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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • gteachgteach Posts: 1
    There is a fan control module, it looks very similar to an old Delco ignition module. It is usually located on drivers side of engine compartment near the front, sort of under the battery tray area. It is a warranty item. there is a recall on this. Go to Chryslers web page or call the local dealer with your VIN # to find out if it is covered, The part is around 70 bucks I think.
  • I did a quick search and didn't find anything, so...

    I have a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan ES with 31,000 miles. Knock on wood, it has been very trouble free. I want it to stay that way so I asked my dealer if they recommend an auto trans service at 30,000. They said yes. They flush the fluid out and do not change the filter - cost is $140.

    Dodge sends me service coupons every few months and they usually have one for an "Automatic Tranmission Tune-up service drain/replace" for $119 (was $89 on my jan 05 coupon). The coupon says they change the filter, install new fluid, make nec adjustments, etc...

    I asked the tech advisor about the coupon and he said that it is not good for the "flush" service. I'd be interested in anyone's advice/experience. It's situations like this that make me think I should not listen to the dealer and just go by the manufacturer's service guidelines. Should I do the "flush", should I do the "drain" and get the filter replaced? Should I say the heck with it for now?
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    At 31,000 miles I would not get the trans flushed, especially if they are NOT going to change the filter? Under normal usage the owners manual says no trans service is needed for "life" of vehicle, but does require a pan drop, new filter and refill at 48,000 when used under "severe" conditions. I do not drive my van under severe conditions, but I will go for the pan drop, filter and refill at about 48-50,000 miles for my peace of mind, I will never get it flushed. Also never get fluid changed at any location but a DC dealership.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Yep, sounds like the same routing of the lines on our '96 T&C. I was wondering the same thing about the brake line material. Maybe the lines on our van came from a bad batch or something. We previously owned 2 other Chrysler-made minivans without any such problems. One was a '94 Grand Caravan LE with 72k miles before someone ran a red light and totaled it (no injuries); the other a '90 Grand Voyage SE that we drove for 15 years and 150k.

    I hope my original post doesn't panic anyone. I wouldn't have said anything except the guy from NHTSA (DOT) said they had received similar complaints and were investigating the matter, so there must be some validity to the problem. It won't stop us from buying another Chrysler minivan, however. In fact, my wife is trying to use this incident as an excuse to get a new one with Stow 'n Go! I get this kind of nervous chuckle every time she says that... :blush:
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    the shop did confirm that again it was a bad powertrain control module,,,they're sending it to an electronics shop in hopes of repairing it...only the dealer sells new ones...he thinks the underlying cause of them going bad is a bad coil so i'll replace that too....good luck with yours....
  • ginnygginnyg Posts: 1
    2001 grand caravan windows radio ac take 30 seconds up to 5 minutes to work when I start the van. Occasionally they will all work when I just turn the ignition key. Just noticed the malfuntion indicator light came on the dash. Can anybody help me?
  • jgablejgable Posts: 2
    How did the repair go? I have same exact problem and would like to know if fix was successful.
  • dougt2dougt2 Posts: 3
    Hi All

    1998 GC, 140K, stalls on slow (<10 mph) right hand turns, otherwise runs normal. Owned since new, no wrecks. Replaced plugs and wires, still stalls. Any ideas?

  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Check battery connections, make sure they are tight.
  • bbmombbmom Posts: 4
    Yes, the dealer said the radio had an internal short in it. I had an extended warranty and the dealer replaced the entire radio. Good luck with your problem.
  • vankingsvankings Posts: 16
    We had a brake line burst on our 1999 Dodge Caravan. The brake lines were original equiptment on the vehicle. We had a brake job done with 31K miles and we now have 47K miles on the car.
    If you check your brake lines you will see that the solid line is made of steel and it is welded to a stainless steel flex segment. The welding of dissimilar metals can cause crevice corrosion which can cause a brake line burst without warning.
    I just sent the following letter to NHTSA;

    Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator
    400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20590

    August 22, 2005

    Dr. Runge,

    A review of the NHTSA complaint site indicates that Daimler Chrysler Corporation has a very serious safety defect or nonconformance that could result in a serious injury and or death. Daimler Chrysler has been notified of this defect/nonconformance on several occasions and continues to deny the problem.

    The metal brake lines on the 1999 Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, and Chrysler Mini-Vans are welded with dissimilar metals. They have braided stainless steel flex segments that are welded to steel brake lines. This welding of dissimilar metals could cause corrosion of the steel brake lines and results in a brake line burst which occurs without any warnings.

    We found five (5) complaints to NHTSA, on the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) Complaint Site pertaining to the corrosion of Chrysler supplied brake lines which resulted in brake line bursts. There may be more that we didn't locate.
    Ref: ODI Complaint Numbers - 10112174, 10121461, 10023409, 10087291, and 10125674.
    Complaint Numbers 10103217, 10044433, and 10017536 may also be related to this same problem.

    This complaint is very personal to us because my wife experienced a brake line burst in our 1999 Dodge Caravan. If the brake line burst occurred in heavy traffic and or at highway speed, it could have resulted in her death or serious injury. Ref: ODI Complaint # 10121461.

    We notified Daimler Chrysler Corporation on several occasions by telephone and emails concerning this serious safety defect/nonconformance. They were apologetic about the mishap, however, they stated (1) that they had never had a complaint concerning brake line burst on any of their vehicles, (2) they had never issued a Service Bulletin or Recall, and (3) they could do nothing for me because the vehicle was out of warranty.

    We are appalled by Daimler Chrysler's lack of concern on this serious safety issue and we believe that their lack of corrective action is criminal.

    We am also upset because NHTSA, has had several complaints on this safety related defect/nonconformance and no action has been taken.

    Do we have to have a DEATH before Daimler Chrysler Corporation or NHTSA investigates this serious safety defect or nonconformance?

    What is the LIFE EXPECTANCY of these brake lines?

    How do you stop a vehicle in heavy traffic or at highway speeds?

    Is the consumer or manufacturer, responsible to prove that these brake lines are defective or nonconforming?

    The Safety Recall Compendium issued by NHTSA (3rd Release, June 2001) clearly requires that,

    When to Report (49 U.S.C. & 30118 and 49 CFR Part 573.5 b)
    A manufacturer who has determined that a safety defect or noncompliance exists, must report such a determination to NHTSA within 5 working days. A manufacturer need not have identified the cause, scope, or remedy in order to make a determination that a safety defect or noncompliance exists, at least in some vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment. If part of the information which is required to fully describe the recall is unknown, notification to the agency must still be made with the existing information within 5 working days. The remaining information is to be provided as it becomes available.

    Who Should Report (49 U.S.C. & 30102 AND 30118: 49 CFR Parts 573.3 and 579)
    Each manufacturer of a motor vehicle has recall responsibility for any safety-related defect or any noncompliance determined to exist in a vehicle or in any item of original equipment. The manufacturer of an item of motor vehicle equipment in which a safety defect or noncompliance is determined to exist (1) is responsible for notifying the vehicle manufacturer and (2) with respect to an item of replacement equipment (including tires), has recall responsibility for the equipment containing the safety defect or noncompliance. (49 CFR Part 579 "Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility".)

    We understand that Daimler Chrysler Corporation has the same type brake line configuration in the 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 models of their Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, and Chrysler Town & Country, Mini-Vans.

    We also understand that a change was made on the 2001 models that removed the welded Stainless Steel Flex segment from the brake lines.

    We have copies of emails sent to Daimler Chrysler Corporation concerning this complaint and also emails with their replies to us.

    We also have a section of the original brake line that was removed from my 1999 Dodge Caravan. It can be made available to your testing facilities to analyze the cause of the defect/nonconformance. Ref: attached picture.

    Please keep us informed as to your progress on this serious safety defect/nonconformance.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Please note ALL cars/vans come with dual master brake cylinders. This means that should a brake line or wheel cylinder or caliper piston fail, the vehicle still has braking on at least two wheels.
  • vankingsvankings Posts: 16
    That is what they say, however, when we had a brake line burst we had no warning and the pedal went to the floor. The duel master cylinder failed to engage and the brake warning light never came on.
    Maybe the duel master cylinder failed to engage because both lines burst at the same time. The duel master cylinder is great if it works!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    While driving our Ford Taurus on the highway on the way to school, our youngest son ran over a truck tread carcass, and it flew up and broke the PLASTIC brake line to the rear wheels. The pedal did go down considerably, but not to the floor. He had enough braking to bring the car to a stop from 55 MPH on the sholder and call for help. The car was towed fom the highway to the dealer. Can't figure out what happened in your case.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "If you check your brake lines you will see that the solid line is made of steel and it is welded to a stainless steel flex segment."

    Hmmm, not mine. I just checked the master cylinder end of the brake lines on both our 1998 and our 2003 3.8 GCs as well as the rear end of our 1998 (gas tank and back). Under fairly close inspection I didn't find a single place where two dissimilar types of metal were welded together. In fact, I didn't find a single place where there were any welds at all. The only place where I saw a transition from a "flex" format to "standard" tubing format was running off the master cylinder end on both vans (just one of the two lines), and in both cases the metal was the same material for the entire length simply with a section that was formed/extruded differently (the "flex" section).

    Maybe I didn't look in the correct spot. Was it the front or the rear braking circut? Where exactly am I supposed to look for the welds? When you wrote "They have braided stainless steel flex segments that are welded to steel brake lines.", did you really mean "Braided" lines? I ask because I've never seen a single braided high pressure line anywhere on either of our Caravans.

    FWIW, the master cylinder ends were quite different between the two vans. That said, based upon my quick "look-see" the differences were due to the fact that the 2003 has the full ABS and Traction Control treatment while the 1998 only has ABS.

    Best Regards,
  • vankingsvankings Posts: 16
    Shipo, how do I post a photo of this brake line? Can I send you an email with the picture to show you just what I am talking about?

  • vankingsvankings Posts: 16
    This is a photo of the original equipped brake line that was removed from my 1999 Dodge Caravan, Note that all of the corrosion occurs next to the welded stainless steel flex segment and the balance of the steel line is in good condition.

  • wbeerswbeers Posts: 1
    98' Plymouth Grand Voyager front passenger floor gets soaked when it rains or go through a car wash. Have re-sealed the rubber gasket at bottom of windshield with a sealant, with no improvement. I know it's not the a/c drain tube being plugged, because I unplugged it, and it only happens when it rains. The dealer said it could be a plugged drain for the plastic cowling where the windshield wipers rest. Has anyone else had this problem and solved it? And does anyone know where the drain for this cowling is located?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Where exactly in the braking system is this braided line? Throughout my various examinations of the braking systems of our two GCs, I've never seen any such braided cables.

    Best Regards,
  • vankingsvankings Posts: 16
    They are connected to the ABS Module and are connected to the two rear brake lines that run along the left frame.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    I just checked the old rusty lines the shop saved for me, and nowhere is there a section that is braided. Was there a special option package or something on your Caravan? Also, can you give us an idea where the location of the rust was in relation to, say, the front or rear wheel? The rust on our lines occurred a foot or two ahead of the rear wheel where the lines go over the gas tank.

    Between your comments on your '99 and Shipo's remarks about his '98, I wonder if Chrysler has known about this problem for a while and has been trying different things to fix it.

    BTW, I received a letter and prepaid mailing label from NHTSA to send in the old lines. Will mail them tomorrow.
  • vankingsvankings Posts: 16
    The location of the braided segments on the 1999 Caravan is just to the rear of the ABS module on the left hand side. If you look at the brake lines just below where the drivers seat is, you should see the ABS module. My brake lines run from the ABS module down the left side of the frame over the gas tank to the rear wheels.

    What year is your Caravan? Did you get the whole brake line from the shop or only a part of it?

    I do not know if the braided segments were a special feature, however, I was told that the 1996 models did not have this brake line cofiguration. I also understand that this brake line design was discontinued in 2001.

    If you trace your brake lines from the ABS module, you will see that they are secured with a rubber type bracket. In many places the brake lines can rub together and wear the anti rust protection off of the lines.

    I am quite sure that Chrysler knows all about this brake line safety problem. Chrysler denies any knowledge of brake line bursts and refuses to give the consumer any information.

    Hope this is some help to you.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I found it (or them) on both of our vans. Nestled down below the master brake cylinder and along the firewall I was able to get a glimpse of at least a single braided brake line on the 1998 and two braided lines on our 2003. Now that I know that I have these same braided lines, the question is, "What do I do about them?"

    Our 1998 is rapidly approaching 100,000 miles (I'm projecting sometime between late October and mid November) and has spent each of its seven winters split between the NYC and Boston metro areas. Not necessarily a recipe for a long corrosion free life. The 2003 will be hitting the 50,000 mile right about that time as well although I'm thinking it's not as much of an issue.

    I suppose the first order of business is to get the 1998 up on a lift where I can get a closer look at the lower end of the braided section as well as its transition to the steel line. Since I'm going to have the combined 90K and the 100K service sessions done some time in the next month or two and since I was going to have what I believe to be a hydraulic engine mount/vibration damper replaced at that time, maybe it would be a good time to have the braided brake lines replaced and the full brake system flushed.

    Any suggestions from those of y'all that have already seen the century mark on their vans?

    Best Regards,
  • pfutzpfutz Posts: 7
    Hi bbmom;

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I'm not sure if I have an internal short in the radio - I know my extended warranty states that it excludes the radio. So, I may be out of luck. Not sure though why the internal short surfaces when the battery is jumped. Thanks again.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    From this discussion, it almost sounds like there are two separate corrosion issues with DC brake lines. One is near the ABS module near the front wheel, the other above the gas tank near the rear wheel, both along the port side of the vehicle.

    Vankings, to answer your question above, I'm the one with the '96 T&C that originally posted this topic. The shop replaced both rear lines, routing them along the side of the rail so they don't go over the gas tank. Ken
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    Stock AM/FM Cassette units were recalled 2001 model year for placement of shield to keep water (condensation from ac ducts) out, which caused shorts and possible fires.
  • briman2kbriman2k Posts: 20
    Does anybody know if a 2002 barebones Caravan have any security?

    I want to add a remote starter to it and I need to know if I need to get a security bypass kit also..

  • faverrfaverr Posts: 1

    I have a Grand Caravan with 5600 miles on it and it has an alignment problem. The car pulls right. The shop that just did my alignment says that the right front camber reading is out of spec and there is no way to adjust it. Does anyone know if they are correct, that no ways exists to adjust the camber on this vehicle? This van was modified for wheelchair accessibility, so the floor between the axles has been dropped 10 inches. Does this sound like it might be the cause of the problem with the camber? Do you think that fixing this problem would be covered under the Dodge warranty? Does this present a safety issue? The shop said there are after-market parts available to adjust this. Would you recommend or not recommend an after-market fix like this?


  • osmandlosmandl Posts: 1
    Hi all,

    My 2001 T&C Limited AWD Speedo stopped working today. All other gauges work fine. This happened to my wife a few months ago, but corrected itself later that day. Today it quit again, it does move a tad when the van is started, however the needle then just stays in the area below 0 mph.

    Any thoughts on what could be happening??


  • dootdogdootdog Posts: 3
    The engine quietly shut off at about 45mph. No roughness or sputter. Just stopped firing. It won't restart.

    Checked electrical connections before getting the dashboard codes, so now all I get is "12", telling me that the battery was disconnected (my blunder).

    No spark at distributor. Coil-to-distributor wire seems fine. Coil looks intact and its primary & secondary resistances seem fine.

    Fuel pressure seems high enough, so no blockage there, nor loss of power to fuel pump.

    Injectors might not be getting any power either, though.

    Tried starting with MAP unplugged from power. No luck.

    What should I try next? Would a bad computer (SMEC2, I think) still give me the "12" at the dashboard when checking codes?
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