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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    Mind if I ask what you 03 Caravan cost? Are you getting an extended warranty?
  • dhodho Posts: 2
    My 1994 had front end shaking/vibration between 35 & 40mph. The vibration is not as noticable at lower and higher speeds. Sometimes if the tire is out of round, the vehicle will wobble. This will occur at all speeds though. The problem is a worn cv joint. I replace both the driver and passenger side axles and now the van doesn't shake anymore. Both axles had a bad inner cv joint.
    Cost my about $150.00 in parts.
  • xingze_caixingze_cai Posts: 47
    The trim on the right side of my Dodge Caravan was losing recently, I bought the trim adhersive tool from a local store and apply it to my car, however, it seems it does not help at all. Can anybody give any suggestions here?

  • fhohiofhohio Posts: 10
    My 1999 Caravan's battery died without warning a little after 3 years. The replacement, which was not Mopar, just died this weekend. It didn't make it 2 1/2 years. I don't know if all of the dome lights, etc. take a drain on the battery over time, but I have heard that the batteries for these vans tend to have short lives. For whatever this is worth....
  • gthorsongthorson Posts: 1
    For the past two weeks, my 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager has been slipping into limp-in mode (i.e. locks into 2nd gear) when accelerating at low speeds. When I do so, the "Check Engine Soon" light comes on. If I shut off the car and restart, the transmission will function properly for a short period, but if I continue to drive at slow speeds followed by acceleration, it will again go into limp-in mode. If I can get to high speeds (above 40 mph), it will perform fine until I slow down to lower speeds and again need to accelerate. My repair facility is confused. When they hooked up the van to the computer, they got a low voltage to the transmission message. They then proceeded to change a relay switch (no success) and today replaced the transmission module (again no success). Any recommendations?
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Had the same problem with my 99 Intrepid. Dealer changed both input and output sensors on the trans and it is fixed.
  • Pas de problem Andre.

    We bought our 2003 Grand Caravan Sport (with aftermarket power take off and DVD player) for $22,369 Canadian (approx 16,750 US) It had 21,800 Kilometers (about 13,000 miles)

    We since have taken it on two long weekend trips, one with three people and one with six people aboard with no problems yet whatsoever.

    We did take additional extended warranty. I did not want to do it. I have lost money on extended warranties on the last two vehicles I purchased extended warranties on (a 95 Sable and a 00 Focus) but my wife wanted to do it. After 31 years, I tend to do what she says.
  • mistellemistelle Posts: 1
    I have been looking for a mini-van I can trade my 98 Chevrolet Malibu for. The dealer showed me 99 Plymouth Voyageur. Does anyone know anything about this make and any problems with the 99's? Someone said there were problems with transmissions in some years.

  • bunnybunny Posts: 1
    Is .30/mile a fair buy back user fee?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565

    I suggest you read back in all the Caravan/Voyager/Town and Country Edmunds discussions, then take a big aspirin as your head will be swimming!

    Chrysler has had some minivan transmission problems in the past, but not as widespread as some would have you to believe and the newer ones I believe have rectified whatever problems there were in the past. By 1999, I think you will be getting a good one. Our 1996 has been fine, now at about 78K miles.

    There are also about four different engines and maybe at least three different variations of transmissions in vans of that era. Very common is the 3.3 liter V-6 with 4 speed automatic. I would stay away from the 4 cylinder version as I think it is underpowered, not because of any particular known problem.

    Otherwise, I would look for a low mileage one that has not been abused. You may be able to get maintenance records if the car was dealer serviced. You could also pay an independent mechanic to check it out before purchase. Good luck!
  • ohvanohvan Posts: 26
    I have a 2003 T&C EX with 19,000 miles. Just recently started to experience the hard downshift. It usually occurs when coming to a stop after travelling at about 25+mph. Judging from some of the posts in the "Chrysler transmission problem" discussion area it may be an "unsolvable" problem. We also have a two to four second delay when shifting into reverse from a cold start. This has been the case since the van was new. Any thoughts on possible solutions would be appreciated. Otherwise, anyone want to buy a 2003 T&C EX w/ leather, 19,000 miles for fair price? I don't have time for multiple trips to a dealership only to hear the" we can't duplicate the condition
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    I have a 1996 Caravan with the 3.3 liter engine. I have an intermittent stalling problem. The vehicle has stalled 3 times since April, once on an interstate. Anyone experience this. I've had the vehicle checked out by a Chrysler dealership and they are stumped.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Those symptoms are similar to the ones I had with My Intrepid. Ask that dealer to check the input and output sensors in the transmission. If they won't seek another dealer.
  • ohvanohvan Posts: 26
    Thnaks for the tip. I'm taking it into the shop in about a week. I'll request that they look at the i/o sensors.
  • Hello:

    Regarding your message #744 from 08/01, did you ever find/fix the problem? I have a 99 GC with basically the same electrical instrument panel problem. It usually happens after 1hr of constant driving. First the P-R-N-D-L indicators all light together. Then the Odometer blinks and goes off. Then the fuel gauge and the hot/cold gauge start moving like wipers, and then die. Finally the tach and speedo move in unison like wipers until they die. Sometimes hitting a pot hole will bring them back to life .. but not often. Stopping and restarting does no good. Only letting the van sit overnight "cures" it.

    Problem began at 18K miles. The dealer took the dash apart and replaced everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. Didn't help. When I went back they "threw up their hands". Went to a pvt garage and they took the dash apart and inspected/tightened grounds, etc. Fix lasted for two years. Then it started again. Back to the garage. Same fix ... lasted one year. Then back to the garage ... fix lasted one day.

    I really like driving this van, but I'm getting discouraged. Any and all suggestions appreciated.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    Did you check the fuses?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Unfortunately, there are a number of things that could cause this. My first suspect would be a bad connection on one of the bus circuits on the back of the instrument cluster printed circuit board. A poor ground could cause this, of course, but there are a number of characteristics of your symptom set that indicate the cluster is going into self-test.

    Have you tried checking and reseating the electrical connectors at the Power Control Module (PCM)?

  • Hello:

    Thank you for your reply. I will ask my mechanic if he has indeed checked the connectors.

    I appreciate your help.
  • billmbillm Posts: 3
    Limp in on 99 Voyager
    Unfortunately, either the input or the output speed sensor on the transaxle is failing, and the replacement parts are not as reliable as the originals. Since the failure is intermittant, the power module will not record a trouble code;
    only a dealership with a Chrysler DRBII or better can read the fault history in the tranmission controll module to verify which speed sensor is getting goofy. But the sensors are @ $20.00 each & it's probably worth it to just swap two new ones in( they just screw in, but you may loose some fluid if you try this at home, etc.....)
  • billmbillm Posts: 3
    Almost definitely a ground issue. when all logic fails, improvise.....find the main ground on the
    printed circuit board and make a new ground wire.

    Attach it to any bolt on the firewall or better yet link it to the ground wire on the back of the radio if the radio has always worked ok.

    good luck.
  • billmbillm Posts: 3
    Since the input sensors are completely different, the problem has to be in the dash; either power or ground. I didn't see your original
    message so I'm not sure which car or van you have,,,,some have a seperate module on the printed circuit board which only controls the tach and speedometer. It could simply be failing or loose.....a bad ground or power source would affect all gauges and or lights at the same time,,,,,,,,,,bill m
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Who was that masked mechanic?

    Welcome to Town Hall Bill! It's nice to have an experienced parts/service manager participating.

    Steve, Host
  • Hello:

    Thank you for your reply. My original message is #2313.

    The tach and speedo do not go on/off together. There is always a progression. The shift indicator glows ... then the odometer goes black (even though it still records mileage). Then the temp and fuel gauges fail at the same time. Then the speedo fails. Finally the tach fails.

    The sequence of events never varies. Hitting a bump sometimes restores the panel ... but not all the time. Restarting never helps.

    PS: Van is a 99 GCaravan with 3.3L engine.
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    I had the sway bar links replaced on my 2001 caravan on July 3/03. On April 24/04 I noticed a noise when turning my steering wheel. I decided to have a dealer look at this upon my next scheduled maintenance date. I took the van in for servicing on July 23rd and was told that the sway links had to be replaced. I was charged $50 for diagnostic time and 1.5hrs for time spent fixing the problem. Chrysler offers a 1 year warranty on their parts but will not cover my repair since it was completed 20 days after the warranty expired. My beef is that the part started going bad in April- well before the 1 year deadline. Chrysler states that I had to have the part repaired within 1year for the warranty to apply. The part only lasted 15,000 KM! Do I have any recourse? Has anyone had similar problems with their sway bar links? I believe that the part that was used for the original repair was defective to start off with since it only lasted 15K KM. Is it standard procedure for someone to be charged with a diagnostic fee for this sort of repair? The original repair took 1.2hrs and the latest one took 45min, but I was billed for 1.5hrs. The mechanic said that an apprentice had helped him which is why he only took 45min to complete the repair. I believe that I was overcharged. Should I complain and ask for a partial refund?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    If you didn't take the vehicle in for service of the defective part while within warranty, then you have no recourse. Yes, you do have to pay a diagnostic fee. No, 1.5 hours labor is not unreasonable. The dealer acted well within the rules of Chrysler's warranty.

    If the sway bar links continue to fail, then you may have another problem in the front end that is causing the failure. I'm not that familiar with Chrsyler front ends, maybe DustyK can offer some suggestions.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    I have to agree with WIJOCO as to labor, cost and warranty status. It sounds like you may have gotten back to the dealer a little too late.

    My company has about 3300 Dodge Caravans and I'm not familiar with sway-bar links being a common failure on them. I'm sure we've had some not go the distance.

    By the way, my wife's Avalon just loves sway bar links. And they're $109 a piece, too. Three sets since the car was new in '99, and only Toyota makes them!

  • jft26jft26 Posts: 35
    I tried to replace the spark plugs on the on the firewall side of the 3.3L V-6 engine on my 98 Ply - Gr Voyager SE this weekend. I got the van on a set of ramps. I was able to access the rear 2 plugs on that bank but the first one toward the front of the engine gave me a big problem ..... the exhaust manifole and engine pie were obstructing. I was able to remove the spark plug wire boot and get a socket onto the spark plug but, ..... I was unable to get a handle on the socket. The firewall was a problem because of the angle of the socket/spark plug. Any additional tips, please.

    2250 of 2325 Spark Plug Replacement on `98 Gr. Voyager 3.3L/ by jft26 May 13, 2004 (1:14 pm)

    Bookmark | Reply
    I currently have 104K miles on my minivan. I would like to replace the Platinum Spark Plugs. Is there a trick to getting at the spark plugs on the side of the engine hugging the firewall? Thanks
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    .... remove the serpentine belt and then tilt the alternator all the way back. Then the plug is easily accessible from the top.

    Please let me know how everything goes.

    Tip: When putting everything back, check the automatic tensioner as well and replace if necessary.
  • jft26jft26 Posts: 35
    Thanks. How many bolts are on the alternator? Is the tilt toward the firewall? Will the alternator bracket be in the way?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    ..bolts holding the alternator. You will need to loosen the lower one, and take out the upper one. The alternator will then tilt towards the firewall (note that the serpentine belt is assumed to be off already). The bracket does not get in the way, but can be removed easily if you want.

    Good Luck.
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