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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • surfingvansurfingvan Posts: 1
    They are next to the battery! I had a hard time finding these myself. On my 94' there's a small rectangular looking box near the battery. Take the cover off and you'll see several big black looking cubes all in a row; those are the relays, and on the inside of the cover there's a little cheat sheat diagram telling you which one is the auto shut down relay. In addition you'll also find some normal looking fuses too. Just wiggle the relays and they'll eventually come out. An easy way to check the AUTO SHUT DOWN RELAY is by simply switching it with one of the other ones in the container. Just make sure you switch it with one that has the same part number on it. Hopefully the relay is the problem, if not at least you'll know were to find it in the future.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    Okay, I took our 01 DGC EX in for service to fix the knocking noise from the front suspension and the power liftgate before our Maximumcare warranty expired from miles which was 75K. (We have 74,952). First, let me say that I stand corrected with what I thought the problem was as to why the liftgate would not open in cold temps. Apparently, the latch on the liftgate was bad and needed to be replaced. Also, they upgraded the computer software and adjusted the liftgate. (That fixed the problem.) According to my receipt, there was a TSB for the liftgate. It is TSB 23-035-00 REV.B

    The knocking noise that I was hearing when going over bumps, was the outer tire rods on both wheels. They changed them and set the toe. I can really feel the difference in driving and handling. The steering is a lot tighter now. Total cost with a day rental was $451.25. Everything was covered under our Maximumcare warranty, so we only had to pay the $100 deductible and $5 for the mileage we went over in the rental. :)
  • timothyftimothyf Posts: 40
    I have a 2002 GC ES AWD. Anyone have any idea how many miles the O2 sensor is typically good for before it should be replaced? Thanks,
  • pianojazzpianojazz Posts: 1
    Bought car last fall and it made no noise then at startup. Now two oil changes later the rods rap for 2-3 seconds if the van has sat for a couple days. Otherwise, you hear nothing. It sounds exactly like the engine sounds right after you change the oil and the oil pressure hasn't yet come up. My son thinks a check valve in the oil system has a weak spring.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Cannot say for sure what your issue is, however, I've heard some engines with soft lifters that "sounded" like they had a rod knock.

    Just a thought.

    Best Regards,
  • danielsauldanielsaul Posts: 1
    Hello, i really apreciated forums like this, great place! is my first chance, my english is poor but i'll do my best!

    Plymouth Voyager 93, 3.0 L. Automatic trans. 99500 miles :shades:
    This minivan had a new rebuild ecm (3 months ago), new 02 sensor, water pump and spark plugs (5 months ago) and new map and fuel pump (6 months ago), Was running great!
    but yesterday at night i was driving at 45 mph very nice and smoothly and suddenly when i put the foot on gas i didn't get any response.
    I see the cluster panel and i got more of 1/4 tank, even now i fell as i was out of gas

    i pushed the pedal again but the engine doesn't accelerate otherwise i feel as it was turning off, i decided to go slowly but without brake off to have
    chance to go out of the lane i try to accelerate again, but this time i see that the tachometer doesn't go up so i decide to park
    i try to accelerate once again and it turned off and i couldn't turn it on again.

    i tried the shutdown relay and the fuel pump relay and both of them are working correctly. The fuel pump makes less noise that usual when i turn the key
    and when i left the engine,i made a bypass with both relays without any answer. i have to call a crane whose driver also abused of my pocket
    Today i took off the distributor's cap and celaned it. The rotor eas too scorched but i wahsed everything with water and soap
    and the failure seemed to be there but it wasn't. seemingly i don´t have spark from the ignition coil, how can i test it??

    i got too many gas in the tank. Is there any method to proove the fuel pressure without a fuel pressure tester??
    it may be the throttle position sensor?
    The ECM says "all it's ok", (code 55) but i'll try to restart and i'll try re-connect the canister too.
    I have never changed the fuel filter because i can't find the piece inside the van
    The best i got was a less than a second start and it turns off again, I need help i'm in desperation
    I don't trust in mechanicals and my poor girlfriend always have to help me to push the van when she wears a skirt.

    Before hand thank you :) :(
    Dnaiel saul Dominguez Rosales.
  • amandaaz79amandaaz79 Posts: 3
    I have a 98 dodge caravan i bought last week. i had it for 3 days and the check engine light went on. for what i understand it went into limp mode. i ran a scanner on it and the fault code came out as Transmission Control System malfunction. does anyone know what that means and how to fix it. now my van wont kick into 3rd or 4th gear and from what amco told me it wont allow the van to go into 3rd or 4th till the problems fixed( thanks to limp mode) can anyone help????
  • travfam1travfam1 Posts: 5
    Since this van was new, it has done a weird thing every couple weeks, or so. All electrical functions will not operate, either from the keypad or from the interior controls. When you turn the key on, the headlights and taillights come on. I don't have the auto-off feature activated. Also the only lights on the dash are the door open and hatch open, which stay on even after the car is started. I have no speedometer or tach operation. The A/C compressor won't come on, but the fan controls all work. None of the power operated doors will work. The car drives normally. Then, I turn off the engine and wait about 5-10 minutes. I turn the key "ON" and the speedometer and tach needles go from zero to pegged and return. All instrumentation and power operated features are functional again. The check engine light is now on and will stay on for about 10 cycles of the ignition. I haven't been able to get this checked because it always seems to happen on or close to the weekends. Has anyone else been experiencing this problem. This is really annoying!!!!
  • mrbizness1mrbizness1 Posts: 93
    What was the specific code you got? Most trans fault codes start off P0_ _ _

    Sounds like this vehicle's check engine fault code was cleared just before you bought it to keep the light off.
  • jrblevjrblev Posts: 3
    The on-off indicator lights on the control assembly of my 1998 dodge caravan are flashing for about 15 minutes every time I start the engine There are four lights that flash the first two and the last two. this started when I put in a new batery. I got a pretty good spark when I connected the terminals and when I turned the key on the lights were flashing. It does not seem to effect anything on the car. I have checked all fuses. please help. :cry:
  • amandaaz79amandaaz79 Posts: 3
    the fault code was p0700 and p1776
  • amandaaz79amandaaz79 Posts: 3
    You know I have a 1998 caravan and mine do that to. i honestly thought that was normal. I just bought this a week ago. but now that you say that i will have mine checke out to. thanks
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 227
    Daniel, I hope you can get a maintenance book for your van and a trustworthy mechanic since some problems are difficult to find the cause without one or the other. To check for spark a timing light is the best tool. The fuel filter is a good thing to change. On fuel injected engines it is under the van to the right rear. Follow the fuel line coming from the tank at the right rear. Roy
  • chuckgchuckg Posts: 69
    You need to get that code(s) when the check engine light is on.

    Put your key in the ignition, and without starting the engine follow this sequence within five seconds: ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON Look at the odometer for the code(s) and write them down. Post them here or go over to and do a search.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ... mean that the servo motors for the climate control system need re-calibration. This usually happens aftera loss of power such as a battery change.

    There is a sequence that needs to be followed, and is available on Edmunds fora by means of a search.

    If, after the re-calibration, the flashing persists, it my mean that the system has failed a cool down test due to low refrigerant, and needs to be checked out further.
  • jrblevjrblev Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info. I tried the forum search for climate control system re-calibration using various wording and got no results. Any Ideas on pulling this up.???
  • samcorsamcor Posts: 1
    have a 2002 grand caravan. warranty just exp. power sliding door ,dragging when opening and closing no visible impediment.
    Very stiff, and i think motor will burn out soon.
    any sugg.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Here you go:

    #321 of 642 Re: AC/heating lights on dashboard [rebellady1964] by crackerjax May 30, 2005 (3:36 am)
    Bookmark | Reply | E-mail Msg
    Replying to: rebellady1964 (May 15, 2005 5:22 am)

    I had the same problem and the Dodge House where I lived wanted 500 dollars to fix it! I found someone on the internet who helped me out and I pass this on to you and others to save you some big money as this you can do for free. Here is what you do:
    All you need to do is start your van. Then slide your temp lever all the way to full cold. Then turn the Mode Control to the one that sends air to your face only. Then turn the 'blower switch' to all the way to full. Now go to the leftmost three buttons. Press the top one (rear wiper on constant) and the bottom one (rear wiper washer fluid). Hold these two for a few seconds. Once the lights come on solid then begin to flash, you can let go. The AC will now calibrate. You will feel the air blow out of all the different zones at different intervals and see lights come on and go off. Then after a minute or two the top button you pressed will be slowly flashing. This means it has been completed. Press the last flashing button and you are done. Turn off the van and started it back up and see now you don't have those infernal blinking lights anymore! Hope this helps! Oh, be careful with the battery, it is very touchy on Dodge Caravans and can blow out any electrical thing so it is better to take the battery out and charge it and don't charge it directly. One guy mentioned it blew his on board computer just accidently touching the wrench and grounding the battery so be careful with the battery.
    Replies to this message:
  • mrbizness1mrbizness1 Posts: 93
    I was only able to find code PO700 in the factory and Haynes manuals. It says " An automatic transmission input DTC has been set in the transmission controller" A friend told me it could be a faulty solenoid pack. It might be worth a trip to a dealer just to have the codes read.
  • Bought this car 3 weeks ago. About two days after buying the check engine light came on. Dealer said code was for faulty catalytic converter. Before we could fix that the car started stalling - idle speeds erratic etc. Took car for new cat. conv. but mechanic said almost brand new (dealer never looked at actual converter just read the code). Tried new MAP sensor better but still not right. Vacuum hoses tested OK. Mechanic says messages from computer making no sense - indicating problems when none there - so another "reconditioned" computer module put in. Same messages with second module -still "hunting"/stalling. Any and all suggestions about where to look next would be greatly appreciated. THANKS :sick:
  • jrblevjrblev Posts: 3
    Thanks again, I did what you said and no more flashing lights. My repair manual gives instructions on removing and replacing the entire control system but says when the new system is in you must take it to a dealer to get it calibrated. Like you need some special equipment to do it. I guess it is ok to fix it your self as long as you go and pay the dealer anyway.
  • colorado1974colorado1974 Posts: 177
    Anybody have a low speed engine knock when lightly accellerating? Happens around 20 mph or so.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    You are welcome!
  • arthurkingarthurking Posts: 9
    I have a 2006 DGC SXT. The car will give me a single chime one out of probably 8-10 times when I park the car and apply the park brake. I think the computer system in the car try to warn me about sth.
    Since the car is only 1-month old, I took it to my dealer and the mechanics can't find anything wrong with it. But then we found another issue: according to the service information about this car, the car will give a chime if the park brake is on and the vehicle's speed is over 1 mph. The mechanics intentionally drove some short distance twice while the park brake is on, but neither time did the chime come out.
    I spoke with different dealers and mechanics and got different answers. Some said it is not a big deal as long as you see no further warning signs. Some said the car shouldn't chime when you normally park, and should chime when you drive with the park brake on, and you should have the car serviced.
    I am hesitating because this is a brand-new car and I am afraid that having it serviced maybe won't do me any good, or maybe make things even worse(the mechanics in my local dealer insisted there is nothing to be worried about). What's your opinon on this issue? thanks.
  • dc_buyer2dc_buyer2 Posts: 5
    "Service Engine Soon" light went on - 1996 Caravan - 3.0L

    Brought it to the dealer and he found a faulty front oxygen sensor. I know these are about $80-$100 for the part, but they are charging me $325. Does this sound right. Also, they just called because I needed an inspection and the rear lights aren't working so they said to replace the rear switch (because it's in a tough place) it will cost another $200!

    Am I being had?
  • tjcintjcin Posts: 4
    Just wanted to post this info. After 7 visits to the Chrysler dealer, that's right, I said 7, the satellite radio is finally fixed. The Sirius receiver was changed, the the radio itself, and finally the culprit, the antenna. I have never dealt with such incompetence in all my life. Such a minor problem has soured me with this brand of vehicle. I now see why people buy vehicles produced outside this country. For what I paid for this Limited minivan I could have bought something much higher in quality!! So long until my next problem. TC
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    It should never of taken up to 7 visits to fix a simple radio problem. But, you shouldn't sour on the vehicle just because of a radio problem. That's the same thing as asking for a new van because of a dash rattle.
  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    I have a '94 Pymouth Voyager with a 3.0. I have a haynes manual, but I still can't find where to insert the beaker bar into the tensioner pulley. I've felt all around the pulley and the bracket, but can't find the 1/2" square hole anywhere. Any ideas??? :confuse:
  • mrbizness1mrbizness1 Posts: 93
    On my 3.3 you pull down on the nut that holds the pulley on the tensioner to remove the belt. There isn't a place for a breaker bar.
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