1996 Dodge Grand Caravan ES 3.8 from North America
They still can't make 'em like the Japanese
Transmission leaks... seems to be a bad seal.
Wipers have a mind of their own, sometimes.
Rear power vent window on the driver's side won't open when the van is hot.
Driver's tail light, upper portion, will not work... no power gets to it, but it works when the brakes are applied.
Has a "clunk" in suspension when going over speed bumps or potholes. The problem also is causing the van to be out of alignment.
Plastic seat base breaks where screwed in due to the force of sitting on the seat... I only weigh 180 lbs.
Although Dodge does make good motors, and I have had no problems in that department, I am disappointed with the many squeaks and rattles.
Plus, the transmission is leaking where it meets the engine... probably a seal. I went to take my aging parents to see a childhood friend, and the van would not go. I discovered it was almost completely out of tranny fluid... I had just filled it a couple of weeks prior. I've had Chevy van trannies last 150,000. I knew the older Caravans had tranny problems... I guess they haven't fixed them yet.
Also, the clunk in the suspension is puzzling. It seems to affect the alignment, too, as it is pulling fairly hard to the left. I hope this one doesn't cost me too much. If I ever buy a van again, it will be a Honda Odyssey.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 25th August, 2001
12th Aug 2002, 10:35
Just thought I'd share my experience with clunk in front end. Usually concerns stabilizer arm bushings which is a minor repair ($100.00cdn). Also factory ball joints and bushings are sealed and lubrication will dry out. Have your mechanic replace the bushings & lube the front end carefully and thoroughly and your van will drive like new again! (Check stabilizer bar arms and tie rods too)
20th Jul 2003, 23:11
I have been doing research and my findings are that the Chevy Venture is a lot better than the Chrysler products.
13th Apr 2006, 10:50
I must say that I thought the styling of this vehicle is fairly nice, but that's where the niceties stop.
My wife and I have spent roughly $5,000 of this thing in the last four years just fixing things that should not be wearing out before it had reached 80,000 miles. The transmission went quick, it has had almost every part you can bolt onto the block replaced at some point including the $700 air conditioning system. Whomever at dodge decided to make the lift gate out of plastic needs to have his engineering degree revoked. I was driving down the interstate the first time it simply broke and dangled until I could get stopped and disconnect it. Now the rear hatch lock will not operate with any of the door locking devices either internal or external. Plan on buying new headlight housings if you buy this as the OEM ones will fog over and there is nothing you can do to stop it. With the high beams on, they are still 10 times worse than the low beams on my 1991 Silverado. To put it simply, I will never allow another Dodge to be purchased where I have to help cover the maintenance costs.