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
#3730 of 4276 Auto shutdown relay - 3.0L 1991
Mar 05, 2006 (7:50 am)
I have a 1991 Dodge Caravan that has a mind of it's own. Here's some history. Two years ago it just died. I discovered that the fuel pump wasn't working. I replaced the fuel pump. Everything was fine for about a month and it just died, again. Sometimes it would start and sometime it wouldn't , but I couldn't trust it to go to the corner market. When I wasn't able to start it there was no spark from the ignition coil. I replaced the iginition coil ( no help ), then I ordered a SBEC unit I found on Ebay ( no help ) then I ordered a Distributor with Optical pickup from a Savage yard in North Caroline ( no help ). When I run the onboard diagnostic it says no ignition reference signal ( code 11 ). I was about to give up when I read in the maintence manual about the Auto SHutdown relay. My problem is I can't find it. The picture in the book shows a typical array of engine compartment relays located next to the battery. None are the ASD relay. Any assistance would be truely appreciated. I'm ready to turn her out to pasture.
#3731 of 4276 Re: Auto shutdown relay - 3.0L 1991 [jcmorsejr]
Mar 05, 2006 (4:58 pm)
I think it would have been a lot cheaper to have taken it to a dealer and had them check the code and fixed it from the start.
#3732 of 4276 Re: does this sound right? [97xpresso] revised [motoringmama] [shipo] [motoringmama]
Mar 07, 2006 (9:21 am)
I would still ask them to do the standard transmission service as described in your owners manual. No where does it state that your transmission should be flushed. I've seen dealer coupons for $79.99 for the standard transmission service, so $155.00 for a "flush" is not out of line, but why do it? Also have them do the warranty front end work, and say that you don't have the necessary funds at this time for the engine work. As Shipo said you're good till at least 100,000 miles with the 3.8
#3733 of 4276 Re: does this sound right? [97xpresso] revised [motoringmama] [shipo] [motoringmama] [97xpresso]
Mar 07, 2006 (1:32 pm)
I had a mechanic tell me once that even though these vehicle's plugs can last 100,000 miles, it's a good Idea to replace them around 60-80,0000 as they have a tendency to get corroded in there at 100,000 miles and are very hard to get out.
#3734 of 4276 Re: does this sound right? [marine2]
Mar 07, 2006 (2:20 pm)
"I had a mechanic tell me once that even though these vehicle's plugs can last 100,000 miles, it's a good Idea to replace them around 60-80,0000 as they have a tendency to get corroded in there at 100,000 miles and are very hard to get out."
Hmmm, I've never heard that from any of the four dealerships that have worked on our vans. I'm not saying that it isn't so, I've just never heard of it. That having been said, motoringmama was told by her dealership that her plugs were shot and that the van was running poorly as a result.
Thinking about this another way, I was curious what a plug with 100,000 miles on it would look like before I took mine in for its last service and as such, I decided to pull the front three, take a peek and then put them back in. The good news was that I didn't notice any unusual corrosion, and had no problem pulling them out.
#3735 of 4276 Never Chrysler Again
Mar 07, 2006 (6:42 pm)
Absolutely the last Chrysler product I ever get sucked into buying (I worked in Chrysler management from 83-92). I got a fantastic price due to a relative working for them. It has turned into a money pit. Our 99 Voyager, 3.0L automatic has been a royal pain since we first got it. Four trannies in the first year, all fluids leak. Have taken it to 3 different dealers in town while under warranty. eg . a loud rattle in the front of the engine (sort of like a plane taking off) twice noted on repair visits but the usual "normal condition" response (one dealer told me to turn the radio up and I won't hear it). My water pump must now be replaced, hmm maybe the rattle from way back was the pump but now I am out of warranty. This pile of junk is 7 years old with only 84000 km (52000 miles) and has been maintained extremely well. I have been adding brake fluid since day 1 with the dealers never finding the leak. They attribute it to wear of the brake pads. I will not be fooled again into buying one of their vehicles again, regardless of the deal I get. I just traded in my 95 Camry at 160000 km for an 03 Accord. Sorry DC, but you can't compete with the big boys. I pity my friends who work for DC because they can't say anything bad. Side note : Lee Iacocca suggested years ago that Chrysler managers should only get one company vehicle so that they would have to buy other vehicles from a dealer like the regular population. That way they would know what it would be like to suffer at the hands of a dealer. The managers threatened to mutiny so he backed down. They just don't care about the little people that have to fork out and be treated like crap by the dealers. Sorry for the anger but I have just about had it.
#3736 of 4276 Re: Never Chrysler Again [jamoosee]
Mar 07, 2006 (7:11 pm)
As I read through the litany of problems you've had with your "Chrysler" the first thought that occurred to me was that most of the problems that you've encountered were from the "Mitsubishi" side of the house (i.e. the engine and its immediate components). Maybe that's why Chrysler dropped that engine from its lineup of MiniVans.
Thinking about this a little further, I'm surprised you even bought the thing in the first place. Why? Because by mid 1998 when we got our first van, there were widely known problems with that engine in virtually every vehicle it was installed in, Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth and Mitsubishi alike. When we ordered our 1998 I did a little research just to make damn sure that I didn't get ANY mill made by Mitsubishi. Oh, and one of the other things I found out while doing that research is that on vans with the 3.3 and the 3.8 liter Chrysler engines, you also get a different and much stronger transmission. Needless to say I'm quite glad I held out for a 3.8 liter van.
#3737 of 4276 Re: does this sound right? [97xpresso] revised [motoringmama]
Mar 08, 2006 (7:08 am)
if the plugs need to be replaced they are covered under the federal emmissions warranty - look in your owners manual - dbl platinum plugs or not - its not a bad idea to replace them for peak perfomance and better mpg. - fuel induction and injector cleaning is a good idea about every 30K - seems excessive I know - but gas quality is down especially in the midwest - should be done - if not buy a premium f/i cleaner from your local parts store - use MMM(3m), or another good brand - NOT STP - buy a fuel system cleaner not just injectors. a throttle plate cleaner wouldn't be bad either(make sure safe for Fuel inj.)
#3738 of 4276 Re: does this sound right? [97xpresso] revised [motoringmama] [timbob1]
Mar 08, 2006 (7:32 am)
Ummm, I beg to differ.
"...dbl platinum plugs or not - its not a bad idea to replace them for peak perfomance and better mpg."
I've never seen any evidence, scientific or otherwise, to support that statement. In the case of my 1998, when it was brand spankiní new it was a struggle to get that thing up to 20 mpg on the highway. Last June I changed consulting gigs and started commuting nearly 100 miles a day and as such was able to establish a very consistent mostly highway driving routine. Between June and October when I had the 100,000 mile tune up performed, that van delivered a very consistent 22.5 mpg. Between October and now (almost 9,000 miles) that same van over that same commute has delivered a very consistent 22.5 mpg. I'm thrilled with the difference.
"fuel induction and injector cleaning is a good idea about every 30K "
Hogwash. Modern fuels must meet certain minimums of detergency and purity, and once again, I've never seen any evidence, scientific or otherwise, to suggest anything to the contrary. Actually, quite the opposite seems to be the case, fuels are getting cleaner.
"buy a fuel system cleaner not just injectors. a throttle plate cleaner wouldn't be bad either(make sure safe for Fuel inj.)"
Again, what's the point? The van that motoringmama is driving is by her own admission, running very well. Back in the 1970s when I was a plebe mechanic, one of my mentors popped the hood of a Chevy Pickup truck, started it up (it started immediately and ran smoothly), and then pulled the air cleaner off of the top of the carb. With the air cleaner housing removed the scene that was revealed was to my untrained eye, revolting.
Apparently there had been some blow-by leakage (I'm thinking from the PVC system), and a HUGE amount of oily dirt and grime had built up all around the carb. My mentor then asked me what I would do with this truck. I told him that I'd fix the PVC system and then pull the carb and rebuild it.
As he was a former sailor he was always very fond of using colorful language and this moment was no exception. The translation of what he said was basically along the lines of, "Wrong! Fix the [lousy] PVC system and leave the [mother] [loving] carb alone. If it ain't [flippin'] broken, then don't [flippin'] touch it."
End of lesson.
#3739 of 4276 1996-2000 Headlights...
Mar 08, 2006 (7:04 pm)
As many of y'all with 1996 through 2000 model year DC MiniVans have surely noticed, our vans are not endowed with the greatest headlights on the planet. Yesterday as I pulled up in front of my garage I noticed that my 1998 DGC had turned itself into a "Padiddle" (i.e. a car with one headlight). Very annoying that, however, after nearly eight years and nearly 109,000 miles, I don't reckon the burned out bulb owes me anything.
Once inside the house, to the internet I went and did a little research. What I came away with is that there are now some options that will improve the lighting situation to a fair extent. In the end I opted for the Sylvania Silverstar 9007ST Halogen bulb inserts for something like $37 for the pair.
Tonight I had a chance to try them out and they are very definitely a substantial improvement over the factory bulbs, and while they are probably still a little shy of the 2001 and later MiniVan lighting scheme, the difference is no longer so obvious.
So, for all y'all still running with the factory bulbs in your 1996-2000 MiniVans, you might want to consider dumping twenty bucks per side and upgrade your lighting. I just wish I hadn't waited eight years to do it myself.