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Hi everyone!

I bought a used 2004 Town and Country last October, before a planned move from Maryland back to Illinois. (After looking at prices to rent a truck or van to make multiple trips back and forth to move things, I realized it was cheaper just to buy one of these!)

I currently have about 137,000 miles on this one and it made the trip back and forth 4 times without any problem. But it definitely seems to have most of the common problems that were discussed in these forums. I fixed the passenger side power door not working by replacing the wiring harness, and a scraping noise from the front when driving around in parking lots and turning the wheel was due to a plastic wheel well piece that had come loose and was hanging down. Found a replacement plastic push-clip that secured it again. Just got a new windshield too, since the original had a couple of small cracks and one decided to expand across one whole side of the glass. And just replaced a sticking key cylinder with a Dorman replacement I ordered off Amazon.

But now I have a few questions:

1. One of my rear seats wouldn't release in order to remove it. I finally realized the metal lever on the side that you pull up on as the first step to remove it seems to be broken. It moves up and down freely without releasing that metal "jaw" that clips around the steel post under the rear of the seat. We were able to release the jaw by tugging on it with a pair of vice-grip pliers. But obviously, that's not ideal. Has anyone else run into this issue, and is there a reasonably easy/cheap fix?

2. Now that I unscrewed those 3 bolts to remove the plastic top and bottom shroud around the steering column to do the key cylinder replacement? My steering wheel making a rubbing "swish, swish" noise as I turn it around, after everything was re-assembled. Obviously, something is rubbing on the plastic shroud. But I can't figure out how to correct it? I took it apart a second time and messed with its placement around the column. But it seems like if you don't have it situated just so on there, you can't even get the screws to thread back in from the bottom to secure it?

3. I'm fighting with that (common) issue where the airbag light randomly decides to light and then I get a "ding" warning noise about it being on. Like others have said, it seems to be related to the driver-side seat-belt assembly and wiring down there. I already tried disconnecting and reattaching the larger white and smaller yellow harness that can be found hanging down right under the middle of the driver-seat. But I know there's one more small yellow harness down by the seatbelt attachment point that I'm unable to reach easily. (Looks like a big piece of plastic trim on the right-hand side of the driver's seat can be removed to access it better, except this piece is already loose towards the front of my seat. Looks like a metal spring clip that's supposed to secure it when you push it in place is all bent up and not working right? But the rest of the plastic piece didn't seem to want to pull loose.)

4. My driver's side seatbelt doesn't want to retract very well when you detach the belt and open the door to get out. There's usually bunch of slack that I have to kind of help feed back into the pillar. Could that affect my airbag light issue in item 3? And is that something difficult to fix?
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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2,435 Posts
1: Hammer and penetrating oil. Knock it back and forth, spraying after a few hits, until rust stops getting washed out.

2: The plastic deforms over time in the heat. Either the column cover and/or steering wheel rear cover is deformed.

3 & 4: Seatbelt pretensioner may be having issues. Pull it all the way out, clean it, wipe it down with saddle soap or leather lotion (other things may work too, point is you want something slick that will soak in), then let it retract and pull it all the way back out several times until it moves freely, then wipe off any excess.
 

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3rd gen > all others
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3,471 Posts
Ugh, the windshield. I hope you didn't get it replaced by Safelite. Every windshield I've had replaced by them cracked. Some on their own! We had a Magnum that went through 3 windshields in 2 years! The very last one we had the local Dodge dealership have their glass/windshield guy install one of his brands, and that one stood up until we sold it (and maybe even longer?).

Just so the intermittent airbag light and "swish swish" steering wheel noise isn't related (clockspring?).
 

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2006 Dodge Caravan SXE
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892 Posts
#3, very typical and common ordeal with not just Chrysler minivans, also many of their other vehicles too. Clockspring and contacts.

Have you pulled any codes or did the key dance 3X?
 
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