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I have a 1999 Dodge caravan with the 3.0 motor that has 144,000 km's on the dial. I change the oil every 5000 km's or 3 months. I have noticed that my van seems to be burning/losing alot of oil as i checked it out today after about 2 1/2 months and it was right down to the ADD on the dip-stick. I have noticed that the valve covers are leaking a bit but i do not think enough to lose that much oil within a 2 month period.

I am also noticing a knocking/pinging sound that is coming from in the head and my guess is that this could be a rocker or valve. What is the easiest way to fix the problem?. I have put lucas oil additive in but it did nothing, and i currently use a formula 1 oil filter with 5w30 formula 1 semi-synthetic. Are these 3.0 motors prone to having the knocking sound and also leaking oil from the valve covers?. Also, how the hell do you get at the back valve cover without having to tear half the motor down?

Last but not least, i seem to be hearing a cracking sound in the front of my van as well when i go over bumps or turn sharp corners. I have had the link bolts replaced within the last 5 months and i am not 100% sure if this could be cradle mounts or shocks or even CV axles. What are the most common symptoms for these vans to cause this kind of sound in the front end?

I knew i should have stayed away from the DODGE caravan :VHOT:
 

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MiDnIgHtRuMbLeR said:
I have a 1999 Dodge caravan with the 3.0 motor that has 144,000 km's on the dial. I change the oil every 5000 km's or 3 months. I have noticed that my van seems to be burning/losing alot of oil as i checked it out today after about 2 1/2 months and it was right down to the ADD on the dip-stick. I have noticed that the valve covers are leaking a bit but i do not think enough to lose that much oil within a 2 month period.

I am also noticing a knocking/pinging sound that is coming from in the head and my guess is that this could be a rocker or valve. What is the easiest way to fix the problem?. I have put lucas oil additive in but it did nothing, and i currently use a formula 1 oil filter with 5w30 formula 1 semi-synthetic. Are these 3.0 motors prone to having the knocking sound and also leaking oil from the valve covers?. Also, how the hell do you get at the back valve cover without having to tear half the motor down?

Last but not least, i seem to be hearing a cracking sound in the front of my van as well when i go over bumps or turn sharp corners. I have had the link bolts replaced within the last 5 months and i am not 100% sure if this could be cradle mounts or shocks or even CV axles. What are the most common symptoms for these vans to cause this kind of sound in the front end?

I knew i should have stayed away from the DODGE caravan :VHOT:

Check the oil pan for leaks. Tighten the valve covers. I do believe my friend telling me if I loosened the cam bolts (or something)... that the cam or something would fall back into place, then tighten the bolts back up. I think he said do that if there was a knocking....I cant remember what we were talking about. You might be able to get to the rear valve cover by taking the front motor/tranny mount off and pivoting the engine on the other 2 mounts. I just had my engine out and bolted a new tranny on it, but I didn't try to do the pivot thing. I have a 91 caravan, so we might not have the same setup. Good luck.
 

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The valve covers on the 3.0 can be a problem area. They get stiff from heat and will leak more than you'd think. I feel your pain on getting at the rear one, but can offer no better solution than removing the intake plenum (in which case you'll probably have to replace the gasket on it as well. This is time-consuming, but the degree of difficulty is not high.

As to the ticking sound from the head area, I seem to recall that this is one time when "they all do that" is the truth. I think I've heard or read something that it's a piston noise brought on by wear in the wrist pins. The good news is that it's not terminal, if I remember right. Perhaps someone else can offer more accurate info here.

And regarding your front end noise, well, there are a number of possibilities, but judging by your description of it as a "cracking" sound, only heard on bumps and corners, I would lean towards a CV shaft. Confirmation would be if the sound occurs most prominently after shifting from reverse to forward, or vice-versa. These can be a little pricey to have done, about $350 for the longer one, which I think is the right, and $300 for the shorter one. If it's anything else, it could be tie rod ends, but then you'd have noticable slop in the steering. These would be cheaper, however.

Good luck, and let us know what you find.

Rick
 

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MiDnIgHtRuMbLeR said:
I have a 1999 Dodge caravan with the 3.0 motor that has 144,000 km's on the dial. I change the oil every 5000 km's or 3 months. I have noticed that my van seems to be burning/losing alot of oil as i checked it out today after about 2 1/2 months and it was right down to the ADD on the dip-stick. I have noticed that the valve covers are leaking a bit but i do not think enough to lose that much oil within a 2 month period.
Being down to the "Add" mark means you are a quart low. Losing a quart of oil in 2-1/2 months is not excessive, on a car with that much mileage. Some new cars even use that much oil and that is within reasonable norms.


MiDnIgHtRuMbLeR said:
Last but not least, i seem to be hearing a cracking sound in the front of my van as well when i go over bumps or turn sharp corners. I have had the link bolts replaced within the last 5 months and i am not 100% sure if this could be cradle mounts or shocks or even CV axles. What are the most common symptoms for these vans to cause this kind of sound in the front end?
Check sway bar links and bushings. The bushings are cheap and have helped a lot of people.

MiDnIgHtRuMbLeR said:
I knew i should have stayed away from the DODGE caravan
The things you are describing are normal wear items on a car that is 6 years old. If you had a toyota or a honda or a ford or chevy, you would also have minor items wearing out. It is not because it is a Dodge, it's because it is a CAR.
 

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The head gasket on my 1993 2.5 Caravan is shot and I have been losong oil there. That could possibly be the problem for you. Drain some of your coolant and look to see if it is getting a brown color to it. If you have the red coolant, that could be a little difficult to see. But, if you can determine a brown color in the coolant, replace the head gasket.
 

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A blown head gasket would be evident in many more ways than described by Rumbler (it would run rough, it would lose coolant, it would stall at idle, etc., etc.). Let's not try to pole vault over an anthill just yet.

Rick
 

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You could lose that much oil from a leaky valve cover. Mine had the same issue w/oil use and I was losing about 1 quart in about 2 months or so. I had the valve cover gaskets replaced. Also noticed leaking from the seal where the oil filter adapter is attached to the block. Took off the adapter and replaced that seal as well. My oil use issues are solved
 
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