2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 3.6L Penastar from North America

Summary:

Nice ride but suspected long term reliability is poor...

Faults:

This 3.6L motor is worrisome. So far the oil cooler and transmission lines have had leak issues. Seals on the oil cooler had to be replaced. This requires removal of the plenum, fuel rail components, and lower intake manifold. This motor produces 283 horsepower, however parts replacement is more difficult than on previous Grand Caravans. See below:

General Comments:

Performance is excellent and this vehicle will fly from 0-60 mph and beyond. The 6 speed automatic transmission seems smooth, but I notice some rumbling into reverse. I expect this vehicle to be much more problematic than its predecessors, ie. the earlier 3.3L and the 3.8L motors.

What is more comfortable than an automobile or a pickup truck? The mini-van. Carries people or a 4x8 sheet of plywood.

Braking on this 2014 (143,000 miles) is greatly improved and I am shocked at how well the brakes have held up. To date, after 53K miles I have not changed the brakes or had to turn brake rotors in the 53K miles I have owned the vehicle. Very little brake wear or brake rotor warping. On my 2010 I had to turn rotors every 15-20K miles. I have not experienced brake fade due to overheating. Further, the motor does not over-heat. Earlier motors (3.3 and 3.8) were amazing. Again it's about maintenance. In my opinion, replacing your OEM radiator at 150K miles is a MUST. A radiator is a wear item like brakes. Finally, let me say a word about heater hose assemblies... replace them with brass connectors and 5/8 inch heater hoses. A brass "Y" at the heater core junction will last a million miles. The ABS plastic heater hose assemblies cannot be trusted and are over-priced. In recent years they have been developed for one purpose: to take your money.

So far no problems with the ignition node (ignition switch) glitching of previous models (2008-2010s). This is a serious and EXPENSIVE problem on earlier models (2010). Recently the front passenger window was hyper sensitive when raising the window and would go back down approximately 2 inches. This was a source of aggravation to my wife and I. Problem solved when I disconnected the battery for a day and on reset the problem has not reappeared. The vehicle ride is smooth and no unusual steering or suspension problems are noted.

Body Hardware: The driver's left side seat plastic cover broke and the seat control switch had to be replaced as it too fell apart. This has been a problem on all 5 Dodge Grand Caravans I have owned.

On this 3.6L, to change spark plugs the plenum must be removed, turning this into a 3 hour job on the first go around. Do not over-tighten the plenum. Do not break the tangs on the spark plug connector clips. If you break a tang or lose one, try using an insulated wire to twist tie the connection or purchase a replacement pigtail connector at the spark plugs. The worst problem I can see is the development of oil leaks at the base of the oil cooler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2019

1st Dec 2019, 04:13

Nice review with useful detail.

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.8 V6 from North America

Summary:

Good value for the money

Faults:

Front brake rotors were warped when picked up.

Transmission front fluid pump went out at 61,000 miles.

Transmission rebuilt by the dealer under warranty.

General Comments:

This Grand Caravan is the All American package that is a pretty basic van. It does have the stow and go seats.

So far the van has been very reliable. The transmission pump was the only major problem so far. The van handles very well and the 3.8 V6 is much quicker than the 3.3 V6 in my older van.

Have made several long trips with this van. The front seats are stiff, but OK for long distance driving. The middle seats are just not very comfortable. I wish there was more leg room for the driver (I'm 6 foot 3 inches).

The stow and go is great for hauling cargo, and the hidden compartments in the floor when the seats are up are a big help.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2017

16th Jun 2017, 15:58

Even if it cost you nothing to fix, I wouldn't think that a transmission rebuild at ~60k bodes well for long-term reliability.