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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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  • The left dash speaker in my 2002 GC buzzes intermittently, and quite loudly. Been to the dealer SEVERAL times and they can never find or fix the problem. Basically they are just telling me tough luck. Has anyone had this problem, what was the cause and how was it fixed?

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    take out that speaker and replace it with any speaker you can find to see if the buzzing still there. If not, you know what the problem is then. The speakers at the dash or in the rear (car) are the easiest to be damaged by the sun so that might be the case.
  • leomcleomc Posts: 5
    My 2000 Voyagerr runs great and is very reliable with no problems....except- the disc pads wear out every 6000-7000 miles. I have tried different pads and have replaced the calipers. Does anyone else have this problem??
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Do you live in hilly country?
        A friend's 99 GC has 64,000 miles on original disc pads.
        Obviously the type driving is the most important factor in disc pad or drum brake shoe lining wearing out prematurely.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Leo,

    Six to seven thousand miles on front pads is premature wear. There are a number of things that could be influencing short pad life.

    *Poor pad quality or incorrect pad type -- Many people are reporting low pad life with ceramic or organic composition pads. The factory originally installed semi-metallic material and that's what should be on your vehicle. There is also a wide degree of quality range with semi-metallic as well.

    *Poor rotor surface condition -- Vehicles driven short distances in high humidity or wet environments will often suffer from rust scuzz build up on the rotor surface. This inhibits stopping and aggressively expends pad material in order to stop the vehicle.

    *Sticking or frozen calipers -- If you've replaced them very recently they're probably okay, but the dust boots can become damaged from stones or other debris that could cause the piston bore to take in moisture and rust prematurely.

    *Defective master cylinder -- Yes, it happens. If the pressure valve sticks the brakes will stay partially applied all the time.

    *Defective brake hoses -- As the material ages and is sofened by brake fluid, the rubber hose from the frame to the caliper can become constricted and hold pressure at the caliper even though the brake pedal has been released. This is usually common with vehicles that are older than five or six years, but I've seen it on some that weren't that old.

    *Conditions/Driving Habits -- If you live in hilly country you will not get the optimum mileage out of brakes. If you tow heavy trailers or carry heavy passenger or cargo loads, this will have a bearing on brake life, too. However, the miles you're reporting are still too low in my opinion. With no offense intended, one must examine the driving habits of all the drivers who use this vehicle. Fast drivers and pedal-riders can expect excessively short pad life.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • leomcleomc Posts: 5
    Yes-The hilly country is San Francisco, but I should get more life out of pads.

    Thanks for the response.
  • leomcleomc Posts: 5
    Thanks for the info. San Francisco is pretty hilly.
  • 2003 Caravan with 15,000.

    Check engine light came on Friday morning. Then, the temperature guage started jumping up and down, one second it was normal, the next it was near the red mark. Took it to the dealership. They said the temp sensor was bad. They replaced it but it still had the problem.

    Now for the strange part. I started to drive it home and the RPM s were jumping up and down. I had to push hard on the brake at the first red light to keep the van from lurching forward. Most of the warning lights also flashed on and off. I started from the red light and the van jolted back and forth and I could barely excellerate. Barely got it back to the dealership. It's there now but they aren't even sure what the problem is.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,296
    Pretty odd - someone over in Got a Quick, Technical Question? may have some ideas.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • Well I did it. I just purchased a 2003 Grand Caravan Sport with 22,000KM. The van did NOT come with an owners manual.

    Does anyone know how you program the garage door opener remote button in the overhead console?

    Also, can anyone tell me what the round button rocker switch (marked l and 0) at the bottom of the right hand side of the center radio/heater console is for?

    Thanks
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Go to www.homelink.com to learn how to program garage door opener. I cant find the switch you mention on my 03 or in my 03 manual. Can you be more specific? There are 3 rows of controls on the center console, the top row controls the front seat heaters rear window wiper and hazard switch. The second row is the radio CD Tape player. the third row is the heater Ac panel. Below that is a storage cubby or DVD player.To the left are two power outlets and the pull out cupholders. Below that is the main large storage bin. No other round rocker switch is on our 03 ES, or in the owner's manual.???????
  • Thanks so much. The van has aftermarket Pioneer DVD player in the large storage compartment. It also has a "black box" which has two AC outlets under the drivers seat. The switch I am referring to is at the top right hand corner of the storage cubby. It is almost directly beneath the "windshield defroster" icon. The switch must be aftermarket. When I move it from the "O" to the "l" position, the radio reception cuts out almost as if the antenna is being disconnected. I know what shop installed the electronics. I will ask them.
  • The rocker switch is for the DVD sound. It puts the soundtrack through the radio at 89.1 FM.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,296
    Don't get caught in the rain without a manual:

    link

    Lost manuals must be common to Grand Caravans :-)

    Replacements are available - try a net search or check eBay. Dodge has them too (some models) for $10 US at Dodge.com in the owners section.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • duke87nukeduke87nuke Posts: 12
    I just had my 2nd battery go out - both in under 18 months! They were in a 2001 T&C LXi with the tow package, so they're the slightly bigger MOPAR 600 amp batteries with a 60 month warranty. Both times it happened with no warning - we got back in the car and it wouldn't start at all and the battery would not take a charge. The 1st time I could barely jump it and nursed it to the dealer who swapped me a new one under warranty. This time, it wouldn't a jump at all & it was Sunday, so I had to go get a new one at Sears and put it in myself. Luckily I was around both times. I do not expect a new van to be stranding my wife & 3 kids.

    I live in Atlanta so heat is the main thing that could impact battery life. Both batteries devloped some sort of internal fault and would not take any charging current. Is this a common problem with MOPAR batteries or does it have to do with the T&C's electrical system? Anybody ever had Chrysler reimburse them under the 60 month pro-rated battery warranty for purchasing a non-MOPAR battery when it left them standed?
  • gakgak Posts: 1
    I've got a 2003 Dodge GC sport with 10,600 miles on it. I've had all sorts of problems right out of the box with this van, here's the list in the order of occurence:
    1. Scratched on delivery (2 dealer visits to fix)
    2. Windshield wiper fliud reservoir leaks
    3. Antilock wheel sensor
    4. Transmission problems- put in drive and take of then it acts like its in neutral, after a few seconds drops back into drive with a clunk ( 3 trips untill they replaced the front pump?, claimed a DC service bulletin covered the problem)
    5. A/C - Replaced the Compressor (4 trips and counting) but if the car sits for a day or 2, when I first turn on the A/C, a loud Clunking sound is heard (not even close to being normal sounding). One time I was going about 10-15m/hr and turned the A/C on, the whole front of the van shuddered. This only happens the first time it is turned on, if I turn it off and then on again, everything works properly.
    6. Power Steering Hose ruptures
    7. Transmission is acting up again but only once and not as bad as before???

    The van is NOT abused at all, maintenance performed by dealer, no towing. All the transmission and A/C problems only seem to show themselves after the van sits for a day or two. The van doesn't see that much use, it sometimes sits for 5 days without being used, this is when the last transmission slip occurred. Anybody have any thoughts about this, is this a canidate for the Lemon law??? In spite of all this I really do like the car but I'm starting think I should take the hit and get rid of it.
  • jagjag Posts: 1
    I bought my van new in 2002, and have had nothing but problems from the start. The dealer replaced the rotors and pads at 4000 miles due to severe pulsing. They claimed that it came from sitting on the dealer lot too long, but little did they know that I special ordered the van and picked it up within 2 days of delivery from a different dealership. I'm at 28,000 miles now, and just replaced the pads and rotors again!!!!
     
    I had a major leak from a defective seal in the transmission. Cov. under warranty
     
    New alternator and serpentine belt, 27,000 miles. (No Towing).
      
    New Right tie-rod replaced. Cov. under warranty.
      
    Heat vents were not calibrated correctly, and I still cannot get my left leg area to get warm even after driving 12 miles or so. Tough Luck for me I guess.
      
    Roof Rack whistles constantly. Dealer cannot fix. Very annoying if the radio is not playing.
      
    Front right Goodyear tire is thumping already.
      
    I am completely unhappy with this van. I am currently shopping for a new vehicle, and I will be losing my but because the trade-in value is so low. Buyer Beware!!!!!
  • pasi100pasi100 Posts: 6
    I have a 2002 Voyager w no problems so far (30k miles, 1st battery), until this morning. I tried to turn on the engine but nothing happened ("klak") except that the lights went off and on, wipers moved up and down but slowly, the lights inside the car also went on and off, and my CD box changed CDs continuously. This indicates that the battery was not completely flat. However, power windows did not work, nor the radio. And the engine did not start. I thought the battery is dead so I used my other car to boost the "flat" battery. And it worked; the engine started immediately. I drove ca. 20 min w/o problems. And then comes the strangest part; when I increased the rpm to 3000, all lights started to flash in the tachometer!!!

    Then I drove my car in my garage and turned off the engine and started it again. Nothing happened again, except the same story (klak, lights went off and on like grazy, wipers moved up and down but slowly, the lights inside the car also went on and off, and my CD box changed CDs continuously but power windows did not work, nor the radio).

    My neighbour said this has nothing to do w the battery.

    Very weird.

    Any views?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,296
    Check the battery :-)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Have the battery and charging system tested.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I changed the idler tension pulley last week. Bought an aftermarket part from a Checker Auto parts store. Their internet price was less than the price in the store, but they gave it to me for the internet price that I had printed out, which was a little less than $20. This was for the pulley only with the bearing, not the tensioner assembly part.

    It went in OK and seems to have quieted the intermittent chirping and clicking. The biggest problem was getting the serpentine belt back on all the pulleys, which took a while, but eventually worked out with a bit of patience.
  • yumiyumi Posts: 1
    We have a 2002 Caravan that was converted to handicapped accessible by Braun. Power steering went dead while we were on highway. Imagine you have to steer a heavy steering wheel while driving by hand!

    It was nothing to do with conversion. Totally Dodge's problem.

    I wish Honda Odyssey can be converted. I will switch right away.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Before you switch, be advised that there are also many problems being reported with the Odyssey here in the Town Hall.
  • duke87nukeduke87nuke Posts: 12
    Definitely sounds like the battery - see my earlier post. I saw the same symptoms, but mine didn't recover as yours did. Sounds like you have an internal battery fault that has probably not fully shorted ooutthe battery yet.
  • upshiftupshift Posts: 2
    My 2003 T&C has intermittent short and extended period losses of transmission, headlights, wipers, HVAC, dashboard warning lights and gauges, door locks, etc. The problems manifest in a variety of ways. For example, sometimes it is just loss of shifting for a few seconds, sometimes for 100 miles. Sometimes no headlights when I turn on the vehicle. The problems frequently start when I turn the headlights on while the car is moving. Dealers replaced wire harness, transmission controller, and checked wiring several times. DTC "upshifted at speed".
    Have you experienced similar problems? Any ideas on what is wrong?
  • The window is stuck open. Trying to use power controls to open or close results in motor noise, like it's running/worknig but the window is "off the track". I pulled the door cover off but didnt see anything that "jumped out at me". Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    could be a loss of ground to the body control module.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,902
    Yes, mr. kirstie_h had the body control module replaced on his 300M last week because of the exact same symptoms... only he waited too long, and totally lost power (engine too) while driving. I'd check it out ASAP. If you're under warranty, this is included.

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  • upshiftupshift Posts: 2
    Chrysler SARS has recommended that the shift interlock be replaced.
  • gereamgeream Posts: 2
    I have a 2001, Chrysler Town & Country Limited. The last month or so (Summer Season), I have noticed that when I leave the van sit for a while after driving to work, then come back to start it after work, the radio volume is 50% or so higher than when I turned the engine off. The volume is controled by buttons on the back of the steering wheel or by the radio knob, itself.

    Has anyone else experienced this, or have a fix?
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