2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.6L Pentastar from North America

Summary:

Generally reliable, good family transporter

Faults:

My 2010 has been very reliable with mild limitations. The vehicle drives and rides comfortably down the road. Seats are firm and supportive. However, I will have to echo the complaints of others.

1. Ground clearance is short and over time damage will likely occur to the underside of the front outer bumper. Yes, you will scrape a few times.

2. Brakes tend to wear and rotors warp faster than a carpet bagger at quitting time. This is due to the brake size limitations of the 16 inch rims. For 2011 this was changed to 17 inch rims, but 2008-2010 owners will be turning rotors forever. Rear brake caliper pistons are adjustable using the "secret" caliper piston tool. This is a dark super-secret I only recently learned. I think Chrysler repair people might even have a secret handshake or even have a special fez for midnight rituals.

3. Dodge went to a plastic key fob which falls apart. This means you could be stranded if it separates/falls off unseen. These evil fobs wear and break and replacements must be paired to your vehicle at the dealer. The ignition switch is a plastic node which is harder to find than a white rhino's horn, costs $700+ and probably 2 times that in labor to replace. Try replacing your battery with a heavy duty unit (750CCA) first. A defective node means you go down the road on a hot summer day and the A/C is no longer blowing out the vents. Who would think it is the fault of the node.

4. Right side power door actuator will need replacing eventually. Luckily a $20 part.

5. Similarly, the driver's side power lock/power window/mirror switches go out.

6. Coolant temp sensor is plastic and plastic is not your friend.

7. ALL driver's seat plastic moldings break quickly and so do the ones you replace them with. Either bungee the plastic moldings across the front or duct tape the outside of the seat. No fix will last for long. Dodge should have made these moldings from steel plate and they would have lasted longer than the first 36 months. This is true of ALL Caravan/Town & Country mini-vans from 2001-2020. May they rest in peace.

8. Engine light P0420 problem code. I can't prove this, but I think Chrysler programs the engine light to come on about 150-160K miles in. This has happened on every one I have owned. This is probably the most expensive item short of engine or transmission failure. If you can live with the light or live in a state without the dreaded yearly emissions inspection, you'll be fine. Clean, gut it or replace the converter; just know that one day that amber light will be back.

The information provided here is relevant specifically to 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country. Very different characteristics are found 2001-2007 or 2011-2017.

Regarding the 3.3 and 3.8L engines: The 3.8L V-6 is nearly indestructible, producing an adequate 215 horsepower and better fuel economy with the addition of the 6-speed automatic transmission in 2008. I have found the transmissions reliable. However, Dodge has reduced the number of bolts holding engine and transmission pans as they seem to go out of their way to make the mini-van cheaper and cheaper. Ultimately, Dodge has driven itself out of the mini-van market with 2020 likely being the last year. You could say they have about ruined what has been one of America's favorite family transporters. Personally, I have put nearly a million miles on Dodge mini-vans and my opinions are based on over 14 years experience with them.

At the end of the day, shame on you Fiat-Chrysler...

These engines should NEVER overheat if the cooling system is maintained. Also, a factory radiator should be replaced at 150K. Also the heater core assemblies with a y shaped PVC pipe fitting should be discarded and replaced with a 3-way 5/8 inch BRASS fitting. Doing this will save $400 in parts and labor and last 10 times longer than the pitiful OEM fittings.

Best of all, the between the seats cargo carrier is easily removed making the 2010 SXT one of the few vehicles you can move from the front to the back of the vehicle without exiting the vehicle or climbing over the seats. This is wonderful for parents. This troop carrier's seats fold flat for large cargo items. You can also carry up to 7 sheets of drywall with the seats flat. Additional sheets past 7 will block the tailgate from closing. These vehicles have carried more families, children, dogs and groceries than the Model T. God speed to you all and happy motoring!

General Comments:

I like mine, runs great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2020

20th Dec 2020, 04:19

Excellent Review!!!

Nice analysis of the vehicle with excellent detail and a witty perspective :)

Regarding the 3.3 and 3.8L engines, the 3.3 have solid reliability records.

The 3.8 seems to have some ugly issues -> oil consumption that can lead to complete engine failure (I'm guessing the engines ran low on oil, and their bottom-ends are subsequently destroyed). Maybe the issue stems from the piston rings needed to be redesigned with the increase of stroke of the 3.8, but were not changed. They had to revise the Slant-6 piston rings when they went from the 170 to the 225 with the large increase of stroke to address oil consumption problems.

2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.8L from North America

Summary:

Mixed feelings as though something lost and something gained

Faults:

So far everything is fine. This has a 6 speed automatic transmission and the last year of the 3.8L V-6 engine. These engines are extremely reliable with maintenance. However, this vehicle has no transmission dipstick... requires dealer service. We do not yet notice transmission torque converter shudder, which is indicated to be a common Chrysler-Dodge problem.

There are no good tow points on the front of this vehicle by which to pull it out of the mud or snow. For some people this could be problematic.

General Comments:

I have had 3 other Dodge Grand Caravan SXT models (2006, 2007, 2007) and have driven them approximately 500,000 miles. The doors, hood and body on the 2010 are thinner and metal has been replaced at key points with ABS plastic, which we assume is to make the vehicle lighter. This is visible where the headlights attach to the vehicle. This is noticeable and disappointing. Aerodynamically, the vehicle has been de-engineered for the sake of new and improved, but the 2010 is a lot boxier.

This generation has slightly wider tires for increased stability on the road. Overall the 6 speed transmission has provided me with a 1-2 mile per gallon fuel economy.

My thought is that Chrysler has slowly been killing this vehicle by making it cheaper, although new features are present such as windows that roll down on the sliding passenger doors. Time will reveal just how reliable this Generation 4 mini-van is compared to its predecessors. I suspect that Chrysler would like to kill the Caravan and replace it with the Pacifica (less vehicle and a lot more money). I guess they would rather sell upscaled vehicles to higher income people.

On the Dodge mini-vans, the 2010 Grand Caravan is the last year in which one can move from the driver's compartment to the back of the vehicle. This model still has the removable storage compartment between the seats. Subsequent years have a sweeping center console that is NOT removable. The Chrysler T/C has a removable compartment between the seats, and later models will permit moving to the back from inside the vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th January, 2017

15th Jan 2017, 03:48

Solid review from someone who has experience with the product.

The leading problem with these is premature brake wear.

The transmission is relatively solid compared to prior versions, but it's not flawless, and can benefit from regular servicing - a good independent shop can handle it.

And it looks like you're onto something about the atrophy FCA is expressing towards of this vehicle. They are looking to promote the Fiat/Alfa based Pacifica, whose lineage could make it be a very interesting vehicle to deal within terms of quality... over time... ;)

We'll see.