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2009 Dodge Caravan - Strange Problem

tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
edited January 2019 in Dodge
I just purchased a brand new 2009 Dodge Caravan SXT 4.0L/6sp (auto) about 2 months ago.

I've had this problem twice now. Both times, under same conditions. Normal temp, normal driving (passing), vehicle warm.

I would be traveling down the highway, passing another vehicle. Then all of a sudden the vehicle would start shaking violently (like I was lugging it) and then engine light would start flashing. When this occurs, then engine runs rough, the light continues to flash and even normal acceleration causes the vehicle to shake. Even if I slow down to 30-40 the vehicle continues to shake violently upon even slight acceleration. The light continues to blink and ding until the vehicle is turned off.

The first time this happened, the vehicle died and I coasted onto the shoulder. Both times this occurred, I let the vehicle sit for 20-30 minutes and everything returned to normal and I could not reproduce the issue.

I've taken it to the dealer and they say no codes are stored, except for an unrelated "inverter overload" code. I've never used the interior power inverter so not sure why this is even showing up. But they say, the computer should have stored a code and they expected to see a "misfire" code but did not. It was passed off as possible bad gas. But now it has happened twice.

The vehicle currently has about 4000 miles on it and the dealer has thus far been unable to nail down the problem.

To me it feels like an engine problem but acts like the vehicle is stuck in 6th gear and put under a load (lugging).

Any help?


  • jpfjpf Member Posts: 496
    I would ask the dealer to scan the computer module for any updates. It may not solve the problem but it shouldn't do any harm. Good luck.
  • tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
    UPDATE: This has happened 4 times now. This last time I limped it in to the dealer while it was happening and they connected a computer to it. The computer showed the #1 cylinder was missing continuously. They tried to trace down the problem but couldn't figure it out. Then they turned it off for a bit and restarted it. Whallah! Everything worked fine. Now it cannot be reproduced in order to trace the problem.

    This problem seems to happen only after the vehicle is warmed up and driven for an hour or so. Then it happens after the vehicle is put under a load (like passing) and will continue to misfire until the vehicle is turned off and then restarted.

    Cars at the dealer now and I have a loaner. Dealer is talking with Chrysler but they have yet been unable to pinpoint the problem. They plan to tear into the intake manifold today to check for stuck sticking sensor/valves..?

    I am getting frustrated that it's brand new and I am having the same strange problem. I hope they get it figured out.
  • tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
    I just got the van back today. They have replaced the crank sensor. They are not 100% sure whether this has fixed the problem. I have some driving to do the next couple of days so I will update this thread as to my findings.
  • bobh9bobh9 Member Posts: 1
    Have a 2009 4.0 Grand Caravan, the van has 4000 miles. We have had this problem since it was purchased, the engine dies when the temperature reaches the 1/4 on the temp gauge. To restart when driving, the engine needs to be in neutral and started once or twice and then it is OK, this only happens when the van sits overnight. Taking back to the dealer today, they could not find any problems up to now, they are keeping the van untill it is fixed. It is not safe to drive when you loose the power steering and turning a corner. Thanks bob
  • tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
    Van has been acting up all week, doing the same thing.

    The crankshaft sensor was replaced last time by suggestion of Chrysler Corp.

    Since I have been driving it, I have learned how to reproduce the error:

    1) Drive the vehicle until warm.
    2) Drive 65
    3) Stomp on the gas as if to pass (vehicle will downshift from 6th to 4th)
    4) Keep the pedal to the floor until the rpm's reach 5200

    Then the problem appears right at about 5200 rpm. The vehicle (engine) hesitates/jerks at 5200 rpm and the engine light comes on. Then the vehicle will misfire on cylinder #1 (even under slow/normal driving) until the key is reset (turned off, then back on). If traveling down the highway, you can shift to neutral (DISCLAIMER: this is dangerous!!), turn the key off, then back on, then shift back to drive and this is sufficient to reset the engine so that it will fire again on all cylinders. Like rebooting the computer fixes it....??

    I dropped it off again at the dealer today for service on Friday. The service person at the dealership says they now have three Chrysler's that are all doing this same thing and they have not figured out a remedy. Sounds like my van may be the guinea pig this week. They tell me Chrysler has not been able to provide any insight as to what's occurring. Once again, they tell me that they are going to tear into the manifold and start replacing parts.

    Does anyone know what the Lemon Laws for Kansas are? I have already had this in the dealership 4 times for this problem and no resolution is in sight. It currently has about 6500 miles on it. I've had it for under three months. :cry:
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,792
    What is the red line for your engine? 5200 is probably getting up there... maybe it is activating a rev limiter that is faulty?

    6500 miles; that would just be infuriating.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
    The redline is 6000 rpms

    It shifts by 5600 rpms
  • ckearbyckearby Member Posts: 3
    my 97 grand voyager runs rough so i took it to auto zone they hooked computer to it and it showed code po300 does anybody know where i should start trying to fix this problem?
  • tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
    Different model. year, make, problem.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,792
    That's definitely not it, then. I bet this is vacuum/emissions related, but I really don't know how to pinpoint it. Will it happen when just the engine is revved to 5200, or only under the load conditions you described above? I would think a shop would have diagnostic devices they could hook up to the vacuum system to see if it is behaving as it should.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • cbowlescbowles Member Posts: 5
    Hello, I have a 1992 dodge caravan 3.3 L V6 that won't maintain it's idle. The car starts but won't run unless I keep my foot on the accelerator. I also noticed there was water coming out of the tail pipe (that may just be condensation, it was cold out)... I am worried the head gasket may be blown. Please Help!
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Your first order of business is for a cooling system pressure test and a cylinder leak down test. If you have a blown head gasket one or both of these tests will result in a positive. Short of those two, do you have coolant in your oil and/or oil in your coolant? Either would also indicate a potential head gasket issue.
  • melk2melk2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 GC, it has 123K. It is still supper clear. but lately, I noticed that the engine jerks on an rpm between 1000 and 1500 and when it is on the highest gear. Anyone has any idea what it might be?
  • tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
    Just a follow up to the original topic (eh-um):

    After 3 years, 105,000 miles, 13 visits to the dealership, 3 star cases opened with Chrysler, the dealer has finally solved the problem. They "hard-wired" the crankshaft position sensor" and now the original problem is solved, but not before it ruined the catalytic converter. Apparently, a misfire condition left unresolved will damage the catalytic converter requiring a heft repair bill. While Chrysler refused to pick up the tab for that, they did cover the CPS repair, whilst I had to deal with it for nearly the last three years. Now I've written the dealership and they say they will pickup the tab for the CC. Still, I don't think I'll ever buy a Dodge/Chrysler ever again after having been through the wringer on this one. A person should not have to beg a company kicking and screaming to make things right with the customer.
  • dunudunu Member Posts: 1
    I am experience the same issue. It started few months ago, the engine just shuts off on the road. It happens when the van runs steady at about 40-60 km/h with no up an downs. Never happened when idling. Rarely happened on the first trip in the morning (when cold), most likely to happen on the second one.
    Went to the dealer, unable to reproduce it, and no codes were stored in the PCM. They have suggested to replace the sparks and clean the injectors as well to upgrade the software. Problem still persists.
    tee10, what do you mean by "hard-wired" the CPS, have they ran another set of wires between the sensor to the PCM, because of a faulty wire/ connection problem?
  • tee10tee10 Member Posts: 10
    My problem was finally cured when they hardwired the CPS - I guess they ran another wire between the CPS and the computer that bypassed all the other connections. I'm not totally sure, but that is what they called it "Hardwire the crankshaft position sensor". Dealer: Lopp Motors, Dodge City.
  • nissanfixnissanfix Member Posts: 1
    Hello - I have a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country that has several of the same symptoms as your 2009 used to have. I have been trying for several months to get this van repaired. Because it is so intermittent and often does turn on the MIL light , codes this far have been misleading. The local Chrysler Dealer has not been able to resolve this...with my many years as a Nissan Tech...I have not been able to resolve this...many repairs have been tried so far none have repaired the vehicle. As a last resort I called the dealership you listed to get more detail on what "hard wiring the crankshaft position sensor" repair actually is. The Service Manager was cordial and listened to my problem...yet from the very start wanted to know your VIN number so he could look up the repair.
    Would you be kind enough to list your VIN only so hopefully I could get my Van fixed ?? Thank you !!
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