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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    You told us about seven honda failures, but you failed to mention mileage age of vehicle etc.

    To be fair, we liked our DC mini-van, but were not confident in the vehicle beyond 30K miles.

    Just look at all of those solid black dot on CR's reliability ratings for the DC vans.

    Now compare the years the Odyssey has data for year for year and tell me which one has the better historical reliability.

    The CR recommendation IMHO is based on the across the board performance of the Honda and Toyota model lines.

    But you have yet to suggest credible rationale or even evidence that CR has any sort of bias.

    I wish you well with your DC van. We found ours a very comfortable ride, but it made me nervous concerning what would happen after the warranty expired.


  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    The exact data has been posted several times in direct response to inquiries.
    Sue B., my niece,had the 1988 Accord with transmission failure at about 60,000 miles when Accord was 7 or 8 years old. I have tried to get more exact data but she either does not know or does not want to tell. She got the Accord as she heard Japanese built cars were reliable and did not like her Chevette (a Japanese built car by Izuzu). Thus her trauma with the Accord.
    Natalie K. with 1988? Accord was the babysitter of 2 of our grandchildren. We picked the grandchildren up about 2 times each week. Natalie had spent $4000 on repairs (Engine or Trans...I do not recall as it was about 1 year ago). She was told the other component was failing and needed another $3000 in repairs. Her parents bought it new and gave it to her when they got a new, later model Accord.
    Judy W. is a friend who has a 1991 Accord EX and she said her Accord has had problems of all types especially electrical and she was the one who said "Do NOT buy a Honda".
    Omar S is my son-in-law who bought a used 1984 Honda Accord after the engine and transmission were both overhauled at about 150,000 miles. I do not know why both components failed and neither does he as he did not own it at time of failure.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    ...this topic is not for discussing the validity of other publications...nor is it for discussing OTHER is strictly for discussing Dodge Caravan problems.

    Thank you!

    Vans host

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • royallenroyallen Posts: 223
    carleton1: I think you missed a change in CR reliability ratings about 12 years ago. An open circle is NOT average. On page 77 of the April CR issue are "the average car" ratings with lots of red circles for '98 and '99 and several black half circles for '92. The '98 GC does have one rating below average with a red half where a red circle is average...Transmission. I would add that is on a survey completed in April '99 when these were under 2 years on the road.
  • subscriber, would someone who is describe CR definition of average?... i assume they take all similar vehicles of similar vintage and get an average from those reports. Also, how do they get their data?...I assume they make some sort of stratified phone survey among their subscribers.
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 223
    Swampcollie: Here's what CR says
    On the 1999 Annual Questionnaire[a mail in form], readers were asked about "serious" problems that occurred between April 1998 and March 1999. We received responses covering more than 500,000 vehicles. ... The data used to create the charts are standardized to minimize differences due to varied mileage. On average, the 1999 modela included were 6 months old and had 3000 miles.
    Average is compared to all cars in the same model year.
    A red circle is for problem rates 0-1.99%
    red half circle = 2.0-5.0%
    open circle = 5.0-9.3%
    black half circle = 9.3-14.8%
    black circle = 0ver 14.8%
  • netflyernetflyer Posts: 1
    Just got out of my Dodge Grand Caravan, took a bath on it in a trade in, but I didn't have the heart to sell it privately. The van was nothing short of a piece of crap. 3 Transmissions before 10k miles, a broken speed sensor on the transmission at 20k miles. Burst transmission high pressure line at 30k miles. I owned the van for 14 months and it was in the garage for 2.5 months total. The lemon law in my state says you have to let the dealer try to fix the problem and as long as they are willing to keep fixing it you are stuck. This was my 2nd grand caravan, my first the transmission at least lasted for 60k miles. Why is dodge not getting the message? There transmissions are made of tissue paper. My brother in law works at a dodge part counter and he says they stock over 15 transmissions at any given time. I will never buy a dodge again, nor will anyone else in my family or circle of friends. Beware of Dodge Caravan's they are unreliable and will let you down every time.
  • carleton1, what Consumer Reports is saying is that Consumer Reports is rating vehicles from model year 1992 through model year 1999 on their reliability in the April 2000 issue. Vehicles don't have to have been available in *all* of those years in order to be rated. For example, how is it that they rate the 1999 Chrysler 300M when it wasn't available until the 1999 model year? Or the Dodge Avenger, which didn't exist until 1995? Or the Dodge Shadow, which died a merciful death in 1994?

    carleton1, you would look a lot less dull if you'd take the trouble to understand what CR does before you knock them. And, as tboner has asked many times now, why don't you tell us just why it is that kindly old Rhoda Karpatkin and her happy little CU family are out to get Chrysler?
  • I have owned two dc's, an 89 grand and a 96. both have had there faults. My 89 blew the head gaskets out twice(Dealer messed up the job) and my 96 blew up a transmission. I have read here about the transmission problems for years like mine. My transmission had the planetary gear explode. The problem i found out here is really not so much a design issue as a supplier issue ( this case was a bad cast which has been corrected). For all of some of the whining by the same people about reliability take a look at how many 100,000's of dc's are produced each year compared to each other manufactures. Throws a whole new spin on things don't it. And don't use one publication as your gospel of the vehicle. Get it from various sources including the manufature(NOT the dealership). They are willing to discuss it with you(I've done it). As far as alot of the problems I see here and experienced myself, I have found it is not the vehicle's fault so much as an incompetent dealer mechanic causing the follow on problems. I would actually consider buying another dc but this time shop for my dealer first. This will probably solve alot of reliability problems for many people.
  • Feel free to share with us reliability statistics from other sources, troublemaker.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Has nothing better to do in life than to go troll in every DC forum to spew venom and hatred.
  • carlton1 i have seen that through out this forum. It is really sad too. as for references, Capecodder, re-read my letter. One, the manufacture themselves, Two alldata, Three the nhtsa (to name a few.(yes these also contain TSB's but this is a better indicator of reliability than one source.))I could go on but then i am doing somebody elses homework.I actually enjoy reading about other peoples problems and how they are solved because this is how a forum like this should work. I can deal with bashers, too bad they can't leave well enough alone. Just to clarify I NEVER said I had ready data available for your review, that data is just a click away. If you don't want to do that, then i am sorry for you. I look forward to future constructive comments on this site.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    post the links...


  • Anyone who reads these threads realizes that carleton1 is an Ody basher and I just come here to make sure he is behaving himself. DC has done such a good job bashing itself as a result of the quality of its vehicles throughout the 90s that no one else could possibly do them any further damage.

    Please show me, troublemaker, where any of these sources give percentages of problems reported by owners in statistically-significant random surveys. Do you really think manufacturers make failure percentages available to the general public? I don't think so.
  • you are looking for stats? do your homework. I am not a basher of any vehicle. I don't need to be. You all do fine on your own. I am just trying to get back to the useful information provided on this page before this whining about a publication. As far as the manufacture releasing numbers, your right, they don't. They WILL tell you about the problems they have seen with their vehicle and about present fixes if avail. at the time(They will do this, as I stated I have called). Percentages will never give you a whole picture. With math, you can usually make the numbers fit what you want. As far as what I SAID earlier, DON'T get hung up on a publication as your single source end all be all document. You have to locate other sources and compile data from various sources similar to some of the ones previously stated or your info will be incomplete at best. The link for alldata is or These are very extensive sites so it takes a little digging to get to what you want but they have alot of data. Also put in a search for various info like TSB's or automotive reliability, they might find something. Now, get back on track, I need to change the valve cover gaskets and sparkplugs on my 96 with the 3.0. the left bank is pretty straight forward but the right bank by the book needs considerable dissasemby to access like alternator and possibly intake. Does anyone have an easier way to accomplish this. thanx.
  • the bashers do not give their full names or email addresses in their profiles like the rest of us? Probably afraid of the DC swat team.
  • that post is bashing... no doubt about it. on my way to the ody files.
  • bozobearbozobear Posts: 4
    have sympathy for bashers of Caravans who paid more for a van with clunk, pieces flying off, low quality sound system, problem sliding doors, rear hatch dents easily, poor ride, steering that wanders, vibration in wheels, no pieces available to repair after an accident.
  • I don't "bash," I state facts.

    From 1992 through 1999 only two model-years of all Chrysler-built vehicles made the Consumer Reports list of reliable used cars. Chrysler "bashed" themselves, don't you think, by making vehicles of subpar quality for most of a decade? Why don't you guys just face up to reality and quit your unfounded rantings? By the way, I'm still waiting for you to ask carleton1 where he saw statistics supporting his allegation about the Odyssey being the "most trouble-prone minivan."
  • egawronegawron Posts: 9
    If you want data as to Dodge Caravan problems, that includes 1989 through 1998, see the following:

    There is a lot of good documented historical
    data. As more 1998, 1999 and 2000 get above 50,000 miles in mileage, they will also be included in the above data showing long term reliability problems. Chrysler has done little to nothing to help improve their proven history of long term unreliability. Every year since 1990 Chrysler has claimed increase commitment to reliability, but to date have done little if anything to achieve it. The more research done, the more obvious it becomes.
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