Why dowes my 2003 caravan hesitate at start up to go into drive

Sally Sklodo

Asked by Aug 04, 2014 at 07:16 AM about the 2003 Dodge Caravan Sport

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Fortunately this is not happening every time I start my van, but I worry that it will
someday not go into drive, and I will then be unable to get to work, graveyard shift....
When I start up and put into Drive, it does not engage, and I wait a few seconds, and
then it engages all is fine from then on. It has happened perhaps 6 times, in 9 months,
and the first time was 5 months into my ownership. I will have owned this 2003 Caravan
for 1 year come next month,September..

2 Answers


Start by checking transmission fluid. Check in Park at normal operating temperature, engine running, parked on level surface. Also have a good look at the fluid on the dipstick, needs to be nice and red/light red and not have a burnt odor. If it's a brown tint it needs to be changed, but a drain and fill only not a flush. Hopefully that's all it is, they don't have to lose much to cause your symptoms, as little as 1/2 quart low will do that.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Sally Sklodo

Will do, thank you for your fast reply. I was just at the dealership where I purchased it last week, and they "topped off" my fluids. It was in for an oil change ( supplied free for life, came with the purchase )..I guess they don't really look for issues, and I did not mention it. I will take a look at the color..thanks again!

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Running rough, hesitates, stumbles, runs great at 1/3 throttle. 44 answers

    2001 Caravan 3.3 Van was running great then while driving down the road it was as if someone flipped a switch. It started missing, hesitating and just running rough. It ran okay (not great) when the t...

    Dodge Caravan


    Maintenance & Repair

  • HELP!!! Rough idle hesitation when taking off? Mechanics have no clue 36 answers

    Hi, after van has ran for awhile when you come to a stop the idle is really rough. almost like it wants to stall. then when you let off the brake and give it gas it hesitates and stumbles before accel...

    2001 Dodge Caravan SE


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 03 dodge caravan wheel burin 2 answers

    I have a 2003 dodge caravan, I just recently got my break done, and a day after I started to have a problem where I would hear a shaking nice and a little shaking in the stearing wheel. I got out ...

    2003 Dodge Caravan SE


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 01 Dodge Caravan Stalls wont really run 10 answers

    The van will turn over start and i have to pump the gas to keep it going. It will idle once then after i turn it off it wont. it wont rev over 4k. no error codes(i have had some error codes at one t...

    2001 Dodge Caravan SE


    Maintenance & Repair

Search Dodge Caravan Questions

Dodge Caravan Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 1,200
#2 FordNut
Reputation 760
#3 joemom
Reputation 680
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Dodge Grand Caravan"
429 Great Deals out of 30,225 listings starting at $1,650
Used Chrysler Town & Country"
835 Great Deals out of 22,471 listings starting at $1,495
Used Honda Odyssey"
421 Great Deals out of 26,348 listings starting at $999
Used Toyota Sienna"
366 Great Deals out of 25,533 listings starting at $600
Used Dodge Durango"
383 Great Deals out of 22,493 listings starting at $995
Used Kia Sedona"
173 Great Deals out of 9,668 listings starting at $2,500
Used Nissan Quest"
98 Great Deals out of 3,603 listings starting at $2,900
Used Chrysler Pacifica"
25 Great Deals out of 21,143 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Corolla"
1,378 Great Deals out of 66,831 listings starting at $1,295
Used Ford Explorer"
1,336 Great Deals out of 71,184 listings starting at $985
Used Ford Escape"
1,673 Great Deals out of 94,880 listings starting at $500
Used Ford F-150"
3,174 Great Deals out of 215,800 listings starting at $1,000
Used Honda Civic"
1,135 Great Deals out of 57,877 listings starting at $1,295

Used Cars For Sale