2002 Dodge Caravan rebuilding engine

Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 92,000 MILES
Hi I own a 2002 dodge caravan se
when I start the engine the van seems like it will die and then eventually over time it did. The lights in the van flicker and the engine makes a tinking noise and the whole van jerks forward when its started. I was told that the engine either needs to be replaced or rebuilt. I was planning to replace the engine and sell it privately. I would like to know whether this would be a smart investment or if I should juss sell the van as is, rebuild it and sell it or replace the engine and sell it? I am still unsure of the exact problem with the engine and have been quoted a bill of approx $1000-$2000 (includes labor)
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Monday, February 23rd, 2009 AT 8:55 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Has anyone told you what is wrong with the engine. I would have a second opinion. The jerking could be a simple motor mount, and the ticking could be a lifter or rocker tower. The rough idle could be a simple vacuum leak.

If you need to put severa thousand dollars into it, you need to check the blue book value to determine if it's worth fixing.

You can get used car values at this site:

www. Kbb. Com

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, February 26th, 2009 AT 12:09 PM
Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
Hi they have not told me what is wrong with the engine.
They have to open it up and take the engine apart. They told me it can be a simple problem and cost a few hundred or a big problem and cost a max of 2000CAD. I also have the option of just buying a new engine that I have found for 1200 and dropping it in. I dont know which would be the better option since I want to just resell it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 1st, 2009 AT 9:45 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I would recommend a second opinion. If it was ticking, chances are it's a lifter, rocker, or rocker tower. Also, if you have had your oil changed on a regular basis, the engine should last much longer than 98K
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 10:27 AM
Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
Hi this is my third opinion. When the van is started it jerks forward when reaching low speeds, before a stop or when at a standstill and it feels like its gonna die and has a few times. It like when u driving a standard automobile and u let go of the clutch too fast and you dont put enough gas and it jerks. Very similar. It is actually at about 93 miles. One thing that I didnt do was get a tuneup.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Does it feel like the trans isn't in neutral when you stop or is the engine just missing? Also, does the van run and drive now? Listen, a tick doesn't justify what they are asking for. I really feel you need a second opinion. If taken car of, at 93K the engine should not need rebuilt.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 1:46 PM
Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
Hi, actually this is the 3rd mechanic I have been to. The van still starts but ive left it parked for so long I need to charge the battery before it will start. It will jerk forward when at a stand still or when the van is going at really slow speeds. There is just a little bit of ticking but the main problem is the jerking the whole van shakes and then if left on for long enough will die and may or may not start again
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 1:58 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
Has anyone checked the fuel pressure? Everything you have described doesn't point to needing a new engine. I realize I'm not there, but I'm going from experience, it doesn't sound right. Have all three mechanics told you the engine needs replaced? Have any of them justified why? It doesn't make sense to me unless I have missed something. If you want to check the fuel pressure, let me know and I will suply directions.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
Hi,
yes they all did say that it was the engine. One of them told me he had a tool that plugs into the spark plug that inturn tells u the compression rate. 2 of the pistons have little to no compression. He also told me that the gas is not explding in the engine. They told me can be simple as a gasket or as bad as cracked block. The second mechanic plugged it into a machine and did other tests not sure how he came to his conclusion and the first mechanic came to the same conclusion also.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 5:35 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
Yes a compression test will determine a loss of compression. However, if you are not getting coolant into the oil, chances are it's just a head gasket. Could it be a cracked block, it is possible, but unlikely unless you didn't have enough antifreeze in the engine and it froze. It could also be a cracked head or warped head, but has the car ever seriously overheated? If not, my guess is it has a bad head gasket. Please understand I can't guarantee that, but that is the most common problem under these conditions. Have the oil changes been done on a regular basis? If so, the bearings and other internal components should be fine. 93K really isn't that many miles today.

The choice is up to you, but if you have a mechanic that you trust, have him recheck the compression and if the guy was correct, have him attempt to replace the head gaskets. That is my feeling. It would be much cheaper than an engine, (around 200 in parts plus labor).

NOTE: This drives me crazy not being there to be certain before giving this type of advice. I am trying my best to save you money and not allow you to get taken advantage of. But not being there has its limitations. Regardless, that is my gut feeling. If you told me the engine was knocking, smoking, rapping, and burned a quart of oil every 100 miles, my response would be different.

Let me know what you think or decide. Also, if you have other questions, let me know.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 6:45 PM
Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
Hi:
Thanks for the advice. I dunno if this helps at all but the initial problem began when I was driving in the rain and I drove over a really big puddle. The van then starting trembling.

When at a stoplight the whole van trembles (you can feel the vibrations when holding on to the wheel) I dont no if its the engine trembling or what is causing it at all. When u turn the key to start the car all the lights light up, it cranks and starts but when I press on the gas it has problems accleerating and jerks and has problems gaining speed. Like when u first learn how to drive stick and dont no how to work with the clutch and gas properly.

Over time everytime I started the van it got worse and worse and it finally died but can be restarted it will crank but sometimes it takes a few times before it starts.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 7:38 PM
Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
The van is not drivable whatsoever. It will die at a stop and comes close to it everytime I slow down. There were routine oil changes but I did not get regular tuneups.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 7:40 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The water could have caused a crack, but again, I doubt it. The tune ups really wouldn't have hurt anything but engine performance. The oil chances are my concern. Would you be willing to perform a compression test if I supplied the directions? I would like to know what the comprssion is and if it is as bad as they say.

Go to this page for directions:

http://www.2carpros.com/dia/how_to_check_compression.htm

If you need the gauge, many parts stores will rent them or you could purchase one at the test equipment store site on this page.

Let me know what you think.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 2nd, 2009 AT 8:04 PM
Tiny
ICANDI4U3
  • MEMBER
Hi sorry I cannot take the pressure cause it is in a garage and I dont have access to it unless I go there. I guess I will tell him to change that first and see how it goes.

Does changing that require a long time?

I will eventually let u know what has happened and what was fixed in the end
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 AT 11:40 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides