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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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,467 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.

2003 Dodge Caravan transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Dodge Caravan Owner Comments

problem #13

Jul 252011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,968 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Caravan. The contact stated while traveling 50 mph the accelerator was depressed, but the vehicle failed to maintain current speed. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic. The manufacturer had not been contacted, and the vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 95,968 and the current mileage was 95,974. Updated 9/13/11 the consumer stated the problem was with the fuel injection harness which were bare and hitting the intake manifold. Also, the O2 sensor and ac compressor needs to be replaced. Updated 10/31/11

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #12

Nov 102003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,380 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Caravan. While attempting to turn the vehicle at 5 mph, the contact heard a sound for the first ten minutes of driving, and then it would stop. The vehicle was serviced by the dealer, but the failure persists. The failure mileage was 18,380. Updated 05/20/08. The consumer had problems with the power steering, transmission, rear lights that were hanging, the rear wiper came off, the sliding door did not shut properly. The clockspring was replaced. The engine light was on, the water pump was coming apart the valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket were leaking. Updated 05/20/08.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #11

Jan 272007

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
After auto repair shop change the transmission fluid in my 2003 Dodge Caravan with 3.3L engine (at around 45,000 miles), there is very rough downshifting of the transmission. They used mopar oem transmission fluid and filter. The problem is especially visible when downshifting from 4th to 3rd gear. There was also a little beat rough downshifting before car came to stop, so I believe between the 2nd and 1st gear. This a common problem, and I do not feel safe when it occurs, because the wheels can spin on the wet or snowy roads. Definitely it should be recalled, since a lot of people complain about the same problem on the internet: "the problem you described is called "bump shift" and is pretty common with the 604/41te. Depending on the year, the tcm may need "flashed" or the solenoid pack may be faulty. You'll need to see the dealer to check the tcm, while your there you can get the codes checked.", "the trans controller will take for ever to do a relearn on its own. You will get to the point of dumping it in the river before the bump shift will go away. Basically it is a 4th to 3rd gear downshift bump, and the quickest way to get rid of it is to have your dealer do a quicklearn on the trans control module. Takes all of 45 seconds to reset the transmission controller and give it a new set of baseline values. Do not add any aftermarket additives to the transmission fluid.", "had the same problem. They had to replace the electronic shifting module. Fixed the problem and was covered under warranty." Additional information from many drivers complaining about the same problem can be found on:

- Whitby, 00, USA

problem #10

Apr 142006

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles


My Caravan has some kind of transmission problem. When it starts to mess up it will not change gears when I am driving or will shut down as I am driving (65 mph). It has been happening for a year and has been to the shop many (5+) times. It is in the shop right now in johnsons of chickasha, Oklahoma(405-222-2062) say they can fix it but I don't believe they can. David stanly in midwest city has tried too.

- Midwest City, OK, USA

problem #9

Sep 012005

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles
The contact stated when depressing the brake pedal it went all the way to the floor. The vehicle was taken to the dealership, where the master cylinder was replaced, which fixed the vehicle temporarily. The brakes completely failed a second time a month after the master cylinder was replaced. The vehicle was towed to the dealership. The master cylinder was replaced again. The vehicle was driven for two weeks before the brakes failed a third time. The vehicle was returned to the dealer where the master cylinder and the auto transmission were replaced. The contact was not having transmission problems when the brake failure occurred, but the dealer replaced it in an effort to alleviate the braking problems. While driving home from the dealership the brakes failed once again. In four incidents of brake failure speed or road conditions did not appear to play a part.

- Chandler , AZ, USA

problem #8

Jul 162005

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,240 miles
The transmission would not go into drive, reverse, and all the way to park. It would finally go into drive after in was in park for a few minutes. Had not contacted Dodge dealer yet, but this started happening last Saturday July 16, 2005. Noticed since then when coming to a stop it made a clinking noise like it was tryingto shift down.

- Marble Head, MA, USA

problem #7

Jan 082003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,856 miles


The consumer had several problems with his 2003 Dodge Caravan; such problems were a knock in the transmission and 2 brake jobs. The two brakes jobs occurred within one year. The steering wheel knocked (recall campaign #04V386000), the vehicle had broken down at 8K miles, the wheel alignment was off, the gear panel illuminated, and the window had become loose. 80% of the vehicles problems was under 10K miles. The rotation noise continued and the rubber lining around the sliding door was coming off. Other problems: When the vehicle would be taken out of park to drive, all of the lights would illuminate, the front rims/hub caps were dirty due to excessive leakage around the brakes, even during normal washing, there was a mild ringing noise in the vehicle, the front door rattled, the rear tail lamp was damaged, the brake light and back-up lights had gone out, the brakes were going bad again, the engine would sputter due to no fuel pressure, the vehicle would pull to the left, when the driver door was shut it made a loud rattle sound, there would be a delay in the transmission when going uphill, when sitting at idle, the engine would sound as if it were revving but the gauge did not display this.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #6

Sep 102004

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,493 miles
Transmission problem, when taking off vehicle hesitates shifting into gear. When coming to a stop hard downshift and feels like being hit in rear end. On one occasion recently going up hill van shifted into neutral for no reason. First time fixed at 4493 miles 9/10/04, mileage 2nd time problem appx 5850 mileage today 5950 as of 6/17/05 reported to dealer 6/14/05 5908 miles apt for fixing 6/29/05

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #5

Dec 102003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 279 miles
Two and a half weeks after the vehicle was purchased there was a jerking and clicking noise whenever the vehicle went up a hill. The vehicle only had 279 miles on it at the time. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and was told that nothing was wrong. At 1829 miles, check engine light came on and cylinder number 4 was misfiring. The dealer replaced a spark plug. After 13,301 miles this happened again. At 14,456 miles the rear wheels moved but the front wheels would move along with big noise. There was hesitation and rumbling when in drive. Took to dealer and found front pump in transmission had failed. The pump was replaced. On April 4-7, 2005 again to dealer who found nothing wrong. On April 28, 2005 hesitation along with check engine light came on. April 29 car had to be towed to dealer. May 2, 2005 was told need replacement of valve body and transmission. Check engine light came on several times. All this occurred as car has yet to have 15,000 actual miles.

- Larchmont, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 122003


  • miles
While driving transmission failed, causing consumer to pull off the highway. Driver had vehicle towed to the dealer.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #3

Aug 102003

Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,839 miles


While driving the car, the transmission started to go in neutral and then to drive.

- Millington, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 152003

Caravan 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17 miles
Intermittently when the vehicle was in the reverse with the gear and gas pedal depressed, the vehicle didn't accelerate or when it was in the drive gear and gas pedal was depressed, the vehicle would go into reverse. This problem occurred three times a week when the vehicle was in first gear. The engine revved, but the vehicle didn't move. The consumer's foot was on the gas, and had no idea the vehicle would move. The vehicle had been back to the dealer on three occasions; the first time for warranty, the second time the vehicle was involved in an accident, and the third time the dealer wasn't successful with finding the problem. The consumer discovered Ford had problems with their transmissions.

- Shreve, OH, USA

problem #1

Mar 102003


  • miles
My "brand-new" 03 Dodge Caravan has rusty and old parts inside. It has less than 3500 miles, and there are problems with the transmission already, the brakes make a slight noise, and the battery started corroding, too. When I called daimler-Chrysler, they would not give me specific information about my vehicle. I am questioning whether my vehicle is really new... I paid way too much for it to be acting this way - again under 3500 miles!

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

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