1997 Dodge Caravan SE 2.4L from North America


I was in a head on collision and the front airbags never deployed. This accident happened about 5 months after I purchased the vehicle and the vehicle only had a little under 1000 miles.

The transmission died in 1999 and had to be replaced. Good thing it was still under warranty.

General Comments:

I purchased this vehicle because I like Dodge and I wanted a minivan. It drives very good, however, maintenance and customer service on the vehicle was terrible. My husband is in the military and was stationed overseas in Germany. When the transmission died on the vehicle and the caravan was still under warranty, however, we didn't get anything for the vehicle as far as a rental or any assistance in getting repairs completed. We had to search for ourselves to get the warranty done. Customer support was really a bad one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2004

1997 Dodge Caravan from North America


You should forget it and buy a better vehicle for what you'll pay to keep this thing on the road.


The brakes have been a constant problem in the three years we've owned this vehicle. Its amazing how much brake maintenance is required to keep it on the road.

We've had to replace both front and rear brake pads twice, and the front pads alone three times. The first time the pads all went, the rotors had to be re-surfaced and the second time they had to be replaced.

An engine oil leak occurred at around 52,000 miles. The shop we took it to had trouble locating where the leak was coming from, they tightened what they could and put in oil that was dyed and eventually found that an unsuspected hard to replace engine gasket was bad and had to be replaced.

The windshield wipers have at various random times come on by themselves to cycle 2 to 3 times while driving in beautiful sunny weather. The control module was replaced soon after purchasing this van to correct the problem, but the problem still exists today. It doesn't occur all the time, but when it does, it is bothersome.

The emergency brake handle kept coming off also, and we had to take it back twice to be fixed. The handle kept coming off soon after it was fixed, and after the third time it had been fixed it did work normal for awhile, but eventually slipped out again, although it does work to engage the emergency. So, we'll live with the unsightly hanging handle so as long as its still working.

The little indicator pointer that's for displaying what automatic transmission gear your driving in has disappeared from sight under the console somewhere. We now use the force for placing it into drive and reverse while driving now.

The fuel system seems to be having some sputtering problems with maybe with a possible fuel filter clogging up or something. The mechanic that looked at it today couldn't locate where the fuel filter was, so he'll call around Monday.

General Comments:

The mini van has a nice overall shape and appearance, with enough room inside to comfortably seat 5 to 6 people. The back and middle seats are a double and triple seat that can be removed to make more room for hauling. Both seats can be quite heavy to get in and out and will take some added muscle.

This van seems to be good on gas mileage, but that should be expected considering it is a 4 cylinder.

However with all the other very costly quirks that come up with owning this van, it sure more than makes up for any amount of gas money it saves.

My first car purchased in 1975 for $200 while in high school was a 1970 Ford Maverick, and it had less problems in the 3 years that I owned it then this van has had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st January, 2004