9th Nov 2010, 11:39
My 2005 Dodge SXT just turned 100,000 miles. I bought it used with 28K about 3-1/2 years ago.
(1) Problem with electric door locks/sliding door were solved early on. I was able to tell the dealer that the problem started when the passenger sliding door was being used. I discovered I could "reset" the system by disconnecting the battery for a minute (some say removing a certain fuse will do the same thing). Dealer changed the computer control module (problem re-occurred). Then he said wrong grease on sliding door (said it froze in the winter). Problem re-occurred. Finally he was able to duplicate the problem and changed the motor for the sliding door. Have had no problem since (over 3 years).
(2) Water pump started leaking. Dealer replaced under warranty (I paid $100 deductable).
(3) Air bag sensor warning light came on. Dealer repaired. No charge for safety-related/warranty issue.
(4) Air conditioning developed leak in line near right rear wheel (90K miles). Rather than pay for complete repairs, I had him seal off line, and run without rear A/C (not a big deal for me).
(5) It celebrated its 100K-th birthday by going into the shop for a thumping sound from the right front. Mechanic (not dealership anymore, since warranty expired) thinks a strut coming apart, but still investigating. I hear the noise mostly moving under 35 MPH, regardless of turning or not. Unknown what final verdict will be.
(6) Normal wear and tear on brakes, nothing unusual.
(7) Tires don't seem to last as long as I'd expect, though I don't let them wear down too far, so not bad. Been changing them about every 30K miles.
All-in-all, I really like this van, better than my previous ones: Ford Aerostar, older Dodge Caravan, Pontiac Transport. Love the stow-and-go, as I do a lot of auction and rummage sailing, but also need to sometimes have 3-4 passengers. I hated vehicles that made me remove the seats (where do you put them?).
From reading what others have experienced, I'd recommend the long-term warranty. But keep in mind that people who do not have problems will generally not be searching the internet to write about their vehicles. You'll mostly only read from those who are looking for answers to problems, so the negatives will greatly outweigh the positive postings.
19th Nov 2010, 15:15
I have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan with 198,000 miles and I'm very happy with it.
Bought it 3 years ago with 78,000 miles.
No mayor problems other than what you get for putting too many miles like: Tires, Brakes, shocks, OIL changes, (when I FEEL LIKE) and NOT every 3000 miles, more like every 15,000 thousand miles or more.
Original motor, transmission, water pump, alternator, ETC.. ETC..
I L O V E this van.
19th Feb 2011, 19:23
I was researching an engine light that came on today. This is the first thing that has occurred to the van since I bought brand new in 2005.
I love this van, it does not leak any oil. I have over 100,000 miles on it, and I have only changed the brakes and rotors.
I sometimes get a squeal from the power steering, but it just means it was low.
I have determined my EGR valve is bad. I tapped on it and the light went out.
I have had a couple of problems with the power doors, but I have read solutions online that I have fixed myself; they were easy solutions. I have realized if the van is running great, you never look at solutions to fix problems.
This van is now our third car it sits in my driveway because I have 2 newer cars. My wife and I love this van. I have invested around $200 in unscheduled maintenance cost in 6 years. I haven't even changed the spark plugs; they still look new.
I guess I am lucky or I have experienced my problems with the piece of S--t Ford Windstar I had before the Dodge. I use to be a Ford fan, but I now own 3 Dodges, and so far with the same result as the Grand Caravan. I have even given the Japanese a chance with problems. I am going to change my EGR valve and press on.
17th May 2011, 10:59
I have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan with an extended warranty - thank goodness.
I bought it used 3.5 years ago and it was okay until the last year: wiring harness overheated and melted and replaced; sway bar / bushings replaced twice; entire front suspension replaced; entire brake system replaced; headlights go off while driving; air bag sensor / repair; and it is now in the shop again having its FOURTH transmission put in (three of them in 5 months!).
Of course I owe more than it's worth, so I am stuck with it for a while.
12th Dec 2011, 15:05
I have a 2005 Grand Caravan SXT with just under 99,000 on it now. Bought it brand new in Oct 2004 and it had 1.2 miles on it. Let's begin with the list of things that are wrong with it, and what I've had to fix.
1. Door locks. Around 44K they just stopped working. Pulling the battery terminal would work for a day or so, but then they would stop again.
2. Reverse (back-up) lights. Same as door locks. I just happened to be behind my wife driving the van at home, and noticed that the lights weren't on. Battery pull did the trick, but again, just like the door locks, they would stop working at random.
3. Passenger door window. Stopped working at 4k. Took it to the dealer 4 times over it. Each time it would work for a few days, then stop again. They replaced the motor and the wiring harness in the door to no effect. After the 4th trip, I gave up on it. I can't keep sending the van to sit at the dealer for two days at a time, just to fix a window.
4. Interior lights. They don't work via the roll up control by the headlights. Nothing I've done there (even pulling the battery wire) will fix that problem. They can be manually activated, but as a driver I have no control over them.
5. Dash lights. The fuel gauge and the temperature gauge lights went out, so you can't see them in the dark. I went to the dealer and bought new bulbs for $2.75 each!!! OMG. After 45 minutes of getting the instrument cluster out, I changed them, only to find out they were still out!!! Turns out the BCM controls those. How stupid of a design is that? It's a light, so why do I need a computer to tell it to come on, when a simple switch has worked for generations?
6. Heat. Yes, you guessed it. At 97K the heat stopped working right as the cold temperatures have settled in. I flushed and refilled the radiator for the 2nd time since I have owned it, and that didn't help at all. Checked the thermostat, and that was fine too. I figured since I had it out, I would just go ahead and replace it, since they aren't very expensive. Still no heat.
7. Both left and right sliding doors. Both stopped working at around 50K. They would try to open and then stop. At around 80K, they stopped responding to the switches altogether, and are totally dead now.
8. Thunking under the front end. Turns out to be the bushings on the anti-sway bar. Two of them cost $25, and I still haven't found the time to replace them, but they have been clunking for 50K or so. Since I'm changing the oil this weekend, I'm going to down it, and put those on finally as well.
9. Brakes and rotors. I'm on my 4th set of pads and 3rd set of rotors due to overheating and warpage. I blame part of it on climbing a mountain and going down 2 times a day or more for 5 years. Since moving away from there, the brakes are doing a lot better, but I would have thought they would stand up to some use better than that.
10. Overhead storage bin locks. Broken. All of them. They are such wimpy cheap plastic, that just trying to lock the box after moving it would snap them. I haven't bothered trying to replace them since the family stopped using them anyway.
11. Tire pressure low - Last but not least, let me say that this has been the biggest annoyance of all. Since day 1 the tires will not maintain pressure. I am on my 3rd set of Goodyear tires on this van now, and none of them have ever maintained pressure more than a few days without the TPS saying one or more is low. It is far worse in the winter. I have had the tires installed at different shops and checked for leaks, but none have been found. There must be a defect in the rims that is causing this. I have seen many comments on the Internet about this as well. Thanks for that one Dodge. I have a Ram 1500 and an Intrepid, and neither of them have that problem. I refuse to buy new rims, so I guess I'll just keep my pressure gauge in the center console, and keep adding air until the thing dies.
Fixes: Here's the list of what has and had not worked for me so far.
**At 81K I took it to the dealer to have the firmware for the BCM flashed to a newer version that was supposed to fix a lot of the problems I was having. It worked, but only for a few things.
- Door locks fixed.
- Reverse lights fixed.
- Heat fixed.
- Dash lights fixed.
- Passenger window still broken.
- Side doors still won't open.
- Interior lights still won't turn on via the control wheel.
At this point I have decided that this is our one and only Caravan. To say it's not a great vehicle does it a disservice. It has been there to do anything and everything I have expected from it over the years without fail. It's truly a great family vehicle, BUT with that being said, I will never buy another one, due to all of the electrical bugs and just poor design choices by Dodge's engineers.
If you decide to get one used or even new today, I say this; "Caveat Emptor". Your odds of getting a good one are not stacked in your favor.