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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    See post #349 inChrysler 300M owners problems and solutions.The correct spelling of the Japaneese window motors is Denso.
  • ckmnacckmnac Posts: 12
    We have a 98 Grand Caravan and the fans do not come on to cool the engine when it gets too hot. It hasn't been too much of a problem as long as we turn on the heat when it starts to get hot but we are going on a long trip and want to get it fixed. The garage said it will be $15-20 to find the problem (not too bad IMO) but are saying it is most likely a sensor or computer problem. Does anyone have an idea of how much it might cost to fix either one of these problems?
  • jhougejhouge Posts: 2
    Just got my "new" 94 Voyager.
    The CC is not working.
    Can't see any broken fuses..
    Any tips to get it fixed?

    -Jan, Norway
  • It's kind of hard to say without more info. about your problem. Please describe in detail what the problem is. Is it overheating? Does the cooling fans come on when you turn on the air conditioner? Have you had the engine running at normal temp., put the van in park and with the hood up, observe that the fans are not coming on and the temp. gauge is approaching the high normal range? :shades:
  • I'm having the same problem with the same model and year vehicle. A relative that works on cars looked at my van this past weekend and said that the fan relay needs to be replaced. I've found one at Advance Auto Parts for around $60. 00&ptset=A I think they are pretty easy to replace but I have no idea where the relay is located. Any ideas?
  • patti2patti2 Posts: 1
    We have a 2001 Grand Caravan Sport which won't start, but all electricals are going like crazy. Wipers go, speedometer reads and varies, lights flash. Looks like from other postings this had been battery related issue for a T&C. Is this a similar issue to yours ? Any ideas about what would make this happen ?
  • Although we had the battery replace in our 01 DGC EX last year and didn't experience any of the problems relating to battery replacement mentioned here in Town Hall. I believe that what you are describing, from what I have read here in Town Hall, is the battery needing to be replaced. :)
  • I bought the relay on Sunday for $75 at the dealer and the former tech now working parts couldn't even tell me where it was exactly but that it is "likely under the battery tray somewhere".

    Well, to a degree, that is true. After removing the battery and hunting it down, I found it. It resides about 10 inches below the battery tray on the inner body metal. No need to take out the battery, just remove the entire air cleaner assembly in full including the filter housing (one body bolt at the top on radiator rail, pegs in vertical holes at the bottom come right out).

    My problem now is that I still have the problem of the fans never running. I couldn't find my alligator clips to run the fans test direct to battery as mentioned in my Haynes manual with no diagrams either.

    I still have the trouble code 35 after disconnecting the battery so I'm stumped. I went looking for a Chilton's to see if they had more but the Boston Public Library has essentially no Chilton's on Chrysler Product Minivans after 1990. There was one in a remote branch but that was too much trouble.

    Now, if anyone can help ME at this stage, I'd appreciate it. I'm still going to test the fans but two dying at once sounds a bit unlikely unless they rely on the same wiring that failed if that is the problem...


  • cruisrcruisr Posts: 1
    OK, how do you get the inside rear panel off to access the fuel door for the Dodge Caravan? I need to replace my fuel door (it broke off), and I looked in the service manual, but the first step just says "remove inside rear panel". It does not say how to do that.
  • I hope someone can clear this up for me... The Edmunds maintenance guide says that I should change the overrunning clutch and read carrier fluid every 21,000 miles and the transfer case fluid every 15,000 miles. I called my 5 star dealer and they say those items do not apply to my van. I have a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan ES 3.8 v6, front wheel drive only.
  • ckmnacckmnac Posts: 12
    It turns out ours is the relay as well and for whatever reason has to be replaced as a unit. It is only $105 to fix so we told him to go ahead. I did see them for that same price ($60) but since our trip is this Friday it is easier to let the garage fix it than try and mess with it ourselves.
  • ckmnacckmnac Posts: 12
    Hi, I just saw your post after posting that the garage diagnosed the problem as being the relay. The van only overheated one time (after going through an automatic car wash and then sitting at a drive-thru) because after that I watched the temperature gauge all the time and the second it started to go up I would flip the heat on. The first time we noticed the fans not coming on was when we were jumping another car and the gauge started to go up and no fans came on (though you could hear them trying to from time to time). Like I said we do know the problem now but I thought I would share in case anyone else is having the same problems.
  • benw2benw2 Posts: 1
    Easy...There is another fuse panel under the hood... About 12 inches from the front on the driver side...About 10" long, 4 " thick. Pop the cover, replace the 20a fuse, and you're off...
  • Chrysler recalled many vans for the ClockSpring (switch behind the steering wheel). Call Chrysler.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Sounds to me like those maintenance items might apply to AWD Grand Caravans. I think your dealer is correct.
  • pfutzpfutz Posts: 7
    My T & C Van's battery required a jump. Once I jumped it, it started but the radio won't turn on. The equilizer lights simply blink. Do I need to somehow "reset" the radio?
  • jhougejhouge Posts: 2
    Since the horn is working and airbag light stays off, could it still be the clockspring?
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    my 96 gc with 3.8, 100k miles, engine quit suddenly today, very similiar to a problem i had 50k miles ago...turned out to be a bad powertrain control module then and i think it may be bad again...anyone else having problems with these modules lasting only 50k miles? any underlying cause that may be causing them to go bad so frequently? thanks
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    hi...we experienced similiar problems on our 96 gc...all 3 times it turned out to be a bad battery...with all the electrical accesories on this model, i think batteries just don't last more than 2-3 years...
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Sorry if this issue has already been posted (I did a search and didn't see anything). Please understand I'm not trying to alarm anyone, but both rear brake lines rusted and burst on our '96 T&C. The brake light had come on previously, so I took it in for inspection at local brake shop. It was when the mechanic stepped hard on the brake that DOT-3 fluid spilled out all over the service bay deck. Both lines failed at a point where they are routed over the gas tank. I asked them to save and return both bad lines, then filed a report with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Also filed a report with DC.

    Someone from DOT called today and said they were investigating similar complaints, and would I mind sending them the old brake lines? They are mailing out a FedEx label with prepaid shipping. If you're curious, Chrysler replied to my e-mail as follows: "Comments like yours are one way to learn of problems that may develop and improvements desired by customers. The information received is used in product development and quality analysis. Thank you again for your email."

    Anyway, my humble suggestion for '96 Chrysler Grand minivans: if the brake light comes on, you should stop driving immediately and check for fluid dripping off the rear brake lines. It might drip down the gas tank near the filler neck. DON'T DRIVE IT if you see leaks; have it towed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that if you continue driving the vehicle in that condition, very soon whatever brake fluid remains in the master cylinder will be depleted after pressing enough times on the brake pedal, and only the emergency brake will be available. By the way, for what it's worth, our T&C has less than 82,000 miles. This incident is an anomaly. The van has generally served us very well.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    This situation can either be considered a problem with the vehicle design, or it can be considered insufficient maintenance. The fact is that brake fluid absorbs water. Period, full stop, the end. I used to turn a fair wrench on cars back in the 1970s, and any car that has gone more than two to three years (depending upon climate and driving style) on DOT-3 is going to have cloudy brake fluid. Leave it in there for four to five years and there is going to be a bunch of rusty sludge in the brake lines. Many auto makers, BMW for one, specify a complete brake system flush every two years. That may be a bit excessive, however, experience has suggested to me that three years is probably good for most cars.

    I've had the brake fluid flushed on both of our Caravans every third year, and folks, if you could see how cloudy the fluid has become during that period, you would never consider leaving it in there for much longer. FWIW, I just did a brake job for a neighbor's 2001 Honda Odyssey with about 48,000 miles, and yup, same drill, I bled the brakes and out came the sludge that used to be brake fluid. So, from my perspective, a 1996 T&C with the factory fill of DOT-3 went 9 years..., WAAAAY beyond the call of duty. I'm thinking that you're lucky it went that long.

    Best Regards,
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Thanks for the comments, Dale, but nowhere in the original posting did it say the brake fluid was the original factory fill of DOT-3. Also, the fluid that was expelled to the deck did not contain any rust or sludge. After the brake lines were repaired, the system was bled and the fluid that came out was clean.

    The technician that did the repair was surprised how the rear brake lines ran alongside a rail for awhile, then turned upwards and ran over the gas tank where salt could collect and corrode them. It is this design issue that is of interest to the gentleman who called from NHTSA.

    Just curious, but in your '98 Grand Caravan do the rear brake lines take the same route over the gas tank (near the tank filler neck)? Thanks. Ken
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'll slide underneath tonight when I get home at take a look-see. I'll report back later.

    So, your brake lines corroded from the outside? Yikes, I've never seen that one before.

    Best Regards,
  • Just curious. Don't they make the brake lines out of a non rust metal now? :D
  • pfutzpfutz Posts: 7
    Were you ever able to fix this problem? I am experiencing the same thing.
  • Petras,

    did you figure out if that was the issue, as my 91 gc 3.3 dies on me as well , it driveing me crazy :sick: it just shuts off on me while im driving , i have to pull over and put it in park and hopefully it will start up again.....
  • theburltheburl Posts: 1
    Had the same problem for over a year and still no resolve until one day got so mad that I hit the dash on top right by the transmission selector and Voila', the gauges came on and started right up. No joke.

    Did some investigating and found out that what is happening is the anti-theft is not releasing control of the pcm because the pcm is not fully initiallizing due to a failed power on test. Sounds complicated but ultimately the problem is traced to a bad connector on the back of the Speedometer cluster. I took the dash board out (about 1 hour) reseated the connector, reinstalled (1 hour), and problem is much less frequent now (once every 6 month) which is solved with a hit on the dash.

    Dealer says the wiring harness needs replacing but that is a joke.

    Take care and good luck.
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    the shop didn't get a chance to look at it yet..maybe tomorrow... after it stalled, we had no luck getting it restarted, it cranks ran fine for 5 years after we had the module replaced last time... back then it was around $350 P+L...
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293

    Yes, I believe the lines are stainless steel, but that material is not 100% rust proof, just rust resistant. Some exhaust systems (pipes) come from the factory made of stainless steel, but eventually they corrode, too.

    I have a digital picture that I'd love to post, but not sure how to do that here. "Help" panel suggests that photos need to be part of a website (URL) that can be linked to. Photo is on my hard drive. Is there a way I can just copy and paste the image?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Okay, I just crawled out from underneath our 1998 GC and yes, the brake lines join at the center of the axle beam and rise up together toward a unibody frame member, and from there forward over the top of the fuel tank. They reappear from over the tank under the left side sliding door along the fore/aft unibody frame member and from there head up toward the engine compartment.

    I was able to get up underneath the car well enough to shine a flashlight rearward above the fuel tank which afforded me a pretty good view of most of the run of the brake lines. Even after seven complete winters spent exclusively in the north east (NYC and Boston metro areas), I was unable to detect a single spot of corrosion anywhere on the brake lines.

    Hmmm, I'm wondering if Chrysler changed the material for said brake lines between 1996 and 1998. Doesn't hardly seem likely as brake lines have been made of pretty tough stuff for decades but I suppose it's possible.

    Best Regards,
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