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Discussion Starter #1
So, I have a perplexing issue with our 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan. The only way to explain it is that the engine kind of sounds like a diesel engine when it accelerates, with a whining type sound. The serpentine belt was removed and the engine run and there was no change in the noise. The timing belt/chain was replaced along with all the parts associated, except for the camshaft actuators. The noise got a little quieter after that repair, but it is still there. Mechanic used a stethoscope and the sound appears to be coming from the back of the engine towards the passenger side. The noise happens whether the car is in gear, neutral or park. We have now just had the transmission fluid flushed and changed. Thoughts?
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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14,810 Posts
Check the flexplate. It may have cracked or have cracks. When it happened on my '00 T&C Ltd 3.8L it sounded like marbles shaken in a coffee can - especially noticeable with the AC on at idle. Upon removal there were cracks from the center to the edge. The sound was the flexplate moving back and forth over the cracks. At first I thought it was the AC compressor since that is where the sound seemed to come from. The sound was actually traveling down the crankshaft and exiting via the AC compressor.

At the time a new flexplate was about $70, but the labor is the killer. Total cost was around $550.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Check the flexplate. It may have cracked or have cracks. When it happened on my '00 T&C Ltd 3.8L it sounded like marbles shaken in a coffee can - especially noticeable with the AC on at idle. Upon removal there were cracks from the center to the edge. The sound was the flexplate moving back and forth over the cracks. At first I thought it was the AC compressor since that is where the sound seemed to come from. The sound was actually traveling down the crankshaft and exiting via the AC compressor.

At the time a new flexplate was about $70, but the labor is the killer. Total cost was around $550.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll pass this on to my mechanic.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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14,810 Posts
Definitely not the flexplate. Sounds like a bad bearing maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for the suggestion. We found the problem and the van is fixed. We did have an issue with the timing chain. However, it was discovered that after fixing the timing chain issue, the noise went away when the serpentine belt was off, where before it stayed. It was then discovered that the alternator was bad. So, changed the alternator and the van is quiet again!
 
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