There’s a lot to love about the Dodge Caravan. All of its model years have something good to offer, from reliable interior features to excellent steering. But although it is an excellent car, it is not spared from some breakdowns, we bring you here the common Dodge Caravan failures , so that you know how to identify the problems that it may present.
Even its resale value is good, with a 5-year depreciation rate of 3%. You can get a used and in good condition 2007 Dodge Caravan for between $3,000 and $6,000.
How good is the Dodge Caravan?
The Dodge Caravan enjoys average reliability ratings, with some of its model years scoring better than others. You should know that the 2007 Dodge Caravan has had a rating of 7.0 out of 10, while other sources have rated the Dodge Caravan 3.9 out of 5.0. With these figures, it is clear that with careful handling and regular maintenance, the Dodge Caravan can easily enjoy a long life.
Main common faults of the Dodge Caravan
Although the Dodge Caravan is a reliable minivan, it still has its fair share of problems. Here are the most common Dodge Caravan failures reported for the different model years:
1- The engine shuts down
According to some 2003 Dodge Caravan owners, engine stalling is caused by a dirty throttle body which is very common on some units of this model year.
Several owners experienced a low engine idle while their van was warming up. This caused the oil light to blink and stay on. The problem only goes away when you accelerate. Some drivers experienced a rough idle while in gear, while others noticed their engine hesitating during acceleration.
Oily residue can block airflow in the closed throttle body, often resulting in low engine idle speeds or frequent shutdowns. Cleaning the throttle body usually corrects this problem .
2- Transmission failures
Transmission failure is among the most reported problems with the 2002 Dodge Caravan. Some owners report that their van would shake, lurch, and make grinding noises before the transmission disengaged from the engine.
Unfortunately, most cases required the transmission to be removed and disassembled before the problem could be resolved. Despite the number of complaints related to this problem, Dodge has not issued any recalls to fix it.
3- Oil leaks
According to owners of the 2006 Dodge Caravan, problems such as a leaking oil filter adapter in the engine block are common on some units of this model year.
The leak can be traced to the oil filter housing adapter or the gasket itself. Dodge has made a revised oil filter adapter to address this issue. For some, the problem was fixed at no cost because it was included in the warranty.
4- Problems with the front crankshaft gasket
Many 2006 Dodge Caravan owners have complained that their minivan’s crankshaft gasket has blown out. Most of them reported that their check engine light and oil warning lights came on before they realized the condition of their front crankshaft. The faulty seal can also be to blame for an oil leak.
5- Failure of the electric door lock
Power door lock failure is among the most reported problems for the 2005 Dodge Caravan . This is often attributed to a faulty key and internal switch, causing the door locks to malfunction.
Drivers report that a beep confirmed that their doors were locked before driving away. But upon checking later, they often found their doors unlocked. Some owners were able to restore power door lock operation by removing and replacing the 20-amp fuse.
6- Strange noise in the front suspension
Many 2002 Dodge Caravan owners have heard strange noises coming from the front suspension of their minivan. In most cases, wear on the sway bar bushings or sway bar ends resulted in rattling noises during low speed driving.
Some owners heard rattling noises when going over potholes, while others noticed loud rattling noises when slowing down, going over speed bumps, or turning.
If you’re in the market for a Dodge Caravan, be prepared to take the good with the bad. But do not worry. As long as you’re aware of the potential issues for the specific model year you’re planning to get, buying this minivan should be low risk.
Look up the most common problems that affect the model you’re looking at and make sure the seller has cleared everything up before you take your new or used Dodge Caravan home.