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please help anyone?? 92 plymouth voyager check gages light
05-30-2006, 11:22 PM
I need any help that you could possibly give. I am at my wits end with my 1992 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE. 3.3 litre V6 motor. I don't know very much about cars and stuff so I havent been able to figure out what to do or where to turn now. I have had so many things replaced and so many people look at my van including the Dodge/Chrysler Dealership and NOONE can tell me whats wrong with my van. My transmission went out so i paid to have a rebuilt transmission put in it. One week after it was put in the check gages light started coming on. It comes on when the van is in gear and most of the time it only comes on when i am at a stop, red light , stop sign etc...if i turn on my lights or air condition or rear defroster i lose amprage and oil pressure then the check gages light comes on. it has come on before without any of these things on also though. i was told it was my altenator so i had the altenator replaced. that didnt fix it!! i had a new drive belt put on and still nothing. my power steering pump a week later went out but again i had it replaced and still did not fix it. i called the dodge/ chrysler place and they told me they thought it was my clockspring but as im sure you can guess they were wrong and again it didnt fix my van!!! I called them back to let them know and they said that the person who put the transmission in must have crimped a wire then. So I sent that transmission back just to be sure and got another one and had it put in and still didnt fix it. I also took the altenator back because i thought maybe it was a bad one but again no dice!! I took it to the Dodge/ Chrysler place this time to let them do a diagnostic and electrical check on my van which costs yet even more money for 2 and a half days they kept it and said they had their best technician on it and that he was the best electrical guy around!!! they called me back and said they didnt know what was wrong with my van but that they thought it was most likely the Idle Air Control Valve. It was replaced and guess what :banghead: it did not fix my van. They told me to come pick the van up and that they didnt know what else to tell me. I have 3 kids and have no means of transportation other than this van. They are supposed to be professionals and they cant even help :frown: I dont know what to do or where to go from here. If anyone has any ideas as to what might be wrong causing me to lose amprage and oil pressure and the check gages light to come on i would so greatly appreciate it or if anyone knows where i can go for help on this. ANYTHING at this point. the further i drive it the more times it goes dead on me and at first i could drive it a pretty good distance before check gage light came on but now i can drive maybe 4 to 5 miles if that and it does it. I know this has been a very lengthy message but i was trying to not leave anything out. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE is there anyone out there that knows about this or had the same problem or knows how to fix it or what will fix it. I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant go out and just buy another car because with all of this and 4 new tires on it I have spent well over $3,000.00 on this van in the last 3 months with the transmission and trying to find the problem that im almost broke now. Thank you so very much for listening and letting me vent :).
05-31-2006, 01:13 AM
Connie, I am sorry to hear about your troubles. I am sure that this is very frustrating.
First things first! DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go back to that Chrysler Dealer. They either cannot find their posteriors with both hands at high noon on a sunny day, or they have you pegged as a "Cash Cow" and are milking you for all that your worth. If the latter, they probably know what is wrong with your van, but choose not to fix it in order to sell you things you don't need and make mucho $$$$ off your ignorance. Yes, many unethical mechanics get rich that way. An old mechanic friend of mine once told me that you cannot make any money being an "honest mechanic", which he was.
Now, the "check gauges light" is designed to get your attention when something monitored by the dashboard gauges goes out of wack. The light is designed to come on with "low oil pressure", "low altermator output", or "excessive engine coolant temperature".
First question, "how many miles on your van?" This would help determine the condition of the engine.
Low oil pressure can be caused by thin oil weight, low oil level, oil contamination or plugged oil filter. Now, what weight oil are you using in your van? Single weight oils are labeled as SAE 20, SAE 30, SAE 40, etc. Multi-weight oils are labeled as 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40, etc. What weight of oil are you using? If you don't know, shame on you. You really need to know. When was the last time you changed your motor oil and filter? You should do this every 3,000 miles. The longer it has been since your last oil change, the more likely you have a problem with your oil, possibly causing low oil pressure. Have you bothered to smell your oil? Pull the dip-stick and take a sniff. If it smells like gasoline, you need to change it immediately and find out why gasoline is getting into the oil. While you have the dip-stick out, check the level. If below the add line, add more oil.
You say you have a new alternator. That is fine. However, how old is the battery in your van? As a battery ages, it takes less and less charge, eventually being unable to hold a charge. If your battery is old, the alternator will not charge it and may give you a false "no charge" reading and turn on the "check gauges" light. Batteries are date coded. Look for a sticker on one end with a letter and a number (example "B-1") The letter represents the month of manufacture (A = January, ...L = December). The number represents the year of manufacture (9 = 1999, 1 = 2001, etc.). If your battery is more than five years old ("E-1", or May 2001 or older), you should replace it.
Have you looked at your radiator lately? With the engine cold (sitting overnight), take off the radiator cap and look inside. Coolant should be right at the top and you should have excess coolant in the overflow tank. If the overflow tank is dry and there is air space inside the radiator, you need to add more water/coolant. Now, what does the coolant look like? If it is a bright green, it is mostly likely alright. If it appears dirty or rusty, you need to flush the system and replace with new coolant. When was the last time you had the coolant flushed and changed? When was the last time you replaced your thermostat? This should be done every two years. You should also check your hoses for cracks and leaks and replace as needed.
With fresh oil and filter, fresh coolant and thermostat, and a fresh battery and alternator, you shouldn't have a problem with the "Check Gauges" light. You should have been spending your money on these items instead of the obscure parts the dealer suggested.
Give me a status report on the items I have mentioned and we can proceed from there.
05-31-2006, 11:43 PM
thank you for all the tips you gave me but i do have my oil changed every 3000 miles like im supposed to and I also have a brand new battery in the van i just didnt mention it in the original post because i figured you all would know that i of course checked the battery, got a new filter and the oil is fine. My coolant in the radiator is fine also , bright green and fresh these were all small things i done and had done myself before getting outside help to see if the problem could be fixed. I didnt have a new thermostat put on it because the van is not running hot. I didnt just take it to the dealership and let them make mucho off my ignorance as you put it. I had already went to 2 other mechanics after having the things checked that you also thought it might be but it wasnt any of these things. everyone keeps saying its something electical but like i said before noone knew what electrical part except the dealership and they said they thought it was the Idle air Control Valve. They were wrong too. It was replaced and Yes i Will NOT take it back to them for them to keep guessing because im not paying out money for professionals to tell me they THINK. I got another reply from a guy that had the same problems he emailed me tonight. he said that Ammco diagnosed his van and it was an electrical problem it cost him $300 to have it fixed and it is running good now but i just wish i knew before taking it anywhere else exactly what it is that is causing this so i know whether they are just out for the money or really trying to fix the problem :) He said if i go buy a repair manual that it will tell me why the check gauges light is on and why im losing oil pressure and amprage is going down. But i dont know where to buy a repair manual and to be honest i dont know if i will understand the manual if i do buy it. Anyway i appreciate all your help but all the things you said would cause the check gauges light to come on isnt the culprit because it has all been checked and or done. oh and P.S. you said shame on me if i didnt know what kind of oil i put in my van but you were assuming sweetie because i do know : ) i use the 10W40 because i bought the van from my dad and he started using that oil type when he bought the van brand new you also wanted to know how many miles was on the van and it is at 84000 but has been taken care of very well, I guess it has just decided that it wants to retire lol really its not funny though because i need this vehicle and i need it fixed im just so disappointed in the dealership here and im going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that there is a mechanic out there somewhere that can fix my van. If you have any more ideas i would like to hear them because just maybe it might be what im needing.
05-31-2006, 11:55 PM
Are you having any problems while the van is running besides the light coming on?
Is this the model that has the bad solder connections on the dashboard?
Do you have a camera? Take pictures of the engine with close ups and post them for a free visual inspection.
I know you are a woman, saying the same thing over and over will not solve the problem.
06-01-2006, 02:55 AM
Maybe you can get something out of this: http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?UseCase=RG001&UserAction=beginRepairGuide It's not quite as good as a manual but, it might give you something to go on.
You can get a Haynes or Chilton's manual at just about any automotive store ie, Autozone, Pepboys etc for $15-20. I think even WalMart sells them. I would have thought some honest sole would have explained the pitfalls of sinking money into a 14 year old car especially to someone in your situation. Sad to say but, this happens far too many times.
I've found small family run automotive shops that have been around many years to be the most reliable. Their reputation is far more precious to them since they don't have a huge automotive giant to fall back to. Keep in touch.
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