Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,248 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Dodge Caravan drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 Dodge Caravan Owner Comments

problem #8

Nov 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


Transmission failed at 86000 miles. The transaxle was perforated by broken pin. The 2nd transmission at the transmission shop could not be installed because of a crack in housing due to same problem. Transmission #3 that was installed lasted about 3 months and failed in the same manner. #4 could not be installed because it arrived with a crack in housing due to same problem. I now have transmission #5 installed in this vehicle. The failure is a pin in the transaxle becoming loose and flying out at a high rate of speed.the pin then creates a hole in the transmission case and allows fluid to escape causing transmission failure. The pin is usually stopped by the transmission case but it is only a matter of time before one flies out and injures somebody. Roll pin that secures gear pin is breaking. This is a manufacturing defect. Total cost of repairs was $1950.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #7

Jun 052003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
1998 Dodge Grand Caravan sport (68,000 miles) driven on dry pavement on a clear day at speed limit or below (45mph zone) threw differential pin through transmission housing, destroying transmission. Vehicle was transported to dealer and assessed. Repair cost (new transmission) stated to be $3,445. This vehicle was purchased new from herb gordon Dodge of silver spring, md. Research indicates that this is a recurring problem with this make and model of Chrysler produced vehicle.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #6

Mar 042003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,984 miles
I was driving down the highway at 60 mph when I heard a loud noise and my car shook. I pulled over and looked for a flat. There wasn't one. My power train differential pin went through the casing rendering my transmission useless, it had to be towed to the shop. The repair bill is $2500 for a new transmission. The transmission repair shop said this is very common on these vans. A search on the web revealed they usually blow out between 60,000-70,000 miles. This is a major flaw in the transmission. A phone call to Chrysler was useless.8jb

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #5

Jun 192000


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


06/00 front carrier came apart, 07/01 transmission stopped working, dealer unable to replicate problems, 05/02 complete failure of planetary gear mechansim.

- New Albany, OH, USA

problem #4

Apr 042000


  • miles
When putting my vehicle in park I heard a horrible loud grinding/groaning noise. When I tried to put my car back in geer I heard the same noise and my vehicles wheels locked up and would not move forward or backward.I had it towed and the transmission specialist inspected it and showed me that the planitary exploded inside the transmission he said this is a manufactures defect and should never have happened. He gave me the parts that were shattered and cracked many in such little pieces you cant find that got mixed in with the transmission fluid. He also told me I'm lucky it didn't happen when I was driving it with my children in the van. I imagine we wouldn't be here now. This repair cost me $1600 dollars I called crysler and they told me they weren't responsible and couldn't help with this. If it's a defective part than aren't they responsible? please help. Thank you, julie ann hit.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #3

Oct 262000


  • miles
Had to have transmission rebuilt at 58,498 miles because of "lots of metal" found in pan during routine maintenance. "found planetary & sun gear and carrier all bad from msun gear bearing going bad. Clutches were also showing signs of slipping. Something needs to be done about their bad transmissions. There is a very long history of it and the consumer is the one getting screwed.

- Lake Mills, WI, USA

problem #2

Feb 032001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contacted chrylser they have agreed to pay 50% of damage but I want to know what is going to keep this from happening again or if it has happened before. I was passing a car on the turner turnpike when I heard a pop and my tires vibrated I thought I had had a flat. So I pulled over and left a trail of transmission fluid behind me. The pin in the spidergear snapped and flew threw the transmission. Found the piece on top of my transmission. I haul kids and got on trips I don't want this to happen again. How can I see if it has happened before.

- Glenpool, OK, USA

problem #1

Dec 272000


  • miles
Many people I have spoken with, including the employees at kennedy transmission, have said these transmission have a reputation of going out around 60-70,000 miles. Our differential was also damaged. The parts needed for this repair, I was told, is on a national backorder because this is such a common occurance. Shouldn't the consumer be forwarned about have a $2800 repair after 60,000 miles" otherwise, shouldn't they put in a different transmission in these mini-vans"

- Chisago City, MN, USA

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