, Salem, MA


February 16, 2013

Suzuki's transmission jolts when shifting gears


Q: My vehicle is a 2005 Dodge Caravan. I have replaced everything: the tensioner pulley, AC compressor and belts, and my belt always slips when it’s wet. I did make sure that the hood drain wasn’t draining on the belt, and I put a plastic cover to keep tires from throwing water up from the ground. It helped, but the belt starts to slip and power steering goes out, then there is a squeal, then the alternator light goes on, then, after I stop, the belt grabs. I’ve had the belts changed two or three times. I’ve owned my van since it was new, and it is a 3.8-liter with 118,000 miles on it but runs and looks great; all highway miles with an oil change every 2,000 miles. Many people have this problem, but there is no solution. It doesn’t really matter what year the van is; they do this from 2000 on up. Can you help me?

A: I hope I can help you. There is a revised water shield for your vehicle. Make sure you have the latest version of this shield. Check if the crank shaft pulley is leaking oil onto the belt pulleys. Finally, wire brush all the pulleys and replace the belt with a quality belt.


Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to

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