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Dodge Caravan Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Dodge Caravan based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

If the transmission is slipping in first gear or Reverse—or if you experience delayed or loss of gear engagement after initial startup—the transmission may require removal and disassembly.

Carbon buildup on the top of the piston is common. As the buildup increases with mileage and over time, symptoms vary from light ticking, to ticking/hammering, to hammering/knocking noises. Fuel injector cleaner often solves the problem.
Spilling beverages around the cup holder may cause the lid to stick or bind. To fix the problem, remove and wash the cup holder with dishwashing soap and water and apply lubricant to the sliding mechanism.

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).

The Check Engine Light may illuminate for many different reasons, some of which may be corrected by updating the software in the powertrain control module (PCM).

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.

 

A defective vehicle speed sensor can cause problems with the cruise control and speedometer operation, as well as erratic shifting. The connectors on the sensors are also susceptible to corrosion, which will create similar symptoms. Any of these problems can cause Check Engine Light illumination.

One or more power windows may stop working due to a failed window motor or regulator. In some cases these items are replaced as a set. If not, diagnoses will be required to determine which is at fault.

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.

Misalignment of the accessory pulleys or a faulty drive belt tensioner may cause a chirping or squeaking sound while the engine is running. In If the replacing the belt tensioner does not correct the noise, the alternator pulley may require replacement.

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.

Due to the crankshaft end play being out of specification, the front crankshaft seal can be popped or pushed out. Revised crank main thrust bearings will solve the problem.

If you experience delayed or loss of gear engagement after initial startup, the transmission may require removal and disassembly.

An oil leak from the oil filter adapter may be evident. Dodge has made a revised oil filter adapter is available.

If the horn starts honking and the parking lights flash as if the alarm has been set off—and the vehicle is not equipped with the security system—reprogramming the front control module (FCM) with new software typically solves the problem.