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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • bob80bob80 Posts: 1
    My 96 caravan (134,000 miles) does the same thing. Goes about 40 miles and will stumble, buck and die. After setting for about 30 min. will start and run. Engine light on. Dealer could not get van to repeat but code was for timing. He thought it could be fuel pump. Did not replace and van is running ok around town but afraid to take back on highway. Already had towed home twice. Any suggestions from those who have had same problem?

  • I am still looking for more info on the A/C compressor problems on '02 GC. I would like to know how to find tsb's and other info like that. thanx
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Factory service manuals and owners' books, through Dyment Distribution: fax 440 572 0815, phone (North America, possibly elsewhere) 800 890 4038.

    here's the link page, though you may very well have run across it yourself:

    Unfortunately, Helm Inc. does not seem to sell a service manual for Chrysler stuff. Just about everything I've ever needed to do on my Accord is in the Helm OEM Manual.

    The service manuals are worth the search, I've had Haynes and Chilton and they don't begin to compare (though they aren't really aimed at the same audience). But just recently in fact with the Haynes was just plain wrong about something I needed to do and even the picture was wrong for my year even though according to the book it should have worked.

    Get the service manual and you will be able to figure it out.

    good luck!
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Bryaninoregon, click the "Maintenance Guide" link on Tips Page to find Technical Service Bulletins for just about any vehicle.


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • I live in SC, but my wife is taking care of her father's funeral in MI, so I am trying to diagnose this problem long distance. The radiator was recently replaced due to a crack in it, but some similar problems/symptoms are occuring. Sometimes (not all the time, but too many times to ignore), at highway speed (70+ MPH), with the a/c on, the temperature gauge slowly inches up past the normal range. It does not reach the point where the engine overheat dash signal comes on -- yet -- but it does go up too high and too freqently for my liking. The a/c will start blowing warmer air. (On the way up to MI, she was stuck on the highway for over 2 hours due to an accident, in hot weather, and at the beginning of this stand-still, w/the a/c on, the gauge started creeping up. She turned a/c off and gauge went back down to normal range for duration of stand-still.) My brother-in-law just yesterday replaced the upper radiator hose, saying there was a crack in it. My wife drove it immediately after that with no problems, however later when she drove it that day on the highway, the same problem occurred. Any help/suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
  • mhipchenmhipchen Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan. While driving it one day not far from homeit jerked twice and the transmision blew up.Parts flew out of the bell housing on to the road. It did'nt have 40,000 miles yet.I know that the warranty ran out at 36,000 I contacted Chryslers help line. They wanted the original reciept, sounded fishy,I copied it at Kinkos and sent it off.Chrysler got back to me stating that there was nothing that they could do. I'd like to know if this happened to anyone else.What do I do now?
  • Thanx Claires, Hopefully the info we need is in there. :)
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    It sounds a lot like the other radiatior was blocked inside and that the system was not blown out properly. The debris could have circulated out of the old radiator and then be causing intermittent blockages in the new one. But if they did a good job flushing out the system before the replacement then this should not be the case.

    Considering it still heats up on the highway, I guess you can nearly rule out a cooling fan problem.

    Does it lose coolant at all?

    You could check the thermostat for proper operation or just go ahead and replace it. Takes about 15 mins and is usually a cheap part. It could be failing intermittently and trapping coolant.

    check back if you figure it out
  • pete77pete77 Posts: 12
    My '96 Grand Caravan is blowing warm air on the AC when the car is stopped in traffic. However, when we are moving - either city driving or on the freeway, the AC is blowing cool air.

    Any suggestions on what is causing this and what can be done to fix it.

  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    Obviously you need someone to check that a/c out but here are some possibilities:

    1) Low refrigerant charge.

    2) Check the condensor. If the compressor stops at idle it is probably running hot and the safety switch shuts the compressor down. It may be obstructed.

    3) Check the fan clutch to ensure proper operation. It may not be spinning fast enough at a stop to cool things off.

    4) In a related check, make sure all fans are working properly. If they aren't then it won't be cool at a stop. Airflow at higher speeds helps to cool things down. You may just not have enough air going over the condensor.

    give us a heads up if you find out what it is
  • cathccathc Posts: 3
    In my 98 Grand Caravan, both the front and rear 12V power supplies are not functioning. I checked the fuse chart, but there is no fuse listed for power supply. Everything else is working fine. Is there an easy way to fix this? Any help would be appreciated.
  • lastwraith: I flushed the system prior to the installation of the new radiator, so I don't think that is the problem but I will keep it in mind. I have told my wife just to go ahead and have someone put in a new thermostat for her since that is relatively cheap. Re: coolant loss, I don't know right now, because when it overheated the other day my brother-in-law decided it was a good idea to open the radiator cap with the engine hot, giving him a nice burn and causing the car to spray coolant. I'll have someone check on it in a few days.

    I am curious if you know about the operation of the twin cooling fans on this car. When should they come on: all the time? With the a/c on? Only when car starts to operate above normal temp? And, are both of them to come on, or just one and then the other kicks in upon the occurrence of a certain event (a/c, above normal temp, etc.). I am wondering if, for some reason, only one fan is coming on when two should be on.

    The interesting thing about this problem is that at speeds in excess of 70 mph for an extended period of time, the above normal temp will occur, but if you drop it down to 70 or lower, the temp goes back to normal range.

  • cathccathc Posts: 3
    I used incorrect terminology in message 3025, "power supply not working" (it was late!). What I was (am) referring to are the power outlets. Thanks again for any help.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Of all the factory manuals I've ever used, the Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth are the best in my opinion. They contain the most accurate and often other information that others do not. You will not have any trouble understanding them.

  • pete77pete77 Posts: 12

    I will have someone check it out and give you an update.

  • can you tell me where the serpentine belt idler tension pulley is???
    My brother-in-law was trying to get the new serpentine belt back on w/ the help of another person but they can't get it to go on easily....almost like the belts to small...but he also can't find the tensioner pulley?? can you possibly explain where he needs to look?? help!! :) please email me back
  • It is on a 1996 Chrysler minivan....Grand Caravan SE
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    On every DC van I have ever looked under the hood on there is a diagram showing how to weave the serpentine belt and the location of all the pulleys and the tensioner. you will need a long open end wrench to release the tension on the idler pulley until the serpentine belt is in position, then release the tensioner and it takes up all remaining slack in the belt. look for the diagram on the radiator support. please report back if you find it.
  • Bought this van used a few years ago. Front power outlet has never worked, but back one does (no problems with any other electrical features, either). Fuse is fine, so I took off the panel just underneath the power outlet. A wire that looks like it's ready to plug into something is hanging down, unplugged, but there is absolutely nowhere for it to go. There are other wires plugged in nearby (almost certainly the radio), but there is nowhere for this cord to go, and I'm almost certain it is connected to the power outlet. It's almost as if I'm missing an extension wire that goes into an outlet somewhere else.
    Anybody know what I can do here?
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    The power front outlet is controlled by 25 amp relay number 21.(Not a fuse) It is labeled cigar/acc relay it is located at top right of fuse box under the hood. If you have a relay in the top left swich the two to see if the cigar/acc outlet works, if not the wiring should be 1 red and 1 black wire going into a black 2 hole female connector that plugs into the rear of the power outlet. this info is from my 96 shop manual but I don't think it changed much until 2001
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