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2002 Grand Caravan Sport - Green Onyx 3.3 - 158,000, 2nd Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Afternoon....

The AC was not blowing cold. I tested pressure seemed there was some so I tried to charge it.

It became apparent that something was leaking. A steady stream of Freon came out forward through the Coolant radiator.

Exactly what is behind that which could be leaking, you can see nothing. I couldn't find a diagram...

I can live without the AC up here but if it's a cheap fix I might give it a try.

Thanks
 

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The AC condenser sits in front of the radiator, which is probably what you saw leaking. No fix other than to replace the condenser, if that is what is leaking.
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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Also, pay attention to the transmission cooler, which on an '02 is separately mounted between the A/C condenser and radiator.

They are 'secured' <---sarcasm to the mounting brackets with two rivets. They often come adrift when the rivets break. And that could have damaged either the A/C condenser or the cooling system radiator.

Several YouTube videos exist on removal. Rather than replace ours (which was leaking trans oil) I repaired the mounts with JB Weld and straps.
 
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2002 Grand Caravan Sport - Green Onyx 3.3 - 158,000, 2nd Owner
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Marvin.... Yes that is what it is. I thought I was looking at the radiator in front because I could not see where it was coming from.

Now knowing that, you can see where the fins were damaged about where it was spraying out of....thanks, it appears to be a not so expensive part.

Car Buff... Thanks I watched the video. It helped to see what it will take... 😊
 

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The first couple years of 4th gen minivans had a problem with A/C condensers. The lower portion of it is exposed and is subject to impacts from debris that can rupture the soft aluminum. I replaced a lot of them back in the day. Eventually Chrysler came out with a plastic deflector to protect the condenser yet still allow sufficient airflow. They began installing them at the factory and issued a TSB for older vehicles that suffered damage. I don't recall what year they began using them. I also have no idea what the part number might be but you can probably find one at a junkyard. It looks like this behind the bumper fascia:



Replacing the A/C condenser is not terribly difficult. If you do decide to replace it, do basically as the video shows. For much easier access, disconnect the fan relay and then remove the four nuts that hold the bumper reinforcement to the frame and get that out of the way. This will give you tons of room to work.

Don't forget to add some fresh PAG oil, 50 ml or 1.7 ounces according to Chrysler. This doesn't have to be super exact. A good evacuation is essential before a recharge after having the system open. If you don't have the equipment have somebody do the evac and recharge for you. Moisture, even in tiny amounts, is the enemy of all refrigerant systems.

 

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Good Afternoon....

The AC was not blowing cold. I tested pressure seemed there was some so I tried to charge it.

It became apparent that something was leaking. A steady stream of Freon came out forward through the Coolant radiator.

Exactly what is behind that which could be leaking, you can see nothing. I couldn't find a diagram...

I can live without the AC up here but if it's a cheap fix I might give it a try.

Thanks
Have used this in my 01 Dodge 2500 diesel several years ago. Still holding. Had a leak in the evaporator. Dealership wanted $1000 to fix.


Caution: Follow the directions exactly, this stuff will plug the ports.
 

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.....A good evacuation is essential before a recharge...If you don't have the equipment have somebody do the evac and recharge for you....
@TimP Amen!! You’ll likely be making a poor assumption if you think their is no pressure or Freon in the system because of the leak.

Be sure to have the system evacuated before you open up the condenser connections.

Follow @Valhallalla ’s advice and add PAG oil to the condenser before sealing it back up.

Don’t forget to do a vacuum test to confirm the system is properly sealed before recharging it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I am sorry I don't know how to use the quote thing... 😊

Valhallalla... Exactly the problem because when it was blowing out I saw this damaged area and even though I didn't think that was leaking I thought ... That area is exposed. Was obvious why there was damage. I will keep in mind since I am on dirt roads to stay well behind the car in front of me.

This is 3rd on my van work list.... I will start to collect the parts and have to wait until the weather cools since I have the animals and camped out in the van... It's too hot for in town afternoons and car repairs . I think the guy helps me in little town next to me has the stuff to clean the system...

Beretta96... Yes my mistake. I read where if you had pressure you likely did not have a leak... But I also read for $20 you'll find out if you have a leak... So I went with that.

SRWA... I think the hole is too big to plug, it was coming out pretty good. I would be afraid to depend on that. But thanks I did see that stuff. The one I used says leak sealer... Who knows if it is sealed or not but I am doubting it. As I looked more the condenser is pretty banged in at that place.

One more question 🙋

I went to the dump to take my 1 trash bag and they weigh the big vehicles, so I could see my weight and I was 5550 pounds.Wow .. 50 over GVWR... The next time it was 5600. The back end is down. I really didn't think it was that high. Car drives fine but on a windy, seaside road going to get engine cleaned you could feel the light sway from the weight.

The PO put 215 75 15 tires on the front... Not 215 70 15. No idea why, but they seem fine. They were brand new when I got the van, so they are staying. The rear tires will soon need replaced.

I am considering putting air Monroe bag shocks on the back, seems an easy trade and I can have my mechanic loosen the shock nuts for me when he puts on the tires.. Shocks are $100 and buy 215 75 15 All Terrain tires.... My Range Rover had those shocks , they work well on dirt roads, absorbing washboard roads .... That one single leaf spring in the back needs help.

Has anyone upgraded their rear suspension? I see questions but nobody that's done those air bags that reported it. I think the all terrain tires are better for me but with the weight I wondered about LT tires but maybe too stiff but at max gvwr, maybe not
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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rear suspension topic:

 

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2002 Grand Caravan Sport - Green Onyx 3.3 - 158,000, 2nd Owner
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Carbuff2....

Thanks that was very helpful...
Determining the rear end sure is much less hassle than the front, I will buy the air bag shocks. As for the front It's confusing.
I am looking at property to buy and everything in my price range is on horrible roads. This van was not made for these roads but am trying to make the best of it.
Seems the front end workis not a camping out job and my front struts seem fine so..

Thanks again
 
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