1997 Dodge Grand Caravan Reviews - Page 9 of 10

1997 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.0 Liter SMPI V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.0 Liter SMPI V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Distance when acquired100 miles
Most recent distance67005 miles

Summary:

Great family van until it (and the company) failed us.

Faults:

The transmission went bad at 31,900 miles. We were stationed in Belgium and it was repaired there. It was still under warranty.

Windshield wipers turn on sometimes after using turn signal.

A leak allowing wind in around one of the doors.

AC compressor gone bad.

Just found out the replaced transmission has ALSO gone bad.

General Comments:

We had this van delivered to us in Europe. We had it there for three years, and in the US for two. We thought the van was great until the first transmission went bad. Since it was under warranty, we weren't too upset. We now find that the Belgians that replaced the transmission gerry-rigged the wiring, and most likely caused the second transmission to go bad. Daimler-Chrysler can't confirm the work was done in Belgium, so we were looking at around $4K worth of work. When we found this out, we picked up the van from the Dodge dealer, cleaned it out, drove to CARMAX, traded it in and bought another(used) one.

We will never buy another Dodge again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 2003

1997 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3L from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.3L Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance41200 miles
Previous carDodge Caravan

Summary:

Great for what it is, but quality is doubtful

Faults:

Blown head gaskets at 41,200 miles.

Compact disk player replace for a second time at 28,933.

Sway bar cushions worn; replaced at 28,164.

Defective linkage assembly in slider door at 21,197 miles.

Rear blower fan rattles; wire harness re-secured at 10,300 miles.

Power steering "moans" when turning at low speeds; power steering lines replaced at 10,300 miles.

Compact disk player would not eject CD; replaced at 1,128 miles.

General Comments:

The Grand Caravan is a great family car, but its reliability is worrisome.

Chrysler needs to address some problems that appear to recur, i.e., transmission and head gasket problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd January, 2003

1997 Dodge Grand Caravan LE V6-3.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission V6-3.3 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.6 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carFord Ranger

Summary:

Too many problems too soon

Faults:

The front and rear brakes have had to be replaced twice, including the rotors each time.

The serpentine belt has came off 3 times and been ruined twice.

The Oxygen sensor has gone bad at 74,000 miles.

The oil pan drain bolt weld broke and I had to have the entire oil pan replaced.

The motor is starting to make a knocking sound and the transmission makes a clicking noise when first put into gear.

General Comments:

Everything seems to be going wrong on this 5 year old $20,000 vehicle.

I would not recommend buying one.

Great hauling vehicle and fairly comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th November, 2002

1997 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.8L from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.8L Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired34500 miles
Most recent distance49500 miles
Previous carMazda RX7

Summary:

A good buy, but seems like future maintenance may be an issue

Faults:

Belt Tensionometer went at 45,000 shredding my belt. Replaced it. Belt is squeaking again 3000 miles later.

Front brakes replaced twice in 13,000.

Front driver rotor warped and had more grooves than a 12" LP.

The famous "not a safety hazard" clocks-pring wiring harness in the steering column has failed and has disable my horn, cruise control and my driver side airbag. but its not a safety issue according to Daimler-Chrysler. (until I or my wife split my/her head in two against my leather steering wheel in a head on collision while trying to warn the oncoming vehicle with a malfunctioning horn.) NHTSB is "investigating".

General Comments:

Very comfortable seating.

Fast and reliable power when you need it.

Comfortable ride over rough terrain (road bumps, etc).

Removal of rear seats facilitates the need for extra cargo space when needed.

Multi-zone air and heat a plus.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th August, 2002

16th Mar 2004, 12:15

Word to whom it may concern regards to; clockspring.dodge corp. is now fixing it as an recall,call them for more info.

1997 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3L 6 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 3.3L 6 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.8 / 10
Distance when acquired3 miles
Most recent distance51000 miles
Previous carDodge Caravan

Summary:

Sorry to say - We will not be buying another Dodge Caravan

Faults:

Steering column problems - replaced clock spring, replaced power steering lines.

Wipers coming on by themselves - replaced switch.

Replaced engine serpentine belt - tried adjusting first.

All gears highlighted on the indicator - no problem could be found.

Coolant leak - replaced pet cock valve.

Dead battery.

Replaced starter.

Replaced AC evaporator (47,000 miles), cost split with the dealer.

Transmission leak (50,000 miles).

Transmission leak (51,000 miles) - replaced transmission hose and clamps.

Water pump leaking - replaced pump and belt tensioner (51,499 miles).

General Comments:

This vehicle is great for room and comfort. We liked our 1993 Caravan so we moved up to the Grand Caravan in 1997. Sorry we did. This one has been a problem since we bought it! We've spent over $500.00 in two weeks on it. That's too big a price for comfort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th February, 2001

26th Mar 2001, 07:34

I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan at 50000 miles the PCV valve stuck causing almost every gasket to be blown out.

At 70000 miles we had the transmission rebuilt and it is starting to burn oil badly.

20th Sep 2001, 11:12

Our 1996 Caravan has had the same issues as you as follows:

Wipers coming on by themselves - replaced switch.

Replaced engine serpentine belt.

All gears highlighted on the indicator - no problem could be found.

Dead battery. (3 of them over 4 year period)

Replaced starter. - currently looks to be bad... hunting for where to short the starter to start the engine so I can get this thing repaired...

AC is currently out...

Average review marks: 6.3 / 10, based on 35 reviews