1996 Dodge Caravan SE 3.0 from North America




At 31,000 miles the transmission went. It tore itself up so badly that the Dodge dealer couldn't repair it and had to replace it. The problem was even though the car was three years old at that time; it had just passed out of warranty. The transmission never even made it to Dodge's first scheduled transmission maintenance! In Dodge's defense they did pay $700.00 toward the bill. The total cost was $2000.00. I called and spoke with a customer representative and she assured me that their transmissions were very good and reliable! I asked her if that was the reason why Dodge was promoting their 7 year 100,000 mile warranty? To regain the customers confidence because there was nothing wrong with them? I tried to be faithful to America by buying American. It turns out that the car was manufactured in Canada. Never again!

General Comments:

The back electric window stopped working an 35,000 miles.

The passenger electric door stopped locking at about the same time.

The mirror fell off the windshield twice.

It failed inspection last year for excessive smoke from the exhaust system.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th May, 2004

20th Jan 2006, 00:23

What's wrong with cars made in Canada? Remember it's still a Dodge. That means it's American engineering that creates the crap. Don't blame the hands that put the garbage together.

12th Aug 2009, 01:58

Yours was built in Windsor, Ontario. less than 5 blocks from the Detroit border... to say it was Canadian built is technically correct, but barely worth mentioning.

12th Aug 2009, 11:39

It's still built by Canadian's, so it's not helping American workers, so yes it is worth mentioning.

1996 Dodge Caravan 3.0 liter from North America


A mistake I won't make again


Transmission blew at 90,000.

Engine blew at 130,000.

Fan relay replaced under recall at 55,000.

Relay blew again six months later. Locked up the transmission fan. Was not replaced under warranty.

Check engine light comes on and goes off for no apparent reason.

It's necessary to add one quart of oil every 7-10 days.

Water trapped in body panel behind driver's rear wheel, created rust through spot.

New transmission won't shift until almost 30 mph into second.

Removable rear seats are extremely heavy and require two people to operate levers.

The rear seats can't be moved forward or backward for leg room.

The most-rear seat does not fold flat to accommodate groceries.

The middle seat bumps the front seats unless they are fully upright.

Front door panels are popping out of the door at the bottom.

The headlight covers (plastic) are so scuffed from wind and dirt that only about half the light is emitted.

The cup holder springs have sprung.

Cup holders are too shallow.

The rear door does not lift out of the way without being pushed by hand.

Driver's side middle door is extremely difficult to operate. The handle must be vigorously pressed and pulled. The door then slides very roughly.

Windshield is impossible to clean unless one's arms are four feet long.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th April, 2004

1996 Dodge Caravan 3.0 liter 6 cylinder from North America


Makes you want to buy a Honda


Transmission had to be replace at 64,000 miles, over $1,000.

Clockspring in steering column was replaced 70,000 miles.

Windshield wipers have a mind of their own!

Car shimmies and shakes when traveling over 65 mph.

Air conditioner blows out more hot air than cold.

Heater takes 20 minutes to warm van.

Air conditioner compressor froze up at 84,000 miles.

Headlights are extremely dim.

General Comments:

Although I would give it high ratings for its utility, I wouldn't suggest anyone buy one.

I payed $5,000 for the van just off of lease with only 54,000 miles on it, 10,000 miles later the transmission was completely gone and cost over $1,000 to fix (half of the price the Dodge dealership wanted!).

The air conditioner never worked and when I took it to get checked out the people told me not to bother because "Chrysler air conditioners never work". The heat takes forever to heat the van also.

The windshield wipers do whatever they want, turn on by themselves, off by themselves, and often times decide to stop right in the middle of the windshield.

Overall I have been thoroughly unhappy with this vehicle and the money it requires to keep going. And mine only has 84,000 miles on it!

I'm in the market for a Honda!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th March, 2004

30th Nov 2004, 11:38

Honda has a bigger transmission problem than Chrysler.

10th Feb 2007, 23:21

Previous reader is right.Caravan's rival Honda Odyssey has a huge issue with auto transmissions. I still don't understand why such a big continent as North America can't learn how to drive manual. take look at Europe. Its hard to find car with auto, and everybody is happy.

11th Feb 2007, 06:11

I agree, that is a problem with cars in this country -- it is very hard to find a manual transmission, anymore. It used to be that the manual was the base option, and the automatic was the special order, but now it's the other way. It also used to be that a manual was an option on nearly every car. The new sophisticated 5-speed automatics seem to be a weak link in many vehicles.

13th Aug 2008, 16:44

Honda isn't any better in terms of transmissions. They have issues with their V6 engines (premature failure) due to the transmission being unable to handle at high RPM speeds.