1996 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3 V6 from North America


Great van! Great Value!


Cooling fan failed right after we purchased the van causing the van to overheat (no engine damage occurred)

Engine & Transmission seals leaked.

Wipers come on occasionally for no reason.

Driver's rear door doesn't unlock.

General Comments:

After reviewing other people's opinions on this van, I was a little hesitant to buy, but I got a great deal on it. This has been one of the best vehicles I have ever owned.

Perfect vehicle for vacations. Very comfortable. The first and only vehicle I have ever owned where there is not a single interior rattle!

Also very versatile. For the last month we have been using it to move to a new house. Last year we put 100 1' X 1' patio stones in it. Although it was only 2 inches off the ground, it performed flawlessly.

It's not perfect... I would prefer less engine noise. It makes a funny rattle at idle. The transmission makes a ratcheting noise when shifting. The suspension pops in the front.

I sometimes wonder if a) I got a good model or b) since I bought it used, the previous owner had all the problems repaired, leaving me with a nearly new van. This having been said, I would purchase another Chrysler vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2003

1996 Dodge Grand Caravan LX 3.3 from North America


A nice car if you sell it at 60,000 miles, but a money pit after that


Two transmissions have failed at 69,000 mile intervals.

Air conditioner evaporator needs replacing.

Fuel tank was replaced under warranty.

Front rotors warp every two years or so and have to be replaced instead of simply being turned.

Some sort of noxious mold grows in the heating system and periodically gives the driver a sinus infection even though it has been treated several times.

General Comments:

Chrysler knows how to build a nice looking and well appointed vehicle. The cars are well thought out from a creature comfort point of view. However, engineering and testing of components during the development cycle is non-existent. I usually don't take out extended warranties, but I did on this car because I had a bad feeling about it after our first one. My wife liked the van so much in the beginning that I succumbed to buying it. The extended warranty got us through the first transmission, but not the second or a host of other problems. I am going to give it away to charity because no one will buy it even if it is fixed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st May, 2003

1996 Dodge Grand Caravan LS 3.3 from North America


Crappy...it's not just a fish!!


Water pump needed replacement.

Tensioner needed replacement, along with serpentine belt.

Leaks transmission fluid.

Driver side power window not working.

Air conditioner not functioning.

General Comments:

At first, the van drove smoothly and was very reliable. However, that all changed when I first started to notice the transmission fluid leakage. I took the van to the dealer and was told that it was oil, not transmission fluid. What??!! I believe I know the difference between transmission fluid and engine oil. Anyway... in the mornings, I will have to let the van warm up for about ten minutes before driving. Otherwise, the van wouldn't move, for it will not go forward. At least this is not the total cause of my heartache.

Last week, my wife noticed the oil light flickering. She mentioned that to me, so I checked the oil level. The oil level was fine. A couple of days later, she said the oil light stayed on and heard a chime. I called my mechanic and he told me that the oil pressure was low and the oil pressure switch needed replacement... a $60 job. No problem, right?? WRONG!! On the way to the mechanic, the van broke down. I had it towed to the mechanic. A couple of hours later, he confirmed my worst fear, the engine was dead. It would cost me $2,100 to fix the van. What's worse, I have but a few more months to pay on the vehicle and the value of the van is probably less than the repairs it needs. What gives??

I guess I can say that I received my money's worth. After all, we did put 85,000 miles on the van, right? (129,000 minus the 44,000 that was already on the van when we bought it.) Yet, when I think about my two previous vehicles (1990 Honda Prelude and a 1988 Toyota Camry) and the amount of miles we put on those cars before they began to falter (209,000 on the Prelude and 184,000 on the Camry), I really cheated myself. I won't make the same mistake again. No more Dodge vehicles for me... after I get rid of my '98 Dodge Intrepid!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2003

19th Aug 2010, 13:23

This story is all-too-familiar for me. My parents bought a brand new 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan SE, and just ten years later, at 100,000 miles or less, our once-impressive Dodge was a disintegrating wreck.

The air conditioning busted one summer, and that is not a fun thing in Virginia.

There were some outstanding problems in owning the vehicle - first, the Grand Caravan simply wasn't built to last. Dying before 100,000 miles, especially after only ten years, is inexcusable.

Second, Chrysler refused to take responsibility for or stand behind the product. If Chrysler wants to be around ten years from now, they have got to stop their unforgivably terrible customer service. My father bought a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and it has held up well, but the 1996 Chrysler, Plymouth, and Dodge minivans were a disaster. I can only imagine how many customers walked away from one of those vans, and said "Never again" to Chrysler.