2003 Dodge Grand Caravan ES AWD 6 cylinder from North America

Summary:

Near excellent car, from reliability to versatility

Faults:

Transmission was changed at 160,000 miles.

I did replaced the battery and tires every 60,000 miles.

Twice fixed the radiator leaks with "bars stop leak".

I've replaced the fan resistor just recently.

General Comments:

Good reliable car with variable capability - hauling people and cargo.

It has now over 190,000 miles. The secret of being able to achieve high mileage of this car & my other cars, is that I don't go back any more to the dealership just before the warranty expires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th August, 2011

9th Jul 2013, 04:23

I did the original review. I am back for updates.

I have added couple of thousand miles and updated my Grand Caravan ES AWD.

I converted it to mini-micro RV or motor home with toilet, bed & curtains. It can carry 4 adults & can sleep also 4. I used it for camping trips and also as daily driver. I also used it to go to the casino, & slept in it instead of checking in.

To convert it to micro RV, I spent less than $100. I did spent about $700 in materials to put in a new radiator, new wiper motors, new fuel pump, brakes, anti-sway bars, and update the A/C.

Although the engine sounds like diesel, the car runs smooth. Gas mileage is still 19 miles/gallon (combined).

In short, I love it more than ever, & hope to reach 500,000 miles as I read in a forum. So far I am close to 200,000 miles.

Wish me luck, & good luck to all Dodge Grand Caravan ES 2003 owners.

2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.8 DOHC from North America

Faults:

First van:

Broken studs on rear drum.

Airbag light around 80,000.

Bad oil pan seal around 100,000.

Blown head gasket around 105,000.

Busted camshaft around 105,500.

Second van:

Horrid clunk from sway bar when purchased.

Inaccurate DTE readings.

Numerous engine codes.

Generally poor design considering crash ratings.

General Comments:

This would be my second Grand Caravan Sport. The first was a 3.3l flex-fuel 7-seater. Had to get rid of it due to the blown engine, which would have cost more to fix than it was worth. On second thoughts, wish I would have kept it (it was paid off).

This model however did come better equipped with 4 captain's chairs, self opening passenger side sliding door and liftgate, power driver's seat and Homelink capability. When I say self opening liftgate, I do mean SELF-opening. Posted recall shows how this year has a tendency to open while in motion. Fun.

The 3.8 liter engine is spunky and has good pick up, as long as you watch your pump fuel. The 3.3l is flex-fuel, the 3.8 is not, so watch those "Contains up to 10% ethanol" labels. Makes a huge difference between merging onto on-ramps and getting ran over by a Civic.

Main issues with the vehicle have been sticking sliding doors, to the point where I completely pulled the relay for my auto-slider. The factory installed 6-disc changer jammed up with no hope for revival, so it's just a placeholder until I get an aftermarket or scrap the whole van.

Recent accident has shown me one important detail that I, along with Chrysler engineers, have missed. There is not true front bumper. The rear has 2 hidden supports similar to police/taxi bull bars but not much else. The front is literally just the well formed plastic you see. No underlayment at all. A small bump in traffic cost me $1,440 in repairs. $335 just for the bumper alone along with $250 for the busted radiator and fan mounts. Oh yeah, and another $150 for an OEM headlight assembly.

Hopefully the new models have something behind that plastic cover, besides vital vehicle components.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th December, 2010