1996 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3L V6 from North America


Form and function unfortunately don't equal quality


Transmission was repaired on three separate occasions, the first around 70,000km, a shredded gear was bouncing around. Then around 130,000km more transmission problems this time not under warranty and creating a huge expense. The third transmission problem @ around 180,000km was the end of our ownership of the minivan, surprisingly traded in on another Caravan.

Immediately after regular servicing, the minivan actually choked to death because the air filter was so clogged (shouldn't they check these things) and the Caravan had to be towed, fix cost was obviously negligible.

A/C Condenser was replaced under warranty.

One other really odd problem was somehow the oil pan was leaking directly into the incoming air for the cabin. Fixed under warranty involved disassembly of much of the dash. The car smelled like a garage inside (just stronger!).

General Comments:

The decision to buy the 1996 Grand Caravan was based on the pleasant experience we had with the 1988 Grand Voyager (3.0 LE), we owned the Grand Voyager from 1988-1996, and aside from some PDL problems early and under warranty really didn't take the car in for much of anything.

The 3.3L engine is unfortunately pretty much gone from Chrysler's repetoire right now, it used to be on most Intrepids. The engine performed well, and did not have problems. The seating comfort in this thing was great. We all loved the Grand Caravan and there's no vehicle that I've driven regularly that I have more confidence in for an emergency maneuver. For a vehicle of that size the Grand Caravan got nothing short of spectacular marks in that respect.

The Transmission doesn't seem to have a defect rate on these things. They are just plain faulty. Maybe changing the transmission fluid more often would benefit. Chrysler's own service people were friendly, but ultimately incompetent at times. The air filter incident rates as inexcusable in my books.

For function and form there's no matching this thing, at least in my belief. However Chrysler's quality is simply suspect and trying on owners. Perhaps the feelings of the family could be best summed up with this. In 2002 we owned a '93 Cutlass Supreme, '96 Sable, and '96 Caravan, in that year we got rid of both of the 1996's that were ailing at that point, and the '93 Cutlass Supreme and it's 228,000km doesn't seem overly in interested in giving out so it's still on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th November, 2004

1996 Dodge Grand Caravan from North America


None better


Just routine maintenance.

General Comments:

This is the most reliable vehicle I have owned. Has 235k, yet drives like 35k. No rattles or noises. Just reliable like a rock. I use it in very rough environments (Building Sites) and it will not break. Burns no oil on original engine. The seats and conrols show little wear and clean up like new. Parts are cheap and maintenance is minor. Simply the best for the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2004

1996 Dodge Grand Caravan LE 3.3 Liter gas from North America


I will not purchase another one


Tension pulley bad at 23000 miles.

Water pump bad at 23000 miles.

Windshield gasket blew out while traveling down the highway.

Front springs pop and have done this since the day I purchased the vehicle.

Plastic windshield wiper housing replaced at 15000 miles.

Door lock broke on drivers door.

Door lock broke on passenger door.

Door lock broke on both sliding doors.

Passenger sliding door will not open.

CD player does not work any longer.

Scan button on radio does not work.

Emergency brake does not work.

Fan relay bad.

Clock spring bad.

Rotors out of round at 10000 miles.

Replacement rotors are out of round.

Glove box door broke.

Van overheating, replaced radiator.

Interior and dash lights flicker while driving.

ABS lights comes on while driving.

Replaced cam shaft sensor.

Crank shaft sensor is now bad.

Right rear wheel barings need to be replaced.

Turn key and van has no power. Turn key again it starts.

Replaced starter

Transmission slips from time to time.

General Comments:

I bought this vehicle new off the showroom floor, I will not do that again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2004

24th Aug 2004, 10:49

Chrysler products are nothing but trouble...If you want reliability go with the GMC Safari or Chevy Astro vans.

11th Sep 2006, 15:49

Astro's and safari's are crap too, the best north American van is by far the grand caravan, believe me I have had all of the vans made in North America!