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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • I have the same car and same problem. every time the battery goes dead, the radio quits for good. My rip offf dealer installed (alledgedly) anew radio last time for $450. I will hum before I go there again. Found a junk radio for $50 but the guy says it won't work untilI get the anti theft reset, but of course nobody at Chrysler know what to do.
  • put the key in the ignition. using the wooden handle of a hammer or similar tap the key lightly into the cylinder several times. a tumbler is sticking and not falling into place. once you get it to operate, it will happen again. try spraying graphite (see your hardware store ) into the lock and cycle it multiple times.
  • Did you ever get an answer. I am on my second failed radio...same cause and effect
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    My steering wheel tends to shudder when I turn it while parked. Is this a steering rack or steering pump problem? I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has had this problem before taking my van to the dealer.
  • debg3debg3 Posts: 2
    I have a 99 t&c van that has been having issues with the brakes. The brake light is NOT coming on but we keep having to add brake fluid. It also feels at times like I'm not going to actually stop....usually only one time of really hard pushing (and thinking my foot might go through the floor!) then they seem ok again. It seems worst when I first start driving after its been sitting for awhile. After brake fluid is added they seem fine again for a bit then we start over. We had them checked but nothing appeared to be wrong--couldn't find a leak anywhere, the pads looked ok (front will need replaced in about 10000 miles) but he was stumped what the issue was and it didn't feel bad when he test drove it. Driving me crazy---anybody have any similar experiences and if so what resulted??? thanks!!!!
  • I have a 2004 T&C Crysler Minivan with a 3.3L that continues to have a engine missing problem. At 32k miles the engine light came. The dealer replaced the spark plugs and wires. This "fix" lasted several months only to have the same engine missing problem come back. I replaced the plugs and wires again and found that most of the plugs were cracked. The van ran great for several weeks and now once again the engine light is on and is missing. Has anyone experienced cracked sparkplugs with the 3.3L engine?
  • I purchased a 2005 GC 3.8L used with 15K on it last summer. Currently have 24K on it with mostly highway miles. Bought at dealer & service records show previous owner changed oil around every 3000 miles. I am using Castrol 5W30 and the engine is using a quart of oil every 3000 miles. Is this in the normal range? Previous caravans with the 3.0L engine I drove at work didn't use this much oil even after 75K miles. Is anybody with a new or older GC 3.8L engine using this much oil? Dealer spoke with Chrysler Rep. which said this is in normal range. The van runs great with great gas mileage.
  • Hey Porter,
    I had the same failures ... not cracked plugs ... intermittent engine missing problems that would go away after plugs/wires were replaced and then come back a few months later with no "codes" in the onboard computer.
    My bug turned out to be the ignition coil pack.
    This may also be your cause of engine missing.
    Lou B
  • I have an 04 base model caravan with AT. Highway mileage at 70 is 23-25 but in town it drops to 10-12. It will do about 5-7 miles per hour without touching the gas pedal. Do you think the throttle is set to high? The local dealer claims nothing wrong with the car. Recommended he drive my vehicle with a full tank of gas to see if my low MPG was for real. Just what I want to do...let his people drive my car until the tank is empty or nearly empty given the cost of gas these days. Any suggestions. Thanks.
  • Interesting - if it's a Japanese car thread, they usually seem to be titled "Problems & Solutions" but American cars just get described as "Problems...."

    Anyway we have a 99 Dodge Caravan Sport with quad seating, and an 05 Nissan Quest. We use a Samsung L300 DVD player which has a nice 10" screen. Usually we just prop it up on a cooler.

    But the L300 has a button so that you can flip the display screen. If we had brackets to mount to the headliner, we could mount it where the factory DVD's are monuted, but with a much bigger screen and very portable to boot. It comes with a remote control.

    Any kits available for this? It's quite light so they wouldn't ahve to be too substantial.
  • I have a 2002 Voyager e. My driver's side headlamp is out. I replaced the bulb, but the lamp still does not work. I got the schematic and found the fuse for the headlamp is in the power distribution center. The repair manual I have does not go into any detail concerning the PDC. I removed the two bolts securing the PDC, but it did not come out of its place easily, so I thought I would ask here before I go any further. Can the PDC be opened to replace the fuses? If I replace the PDC, is it simply removing the two bolts and disconnecting the wiring harnesses or is there more to it? The van is treating me well with 150,000 miles on it, so I would like to be able to fix this.

  • I thought those fuses are located in the box next to the battery. Top can be removed via plastic locking tabs.
  • Would that they were. The wiring diagram I have shows them as part of the PDC, and the fuse layout on the top of the box does not show any of the fuses having to do with the head lamps.
  • How about thes fuses under the dash by your left knee?
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    the power sliding door locks do not work right on my 96 gc.. the left door lock does not power unlock but will power lock, the right door does not power lock or unlock, the clicking noise can be heard when engaging the switch in both directions, also manual mode works ok...any ideas on where to begin looking? thanks
  • It appears that there is a leak in the braking system. If you can get under the van check the inside of each wheel and tire for evidence of brake fluid leaking. If there is none found it is the Master cylinder that is leaking, somtimes this is difficult to detect as it is located against the firewall and may be leaking inside the power brake unit.
  • if you can get to the underside of the power distribution block, the green connector pins 4 and 13 are the battery and ground pins to the left headlight. pins are located as follows from right to left lower row 4th one to the left is pin 4, top row 3rd one from the right ot left is pin 13. Turn the lights on and with a dc probe with a light on it see if it lights. It may be soething as simple as a dirty contact.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Interesting - if it's a Japanese car thread, they usually seem to be titled "Problems & Solutions" but American cars just get described as "Problems...."

    Hi, garandman,

    It's more a matter of who started the discussion -- this one was started (and titled) by a member, whereas the "Problems & Solutions" topics are usually opened by Edmunds staff. If you look at the Maintenance & Repair Forum, you'll notices vehicles of all origins that are titled "XXX Problems" (with no mention of solutions). At any rate, I've edited the title here, if that helps.


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • I have a 1998 plymouth grand voyager and this past september I noticed that only on the passenger side and in the rear it blows cold, but on the driver side it blows hot, I have to let the vehicle warm up for a long time in the mornings just to get it halfway comfortable for my children to ride. Also, all the lights on my control panel flash for about twenty minutes after the vehicle is running. Has anyone heard about the clockspring recall. I recieved the letter in the mail and lost it before I could get to the dealer because I wasn't having any of the problems now I am having all of the problems of the faulty clockspring.
  • I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan. On a trip when the kids were watching a movie on our plug-in VCR, the unit just stopped. The light on the power plug wasn't lit, so I suspected I blew a fuse. I replaced all fuses and still neither the front dash or back AC power outlet works. Any suggestions?
  • Under the hood is the power distribution center. It is a large black box on the driver's side of the van. It opens with two plastic clips on top and bottom. The top right relay controls the cigar /accessory power. If it is blown you will have no power to either power outlet in the van. Some vans had a spare fuse in the top left position. Check the inside of the cover for locations.
  • If you look at the Maintenance & Repair Forum, you'll notices vehicles of all origins that are titled "XXX Problems" (with no mention of solutions). At any rate, I've edited the title here, if that helps.

    Yes - it gives me hope! lol

    We have a 1999 Caravan Sport and looked at a 2006. It was so similar on the inside that my wife decided she'd prefer to keep driving hers. It has 90,000 miles on it. We replaced the trans at 73,000 miles or so, but otherwise it's been an excellent vehicle and IMHO is the best looking minivan ever made. Although I know some consider that a conundrum.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We have both a 1998 GC Sport and a 2003 ES, both with the 3.8 mill. Personally, I prefer to drive the 1998 in spite of the leather seats, smoother transmission and more powerful engine of the 2003. Why? Well, it's the little things, things like the door lock buttons that are flush in the older one but stick up into the meat of your arm on the 2003. I think that your wife made the best choice. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • I've been wondering how to transplant a new 3.8 into it....
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I've been wondering how to transplant a new 3.8 into it..."

    Hmmm, interesting question. For starters, "Are you serious?"

    If you are, I guess the first question is, "What engine do you have now?"

    IIRC, the 1999 GC Sport came with a 3.3 as the base mill and for a while at least, Dodge was offering the 29N package with the 3.8 as an option. I know that because that's how we managed to get a 3.8 in our 1998 GC Sport. Funny thing, we got ours because Chrysler allegedly ran low on 3.3s and started offering the 3.8 as a $250 option to the 29N package, even though the Dodge web site never listed such as an option. Come the 1999 model year, they listed the 29N 3.8 option for maybe the first half of the year, and then it disappeared, apparently never to be available again.

    So, if you have the 3.3, dropping in a 1999 version of a 3.8 should be fairly easy, however, given the differences in the entire top end of the newer/higher horse power 3.8 (like the one in our 2003), I'd be surprised if you could make said newer engine fit with all of the accessories in the proper place and all of the linkages set properly.

    From a subjective point of view, our 1998 3.8 performs about as well as the 2003 3.8, up to about 65 or so, not surprising due to the fact that the older van is both lighter and has almost the same exact torque available from the engine. Above that point the extra HP of the newer mill makes itself known, but even then the difference just isn't all that great.

    If I had a 1999 3.3 in nice condition, and really wanted to keep it, I would certainly consider a 3.8 transplant; I'd just make sure that the new engine was built for the same vintage of van.

    Best Regards,
  • My low beams stopped working all of a sudden, I switched to high beams which worked and then back to low beams and they worked. After shutting the car off I had the same problem only this time the low beams never came back on. Any Ideas? :confuse: :sick:
  • debg3debg3 Posts: 2
    you're right! Our mechanic had checked the master cylinder but didn't see leaks anywhere but after the last problem took it out and found the mc was bad (he had replaced it 1.5 years ago) and the brake fluid was leaking into another part of the brake system he couldn't see before hand. Luckily the parts store covered the cost of both parts since the mc was the cause of ruining the other part. Thanks for the tip!
  • The problem is the poor quality of Chrysler products. The solution (which I definitely will follow) is to never buy Chrysler again.
  • The problem is the poor quality of Chrysler products. The solution (which I definitely will follow) is to never buy Chrysler again.

    Umm, what Chrysler product did you own?
  • Roy.... I did exactly that (vice grips at about 160K). Now, something else has gone wrong... I can pull on the cable with the vice grips, and hear something going on under the hood, but the latch isn't popping.

    Do you have any idea how to manually pop the primary latch from below?... I could rig something after I got it open... (My original problem is that I have a dead battery (shorted cell), so I can't get to it because I can't open ... well... you get the picture.

    Any advice on how/where to reach up and pop it would be appreciated. As luck would have it, The hood latch is the only one of the latches on the car that isn't in the shop manual that I have... Go figure.
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