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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just be glad it was found and fixed under warranty instead of just after it expired.

    It is exceedingly difficult to get down to zero defects on every vehicle made no matter what the brand.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    hmmm never thought of that one. do they put insulation under the carpeting? I've never pulled interiors so i don't know. maybe a shop dealing with custom interiors may be of help there...

    ok, while we are opening up the "problem space", maybe your van has a different manufacturer strut / springs than the typical van?

    i guess you could go crazy considering all the possibilities, but if you can start by doing a side-by-side drive with a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or sympathetic dealer and loaner / demo (the same model and same tire), you might be able to better compare.

    i still think it's a good idea to ride as a passenger, as your ability to localize sound will change from driver to front passenger, to mid- or rear-passenger seating positions. this can work in your favor if you think the source of sound is comming from one spot rather than from a general area.
  • This vehicle has 134,000 km and has been serviced according to the manufacturer specs, and maintained in good repair since it was purchased.

    In June, the “Service Engine Soon” light appeared, and I brought the vehicle into the dealer for a tune-up, which was recommended to fix the problem. It did not, and during several repeat visits to the Service Department I was sold a variety of parts which did not affect the “Service Engine Soon” light. All told I spent over $2000. At that point, the Service Department assumed responsibility to get the engine running properly, and I returned the vehicle an additional 8-or-so times during the ensuing 3 mos. Each time I drove off the lot the light would re-appear usually within 2-24h. I have had the van in the shop around 12 times since June.

    Last week the Service Department had the vehicle for 6 days, and I was told that 6 new injectors were required. These were installed by the dealer (at no cost to myself) and I thought the problem was solved.

    Wrong. The light is back on.

    Any ideas on what is going on?

    dave levy
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    What's going on is you have an incompetent dealer service department. Either that our they know what is wrong and have been milking you for every dime you will give up to get this vehicle working and finally got embarrased that they still haven't fixed the root cause.

    Go to a different dealership, or an independent garage. It looks to me they have been ripping you off, or at best they do not know what they are doing.
  • hubejhubej Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with the blower on my 2001 T&C. In addition, when I turn off the A/C unit, the blower blows harder. You may already have an answer to your question, but for anyone else who's researching this problem - the dealer said that the circuit for the blower on the circuit board has gone bad. The circuit alone can't be replaced, they have to replace the entire circuit board to the tune of about $550.00.
  • I have an 02 T&C LTD with the fuel economy computer, the problem is, when the DTE(distance to empty) says 0 miles left I still have a quarter of a tank(about 5 gallons). Is there a calibration that can be done or do I have another problem? Also when the DTE reads 0 the gas gage also reads empty.
  • I don't think this is an intentional rip-off, only incompetence.

    As of today Oct. 2, the light is off again. I'm starting to think there is maybe a short in the wiring to the light bulb? It might explain the intermittent nature of the signal. If that is the case, between myself and the dealer, we've wasted about $5000 parts and labour. We'll see, its only a matter of time before the light goes on again.......
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    To say that your problems are vexing is indeed an understatement. Were I in your shoes, I'd try a few different formulations for the front brake pads. I just checked for your van and saw that they had three distinctly different types of formulation and as many as three different versions of each. Specifically, it seems that they have two model numbers that are of the Ceramic variety, three model numbers of the Metallic/Semi-Metallic classification and one called "Severe Duty Metallic". The prices range from $18.99 for the "Metallic Tru-Stop" type all of the way up to $78.99 for the severe duty type. Will any of these solve your problems?

    Another thought is the rotors. Some rotors are far more capable of dealing with high heat generated by certain pad compounds, and as it turns out, Napa carries two different types of rotors for our 1998 GC Sport 3.8. Unfortunately, due to the lame structure (as in stability) of the Napa site, I am currently unable to look up the rotors available for your 1992 (I've run into this before, sometimes their site works great, other times it seems to be down for days). I suggest a quick call to your local Napa jobber to find out what he/she has in stock and what they can get their hands on with reasonably short notice.

    Best Regards,
  • Thanks, Shipo!

    I wasn't aware NAPA had different compositions of pads! That will likely solve my problem. (I'm still perplexed as to why it only affects the right side.) The last set of pads I bought were from NAPA, and I was told they were the only ones available at that time. I knew something would have to change, sooner or later, as too many people have problems with metalic pads. I think the rotors will be fine with the right pads, and I still have the good original rotors as spares, already turned. I'll try one more set of new (ceramic) pads before I change the isolation valve!

    I don't ever use the NAPA web site anymore, unless it's after hours, and I'm desperate.

    My earlier (my first) post was removed by the moderator, since I missed the part about not posting my e-mail (which it turns out was wrong anyway). Here's my original post (e-mail removed) so others can follow the thread. Thanks, again!

    "1992 Grand Voyager Brake Problems!"

    "I have been a mechanic for over 40 years, have worked on everything from Briggs&Stratton to F/A-18 Hornet jet engines (F404-400), have owned my own successful automotive repair shop, and have been a licensed aircraft mechanic since 1979! I know machines! That said, this Voyager is driving me nuts! I have owned this 1992 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE, 3.3L V6 powered vehicle since new, it has never been wrecked, and I have always had excellent service from it, now approaching 200,000 miles (no overhauls, but I do need a new timing chain). That is, until a few years ago! I replaced the front brake pads with metallic pads. I objected to using these, but as the original asbestos pads were no longer made, these were all that were available new anywhere. As I suspected would happen, problems soon surfaced. The metallic pads gave too much stopping power, overriding the vehicles front to rear braking differential system, sometimes causing both front wheels to lockup and skid (the vehicle does NOT have ABS or anti-lock brakes). I readjusted the systems rear mounted differential valve to provide more even braking. This worked great for awhile, then at some point later, the right front only again began locking up, which I determined was due to brake drag overheating the rotor and other components. I performed all of the normal troubleshooting, including disassembly, inspection, repair and systematic replacement of both front brake systems, although no discrepancies were ever found. Both calipers move equally and freely on their support bolts, and proper lubication is applied to caliper contact areas. To this point I have replaced pads (3 times) both rotors (twice), both calipers, both sets of front wheel bearings and hubs, and both front brake flex hoses. Unrelated replacements included tie rod ends, ball joints, CV axles, McPherson struts, and sway bar bushings, due to age and wear. The front end has been checked for alignment and is always close, requiring only minor adjustment! I have never found pressure trapped in any line, but I have disconnected all associated brake lines and verified they are clear of obstruction anyway. Every time I perform inspections and maintenance on the front end to correct this problem, I find nothing amiss, it goes away for a few days (coincidentally?), and shows up again shortly afterwards. I have not replaced the master cylinder, which would affect both (not just the right hand) front brakes. I have not replaced the isolation valve, as it too would affect both sides, not just one. The entire system has been flushed with DOT 3 fluid several times. Light braking pressure provides smooth even braking. More heavily applying the brakes generates progressively more violent vibration coming from the right front area, and driving on rain slicked pavement nearly always results in the right front locking up upon braking. The right front wheel area is normally smoking hot after a 20 or 30 mile drive, and the occurance is much more frequent in hot weather than in cold. I have driven this vehicle on a several hundred mile drive during cold weather without recurrance. If I could find NOS asbestos pads, I would replace everything and start over, but why does it only affect the right side? (I will replace the isolation valve next, as that's all that's left, whether it makes sense or not.) Has anyone experienced similar problems? What was the cure? I'm baffled!"
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Glad I could help. FWIW, I was able to get on to the Napa site and confirm that they do in fact carry two different types of front rotors (NAPA United & Tru-Stop) for your van. Errr, better said, they carry two different rotors for vans with 14" wheels and two others for vans with 15" wheels.

    So, what year is your 150? I'm really looking for a nice clean 170 myself. Even better, I just found a small airport near my new office that has a grass strip and teaches basic flight and tail dragger lessons in late 1940s vintage Cubs. :shades:

    Best Regards,
  • When I stop or slow down with my 97 Plymouth Voyager, the accelerate, I'm hearing a 'dragging' anfd rumbling sound-its a feeling as though the wheels are not moving.

    What this maybe? any help???
  • Hi - I'm new to this site. I have a 2001 Town and Country with 84,000 on it, never had any problems. Had the transmission fluid and filter changed last week by a guy who's worked on my cars for a long time, and he's been very good. Since the fluid change, the van runs smooth up to cruising speed. Slowing down, at 30 MPH, there's a distinct shudder from the trannie. My mechanic can't understand what might be causing it. He talked to some transmission people locally and they don't understand it either.

    The transmission is slightly overfilled - when warm, the fluid level is 1/2 inch above the HOT line.

    My mechanic is planning to drain it, change filter, and refill it next week, after he does more research.

    Any ideas?
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    Did your mechanic use "genuine" Chrysler transmission fluid? Use only the fluid that your dealer sells for your vehicle and nothing else or you will have "big" problems.
  • "Anyone know if a broken timing belt would trigger the computer to shut power to the engine?"

    Just following up on this, in case someone else has a similar breakdown. It was a broken timing belt.
    The so-called "five star" dealership shop would or could not test relays for me, so I had to buy a spare to switch out and discover that wasn't the problem.

    Another bit of advice: third party fuel pumps are often weaker than what originally went into Voyager 3.0.
  • jjtjjjtj Posts: 103
    I had this happen on my 03.. it was a computer problem.. I think there is a procedure for resetting the computer after a transmission service. My van calmed down after a couple of days.. I'd give it a few days before he re-does it. And like the other poster said - make sure he used ONLY Mopar ATF +4 fluid in your transmission. Dexron III (normal A/T fluid) will ruin your transmission.
  • Wendy673,

    I have a problem where my Chrysler Voyager's (Dodge Caravan) engine cuts out after some time, around 60 minutes (like when its hot). The electrical system does not respond, can't start the engine. Once the engine cuts out the alarm set light flashes on the dash. My dealer has replaced the ECM (computer) but the problem still exists.

    I would appreciate if you could pass me any information on how you fix your problems.


    Angelo Grasso
  • joe123joe123 Posts: 1

    Check your pedal free play, also your compensating ports on master cylinder.

    I have a similar problem with a 97 Grand Voyager. Replaced front & rear brakes with rotors & drums. Now the front brakes are fine when I start driving, but after about 10-20 miles start overheating, after they cool down it goes back to normal.
    I checked the freeplay on the pedal and it had none, so I thought I found the problem but after adjusting it the problem's still there. I rebuilt both calipers and no change. When the brakes are hot, the wheels are a little hard to turn, then I relaese the pressure at the bleeders and calipers retract, which tells me it is not the calipers. I pulled the master cylinder & opened it hoping to find a clogged compensating port or damaged piston seals, but everything looks fine I have many years experience in cars and with F/A-18 Hornets as you (AD machinist's mate, your rate too isn't it).

    This vehicle has ABS, but as of today no ABS light yet.
    Any Ideas/suggestions?

  • Thanks, Joe! That's one of the first things I checked for, although I have not removed and inspected the master cylinder yet. I've never found trapped pressure, but that doesn't mean it didn't bleed off before I checked it. Plenty of free play in the pedal. I'll replace the pads first, then the isolation valve, then the master. Nothing will be left, after that!

    Yes, I was an ADJ, then went ADR (long story), and back to AD. 13 years U.S. Navy (another long story), including Operation Deep Freeze '72, 5 years instructor duty at NATTC Memphis, '76 - '81, USS Kennedy '81 - '82. I've worked on and tested 15 or 20 varieties of jets and several recips. Retired after 20 years at NADEP (NARF) Jax. I live on Haller Airpark (7FL4) south of Jacksonville, and rebuild Cessna 150's to supplement my retirement. I have an SEL private pilot license, with powerplants endorsement, and working on the airframe endorsement. If you ever visited the 150-152 Club on the web, you probably know who I am! I currently have a 150K in restoration, and a 150C pending tailwheel conversion.

    Transmission fluid: At least in the older transmissions, like my '92, you never want to use Dextron, regardless of what it says in the manuals! Dextron will swell the internal seals and cause all kinds of shifting and other problems, including external leaks. This will require an overhaul to replace all seals! This is experience talking! I use Amco ATF3 exlusively in my '92, and the Son's '86 and '90 Daytona's, with no problems noted. Later models MAY tolerate Dextron, but I wouldn't bet my transmission on it!
  • Dale,

    BTW, NAPA used to list 2 rotors for just about everything! One listing is for un-turned rotors, the other is the identical rotor that has been turned! I always bought the un-turned rotors (cheaper) and used a dial indicator to check them for true! They don't need turning! Cleaned the oil off and used them right out of the box!

    The person with the engine that stops after 60 minutes, we need more info! Does the engine crank over but not start? Is all electrical dead (no radio, wipers, lights)?

    The person with brake noise and overheating brakes: I wouldn't take my lawn mower to the local Midas! That said, make them make it right! They probably used metallic pads (like I did) because they're cheaper. Ceramic might be better (I haven't had a chance to replace mine yet).
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If he used Dexron-Mercon with or wihout an additive it is not unusual to get torque convertor shudder or irratic EMCC/torque converter clutch operation. Only Chrysler ATF+4 (MS-9602) should be used in these transmissions. Dexron-Mercon does not contain a patented friction modifier that is required for correct shift operation. Being obverfilled is a big problem, especially as much as you've indicated.

  • We recently (June) purchased a 2005 T&C Touring with the power liftgate feature. Since then we have had repeated incidents where upon pushing the button to close the liftgate, the gears engage and it begins to come down. But after proceeding about 1/5 of the way, the gear slips, clicks, and then the liftgate flys back to the fully open position. After much arguing with the dealership, they replaced the liftgate motor and housing but the problem persists. Chrysler has told them to stop working on it with the explanation that "If it works the second time the button is pushed there is no problem. This is considered normal operation." In hot (80 - 90 degrees) weather it can happen as frequently as 1:4 times, but normally about 1 in 10. So you can imagine my surprise that Chrysler considers a 10-25% failure rate normal operation.
    Has anyone else encountered this problem?
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Never experienced this in our 2005 Touring. Ours has worked flawlessly!!
  • markn1markn1 Posts: 1
    I am having the same cooling fan issues that a lot of people are seeing. For my '97 Grand Caravan both fans don't come on during normal operation, fuse is ok, run hot wire from the battery they do run, checked all wiring I could get my hands on and no issues seen, figured it had to be the relay replaced it with OEM and it still didn't fix the issue. Short talk with a dealer service person (not a tech) and he mentioned that the PCM might not be sending a ground. Is there any way to check and verify and what is the resolution?
  • Here's the problem: I have a 2003 leased Dodge Grand Caravan, 3.8 L engine, 72000 km. Last week in the parking lot the engine just turned off. The key would turn in the ignition, but it would not restart. After 5 minutes it started and I took it to the Walmart Service. They sold me a new battery, but the van wouldn't restart again. After awhile it would start and they sent me to a "full-service" mechanic, I was able to drive there. They spent at least 2 hours working on it, but could not find the problem (no charge). The battery, the alternator, and the starter each tested fine. Finally I had it towed to the dealer. When it arrived there it started fine. It also started for the next 2 hours without fail. They said they couldn't figure out the problem if it wasn't doing it for them. Finally I left (no charge again) and drove home, 1 hour. For the next 2 days it worked fine, without fail, going to work, kids hockey, guitar... Then all of a sudden it wouldn't start. I called roadside assistance and had it towed to the dealer in town where I bought it. It took about 2 hrs for them to arrive, I finally left before it was picked up. It has been there for 3 working days, and is starting fine. They of course can't figure out what the problem is if it not doing it. Sound familiar?? Somebody help! I don't know what to do next. They're not doing any research to see if its happened to other vans.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Intermittent problem. Works fine most of the time and the window will always go down but sometimes goes an inch or two and stops...other times part way...and then up an inch or so at a time or all of the way. Never consistent when it does not go up.
    Took it to dealer today and was diagnosed as a bad pin connection. Paid $ 100 deductible portion of the bill, started the van and put window down. Guess what? Would not go up again. I drove back into sevice writer area and told him it was not working. Now what could be wrong?
    Otherwise the van has been excellent and will soon have 37,000 miles on odometer...but I am glad it has the DaimlerChrysler "Added Care" Extended Warranty that covers almost everything to 7 years 70,000 miles and has the powertrain coverage to 7 years or 100,000 miles. ;)
    I had read about DaimlerChrysler power window problems here in Town Hall but can not find the postings. :cry: Can anyone help?
  • Had the same thing happen on a 2001 T&C. In fact, I just finished working on it 2 hours ago. The window motor's rotor was discolored and burnt. I cleaned it with a scotch-brite pad and it works beautifully. To get to this little varmit, you'll need to take off the interior door panel(3 screws and pop it off at bottom and sides- then lift it up) and remove the plastic barrier at least part of the way. There are 3 #30 torx screws holding the motor assembly to the door and 2 phillips screws holding the motor to the cable drive assembly. I was told by a mechanic that the motor cost about $100. I was willing to try it myself before sinking $100 plus labor on it. Good Luck!!! :)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    THANKS. ;)
    Since I am not mechanically literate and could not find how to fix it, I had taken it to the friendly DaimlerChrysler dealership that has provided excellent service.
    They replaced the regulator this morning and all expenses were covered under the DaimlerChrysler "Extended Care" Warranty...except the $ 100 Deductible for yesterday. I asked the Cashier what it would have cost and he said warranty paid $ 345 today but would have been $ 445 without the warranty. The cost yesterday would have been $158.60 of which I paid the $100.
    Congratulations on your ability to fix things yourself. ;)
  • rhy1rhy1 Posts: 5
    I just had some work done on my 98 Caravan (seals and timing chain). When I started driving, I noticed the lights on the AC, Recirc, and 2 of the rear wiper switches were blinking. I can't seem to make it stop. My regular mechanic has retired and I am not sure of the new guy so would rather not return to his shop. Has anyone else experienced a problem like this and what did you do to fix it?
  • I had an oil leak in my 94 Dodge Caravan (65,000 miles) so I took it to the local dealer service dept. They replaced the seals and also the timing belt. Since then, the thing stalls while driving - no warning - sometimes it will run fine for a week and then stall. At first it would start right up again, but the last two times it didn't until it sat for about five minutes (which is hard when you're stalled in heavy traffic) I've had it back 5 times - they replaced a Map sensor and said that fixed it - it stalled while they were driving it out for me to pick up. Then they said I was using bad gas. Then they said they had cleaned out the injectors and that fixed it. It stalled again. Today they told me the injectors needed to be replaced ($1,000). It didn't do this before they replaced the seals and the timing belt - so I believe it has to be something they did.

    I don't dare drive it now - I don't believe it needs new injectors. Any advice from anybody?

    Thanks -

    Mary Jo Murray
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