If you’re in the market for a reliable minivan, you can’t go wrong with a Dodge Grand Caravan. Both its newest and older models have something great to offer, from high safety ratings and excellent performance to adjustable seating and versatile cargo bay configurations. Its resale value is also good, only depreciating by 54% in five years according to CarEdge.com.
Are Dodge Grand Caravans Reliable?
The Dodge Grand Caravan enjoys above-average reliability, with some of its model years scoring better than the others. RepairPal gives it 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 2nd out of the 8 minivans in its category. Meanwhile, JD Power rated the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan a 73 out of 100, placing it well within the top five minivans of that year. With proper handling and regular maintenance, your Grand Caravan can enjoy a long service life.
Top Dodge Grand Caravan Problems
The Dodge Grand Caravan is a dependable minivan, but it has its fair share of problems. Here are the most commonly reported issues for different model years:
Many owners of the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan have reported having problems with shifting. Some have complained that when they’re going uphill at low speeds and the transmission shifts to a higher gear, their minivan downshifts after they press the gas pedal. Then, it shifts up when they ease off the gas. According to some owners, it’s also difficult to maintain a constant speed.
If your Grand Caravan has shifting issues, it may also shudder and stall on the last downshift while slowing to a stop. Occasional upshifts can be harsh, and the transmission may lug like a manual transmission in high gear sometimes. Note that several factory service bulletins have addressed shifting harshness and shuddering issues related to the automatic transmission’s operation.
According to many owners of the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, problems with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) are typical for some units from this model year. Sometimes the minivan won’t start or has difficulty starting; other times, its windows and doors tend to open randomly. Meanwhile, some owners have complained that their minivan cranks but won’t start.
Many owners have shared ways to resolve the problem in forums online, but most only work for some time. The vehicle stops responding soon after. Although the automaker is aware of the widespread issue with its TIPM in this model year, it has yet to issue a recall to fix it.
There have been reports of some 2009 Dodge Grand Caravans suffering from engine problems. Many owners have reported that their van sometimes abruptly stops while they’re driving. The vehicle also displays the traction control light before it stops while in motion. On some occasions, there is a loss of power steering.
Aside from the engine stalling, some owners have also noticed engine misfires and starter issues. Excessive oil consumption and the check engine light turning on were also prevalent. The automaker fixed this problem by issuing a recall on 2009 Dodge Grand Caravans.
Brake System Issues
Premature brake failure is a widely reported issue among many 2008 Dodge Grand Caravans. Owners have complained that their stock pads and rotors wore out at less than 20,000 miles. Some have shared that they had to replace their minivan’s brake pads every three months because that was when the parts started squeaking.
Others had to replace the calipers, rotors, and pads to get their minivan up and running again, while others complained about an undersized brake system with too small calipers and rotors. The automaker issued a recall to resolve this widespread problem.
Many 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan owners complained about steering problems. Some drivers have reported noticing a loud whining noise coming from the power steering because of low levels of power steering fluid or contamination. Most owners were able to address this issue by refilling the reservoir.
Some owners have also reported rack and pinion leaks, which can be resolved by replacing the faulty rack and pinion.
Power Window Motor Issues
According to some owners of the 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan, problems with the power window motor are normal for the model year. One or more power windows may stop working due to a failed window motor or regulator. In some cases, these parts were replaced as a set to resolve the issue.
Many owners have experienced issues with the driver’s side and the passenger’s side window. For some, the power window moves intermittently, while for others, it won’t budge at all. Several drivers have also complained that the windows sometimes suddenly stop working, even if they didn’t have any prior issues. Despite this problem being prevalent for this specific model year, no recalls have been issued to fix this.
Faulty Air Conditioning
Faulty air conditioning remains a common problem among owners of 2002-2003 Dodge Grand Caravans. Many owners have reported coolant leaks coming from the underbody of models equipped with rear heat/AC. Some share that these leaks often happen after using the AC. If left unresolved, the leaks may corrode the metal pipe connected to the lower radiator hose. Because of this issue, several Grand Caravan owners have also complained about constantly losing coolant.
If you’re in the market for a Dodge Grand Caravan, be prepared to embrace the good and the bad. But don’t worry. As long as you know the potential issues with the specific model year you’re planning to get, buying this minivan should come with little risk. Look up the most common problems that affect the model you’re eyeing, and make sure the seller has cleared everything before taking a new or used Dodge Grand Caravan home.