1998 Dodge Caravan Sport 3.3 from North America


Alternator, starter.

Rotted steel brake lines.

Plastic power steering pulley sheared off.

Body control module.

Fuel gauge only operates between 3/4 and less than 1/4; otherwise shows empty and beeps empty 50 times a minute, no matter what.

Oil light flashes at idle.

Power locks failed.

Power driver's side window failed.

Blower motor needs kicked sometimes to work and only functions on high speed.

Serpentine belt used to fall off every time it rained or snowed, as soon as water touched it, until I put pulley shields in place.

Burns oil, leaks oil, leaks coolant and power steering fluid during cold weather.

Body cancer on the back wheels, sliding doors and rear lift gate.

Exhaust leak between manifold and pipe connection.

Embarrassed to be seen in it 100%!

Towed 3 times, due to above.

Loud knocking sound over every bump in the cabin.

Muffler replaced.

This is not a bitching post. The trans and engine still runs, outlasting the body. Yes I put ATF +4 in the trans. Just all the repairs above happened in less than 9 months and I put at least 96 hours of almost life ending labor into it. It still runs yes, is it ugly and needs to be put down? Absolutely! Do I do my own repairs and keep cars alive? Yes! Which is the only reason it still has a life!

Update 4/29/2018: Water pump has just failed and leaks like crazy. Being replaced.

General Comments:

It's ugly, runs in the snow belt with salt on the roads, and still runs as long as I give it a hand massage with expensive lotion or "parts"

Update, 5/31/18, Van is being put down. Had a triple failure. Power steering pump failed and shot PS fluid all over the belt, which in turn caused the tensioner pulley to strip out the pulley that goes into the tensioner, so the tensioner itself was stripped and destroyed the belt. Goodbye and thank god.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th April, 2018

15th Apr 2018, 03:22

The oil light flickers at idle.

Does the engine make untoward noises when that occurs?

Just wondering ;)

22nd Apr 2018, 03:14

Good review.

The Chrysler 3.8 seems to be prone to some bottom end issues.

The 3.3 (perhaps due to a shorter stroke) seems relatively immune to this issue.

28th Apr 2018, 00:36

It does not, quiet as can be. Probably a sending unit issue. Really don't care as I will drive it till it can't undergo more surgery and needs to be laid down.

1998 Dodge Caravan LE 3.3 Litre from North America


One of the best vehicles we've ever owned - will be seriously sad when she finally packs it in


It leaks a little oil - that started happening around 350,000 kms. Apart from that, nothing!

General Comments:

We purchased this vehicle for $1,200 when it had 361,000 kms on it. We figured if we got one year out of it for another camping trip or two, we'd be good with that.

It is now approaching 400,000 kms and EVERYTHING still works perfectly. It leaks a little oil, and now we use Stop Leak in the transmission fluid to keep her going. We just put all new tires on her because she just keeps on ticking.

The trick is to get your vehicles serviced like clock-work. This one was babied by the previous owner, and we are doing the same. I think we'll hit 400,000 kms no problem :) Unlike my 1996 Windstar, which died (leaky head gasket, sound familiar Ford owners??) at 134,000 kms. And that was just the start of my troubles with that hunkajunk, but this is a Dodge Caravan review...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2011

30th Jul 2012, 14:38

This is actually an update to this review, since I'm the owner of the 1998 Caravan.

Just wanted to report that that we now have 408,000 kms on her. Original engine and transmission.

We took her in to have the transmission flushed, and the technician wouldn't do it! He advised that he'd never seen a Caravan with such high mileage, and he wouldn't want to mess with it. Instead, he just drained and replaced the fluid, and showed us all the small metal particles in the old fluid. We faithfully keep up with the regular oil changes/service, and check the fluid levels every few weeks.

With the seats out, she's a great utility vehicle. We've moved our children's apartments full of furniture, often throw a tarp in the back and take garden waste to the dump, and can still take 7 people out when we need to. She's amazing :) Hopefully I can post another update in year!

12th Apr 2015, 20:15

How many km did you finally get out of it, and has it died yet?