1997 Dodge Caravan 3.0 from North America


A pleasure to drive, a nightmare to fix


The transmission blew at 100,000 km. The dealer told me this would be $1,500 to $2,000 to fix.

General Comments:

The van also has poor gas mileage, and wind noise.

I have contacted Chrysler Canada and they told me there is a hidden warranty in place for vans with less than 115.000 km. Check it out for yourself at 1 800 465 2001.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th June, 2001

27th Jul 2001, 10:26

Thank you for posting this phone number, our caravan is a 1994 model with 75,000 km on it, we are just waiting for the transmission to go!!! It's only a matter of time. We can hear all sorts of noises and certainly rough shifting.

1997 Dodge Caravan SE Sport 3.3 from North America


A well-designed car with some flaws that can get expensive


Have had many of the same problems others have listed:

1. Front disk brake pads need replacement about every 6 months.

2. Windshield wipers come on by themselves.

3. My CD player has broken twice (doesn't accept a CD).

4. Was told the front rotors were "warped" at 20k miles and that this was "normal" and not covered by the warranty.

5. Automatic transmission came with one quart "too much fluid" per servicing dealer.

6. Valve cover gasket bolts were loose on delivery.

7. The door shocks me everytime I touch it.

8. The drivebelt needed replacement after 30k miles.

General Comments:

If everyone is having the same problems, I don't know why a company like Chrysler doesn't own up to the design problems and fix them.

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

Review Date: 22nd April, 2001

7th Jul 2003, 18:46

Oh please, you make it sound like we are a bunch of winers driving these things like a bat out of hell.

In fact, all of the above you mentioned I do, and not myself, but by some supposedly TRAINED personnel that works for the SAME companies that sell the cars. Hey, I understand that problems occur, a lemon can get out, and each new design has a potential flaw. But when I (and a few hundred others from my search on the internet) can't change a simple belt without overhauling the hole engine and costing a few hundred dollars, then there is an obvious problem. And it's not the "warranty" issue either, I would like to feel sound in the thought that my wife can drive something that will not leave her on the side of the road time and time again, for the same thing it was fixed for last month. If it gets fixed 4 times for free, that still doesn't make it right. and another thing, this is not the 70's or 80's. Maybe you want to buy my van, or someone elses with the same problems, and use some of that thinking to keep it running? Yeah, thought so, I'd see you in here just like the rest of us...

12th Feb 2007, 13:34

All cars, not some, have problems. Some cars turn out to be flawless while other owners of the same car model will have problems. This, with or without proper maintenance.

I've owned several Chrysler late model vehicles and based on their performance, cost of ownership and relative ease of repairs, I would continue to buy them.

Transmissions on Chrysler vehicles always specify ATF-4. Your local shop would likely add ATF-3 because that is what everyone else uses. Jiffy Lube would top of your car with ATF-3 even if you don't request that. That will lead you to a bad transmission.

Most car problems are attributed to lack of proper maintenance whether intentional or not.

1997 Dodge Caravan SE 3.3 from North America


An excellent vehicle


Fuel sensor and oxygen sensors went bad at 58,000 miles.

General Comments:

My wife and I love this vehicle, it rides like a car and has ample power and pickup.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2001

1997 Dodge Caravan 3.0 L from North America


Transmission eater and belt shredder


Transmission went at 58,000 miles.

Tensionometer went at 54,000 miles and again at 60,000 miles. Shredded serpentine belt each time...

General Comments:

It is comfortable.

Can't afford to replace tensionometer and serpentine belt every 4000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th March, 2001

4th Apr 2001, 19:56

As the original owner of a 1997 Caravan AWD ES with 58,850 miles I to have had numerous transmission problems such as slippage when backing out of garage and putting the van in drive. I have also had to replace the serpentine belt along with numerous leaks of oil and other quality issues, the latest has been new stabilizer links and bushings to help correct the sloppy front end noise and feel. Leak at transmission cooler lines and new plugs at not the recommended 100,000 miles to attempt to correct the rough 3.8L engine idle.

1997 Dodge Caravan 2.4L from North America


Quality could be better


100 miles: Transmission leak, faulty gasket.

4,500 miles: Brakes made a grinding sound when applied. Excess break dust in the drums.

30,000 miles: Interior squeaks and rattles.

34,500 miles: Blown head gasket. The van was out of warranty by three months. Dodge covered all but $100 dollars of this repair.

General Comments:

The head gasket is the weak link in the 2.4L engine. When it blows, press Chrysler to cover the cost.

This van had given good service up until the head gasket went.

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

Review Date: 16th November, 2000