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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    My '99 GCS developed rattles in both sliders during its second winter, which was a cold one. The dealer replaced both tracks under warranty, saying that there had been a design improvement on the tracks. However, I notice that the doors still rattle a bit in very cold weather (like it is now, near zero).
  • I have an opportunity to purchase a 1994 GC ES, that seems to be in excellent condition, through an estate liquidation. The engine compartment is clean with the exception of a little oil on the valve cover around the PCV. It had belt/hoses and tires replaced last summer. Also, the Transaxle was replaced at 17K,(when it was 3 yrs old!). It has been garaged most of its life and has only 44800 miles. The posts/reviews I have read concerning the transaxle are a little scary. Any one have any advice on this as a used car? Yes/No? Watch out for ________? This vehicle lives in the Desert Southwest and has never seen cold weather or snow.

    Thanks for your input.
  • arnejarnej Posts: 9
    I posted our hesitating/surging and stalling/hard-starting problems on our '94 GC. Thanks for your helpful tips!

    We found a great Mechanic-Jim's Auto near Elkart Lake, WI.

    To fix the hesitating/surging he cleaned the throttle body and for the starting/stalling he replaced the fuel pump.
    Now it's a high-performance machine. It runs's better than when we bought it!
    thanks, all of you, for your help!
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 221
    Don, 1st be sure to have the condition verified by an inspection by a reputable mechanic. Look for a service record. The tranny should be serviced about every 15K, at least with fluid change, and some would say fluid and filter. You need an auxiliary transmission cooler added, a not very hard job to do yourself if you can do a little more than change oil- certainly any shop can do this. It is a cooler, 2 hoses and 4 clamps. Last, turn overdrive off in city driving. I have a '95 Caravan with over 91000 including 1000 mi/yr boat trailer towing and doing well. The most common expensive problems I read are AC, which I've not had and serpentine belt problems related to the water pump failure (I have had this) or failure of belt pullies. Rattles and wind noise/air leaks seem to be a common nuisance problem. Some older van owners have had paint problems and I have one area of paint loss about 1"x5" and I think duct tape could pull off more. Good luck. Roy
  • We just found a 2000 DGC (base model, but all the power options - locks, windows, seat, cruise, tilt wheel) - it has 27,000 miles - just came off lease. It seems like a really great deal - we talked the salesman down to $13,500 out the door -including everything. We were thinking this is great because we are also getting it as a "certified" used vehicle, which means we get the remainder of the 8 yr/80,000 mile warranty.

    Please - give me your opinions. Will we be making a big mistake getting this van? We only plan to keep it for 3-4 yrs (we will put on apprx 15,000 miles a year).

    So . . . what do ya think? I'm going to carfax right now to check into this car further.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    Sounds good right off the bat. You've had Dodge's before right? You're checking the TMV and the other sources right?

    And ask your salesperson to do the Carfax for you - they usually have a subscription service at the dealers.

    Steve, Host
  • Opps - too late. I just ran carfax - all clean history. And yes, I've had a Dodge Colt & a Dodge Intrepid - both were AWESOME cars!

    I just got worried when I started reading all the negative posts about this minivan. I guess it seems to be more specifically the 1990 models that had a lot of problems??? - is that correct?

    Anyone else have opinions of a 2000 DGC with 27,000 miles on it with a 8 yr/80,000 mile warranty? $13,500 out the door - good price? Reliable car? Anything else I should know?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985
    Actually what I should have said is make sure you run the Carfax through our ad link so we get some revenue too :-)

    I can't keep track of all the options, especially with the DC vans (I had an '89 and about gave up trying to figure out the different models and packages while buying a new van in '99 ). Anyway, what engine does it have and does it have enough oomph for you?

    Remember too that people tend to post more about their gripes -- it's not all that often that someone takes the time to report they've driven 38,000 miles and only had the usual maintenance.

    You may also want to look around the Minivan Shopping discussion. Good luck!

    Steve, Host
  • I had such a wonderful experience with my 2000 Intrepid & never posted once about it! BUT - I had a 1996 Windstar that was HORRID! and I posted up a storm back then! Misery loves company, but when things are going well we all quiet down I guess.

    The DGC has a 3.0 V6. Had plenty of ooomph for me - it'll be used as an around town/kid hauler/soccer mom vehicle.

    Thanks for all your help Steve.
  • I have a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport (loaded) purchased June, 2000. Now have 42,000 miles on it. I have done nothing but routine maintenance to this point and it has performed as expected. I do have an oil leak I need to have checked out but doesn't seem major. It sounds like you are getting a good deal and it should have plenty of life left in it with only 27,000 on the clock, plus you get the warranty protection so go for it!
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    I just bought a used 2002 Grand Carvan Sport AWD. It has new tires, and 24K miles on the clock.

    I have noticed @ 35-45 MPH under moderate acceleration, a vibration and harmonic noise that you feel in the seat, steering wheel and, you can hear it and feel it like a deep bass note from a sub-woofer! Other speeds and at idle the car is very quiet. It is not loud, but you are definitley aware of it.

    The noise is still present if you lift off the gas,reduced, but still there. Brand new tires did not fix the problem. Is this a normal characteristic of the car? My 1998 AWD did not exhibit this behavior.

    Any ideas b4 calling the dealer for an appointment?
  • Someone recently posted about a loose side sliding door. A few replies but no one really gave any specifics re: how to repair it (w/out paying $70/hour dealer rates). Our left passenger sliding door is a tad loose. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Can a weekend mechanic fix it?

    FYI, just had our 3 1/2 year old Die-Hard battery replaced at Sears. It had a 72 month warranty on it so I replaced it with the same style (it now has an 84 MONTH warranty) for only $45! I thought that was a heck of a deal and better than spending time hauling a battery around and dropping it in myself.

    To the gentleman considering a 2000 GCS. We have a '96 Plymouth Grand Voyager which I think most people consider to be on the fringe of "bad" or "suspect" D/C vehicles. We've owned it for almost four years now and have 100,000 miles on it. It's had a few goofy things go wrong (weird electrical problem w/wipers, etc.) and one major one, a head gasket replaced for ~$900. But other than that it's been a very solid and COMFORTABLE vehicle. We routinely take it on 15 hour round trip excursions throughout the Midwest visiting relatives. Our record so far is a 20 hour straight (one way) trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. Runs like a champ. Considering you're going to be well within your warranty period I think you struck a great deal (probably got a bargain due to recent style change) and you'll do fine in terms of reliability.

    - Rob
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Suggest you review the shop manual and decide for yourself; it was beyond me. I would consider taking it to a body shop since their rates are probably lower than the dealer.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286
    I managed to adjust successfully the sliders to cure rattles myself on my 99 GCS. So I would say that yes, a weekend mechanic should be able to do it.

    The reason I did not go into a lot of details is because a) it depends on the source of the rattle to determine which slider(s) to adjust b) the adjustments are obvious with fairly accessible bolts that have oblong holes meant for adjustment c)if you take a look and post your findings and thoughts here, I will try to help you out as much as I can, and d) I thought it was no big deal to adjust, I mean it is not like a head gasket change.
  • Anyone Have problems with the 2002 or 2003 transmissions?
  • This has been an intermittment problem for several months...had it at dealer twice, but they can't recreate it (though how hard they're trying to is questionable since mileage is never been over a mile while they have the car).

    We'll be driving down the road and suddenly the stereo and clock, the fan blower, the power windows and rear wings and the windshield wipers will just shut off. The light on the "power" and "a/c" buttons are still ON, but there is no fan blowing air. You can feel slight cold air seeping through as tho the air conditioner is ON but without blower it's not doing much.

    The power door locks, hazards, dome and headlights, alarm, they work fine when this occurs.

    There seems to be no set parameters to having it happen....kinda feel like it happens more often in warmer weather (70+) because it didn't happen for several weeks when we had 50/60 degree with 70's again it's happening. Happens whether we're using any of those accessories or not.

    It usually corrects itself in a few minutes, sometimes as much as 15-20 minutes. Have attempted to drive to dealer while it was not working, but always comes back on before I get on other side of valley :(

    According to the Dealer this is impossible (their word) because those systems have nothing in common. Beg to differ, they must have something in common if they all quit working together!

    Anyway....has anyone else ever experienced this? Was it ever resolved?

    We're in Arizona and in just a couple short months here it's gonna be a real safety concern when the weather is well over 100 degrees and the A/C cuts out, and the windows won't go down!!

    I have looked up the lemon law and it says same repair must be unresolved after 4 attempts, so we have 2 more to go.....taking it back on Monday for try number 3, gonna talk to General Manager instead of the slick talking "used car salesman" mentality service manager. (He's the same guy that "absolutely guaranteed" me his staff couldn't have been responsible for the theft of change out of the ashtray....hmmm, how do you guarantee the behavior of another person, especially one that only works for you? I told him bull....I couldn't even "guarantee" that my husband wouldn't steal something....might believe he wouldn't, but not guarantee!! Also the same guy who keeps telling me it's impossible for this problem to occur...well, it is occuring. Think my next step will be to keep the video camera in the car and pull over and record it next time it happens.

    Has anyone dealt with the lemon law and used that knowledge to get them to get off their duffs and fix the problem? I'm not necessarily interested in returning my vehicle, I just want it to work properly. Could have kept my old falling apart van if I wanted to constantly take for repairs, and saved myself a few hundred a month!!

    Thanks for any insight you can give me.

  • To "Ourbutterflies", have you tried taking the van to another dealership? Don't know the lay of the land by you but in our area of ~100,000 people there are several D/C dealerships within a 15 mile radius. Maybe you want to start by visiting someone else?

    Another option is to find out who the regional D/C service representative is. This person is paid by D/C - not your local dealer - and one of their main duties is keeping retail D/C customers happy...that would be you! Usually this person steps in when the dealership and customer can't resolve an issue. On your next visit I'd ask to speak with the dealership General Manager or owner (set up an appointment ahead of time; they're usually fairly busy). Tell him/her, nicely and firmly, of your past problems and that the service department hasn't been able to correct the problem but you KNOW you're not imagining things (and I'll be the first to admit that male service people often DO think women don't know what they're talking about when it comes to car problems). Then ask that they REPAIR your vehicle and if they CAN'T then you'd like the name of the regional D/C representative. I think this will give added emphasis to their repair efforts.

    Best of luck.

    - Rob
  • I have a Voyager with the electronic "consol" above the rear view mirror. The thermometer that reads the outside temperature does not seem accurate. My wife would like me to find out what is wrong, and how to fix it. Could anyone help me out with it?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286 likely not adjustable, but the sensor itself lives beind the front bumper with the wiring harness connector up by the right hand (passenger) side foglight area. This is true for 96-00 model years. What year is your van?
  • I am sorry. My van is 1992. Could it be in a different place?
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