Last post on Oct 23, 2006 at 1:11 AM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
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Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Town and Country, Van
#2258 of 4276 1997 Voyager normal maintenance cost?
May 19, 2004 (1:57 pm)
My family have bought Dodge cars/minivans most with Mitsubishi engines in the past 20 years (always brand new, Newport, Colt, Avenger, Caravan and Voyager). On the 1997 Voyager the transmission failed at 79,000 miles (repair cost $1,375.00). Replace timing belt, Replace tensioner, Replace two cam seals, Replace one crank seal, Thermostat, Replace water pump, Drain radiator and flush at 87,000 ($500). At 101,000 Factory recall to replace clock spring. Other routines are brake pads/linings/drum repair and or replacement. We always change oil/filter at 3-4000 miles, A/T fluid/filter every 30,000 miles. Have not replaced spark plugs ever since. Voyager now have 102,200 miles and are planning to purchase 2005 Caravan XLT and probably will keep the old one for some time as back up. I can not say I am very happy with the routine repairs but are there any other Dodge owners having great success with less maintenance? Any comments is greatly appreciated.
#2259 of 4276 My 1999 GC Sport experience.
May 19, 2004 (2:53 pm)
Now has about 64000 miles. Other than routine (oil/filter every 5 k, and spark plugs, tires and brakes once) I have had to replace the high note horn ($20), tensioner (about $60), left rear wheel bearing (about $170).
So far it has been reasonable. I will try to post a summary of all costs if I find the time, I have all the receipts since day one.
#2260 of 4276 Belt Tensioner Pulley
May 20, 2004 (8:40 am)
I think the bearing in my serpentine belt tensioner pulley is starting to go out, as it is making a bit of noise. I managed to quiet it down with a squirt of WD-40 but I don't suspect this will be a permanent fix. The spring tensioner function works OK, just the pulley bearing itself seems to be noisy.
Anybody replace this as a do it yourself project? If so, any tips? Does the hex head that is available on the end of the pulley centerline which is used to release belt tension with a wrench also unscrew to make remove the pulley, or does the whole pulley and arm have to be replaced as a unit?
#2261 of 4276 The whole....
May 20, 2004 (9:26 am)
...pulley and arm is one unit, secured by a single bolt that is accessible from below the engine, and should be done with a cold engine only.
The procedure is basically remove the belt, crawl underneath, undo the bolt, put on the new tensioner, and then replace the belt.
Don't forget to also check out the idler pulley that also has a bearing.
May 20, 2004 (9:35 am)
Thanks for the tip. Sounds like not too tough a job. I replaced the belt myself about 6 months ago, so as long as I can access the single bolt for the pulley and arm, it shouldn't be too tough.
What other pulley are you talking about? I assume you mean a different non-tensioning idler pulley that redirects the belt to the other belt driven components?
I am 99% sure that just the tensioner pulley is noisy, as once I got a little WD-40 into that pulley, everything else was quiet.
#2263 of 4276 Yes, that's...
May 20, 2004 (11:28 am)
the other pulley I was referring too. This is located towards the front, over the AC compressor, and is about the same size as the tensioner pulley, only that it does not have the arm and spring tensioner bit attached to it. This comes off the from of the pulley with a bolt (ie the right side of the vehicle).
If WD40 quietened the noise, it may not be the tensioner pulley. Sometimes, the grooves and the ridges, with wear, will make that noise too.
If the tensioner pulley or the idler pulley goes bad, it makes a characteristic sound that usually does not respond to things like WD40. Sometimes, the pulley loses just a bit of alignment, and that lead to a thrown belt when for example driving through a rain puddle.
In any case, this is not a difficult job.
Some hints: Ramps make things easier. Wear long sleeves. Work on a cold engine. The tensioner pulley bolt cannot be seen, but can be felt with fingers. Make sure you get the socket (15 mm I think) on right, otherwise it will be hell to remove if you strip the corners. Check the new tensioner for any roughness on the seating surface, as even a small amount of casting excess will make the belt likely to be thrown off.
May 20, 2004 (12:13 pm)
Thanks again. I am well aware of the perils of working on a hot engine.
I have done some further research and it appears that one can buy the tensioner pulley only without the arm and spring, at least on an aftermarket basis. I will probably take a look at the parts before buying to decide which route to go
I used the plastic tube nozzle on the WD40 to attempt to just get it into the bearing area, so I don't think the pulley grooves got lubed. Don't want to lube a belt if I can help it, not prudent to lube something that isn't supposed to slip.
#2265 of 4276 maintenance experience
May 20, 2004 (6:21 pm)
My report is for a '95 Caravan 3.3L 4 sp auto: bought 1/99 47000, now 104000; 3/00 lifetime front bk pads $32 replaced again 2/03, water pump & belt 7/01 $180, 9/01 windshield $194, AC service 4/03 $72, again 4/04 $90. Remainder are preventive maintenance, tires, battery, etc. Over all as good as any car I've owned except the paint is a weakness with several spots pealing off. Roy
#2266 of 4276 water leaking into interior
May 23, 2004 (10:43 am)
I've got a 2001 T&C Limited and it has an A/C condensation leaking into the front passenger compartment. This occurs whenever we drive for more than 1 hour with the A/C on. It doesn't leak when it rains, unless the A/C is on for more than 1 hour.
I've taken it to the dealer several times:
1st time the drain hose was cleaned out, this did nothing.
2nd time the drain hose was replaced with a longer hose according to the TSB on this vehicle. This fix was done late in the summer. The leak didn't occur again that summer, but don't remember that it was ever called to serious duty again that season.
3rd time (following summer) the dealer spent 2-3 days trying to get the vehicle to leak--they let the vehicle idle with the A/C on high. This did not cause the leak to occur. My theory is that the leak only occurs when the vehicle is in motion and the water is draining back against the body of the vehicle and not just dropping straight to the ground. The dealer wasn't interested in my theories and thought I was wasting his tech's time trying to find a leak. He even suggested that the water was the result of one of my kids spilling a glass of water!
#2267 of 4276 Water leaking into the interior
May 23, 2004 (8:30 pm)
Check A/C for proper Freon charge and proper air circulation.(1) If the A/C is insuficiently charged there is tendency for the system to accumulate more condensate. The amount of condensate probably is more than the drain line can handle. Check A/C evaporator case insulation. If the A/C evaporator is not well insulated, condensation will form on the outside of the evaporator case which will eventiually drip to the floor.(2) Poor air circulation is caused, among other things, by partially plugged evaporator coil. Air will bypass through the drain pan and could dislodge the condensate out and over the case on to the floor. This will happen when the car is in motion.
This problem happened on my voyager 1997 where the evaporator is located on the top of the front passengers left leg.(3) Check for cracks on the evaporator coil case plit joint. Hope this will help.