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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1998 Grand Dodge Caravan SE, 3.8L, AWD.
Going in for tire rotation, the tire tech at Sam's Club told me my tires did not match the OEM speed rating for my minivan...! :jpshakehe (I did buy them at Sam's)
What is the proper speed rating?
 

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Likely S or T but check your door placard. T most likely.

http://tires.canadiantire.ca/en/tires/search/?vehicle=1998_Dodge_Grand%20Caravan_4%20Dr%20Mini%20Passenger%20Van_ES%2016%26quot%20option_215%252F65R16%2523REGULAR%2523Both&id=50874&runFlatAvailable=false

http://www.goodyear.ca/en-CA/tires/search/findMultipleTiresByVehicle?redirecUrl=/en-CA/tires/search/1998_Dodge_Grand-Caravan_ES-All~-wheel-drive

What the letters mean: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=35
L 75 mph 120 km/h Off-Road & Light Truck Tires
M 81 mph 130 km/h Temporary Spare Tires
N 87 mph 140km/h
P 93 mph 150 km/h
Q 99 mph 160 km/h Studless & Studdable Winter Tires
R 106 mph 170 km/h H.D. Light Truck Tires
S 112 mph 180 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
T 118 mph 190 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
U 124 mph 200 km/h
H 130 mph 210 km/h Sport Sedans & Coupes
V 149 mph 240 km/h Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars
Load Ratings:
Rating/Pounds/Kilograms
95 1521 690
96 1565 710
97 1609 730
98 1653 750
99 1709 775
100 1764 800
 
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A V rating ought to cover all but a few driving situations... :ThumbsUp:
 

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SRSLY they sold you tires with a speed rating less than S? I didn't even think that existed! I mean I know it exists but I didn't think in real life they were available, generally.
 

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SRSLY they sold you tires with a speed rating less than S? I didn't even think that existed! I mean I know it exists but I didn't think in real life they were available, generally.
+1

Have Sam's Club put that in writing and cite the source.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies.
I found out the speed rating should be a T and my tires are indeed a T so my tires are OK for speed and the tech was wrong.
But I see in a post above by Jeepman, that my load shold be 98 and my tires are 97. How important is the difference?
Not sure if I should start a new thread for this new defect, (Moderator, please advise?) but continuing on the issue of the tech voiding my warranty, one of the defects he checked was uneven thread wear .
I understand that some tire problems can damage the All Wheel Drive transmission.
Which level of defect becomes critical, whereby one should buy new tires?
Unfortunately I was unable to do tire rotation for a long time, and as a result I have these thread
depth discrepancies between the front and rear tires:

DRV FRONT 9/32
PASS FRONT 9/32

DRV REAR 7/32
PASS REAR 6/32

is the difference too great and causing damage?
Should I buy a set of 4 new tires at this point?
and is the difference such as to cause warranty voiding, if so for only the 6/32 tire or for all of them?
 

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Thanks for all the replies.
I found out the speed rating should be a T and my tires are indeed a T so my tires are OK for speed and the tech was wrong.
But I see in a post above by Jeepman, that my load shold be 98 and my tires are 97. How important is the difference?
Not sure if I should start a new thread for this new defect, (Moderator, please advise?) but continuing on the issue of the tech voiding my warranty, one of the defects he checked was uneven thread wear .
I understand that some tire problems can damage the All Wheel Drive transmission.
Which level of defect becomes critical, whereby one should buy new tires?
Unfortunately I was unable to do tire rotation for a long time, and as a result I have these thread
depth discrepancies between the front and rear tires:

DRV FRONT 9/32
PASS FRONT 9/32

DRV REAR 7/32
PASS REAR 6/32

is the difference too great and causing damage?
Should I buy a set of 4 new tires at this point?
and is the difference such as to cause warranty voiding, if so for only the 6/32 tire or for all of them?
Tread depths within 2/32" to 4/32" depending on vehicle. Your Owner Manual should say. Here's what Tire Rack says: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=18 Could boost the air up a couple pounds in the most worn tire.

As to load rating:
Never use a tire with a smaller load index or capacity, other than what was originally equipped on your vehicle. Using a tire with a smaller load index could result in tire overloading and failure. You could lose control and have an accident.
Check your door placard for load rating. Do you drive with heavy loads in your vehicle? The difference between 97 and 98 is only 44 lbs per tire or 176 lbs. Just put one passenger in a trailer. :) Also check your Owner Manual for the load carrying capacity of your vehicle and compare that to what the tires give you. I think you are likely OK for normal loads.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I have neither the manual nor the door placard, (although I will double-check on that one: I'm missing a sticker but it might not be that one)
Basically, I'm hoping there is an AWD Caravan owner who can tell me if 3/32 difference is 1)- critical for my transmission 2)- bad enough to cause for my tire warranty to be voided?
 

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Another two references of interest:
- http://www.weareaccurateautomotive.com/blog-0/bid/128677/Tires-for-All-Wheel-drive-vehicle-Beware

- http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/15147-AWD-does-it-need-all-4-tires-to-be-same-thread-pattern-amp-depth?p=143846#post143846
Chrysler has informed its dealers that tire rotation and tire circumference is critical to the proper operation of the Power Transfer Units on all 1996-2001 Town & Country, Caravan, and Voyager vehicles. They are experiencing a much higher than normal failure rate because of this problem. The uneven rotation is actually toasting the guts of the all-wheel drive unit. You must use identical BRAND tires with equal amounts of wear for all 4 tires. Tires of different brands, even brand new and of the same listed size, may differ in outer circumference.
I suggest you start a separate Thread re "Determining what tire wear differences are acceptable for a 1998 AWD Caravan" or add to the one referenced above.

However, seeing that you are in a bind with finding out this critical information regarding your drive train, and it may not be in the Owner Manual even if you had one, I would consider another approach such as emailing or PMing (Private Message) some members "in the know" so to speak. Three come to mind that you might contact:
- ChryslerCares - works for Chrysler - http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/member.php/22842-ChryslerCares

- jgbat - Mopar parts and Service Pro - http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/member.php/13242-jgbat

- 1994-Sport - 25 Years ASE Certified per http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/56001-The-dual-sided-belt-kit-controversy?p=525081#post525081 - http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/member.php/22524-1994-Sport
 
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Discussion Starter #10
thanks so much Jeepman for these details and links!
I have worse repair needs right now to prioritize, I will follow up. I have gotten enough info now in this thread to feel confident at least, that the Sam's tech was wrong and I have a good chance to get a better tire review at another Sam's, using the info I got here. Will follow up on your links to decide whether to buy new tires or not, all 4 on my car are same brand and model, bought as a set of 4.
 
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