approximately 70 %, is on the front brakes. That being said disc brakes are much more efficient, easier to change, self adjustment always works and do not fail when wet. My T&C has drums on the rear while my Jeep GC has 4 wheel discs. I would take the 4 wheels discs in a heartbeat AND there is no dust on the rear wheels due to the fact that the fronts work twice as hard.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have a 96 with 80,000 miles on it. Just had to rebuild the transmission. Any experience with 96 models? If so, should I dump it, or keep it? Your advice would be appreciated. It's been ok except for this. But if it's going to become a hanger queen, now that the warranty is up, I won't be too happy.
  • I have a 93 PGV LE with over 163,000US miles on it. I had the transmission rebuilt around 87,000 miles. I guess that means I have 11,000 miles left to go :) You say it has been ok so far. My advice is fix it and keep on driving it.

    I have had to fix a few things, like the drums, struts, plugs, wires, O2 sensors, a tie-rod, and heater core (late December'01, burrr), engine mount, rotors, windshield (2x4x12 almost fit:) ), bulbs, tires, etc. I don't let any of these bother me because I know that any new vehicle will cost me several hundred a month. Oh yeah, the AC hasn't worked for two years. Humm, maybe I'll need a new van in June? I don't mind suffering a little to delay the next vehicle. I'd like to pay of the wife's 03 Camry (with working AC) before its my turn again.

    Sorry to stray there, but I'd suggest keeping the vehicle
  • They are terrible. I picked up some silverstar (9007ST) replacements. I did this for my daughters car for big improvement.
    Now my problem...I can't get the OEM bulbs out of the Caravan. I managed to get the outside clipped on wire harness off, but I can't budge the rest. I thought the light bulb housing would pop out??
    Any help woild be appreaciated...Thank You
                                         John
  • Read your owners manual it shows the two long bolts that hold the whole headlight assembly. remove them and you will have no problem getting the bulbs out.
  • Actually there is no need to take ANY screws out. I was not aware that the bulb was held in by a removable bracket that comes out by turning it c-clockwise. I thought it would come out with a simple turn while pushing in. So after taking wire harness off you must also take an outer bracket of. Once I figured it out it took all of 1 minute to do both. At first glance that removable bracket looked like a permanent protective shroud.
  • I'm with NVBANKER, the T&C is history. Let the dealer deal with Quality Control issues.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, I'm back in Florida (enjoying the incessant rain) right now, and put tires on the old Caravan today, so I guess we'll soldier on a while longer with it. It is awfully solid and wearing very well for the miles and age. Drives and runs great (with the new transmission). There's a lot I really like about this van - lots better than the Windstars I've rented. But if she keeps giving me trouble, I'll send it down the road. It's a love/hate relationship I guess.
  • In the past month my 2003 Caravan ( bought Nov. 28/03) has had to have the transmission cooling line replaced and the connection to the radiator tightened, then it had a power steering cooling line leak due to a stretched hose clamp. Both times I was told it was due to the cold weather. Is this a *normal* thing or am I right to believe my van is a lemon? There are thousands of these vans made but no one else I talk to has this problem. I was told that I should not drive it when it is cold out. I warm it up 10-15 min before I drive it. This sounds like a crock to me.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    I was told that I should not drive it when it is cold out.

    You are correct--that is a crock. My '99 GCS was sitting out all night in -21 F weather this weekend and started and ran just fine, just as it has for the past five Minnesota winters.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Who told you not to drive it when it's cold? They deserve a dope-slap! That's the silliest thing I've ever heard! I don't know if you have a lemon or not, but I wouldn't make payments on a car I could only drive in good weather, unless it was a really expensive convertible! My advice is keep driving, keep fighting, or trade the thing in on something else that is cold weather approved.
  • The service manager told me it was too cold for the van. They even put in writing ( on the work order) that the problem was caused due to extreme cold weather. yes it was -43C with a wind chill of - 50C but everyone else was driving and they should be. We can't stay indoors just because it's cold.
  • I forgot to say to nvbanker that we just traded our 2002 on the 2003 in November 2003. The 2002 was in the shop so often that we just wanted out of it. We would loose too much to trade again so soon.I feel like telling them to keep it and not make the payments but what would that do to our credit rating?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That would give you a voluntary repo on your credit rating - not good. Guess Chrysler can't make it in the cold. In Florida, mine is fine on that score.

    Try a Volvo? They're born in the cold, they should work fine there.....
  • I used silverstar. The lighting is still terrible. I used silverstar on a Nissan Sentra and there was a big improvement. Maybe these lights are too low on the GC??
  • My 2001 T&C with 47,000 miles has had two items replaced; an antilock wheel sensor and a fuel injector. Except for an occasional rattle under the dash associated with heater door position, a rattle in the right center bucket seat, and warped brake discs, there is nothing else to find fault with.

    Lately, the driver's seat warmer refuses to heat. There’s a fuse labeled “Seats” in the “Fuse and Relay Center” box under the hood, but all motors in the seats work. I don’t recognize any other fuse or relay that might apply. The rocker switch indicator lights light up when either “Low” or “High” is pushed.

    Has anyone experienced this problem? Is there an easy fix?
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Well, I finally got the whining sound fixed. You may remember my earlier post, when I told of the whining sound which was loudest at 2300RPM on my '02 GC. Two weeks ago, the dealer replaced the Alternator, but this did not fix the problem. Today, they replaced some one-way water hoses, and no more WHINE!! Apparently, they learned of the problem after talking with some Chrysler "experts". Anyway, I hope this helps someone whoever experiences this problem.
  • I think mine has the same problem. I thought my pants/ jeans were too thick to feel the heat and didn't pay to much attention about it...and now when I think of it, I do remember it used to burn my butt when I accidently turned it on...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, you can't miss it if the seat heaters are actually working.....
  • I have a brand new (3 month old) '04 Grand Caravan SXT AWD. And I'm wondering if anyone else has had a problem with the power hatch. I think Chrysler has been offering this as an option since '01... so there should be lots of them out there, and some good info.

    Here's the problem : While parked in its normal spot (my driveway, here in Seattle Wa.) I used the key button remote to open the rear hatch. I loaded some things into the back while the engine warmed up for one minute. While sitting in the driver's seat, I pressed the console button to then close the liftgate. It made the usual sound but then stopped... the hatch never even started to close. I waited a minute and tried again... same thing. I got out and tried to close it manually (which you can usually do) but it would not budge. I then tried repositioning the van to a couple different parking angles... still no luck.

    My van was now locked in an open configuration with no way to secure it. There is no emergency release to close the hatch if the motor fails and locks the liftgate in the open position.

    After being late for work and causing me much aggravation... I drove the van to the dealer that I bought it from. Yes, with the hatch stuck up wide open. I opened the windows and turned on the vent. system.

    All the service techs said that they'd never seen this before. They ordered a new motor from Detroit, and it was of course fixed under warranty... a one time fluke they all decided.

    Then two weeks later it happened again! This time though, after several button pushing attempts, it finally closed. Needless to say, I am very gun-shy about this feature... You are completely open to the environment when this liftgate is locked up and of course you have no way of locking up your vehicle. So now, I only use the auto feature when its not raining and I can drive right over to the dealer if it should get stuck. This is not a good situation... so I'm wondering if anyone out there has any info or advice regarding this perplexing problem.

    By the way, BOTH times this has happened, the situations have been exactly the same : parked in the exact same spot on my driveway, in a slight downward slope. Not steep at all, just not totally flat. Enough that a beachball would roll downhill there. ALSO, both times it was just below freezing out. Somewhere between 29 and 30 degrees F. Enough that both mornings I scrapped some good frost off the windows. And that's about all I can tell you.

    I read the owner's manual again and it didn't give any warnings about using the auto rear hatch on a slight downhill or in 29 degree weather. In fact in the last couple months I have used that feature on exactly the same driveway spot many times... and I have used the auto hatch up skiing many times in much colder weather and with more snow and ice ... so I am very concerned. Any helpful thoughts??? Greg
  • Suspect a wiring or switch problem. I once removed a good starter and installed 2 rebuilt starters one after the other in an afternoon before figuring out the ignition switch was faulty.
    It's most likely a defective plug connection. Look for one of the wires inserted in a plug that is not "locked in" and backs out when the two halves of the plug are pushed together. This can be most irritating as the problem will come and go. The dealer has a wiring diagram showing where the plugs are located.
  • petraspetras Posts: 6
    hi all...recently the fm only part of my optional infinity sound system has stopped working, am and cd are still good, occasionally fm will start working ok for a few hours and then it suddenly stops with only hissing heard...any ideas? thanks
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    The rubber stopper on my passenger side sliding door came off on my 2003 Chrysler Voyager LX and I lost it. It's about 2-3 inches down from the top. I went and bought a new rubber piece from the dealership. The service guy told me to stick a thin sharp object (such as a pen or small screwdriver) into the small hole on the top to get the anchoring piece on the back of the stopper to "pop" into the hole and stay. I tried and tried, but to no avail. I'm starting to tear it up. Has anyone else had this happen? I doubt it, but I thought I'd ask. I might try super glue to see if I can at least get the stopper "glued" to the door or something. Without the stopper, a metal "clank" is heard on the back side of the door (opposite the handle) when the door closes and I'm afraid of possible long term damage. Thanks.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Your are not so odd, as that has happened to me on 2 different caravans. On one van, I simply pushed and twisted the stopper "nipple" until it popped in. On another, it wouldn't go in so easily, so I lubricated the nipple, then did the push and twist action and it popped in. It takes several turns, all the while keeping the pressure on, but it will work.
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    How many miles does you 2003 van have. If it's still under warranty, make the dealer fix it, the right way.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Well, that was kind of what I was hoping would happen. I guess I could have pressed the issue. I just turned 10,000 miles. I bought the replacement piece at the dealer and got a guy in the service department to tell me about it, but there was never an offer to fix it under warranty. I get the feeling that the stopper is classified as "trim" and trim does not get covered under warranty, I believe. I took some Devcon Super Glue and glued it to the door. We'll see how that works.
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