Service light on, with an end result that the gas cap needed replacing at 45,500. Cost was $75.00 for diagnostics and $54.00 for the gas cap.
Water pump changed at 46,000 miles.
Timing belt went out at 50,000 miles, taking with it the tensioner. Expensive to fix.
Engine fan relay changed at 75,000 miles.
Head gaskets changed at 97,000 miles. Very costly.
Transmission replaced at 99,900,000 miles and again at 110,000. Never used for more than routine CA highway driving and carrying 2-5 people. Initial cost was $2,500 and no extension of the 3 year warranty.
Child restraints replaced at 112,000.
Air conditioner at 135,000 will need replacing.
Head gasket appears to need replacing or tightening.
The 1997 Dodge Caravan has been a fairly reliable van. It is comfortable to sit in and drive, especially after installing "Cruise Control." The Van at 135,000 miles with constant and dedicated maintenance still gets 20 to 21 miles per gallon of gas on the freeway. Handles roads, dry and wet very well.
Maintenance is very high though, especially when using the dealerships.
Diagnostics alone is a minimum of $75 to $80 per hour. Even though, most of the time, the diagnostics takes only a few minutes. The dealership lets the vehicle set there until an hour has passed.
There appears to be a trend in dealerships in the cost of parts as well. Years ago, one could go to a dealership and get a part close to the same cost as the local auto parts stores. Now parts are routinely 2 to 3 times higher.