18th Sep 2002, 11:29

We purchased a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan SE new in July of 1997. It has approx. 83K miles on it now and the transmission just went. A Rebuilt transmission will cost $2,000 plus tax. Thank God we bought an extended warranty that will cover us up to 7 yrs. and 100K miles! We always do the scheduled maintenance on time and do not abuse the vehicle. After investigating many on-line complaints about the multitude of transmission failures for Chrysler mini vans it's amazing that a class action suit has not been filed against Chrysler. We also had to have the air conditioner compressor and related equipment replaced last summer, plus other problems. Once we hit 100K we're getting rid of this lemon and certainly will not be looking at any Chrysler product.

6th Oct 2002, 11:35

Any of you looked into the Honda minivan? From what I hear they are supposed to be as reliable as the Accord. Extremely sound vehicle.

4th Feb 2003, 17:21

My 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan SE has had the transmission rebuilt at about 57,000 miles and has returned to the shop four times in the last 13 months. Ever since the overhaul, It has been back to the shop three times for leaking seals.

My wife is the main driver of the van, So I was thinking that maybe all the stop and go, and grade climbing was the cause of all our problems. After reviewing this site and talking to several mechanics, The dodge transmission is the worst on the road today. Yes I still have my van due to the fact the the resale of the van sucks and yesterday well..

The red spot showed up again on the drive way.

13th Feb 2003, 17:09

My 1997 Plymouth Voyager just turned 100,000 miles. At 42,000 miles that transmission went (total Destruction) replaced by dealership. At 100,086 miles again another total destruction of my transmission. My brother and his wife replaced their 97 Caravan transmission at 71,000 miles. I have followed the manufacturer's guidelines on vehicle care and still have these problems. I also have a 97 Dodge RAM with over 100,000 miles and have had no problems with the engine or transmissions. We have had countless recalls on the Voyager, but nothing to fix the transmission problem.

25th Feb 2003, 21:59

Well it look like I get to join the rest of the world with transmission problems in my 1998 Dodge Sport Caravan. My van has 82K mile on it and the Automatic transmission is slipping when shifting into fourth gear. I must say that I am very dis-pointed in Chrysler and Dodge corp for not making a transmission system that will last. Unfortunately this is the very thing that driving American people to buy foreign vehicles. I also am having trouble with my passenger side heating and I had to replace exhaust flex-core pipe.

I can also say for sure that I won't be buying any more Chrysler vehicles because this is becoming to pain full and expensive.

3rd May 2003, 01:21

Yes I have a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan that has the same transmission problem. It lost automatic transmission shifting into 4th gear and stays in 3rd after initial take off. Idler pulley went 3 times, as a major inconvenience, as it tears the belt up and was dead (lost work days). Rear brakes wore in to the drums after 30k and cost $500.00. Also have you heard the low fuel level ding over and over again (that's a 30,000 break) Paint faded bad after 4 years and resale value is appropriate 20% of new. It is a nice drive and ride. Lots of room. Will I buy another Chrysler/Dodge product no way. I love the Jaguar we just bought a year ago and the service is like 1,000% better as they pamper you. And they actually seem to really care you are happy. The Dodge service department was a like the Pepboys cattle call. Have a cold cup of coffee.

13th May 2003, 12:25

Well, my 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan is back in the transmission shop for the third time in 2.5 years. It cost me $1400.00 for the transmission the first time plus towing fees. Seems it was just out of warranty at 63000 miles. Sheesh! Go figure!!! The second time was under warranty from the Transmission shop. This time it’s just out of warranty there also.

I’ve gotten used to toting a container of tranny fluid everywhere I go. I’m a real pro as to knowing exactly when it’s going to go!

I really believed I was getting a dependable vehicle that I would have for a long time to come. At this rate, the transmission won’t stay sound long enough to dump the thing.

NEVER, NEVER AGAIN will I buy another Dodge/Chrysler product!!!

Dodge needs to step up to the plate here and take care of this problem. Everyone I talk to is going through the same garbage with their Caravans.

Well, as I write, I’m waiting for the shop to call with the latest estimate. I even tried going to another transmission shop this time, but they wouldn’t touch it and sent it right back to the other shop.

Another problem is that my AC has been out for over a year. No one seems able to fix that either and living in Florida it’s unpleasant to say the least. And finally, I go through a set of tires every year. Doesn’t seem to matter what I do….alignments, rotations, blah, blah, blah.


9th Jun 2003, 08:42

I have a '95 Voyager. Transmission went out 3 times in 105,000 miles. Twice when it was under extended warranty. The last and final time I bought a rebuilt transmission for $2,100 with 3-year 36k warranty. The Chrysler mechanic told me the "spider gear" and certain other parts are under-built and they can disintegrate after a certain amount of time from stress, heat, and metal fatigue. When the parts go it can leave microscopic pieces of metal throughout the transmission and torque converter which are hard to remove. I do not recommend a rebuild for that reason. It is debatable whether they have fixed the problem. They have been saying that the problem is fixed for about 10 years. And I'm buying Honda or Toyota from here on. Farewell Chrysler.


27th Aug 2003, 22:04

We purchased a 98 Caravan in 2001 with 46,000 miles on it.

At 52000 the AC Compressor went bad and 3 months later the Evaporator Core as well. These we replaced under an extended warranty we purchased from a third party. The same parts just failed again at 74000 miles and our warranty company went bankrupt - I think I see a correlation here if they are insuring people with chrysler products. $2000 every 15 months/22000 miles is a lot for people to deal with.

29th Sep 2003, 11:55

I bought a 1998 Dodge Caravan in November of 1997. While coming to a stop at a red light, the van gave a tremendous jerk and when I proceeded to go through the light, it drove really slow. Once I got the van into the parking lot of a local hospital from a busy street, I found that I could not even back up. After trying a few times to back into the parking space, and putting it in drive and neutral, I could not even go anywhere. Pushing didn't help either. I have a little over 62,000 miles on the van. A transmission, I was told would be between 2,000 and 2,300 dollars. I think this is it for me as far as a Dodge anything is concerned.