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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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  • I have a 2001 Dodge Caravan. It has problems with the driver side power window. If I leave it alone for 1 to 5 hours, it will work again. I guess I will be replacing the power regulator this weekend. This is one of the most aggravating autos I have experienced! I bought it new March 2002. It now has 51k miles on it. Three months after I bought it, the battery went dead. It's on the third battery now. After 15k miles, the front rotors had to be replaced. The A/C compressor locked up (replaced) at 25k miles shortly after a recall for computer update related to rear A/C. It ran rough, the dealer placed it on diagnostic machine and said there was nothing wrong! The shift from 1st to 2nd slams. I thought it was transmission, but I discovered that the plug wires were bad. I replaced and it runs fine. Two months ago, the resistor pack for the front blower went out. The dealer wanted $125 to fix, so I bought the part $13 and easily replaced defective unit behind the glovebox. I only keep this pig because there are so many on the road now that there will be no shortage of spare parts later!! LOL!! The electrical systems on this vehicle is equal to or worse than the old Lucas wiring that was in Triumph sports cars! The next new minivan will be Japanese or Korean. At least they can build a quality product!
  • I had the same thing happen to my 2002 after I put some fuel injector cleaner in the gas tank. It took about 2 months for the gas gauge to work properly again
  • I have the same trouble with no instruments when I starte the van, I also found a weird side affect that the headlights come on automaticly now ant the headlight switch has no affect on them being on or off. If anyone has a answer please email me. doneskra@comcast.net
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,945
    Spammers love to collect email addresses from public (and search engine indexed) forums like Edmunds. Better to mark your email public in your Profile.

    Better yet, wait for answers in the discussion and everyone can benefit.

    Steve, Host

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

  • lturnerlturner Posts: 2
    Have front end noise and sounds like it is from the driver side lower control arm bushing. Dodge says it is out of warranty at 43000 miles cost 850.00 per side. Not a replacable bushing! Any suggestions ?
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    Take it somewhere else. With only 43,000 miles I doubt you have any serious front end wear. Probably only sway bar links and bushings. Like I said take it somewhere else, don't mention the diagnosis you got and see what they say.
  • I turned the draincock counter clockwise 1/4 turn and opened the radiator cap but nothing came out. Can anyone tell me how to repalce the coolant?
    Thanks
  • royanroyan Posts: 1
    I've got a 1998 Plymouth Voyager and its engine light just loves coming on. The current reading for the light says 'Cylinder misfire #6' but no mechanic seems to know what to do. The just rest it and it comes back on again. Any ideas? Thanks!
  • lturnerlturner Posts: 2
    Thanks for the suggestion, I will try another dealer.
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 224
    Ton, draining from the lower radiator hose is the way to go. I used the plastic petcock a couple of times on my wife's Caravan and it now leaks. Rather than trying to flush the engine, I just drain and fill the radiator once a year. Roy
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 224
    Royan, I had this code on a '96 Intrepid and my local independent mechanic could not solve the source so I went to a dealer who said an intake manifold leak was at fault - no problems since this fix. Roy
  • arturartur Posts: 1
    I own a 1999 Chrysler Town and Country. I usually leave my key in the ignition and use the remote to lock/unlock. Today I forgot my remote and took the ignition key out and locked it manually with the lock button. When I came back I opened up with the key and set the alarm off. I put the key in the ignition thinking it will turn it off but now it is stuck. How do I turn off the alarm and get the key out of ignition?
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Did you try and push the button behind the flashing light that shows the alarm is set? At least that is how my 2005 is set up.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If the alarm goes off you must remove the key from the ignition and put it in the drivers door and lock and unlock it using the key. This will reset the alarm function
  • Roy,

    How did you open the draincock? Did you turn it 1/4 turn counter clockwise and then use your hand or a tool to pull it out? I prefer the draincock because the hose is so stiff. I tried but could not get it out. May I ask, how you pulled the hose out. Did you use some tool?

    TP
  • ljb1ljb1 Posts: 1
    I had the same problem. I have 63,000 miles on the 2001 Dodge Gr Caravan and the sway bar links needed to be replaced twice. The first time it wasn't so expensive. The second time it costs nearly $800. This all took place within 15 months apart from each other.
  • voyager1voyager1 Posts: 1
    I replaced the battery in my 1998 Caravan and now the lights for the climate control are all flashing on and off in unison. Someone told me there is a reset button somewhere. Does anyone know the location of this button?

    Thanks Ray -- rcaluori@erols.com
  • Hi All,

    I have a '01 Grand Caravan which has an intermittent problem with all the instrument gages (speedometer, tachometer, etc.) shutting off and then recovering. The warning/idiot lights are all on during the failure. All gages fail together and restore within about 1 second. As far as I can tell, no other systems are affected and the van continues to run well.

    The failure happens most often when the headlights are on, though there is at least one instance of it happening with the headlight switch off. The area around the headlight switch gets warm (about 90 F) when the lights are on, though I never felt the switch before the problem began.

    Here is what I have done so far:

    1. Checked wiring diagram in Haynes manual. It looks like the "Instrument Panel Ground" could cause this failure if it were loose.

    2. Disassembled the dash and removed the instrument cluster and headlight switch. I had expected to find some burning/melting, but everything looks good.

    3. Internet research. This problem is described multiple times in Caravans from about '92-'02. So far no one has posted a definitive "here is how I fixed it" report, but suggestions point to: the Body Control Computer, Hazard Fuse, Weak Battery, and Grounding.

    Here is what I plan to do based on what I have learned so far:

    1. Reinstall the headlight switch and instrument cluster, and install a new battery. The battery has been terribly abused by the family (completely drained and jump started at least 5 times), and, though it continues to crank the starter, I don't trust the battery.

    To reset the Body Control Computer, the recommendation has been to disconnect the battery for 30 minutes. This step will take care of 2 possibilities.

    2. I will check the Hazard Flasher fuse. I already looked in the fuse box and did not see any burned fuses, but I will look again.

    3. If the problem persists I will try to find the Instrument Panel Ground and check its continuity.

    I am writing now to see if anyone has additional insights into this problem. Also, if anyone knows the body attachment point of the Instrument Control Ground I would sure appreciate that information. I will post a resolution when I find it.

    Thanks,
    shadetree_bill
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,945
    If there's a possible grounding issue, be sure to check the cables at the battery posts and at the other end of the cables, wherever they go.

    Any help for Ray?

    Steve, Host

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

  • Check with dodge to find out if your car is affected by a recall. As far as I can recall, the recall has to do with some connector that if defective can cause some malfunctions of the instrument gauges.
  • ray1945ray1945 Posts: 4
    Hi Steve, I going to check out the battery terminals when my daughter comes over. I appreciate all the input out there that I've received so far thanks Ray........
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Our 1996 Caravan SE Sport with the Infinity AM/FM Cassette system is becoming non-functional on FM. It works fine on AM, but FM producing all kinds of strange noises on all stations.

    I am planning on pulling the unit at least partially out to make sure connections in the back are OK, and also want to check the connection to the antenna on the fender. A quick lookover this week and I could not see a way to get access to the antenna connection under the antenna in the fender. Any tricks anyone knows?

    I know the above checks are likely to be a long shot, and I will have to probably go with an aftermarket stereo at this point, as repairing the old unit is probably not worth the cost.

    Any comments from some who have been down this path before?
  • Read my March 14 Post and subsequent reply. My power window problem was the black [non-permissible content removed] that pooled on top of the brushes and contacts at the bottom of the motor. I cleaned it up with QRC contact cleaner and saved $360 for the repair or $191 for the part. My post was in the Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager section. I am new to this and don't know if I got it in the right section. Any help Steve for putting it in the right place?
    Thanks,
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,945
    Here's the link:

    soccerhorse, "Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager" #2065, 14 Mar 2005 10:22 pm

    Hopefully owners of other makes with dead window motors will find the post by using our search tools.

    Steve, Host

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

  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    Thanks soccerhorse for your info. which is very helpful. We had both front power window motors and regulators replaced on our 2001 DGC back in September 2003 for the same reason you described. It only cost us $100 since it was covered under warranty. I will keep this for later reference. Thanks for the link Steve.
  • ausueausue Posts: 1
    I've been looking too. My driver's side stopped working while under warranty, now the passenger side doesn't work (it goes down fine, it just won't go back up--very annoying). The dealer sells the part for $135, but I found some rebuilt ones on Ebay Motors for around $55 to $60 plus shipping. If they don't have the side you need, keep checking back. It will surely come back up soon. The ones I've seen offer a 3-6 month warranty.

    Susan
  • Hi!

    My Husband and I have a 96 Plymouth grand voyager, sometimes when he is driving everything on the instrument panel goes out. He has to pound on it to get it working again! The van still runs but he just dosn't know how fast he is going etc.. Does anyone know what is causing this and how to fix it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Laurie
  • I have a 2000 T%C Limited with 49K miles. At start up in the morning there is a loud knocking, tick-tick sound. As the engine warms up, it gets less and then disappears completely after about 5-10 minutes. Any ideas what it could be and would it be covered under a 50K/7 yr warranty? I appreciate any ideas.
  • I would like to change the transmission oil and I hvae heard the dodge trannys are very picky. I wonder if it is safe to use ATF plus 5 fluid that autozone sells?

    My friend told me, the easiest way to change the oil is to loosen the lower hose from the transmission to the radiator, then turn the engine on and let it idle. Oil will come out. Stop the engine, after roughly 3 quarts have come out. Then reattach the hose and put in the new fluid.

    Any comments and suggestions?

    Thanks,

    TP
  • impcproimpcpro Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Town & Country, the drivers side windows goes down and will not go up unless car re-started. Dealer says it needs a windows regulator, plus labor $400.
    Is this just a mechanical problem? Regulators sell for about $140. Does anybody know if it is an easy fix?
    Just had the O2 sensor replaced for $400. Dealer prices are ridiculous in San Francisco. I am afraid to take my Chrysler's to the dealer again.
    Thank you,
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