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2002 Dodge Caravan- alternator rattle

2002 Dodge Caravan- alternator I have a 2002 Dodge Caravan with 3.3 engine with 75,000 kms. I'm getting a constant rattle sound that I have traced to the alternator, and can heard the loudest with the engine idling. Is this a common problem with this vehicle? Any helpful ideas on the root cause, and ways to correct the problem rattle would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Same thing: Rattle, growl and tapping coming from the accessory side of the engine that increases in speed as the engine RPM's go up. My improvised stethoscope pointed right at the alternator. The rebuilt one I got from AZ made the same sound, and actually failed on the road after 2 hours of operation. The old one, still in the back seat, got me home. The rebuilt Mopar I got from the dealership also made the same aweful noises. So, I went to my local Alternator Rebuild specialists in town and they gave me the real lowdown: My alternator bearings are Great; The brushes should last 250k miles; It's a dual stator Alt (one of the best); but the clutch pulley on the front was bad. He replaced it. Now... if it continues to sound bad, what's the most likely culprit?

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Check for belt alignment, the 2.2 had a problem with the water pump pulley being put on back wards.

Hope this helps.


Posted on Jan 22, 2010

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Thanks, Dave!
I actually found the problem within a week of my posting. The 1-year-old serpentine belt I got from AZ when I replaced the water pump had a 1" chunk missing on the grooved side causing the loudest "thunk" when it went around the smallest pulley.. the alternator! There was never anything wrong with my original alternator. (And the only one that went bad in the process was the rebuilt one I got from AZ!!) I have to admit, AZ has been a friend when it comes to loaning me special tools and helping me troubleshoot; and the guys are great.... but many of their parts can't be trusted. I recommend getting parts from the dealer, and oil-changes and windshield wipers from AZ. But I almost had to laugh.... All this hassle when I KNOW by now to look for the simplest solution.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010


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