Heavy bench & Suspension (Struts)

dodge
caravan

#1

My 2002 Dodge has started shaking. When I start it, it shakes. If I drive slowly below 35 miles/M, it sometimes doesn’t shake. However, when I drive faster over 40 miles/M, it shakes more! The RPM goes up and down quite quickly. A mechanic suggested me to replace front struts before.

I have taken off the passenger bench long time ago to make more room in the cargo area for me to deliver furniture. The bench is very heavy! Is that the main reason causing the damage to the struts because of the weight in the front much heavier than the back of the car?

I will buy another van ASAP. Can/Should I take off the heavy passenger bench again from the van?


#2

An engine shake while the van is not moving has nothing to do with the struts. Moe than likely you need some engine work. RPMs going up and down have nothing to do with weight and struts unless the transmission is damaged. If what you say is accurate, the mechanic is not a mechanic at all.


#3

Agreed with Bing on all points.

As for bad struts, the vehicle is 16ish years old and strut failure is common with any aged vehicle.

Is the Check Engine Light on and/or flashing?


#4

It’s hard to tell from the way you wrote it, but if your mechanic told you to replace the struts after you told him that the engine shakes and the RPM goes up and down, then he’s a moron and you need to find a mechanic that’s actually worked on cars before.

Otherwise, if he told you that just as a matter of course, not as a diagnosis for your current problems, then he’s probably right, because 16 year old struts are fairly likely to be bad, but you also need to get the engine problems fixed.

I might look at mounts as part of my diagnostic routine - bad motor mounts can make the engine rotate to orientations it’s not supposed to rotate to, and that can cause weird symptoms. I had a bad motor mount on one car that changed the clutch engage point, only while going backwards up a slight hill (my driveway) because the engine was rotating and pinching the clutch line.


#5

Yes, that is not part of your problem. The problem is you need to spend about $100.00 to have the vehicle diagnosed properly. Often that fee will be waived if the shop is allowed to solve the problems.