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.

3.4

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,528 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 Grand Caravan engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Dodge Grand Caravan Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Sep 092010

Grand Caravan

  • 90,200 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The serpentine belt has come off of the pulleys on multiple occasions in wet weather, including rain and snow/slush, especially when a puddle is gone through by the right front side of the vehicle. On two of these occasions, I was turning a corner when the belt came off, lost control of my steering and almost hit the car which was stopped across from me. The belt coming off also causes the engine to overheat. This issue causes a loss of control and will lead to injury or death. Chrysler claims it is not a safety issue.. there is an updated belt/pulley kit which has a double-sided-grooved belt and pulley which is supposed to correct this issue but the cost to the consumer is approx $400-500 since Chrysler claims that this is not a safety issue. However, this is most certainly a safety issue considering the loss of steering control on wet roads especially if driving on the highway, as I do, where the speed limit is 55-65mph or turning a corner at an intersection where other cars are stopped.

- Hudson, MA, USA

problem #25

Aug 212009

Grand Caravan

  • 117,587 miles
When I purchased my van August 21 2009 it had a problem with the left turn signal. The salesperson said it was from the bulbs being burnt out. I went to autozone that day to get the bulbs replaced, and that wasn't the problem. Autozone told me it was the turn signal switch that had went bad and was causing my left turn signal not to work. I went to Goodyear a few days later to have the turn signal switch replaced. They told me it was not a guarantee that it would hold or work for a while. Since then it still has not been working properly. Sometimes if I turned the defroster on it would kick on, but now it will turn on for maybe one turn and turn off right and when I go to use it again, it'll turn on then cut off and wont turn back on. Also my sliding passenger doors, the child lock is stuck and noone can open the door from the inside. I have to get out or the passenger has to get out to open the doors. The door handles are hard to open on the outside. Even though the child lock will say its not on, you can not still open the doors from the inside. This has been like this since I purchased the van. Also I have some pans under my engine that leaking fluids and as far as I know, its the oil pan, coolant pan, and I have metal shavings in some of my fluids. This was also like this when I purchase this vehicle.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #24

Aug 012004

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
After having clock spring changed from recall, vehicle will stall while driving down the road and automatically start back up on its own. It will do this from a coasting speed to highway speeds of 70 mph. There is no warning!! I don't know if its from the clock spring or another issue. Had to 2 different deals and personal friend that has the obdii computer and it does not kick or store a code, even when hooked up to the computer! I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan, 3.3L with the flexfuel engine.

- Lithia, FL, USA

problem #23

Jan 052006

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan (3.3 L engine VIN: [xxx] ), the serpentine belt comes off when driving in rain, or when driving through puddle. When this happen, the vehicle lose power brakes power steering, causing very hazardous condition. This has happened about 6 times during the last 18 months out of which 2 were on freeway at 60mph. Fortunately I was able to pull over safely. Replaced the belt, tensioner etc, still the problem persists. Took it to Dodge dealer (dayton Dodge, dayton, NJ) on 01/10/2006, they were unable to fix, siting "Chrysler is aware of problem, but has no fix" a search on google shows numerous hits for this problem on Chrysler minivans. I believe Chrysler has a tsb for this, but has not a recall. See below links below. www.dodgetalk.com/forums/archive/index.php/T-4450.html www.carsurvey.org/viewcomments_review_30931.html. updated 07/17/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Plainsboro, NJ, USA

problem #22

Sep 072005

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
Service engine soon light came on revealing a problem. Computer diag shows that there is a misfire on #6. opening the valve cover revealed that the camshaft is defective - metal pieces have fallen off of it. Replacement of camshaft and all other parts (rocker, lifters etc.) including labor will come to a total of close to $1800. Nothing has been done to correct the defect.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #21

Jun 052004

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,326 miles
The engine "blew up". apparently there was an oil problem" on the inside of one side of the engine and a chunck of it actually "blew off". the entire engine had to be replaced including hoses, etc. The original engine had only 77,326 miles!!! I have spoken with many people who have had to replace their engines in this same mini-van at or around 70,000-80,000 miles! not only that, but I spoken with and was warned that this would probably happen by the owner of an auto body shop, prior to this happening. He said "we see these engines on these mini-vans go bad right around 70,000 miles, lynn". this seems to be a chronic problem for the Dodge/Chrysler mini-van.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #20

Mar 072004

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Engine failure of second engine in vehicle within 55,000 miles. I previously reported the replacement of engine in my Dodge Grand Caravan at 37,000 miles due to a lifter failure occasioned by what was described by the regional service manager as "soft metal." A long block replacement was installed and now at 55000 miles I am told that the engine has a "bad lift" and needs replacement. Thus, I now have had two engines in the same car each of which has failed in about the same way. I have a warranty claim pending but feel strongly that this is a systemic problem that needs to be investigated. I assure you that the car was well cared for and that all required service was met or exceeded. I have had many cars not one of which had engine failure even after a hundred and twenty thousand miles and considerably less meticulous care.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #19

Oct 152003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles
My 1998 Grand Caravan suddenly started burning oil. My mechanic says this is due to leaking valves that are common in the 3.0L engine. The disturbing part is the oil light never came on despite a very low level of engine oil. I contacted the manufacturer regarding both problems and received no assistance with either problem. The engine and warning light malfucntions resulted in lifter damage that was repaired at a cost of $500.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #18

Nov 122003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,551 miles
November, 2003 - 1998 Grand Caravan with 73500 miles. Head gasket failure. Leaking coolant to the outside of engine from rear head. Had to replace both head gasket and oil pressure switch. Vehicle has been well maintained and serviced regularly. Driven by "soccer" mom. Also, complete transmission failure-see automatic transmission section.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #17

Jan 102004

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,880 miles
Premature, sudden failure of head gasket, potentially leading to rapid loss of coolant, obscured vision, loss of control, etc.

- Port Washington, NY, USA

problem #16

Jul 052003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,174 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

On 07/05/03, the engine stalled without warning when driving. Mechanic diagnosed problem as broken camshaft and repaired it. On 08/19/03, engine stalled again while driving. Mechanic diagnosed failure due to camshaft broken again. The consumer believed a defect existed behind the engine block which caused the camshaft failure.

- Hershey, PA, USA

problem #15

Jan 242003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
On January 24, 2003 at about 10 P.M. my 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan just stopped dead while I was driving on route 7 in ridgefield ct. The engine with 67,000 miles just seized up. I was able to use the cars momentum to pull to the side of the road, but if this had happened on a highway, we might have had a serious problem.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #14

Feb 052003

(reported on)

Grand Caravan

  • miles
All of the original tires on the vehicle experienced tread separation.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #13

Jan 272003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 1998 Grand Caravan 3.3 ltr with only 57, xxx miles. I just took it to a mechanic to check out an antifreeze smell, and he informed me that the head gasket is leaking, and to talk to Chrysler asap. He also informed me that he has been seeing this problem quite frequently.

- White Bear Lake, MN, USA

problem #12

Apr 192001

Grand Caravan

  • miles
Within the first month of owning our van, the belt came off the pulley system rendering the van dead. When it came off it was cut in two and wrapped around the crank pulley. We replaced the belt 8 times since that occurrence. We have also replaced the crank pulley and tension pulley. After becoming totally frustrated with this problem, we contacted the corporation, which was of no use. A fairbanks Dodge service consultant shared with us the fact that they often receive several towed in Caravan on rainy days due to the belt slipping off. My concern is that when this belt comes off there is no power steering, nor alternator, nor A/C. if this occurs at a high rate of speed, the use of power steering will be lost, meaning quick reaction if needed would be hindered. Our mechanic called Chrysler to verify if it was purely the use of a wrong belt type, only to be told no. As a matter of fact, they told him not to use a Chrysler belt. In addition to that, we were also informed that the belt system is being redesigned for 2003 because of this problem. Please help! I have a wife and two kids that ride in this vehicle everyday and I am concerned about their safety.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #11

Jul 042002

Grand Caravan

  • miles
Starting at about 15,000 miles, this car produced clicking noise from the head/valve train. Upon initial inspection, a dealer (not the one where it was bought) told me there was nothing wrong, at 35K, during a highway trip, the noise became pronounced. Soon thereafter, I took the car to my local garage and explained the noise and that I noticed the head was running dry without the type of oil splash I have seen in all other cars I have owned. He said that it seems that chysler mini-vans have a lot of problems with the valves and that it was, in his opinion, an oil delivery problem. He said that he had 2 in during the prior few weeks for the same type of problem. He suggested that I should take it to the dealer as this was a serious problem, one that shouldn't exist in a car with 35K miles. When I took the car into the dealer, to my shock, I was told that they would have to do major repairs due to "camshaft failure". although I asked for more detail on the cause of the failure many times, both in writing and on the phone, "camshaft failure" is all they would say about the problem. Fortunately for me, they agreed to provide a full "long block" engine replacement (under "courtesy" warranty with $300 "deductible.") because of what my non-dealer mechanic said (that this is a common problem in Chrysler mini-vans of my car's vintage and because he opined that there may be a systemic problem with oil delivery, plus the fact that when I checked this site, I found that other people had reported like sounding problems, I feel I should report this. Fyi, this car always seemed to run dry (no oil splash when engine run with filler cap off). I think NHTSA might wish to consider investigating to see if this is a common defect due to a manufacturing error. Thanks for the help keep up the good work!.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #10

Apr 172002

(reported on)

Grand Caravan

  • miles
Consumer has notice bolt on the intake manifold separated from the vehicle causing anti freeze to leak onto the engine. Nlm

- Churubosco, IN, USA

problem #9

Jan 082002

Grand Caravan

  • miles
Chrysler refused to help with the over $600 repair bill for head gasket. Did not call them on the valve cover gaskets in October. Now with the failure of the head gasket it makes me wonder why the failure of their gaskets. This is premature failure on both cases. Chrysler refuses to stand behind their vehicles. No wonder they will soon drop out of the big three.

- Zanesville, OH, USA

problem #8

Jun 172001

Grand Caravan

  • miles
We were driving down the interstate and the van came to a sudden stop. With the thought of engine trouble furthest from our minds with only 48000 miles on the vehicle. We were told that the camshaft was broke and no explanation given, we were told by the dealer it was rare but that one of their technicians had seen this in about 2-3 other vans like ours. The dealer refused to pay anything and daimler Chrysler was notified and although they would not admit to factory defect they did reluctantly pay half of the more than $3000 in damages. The vehicle was inspected by a none Dodge dealer first who could not believe how bad the engine looked for 48000 miles. We purchased the vehicle in March of 2001 from the dealer and the engines appearance was good we owned it less than 4 months when malfunction occured. Chrysler was contacted directly by us and told us this was rare, however for one technician to see 2-3 vans besides ours in one state does not seem that rare to us.

- Albany, MN, USA

problem #7

Aug 102001

Grand Caravan

  • miles
The head gasket for the vehicle developed a hair line crack which leaks antifreeze down the backside of the engine block. This occurred after standard warranty expired with a milage of only 57000 miles. The leaking creates an oder from the evaporation of antifreeze which is clearly detectable from within the vehicle cab. This problem equates to an estimated repair cost of $1000+. it is my understanding after talking to several mechanics that this is an epedemic typical of this engine. The auto manufacturer is aware of this problem but has done nothing, that I'm aware of, to rectify this problem for current owners apart from making the owner repair the defect at their expense (without having purchased an extended warranty). I'm deeply disgusted with the manufacturers attempt to ignore this design flaw.

- Schertz, TX, USA

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