1995 Dodge Grand Caravan LE 3.8 from North America
A high maintanance headache
-Trans went at 100,000 just after buying the car. $2000.
-Trans went again at 175,000. $2,000. At this point we were told by the transmission tech that, "These are very good and reliable transmissions, as long as you never accelerate quickly, never make quick moves, never drive hard, and always maintain them on time." Coincidentally, we have done all these things correctly and are still on (at least) the third transmission.
-Another point on the transmission. It takes a special ATF +3 fluid. I cannot tell you how many "reputable" mechanics put Dexron or some other incorrect fluid into it causing lurching, hard shifting, and shuddering.
-The front right axle went out with the second transmission.
-ERG sensor went.
-The wiper pivot went out, causing a dangerous condition with no wipers. (odd)
-The engine burns a ton of oil when traveling in hot weather.
-The AC system will occasionally blow through the upper vents, but usually comes only through the floor vents, no matter what you select.
-The support for the drivers seat is and has always been broken.
-Rear heater lines rusted and leaked fluid.
-The paint has flaked off in large areas and the body is rusting in these spots.
-While on a trip the ignition system went and spark plugs, wires, and distributer all had to be replaced for $500, and 2 wasted days.
-The Water pump went, taking out the tensioner and belt, overheating the engine, and leading to an $800 repair bill.
-The brakes are very soft, so soft in fact they might even be considered dangerous in an emergency situation. The car also eats rotors as after no more than 8,000 miles the new rotors are warped.
-A bunch of other stuff that I can't think of right now.
I would like to recomend this car, but I really can't. It will cost you a ton of money for repairs, which usually aren't performed correctly. The transmission is garanteed to go on you. The handling is sufficient, but certainly nothing to write home about.
The one hight point of this car is its engine. It has very high torque at low revs, helping gas mileage for such a heavy vehicle. It has 180,000 miles on it and is still pulling strong, aside from the oil it uses.
All in all, compared to other mid- '90s American vehicles, this van isn't too bad. However, that really speaks to how terrible those other cars are, not to how good the van is.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 7th July, 2004