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Trouble With Dodge Grand Caravan

gcan1gcan1 Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Dodge
96 Dodge Grand Caravan emits a single "click" when
ignition key turned. After two or three attempts
engine starts and runs fine. Tried jumper cables
and got the same result. Battery is 7 months old
and, while a little weak, is capable of starting my
other car. Plan to take to the shop over the
weekend but wanted to know what I should expect. I
suspect either a bad coil or the starter motor but
did not know whether the symptoms were unique to
one or the other. Any advice appreciated.


  • bill11770bill11770 Posts: 29
    I had the same problem you described on my old boneville. It turned out to be the starter motor.
    Well, that's my two cents.... i hope this helps.
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    the starter to me...

  • gcan1gcan1 Posts: 2
    Service manager said the same thing. I was just hoping it would be a simpler, cheaper fix. Thanks again.
  • woody98woody98 Posts: 1
    Town and Country does the same thing, let me know if the starter is the fix.

  • daclark1daclark1 Posts: 4
    Our 96 Town & Country with 75K miles just started doing the same thing. It started out with just one failed attempt and now is up to 3 or 4 before starting. I was thinking starter or loose starter wire. Was the starter the problem after all?
  • My '97 Grand Caravan Sport w/53,000 miles has been doing it too for a few months. The service manager says it's a bad battery but I don't think so because the car will be fine for a couple of weeks & then do it a couple of days in a row. The salesman says it's the ignition switch. Also, sometimes after it finally does start the speedometer & tach don't work but the o/gauges do.
  • daclark1daclark1 Posts: 4
    I replaced the starter on Friday myself for $100. So far started on every attempt, but I have not driven it much as it is up for sale at a used car lot for the weekend. Wife will drive it again this week where we'll find out if this fixed the problem. Will post again if problem still exists.
  • pmarinipmarini Posts: 6
    Our 1995 grand voyager has a terrible 'shimmy' betwen 45 and 55 MPH. The dealer has replaced axel and transmission, and now says it can not be fixed.

    And they offer no remedie.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    Any suggestions?
  • lrawson3lrawson3 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Town & Country and since the first week we got it we have had problems.... a new gas tank... which has been the only think covered ..when it rains it leaks under the dash and has shorted out the radio... we have had the transmission worked on and if I would have gone just 30 more miles they said I would have had to get a new transmission... we have 3 roters and calipers on the front right in just 2 months and now it is leaking anti-freeze has anyone else had these problems... have more but to many to list... wanting to get another before we go broke....
  • i have 40,000 miles i found out today my head gasket is leaking. Since new i have had an oil pan leak 2 speakers replaced in the better sound system power stearing hoses changed a power door lock replaced, valve covers leaking at 30,000 miles anyone else have some of these problems ?/
  • cfgtxcfgtx Posts: 1
    I have a 93 grand caravan which had a very intermittent starting problem. When I turned the key, I could hear a click, but nothing more. Sometimes persistence would pay off and it would start. I replaced the starter but that didn't fix the problem. What finally fixed it was replacing the starter relay ... ($15). It had a bad contact.

    hope this helps someone save $$$
  • hudel1hudel1 Posts: 1
    try adjusting the engine/tranny left-to right position with the slotted right (passenger) side engine mount by loosening the two bolts, and then shifting the mount to another position. The shimmy should go away once the the engine/tranny is at the right spot. I had this problem with a 1992 caravan, and the adjusting took a lot of time with trial-and-error adjusting of the engine mount back and forth, but it helped in the end. Also, check for binding front brake calipers, rooted driveshafts (high mileage or ruptured rubber boots), and for correct frame alignment.
  • honn1honn1 Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Grand Caravan that will shut off as I am driving it or won't start. It will start after I keep trying or if I wait awhile. We've had the battery replaced along with a major tune up. We are ready to trade it in.
  • gkdeangkdean Posts: 1
    Our 1995 Grand Caravan will stop running for no apparent reason. It will restart but will only keep running by keeping the accelerator engaged. The engine light will come on and will stay on for awhile and then go out. We have had the car to the dealer and they state that computer chaeck says battery trouble. This all began after a recall for recall fix that had to do with the rear wiper shorting out. Any idea's?
  • kbmartinkbmartin Posts: 1
    We had the starter replaced about a year ago and started having problems again in January. Stalled twice while driving, but started again. Have had problems starting it at least once a week for past month. It's in the shop for the 4th time in a month today. Was told at first that it needed another new starter, but I said that a 4 year old van should not need to have 3 different starters. They tightened a connector wire, checked/replaced the relay and a week ago replaced a power control module (which was covered under the emissions warranty). Took it back in this morning because it wouldn't start twice yesterday. We've also had the transmission go out (at 37,000 miles) and the problem with the wipers turning on intermittently (also at 37,000 miles), which they repaired. Van has 69,000 miles.
  • jakerojakero Posts: 2
    I also have a 95 Grand Caravan that stalls for no reason. It seems to happen when its raining or if it is hot out. I've taken it in to be checked out but they don't have any idea what it is. It probably happens about once a month, and it starts right back up after it happens. Other than this problem the car has been pretty good. 115K miles and still the original transmission. Any body have a solution?
  • sgruber1sgruber1 Posts: 2
    I have replaced the starter on my 1996 caravan . symptoms 1 click after a few tries it started. The dealer told me right away that it was the starter. I did the work myself. when I ordered the part they told me they sell a lot of them, they
    have starters for 3.3l engines in stock $105.15
    not cheap.
  • dmesimerdmesimer Posts: 1
    For those of you who have either staring problems of engine cutting off with the 3.3 V6, the problem could be the intake may have a build up of carbon in the throttle body. I have needed mine cleaned on several occasions and it has worked well. By the way, I have a 91 Caravan with 180,000.
  • metsmanmetsman Posts: 1
    My dodge dealer cannot seem to repair my sensor lite that keeps coming on. He replaceed spark plugs, then plug wires - no luck. Mine is a 96
    G>C ES, 3.8 liter. Any answers??
  • jakerojakero Posts: 2
    Could be your oxygen sensor. If it is, your car would be running pretty rough. It should be replaced every 60K miles. I just had it done and it costed 90.00 for the part and 40.00 labor.
  • lpsmithlpsmith Posts: 1
    90 dodge gr caravan was clicking but no start (two events over past few years) Each time the fix was to replace the solenoid (part of starter) copper contacts (disk is still original and ok after 132K miles). It's easy to see the wear if you take it apart. Too cheap to pay the $150 for a whole starter like dealer and chains wanted me to do, I visited the first auto electric place I found w/starter in hand and they replaced the parts for about $15 while I waited. Next time they wore out (only a couple years later), called another auto electric and they sold me the new contacts for $5 and gave me a handful of worn spares. They were easy to replace and it's been going fine for at least 5 years on my repair and the spares are still in my toolbox. Washer hard/impossible to replace and can appear worn, but they work 'forever' according to the helpful guys at the second place and my experience.
  • drtandemdrtandem Posts: 1
    I had a used '91 voyager(3.3L) that also would not start at times. It got worse and worse. A couple of times it would not shut off. The starter motor continued to run. I had to disconnect the battery to shut it off. I then had it towed to my mechanic as I was afraid to start it again. He was unable to duplicate the trouble the day it was in his shop(of course). I think it was either the solenoid or the relay. I didn't want to mess with it as I was about to buy a new Caravan(2000). So far, no trouble with it(knock on wood). I traded it into the dealer.

    I also would like to note that I had a new(at the time) '90 caravan. 4 cyl. turbo and never had any trouble with it.
  • rmeyer4rmeyer4 Posts: 1
    I know this topic is happening to other Caravan owners. My 96 Grand Caravan ES clicks when I turn the key occassionally. Then I try it again and it will finally turn over and start fine. Sometimes after it starts, the speedometer and tachometer won't work. I have not taken it in yet to have it looked at. If anyone out there has had this similar problem and had it fixed, please email me so I know what needs to be done. I don't want the service shop to charge me a lot of money if I know what the problem is. Your help is much appreciated. My email address is [email protected] Thanks for the help.
  • 200car200car Posts: 1
    My Grand Caravan 3L V6 autotrans has been running great until now- When trying to start it, it sounds like the engine tries to start up then quickly halts. After the fourth try I finally got it started. The problem hasn't occurred again, but there is a hesitation after I start it, as if the engine may quit, before it idles. That never happened before. These are probably my warning signs-Any ideas on what it could be are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • gary114gary114 Posts: 1
    My 1996 Grand Caravan also shuts off, while driving. The service center told me to use the highest octane gasoline possible to alleviate this problem. The higher octane, usually 93, actually works, although with the current gas prices, it is costly.

    I have also had sporadic problems with the starter on the 96 Grand Caravan. The service center is aware of this problem, but does not have a solution. My starter works fine for a month, and then won't start for 3 or 4 tries for a few days. The starter then works fine for a time period.
  • Several years ago I purchased a five year old 1988 Dodge Caravan 3.0L SE, 35,000. I now have over 167,000 on this minivan and it still runs like new. Since I transferred the factory warranty over ($100) I used the warranty at just under 60K Miles to receive repairs on a oil leak (seal), new complete heads (recalled-high oil consumption), and the transaxel rebuilt/updated (slipping reverse and also on recall).

    It uses less than 1-qt. oil between changes (10W-30 or 10W-40). Shocks and struts have been replace. If have over 60K miles and plan to keep it for a while, I would highly recommend this since handling was highly improved.

    I've have had similar problems as others on starting, and engine stalling, and will give my 2-cents worth.

    The no start (click-click then starts) is the copper contacts in the solenoid of the starter as mention in another post. You can replace the entire starter ($100+labor) or replace the contacts ($10+labor). This is after you have troubleshot this system, since other factors can be involved.(Weak/dead battery) I'm still on my original starter and second pair on contacts. My original contacts lasted about 85K miles. I have also done this on a 2.6L 1984 Caravan. Since this starter is used on several other models and other brands of cars, (example:Toyota, Mitsubushi), it's good info.

    Second the stalling like it's "running out of gas" (slow shut-down), rather than "turning off the key" (quick shut-down), tends to be fuel related. After common things are checked, (fuel filter, restrictions/leaks), the fuel pump should be suspect. This will generally not be seen on the carb. models, but mostly with the fuel injected systems, since higher pressures are required (about 50psi). This problem is highly intermitted, and makes it hard to troubleshoot. Try to aggravate the problem by running the fuel tank low on fuel. When the problems occurs, check the fuel pressure and volume.

    Coolant leaks can be from the water pump on 3.0L engines. Since it is hidden from sight and is driven by the timing belt, it can be difficult to troubleshoot and replace. If a head gasket is suspect, have a radiator shop do a test on it. They use a chemical to check for unburned hydrocarbon and it is cheaper than having a mechanic using a sniffer.

    Hope this helps...David
  • bikaloubikalou Posts: 1
    I got a 1988 Dodge caravan. The rear drum brakes, and mostly the left one, easily locks the first times I hit the brakes, even smoothly. Afterward it's OK. The pads are OK, like 30% used. I wonder the reason of that. Could the drums be out of specs? could that explain this phenomena?
    A mechanic told me the drums could be oval (not circular anymore), but I don;t feel anything when I brake and the problem disapears when the brakes have been used a few times. Any clue?
  • victork1victork1 Posts: 1
    My family owns a 1992 Grand Caravan, and it has same problems with rear breaks, we were/are trying to solve, but not yet found out the soon as we will, I'll post it here right away...
  • ptoddptodd Posts: 2
    My Caravan has only stopped a few times, but lately it seems to be doing it more often. I appreciate everyones suggestions and will take them into consideration if I decide to keep the van. This is just one of the many annoying problems I have had since I purchased the van. Transmission went out at 13,000 miles, the latch on the back will not release the windshield wiper fluid on the back window does not work. Rear ashtray fell out. Interior moldings come off etc.............. I will NEVER own another Caravan.
  • ptoddptodd Posts: 2
    Has anyone had problems with their gas gauge? Mine stuck a few times, but always got better. Now it is just going bonkers. Any suggestions. It's a 1994 Grand Caravan.
This discussion has been closed.