post of the most common problem on 97 caravan

I would like the community to post some of the most common problems found on the 97 Caravans. For example I know:
[1] The Clockspring is a common malfunction which will cause the
airbag light to display, the cruise control and horn to not function.
[ FIX] This is repaired by the dealer for FREE, for the life of the vehicle and is a FREE recalled item repair.
[2] A common source of an oil leak is from the hardening of the valve cover gasket.
[FIX] Front valve cover is an easy repair, but the back is not as easy being the plenum needs to be taken off and a gasket is needed for the Plenum replacement also.
[3] Power Steering Pump rusting out and leaking.
[FIX] Change pump [good luck] I purchased a new pump from the zone and had to rent the tool to press the pulley onto the pump. Dont forget that if you are going to replace with a new pump.
[4] Heater Blower Resistor failing and heater blower only working on HIGH.
[FIX]: New Heater Blower Resistor. The resistor is located under the hood, on the firewall on the passenger side, behind the shock tower. It is not screwed or bolted in, but just snaps in and out. Tight fit but easy fix.
[5] Stalling while driving, but starts right back up almost always.
[MOST LIKELY PEOBLEM]: Bad Camshaft Position Sensor
[FIX] Replace sensor. Which is located near the distributor, near the thermastat on the 3.3 engine.
I decided to post this because I have 2 caravan and wished there was a place where I can go to and find out how to fix some of my problems. Also find out from others what to expect in the future from these vans, by hearing their experiences. I also did not want to look all over the place for this info, but instead finding them in one place or one page.
I WILL BE COMING BACK HERE TO POST MORE INFO FROM TIME TO TIME AND I HOPE TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO POST THEIR EXPERIENCES ABD FIXES HERE ALSO.
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And how many miles are on this vehicle?
Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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pchotspot wrote the following on 2/3/2006 6:35 AM:

Only the clockspring for me (so far)...and that was fixed before it became a problem. Oh, and the wiper switch was replaced (the wipers would wipe one wipe in a great while when it wasn't turned on.
Nothing else...
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mileage on the 96 Grand Caravan 3.3L is 150,000 and the 97 Caravan 3.0 just passed the 200,000 mark in january [back and forth on the I-95].
pchotspot wrote:

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problem: A/C gone, no Freon.
Fix: all too often this is due to a leaky evaporator. Fixing that requires time consuming dashboard removal, and replacing the evaporator (and related parts). Messy. Expensive.
Fix: sometimes it's the compressor. That, at least, is a straightforward repair by a competent shop.
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How about transmission problems? They seem to be fairly common. Here's the fix:
[image:
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f302/HeadlessHorsemn/flinstonecaravan1.jpg]
This also significantly increases gas mileage. :)
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HeadlessHorseman

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Had a used 96 Gr voyager w4cyl from 57k miles to 90k. Our first minivan. Had phantom wipers and transmission started to go.
Had a used 97 Gr. Caravan SE 3.3L apx 50k to 90k. Had phantom wipers. Had AC go out. Used a filler/leak repair kit and got a few extra months out of it. Had all recall work done. Had replaced the gas cap which fixed check engine light for awhile, then it came back. Dealer did a smoke check and found the filler overflow was cracked. Was told can't be fixed without replacing the whole gas tank. At the end, key started to act up in the ignition (hard to turn). Also, transmission started to act up.
Currently have a 97 Caravan 3.0L got it with 47k and now has 99k. Have had all recall work done. Had a shroud installed after snow/ice build up caused alternator belt to come off. Van was rear ended and even after repairs, it at times has an odd noise from rear end, between 35 and 55 mph. Uses a little oil.

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I've heard that this era also had problems with the sepentine tensioner on the 3.8's - mine's causing a hellish squeal when hot and under 1000rpm. Last night i heard it when the wife was turning onto the road to come home, through a brick wall (and with no windows open)
Is it a simple fix (like bash the tensioner with a bit of wood and a mallet until it stops) or more complex?
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