1997 Dodge Caravan 4 cylinder from North America


A junk


I had the van 1 month and the timing belt went, the wipers come on when they want, after two months of having it the place where I bought it said it needed a head gasket, the cruise control doesn't work, air, heat rear wipers don't work. I will never buy another van, I have contacted the chrysler main office and have never heard from them.

General Comments:

Doesn't live up to the chrysler name.

The van knows my pay days and breaks down on or near every one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd May, 2002

1997 Dodge Caravan Base 3.3 from North America


Too much money spent for maintenance


The brake pads and shoes need replacement every 6 to 8 months.

Transmission blew at 45,000 miles.

Waterpump replaced at 47,000 miles.

Rattle in the passenger side sliding door.

Suspension squeaking and squawking as if the minivan was 15 years old.

General Comments:

Chrysler does really well with the exterior and interior designs of their vehicles.

Very poor dependability, reliability and quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th January, 2002

1997 Dodge Caravan Std 3.0L V6 from North America


Good design, crappy quality


This vehicle chews up brakes like there's no tomorrow. We have had four brake jobs already, including two complete overhauls with new rotors and calipers.

General Comments:

The functional design of the Van is excellent, but the reliability leaves much to be desired.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th January, 2002

1997 Dodge Caravan 3.3 L 6 cylinder from North America


All of the problems are under the hood and in the front wheel drive


Repeated problems with transmission slipping - at least three incidents. Had the transmission repaired and broke down on the freeway within hours - another transmission problem. After one repair, the steering started to loosen up, with a noticeable wobble up through the steering column. I was told that the problem was my tires. Replaced the tires - the wobble is still there.

Now I have computer/electrical problems at 56K.

Car was regularly serviced at the recommended intervals, yet the problems continued.

A/C condenser replaced at 35K.

Front struts replaced at 50K.

The car's front transmission joints now "creak" when the front wheels are turned while stepping down from a driveway apron or parking lot into the street.

Head gasket and fuel injection system were replaced by 40K.

Thank goodness I bought the extended warranty, which was less than what I was able to get on my earlier Caravan.

This might indicate the difficulty of the car, or maybe it's the quality of the mechanics at the dealership, but I never had a mechanical repair that really was done right the first time.

General Comments:

It rides great and really does a nice job on the road, but I can't afford an unreliable car that is now out of warranty.

My next mini-van won't be a Dodge, and from what I read here, it probably will be a Toyota or Honda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th August, 2001

21st Sep 2001, 17:52

Our 1997 Dodge Caravan SE is slowly becoming a nightmare. It started out with a glitch in the windshield wipers -- they would turn on all by themselves and, usually, after about 5 seconds, go off again.

Now, we've got a wobble in the steering column, sort of like when you go over speed bumps, that occurs for a few seconds every now and then. And now our latest problem - the dead battery. We've now put in 3 new batteries in the van since we bought it 2-1/2 years ago, and at first they said the first 2 batteries were faulty; now it's not the battery -- something is draining off the battery. We have to get it to a Chrysler dealer to find out what's going on.

This will definitely be our last Chrysler product. We've had problems with another Chrysler minivan not starting, so next time will probably be a more reliable vehicle.

1st Aug 2006, 05:39

My Caravan runs fairly decent, with a few glitches. 1. the radiator fan sometimes is on when the car is not and will cause the battery to die. Take the fuse out and this doesn't happen, but you run the risk of overheating. 2. The left turn signal works fine in warm weather, but when it gets cold it works sporadically.