1998 Grand Caravan Head Gasket, Goodwill/Secrete Warranties Canada

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by mark lucas, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. mark lucas

    mark lucas Guest


    It appears that Dodge has a lot of problems with Head gasket repairs.

    I have a 1998 Grand Caravan with 51,000km and a head gasket that is
    leaking anti freeze.

    I have begun discussions with the dealership service manager and dodge
    about admitting this problem and getting dodge to pay for all/part of
    the repairs.

    Everyone is denying that this is a common problem and that any
    additional hidden warranty exists.

    The Canadian Chrysler Cust support rep stats that reported problems,
    repairs and class action suites in the states do not apply to Canada and
    that they are unaware of any problems with the gaskets in a Caravan.

    Any help on evidence related to Canada and that Dodge has helped with
    repair costs in Canada would be appreciated.

    PS)They are trying to convince me to replace the other head gasket once
    everything has been taken apart.

    Please reply to and or post to this thread.
    mark lucas, Nov 19, 2003
  2. This is probably not an accurate quote of what you were told. Certain
    Chrysler minivan engines (in particular the 2.4 litre 4-cylinder) have had
    head gasket issues. Certain other engines (3.0, 3.3 and 3.8 litre V6s)
    have had no such systematic issues. The 2.4 litre 4-cylinder engine is not
    available in the Grand Caravan, so that engine's head gasket issues do not
    apply to your vehicle. Therefore, a statement of "no problems with the
    gaskets in your vehicle" would be correct, since you don't own a
    (non-Grand) Caravan with a 4-cylinder engine.
    "The other head gasket" only exists in the V6 engines. Head gaskets
    probably should not leak coolant at 51,000 KM, though it can happen if you
    have rotten luck or, particularly, if the wrong coolant formulation is
    used. A common such mistaken application is using GM Dex-Cool or an
    aftermarket Dex-Cool formulation in a system not _specifically_ designed
    for Dex-Cool. Coolant colour is no longer the accurate means of
    identifying formulation that it once was, and both the original coolant in
    a '98 Chrysler product and Dex-Cool are red-orange in colour.

    All of this isn't to deny that your head gasket leaks, but to point out
    that it's probably not Chrysler's fault.

    Daniel J Stern, Nov 19, 2003
  3. mark lucas

    mark lucas Guest


    your coolant remark is interesting. I did have Dodge perform a rad
    flush a year or two ago and they do not put in new coolant. They
    replaced my coolant with coolant that was recycled from another persons
    mark lucas, Nov 19, 2003
  4. mark lucas

    mark lucas Guest

    Original Post was not complete.

    I do have the 3.3 v6
    mark lucas, Nov 19, 2003
  5. mark lucas

    mike Guest


    I also have a Grand Caravan. But it is a 1999 with 3.8 V6.

    I'm just curious. What are the signs of a head gasket failure?

    mike, Nov 19, 2003
  6. The head gasket seals oil passages, coolant passages and combustion
    chambers (cylinders). Therefore, the symptoms depend on the type of
    failure. If there is a failure between two cylinders, the engine will run
    poorly and show low compression on two adjacent cylinders. If there is a
    failure between a coolant passage and a cylinder, the cooling system will
    overboil and/or the vehicle will run poorly and exhibit sharp-smelling
    white smoke (not steam) in the exhaust. If there is a failure between a
    coolant passage and an oil passage, coolant and oil will mix in the
    crankcase and/or the cooling system, causing an oily mess in the cooling
    system and/or a sludgy mess in the crankcase. And if there is a leak
    between an oil or coolant passage and the edge of the gasket, the "engine"
    will leak oil or coolant.

    The 3.8 is a very robust, well designed engine. It has no systematic head
    gasket problems.

    Daniel J Stern, Nov 19, 2003
  7. The 3.3, like its bigger brother the 3.8, is a very rugged, well-proven
    design that does not have any history of frequent or premature head gasket

    Daniel J Stern, Nov 19, 2003
  8. Hooboy. That's a *real* can of worms, much more than it was five or ten
    years ago when pretty much all cars had the same coolant chemistry except
    for a few specific imports. There are a great deal of coolant chemistries
    on the road today, many of which do not play nicely with each other, and
    there is no longer any such thing as a universal "works with all original
    fluids" coolant on the market. I mention Dex-Cool specifically because
    it's known and shown to degrade gasket materials not specifically designed
    for it -- in tests and, regrettably, on my own cars when I bought into the
    "new and better" hype that surrounded Dex-Cool.

    Daniel J Stern, Nov 19, 2003
  9. mark lucas

    Neil Nelson Guest

    Your beef is with the dealership that installed the re-cycled
    coolant. Unless your maintanance manual specifies otherwise (I
    doubt it) they did a very dumb thing.

    Your owners manual should specify that the coolant must meet
    XXX Chrysler specification, it's up to the dealership to prove
    that their re-cycled coolant actually meets that specification, a
    task which I would personally consider impossible.
    Neil Nelson, Nov 19, 2003
  10. There are known problems with the 2.4 headgasket for this model year.
    Since you mentioned *other* gasket, I presume you are talking about a
    V-6. I don't recall reading any posts in this NG related to headgasket
    failures on the 3.3 and 3.8 litre engines.

    -Kirk Matheson
    Kirk Matheson, Nov 19, 2003
  11. mark lucas

    SPS 700 Guest

    Yes, it is a good idea to replace the other head gasket. It shouldn't cost
    that much more to replace it since your engine is apart anyway. When one
    item of a car that has an opposite one needs replacing(head gaskets, valve
    grinds, tires, shocks brakes and so on and so forth) it it foolish not to
    replace the other one.
    SPS 700, Nov 20, 2003
  12. mark lucas

    mark lucas Guest

    I would like to thank everyone who has responded.

    I would like to thank Daniel for his responses but i am not quite sure
    if I believe that the 3.3 is not having gasket problems. But my only
    evidence in anecdota. After spending some time search via google I have
    found other reports of 3.3 v6 engines leaking and what is more
    interesting two of them report the leak in rear engine seal.

    I will include a few of this links. Additionally, I got a ride last
    night from an a friend and the first thing he stated when I told him the
    head gasket went he stated:

    His wifes 98 caravan with a 3.3 v6 needed the head gasket replace at
    72,000 km. The probability of someone I only met recently who had the
    same van, same engine with the same problem with milage that is close is
    fairly high.


    the head gasket on my 1998 dodge grand caravan leaks on the
    right rear corner of the rear head.

    I have the 3.3 v6 with only 55,650 miles

    http://www.complaintcenter.com/Complaints_Auto/page11.htm#My '98 Dodge Caravan blew its head gasket

    The head gasket on my 1998 Dodge Caravan blew at 91,300 km.
    The only response I have from Chrysler is "its not covered by
    warranty." Also the warranty data is unavailable... I wonder


    This is a 94 caravan and the article imples that is is a V6 as they
    refer to rear gasket, again where mine is leaking.

    1994 Dodge Caravan 6 mileage: 90000. Is there a way to stop a
    leaking rear head gasket by using a sealant or is that not a
    good remedy. I've been quoted a 1200.00 repair bill and there
    must be another way. Is there? Can one head gasket be repaired
    repairing the other?


    first post
    Would this class action suit apply to other Chrysler vehicles,
    as well? I have a 98 Dodge Caravan with 74,000 miles on it that
    is now leaking oil from the head gasket. My mechanic tells me
    that head gaskets going out isn't something that "just happens"
    from normal wear and tear, that it's usually a factory
    defect(though I'm sure I'm just repeating what you already are
    painfully aware of).

    second post
    My 1998 Dodge Caravan has a head gasket problem (at 49,000 miles
    mark lucas, Nov 20, 2003
  13. The internet makes it possible to find absolutely anything you want.
    Good for you for recognising anecdotal information when you see it,

    Daniel J. Stern, Nov 20, 2003
  14. mark lucas

    Steve Guest

    I would bet that there is and never has been an engine produced that has
    never had a few head gaskets fail(*). The fact that you found a few
    proves nothing, the fact is that the 3.3/3.8 DO NOT have statistically
    significant incidents of head gasket failure. Some other engines (the
    2.4, for example) HAVE had such issues, but the 3.3/3.8 does not.

    *- except engines without any head gasket at all, and yes there are such
    things- "T-head" engines and many radial aircraft engines, to cite a
    couple of types.
    Steve, Nov 21, 2003
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