1998 Dodge Grand Caravan Reviews - Page 5 of 6

1998 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3 liter from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.3 liter Automatic
Distance when acquired32000 miles
Most recent distance112000 miles
Previous carToyota Camry

Summary:

I'll Never Buy a Dodge Again!

Faults:

I bought my car used with approx 32K miles.

"Service engine soon" light started coming on around 50,000 miles... the rpm gauge would shoot up tor 4000 and it would stick into gear. Took it to dealer they said it was a relay switch and charged me $700.00. A month later same problem, took it back and they said I now had ANOTHER problem and wanted $1500 just to get inside the transmission! I'm up to 112k miles and the car still has the same problem off and on.. but it has never broken down on me! I know that when it happens, I have to stop, shut the engine off then restart it and everything works again until the next time (which could be 1 days to 2 months! go figure!)

Took it to an independent transmission shop and they noticed "strange codes" on my computer, but couldn't detect anything wrong during the test drive. The care was on good behavior that day!

Tires have to be replaced often. $400 every 1 1/2 years.

There's a terrible creaking sound under my driver's side passenger side sounds like the car is going to snap in half. No one can tell me why! It's not shocks, struts, etc.

At 70,000 miles clock spring went up... lost airbag, horn, cruise control. Luckily this was covered by the recall.

At 80,000 miles driver's side power window switches had to be replaced. Bought part from dealer for $100 and repaired it myself (EASY!)

Transmission leak at 90,000 miles - parts and service + diagnostic test cost $200.00.

Front driver's side wheel bearing had to be replaced at 95,000 miles - shop wanted $300 - bought the part at the local auto repair store only cost me $115 to do it myself. (EASY!)

The A/C Compressor sounds like it's going soon. Keeps making a squirting sound after I turn my car off.

General Comments:

This is the most comfortable vehicle I have every traveled in. And for that reason I love it. It really can be driven all day without any discomfort. Although the seats are a pain to take in and out, the van offers a lot of flexibility for traveling. (we can remove the 2 middle seats and use it as sleeping space)

Handles more like a car, then like a van! A definite plus!

Visibility is excellent all round through the large windows, with very few blind spots.

Somewhat of a gas guzzler.

While it's attractive and comfortable I don't want to EVER be plagued with so many mechanical problems again!

My overall experience with this car has prejudiced me against American made cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th October, 2004

7th Mar 2005, 19:05

I also have the same year and make vehicle. We replaced the entire transmission (at our expense) less than 2,000 miles over warranty. We have also had to replace drivers side window controls. Now we are facing a new problem that seems to have everyone puzzled. Unable to drive vehicle without it stalling and shaking.

How many people have also had the same problems?

22nd May 2005, 09:06

I have a 1998 Grand Caravan as well - The problem you are having with the car not moving out of gear and RPM shooting up is the same one I had. Turns out it was a combination of 2 things - Speed sensors and the pigtails associated with them. This problem started for us AFTER we had a new transmission put in (at a lousy 64,000 miles) Breaking in of the new tranny put metal deposits into the fluid which got to the sensors. We replaced the sensors, pigtails and flushed the transmission fluid -problem solved.

Having said that, this is the most disappointing car I have ever owned. Will NEVER buy another Dodge product.

15th Dec 2008, 20:53

My 1999 Caravan is the best car I have ever owned!!! It just keeps on going no problems; 112,000 miles. I hate to get rid of it but want a new one. And yes another Caravan. Everyone who ever rode in it can't believe it's a VAN!!!

1998 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.3 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired27 miles
Most recent distance103300 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Wish I found this website before buying

Faults:

The first year of ownership my ABS sensor needed to be replaced (Warranty covered).

Then the passenger vanity mirror shorted out (warranty covered).

The instrument panel also kept flashing bright and dim periodically. The dealer couldn't figure out the problem and tried to make me pay for the search even though it was still under warranty. (I've since figured out that it was the cabin light switch...when I hit a dip in the road it would jar the switch and affect the instrument panel light)

The serpentine (accessory) belt started squealing at 40,000 miles. The service shop discovered a tube was disconnected and water from the base of the windshield was dripping on the belt. It probably was disconnected when the Dodge dealership was working on my vehicle for a prior problem. (I stopped going to Dodge after the warranty was up)

Battery died after 3 years. Ironically this caused a lot of problems. (My wife had the A/C on while installing the battery and it caused the instrument panel to flash...reinstalling the battery without the AC on "reset" the system)

I've also needed to replace the starter at 80,000 miles.

Now the transmission just went out at 103,000. This cost me around $3K. I was hoping to get a little more life out of it considering I am not tough on my vehicles.

While waiting for the tow truck, I also noticed the drivers seat tearing toward the bottom (vinyl section)

The rest is normal maintenance (although I was encouraged to change out my rotors on my 2nd front brake job)...I think it was around 50,000 miles.

General Comments:

I also bought the Grand Caravan because of the ability to lug 4 X 8 sheets of plywood and it "was the best selling minivan". Silly for buying into that advertisement. (and for not lugging enough 4 X 8's to feel I bought the right van)

While some of my repairs have been covered by warranty, I am a bit annoyed at myself for not researching vehicle more since transmissions are obviously a problem and I've heard from other owners that electrical issues can pop up.

I still like the look of my van (minus the bumper scuffs compliments of my wife) but am disappointed about the transmission.

Also, at the time Dodge offered a 3/36K warranty...most of my annoying and expensive problems happened after the warranty expired.

I was spoiled because my previous car was a Honda...and that was the most reliable vehicle on earth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2004

2nd Mar 2006, 22:05

80000 miles for the starter to blow! Wow, my Buick LeSabre has had 6 starters in it's life, and 4 alternators. That's not a problem, it's an inconvenience.

Average review marks: 6.5 / 10, based on 19 reviews