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Caravan/Voyager Engine Problems



  • hearing bottom end engine noise only at idle or low rpm. Not a rod noise, thinking might be crank walking. Noise seems to be very close to flywheel. have remove oil pan and looks normal? have not measured end play as of yet but if i pry crank forward and back it seems a bit excessive and noise sounds similar. any thoughts and if thats the problem is it hard to fix?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Is the knock occasional, occasional as in not every revolution, more like three or four knocks and then quiet for a few revs and then back again?

    If so then it is considered "normal". I first noticed this noise from the 3.8 liter engine in our 1998 DGC (a virtual twin of the 3.3 engine) shortly after we got the van. Now, 150,000 miles later I can still hear it. The noise hasn't improved and it hasn't gotten any worse, it just is. I'm thinking it might be oil pump related.

    Best Regards,
  • originally thought it was a pulley or waterpump or even a/c because it always gets more pronounced when the a/c compressor comes on. Removed belt and noise is still there. totally goes away with a little rpm (2000, or so)
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    Hi Shipo,

    Long time no talk, hope all goes well. I got a question for you about that remanufactured transmission for Caravan we talked few months ago. After I got it replaced two months ago, I found a noise when driving between 35 to 45 miles, bring my car back to dealer, they diagnosed this problem and replaced another transmission for me under Chrysler's warranty. However, I got the same noise again. The answer from Chrysler is that this is a normal noise and will not cover it any more. I was wondering if you got the same noise when you got your transmission replaced last year? Any ideas?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    One, question. Does the noise coincide with a drop in RPMs on the tachometer?

    As far as I know, all Gen 3 and Gen 4 minivans with 3.3 and 3.8 liter engines go into torque converter lock between 35 and 45 mph (warmed up and under light throttle load), and when that happens it isn't unusual to hear some resonance from the exhaust system.

    In the case of both of our vans, assuming a light application of the accelerator pedal when on a level road, the engine RPMs will drop from ~2000 to ~1500 when in the 38 to 45 mph range. Occasionally, depending upon loading and such I'll hear some engine and exhaust resonance.

    A good way to rule this out is to take a test drive and manually select "3" with the gear selector for all speeds under 50. If you do this and you hear your "noise" then it's a fair assumption that the problem is simple resonance.

    Best Regards,
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    Thanks for your advise! I will do this test later on. By the way, if it is resonance, will that goes away after driving few thousands mile (break-in period) or will stay forever? It is kind of annoying to me.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    If it's resonance, then it probably won't go away as the problem isn't the transmission. What is happening is that when the torque converter locks up, the engine RPMs drop to a point where the engine is almost lugging, and that in turn sets up a vibration through the exhaust system and other components attached to the engine.

    Typically resonance isn't a problem, however, if the exhaust system has been damaged at some time in the past, and/or one or more of the exhaust hangers is missing/damaged, the problem can manifest itself as a noise or even an amplified vibration.

    Keep us posted. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • Has anyone else seen/heard this problem?
    I sure could use some help here.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm thinking probably not as there haven't been any responses to your original query.

    Grasping at straws here, you might want to consider buying a premium belt from Napa/Gates, Mopar or Dayco (and by "premium" I mean the best of whatever they sell, usually costing somewhere north of $40 for the belt), as cheap belts have a tendency to slip a bit causing a ringing or chirping sound.

    Best Regards,
  • Thanks...we've changed the belts to premium with no change. Only happens when warm, and it's definately a metal rattle.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I find it highly unlikely that it is the timing chain as they are quite robust. I know of a couple of instances where the factory chain and gear set lasted over 300,000 miles with no problems or noise.

    Best Regards,
  • Ok...thanks again...we'll do further testing and I'll let you know.
  • My '06 Grand Caravan makes a whirring kind of whining noise. It changes pitch when gears shift and I can hear it on the highway, around town as well as when idling. It happens when engine is warm but outside temp is cool. Dealer said he has 2 that do this and it has something to do with battery re-charging. My reliable mechanic has agreed. No one has offered a solution to this very annoying situation. This is my 3rd Caravan and I am ready to drive it into a tree to get the noise to quit. Any suggestions?
  • Unfortunately every where read this random knocking problem, no one knows what's the cause. I have this same problem and is looking for some answer, as to what is causing it.
    Will you tell me if you did get this resolved and what was the cause?
  • kierankieran Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 odel (bought new in 2001) Grand Voyager. The motor has developed a chirping noise when it start cold. As it warms it changes to a tapping. The recurren ce of the noises increases with the revs of the motor, and is present when the car is stationary and idling. The Chrysler dealer does not know the casue of the fault but wants $3,000 in labour to remove the motor and replace it, plus whatever it costs to diagnose and repair the fault. The motor seems to be running perfectly and was tuned only a week ago without problem.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Common noises from the 3.3 and 3.8 engine line:

    1) Upper end tapping or clicking: Fairly common complaint, not only from minivan owners but virtually all cars these days. Noise is usually attributed to the "clicking" of the fuel injectors, is considered to be normal and not in any way harmful.
    2) Mid engine tapping or rattling immediately following a cold start: Fairly common complaint from Generation 2 and Generation 3 minivan owners. Noise is from the cam followers and is normally attributed to either the grade of engine oil and/or the quality of the "Drainback valve" in the oil filter. Personally I'm skeptical about the oil claim, however, I have found that the filter DOES make a difference. Over the years I've tried a number of oil filters on our Gen 3 3.8 liter van, and the one that keeps it the quietest following a cold start is oddly enough the Ford/Motorcraft FL-1A, a filter that is roughly twice the displacement than one that Chrysler originally mounted on our engines (meaning that an oil/filter change requires about 5.25 quarts of oil to bring the oil level up to the "Full" mark on the dipstick).
    3) Bottom end tapping: Usually attributed to either the oil pump or the timing chain assembly. Both of our 3.8 liter DGCs (one from 1998 and the other from 2003) make this noise, and have since new. The 1998 now has in excess of 150,000 miles on it and still operates like new, ditto the 2003 with only 99,000 miles on it. While I'm not sure what is making the noise, it is a common one from these engines and one that is apparently harmless.
    4) Chirping: Very common noise from these engines, and almost always attributed to either a cheap aftermarket serpentine belt (the vast majority of complaints) and/or a pully that isn't freely rolling. Remedy is usually as simple as buying a top of the line (as in at least $40) Napa, Gates, Dayco or Mopar belt. If the belt is both new and one of the above, the tension arm and idler pulleys are suspect and should be replaced. If the noise still persists (very uncommon), then the A/C compressor and/or the water pump and/or the power steering pump are suspect (in that order).

    Long story short, all of these noises are typically benign and are just part of the beast.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
  • I have a 2005 Grand Caravan, and I have the same problem. A horrible rattling noise. It started at about 48,000 miles. The first time that I took it in to the dealer I was told it was the harmonic balancer, and it would cost me 250.00 to replace it. I was assured that the noise would then be gone....only it was not. When I took it back again they told me that the noise was normal by Dodge standards. I took it to another dealership, and was told that the noise is an internal engine not normal, but ok per dodge standards. I am still fighting with dodge to attempt to get the new engine that I am entitled under my warranty. I am taking it to another shop this week.....can't wait to hear what they have to say.
  • Let me know what they say. I service many of these and haven't notice any of them with this noise which Chrysler says is, in fact, normal and "due to the aluminum timing chain cover allowing an audible noise."
    Bob :mad:
  • This problem is fixed! It was actually caused by the power-steering. Having the fluid drained and system flushed has resolved the noise problem.
  • 27612761 Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 dodge caravan with a 3.3l. Engine is usually warmed up for approx 3-5 minutes prior to driving and makes no noise. When driven there is no noise until you slow or stop the vehicle then a whirring noise begins and gets louder as engine RPMs increase. Noise will eventually go away, after approx 10minutes of driving and will not return. This sounds like a pump cavitating, I checked all fluids and they are all full. I also had an engine code for evap. emissions system. Any advice?
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