1987 Dodge Caravan Review

1987 Dodge Caravan SE V6 3.5 from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1987
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission V6 3.5 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired50 miles
Most recent distance205000 miles
Previous carPlymouth Volare

Summary:

It was never a dull ride.

Faults:

Within first 24 hours the battery died because of an idiot light that wouldn't shut off - light had to be disconnected.

Within 6 months - fuel injection pump went, and catalytic converter went.

2 years later the fuel injector pump went again - still under warranty.

Luckily I had purchased the extended warranty.

Chronic problem was the motor mounts kept shearing off. They had to be replaced the first time I had an oil change and again 3 times after that in the time I owned the caravan (10 years).

No heat in winter.

At 78,000 had the top half of the motor rebuilt.

Then the tie rods went - because the engine was resting on them - because of the motor mounts again.

Actually had the engine fall out while driving down Rte 9 - lots of sparks with that ride.

At around 87,000 transmission went - 2800 dollars and 3 weeks later - got my car back, but had continued problems with slippage. Brought back 5 times - still couldn't figure out what was wrong.

The get up and go the van had previously got up and went. Was told by mechanic that "this was the way the caravan was supposed to drive" - he had "never seen a caravan with as much spunk" as mine had before the transmission went.

Developed an oil leak.

At 97,000 had the struts replaced - normal wear and tear.

At 105,000 the rear hatch latch recall came out.

At about the same time catalytic converter went again.

After 5 years of ownership it developed a death rattle.

There was a constant vibration that could be felt in the steering wheel, but nothing could be found to cause it.

General Comments:

It seems I had more problems in the first 5 years with this vehicle than in the last 5 years I owned it.

I definitely got my moneys worth out of it - even with all the earlier headaches.

This was my first brand new car. It handled beautifully in the snow.

Had a tight wheel base for turning - getting in and out of small spots.

Didn't like hills. Chugged up anything with more than a 15 - 20 % incline.

Going down was even more fun - couldn't stop, even riding the brakes and down shifting.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th April, 2004

Average review marks: 5.2 / 10, based on 1 review