Chrysler Van Problems

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The only Chrysler van in production, the Chrysler Town & Country, was introduced in 1990 as a minivan. It has a few nameplate variants, such as the Dodge Caravan, and the discontinued Plymouth Voyager and its sibling, the Chrysler Voyager. For most of its production run, the Chrysler Town & Country has been beset by reliability issues.

First Generation (1990)

  • Some of the debut models of the Chrysler Town & Country may suffer premature wear of the seat belt buckle assembly straps near the anchor position. Replacement straps with reinforcement places can be installed. Also, an anti-rotation tab can be removed to prevent belt wear.

    Some vehicles might have transmission failures and fragile liftgate latch assemblies. Defective gearboxes and latches can be replaced at the dealership.

Second Generation (1991 to 1995)

  • The second-generation of Chrysler vans has a host of vehicular issues. Chief among these involve the automatic transmission. Some of the problems with the gearbox include shuddering during light or moderate acceleration because of a leaking front transmission pump, bad seals and poor startup due to defective valves. Although irregular automatic shifts are not transmission-related, the throttle position sensor might need to be replaced.

    Other problems with second-generation Chrysler vans include failure of the air-conditioner (A/C) evaporator (the power-train control module may need to be reconfigured), engine noise due to fragility of the left-side motor mount, and high oil consumption because of sliding exhaust valve guides.

Third Generation (1996 to 2000)

  • Third-generation Chrysler Town & Country vehicles tend to have the worst reliability records. The chief problem is engine-related: Rough idling occurs in some vehicles due to loss of power or broken pedestals in the cylinder heads. These problems can be resolved by disconnecting the knock sensor and replacing the pedestals, respectively. Also, some engine tend to overheat; reprogramming the power-train control module would stop it from doing so.

    Other problems include failing blower motors; activation of ABS brakes at extremely low speeds due to faulty wheel-speed sensors; malfunctioning dashboard lights because of a bad relay for the heated backlight; running radiator even after the key is turned off, caused by overheating fan relays; and malfunctioning windshield wipers.

    Each of the aforementioned non-engine-related problems requires replacement of the faulty parts causing them. Failing blower motors would require a new resistor and wiring repair kit. However, there is no known solution for doors that fail to lock or unlock both manually or electrically; and even the installation of a foam pad and strap kit may not be able to quell vehicle noise caused by fuel sloshing in the tank.

Fourth Generation (2001 to 2006)

  • The main problems with fourth generation Chrysler vans are steering-related. Shuddering or noises at low speeds may require fluid cooler, and in some cases, possibly a longer power-steering hose.

    Other fourth-generation Town & Country van problems include A/C condenser leaks, requiring a deflector from road objects; coolant leaks due to damaged A/C and heater tubes; failure of the remote sensor, requiring hood switch replacement; suspension noise, which can be quelled with replacement of sway bar bushings and/or sway bar links; and water leaks from the A/C condensate drain hose onto the passenger side door (an O-ring can be installed at the drain outlet to stop the leak).

Fifth Generation (2007 to 2010)

  • Very few problems have been reported with the latest generation of the Chrysler Town & Country vehicles. Some vehicles may have aftermarket window glass installed from Hangzhou that tends to break into large pieces in the event of a crash. The supplier, Safelite, will replace the glass for free.

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