2002 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3 V6 from North America
Reliable, some issues, but overall well worth it
Complete tune up and replace PCV valve, sway bar links, at 127,000 miles (previous owner was my mother).
Front pads and rotors at 131,000 miles.
Adjust rear brake drums at 133,000 miles.
I inherited this car from my mother at 141,000 miles.
158,000 miles - Front left caliper seized, killing brake pads and rotors, and I actually lost all pressure and brake fluid at this time. Replaced the caliper on driver's side, and pads and rotors on both sides.
158,152 miles - Replaced front tires with used touring tires, great feel and ride to these tires.
Transmission began to slip around 139,000. Fluid flush did not help. Wound up being stuck in Limp mode quite often until I found out how to change the vehicle speed sensor myself; it is quite easy, and most people thought the transmission was gone and done. Not so, $20 sensor and tranny shifts like new again. I didn't even replace the sensor until it failed totally at about 164,000 miles, so needless to say, the transmission wasn't treated well for that period of time.
Replaced original battery at 164,000 miles while replacing speed sensor. It still held a good charge, but when I removed it to get better access to sensor, it was leaking battery acid!
I was in two accidents within a 3 week time period... One a person pulled out taking a left and hit my rear passenger side fender and tire, just scratched and banged up the car, no injuries to either of us.
Also, at night, hit a deer going 50 MPH on the front left side of the car, it then side swiped my car and warped my door shut. Insurance replaced headlight lens, fender and door. Again, car absorbed shock like a beast, and I was totally safe.
My mom bought this car brand new in 2002 with seven miles on the odometer. She actually felt she got a lemon - lots of problems while under warranty. Lost power steering and had to get towed, countless recalls, window motors failing, etc. Just a headache of a vehicle.
However, at around 100,000 miles, the car seemed to level out and only had fairly standard work done to it. She had a a major tune up done at 127,000 miles by original dealer, for the first time.
I wasn't looking forward to having the car when I got it, based on the problems that she had with it, but to my surprise, it has been nothing but reliable. I've put nearly 25,000 miles on it over the past year, and have spent only $450 in fixing it (I do most of the work myself).
It has plenty of power with the 3.3 V6, and the transmission has never failed, either. It does need rear shocks and has a bit of a stiff ride, especially when full with seven passengers. During the summer, I empty out all seats and load up lawnmowers, furniture, help people move, etc..
Overall, dollar for dollar and mile for mile, this is the best car I have ever owned - even if it is a minivan! Not to mention, the paint is still pretty shiny, and it doesn't really look like a ten year old American car.
I am sure it will need some attention, for most of the components are original (belts, hoses, water pump, alternator, etc...), which is great for the year and miles. I plan on doing some preventative maintenance very soon to assure this car will last until at least 200,000 miles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 7th February, 2011