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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Assuming that you have rear drum brakes, make sure they are properly adjusted. I believe that Chrysler rear brakes are supposed to auto adjust when braking hard while reversing. The rear auto adjusters frequently do not work, especially when vehicle ages or has many miles. It is important that the rear brakes do their share of work, even in a front drive car.On front drive car, one can drive with rear drum brakes not working properly and not know it since the front brakes do most of the work. Find a hilly spot and stop on it, put on parking brake and trans in neutral, release regular footbrake and if car rolls, the drum brakes need adjusting.
  • Paul, You can use hand glaze. You can get it at any auto parts store
  • Thanks cclundberg. What brand is best?
  • McGuires...Your best bet is to go to a detail shop..They may help you out too...
  • This has been an intermittent problem for a month...had it at dealer three times, First time they said it was a cluster module, then they said it was the ignition switch then the third time they finally said they didn't know what the problem was because they can't recreate it


    I'll be driving down the highway and suddenly the stereo and clock, the fan blower, phone charger (lighter) and the windshield wipers will just shut off. Headlights dim . The light on the "power" and "a/c" buttons are still ON, but there is no fan blowing air.


    It seems to happen when its been snowing or raining.....Happens whether I'm using any of those accessories or not.


    It usually corrects itself every few minutes, sometimes as much as 15-20 minutes. Once I slow down everything eventually kicks back on. Have attempted to drive to dealer while it was not working, but always comes back on before I get there.... :(


    Anyway....has anyone else ever experienced this? Was it ever resolved?


    It's a real safety concern when the weather is bad and you loose wipers and heat.


    It has the dealership baffled..They say they ran every test under the sun. Hopefully someone can give me and the dealership some help!
  • P.S. I have a 2003 Dodge Sport Carivan w/ 33,000 miles
  • coutucoutu Posts: 1
    1995 dodge caravan brake lights stuck on when headlights are on also left blinker won't operate when head lights are on. They both operate ok when headlights are off.
  • After replacing the alternator and a fairly new battery Jeep still had the same problem of not charging. An auto electric shop diagnosed the pcm as the problem and the price for one is quite expensive. As a fix he suggested we could install an external voltage regulator but he would not provide any help to how I would install it. The voltage regulator is a Transpo 2 plug electronic type. I have read my Hanes book but it was of no help. Any help, suggestions or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  • I have a 1998 3.0L Grand Caravan that have noisy lifters. The rattling goes on for several minutes every morning. The van has 194000 miles. Is this something that should be fixed? I can live with the noise if it is not causing other problems. Also, how long should it take to change the timing belt on this van? Thanks for any input.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Are you sure it has a timing belt and not a timing chain? Usually have to change a belt after 60,000 miles. Lifters might be adjustable. You could go to a place like Pep Boys and look both up in one of their automotive books that they sell. Read it right in the store.
  • krillkrill Posts: 1
    Has anyone else had this problem with their 2005 Stow-N-Go Grand Caravan SXT? Check engine light comes on when fuel level is below 1/2 tank and outside temperature is below 40 degrees. When taken to dealer, first step was to put in new Oxygen Sensor. Didn't make it to the end of the dealer's lot before it came on again. After much frustration, and many trips to the dealer, Michigan plant determined it needed a new Powertrain/Transmission Control Module. After talking with service dept., they advised that since we had begun having problems with ours, they now have 2 additional vans waiting for the control modules to be programed and sent from Michigan. Seems that the vehicles are so new that local dealers do not have parts to repair on sight. Our dealer, Kings Dodge in Cincinnati, OH has been very determined to fix the situation to our satisfaction. Apparently, ours was the test vehicle to finding the solution to the problem. All the time, several weeks, no damage was done to the engine, etc., just the inconvenience of taking it back and forth to the dealersip.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Most of the local auto parts stores around here shrink wrap their automotive books. I don't think they mind the casual thumb through as much as the greasy fingerprints left behind.


    As an alternative you could ask the counter person to price a timing belt for the van and find out whether it takes a belt or chain that way.


    Unless someone here has a '98 and belt/chain experience?


    Steve, Host
  • The 98 3.0L has a belt. Actually I own 2 of them, and have had the belts changed on both at lower miles, but at $600 a pop I figured it is time to do it my self. I have changed the transmissions in both vans myself and figure the timing belt should be an easier project. I hope to find someone who has already done this, just to get an idea of the time frame. I use the Haynes repair manual for all repairs, including changing the tranny, very good.

  • Who said time is relative? I don't know how long it takes. I would just consider replacing associated parts while it's torn apart. Water pump for sure and possibly the belt tensioner also.
  • Our rear door is stuck in the lock position and we can not get it open. and also the check engine soon light is in the on position and they have told us there is nothing wrong. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • sylecsylec Posts: 7
    I have found some sort of on board "key-on diagnostics". I'm not sure if this is coming from the on-board computer or what. Does anyone know about this. Here is what I did...


    1. Hold down the trip and cancel buttons on the dashboard.

    2. turn the key to the "ON" position wait 5sec.(do not start).

    3. the mileage will display the trip distance... press the trip button once and a code will start to flash.


    My van just flashed 55. On my old Dodge Intrepid this meant it was the end of the diagnostics and no error was found.


    Is this the same as the old Dodge code? I doubt it , but if anyone has any ideas please post.


  • Hoping someone can help with a weird sound coming from my breaks. As the vehicle travels about 35 MPH and faster there is a clicking sound coming when the break pedal is depressed. The faster you are traveling the quicker the clicking sound. If you depress the parking break just until the ABS trouble light comes on the sound disappears. I have had the vehicle into the dealership here but they are unable to find the problem. No codes or problems with the breaking system come up. the vehicle is a 92 grand caravan AWD.
  • sylecsylec Posts: 7
    I think that whenever you use the parking brake, it will only engage the rear brakes on the vehicle.


    Aso, try another dealer or a brake shop that will look at them for free.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    "As the vehicle travels about 35 MPH and faster there is a clicking sound coming when the break pedal is depressed. The faster you are traveling the quicker the clicking sound."


    On some cars some years back,that clicking noise when brake was applied, meant it's time for new brake shoes. Not sure they have them do that now or not.
  • When I try to cold start my 97 Grand Voyager, it doesn't attempt to turn over; no noise, nothing. The electrical system apppears to be working; display is up, lights work, radio works, etc. After a 10 -15 seconds of leaving the battery running, I try again and the car turns over with no problem. While the car is warm, I can start the car without this delay.


    Anyone have any ideas of the problem.


  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Could be your starter is beginning to go out. If you are handy, it is quite easy to replace most starters, however my '96 Caravan starter has not gone out yet, so I haven't looked at it to determine accesibility. Usually there are only a couple of bolts and a couple of wires to disconnect and reconnect.


    If it looks easy to do and you are up to it, I would buy a replacement (usually rebuilt) starter at one of the major parts places, like Autozone, Napa or Advance Auto Parts and change it out yourself. That way you are only out the fairly minor cost of the starter than a big bill at a repair shop.
  • Hello, I'm actually writing for my sis who's comp is down at this time. She just bought a 1992 dodge caravan (automatic). She says that sometimes the vehicle will not shift from 2nd to 3rd, and also sometimes it will only go into reverse as well. She says that it doesnt happen all the time, but when it does, if they turn the vehicle off and on 3 times it (resets) itself and works properly again until the next time. I have never heard of anything like this before but she says that a few garages have told her that its either the "brain" OR the "tranny" and theres no way to tell until it actually goes. Does this van have an electronic tranny? Could the brain effect the tranny in this manner, or in anyway for that matter?
    If anyone has any idea of what the problem could be, please write me back and let me know. i would like to help her out as she spent all the money they had on this vehicle and now are afraid to take it anywhere, and I would also like to learn myself what could cause such behavior.
    Thanks much in advance!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Check in Chrysler minivans transmission problems too; but I wouldn't post your email address in a public forum. You're guaranteed to get lots more spam if you do.

    Steve, Host
  • I'm seriously frustrated... here's the scoop...
    just bought a used 02 Caravan with 90,000km's.. upgraded from our 97(or so i thought)...
    It has a strange front end noise... took to my mechanic and replaced the struts, strut mounts.. was substantially better, but the 'bang' was still there when you went over 'washboard' bumps... seemed like the spider gear inside the rack and pinion was shot, so changed the rack and outer tierod..(all this and this van was just safetied less than 100km's ago)... then took it in for an alignment... this mechanic i know said he can hear the problem (also noticeable when you are in park and you rock the steering wheel side to side), with the stethoscope he told me you can hear it in the rack and in the struts and in the tierods!! The only thing that isn't new are the wheel bearings and ball joints... so he told me to take it back to my shop and take the plugs out of the balljoints and put in a grease nipple and grease the balljoints... well i did this, and now it seems WORSE!!.. yet there doesn't seem to be any 'play' in the ball joints...
    could somebody help me???? Could it be ball joints??? I'm at a loss!!!
  • My wife is just starting to experience similar behaviour on our 98 Caravan. Radio/clock shutting off while driving. She didn't mention the wiper/blower but did mention that the electric door locks wouldn't work when she shut off the vehicle.

    I disconnected the negative lead on the battery as mentioned in other threads and this took care of the problems...or so I thought. I took the vehicle in for an electrical diagnostic and they couldn't find anything wrong but now the speedometer won't work. It's going back in for more diagnostics next week.

    I'm concerned about the wipers as we live in Michigan and the climate is anything but kind right now.

    I'll let you know what we find and please share any solutions you end up with.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Has anyone changed the sway bar links and the sway bar rubber bushings? If they haven't I would do that. In fact that is probably the first thing I would do before getting into more expensive items.
  • I bought a 2001 Grand Caravan about three weeks ago. two of those weeks it has been in the shop. Two days after getting it home, the speedo started bouncing around, and then pegged itself under the zero. Before I could get it back to the dealer, the Tach started bouncing as well, and I started having shifting problems. I figured it was the speed sensor and took it in. they couldn't find a problem with it so they called Chrysler and were told it was the main computer. they replaced the computer and the speed sensor, drove it 20 miles or so and gave it back. Two days later same thing happened. Took it back in, they replaced the ground wires to the computer and the speed sensor. Got it back three days ago. Now it is happening again. Any thoughts? I'm done with dodge. I'm done with that dealership. PLEASE HELP!!!

  • jjtjjjtj Posts: 103
    I have an 03 Dodge GC.. had the clunking noise when going over bumps. Replaced the sway bar links and the problem is gone. You might try that, I think it's a common problem on these vans.
  • I have the same probleme with my 97 Grand Caravan, for several yeasr now. I am very interested in the answer, how to disable the chime, other than spending sevral hundred dollars.
  • Hi, we just purchased a '01 Town and Country that is equipped with a power liftgate. It will not open by itself like it is supposed to using any of the buttons; it has to be opened manually. It beeps and clicks, but then nothing. Anyone know what would be wrong with it, and about how much it costs to fix?

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