1997 Chrysler Town & Country Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 Chrysler Town & Country as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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33
Known Problems

Headlight switches can fail, causing the headlights to intermittently stay in the on or off position. Repeatedly turning the switch on and off may temporarily fix the problem. Replacement of the switch is needed to resolve this issue. 

It is not uncommon or the power window motor and/or regulator to fail. In most cases the door panel will require removal to determine the exact failure.

If the heater is on and no heat is felt from the right side dash vents, there may be a problem with the blend air door shaft; a revised part is available to address this concern.

Intermittently, the key may not start the car or release from the ignition. If it is excessively worn, replace the key. If the new key doesn't work, replacing the lock cylinder including tumblers should correct this concern.

Excessive oil consumption—defined as more than one quart per 1,000 miles (on vehicles with less than 50,000 miles) or more than one quart per 750 miles (on vehicles with more than 50,000 miles)—is common. Common causes include exhaust valve guides, valve cover gaskets, camshaft plugs, camshaft seals, and crankshaft seal.

Hood misalignment, cowl cover misalignment, wiper module drain tube(s), and/or the lower plenum drain hose may cause the HVAC housing to leak water onto the passenger side floor. Diagnoses will be required to confirm the location of a water leak in the front passenger area.

Shifting harshness and shuddering issues related to the operation of the automatic transmission have been addressed by factory service bulletins. The shuddering can feel like the vehicle is being driven over rumble strips.

V6 engines may experience surging while driving. The condition is more noticeable between 40 and 50 MPH while accelerating up a hill/slight incline. Replacing the powertrain control module (PCM) and updating the transmission control module (TCM) software may be required.

When braking during low speeds (under 10 MPH), the brake pedal may vibrate and the ABS hydraulic unit may cause a rumbling noise. This is caused by a momentary loss of the wheel speed signal to the ABS controller. Adjusting or replacing the wheel speed sensor will commonly fix this problem.

The door ajar light may illuminate and chime during driving, even when the sliding door is closed. Often, this is caused by a faulty switch in the C-pillar; a revised switch is available.

If the door lock actuators (integrated into the door latch assembly) are noisy and/or not working, the latch should be replaced. For some model years, the actuator for the sliding door is available separately from the latch.

Some vehicles may develop a musty odor coming from the HVAC system, Dodge has issued a cleaner/disinfectant and a coating for the evaporator designed to inhibit bacterial growth.

While driving through deep or blowing snow/water, moisture may enter the rear brake drums, causing rust to develop on the rear brake drum and shoe friction surfaces. Over time, repeated (and sometimes infrequent) exposure to the snow can lead to temporary freezing of the rear brake linings to the drums. A revised brake drum and brake drum backing plate is available.

Timing cover oil and coolant leaks are common, the oil and coolant don't normally mix. Our technicians recommend to replace the timing chain and cam sprocket if the timing cover is removed to reseal - or for any other reason.