1988 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.0L V6 from North America


It has many flaws, but it'll also take some abuse


Fuel Pump went out at around 80k miles.

The engine blew at around 110k miles.

Gone through 6 batteries so far.

Driver's side CV joint replaced at 156k miles.

Blown head gasket.

1/2 original lights have been replaced.

Fuel lines deteriorated at about 148k.

Master brake cylinder.


Tail gate shocks are bad.

E-brake no longer working.

MAP sensor went out at 154k miles.

A/C compressor doesn't work.

Windshield replaced (hit by gravel)

Lube lost in driver/passenger windows.

Power steering leaks.

Bad oil pan gasket.

Seat belts no longer retract properly.

Other miscellaneous things.

General Comments:

This is my first and only vehicle I've had. It was purchased brand new in 1987 and used by my dad and was used to tow quite a lot of weight (5,000+ lbs) across the country in a U-Haul trailer. It has had numerous problems with it and has, on multiple occasions, left our family stranded. It received a rebuilt Jasper engine after the crank seal blew in the old engine... ultimately destroying that engine.

However, this thing is built like a rock and has survived two moderate crashes with out much mechanical damage or harm to passengers.

The handling and performance of this thing are...crap, to say the least. The highest speed I have ever achieved is 90 mph after about 2 miles. of flooring it.

The 3-speed automatic tranny is a reliable one, but not geared very well which results in very poor acceleration.

The fuel economy of this thing is just awful. Tree huggers everywhere gripe about how SUVs are destroying the earth, etc. etc., but I manage to achieve a whopping 12 mpg average... try to beat that with a Cherokee.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th June, 2005

21st May 2006, 17:43

Dude, the towing capacity for the Grand Caravans is 3500lbs. No wonder you had so many problems. Also, minivans aren't supposed to be fast or agile. If you want something that can get up and move and haul a lot, go with like a Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the 360 V8.

28th Jan 2015, 20:23

Agreed. No wonder that engine blew up and all those mechanical parts started failing prematurely. I'm amazed that the transmission didn't fail as well. Having said that, it is a Torqueflite. Even in the 80's, they were amazingly durable transmissions.

29th Jan 2015, 17:28

The reviewer pointed out that the transmission is reliable, so it makes sense that that didn't have any issues. A heavy duty truck like this should be able to tow 5000 lbs without trouble and also have better performance than that when flooring it. I think the reviewer makes a lot of legitimate points.

1988 Dodge Grand Caravan SE Chrysler 3.0 V6 from North America


Just Like everything Chrysler and Mitsubishi have ever made, it was JUNK!!!


The radiator had a big whole that had been patched up. It was replaced and still leaked. Always ran hot, no matter what you did. Every time it ran hot, the starter would have to be replaced. Rebuilding didn't do any good. The very last time it started leaking, I got rid of it. The pipe that the lower radiator hose connects to, carries water thru the engine to the water pump, started leaking. The water doesn't circulate thru the engine block in the Mitsubishi/ Chrysler engine. It runs thru this pipe straight to the water pump into the top radiator hose and back to the radiator. The pipe only cost about $30. It cost between $150 and $300 to have it put in. Also the spare wheel has no wholes for air to circulate and help keep the brakes cool. I have found out that almost everything that Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Mitsubishi, Nissan makes has this same wheel. No air flow to the brakes can cause them not to work, and can burn up bearings (if your vehicle has them), c v joints, etc. The tailgate wouldn't stay up, even with new shock supports.

General Comments:

I should have known better than to buy another Chrysler product. I've had trouble with them in the past. The body and interior were okay. If I would have had access to a good GM/ Toyota engine and transmission, or a good Ford/ Mazda setup, I would have kept it. I had nothing but trouble with this one. It spent more time on the back end of wreckers than driving. When I did get to drive it, I always had as many people with me as I could so they could help push when it quit. I would consider owning another one if I could have a good GM or Ford setup under the hood. I replaced the radiator 2 times, the starter was replaced 3 times, rebuilt 2 times, the left front c v joint once. And several other things, too many to list.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th May, 2002

31st May 2002, 14:12

I forgot to mention that the wiper control arms under the front cowl had a bad habit of wearing the little rubber grommet out. Of course all Chryslers have always wore these out long before any other kind of cars I know of. It always had the running hot problem, as I already mentioned. I remember the one time when it ran hot. The wiper motor just quit. It of course had to be replaced again. At least the intermittent wiper switch worked. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE ON ALL CARS AS REQUIRED EQUIPMENT!!!And the plastic headlight casings. Mine never turned yellow like most do after 2 or 3 years, but they did get water in them. I made little wholes in the bottom of them for drainage. It works. It better than letting them turn yellow. Especially when a new one cost $96. plus. The ones I found at the junkyards were from $50. to $100. each.

12th Sep 2006, 22:49

That's funny, My 90 voyager just started to leek out this "water pipe" at 269,000 miles!!! I guess I should have bought a another GM product that might last 150,000 miles. Opps I forgot to say I also have a 88 with 140,000 miles that has never had one problem, a 91 cummins with 256,000 miles again with no problems. I guess I should buy GM products.

13th Sep 2006, 10:34

You should have known better than to buy an 11 year-old vehicle with 120,000 miles on it and expect it to be like new.

Maybe you can get in line with all of those others who expect lifetime warranties.