If you’ve got a Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8 CRD (otherwise known as the Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Grand Caravan) which no longer blows out warm air from the heater then there’s a good chance that you have a faulty thermostat stuck in the open position.
There are many reasons as to why your car might not blow hot air which can include there not being enough coolant in the engine, coolant leaks, clogged radiators and more but one easy way to tell that it may be your thermostat that’s faulty is if your engine takes longer than usual to get up to operating temperature, or doesn’t get up to operating temperature at all! The 2.8 CRD Chrysler Grand Voyager’s temperature gauge typically sits at or just below half way when fully warmed up which is when your heater will work best.
About a year ago I noticed that my Chrysler’s temperature gauge would sit lower than usual, about a quarter of the way up the temperature gauge and that my heaters would take a very long time to start blowing hot air. Eventually they would blow out mildly warm air at best (not enough to warm up the car) and only work well when stuck in heavy traffic. Initially I thought it was due to the radiator having a slight leak, but the problem continued after I had installed a new one.
Eventually I asked the question on a Chrysler Grand Voyager/Town and Country forum where almost everyone recommended replacing the thermostat. Not only this but the thermostat for the Chrysler isn’t a straight forward job to replace as well as it being fairly costly at around the £100 mark depending on where you shop.
I did however read that there is a cheaper and less labour intensive way of getting your heaters to blow hot air again! Instead of replacing your Chrysler Grand Voyager’s original thermostat, you can simply add a second Renault thermostat to the upper coolant pipe. I’ll explain more below.
What thermostat do I need to do the Chrysler Grand Voyager Renault thermostat modification?
As you can see from the title, it’s a Renault thermostat that you need to fit into the top hose of your Chrysler Grand Voyager, Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Grand Caravan but which Renault do you need the thermostat from? At which degrees do you need the thermostat to open?
I actually struggled with this myself. Upon further investigation, I ended up watching a ‘Chrysler Grand Voyager Town and Country 2005 radiator thermostat modification‘ video on YouTube which contained a link in the video description to the thermostat needed on eBay. This was great, but what if I ever needed to replace the new thermostat and the eBay item was no longer available? I needed to know exactly which thermostat was needed.
Luckily the eBay description included the product number which I searched on Google and was directed to some other vehicle parts stores. On one of these websites it showed a list of compatible cars, one of which was a 1992 Renault Espace. That’s just what I needed!
I then went to the Euro Car Parts website, searched for the 1993 Renault Espace thermostat and Bingo! Not only was it the correct part, but at the time of purchase it was on sale for just £7.47, better than the £18 eBay price (including postage). Oh and incase you’re wondering, this thermostat opens at 89 degrees and the one I purchased in particular carries the part number 209745041.
Full instructions on how to do the Chrysler Grand Voyager mk4 (2001-2008) Renault thermostat modification
Before starting this step by step guide on how to do the Renault thermostat modification on your Chrysler Grand Voyager, Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town & Country, it’s worth noting that mine is a 2001-2008 2.8 CRD. I am unsure if this modification works on the 2.5 diesel engines or 3.3 petrol engines so please disregard this article if you don’t have the 2.8 CRD model. Below are the full instructions on how I added the Renault thermostat to my Chrysler Grand Voyager.
Step 1. Drill a 1.5mm hole through the body of your new Renault thermostat
I am unsure if drilling a 1.5mm hole through the body of your new Renault thermostat is absolutely necessary but it was recommended when doing my research online. This is to help release any trapped air and allow a very small but constant flow of water through your radiator pipes and into your engine.
What I would say is that drilling this hole wasn’t easy! After 10 minutes of constant drilling and not getting anywhere, I eventually gave in and switched my combi drill to the hammer drill setting to make the hole. Luckily I didn’t damage the thermostat! Who knows, maybe my drill bit just wasn’t up to the job!
Step 2. Open your bonnet and look for the top radiator hose which sits next to your coolant reservoir
Luckily for me, I never kept my engine cover on after it started cutting into my radiator hoses a few years ago, but for everyone else it’s best to start by opening your bonnet and removing the 3 nuts that hold your plastic engine cover in place. Once off, the top radiator hose should be right infront of you. Above is a picture if the hose that you want to locate.
Step 3. Remove the clamp that holds your radiator hose in place and pull it off
Before removing the top radiator hose, it’s recommended to syphon the coolant out of the reservoir tank to minimise the amount of coolant lost when removing the top hose. Ofcourse this isn’t completely necessary but if you don’t do it then it can get quite messy with lots of coolant ending up on the ground beneath.
Below is a link to the Amazon store for a syphon hose pump incase you need it. As an Amazon affiliate partner, we receive a commission for any purchase made when being directed via a link on this website.
Using some pliers, just squeeze the hose clamp to losen it and pull it back, away from the radiator hose. The hose itself will be stuck on tight making it very difficult to twist and pull off with nothing but your hands. On my Chrysler Grand Voyager, I had to use the help of some water pump pliers which allowed me to remove the hose with ease.
Below is a link to the Amazon store for some water pump pliers incase you need them. As an Amazon affiliate partner, we receive a commission for any purchase made when being directed via a link on this website.
Step 4. Insert the Renault thermostat into your Chrysler’s top radiator hose
I struggled for 10 minutes trying to get the new thermostat into the radiator hose but it’s just such a tight fit I couldn’t do it! I gave in and applied a very small amount of grease around the inside of the hose and it made life so much easier! Although I still needed to push the hose/thermostat end against the engine block to give it enough force to push it all the way in.
I ended up pushing the thermostat in enough that it was almost flush to the end of the radiator hose. This was to allow enough room for the hose to go back on.
Step 5. Fit your Chrysler’s radiator hose back on
Once your Renault thermostat is deep enough inside your Chrysler’s radiator hose that it can push back on then all you need to do is exactly that, not forgetting to fix it in place with the clamp that you removed earlier on.
It’s recommended to add a jubilee clip to help stop the thermostat from moving further down the pipe. This can be done by just ever so slightly tightening the jubilee hose clamp around the radiator hose, just below where the thermostat sits.
Step 6. Top up the coolant reservoir and take your Chrysler Grand Voyager for a drive
Once everything is put back together, it’s time to top up your coolant reservoir with the coolant you removed earlier, or new coolant if you didn’t syphon it out.
With the coolant cap off, start your engine and switch the heaters on full blast, on the hottest setting and have them blow out towards you. Keep an eye on your coolant level as this will likely go down as trapped air makes it’s way out of the coolant reservoir (since the cap is off). Keep topping up if necessary, until the car is fully warmed up (at about the half way mark on the temperature gauge).
Once done, I would recommend going for a short drive, no longer than 10-20 minutes and making sure that you have no over-heatiig issues and that the heaters are blowing out hot air.
When you return from your short drive, let your Chrysler Grand Voyager cool down before opening the coolant reservoir and topping it up further if needed.
My thoughts on how to do the Chrysler Grand Voyager mk4 (2001-2008) Renault thermostat modification
At the time of installing a Renault thermostat to my Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8 CRD (Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan) the replacement thermostat manufactured for the Chrysler was on sale at approximately £80 whilst the Renault thermostat was on sale for under £10. That’s a saving of £70! Not only this, but the whole thermostat modification took no more than 15-20 minutes which is so much quicker than replacing the original, which is suppose to be a fairly difficult job.
I’m not usually a fan of aftermarket vehicle modifications and I’m sure Chrysler wouldn’t recommend doing it but I have to say that as far as modifications go, this one has worked a treat for me. For the first time in as long as I can remember, the heaters actually blow out hot air! It never seems to go above the half way mark so I’ve had no over-heating problems and days after adding the Renault thermostat I went on a 3 hour journey (3 hours each way) with no problems whatsoever. Would I recommend doing the Chrysler Grand Voyager mk4 2.8 thermostat modification? Absolutely I would!