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2002 grand caravan front end noise

- Dodge-Grand Caravan

Forum Post
10/18/08 14:10
Kurt J

2002 grand caravan front end noise

Has anyone experienced a moderate thump/knock type of noise from the front end.It happens over bumps even at low(driveway range)speeds.Thanks.
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This post has a total of 22 replies. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 10/18/08 through 03/30/12, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

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i've had the same noise for a couple years now.i've even had it at the dealers , whose mechanics can't seem to find the's a 2002 caravan sport also.
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Jim K.

Sway bar links replacement is what solved ours two years ago and now it's happening again. $230 p&l at that time. I can't believe a mechanic wouldn't find this though!
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I've just had that same problem, rattling noise in the front end when driving my 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan. It was fixed by replacing the sway bar bushings and sway bar links.
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Remove old bushings and replace with polyurathane bushings they should last alot longer and are only $5 more from NAPA $16 as opposed to $21. The replacement itself is quite easy as the bushings are split and come off and on just by slipping over the sway bar. But getting the link off of the end of the sway bar can be difficult as it uses a prevailing nut (self locking nut with plastic in the end of nut to keep it secure). If you can manage to get this off and replace it you can save alot of money by not having to replace the end links while doing this job. My total cost for the replacement was the cost of the bushings and I am not a journeyman mechanic although I do almost all of my own work.
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j pelham

when I first picked up my new purchase of a program gr.carvan 2006 I heard a strange noise noise and asked the dealer what it was, he said he didnt know but if it continued to take it to nearest dearlership and it would be covered, It is getting worse and still nobody can tell me what it is, it sounds like water pressure built up in a pipe when making turns and also going around curves, even slight curves in the road, and I dont have foot on brake when this happens
**/**/** **:**

I have a 2006 GC too and have the same strange noise coming from mine. It's difficult to describe but it's sort of a harmonic humming noise. Seems like maybe the breaks are sticking a bit or something (but I'm not applying the breaks at the time). Get the noise around slight curves too. It doesn't happen all the time though. Anyone have any ideas what this could be?
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Herb Bosworth

#5 check the wheel weights and make sure they have the right weights for your van for there is a lot of different weigths on the market. that what I did w/my 2004 DC
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My 2002 Grand Caravan has a power steering leak at the rack and pinion. The steering functions well and I wonder if anybody has replaced the seal or replaced the complete rack and pinion. Any part # for the seal or how much for parts and how many hrs. for labour?
**/**/** **:**

I have a 2002 Dodge Caravan and it seems we are all hearing the same thumping sound coming from the front of the vehicle. I have had the transmission and motor mounts replaced several times since owning this vehicle and the bearings, struts, and bushings. My overall evaluation is that the suspension on these vehicles was poor from the beginning. It is a manufacturer problem that we are all paying for in costly repairs. I regret that Dodge is no longer my favorite choice in vehicles. They have lost a customer who always promised to buy american made cars.
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bob crawford

I have a 2005 Grand Caravan and I have the same clunking in the front end it seems to be in the strut area but Ive had several people look at it and they have not been able to fine it out . I need some more ideas to look for. It doesnt matter if Im at low speeds or high speeds.
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Sway bar or stabilizer bar, as the second name implies, stabilizes you car in such a way that it will lessen your vulnerability to bumps or humps. It will also give tou good handling.
**/**/** **:**

Noise when turning corners turned out to be a failing power steering pump. Makes a vibrating or whining noise, like hydraulics or steam pipes. Clunking noise is from sway bar bushings (maybe) replacing mine now. Thanks for all your help.
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I just finished swapping the sway bar bushings (for the second time) on my 2002 Grand Caravan. I did it at about 45000miles and now I have 115, 000. At that time I swapped the links as well and the problem went away. The bushing replacement alone didn't work this time, so I'm going in for the links. I took it to a dealer who mentioned that the nut on the top of the strut/shock could also be worn out and causing the clunk noise over bumps, but said that most likely the bushings/links are the culprits.
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Rafael Concepcion

I have a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan ES, with 110, 200 miles. I am a Registered Nurse by trade, and a journey man when it comes to fixing my cars. The problem I was experiencing was a rattling noise every time I went over rough roads, speed bumps, pot holes, and cobblestone entrances. I noted that both the left and right sway bars had broken swivel on the bottom. Therefore I replaced both sway bar links. The noice is gone, and the van runs smooth. Cost of sway bar links were $22 each from my local Advance Discount Auto Parts Store. Tools needed are a 5mm Allen wrench, 15mm wrench, and a floor jack.
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daryl e

I put the bushings in, , , the heavy duty ones, , they wore out faster...I'm going back to the rubber..polys were a waste of time and money
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#8 I asked my local repairman since I was in getting new brakes, etc. because I have a power steering leak. He quoted me $1100 and it is about a 6 hour job to do.
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Tim, I never thought I'd have a minivan

Just had rack&pinion (22-348) $256 & outer tie-rod ends $136, & stabilizer links $40 for parts

and $360 for labor. Add $75 for wheel alignment.


**/**/** **:**

I have a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport with the CLUNK problem. Sway bar bushings are a smoke screen. The real problem is the forward bushing installed in the lower control arm. The bushing is made of steel and is held in place by the aluminum front carriage. Because steel is harder than aluminum the bushing digs itself a nice little gouge in the carriage. The new slop in the bolt hole is where the clunk comes from.

Jack the front tire on the side where the noise is coming from and pull the tire in and out. Look underneath the engine where the lower control are pivots and you can see the arm moving and clunking freely.

This will be a machine shop repair and cost lots of money.


**/**/** **:**

i had a knock in my front end of my 02 dodge caravan for a year . i decided to replace the lower aframes w/balljoints still no luck . replaced struts, inner & outer tie rod ends plus control arm links no luck. spent 15.00 on sway bar bushing.fixed my whole problem with the sway bar bushings.
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Ottawa, Canada
Thank author of this post/comment"Found the cause but a pain to fix"

I have a 2003 Grand Caravan Sport with clunking coming from the front driver's side when going over small bumps. A washboard dirt road is the worst.

Short answer: It turned out to be a loose center strut nut causing play between it and the strut mounting plate.

I has this problem before with another vehicle and in that case is was a stabilizer link bushing. So, I figured is the same with the Caravan... nope, not the case. At least is wasn't expensive to test that theory.

I found the top center nut on the strut was "loose" by placing a finger in where the main nut is and the strut mount plate while bouncing the van manually. (It easier if you have a buddy "bounce" the vehicle for you.)

The problem is that I can't figure out how to tighten the nut without taking the strut off the vehicle because there is no room to fit tools where you need them while it's on the vehicle.

Anyway, I hope this helps those who are still looking for the clunking after trying the earlier suggestions?

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Thank author of this post/comment"2005 Dodge Caravan Clunking"

I read everyones post about the sway bar bushings. I replaced them and the clunking wnt away. Cost me $10. Thanks for everynes help...e
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Thank author of this post/comment"Loose Center Strut Nut"

I had the same issue for my Caravan- the loose center nut on the piston rod. I had a shop tighten the nut and most of the noise went away, but I think I'm still gonna get some aftermarket struts since there has been so much motion and stress on the ones that are in there.

Any suggestions as to what kind of struts to get? I found a few places online and I'm looking for the best price.

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