1997 Dodge Grand Caravan LE 3.3 from North America
Wish they still made the '97 - Loving it at 188K miles - Can't wait to see it hit 200K!
Fuel pump made a strange noise around 90K miles - Figured I'd fix it proactively - didn't actually go out.
Mopar Belt Tensioner stuck around 110K miles - put on NAPA one - built much more solid.
Power steering pump out around 110K as well - $300ish at the dealer.
After power steering pump, the van had the belt falling off problem in water/slush/snow - Dealer was worthless with that problem - found a GM pulley that fixed that problem - haven't had it since.
Gauges occasionally lockup (1-2x per month at it's worst, but only a couple of months a year - IE 4x per year, and they come in spurts, but it hasn't happened in a while) - I simply pull the IOD fuse to reset them, then things return to normal. - I'm living with that one.
Axle seal at 186K - $180 dealer fixed it.
Wheel bearing at 150K? - $60 fixed it myself - EASY job.
Wiggle/tire balancing problems - they say it's the wheels, I say it's bad tires - Had it bigtime with Goodyear Regatta 2's, then switched to Assurance Tripletreads - Didn't ever have it with those tires, then put on cheap Goodyears - problem came back after about 15K miles, - Belt separated in one of the tires - put back on Tripletreads all around and it handles perfectly again.
I love our van - works great - rides excellent - couple of rattles, etc at 188K miles, but wouldn't every car?
Tranny has been perfect (surprisingly) - Never had to do major work beyond fluid changes (USE ATF+4!!!) at 60, 90, 120, 150, and soon at 190). - Sometimes it shifts funny (IE slow downshifts, etc, but that is usually remedied by pulling the IOD fuse and letting the trans computer re-learn how to shift - problem goes away immediately)
A/C and Heater are good to excellent - around town, the A/C will work to keep up - on the highway it has no problems at all. - Heater is OK at idle, but if you're moving at all (Engine off idle) it's excellent. - Took it on several trips at -30 and worse, - interior had no problem staying very warm. - Heater vents travel through the front doors - EXCELLENT - nothing like a warm door in the winter, and a cold door in the summer. - Wish they did that on the '01-current ones.
Infinity stereo is great.
Shocks are still original and giving no problems (No bobbing down the road).
Fuel economy is good - 20-30MPG easily achieved down the highway depending on speed - 70-75 = 20MPG - 55 MPH = 30MPG. - I've been very pleased with the mileage - mix of mostly town = 16-18MPG - way better than the 13-15 I got in my Cadillacs.
Power is acceptable - it will keep up with traffic easily - torque off the line is great, it dogs a little as the engine rev's up to the top, but it holds its own. - 3.8 is much faster, but economy suffers.
Body quality is good so far. - Couple of rattles in the rear doors, but it was great until about 130K - them small things, etc. - I haven't tried to fix them yet.
Roomy - 3rd row seat is great, 2nd row is nicely positioned. - Way better than the new '08 bodystyle, but I like the fold in the floor rear seat.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th March, 2009