8th Oct 2005, 00:23

1997 Dodge Caravan SE.

1. Wipers come on when ever they feel like it

2. Front interior lights don't work

3. Tranny went out at 70000 miles ($2300)

4. Accelerator was stuck on and accelerating on the highway on its own

5. Rear vent windows don't work sometimes

6. Battery light comes on and there's no problem

7. Brakes grind and shimmy (front & rear brake were replaced with rotor resurfaced drum)

8. Power steering pump failed prematurely

9. Power steering squeal when van is on

10. A/C problems. Never found the problem

11. Strut tie rod squeak

12. Some door locks don't work

I have worked on cars since I was 14 years old, now I am 32. I always do my routine maintenance on my 97' Caravan (8 years), 98' Expedition (2years), 92' Tempo (12 years) and my 72' Chevy truck (6 years).

All these cars are great cars, but it is a shame that Daimler Chrysler can't stand behind their cars with all these problems. I don't think I will buy another Chrysler product again until they address these problems with all Caravan owners with these problems (tranny & wipers, brakes, accelerator; these are very serious, all others are minor)

Gino Rivera riveras2@juno.com.

12th Oct 2005, 13:39

96 dodge caravan wipers come on and off all the time. Have put on 6 serpentine belts and 4 tensioner so I know what you guys are talking about.

15th Nov 2005, 20:34

97 Dodge Grand Caravan

Piece of Junk! Have sunk more money into this van than any car I've ever owned. It's now at 130,000 miles and in need of a new transmission (which was already replaced at 40,000 miles). Have replaced air conditioning - brakes 3x per year - rotors - starter - alternator - wipers still go off and on at odd times after being supposedly "repaired" over 4 times now. Have continuous electrical problems - service engine light remains on, dealer and a few other shops can't seem to figure it out. My list could go on and on. This is the first and definitely LAST Dodge we'll ever own! Tomorrow we're off to buy a Tahoe.

10th Sep 2006, 01:17

I purchased a 1997 Caravan new and have had nothing, but problems with it. Everything was covered for the first 3 years, then it was all out of pocket and even then not all problems could be fixed. You name it... sway bar, swaybar bushings, clock spring, serpentine belts galore, no gauges (I have actual use of the gauges maybe 10 minutes a week). I count light poles to gauge my speed to avoid speeding tickets! I top off my tank every 4 days. I avoid stop and go traffic because my electric fans don't work when there are no gauges, the spare tire does not lower, so I keep a full size in the hatch. I bought a Dodge after staying loyal to GM since since I got my license. The biggest mistake of my life! This is my first and last Chrysler. Chrysler is junk!

11th Sep 2006, 20:24

I have a 1997 dodge grand caravan se.

I owned this since it was new and now it has 324,000 miles on it and still running just fine.

Only replaced the normal things "belts, oil, battery" etc.

Take care of your car and it will take care of you.

2nd Nov 2006, 11:07

I have owned my 97 Caravan from when it was new. I have only experienced some of the mentioned problems such as the wipers coming on and off and a clock spring issue that just came up. Other than that, I can not complain. The van has over one hundred and twenty thousand miles on it. I drive the van every day and have to admit, I drive the Caravan pretty hard, but there is one thing, I take care of it as well. I change my oil every three thousand mile and check the fluids regularly and it is still running strong. I concur with some of the past comments made about maintenance. If you take care of your vehicle and don’t abuse it, it should last until the fenders fall of.

12th Feb 2007, 13:09

Caravan/Voyager Starting Problems - I have a 1997 Plymouth Voyager that I bought new, currently has 116,500 miles. Four years ago it had an intermitent starting problem. 50% of the time that I turned the key it wouldn't crank. Replaced the starter motor and the car has worked fine for 4 more years. Now, back in the same situation again. I find if I turn the key 10 times it may start every time today, but on other days it will only crank 50% of the time. With all the starter motor problems listed on the internet for the Chrylser Mini Vans - will replace the starter again with no questions asked.

17th Jun 2007, 21:27

Chryco is junk. Nothing but bad news with my 1997 Caravan (Bought it new). Too many problems to list, but invested $2000 plus into the instrumentation alone over the last 4 years and still no gauges... and no satisfaction. This was a very costly mistake on my part for trusting in Dodge. They should lock the doors and go home... for good.

5th Jul 2007, 21:03

I bought a used '97 Dodge Grand Caravan at 57,000+ miles. I am now selling it 6 years later at 151,000 miles. In that time, this van performed as expected and gave us years of comfort on the road. All the whining here sounds like people who do nothing, but put gas in and ignore any recalls (clockspring). Maintenance is a must.

As for us, we have had only minor issues. We replaced brakes regularly--you know--as they wore out (perhaps 3 or 4 times total) We DO have a slight tranny leak and a slight oil leak, but I check the fluid levels regularly and she just keeps going. We are going to retire this one finally, and YES--we are buying another MOPAR product-- an '05 Town & Country Limited. These vans are great! :-)

4th Aug 2007, 01:26

My mother has a 1997 Dodge Caravan and has taken it to be repaired, for air conditioner problems. She has put $1000 into trying to get the air conditioning working. The last repair man... at a Dodge Dealership... told her it would be a waste of time and money to replace the belt that keeps slipping off (on the air conditioner... if we got it correct) and that he has replaced his four times and it will not stay on. My nephew took the car in for her and he said they tightened the belt again and still she has no air conditioning. Pretty frustrating and we are at a loss of where to turn at this point. She does live in a small town with little choice of where to take the car. Do you feel you have had this problem and found a solution? She otherwise does like this vehicle...

7th Apr 2008, 08:46

We love our 96 caravan. Has issues, but it has over 212,000 miles on it and still doesn't burn oil. Unfortunately, it's beginning to rust or we'd drive it another 10 years. Still looks new inside. The wipers turn on and off at will, but we just pretend it's haunted. Tranny was rebuilt at 127,000 for $600 bucks.