Last post on Oct 23, 2006 at 1:11 AM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Town and Country, Van
#3250 of 4276 Re: 2002 Dodge Caravan Ignition problem [barton1]
Sep 12, 2005 (9:27 am)
On your initial post you neglected to mention that the key wouldn't turn in the ignition, so I assumed battery might be bad as you said it wouldn't start, not that the key wouldn't turn. This is a whole different story. You might also try rocking the steering wheel and shift lever while trying to turn the key. Sometimes these park/shifter interlock systems get hung up if there is any load on the steering wheel.
#3251 of 4276 Re: 2002 Dodge Caravan Ignition problem [badgerfan]
Sep 12, 2005 (10:05 am)
Yeah, as I said in my initial post, niether of the keys will turn in the ignition. I'll try rocking the steering wheel and shift lever while trying to turn the key. It's worth a try at this point. Thanks
#3252 of 4276 Re: 2002 Dodge Caravan Ignition problem [barton1]
Sep 12, 2005 (12:40 pm)
I just thought of something. If your steering wheel is locked, you will not be able to turn the key to start the engine. (This is an anti-theft feature). I know for a fact that the only way to turn the key, is to turn the steering wheel to the right and hold it there, which is hard even for a young guy like myself, and turn the key at the same time. This is a good feature, but very tiresome after while. We no longer lock our steering. Hope this helps.
#3253 of 4276 Help! How do you release underbody spare on 2002 Grand Caravan Sport
Sep 12, 2005 (12:45 pm)
We are having trouble getting the spare tire released from underneath our 2002 Grand Caravan sport. The owners manual didn't come with the car (used) and we are at a loss.
#3254 of 4276 Re: Help! How do you release underbody spare on 2002 Grand Caravan Sport [jmwbdw]
Sep 12, 2005 (2:38 pm)
Assuming that you have the crank down spare. You need to locate the van jack department. (It should be inside the left rear well in the cargo area.) On the jack housing cover/door is an illustration how to use the jack, crank down the spare, changing the tire and where to place the jack under the van. NOTE: In order to crank down the spare, you need to have everything out of the cargo area to turn the crank. The crank bolt is located underneath a round plastic cover, about the size of a silver dollar, in the center on the floor in the cargo area. Only use the jack handle supplied to crank down the spare. Use of any other tool might strip the plastic crank down bolt.
#3255 of 4276 Re: Help! How do you release underbody spare on 2002 Grand Caravan Sport [masterpaul1]
Sep 13, 2005 (8:10 am)
Thanks for your help...spare is on!
#3256 of 4276 Re: 2002 Dodge Caravan Ignition problem [masterpaul1]
Sep 13, 2005 (11:40 am)
Ok, took the Caravan to the dealer and it was the cylinder inside the ignition $265 to get it fixed. The service guy said it's very common, so for anyone else who owns a 2002 Dodge Caravan, Watch Out!!
#3257 of 4276 2002 GC steering linkage
Sep 17, 2005 (5:42 am)
My van has had a gradual, more noticeable play in the steering wheel since we first bought it. The wheel slips about 1-2mm in both directions of steering. It doesn't appear problematic, in so far as driving and stability goes, but I hate the play in the wheel that I know shouldn't be there (at least it never has been there in any other vehicle I've ever owned). It feels like it's in the steering column and I have no experience removing the shrouding and all the components in that area to look; I'm especially worried about the airbag. I'd also like to fix it myself if possible.
I have mentioned it to Chrysler dealership mechanic before and he said, "it'd be very hard to troubleshoot", which to me means "get a second job to pay for this fix".
Any similar incidents or anyone know how to fix?
#3258 of 4276 Re: Why you shouldn't Buy A Dodge / Chrysler Voyager [shipo]
Sep 17, 2005 (6:45 am)
I can't help but think this is another case of someone who has heard all the mean mouthing and is now convinced that everything that's gone wrong with their Chrysler mini-van proves the negative comments true. But it doesn't. And when doesn't a mechanic say "that's a common problem"? That's the best way for a mechanic to deflect any potential scrutiny of his diagnostic and repair credibility. If its a "common problem," the customer will be much more accepting. And of course you have to deal with the Chrysler haters in the repair business, of which I've known more than my share (What does your mechanic drive?).
Since my ex-wifes '99 Avalon has had the transmission apart twice, the sway bar links replaced three times, the problem with engine oil sludge, a power window that refuses to go up (or down) occasionally, a "Check Engine" light that goes on and off when it wants to, the three fuel injectors that failed costing nearly a $1000, she should be transmitting the same kind of message. But she isn't.
When these same things happen to a Honda, Toyota, or a Nissan those owners don't seem to think that level of reliability is outside the normal. When it happens to an American nameplate, its a near conspiracy! Since my daily travels take me past three automatic transmission shops I've noticed that at least once a week there's a Honda mini-van sitting at one of those shops. Sometimes two a week. That's just about the same amount I see a Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge mini-van.
I was in the fleet management business for a number of years with a large machine manufacturer in Rochester, New York. We began leasing Plymouth and Dodge minivans the first year they came out ('84) and still run them. The first years they were excellent vehicles for reliability. There was a turndown in reliability after '90 and up to the '96s they were below average. Almost all of these were component quality issues, such as power window regulators, AC compressors, evaporators, power steering pumps, idler pulleys, etc.
With transmissions we didn't start to see any problems until the 4-speed electronic versions. The 3-speed automatics were bulletproof. The Ultradrive A604 transmission, which later was revised and renamed the 41TE had a couple of seal problems early on and somewhat later they went through some bad shift solenoids (shift packs) in the valve body. They also had a problem with the the shift schedules and Chrysler issued some TCM reflashes; anti-drain back valves getting clogged and bad electrical terminals. These problems have been long resolved and there are far more people that have gone 150,000-200,000 miles without a transmission problem than there are those that do.
In my company's experience we found that even when the A604s had a higher than normal problem rate our Ford Windstars were worse and for a couple of years the failure rate of the Chevy AstroVan was even higher than the AeroStar/Windstar. Since then our Chrysler versions continue to have less transmission troubles than either the Windstar or the Venture.
There are a few of things that must be realized. One, according to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), minivans from all manufacturers in general have a higher transmission problem index and failure rate than cars. Minivans were designed like cars with car-like attributes, but are often used and driven like trucks or taxis. On average they accumulate more miles in a three year period than passenger cars, are more often driven over the rated load, more often use to tow trailers than passenger cars. According to one study they see more stop-and-go driving than any other non-commercial vehicle. All this leads to stressing various mechanical aspect of a motor vehicle.
Chrysler was the first with a fully electronic and a fully adaptive automatic transmission. These transmissions require complete understanding of how they operate and special tools for diagnosing problems. Both of these requirements were not well met by the transmission rebuilding industry and many, MANY Chrysler automatics received expensive rebuilds when in fact the solution was something much simpler, like a TCM reflash or changing the fluid out. And the same thing is still happening.
In the case of Chrysler automatics, they received a very significant upgrade in '98 that provided increased fluid flow to the overdrive units, as well as a host of other redesigned components or components from different manufacturers to increase reliability and durability. The 41TE that's being used now is a much more refined transmission than just a few years ago.
Unfortunately a very larger percentage of past Chrysler automatic transmission problems had another negative influence, that being the wide spread use of Dexron-Mercon ATF in a Chrysler transmission. General auto repair and transmission shops used Dexron-Mercon in Chrysler mini-vans when the filter or fluid was changed. Dexron-Mercon will initiate a death spiral in these transmissions and many quick oil change places in this area were successfully sued because of it. Still today I see or hear of Dexron-Mercon being used in a Chrysler product. It is shortly after that shift problems begin and eventually so much friction material will be lost off of the clutches that the fluid gets contaminated and then a shift solenoid or valve body gets clogged, or a governor valve starts to stick, or the seals start to erode.
If a Chrysler FWD transmission is maintained accordingly, they will outlast most other competitive versions. Don't change the fluid (always use ATF+4 in a Chrysler...), or the filter and I can guarantee you'll have a transmission problem.