1988 Dodge Caravan Reviews

1988 Dodge Caravan LE 3.0 from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 3.0 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired50 miles
Most recent distance144000 miles
Previous carDodge Ford

Summary:

Excellent vehicle and drive

Faults:

Headliner fell apart 3 years ago. Water pump had to be replaced at 140,000 miles. Light in the glove compartment was draining the battery. Transmission is beginning to not shift smoothly.

General Comments:

The van is the best vehicle we own. It is easy to drive and seats everyone comfortably. It just passed a recent smog test at 144,000 miles after having a tuneup.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2006

1988 Dodge Caravan SE 2.5L 4-Cylinder turbo from North America

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.5L 4-Cylinder turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 kilometres
Most recent distance85959 kilometres

Summary:

I'm glad I bought my granduncle's minivan since being a student is financially constraining

Faults:

The rear trunk door makes noise while driving because the door may not be closed tightly with the frame. I will have to get that fixed.

One of the brake lights burned out.

The car has moss growing around the body, but that's because I haven't driven the vehicle for over a year.

General Comments:

This car is brand new! The seats are still in perfect condition except the driver seat.

The suspension is so stiff that cornering around turns makes the tires screech.

The hub cabs on the minivan are so mint that you'd think the car just came from a dealership.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th November, 2004

25th Feb 2005, 17:19

What is wrong with you, you said the van is like mint why wouldn't you buy another vechicles from Dodge?

1988 Dodge Caravan 2.5 liter 4 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.5 liter 4 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired97347 miles
Most recent distance161259 miles
Previous carPontiac 6000

Summary:

A cheap reliable vehicle

Faults:

The Head gasket blew at 109,780.

The timing belt broke at 153,980.

Hit a deer at 158,098.

New water pump at 159,670.

New struts and tie rod ends at 160,000.

General Comments:

The van as a great a/c and is pretty roomy inside.

It doesn't have the best paint its peeling everywhere.

Lots of noises coming from the bottom of the van in the back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2004

1988 Dodge Caravan SE 2.5 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1992
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.5 Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired79000 miles
Most recent distance196000 miles
Previous carSubaru 4WD

Summary:

A good car with reasonable performance

Faults:

At about 80000 miles I began to smell sugar in the exhaust and knew I had a blown head gasket. I replaced it myself and am ready for another now that the car has 196000 miles.

The air conditioner broke at about 100000 and I chose to just let it die- too expensive to have it fixed.

I have replaced the outside CV joint boots several times. I mostly blame the quality of replacement parts I used for the repeat failures.

Between 80000 and 100000, the MAP died and I had a repair shop replaced it for me.

At about 160000 miles, the front left wheel bearing got so bad, the car was having difficulty staying on a straight line. This was corrected by a junk-yard bargain and is still working great.

The main ball joints failed at about 130000. This problem took me an entire Christmas vacation to remedy. New joints work excellent now.

In winter, the heater almost never produces enough heat to warm anything, but the windshieled.

General Comments:

This has been the most non-lemon of a car I have ever owned! Starts every time even in winter. Comfortable seating for my large family. With the bench seats removed, the van makes a great pick-up truck for hauling almost anything. I driven it back and forth to work everyday for over 5 years now. Before that it was my wife's main transportation for all the kids. This was the first car I ever owned with a computer and I was quite suspicious of the reliability, but this car just goes and goes. I've used the "on board diagnostics" to read the computer service codes and make repairs myself that really fix the problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2004

6th Apr 2006, 23:05

Thanks for the review. I too own a 1988 Dodge Caravan and love it. It too just keeps going. The air conditioning stopped working after 5 years. I have 143,000 miles current. We replaced the water pump. Just passed smog test. Any idea why the van jolts when shifting from drive to reverse.. Does it have anything to do with chaning transmission fluid or transmission (possible failure)? Thanks.

1988 Dodge Caravan LE 3.0L V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.0L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired8 miles
Most recent distance313256 miles
Previous carChrysler LeBaron

Summary:

One happy Caravan owner

Faults:

The air conditioning system seems to be my major concern ; Although I can say it has worked reasonably well. I seem to have to have the system fixed or repaired more often than with other Chrysler products that I have owned.

The automatic went out after 225,000 miles,unfortunately I can't expect everything to last forever I also have a concern with the drive axles ; ie.. the cv boots.

General Comments:

I am overall very pleased with my van as it has been a reliable source of transportation for yours truly. It is fairly comfortable on long drives ; although somewhat boring.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2003

1988 Dodge Caravan SE 2.5 liter Chrysler from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.5 liter Chrysler Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired12 miles
Most recent distance128700 miles
Previous carSAAB 99

Summary:

The van is a boat and the kids hate being seen in it, but it has served its purpose well

Faults:

Air conditioner clutch has failed 3 times. Once after 3 years. Again at about 6 years and most recently at about 14 years. Problem is associated with vacuum driven mechanism which disengages the air conditioner clutch when the power is needed to propel the van. After the second failure the dealer installed a device which decreased the frequency the clutch was disengaged. This helped considerably.

Manual transmission failed in 2000 at about 110,000. Major rebuild ($1,900) was required. Parts were hard to find since the van old. Initial parts queries at junk yards were not promising since not many manual transmissions were sold.

I purchased the shop manual from Dodge when I purchased the van and mostly followed the recommended maintenance schedules. One point I think they missed was omission of checking the timing belt on the 2.5 liter Chrysler engine. My manual says to check the belt on regular intervals for the 3.0L Mitsubishi, but does not mention anything for the 2.5L Chrysler. I made the wrong assumption that it had a timing chain and it did not need to be checked. Consequently, the timing belt failed at about 120,000 miles. No damage was done to the engine and the replacement went well.

General Comments:

Not enough engine for the weight of vehicle, but I think I got my moneys worthy. Now that the kids are grown I am looking forward to the day that it finally fails so that I can get something more fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd January, 2003

17th May 2003, 22:23

I have had my Dodge Caravan for 15 years and have no major problems with it, it has never failed me, always runs great and always starts up.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 6 reviews