Car trouble

I am having a lot of problems with my 2001 Dodge Minivan. I am at my wits end w/ this car and I am not sure I should do? Trade it in or fix the issues? Here are the problems.

1) Electrical glitch w/ a plug I think?. The following go off and on~gas fuel meter/gage, ABS light, over heating light and windshield fluid light.

2) At 40 & 50 mph the car chugs and bucks. I can feel it below my feet.

3) A lot of creaking below the undercarriage.

4) The fan to the AC/Heat will only blow at the highest power.

5) No heat at all now.

6) Lock mechanism does not automatically lock the car anymore once I hit a 20 mph.

7) Steering rack is cracked.

I have already replaced the following.

1) Every brake part possible

2) Alternator

3) Coolant Line

4) Spark plugs and ignition wires

Not to mention all the necessary up keep you need, tires, oil changes etc. What should I do?

What Shape Is The License Plate In?

You may consider putting it on another vehicle.

Fisrt I’d suggest having the charging system checked. Items (1) and perhaps even (2) could be caused by a faulty alternator (specifically the regulator portion).

Item (2) could be lots of things, ignition, fuel delivery/metering or even a plugged axhaust. That’ll need to be looked into hands-on.

Item (3) could be simply dried up bushings or bad struts. Again, it’ll need to be looked at.

Item (4), you need a new resistor block for the fan motor circuit.

Item (5), you may be very low on coolant. Or have a thermostat stuck open. There are a few other possibilities like a plugged heater core, but I’m sensing one of the first two suggestions.

Item (6), Body Control Module…forget about it.

Item (7), I’ve never heard of a cracked steering rack. What makes you susoect it’s cracked? Massive hemmoraging? Perhaps a seal is blown?

Hows the tranny? It’s the only thing you haven’t mentioned as broken.

Buy a yearly bus/subway subscription. If this is how you treat a vehicle, your next one will be the same.

Dump that car. If possible don’t buy another. Really.

If you have all that bad now, it means you likely have had problems with the car for a long time and you keep putting off fixing them. Likely many of the problems are related and some have been caused because you failed to fix an earlier one. Much of the list is easy to identify and fix, but they have not been fixed.

You may not like this car, so you just keep not putting any money into it (it will cost more in the long run) or you can’t afford to fix it, which means you can’t afford a car at all, or … Well you get the idea.

It is no crime not to like you car and want a different one. It is a little foolish to let the maintenance and repairs stack up. I am glad to see you have had some of the work done, that means you are not a complete loss. :slight_smile:

Good Luck

Some previous posts have said to look for the dashboard ground connection(s) which are high on the floorboard/firewall inside the car. The wires just screw into the floorboard above your feet or nearby. Another last ditch situation hint: The engine computer can control all those lights at once. Maybe they even connected the windshield washer light too, but I don’t see why. I’m usually on the side of replacing the car but you already heard that one. In closing; check over the battery related cables under the hood too.