2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3 from North America
Buy a Daewoo instead
The engine light would come on every two or three months; Each time it was determined to be caused by a leaking vacuum hose. This was between 20000 and 35000 miles.
I started getting noise in the power steering. There was a recall for power steering. After the work was done, the problem continued, so I took it back to the dealer. They replaced "steering gear" and the problem stopped, but has recently started up again. This was at 30000 miles. It was under warranty, but otherwise would have been an $800.00 repair.
The A/C locked up and caused the belt to slip on compressor, filling the cab with a burnt rubber smell. Turned off A/C and it stopped. Dodge extended the warranty on the A/C due to known problems, so they fixed it for free. If anyone else has that problem and you have less than 75000 miles on the car, take it to a dealer for warranty work.
The engine blew at 36316 miles. It was caused by a flaw in the cast of a piston, from what the shop foreman said, but since the warranty was up at 36000 miles and 3 years, Dodge refused to pay for it. This was a $5,000.00+ repair. One of the heads had to be replaced at the same time. After the engine was replaced, I did not have any more problems with vacuum hoses.
The driver's side switch to roll up the passenger window recently stopped working about a year ago. I have not had this repaired.
I am beginning to hear the front end clunking noise that has been described by others.
I have had to replace the brakes twice, and the rotors once, due to rust pits. Brakes are regular maintenance, but this is more often than I would have expected. I see others have experienced the same.
I have not had any transmission problems yet, but I only have 45000 miles on it now. I changed the transmission oil at 30000 miles, and will continue to change it every 30000 miles. Maybe this will buy me some time. It did develop a serious transmission leak recently while the van was in the care of my mechanic. Since my mechanic had the van when it happened, I can't say for certain if it was a part failure or damage caused by him.
If not for having to replace the engine at 36316 miles, and Dodge's refusal to do anything, I would have considered purchasing another Dodge, in spite of the other problems. But even with the better warranty that they have now, I find their position in that matter unforgivable. As I told them in our final conversation, I have a Daewoo imported from Korea under the Pontiac name in 1992. It is what most would consider a disposable car, but I still have it, and it runs fine and the whole car cost me less than that engine replacement on the Dodge. If I had purchased a Korean car in 2002 and if it had blown an engine, it would have still been covered under warranty. If the folks at Dodge don't care enough about their jobs to take a little pride in their product and stand behind it, when it is only 300 miles over warranty, then why should I care about their jobs? Based on their current financial situation, it appears many Americans agree with me.
It is estimated that the actions taken by American Auto Makers in the 80's to limit the supply of Japanese cars into the country cost Americans over $100,000 dollars per employee that kept their job in Detroit. It certainly wasn't the workers that took home that money. Frankly, I'd rather that money go to paying that guy's unemployment than going to making his boss richer than he already is.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 15th May, 2008
15th May 2008, 19:14
I'm sorry to hear you've had such an awful experience with this vehicle. Friends of ours have had a total of 4 Caravans and 1 Town and Country (a Caravan with $5000 tacked on), and every one of them has used these vehicles for family travel and driven them well over 200,000 miles (250,000 in two cases). These are usually VERY reliable vehicles.
3rd Jun 2011, 11:18
To the above comment, your friends just got lucky with theirs. Seems the majority are having nothing but issues with their Caravans. Guess it is not surprising, as Chrysler has never been synonomous with quality. Just ask someone who owned a 2001 Intrepid...