I agree - my 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan is a death trap indeed. Today is the 8th time in 2 years I am getting it towed yet again to the dealership to get this serpentine problem "fixed". It's mind boggling that I have to worry about driving my car every time it rains. I'm waiting for the day when I'll be on the highway and the belt goes out and I go careening off the road. Perhaps Chrysler needs a death or three to be convinced this is a problem of major proportions and a concern of grave safety for families with this van.
I own a 2000 Plymouth Grand Voyager. I never had a problem with the serpentine belt until last year when a mechanic suggested it was getting worn. After it was changed it started squealing. I took it back and the mechanic adjusted it. Several months later, I started losing power steering in the rain so I went to another mechanic that a friend suggested. He told me that the first mechanic had put on a belt that was too large and replaced it with the correct size. I didn't have another problem until last week when I went through about a foot of water and the belt came off and knocked something into the radiator causing a 4" hole in it. The radiator has been replaced, but it's to the point that I'm afraid to drive it. I was considering getting another Grand Caravan, but am reluctant to do so after reading that so many other people have been having the same problem.
And you don't see anything wrong with driving a minivan through a foot of water?!? I think you need to take some responsibility for bringing that problem on yourself, rather than blaming the vehicle for your abuse. You want to blame the car for everybody else's mistakes, from the mechanic who put the wrong belt on, to your own poor judgement in taking a minivan off-roading.
The van should be capable of going through a foot of water at slow speeds, but this isn't the problem. Mine does the same in six inches of water at 5 MPH. If you search this site, you will find over 160 entries on this problem in the 1996-2000 Chrysler vans with the 3.3 and 3.8 engine. Had you taken the time to read other's entries, you would have found that the wrong belt was being supplied at dealerships. If you don't have one of these problem vehicles, thank the good Lord.
Gee, don't get mad at somebody else for your own driving habits! Six inches of water is more than you think it is. And you definitely don't have any business trying to drive through a foot of water. Go out and measure the height from the pavement to the rocker panels. Do you really want to be driving through that depth of water??
I drove a 2000 Dodge Caravan for nearly five years, and put 80,000 miles on it driving it across the country in many heavy thunderstorms and snowstorms. Not only did the belt never come off, but I never experienced any problems with the vehicle at all.
So, when I read these comments about people getting outraged that the belt came off when they sped through a 6-inch deep puddle, or drove through a foot of water, or crashed through a 2-foot snowbank, I've got to take those comments with a large dose of salt!
I have a 96 caravan with the same serpentine belt problem.
I finally had the tensioner replaced. That belt lasted the longest - about two years. I have averaged one belt per year for the last 8 years I have owned it.
It is a pain to replace the belt if you haven't figured out how to work it. I purchased a tool, but you don't always have enough room to work with it.
I have found the simplest way is with a short piece of rope and a 15MM boxed end wrench. With the wrench installed on the tensioner, I hold both ends of the rope in my hand and the other end of the loop over the wrench and pull. I usually get someone else to pull while I slip the belt on the idler pulley. Once I used my jumper cable to pull with. That worked OK.
Make sure the mechanic who works on your belt puts the rain shield on the underside of the engine or it will come over every time it rains.
After 220K my 3.8 is tired. I am tired of this too!
Hello Honda! Goodbye Dodge!
I had my serpentine belt changed on my 2000 Grand Caravan at the 80K mark. Two days later it came off during a rain storm. The dealer put it back on and said they didn't know why it came off, but said that it happens. Two days later, it rained again and it fell off... Come to find out, the water drains from the windshield into a tray and the drain tube is directly above the belt. When they replaced the belt the first time, they broke the hose and didn't notice it. When it rained, water poured directly onto the belt causing it to slip off. They replaced the drain tube and it has been fine ever since.
I have had the serpentine belt replaced about a dozen times on my 2000 Voyager. Only the last one was lost in the rain. The tensioner was fixed twice. I have owned 3 Chrysler mini vans in 21 years, but will not buy another one.
"After 220K my 3.8 is tired. I am tired of this too!
Hello Honda! Goodbye Dodge!"
Not satisfied with a car that gave you 220,000 miles?! Then I doubt you'll be any more satisfied with the transmission problems on your Honda Odyssey. Good luck.
The windshield tray outlet and drains may become plugged with leaves, etc. and then water will run from the tray into the engine and passenger compartments. Be sure to keep the tray and drain clean.
Belts are just half of my problem. Looks like I need more transmission work done to keep my 2000 Dodge Caravan from jerking into second gear. It has 60K!
The first transmission problem happened at 29K, which required a new transmission (that one was covered under warranty). Can any expert out there shed some light on this jerking problem I'm having please? I did take it to the local Dodge dealer and they looked at it, but to my dismay... there's nothing wrong with it the mechanic tells me!
Just for the record, I have a squeaky belt (4th one in two years), brand new shiny tensioner, (still squeaky belt), went through two master cylinders, and a throttle control switch. Never been through any puddles, regular service, and I just generally take real good care of this vehicle, because I wanted it to last a long time!
Is that the only abnormality with the transmission, that it jerks into second? It doesn't slip or "slam" into any other gears? Does it happen under heavy acceleration? Does it do it all the time? If you accelerate smoothly and gently from a stop and let it shift up through the gears, does it still do it? Have you checked the transmission fluid level the correct way (engine warm, idling in neutral)?
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