2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.8L from North America

Summary:

The best in class van. I am

Faults:

Battery - All electricals stopped working or behave erratic.

Steering noise in cold start - Power steering fluid reservoir tank's filter choked.

Slipping serpentine belt noise.

Driver's side brake caliper. Front brake shoes and rotors.

General Comments:

This is my third Dodge. I have been so pleased with Dodge, that I am a loyal customer and would remain loyal always.

My first Dodge Voyager was lost in accident, and I did not get a chance to use it much, but the second one I bought was 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan. I bought it in 2004 at 109K miles. It went up to 183K miles with zero (yes zero) problems. Everything kept working on it right with factory original parts under the hood until its transmission died 2010.

Then I found 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT at 103K miles with sto and go option for $7K (not bad at all). The van was in overall good condition, however I had to change tires and some of the parts I mentioned above that went wrong till date. Mostly I was able to diagnose the issue by reading articles on the net and watching youtube clips, and got the exact part replaced.

After the above fixes, the van is running super smooth, and I am very sure that it would give me rock solid service, as was provided by earlier vans. I must mention that I always use Mobil 1 full synthetic oil only, which probably helps in keeping it in good running condition. Besides, I am not a die hard fan of proactive repairs. I repair something only when it breaks completely or there is an exact solution available on the net (faced by someone earlier). This helps in saving lot of money, which otherwise dealers and mechanics try to steal by misguiding customers most of the time, under the disguise of proactive maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2011

20th Feb 2011, 08:34

I recommend that anyone driving 2005 Dodge Grand caravan should replace a) Battery < $100, b) Power steering reservoir $35 - flush fluid during this change c) Serpentine belt $40 and d) use Mobil 1 full synthetic 5w-20w oil.

You will be so thankful that you did above and gave fresh lease of life to your van. These are most common issues that start impacting after 5 to 6 years of use. Rest all is good.

16th Sep 2012, 08:06

Back again. Its current reading is 125K and going great. No other issue has surfaced so far. The van is running smooth and just on regular Mobil-1 full synthetic oil replacement.

1st Aug 2013, 16:15

Current reading: 133K, developed a power steering fluid leak. Was advised by a mechanic to change the whole power steering assembly (could not expect mechanics to ever suggest a cheaper solution). Used Lucas Stop Leak; in about six months the leak was gone completely. No other issues so far. The van is super reliable and going great.

27th Sep 2013, 05:00

Here is a link to the part (power steering reservoir) in case someone wants more info. I bought from Amazon and had my mechanic put it in...

http://www.amazon.com/2001-2007-COUNTRY-CARAVAN-STEERING-RESERVOIR/dp/B003U171FI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1380275829&sr=8-2&keywords=power+steering+reservoir

19th Sep 2014, 10:19

Now it is at 150K, going strong, no issues at all.

13th Aug 2015, 17:35

Returning back. Current reading 160K. A/C was cooling less then desired, so got it recharged for $100, but the mechanic found nothing wrong with the A/C system, just low on freon. Now it is working well and cooling great.

The van did develop rust patches on the front (hood and side panels). Other than this, no new issue since my last write up.

2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.8L from North America

Summary:

Great design, poor engineering

Faults:

We have had numerous issues with the power door locks. They would work intermittently or not at all. Returned to dealer at least 4 times - finally repaired.

Clunking sound in front end (sway bar bushings) - replaced twice.

Steering rack and pinion leaking - replaced.

Water pump leaking - replaced.

A/C compressor clutch failed - replaced.

Air bag clock spring failed - replaced.

Transmission downshifts hard at times, but has not failed yet.

General Comments:

We really like the features of this van. It drives good and has good power. Ours has the entertainment system with disc changer and DVD/TV, which is wonderful for the kids on trips.

The stow in go is great, it adds a lot of storage, and you don't have to remove seats when you haul stuff.

The features are great, but the quality is fair at best. Our previous Grand Caravan 1997 model was plagued with problems as well.

When we upgraded to this van, we were hoping Dodge had fixed the problems, but they haven't. Our next van will be a Honda or Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st October, 2010