1996 Dodge Caravan Reviews - Page 10 of 12

1996 Dodge Caravan Base 3.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.0 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance146000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Blazer

Summary:

A total piece of CRAP created by a company who couldn't care less about people

Faults:

LEMON. This van has caused us so much grief, aggravation and financial burden. We've spent more than the purchase price in repairs since we've bought it, but have kept it for one reason, which is we can't start over with a new car loan right now.

Dodge replaced a defective gas tank, along with the recalls that came out when we first bought it -- the tail gate problem for one.

We have the transmission rebuilt three times, have had axles replaced, strut problems, the oxygen sensor, the gas gauge constantly dings and flutters up and down. If we drive it on a trip for a few hours, it sometimes just dies as we are exiting the freeway -- this is very dangerous. Takes a few minutes or longer and starts again. The windshield wipers come on by themselves all the time. The radio stayed on long after the van was turned off -- key removed -- killed the battery twice on that. The cracking sounds coming from the front end are quite scary. We cannot get rid of the oil leaks -- Dodge can't even stop the oil leaks! This isn't even the tip of the iceberg, people.

General Comments:

We have spent a tremendous amount of time and money on this hunk of CRAP. We will NEVER buy another one or another Chrysler in general EVER. They do not stand behind their products and in fact rig future repairs once they know the car is no longer under warranty. Oh, I should mention that this was the replacement provided to us by Spitzer Dodge in Homestead, FL who had already sold us another lemon that they, after numerous attempts could not fix!!! LEMON, LEMON, LEMON!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2002

10th Aug 2003, 11:21

To whom it may concern:

I would like to make a positive comment about our caravan (1996) we have been to North Carolina, Wildwood NJ, a lot of places, with our van, touch wood we never had a problem with our van yet. How ever we did replace the transmission at 90,000 miles, we must repair the door lock on the back left door, but other than minor repairs and general maintenance we never had a problem with this minivan. I would buy another if I could afford one.

31st Jul 2005, 08:04

Alas Misery loves company and us Dodge Caravan owners have a lot of company. At least I'm not nuts when I say the thing just stops for no good reason. The windshield wipers start as if by magic. The vehicle just hesitates going at highway speed just long enough to raise your blood pressure 25 points. Yeah, that airbag light was on for a year or so until Chrysler fessed up and fixed it. I just bought a new car and NO it wasn't a Chrysler product. Fool me once...

1996 Dodge Caravan Grand LE 3.3 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.3 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired15 miles
Most recent distance78600 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Great van, except for transmission and electronics and trim

Faults:

Transmission exploded (!) at 1100 miles. Dealer replaced under warranty. 6 other 1996 Caravans were lined up at this dealer for same problem!

ABS system is hung from undercarriage and is constantly splashed from tires, causing it to disintegrate over time.

Steering column electronics went out one by one. Warning lights come on for no reason, at random times.

Door trim and armrest padding comes loose constantly.

General Comments:

This van is roomy, comfortable, easy to drive. Great on long trips.

Mechanically, this car is junk!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th August, 2002

1996 Dodge Caravan SE 3.0 six from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.0 six Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles
Previous carHyundai Sonata

Summary:

What a piece of poorly engineered crap

Faults:

Transmission went at 69,000.

Wipers come on by themselves.

The clockspring (wiring harness in the steering wheel) is broken that causes my airbag, horn and cruise control not to work. This will cost $149 for labor and $95 for the part. Chrysler charges you the $77 diagnostic fee, even though they are fully aware of this problem, and have a TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN for this problem.

The airbag and horn won't work for this problem, yet they won't do a safety recall on it. The NHTSA is investigating this problem now!

See this site for more info on the clockspring problem:

http://rnn9ny.tripod.com/chryslerminivanclockspringdefect/

Brakes are terrible. Rotors warp all of the time. ABS goes off when I hit bumps.

Struts leak and creak.

Glove compartment broke.

I didn't know that my horn didn't work until I had to use it in an emergency situation, and almost got killed, along with my two children.

General Comments:

Chrysler does not stand behind their products. You are stuck footing the bill for poor quality and defective parts.

The van may cost less than others, but you will end up paying much more for it, due to the expensive repairs you'll have to make.

My advice to Chrysler; DON'T WAIT FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO MANDATE A RECALL FOR A SAFETY DEFECT, CARE A BIT ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS, AND MAYBE YOU MIGHT GET A RETURN CUSTOMER.

It's pretty damned irresponsible to allow your customers to drive around in unsafe and dangerous vehicles, just so you don't have to dish out the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th June, 2002

11th Nov 2002, 00:24

Our '97 Dodge Grand Caravan with 3.3Liter Six and 4 speed transmission has the same clock spring problem, but has 97,000 miles, so I don't know yet if it will be covered by the recall. The airbag light stays on, the horn works intermittently, the wipers come on by themselves (dealer has supposedly fixed this twice) and the transmission leaks. Have replaced the water pump, radiator fan relay switch, starter motor, struts, and the parking brake pedal assembly twice, and it's broken again. Compare that to my '92 Toyota with 103,000 miles and its only repair ever was a leak in the radiator. The Toyota still has its original brake pads, while the Dodge is needing it's fourth set. Both were purchased new and driven by mature adults.

Average review marks: 5.0 / 10, based on 46 reviews