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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,537 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Dodge Caravan Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #82

Jan 012010

Caravan 6-cyl

  • miles


I found out that the 1998 Dodge Caravan that I purchased has two design flaws. One is that the vehicle does not have brake-shift interlock. The other is that the vehicle is equipped with Chrysler gen3 seat belts that, in some vehicles, have unlatched while people were driving. I believe that the government should order a recall of the 1998 Caravan for both of these important safety issues.

- Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #81

Apr 112006

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 40mph, the transmission began leaking fluid. The dealer determined the transmission failed due to a pin lost inside the transmission. The dealer recommended replacing the transmission.

- Madisonville, KY, USA

problem #80

May 312005

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
Contact states there is a pin located in the hub that separates the driveshaft from the axle. This pin caused the hub to bust the casing on the transmission. The consume believes the small pin is not large/strong enough for all the pressure.

- Amelia, OH, USA

problem #79

Nov 042004

Caravan 6-cyl

  • 85,506 miles


While driving at low speeds transmission failed. This caused the vehicle to stall. Consumer had the vehicle towed. Then, dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.. transmission was replaced twice, but problem recurred.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #78

Mar 202004

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 40 mph vehicle stalled. Consumer was not able to restart vehicle. Had it towed to a garage for inspection, and mechanic determined that transmission needed to be replaced.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #77

Mar 302004


  • 67,069 miles
I started out in the morning to take my son to school, and we had to make a stop at the grocery store. When I got to the stop sign to turn into the grocery store I heard this clanking sound. The car had stopped and would not move. I had my car towed to a repair shop, and they said my transmission broke into pieces and fell out from under the van. He could not understand why this happened being that I only had 67,000 miles on the van. He could not fix it so I had to get a new one from the manufacturer. The whole process cost me $2400 (outrageous). Before this incident happened there was leaking coming from under the van. With all the complaints and problems with the transmission I cannot believe Dodge/Chrysler has not done something about this. They should be held accountable.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #76

Feb 172004

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,995 miles


I have a 1998 Dodge Caravan with only 66,332 miles the problem's that have come up is first the transmission had a internal pin bust which caused several parts to come apart. This caused the transmissionto break, it had to be rebuilt on 2-17-04 with 61995 miles at the cost of $1685.25. The second problem is the air conditioning system had a failure with the evaporator which seems to be very comon according to several service centers that I have contacted outside the Chrysler company. Which spitzer Dodge wanted to charge $1100 to repair. I know the vehical is 6 years old but with the low milage I think this is a little uncalled for and though it should be reported.

- Summit Station, OH, USA

problem #75

Jun 222004

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
When putting the car in reverse to leave for work, I heard a grinding noise. As I let the van run, the noise slowly stopped but the van wouldn't move. I talked to several people with Caravan to see if this was common. And to my surprise, everyone said they had to replace/overhaul their transmission. I was informed to look at this site to see if any complaints matched mine and there was at least ten when I stopped counting. I notified Dodge and they were of little help because they said my vehicle had 77,000 miles.

- Fairbanks, AK, USA

problem #74

Apr 012001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On August, 1, 1998, allen and anne mazerolle purchased a new 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan SE manufactured by Chrysler from lee Dodge in westbrook, Maine. At the time of their purchase, neither the dealer nor Chrysler provided any disclosure to the mazerolles concerning the differential transmission defect. In 2001, anne mazerolle was operating the Chrysler minivan with her children in the vehicle. Without any advance warning, a thunderous noise occurred and the vehicle seized and the wheels locked in traffic. Mrs. Mazerolle telephoned ChryslerS authorized dealer, lee Dodge, from the highway seeking assistance. Mrs. Mazerolle was informed that, while it was within three years of the vehicleS purchase, the mileage exceeded the 36,000 mile limitation and the mazerolleS were out of luck as to any warranty coverage. The mazerolles then inquired as to whether there was any recall or problems concerning the Chrysler transmission. They were informed by the Chrysler dealer that no such problems had been reported by Chrysler and there was no recall concerning the transmission. In the emergency, the vehicle was towed from the highway to a transmission specialist, a&M transmission, in South portland, Maine. Mrs. Mazerolle was informed by technicians that there was a serious defect in the transmission and that the pinion gear had seized to the pinion shaft and penetrated the bell housing of the transmission, resulting in the complete lock-up of the vehicleS drive train and complete failure of the transmission.

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #73

Jun 032003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles
Transmission failure at 115,000 miles.

- Bryans Road, MD, USA

problem #72

Mar 032004

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


I own a 1998 V6 Dodge Caravan. My wife was traveling on the interstate and the transmission literally blew apart. It was not merely a transmission failure, but the transmission case was destroyed along with the transmission. I have checked the transmission monthly since I purchased the van in 1999, and I have properly maintained and changed the fluid. The damage to my vehicle was $2,511.

- Earlham, IA, USA

problem #71

Feb 242004


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission failed at 80,000 miles. Also, engine head gasket was replaced two months ago.

- Bay Shore, NY, USA

problem #70

Jul 022002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer noticed grinding sound in front end. Replaced brake pads, noise still exist. Service manager found that noise was coming from vehicle's transmission, and was replaced because inspection revealed that numerous parts had been damaged.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #69

Feb 022004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Emergency brakes inoperable, airbag light turns on, horn does not work, hard time removing key from ignition and I can go from "P" to "R" or "D" without pressing on the brakes (even if there is no key in the ignition).

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #68

Jan 212004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
Dealer replaced three times the automatic transmission in the last past two years at owner's expense.

- Spartansburg, PA, USA

problem #67

Jan 011999

Caravan 4WD 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Six different cases of mechanical problems the vehicle experienced. Problems with head gasket, the transmission twice and three times on the flywheel. The mechanic found that the bolts on the flywheel and the torque converter were loose. The consumer was informed that the vehicle was known to have problems with the crankshaft, which causes the flywheel to break off, the consumer was told the crankshaft was out of round, which caused the problem.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #66

Dec 022003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
While driving at 15 mph and turning to the left, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician stated that the automatic transmission needed to be replaced. The consumer wanted to know what the criteria was for issuing a recall.

- Timonium, MD, USA

problem #65

Nov 102003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
1998 Dodge Grand Caravan SE id#1B4gp44gowb500517 with under 100,000 miles ended the life of the transmission with a loud metalic clunk.

- East Peoria , IL, USA

problem #64

Mar 072003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle fire caused from defective transmission system. (under sized transmissions, inadequate sized cooling lines and internal parts) the transmissions did not last over and average of 25K miles and had to be replaced more than once at times. While driving, the dash showed everything being, normal, the vehicle suddenly started to smoke. The transmission was not responsive. The transmission dripped balls of flames.

- Benton Harbor, MI, USA

problem #63

Oct 162003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,820 miles
Transmission failed at 63,000 on the highway, on a cold day, 90 miles from home when I had my children, ages 2 and 5 in the van. This is supposed to be a family vehicle! it should be reliable and safe. I've always had Toyota and Honda and put 200,000 miles on them with no transmission failure. The public is being dumped by daimler Chrysler into thinking that replacing transmissions is a normal part of vehicle ownership. I just had to spend $2800 to fix a vehicle that is worth about $7000. I've recently learned that many, many people have had this same problem and that Caravan are notorious for bad transmissions and motor failure in under 100,000 miles. If they are going to market family vehicles they should be safe and reliable!

- Belfast, ME, USA

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