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

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.

Defective speed sensors on the transmission can cause problems with the cruise control and speedometer operation, as well as erratic shifting. The connectors on the sensors can corrode and/or the connector terminals can spread (poor connection), which will create similar symptoms. Any of these problems can cause Check Engine Light illumination.

 

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.

A loose timing chain on early models will produce a rattle (in the front of the engine) because the chain hits the guide. The timing chain should be replaced (the cam sprocket should always be replaced at the same time). Remove and discard the timing chain guide; on later V6 models, the guide has been eliminated.

On higher-mileage vehicles, engine oil leaks from the valve covers and front crankshaft seal are common.

If you hear a popping, clunking, or snapping sound from the front of the vehicle after five miles of driving on smooth surfaces, the outer tie rod ends may be worn and require replacement.

A dirty throttle body may cause low engine idle speed or frequent stalling, as oily residue blocks air flow in the throttle when the throttle is closed. Throttle body cleaning may be necessary to correct this condition. Our technicians caution against spraying cleaner directly onto the throttle body as this may damage the throttle position sensor (TPS).

A momentary loss of power steering can occur when the AC or defroster is on during high humidity conditions. This is due to condensation from the evaporator draining onto the serpentine belt.  To fix the problem, a spout on the AC evaporator drain and a new serpentine belt should be installed. Some vehicles may need a revised serpentine belt tensioner.

A delay in the transaxle engagement (greater than three seconds) may have multiple causes, including a defective pump, defective internal lip seals, valve body components, park-reverse-neutral-drive lever switch, and the output speed sensor. Proper diagnoses will be necessary to determine the exact cause.

AWD equipped vehicles can show a wide range of transmission problems, often caused by using the wrong-sized and/or mismatched tires. Be sure that all the tires are the same and that all four are replaced at the same time. Dodge recommends tire rotation every 7,500 miles.

A malfunctioning switch in the steering column can cause the front windshield wipers to self-activate or not turn off. A failed windshield switch will require replacement.

If the rear wiper self-activates while driving, the rear wiper module (located in the lift gate) should be replaced.
The auxiliary heater hose connections (that are routed to the rear heater under the vehicle) can develop coolant leaks.
The power vent window actuators may separate at the ball and socket joint. To fix the problem, replace the power vent window actuator socket on the rear quarter glass assembly.
Backlight (rear window) water leaks are common. Conduct a water test to verify the location of the leak. The lift gate trim should be removed and the glass resealed from inside.