1998 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.0L V6 (I think) from North America
Darn tootin' good car
Quick comment: My parents bought this van in 1998, and gave it to my then-fiance (now husband) and I in 2005. I will comment as best as I can remember as to what had gone wrong when my parents owned it, as well as us.
-Fuel pump went after trying to use E-85 gas WITH proper oil (however, may have been because it was 2005 when we used it and the engine had ~170K on it), cost $500.
-Cruise control was a little bit faulty as it got older but worked overall.
-In 1999, van was bumped by another car on driver-side rear sliding door, and electrical went nuts from then on, parents spent lots of time and money on this, not sure how much though.
-2006, starter wouldn't work well; we took it to a mechanic who said that it was clogged with gunk and for ~$50 they cleaned it out and it was good as new.
-2004, trunk latch broke; was very hard to find someone to fix it properly, but it was eventually fixed, amount unknown.
-2006, we were having issues with the dashboard not working, ie speedometer would sit at 0, gas gauge would show empty, clock wouldn't show, temperature wouldn't show WHILE we were driving, or within 5 seconds of turning the car on. Took it to a mechanic who diagnosed it as the chip that controlled it was going nuts. Cost us $350 to fix even with a junkyard part, but was worth it, as we never had issues with it again.
-2003, front passenger speaker went out and 2006 driver side was fizzling in and out; mechanic said it's because Dodge installed the wires below the battery and battery acid was dropping on them and causing corrosion; luckily we took it in as bare wire from front speakers was touching the other wires, had everything rewired, don't remember the amount but I believe less than $200.
-Transmission groaned starting in 2002 or so, but Dad said he was going to ignore it until it needed to be fixed and hubby and I never had an issue with it either; I am aware Dodges have funky transmissions but I guess we got lucky.
-AC went out in 2003 on a 3,000 mile car trip, maybe due to long hours driving? Not sure. Amount unknown.
-Sometimes, starting in 2005, the heater would quit working, but we just had to restart the car and it would start again.
-Headlights seemed to get dimmer as it got older, even after replacement.
Note, however, the one thing I haven't commented on much, and that is the engine. While not powerful, (kind of small for the van's size, IMO) it was a darn good engine, and we drove it past 200K miles before it was sold.
If you're looking for a car to haul stuff/kids/work vehicle and just want a good engine and don't care about any extras working right up until it dies, this is your van. I believe this thing would have lasted us to 300K miles plus. It was just time to move on.
Please note, yes, I had many electrical issues, but I believe it's because of the door being smucked in 1999 and it just messed everything up. But I'm not sure how well the electrical in these babies work, so do more research if you want to know more about it. I wish I could be more helpful.
As far as comfort, it was pretty comfortable, but sometimes on long trips the seats got a little bit bum-numbing. As far as roominess, it was pretty good, and of course all of the rear seats pop out if you need to go heavy-duty hauling.
It handled on ice and snow very well considering its size, and I felt pretty safe in it.
Overall, if we decide to get a roomy family vehicle after my son is born, we will buy a Dodge Grand Caravan again, hands down.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th September, 2008