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
#3921 of 4276 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan alternator or voltage light and starting issues
Apr 30, 2006 (1:03 pm)
Okay, I'll skip over the how much I hate 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan - and go right to the trouble. 1 week ago driving, suddenly the voltage light comes on, gauges on dash start blinking, fuel gauge goes up and down, odom. digital read out starts flickering, car bucks once or twice. Get home.
next day van hesitates when starting then starts up. drive to local mech. - really good people and have always been honest with me. they can't fit me in but check the battery - fully charged, all ok. Voltage light does not come on. Drive back home, voltage light comes back on when driving after 20 min. gauges are acting up again. Take it back into mech next day - they get a trouble code P1594 "overcharging" - but not sure what is going on. They bring in an outside guy who does nothing but diagnostics to run a diagnostic on electrical system. But they are still unsure what cause is. Voltage light is not coming on for them. They think it is either, Alternator, regulator or something in the computer.
Pick car up. all orange indicator lights on the AC and fan buttons are all blinking. Car still drives but every now and then voltage light comes on and gauges blink or needles go up and down.
Then went to start car today, turned key in ignition - nothing, not even a clicking sound. Tried several more times and on fifth try, it started right up!
I'm thinking I have to take it into a dealer. Not sure which I dislike more, my Dodge Grand Caravan or my dealer who overcharges me.
Would appreciate ANY advice. Am I looking at a whole new alternator or computer?
P.S.( We recently bought a Toyota Sienna - not one single problem)
#3922 of 4276 Re: need help [fataljustice]
Apr 30, 2006 (5:10 pm)
Garry, You are likely to need a maintenance manual published by Haynes available at larger parts chains like Auto Zone. These have the electrical diagrams to trouble-shoot your problem. You will also need an electric multi-meter. A good digital one will cost about $20.00. Be sure you have sharp probes which easily penetrate a wire insulation to sense the voltage or resistance being tested. Off hand, the likely problems could be a blown fuse or a problem with the ignition switch. A broken wire is possible but less likely. Alternately and quicker would be to take the vehicle to a mechanic you trust or specialist offering auto electric work or to a dealer. With a vehicle of this age, a good mechanic is very valuable. If you don't have a friend to give you a recommendation, try Cartalk.com , "mechanX files" on the home page. Roy
#3923 of 4276 Re: 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan alternator or voltage light and starting issues [hatemydgc]
Apr 30, 2006 (6:28 pm)
This sounds exactly like the problem I had with a Maxima alternator. One minute it was putting out 15 volts the next minute 11.5 volts. Three Maxima alternators I had Pep Boys install in a month all had the same problem, bad diodes. Took the car to a Nissan dealer and had them replace it with a factory re manufactured unit, End of problem. Caravan alternators are controlled by the computer.
The a/c fan control lights could be on from the battery being disconnected or going dead. Mine came on when I had the battery changed. I think those lights can also be used to diagnose problems. Dealers can be expensive but the
techs are usually more familar with the cars the dealers sell.
#3928 of 4276 2005 T&C
May 02, 2006 (3:31 am)
Anyone else get a recall notice? I received one in the mail yesterday regarding some defective fuel lines (?).