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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,167 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 Grand Caravan transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Owner Comments

problem #20

Sep 232006

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • 48,280 miles


Tubes carrying coolant to the rear heater rusted through, causing coolant to leak out of the system. Repair was not covered by extended warranty. Have spoken with other Caravan owners that have had the same failure. Some were covered under warranty. Have read on numerous forums 1) about this same failure on multiple model years (1999 - 2005) 2) how the bracket material is different than the tube, thereby causing galvanic corrosion 3) how Chrysler has since changed the material of the tubes to reduce the possibility of galvanic corrosion. The repair (tube replacement) is relatively expensive, but potentially more so if there is complete drainage of coolant, causing engine/transmission failure.

- Owego, NY, USA

problem #19

Aug 302005

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Summary - rough shift or slip at 1500-2000 RPM began around 30,000 miles. Dodge visits- 10/26/05 - 32,088 miles - clutch replaced. 11/30/05 - 33,179 miles - "special order part". 12/14/05 - 33,803 miles - valve body. 12/20/05 - 33,920 miles - tans-axle replacement. 03/31/06 - 36,709 miles - quick learn reset. 05/04/06 - 38,214 miles - Dodge would not evaluate unless I paid the extended warranty deductible of $100. Refused to provide me paperwork for this attempt at repair. I feel problem existed and was not fixed so should not have to pay $100 for further attempts.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #18

Jan 242007

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,385 miles
TL *- the contact owns a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan sport. The contact's vehicle vibrated, but did not stall when making a left or right turns. This incident occurred since June 2006. The mechanic replaced the power steering pump and serviced the transmission. While servicing the transmission the mechanic observed that the oil pan and dip stick had grey debris in it, and the magnet was not in the right location. The contact stated that the power steering returns cooler should be replaced. The contact also observed a burning smell under the hood, and was concerned about an under hood fire. The dealer did not confirm if there could be a failure if she didn't replace the power steering return cooler. However, he advised her that the new part will eliminate the vibration in the steering wheel. Each visit to the dealer/repair shop the contact experienced a new failure including the original concern. The dealer stated the contact should also replace the power steering return cooler.. the contact also replaced the right front tires on two occasions since 2004 due to uneven wear. They mechanic stated that a carriage bolt will correct the tire failure.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #17

Aug 142006

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles


: the contact stated the vehicle stalled four times while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealership who was unable to duplicate the problem. Finally the dealership determined the black box needed to be replaced. While driving the vehicle 25 mph, there was a very loud noise. The vehicle would not go into gear. The vehicle began to roll when placed in park. The emergency brake was engaged to stop the vehicle which was later towed to a dealership for inspection.

- Lawrence, MA, USA

problem #16

Mar 012005

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
My 2003 new Dodge Caravan had the transmission replaced X3, air conditioner replaced X1 then repaired again X 2, replaced starter, wheel bearing, tie rod & continues to have problems. These major problems started when the car had only 30, 000 miles and is only at 60, 000 miles. The dealer nor Chrysler corporation will replace or refund this car stated it does not fall under lemon law. Multiple time lost from taking in this car to be fixed along with extra money spent to get rentals while this car was in the shop.

- Centerline, MI, USA

problem #15

May 092006

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
: the contact stated when the vehicle was initially placed in drive, there was a clunking sound coming from the engine in the area of the transmission. The same clunking noise was heard every time the vehicle automatically downshifted at any speed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who determined there was internal problem with the transmission; however no further diagnostic testing or repairs were completed.

- Mayfield, NY, USA

problem #14

Sep 142005

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles


While the vehicle was in drive and the consumer had foot on the brake pedal the vehicle went forward. The consumer stopped at a stop light on September 14, 2005 and it vehicle rear ended another vehicle. The consumer has been having problems with the transmission slipping. The vehicle is currently at a dealership. No police report was taken. There was only damage to the consumer's vehicle.

- Leonardtown, MD, USA

problem #13

Jul 032005

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
At 9,000 miles, took van to dealer complaining of the transmission slamming into gear. Dealer performed a "quick learn" on the trans. And it was fine. At about 27,000, problem started again but this time they replaced the front pump. At 30000, same problem again, replaced transmission pump a second time and also replaced seals and gaskets. Back in dealer now for same problem but delaer is claiming that cannot duplicate the problem.

- Morrisville, PA, USA

problem #12

Jun 012004

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,100 miles
Beginning last year owner was having repeated problems with vehicle. About two weeks ago, there was a noise coming from front end, two or three people looked at it and couldn't find a problem. Then another dealership found the problem which was the bushings had not been greased, and all front end suspension bolts were loose. No recalls on the vehicle as far as owner knows. As owner was driving the vehicle for the last few months, there has been a cracking noise and a snapping noise that seemed to come from the front suspension. This problem happened everytime the vehicle was driven. There are no other problems, problem with front end seems to be fixed. Vehicle has been repaired 15 times in the last year. These repairs have had to do with steering and suspension noise. There have been bushings replaced, steering fluid replaced, and the transmission had to be replaced at 15,000 miles.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #11

Mar 282005

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,419 miles
The vehicle began bucking, the automatic transmission would not move to 2nd or 3rd gear, the speedometer was moving up to 60-80 miles per hour, when the speed was only about 30 mph. The engine was revving very high and the vehicle was not moving very fast.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #10

Feb 132005

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


5-28-04, 7-28-04, 2-9-05 transmission work done on the van and it still is not corrected it goes in again tomorrow for more work. A complaint #13178787 was filed with Chrysler the van shifts poorly and it gets stuck in gear when accelerating to reach highway speeds. When pulling away from stoplights the van hesitates and I have alomost been rear ended several times I am not satisfied with the way my problem is being handled by the dearler I alos feel I am not being taken seriously because I am a female mh.

- Perry, IA, USA

problem #9

Jul 132004

Grand Caravan

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
While attempting to stop transmission jumped and slipped intermittently. Dealer stated they were unable to duplicate the problem.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #8

Jul 082004

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
When the consumer depressed the accelerator pedal, the vehicle had no acceleration. The vehicle was taken to the dealership and they indicated that vehicle was operating as designed by the manufacturer. When the vehicle passed another, it would sound as if the clutch was out of gear and the motor would race and slow down.

- Centralia, IL, USA

problem #7

Jun 182003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,400 miles
At slow accelerations vehicle shudders/hesitates to shift. When downshifting it "bumps" down. At 35-40 mph engine races without accelerating. Dealer says clutch plates need 5-10,000 miles to break in after transmission was rebuilt at 2,400 miles. Vehicle still not shifting correctly after many service attempts and 11,000 miles.

- Bath, NY, USA

problem #6

Dec 152003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving the transmission surges-at start when I accelerate the vehicle does not move-then it catches and goes. At low speed it downshifts hard and then upshifts hard. Happened many times-dealer replaced front pump in the transmission-last time "unable to duplicate".

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 202003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12 miles
Even on the slightest incline, van rolls backwards while in drive. This is the first automatic that I ever had do this. It could be dangerous if you take your foot off the brake and someone walks behind you or another car is too close. I noticed this the first day I drove it.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 192003

Grand Caravan

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
While driving at any speed consumer heard a noise coming from the engine. At 200 miles dealer replaced brakes and differential. At 900 miles dealer replaced the automatic transmission.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #3

Oct 062003

Grand Caravan

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,813 miles
Transmission problems, not shifting into gear and when in drive even on a slight incline car rolls backwards. The latter could cause an accident if the car in back is too close.

- New York City, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 282003

(reported on)

Grand Caravan

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,761 miles
The consumer stated that the vehicle down shifted very roughly when decelerating. The vehicle also made a loud grinding noise when started after being parked for an extended period of time. The dealer attempted to repair the transmission problems 3 times. A new transmission package was ordered an installed.

- Tiverton, RI, USA

problem #1

May 222003

Grand Caravan 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,965 miles
Transmission failure - returned the vehicle to dealer for warranty service. Dealer diagnosed problem, removed transmission, and overhauled the transmission replacing the front pump, seals and fluid.

- Fort Thomas, KY, USA

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