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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • An update on the $29K 1996 GCV-ES

    The horn, airbag, and cruise control were fixed by replacing the clock spring under the steering wheel ( $250.00 )
    The leaking transmission fluid was fixed by tightening them fancy clamps and rubber hoses Chrysler's been using for 4+ decades ($29.00)
    The Wipers were fixed by replacing the control stalk ( Number 3 ) Extended Warrenty
    The CD Player and Radio had to be replaced

    Thanks for listening and thanks for the horn tooting lessons boys!
  • The 2000 Caravan I have the transmission is slipping/jumping on the freeway at about 60 MPG while maintaining speed. Anyone else hade this happen? Do you have a clunking noise in the LR of the van? It sounds like a bottle rolling in the tire and goes away at acceleration. Please let me know. I am taking it in the Dodge on THURS. and telling them to FIX IT!
  • (Updated with proper spelling... :-)
    The 2000 Caravan I have the transmission is slipping/jumping on the freeway at about 60 MPH while maintaining speed. Has Anyone else had this happen? Do you have a clunking noise in the LR of the van? It sounds like a bottle rolling in the tire and goes away at acceleration. Please let me know. I am taking it in the Dodge on THURS. and telling them to FIX IT!
  • yeah..that is normal...
  • I have a 96' GC SE with 38k miles and have not had any major problems. One brake repair, two sliding door roller repairs and two recalls for items that were working fine at the time, all under warranty. Transmission seems fine, no noises or slipping at varying speeds. The van is quiet at most speeds below 90 mph. (gets noisy at 110).
    Suppose I should have the transmission fluid and filter changed soon but beyond tires, brakes, oil and wiper blades I haven's spent any major time getting to know my local Dodge service dept. Some of you folks have had so many problems I think you could have solved a lot it with a rural untraveled road, a match and a long walk to the nearest telephone. Good luck with your new manufacturer!
  • I have a 96 Grand Caravan LE with 46,000 mi on it and we have had numerous problems. We have had the turn signal stalk and turn signal itself replaced. The whole radio replaced. Two recalls. One on the rad. fan. Another on the fuel pump. The transmission jerks heavily. Horrible in the snow. Suspension sounds as if it going to fall off from underneath the car. Ohh yeah one day we were at the shore and the window wouldnt go up. I was fuming. They saw no problem but just banged on the door and It was fine. After 6 months of banging on a door you can get really annoyed. They had to replace the window switch twice ans then found out that it was the motor. That had to be replaced. The same thing happened on the back vent window. Both on the same side...drivers. We have had the CHECK ENGINE SOON light on and they said that the emissions computer had to be reaplced. We have had two sets of brakes. And the thing eats oil. We have to put a quart in every month. We really take care of it and use only Chrysler Products. Oh yes we have so many noises comeing from the steering wheel you might as well have the radio on. The back seat also jerks too. Our from cupholder/money tray jingles all the time too. We are really sick of it. We have a 91 Honda Accord with 99k on it and have had only routine maintinence(hope i spelled that right!). I would never buy anyhting but a honda again.

    I went to the auto show here in phila and I tried closing te doors of the honda and they felt like a mercedes. Closing the door of our van is like smashing garbage can tops together. Tin ones nonethless. When we go into our Honda everyhtin is so quiet. Go into the CHryisler and it sound like you are at a football game.

    Despite all of the problems we still love our van. But an oddessy may be coming soon!
  • than Tayalynn had with her 1999 Odyssey.
  • Get a life, carletonl, will you please. Are you paid to do this? They say Paxil works well for obsessive-compulsive disorder, you know.:-)
  • Sounds like your 96 Caravan is a lemon did you know that. If I were you, you would take it bact to the Dodge dealer and get a refund beacause I have never heard of so much problems in your Caravan.
  • I bought my 96 GC ES in 1996 used with 23K miles on it. The previous owner traded it for an SUV. The only problem he experienced was the failure of the CD compartment door latch.

    I have been very pleased with the performance and reliability of this car. I have 62K miles on it now. The only maintenance, other than normal wear, brakes, wiper blades, etc..has been the replacement of the radio,CD,tape unit, idler/tension pulley, transmission seal, rear window motor, and two more CD door latches. All replaced under warranty..standard and extended. Oh, and two occasions of body work correcting dents my wife incurred in learning to back up the van.

    I will purchase an extended warranty on my next vehicle major repair will pay for it.

    We are now shopping for a new GC ES...We're really disappointed with the color choices.
  • I am considering purchasing a Dodge Caravan (not the Grand Caravan.)

    Living in Texas, I am concerned that the "front only" AC won't be sufficient for our 100-plus heat. Does anyone have any experience with this?
  • My sister-in-law in Oklahoma City had a new '88 Grand Caravan without rear air and AC was an issue. Here in Dallas, we have had rear air in all of our Grand Caravans and would not buy a van without it. I have not owned a Caravan, but I don't think I would be happy without rear air in one if I was going to carry passengers behind the front seat in summer. The regular Caravan is not that much shorter than the Grand Caravan.
  • I had a 93 Caravan without rear air. I live im Missouri, so not as hot as texas, but still plenty warm.. what we saw was it took a while.. once you got going it was ok.... but, front seat passengers might get a tad frigid trying to cool the rear. one warning..get the heavy tint windows. makes a real difference. I really like the short van. I have a GC now, but for a lot of applications that short van is neat. And it is not that small...
  • this is first van with rear heat and air..heats up the whole cabin a lot faster. run the rear heat even when nobody is in the back... once heated up you can cut it off.... and some days when it is just cool.. we only run the rear heat..
  • Well, carleton1, time once again to expose your lack of honesty. Having read what turned out to be your fiction of being provoked by Odyssey owners causing trouble in the Caravan problems thread, I went back to Jan 99 and read *every* posting in that thread up to your first nastygram about Honda which was #383 on 26 Aug 99. There was *one*, just one, from a Honda owner, #169 on 22 Feb 99, which was not in the slightest inflammatory or in any way negative toward Caravans. ("As an odyssey owner, I'm not exactly
    unbiased...but reading about all the problems with
    the CC's transmissions made me Sooo glad of my
    choice. If you want to know more about the Odyssey, come over to the Odyssey discussion
    groups." Really offensive, eh?) From that one posting there were then *none*, zero, nada, no more, until *your* first nastygram about Honda headlined "Mythical Honda Reliability." So who started all this baloney here, carleton1? Not any Odyssey owner(s), but YOU! That's right, YOU! In case you've forgotten, here's the negative baloney about both Honda and Toyota which you chose to write, utterly unprovoked, last August.

    "Why have 3 of the 7 Honda Accords owned by people
    that I personally know have needed major repairs re(transmissions, engines, electrical) whereas NOT one of the many owners of Caravans, Voyagers and Town and Countrys have had problems? We wanted an Odyssey but after hearing these problems with Hondas, I do NOT dare buy the so-called "reliable" Honda!

    As for the Toyota Sienna, why can't Toyota design a decent looking van at a reasonable price? The Previa was the ugliest van on the market...was way over priced, grossly underpowered, etc. The earlier Toyota vans were also very ugly. The Sienna is one of the ugliest of the current vans.

    My experience with foreign name vehicles we owned was that the dealerships were far more hostile to the owner than any American dealership has treated us. The foreign name vehicle had VERY expensive parts and service was more costly."

    Even better, posting #384 from guitarzan, made immediately after yours, chastised you to "please stick to the topics at hand. This topic is about specific problems with Caravans."

    In conducting this exercise, I did get the chance to read about two hundred impassioned, angry postings by frustrated Caravan owners describing their horrific experiences with Caravans. So it's no wonder that you, a seemingly fanatical Chrysler minivan partisan, after reading all of these unfortunate stories, could take it no longer, and responded with the first of your groundless and emotional attacks on two companies which happen to make reliable minivans. What's truly troubling is that, in your unwillingness to believe that Chrysler vans are trouble-prone, or even that *anyone* could possibly have a problem with one, you further insult these people who already seem to have enough troubles by calling them liars. ("Looks like another Odyssey owner spreading lies in a DC Forum.") What nonsense, carleton1.

    I would recommend that whoever is moderating this thread ban you from Edmunds Town Hall for making irresponsible statements such as the one above about your fellow Town Hall members. Just what is it you are trying to do--bully people so that they won't write about their bad experiences with Caravans?
  • You are trying to reason with the unreasonable; just ain't gonna happen.
  • r10r10 Posts: 6
    dhaxton hit the nail on the head: Can't reason with the unreasonable. dhaxton fits the shoe perfectly and is a well known DC basher.
    capecodder: have you read in Forum #123?(now archived). You obviously have not been reading long enough to identify all of the Odyssey owners who have made a profession of bashing Chrysler products. Since you love the Odyssey and were offended when I re-stated problems of the Odyssey I had read in Odyssey forums, you have looked for postings to support your one-sided Odyssey view. Those who like Chrysler can find as many or more to support the Chrysler view point.
    Frankly, it is not worth my time to go back to identify all of them for you. Your mind is closed and you think the Odyssey is the only true van. If I did not have a pickup, the Odyssey would have been the best to haul cargo.
    Since I have a reliable pickup, I value the nice comfort items of the Chrysler vans and they are thus better for me and people who do not need to haul cargo.
  • r10r10 Posts: 6
    And yet Odyssey owners cry "foul" when someone does the same about the Odyssey?
    No one has yet answered my question. This is NOT an Odyssey forum so really you do not belong here if you own an Odyssey!
  • r10r10 Posts: 6
    Town Hall User Profile
    Sorry 1avengingangel, there is no user .
    As this is the message I get when I click onto r-10.
  • r10r10 Posts: 6
    And thanks again capecodder for the descriptive
    title. Now, why does the Town Hall list me as r-10 when I am really 1avengingangel?
    (Karen S. got it corrected once before)
  • Quite simply, carleton1 (or do you prefer r10?), we are here because you insist on bashing Odysseys (and, as we've now seen, Siennas as well) on a thread titled Dodge Caravan problems (for which you've been told to stay "on-topic" by guitarzan). And, as we've also seen, you bash them with utter disregard for the facts. So, I guess we're here to keep you honest, which is a seemingly impossible task given your track record.
  • Thank you, carleton1, for pointing out thread #123, titled "Is there anything GOOD to say about
    Crysler[sic]/Dodge Minivans." I did the same thing there that I did for the original "Dodge Caravan problems" thread and subsequently described above--went back to 1 Jan 1999 and read all the postings until I encountered the first mention of you, carleton1. Here's what I found.

    The first posting by a Honda owner was again by dave594, #153 posted 10 Mar 99: " mean they're still using pushrod engines in the Caravan, lol? Hey, this is the 1990s, not the 1940s! Note I can say that, because my Odyssey has a sweet 3.5L, 24 valve, all aluminum
    DOHC engine. NICE!"

    A necessary posting? No, but hardly inflammatory. And five months before your first appearance in the thread, in any case. Then there were two postings (#173 and #217 in March and June, respectively) by brianinoh, who is now an Odyssey owner but who may not have been at the time of these postings. Neither posting made any mention of the Odyssey and neither was in *any* way critical of the Caravan. #173, in fact, mentioned some interesting features he had read about in an article on the 2001 DC vans. A positive posting for DC if it was anything.

    Reading further, I found two postings in August 99 had been deleted (#252 and #253). Then I came to the very next posting (#254) by guitarzan, on Aug 8!! Ready for this, carleton1!! Here goes: "Carleton, you have my curiosity peaked! What were the exact causes of those 2 engine failures, did they tell you? I've never heard of Accord engines dying, unless they were abused."

    So here we go again, carleton1. In a thread which had nothing to do with Hondas, Odysseys, or Accords, and in which there was *nothing* significant in the way of Honda or Odyssey owners "bashing" Dodge minivans, you, carleton1, *again* brought up your hokum about the reliability of Honda products. So, carleton1, once again, the cross-brand bashing was started by YOU! That's right, carleton1, by YOU! Not by Honda or Ody owners.

    So please stop whining about Ody owners saying things you don't like about DC minivans in any of these threads. This whole problem was started by YOU, not by Honda or Odyssey owners.

    As always, facts are the enemy of carleton1 and his baloney.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    There are several hidden posts. An explanation is posted in About the Vans Conference topic.

    Vans host

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  • I was the one that wrote message 117...please read that and maybe that will stop you from getting the DC. I wouldnt ever buy a Chrysler again. All I have to say is thank god that I got an extended warranty. Event though I have the warranty i have to pay the first hundred dollar and I have spent about 1500 dollars on that car for problems...not even routine maintinece! After reading the problems that you had I am surprised that you are even happy with your current GC> I really reccomend not getting a Chrysler,. I really dont think that you have to go buy a honda but try The windstar or the venture.
  • I am sorry that you had so much trouble. I have been driving Chrysler minis for 13 trouble-free years. Wish I had good advice for a person on what determines whether you are going to be happy with your purchase. All I know is that I am on my third one and if it performs like the last 2, I will some day get my 4th.
  • Transmission shifts ok, but have an up front noise (sharp knock)that sounds like what you would hear if you struck the oil pan with a hammer. Noise usually disappears during cold weather. Noise was only sporadic about 18 months ago; a DC service tech said this is "normal" for the DC, and tried to re-create the noise by rocking the car when it was in park (of course, no noise when he tried). Now, the noise is quite frequent, occurring almost always at the instant of deceleration and in the lower range of speeds.
  • dcrislerdcrisler Posts: 118
    But you need to go to another mechanic... but it does not sound normal... sounds like the "R" word... as in rod knocking.
  • Guess my description was somewhat lacking about the knocking noise. It is external to the engine. It sounds as if it is coming from the vicinity/juncture of transaxle and transmission(?). From the drivers seat it sounds close to fire wall. Is there a coupling or joint (you can tell I am not a mechanic, can't you..)that could be responsible for the noise, something that with mileage (85K) age would cause wear/play?
    Do appreciate your reply, though. It is more than I got from a rather mentally-lame service manager yesterday via the phone.
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