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Voyager/Caravan Fuel Filter Replacement Schedule?

jonathannjonathann Posts: 55
edited March 8 in Dodge
I have a 2000 Caravan with 191,000 km (120,000 mi)that has given very good service, with no problems. The van starts and runs beautifully, and gets the same 27 mpg (imperial gallon) that it did when it was new. It has the original spark plugs and plug wires, and the original fuel filter. I'm not worried about hurting anything by running the original plugs, but, could I be damaging the fuel pump by not changing the fuel filter? The owner's manual does not suggest any schedule for replacement of the fuel filter. Does anyone have any experience with problems caused by not changing the fuel filter? Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for when it should be changed. Some interesting experiences I have had: The manufacturer recommends no transmission service, but Canadian Tire, who have done the service since new did a trasmission service anyway and added DEX 3 from a bulk tank. Fortunately, I discovered this forum soon after that and had the transmission flushed and all the fluid replaced with ATF+4. Now 100,000 km (62,000 mi) later, no transmission problems. Had the timing belt replaced at 180,000 km (112,000 mi) and they replaced the A/C drive belt at the same time, although there was nothing wrong with it. After that the caravan developed a squealing noise when the A/C compressor kicked in. Took it in for this and was told that the compressor need to be replaced at $1,255.00 I thought about this for a while and took it back and requested an OEM belt installed. I figured the $60.00 cost was cheap if it worked, and not too expensive if it didn't. The noise stopped immediately, and I was able to then get a credit for the installation and cost of the original belt since it was under warranty. I paid only the $9.00 upgrade price to the OEM belt. I love this van! Oh, and by the way 12,000 km (7,500 mi) oil/filter changes since new and it does not burn a drop of oil.

Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Does anyone have any experience with problems caused by not changing the fuel filter?"

    There is one guy on a different board that I frequent that has over 400,000 miles on his 1996 3.8 liter Grand Caravan, and it still has the original fuel filter. I suppose you can change it if you want (it's a pain in the hind quarters to do as it requires that you drop the fuel tank), I just don't see the need. In my case I have a 1998 DGC 3.8 with 150,000 on the clock and it too still has the factory filter.

    "The manufacturer recommends no transmission service, but Canadian Tire, who have done the service since new did a trasmission service anyway and added DEX 3 from a bulk tank. Fortunately, I discovered this forum soon after that and had the transmission flushed and all the fluid replaced with ATF+4."

    As my Gunnery Sergeant would have said, "Kid, ya done good."

    "Had the timing belt replaced at 180,000 km (112,000 mi)..."

    Timing belt? I assume that means that you have the Mitsubishi 3.0 liter V6. Yes, no? If "no" and you have either of the Chrysler engines (3.3 or 3.8) then you got hosed as both of those engines use a timing chain good for the life of the engine.

    FWIW, I had a non-OEM serpentine belt issue too that started a couple of years back when I was too lazy to replace my own. Apparently my Brand X belt wasn't as bad as yours, but it was annoying none-the-less. I finally bought a NAPA belt and fixed the problem myself this summer. So far at least, the NAPA belt is as quiet as the OEM belt (as it should be as I believe they are both made by Gates).

    Best Regards
    Shipo
  • Shipo: I knew I could count on you! By way of explanation the earlier "Thank you Shipo" post was supposed to be the one you just read, but it got sent empty by mistake. When I lost the content, it was too late in the evening to re-post. Anyway, I have really appreciated your posts in the many different categories and I do thank you for the knowledge I have gained (and probably for a transmission, not replaced). As you can see from my spark plug/wiring comment, I too believe "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    I did not mention in the previous post that, after Canadian Tire serviced the transmission and added DEX 3, there was a transmission fluid leak and I took it to Mr. Transmission. They said they needed to replace the pan gasket and fluid would be lost, did I want to do a full flush and fluid replacement? Sure, I said, sounds like a good idea. They flushed all the fluid and replaced with DEX 3 plus LubeGard (to make just like ATF +3 (sic)). Anyway, just after that, I discovered this site and took it back to Canadian Tire, who now had ATF +4 and got it re-changed. Thanks again.

    You are correct that it is a 3.0L and does have the belt.

    My wife just bought a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe which does have the chain, so we will not have to worry about that one. She has the 3.3L 242 Hp AWD and it gets the same gas mileage as the 2000 Caravan with FWD 3.0L 150 hp, so they must have designed that engine well.

    Is the serpentine belt the timing belt? I can only see two belts and the A/C belt is dedicated.

    I live not too far North of you in Brockville Ontario, Canada and have travelled extensively in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine but don't know exactly where you are in New Hampshire.

    Regards,

    Jonathan
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "By way of explanation the earlier "Thank you Shipo" post was supposed to be the one you just read, but it got sent empty by mistake. When I lost the content, it was too late in the evening to re-post."

    No worries, I've messed up more than a few of my own posts. :blush:

    "Is the serpentine belt the timing belt? I can only see two belts and the A/C belt is dedicated."

    On the 3.3 and 3.8 liter vans there is only one belt that does all of the work (i.e. water pump, alternator, A/C compressor and power steering pump), I haven't worked on a Mitsubishi engined Chrysler product since the late 1980s and didn't remember that they have a dedicated A/C belt. Sorry for the confusion.

    "I live not too far North of you in Brockville Ontario, Canada and have travelled extensively in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine but don't know exactly where you are in New Hampshire."

    I'm easy, just a couple of miles from Exit 3 off of I-93 (yeah, way down by the Mass border). ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Don't worry, I'm not planning to drop in on you. I just Googled your location and it's only 33 miles from Boston. You have mentioned in several posts that you commute much further than that. Where is your office site?

    I did not realize that the 3.3 and 3.8 had only one belt. So are you confirming that the other belt on the 3.0 is the serpentine/timing belt?

    For some reason the time notation on the site is 3 hours behind the actual time.

    It is now 11:40 PM.

    Go to bed!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hehe, couldn't sleep and got back up.

    Yeah, we're 35 miles from Boston, however, up until June I was commuting to Portsmouth and Exeter. Since then I had a short contract with the state of Michigan and drove there twice in the 1998, a local contract five miles from home, and now I'm looking for yet another. The insurance company that contracted my services for the last two years is trying to bring me back, however, budgets and such are in the way. If they do bring me back they've since moved to Dover, which is something like 65 miles from here, needless to say, a bit of a hike.

    Regarding the belts on your 3.0, IIRC the "other" belt runs the water pump, power steering pump and the alternator, and is what is generally referred to as a serpentine belt (in that it has a very noncircular in and out kind of routing).

    Regarding the time offset, there is a place where you can set it to a value of "3" for the Eastern Time Zone, however, with the many redesigns of this site, finding that page is EXTREMELY difficult. I found it and set it years ago and so all posts that I see have the correct timestamp.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Thanks again.

    I work for the Ontario Ministry of Justice and travel extensively in Eastern an North Eastern Ontario (a very large territory). I have been driving an assigned Government 2001 Chevy Blazer 4x4 but turned this in recently and have since been driving my Caravan and charging mileage. This suits me just fine because the Caravan is a much nicer ride and is much more comfortable than the Blazer (a real truck).

    Anyway, I'm hoping it takes them some time to replace the Government vehicle.

    I love my Caravan!

    Regards
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yikes, that's a lot of real-estate. Having grown up "North of Canada" in the Detroit area (where I still have family) and now living in New Hamster, I get a chance to drive Ontario fairly frequently (between Buffalo and Port Huron four times in our 1998 DGC this last summer).

    I have to tell you, one of my favorite places in the entire world is in Ontario. Killarney Provincial Park has got to be one of best kept secrets of all time, been going there since the mid 1970s. If one cannot unwind and decompress from the modern world there, then they can't do it anywhere. ;-)

    Side question; Do you ever drive past the Sarnia airport? If you do, I noticed what looked like a WWII vintage German V2 rocket off in the distance laying horizontal on a trailer or a cart. Was I seeing things?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Don't know about the V2, but I will look into it.

    I have just started a secondment with the Ministry of Natural Resources. They are responsible for Ontario Parks, so I will pass on your compliments re: Killarney. My territory with MNR (you have Google maps) covers North Bay west to Sault Ste Marie and north to Manitouwadge, so I am going to be seeing some new and interesting things. Might get an opportunity soon to fly into Moosonee, Attawapiskat and Peawanuk on Hudson and James Bays (make sure you put Ontario after the location if you punch these into Google maps). Might even get an opportunity to get further north because MNR is involved with decommissioning and environmental clean up of DEW Line facilities in Nunavut and Greenland.

    Only problem is, no roads up there. Can't take the Caravan, so have to fly.

    By the way, how is your Caravan running?

    (Asked this to stop the moderator from deleting this thread.)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, maybe I should finish getting my private ticket and become our personal pilot. ;-)

    True story, we flew to Hong Kong late last month on a day when there was a line of weather so severe that both O'Hare and the Aurora, IL ATC were shut down. We had already taken off from Newark and were heading on a northwesterly track when all hell broke loose in the Chicago area and we were rerouted. Our course first turned north, and then northeast as we flew along the eastern shores of the Hudson Bay. We then tracked directly over Nunavut and over the northwestern most edge of Greenland. From there we shot a line almost directly over the North Pole, into Siberia (where at one point Novosibirsk was the closest town some 1,800 miles away), over Mongolia and then central China.

    Regarding our DGCs, our 2003 has ~99,500 on it and is still running like a top, and our 1998 (that I just stepped out of) has 149,911 miles on it and it too is running perfectly. I'm figuring they'll each be able to hit an easy quarter of a million miles. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Awsome!

    I Googled Novosibirsk and traced the arc (on the flat map, probably a straight line on the globe)of your flight. Seems you kept a safe distance from the Kamchatka Peninsula.

    Now to Caravans:

    I mentioned that my wife, Markie, bought a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD earlier this year. I bought the Caravan in 2000, but shortly after that I got issued a company car, so the Caravan sat in the drive getting maybe 3000 miles per year.

    Markie had a 1998 Honda CRV AWD, was doing a lot of highway driving. She got the CRV up to 80,000 in short order. Then she decided to use the caravan instead, and loved it, never going back to the CRV. Now the CRV sat in the drive getting very little use.

    She got the Caravan mileage up to 120,000 and early this year, decided that she wanted a new vehicle and it should be like a Caravan but with AWD. She chose the Santa Fe which seems to be about the right fit.

    So, we had the 1998 CRV with 85,000 or the 2000 Caravan with 120,000 to trade. The CRV trade value was $8,000 and the Caravan was $1,500. Very easy decision to make.

    I love my Caravan. It only cost me $1,500!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, I'm thinking that one of the very best deals going these days in the used car market is a used Caravan. Last year I cooked the transmission on the 1998 and decided that the $2,600 to put in a factory remanufactured transmission was cheap compared to what it would cost me to buy another car with any where near the comfort and reliability of the DGC. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,596
    Yeah, I'm thinking that one of the very best deals going these days in the used car market is a used Caravan.

    Absolutely, if you go in with your eyes open! I was looking for a used car in the "beater" price range (less than $5,000) earlier this year and it was a nightmare. I could not believe all the junk people wanted me to pay 3500-5000 to own! I finally settled on my '98 DGC with (at the time) 170,000 on the ticker. It was a well-maintained vehicle, and that makes all the difference. My wife hates the seating position in it (the seat backs, even when all the way up, force the driver into a somewhat reclined position and my wife prefers, what I call, the "thrust through the windshield" position), but other than that we have no complaints. We have 177K on it now and are headed into winter. We should have snow any day and I look forward to it!

    By the way, thanks for the descriptive dialog! Very enjoyable to read and imaginatively appreciate.

    From a bit farther north, ;)

    -Wes-
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
This discussion has been closed.