really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
156,900 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuild the transmission (5 reports)
  2. replaced transmission (5 reports)
  3. not sure (2 reports)
1996 Dodge Grand Caravan transmission problems

transmission problem

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1996 Dodge Grand Caravan Owner Comments

problem #12

May 012015

Grand Caravan SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


Yep Dodge trannys are only good for 100k miles. Had a 96 Grand Caravan with 3.0L rebuilt tranny at 101k miles then at 200k it was going again and I gave it to my son in law to fix and use. Has to be a bad design. Also have a 2002 Intrepid with 3.5L just had it rebuilt at 110k miles as we planned to keep it. Have a 2007 Grand Caravan SXT with 70K miles. After those experiences we switched to GM product as I have not heard of as many issues.

- Rick C., Richmond, KY, US

problem #11

Dec 162011

Grand Caravan LE 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 226,000 miles

With 226000 on transmission it is shot. Luckily it lasted this long so I have found out. Dodge either get it right or don't build it!! This has to be by far the worst tranny ever on the market!! Even rebuilds only have a 12000 miles a year guarantee. Max 36000 miles for 3 years, if your lucky! What is wrong with this picture? Shame on you Dodge!!! I will NEVER by a Dodge again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- egilliam, Cg, WI, US

problem #10

Sep 222011

Grand Caravan ES 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Our van body actually has 264,000 miles on it yet it is good enough shape to look at that some car salesmen think it is a 2000 model and yet............ We are the second owners and after having the car only a month we had to have the transmission pulled and a new gasket and seal put in. Ok, you hope for the best after all it had 100,000 miles on it. Next we had to have a good used transmission put in three years ago. This transmission lasted two years and last Nov. 2010 started having the same trouble again. This time we also replaced the transmission with one that only had 88,000 miles on it. Well, guess what? Didn't even last a year. The whole side is blown out and you can stick your fingers in this one. Question: Do we buy a rebuilt transmission this time? We have a transmission shop that guarantees a transmission for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Can't decide what to do, limited money, body of van and interior is good. Is it worth the $1,300.00 or not? At least we know how the engine is, doesn't use oil (not a drop) but we can't seem to keep a transmission. Think anyone at Chrysler even cares? Loved our van but don't think we'd ever buy another Dodge.

- Steve P., Bloomington, IN, US

problem #9

Nov 092010

Grand Caravan SE 3.3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


Engine light came on,speed o stopped working,would not change out of second gear.

- 246810tf, Houston, TX, US

problem #8

Jan 252008

Grand Caravan 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

My husband and I have a 1996 Dodge Caravan that we acquired from my mother-in-law 2 years ago. The vehicle only has 54,000 miles on it. My husband was driving it last week and all of a sudden heard this clunking noise, pulled into a driveway and the car died. We had to have it towed to the transmission shop and were told that the transmission was shot and had to be replaced. $2,000.00 later. I have been reading all the complaints about the Caravan transmissions. Chrysler should be ashamed!!! I sure hope the new one lasts and does not go AGAIN like so many other customers. Knowing this has been a problem for so many years and Chrysler does nothing about this, is awful. I will think twice the next time, before I ever buy another Chrysler product.

- Christine W., St. Clair Shores, MI, US

problem #7

Jul 272007

(reported on)

Grand Caravan 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,061 miles

One day when I tried to back my van out of the driveway the engine started back firing and it wouldn't move at all. I soon realised that the transmission was blown. I had bought that van brand new in 1996 with nothing but problems ever since it was new. Anything and everything that could possibly go wrong with a vehicle went wrong with my Caravan but the worst thing that happened was that my transmission failed. Even when it got fixed $2000 later when I drove it on the highway the van wouldn't accelerate until a few seconds later. This is pure and utter bull s*** a transmission should last at least 300,000 km. My 1992 GMC Vandura that I use for work has 374,000 km on it and it still has the original transmission in it. I have yet to see or hear of anybody who has a 1996 Caravan and has not replaced the tranny at least once. In 2003 I traded in my Caravan and I only got $1500 for it (less than what I paid to fix the transmission). I am very thankful I traded it in and so far my 2003 Toyota Camry has been a great car. Never will me or anybody in my family ever buy another Chrysler product! CHRYSLER VEHICLES ARE POORLY DESIGNED, POORLY BUILT AND ARE PLAGUED WITH ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL PROBLEMS! If you want a good, reliable vehicle DON'T BUY A CHRYSLER!

- apetrei, Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

problem #6

Feb 112007

(reported on)

Grand Caravan 3.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


I own a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan. We purchased it in 1999 with only 26K miles. Within the next 20K miles in 2001, with no warning or signs the transmission went! With only about 46K miles!! PATHETIC!! We bought it used with no extended warranty available so It cost me about $1750.00 to fix!! It then went about another 40K miles and in 2003,,,, again,,,, with no signs or warning....... Bang it went again!!

This time it cost me over $1800.00 to fix. So here we have it,,,, a Vehicle that is about 7 years old,,,, with (about ) 90K miles and its on its THIRD TRANSMISSION!!!

This morning my wife called me and was obviously very upset and frantic. With 106K miles the transmission went again!!! Leaving her stranded in the middle of a busy intersection. This would make the 4th transmission! Thats Crazy!! I am currently unemployed and will not be dumping any more money into this piece of $hit.

I Know that Chrysler corp. has been aware of this problem for years. Does anyone know if Chrysler has offered to do anything , anything at all with this problem? Are there Any Class Action Suits? ANY ACCOUNTABILITY AT ALL BY CHRYSLER???

This is exactly why so many Americans buy imports! I will never buy another US made vehicle again. In my opinion Imports like Nissan and Mitsubishi are far superior in reliability and overall quality. What a Shame.

- Michael M., Stratford, CT, US

problem #5

Nov 252006

(reported on)

Grand Caravan ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 245,000 miles

The transmission just went out on the Caravan again!!!!!!!!!!!! It is going to cost $2000.00 to replace the transmission now. I wonder if Dodge has had any engineers redesign the transmissions yet? The van will sit until I can find out IF Dodge has done anything about fixing their problem transmissions!!!!!!! Here's a thought to ALL the car makers, if you can't design a vehicle without problems before putting it out on the market DON'T put it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Dorothy P., Schleswig, IA, US

problem #4

Nov 252006

(reported on)

Grand Caravan ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 230,000 miles

I worked at a dealership and had the transmission rebuilt and seen the insides of the transmission, during the rebuild. If Dodge can't hire people with common sense to design the transmissions maybe the public should boycott the brand!!!!!!!!!!! It is utterly ridiculous that you would design a transmission with an aluminum cone in the core of the transmission and then put all the thrusting force of the van's acceleration on a 1" steel pin going through the top end of that cone so it elongates the hole going through that cone and creating filings and thus shredding the gears and clutches in the transmission!!!!!!!! Oh what geniuses they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Dorothy P., Schleswig, IA, US

problem #3

Sep 222006

(reported on)

Grand Caravan

  • 128,000 miles

First it was giving me issues of not having enough power in climbing then the stupid thing just gave up. There are a lot of issues in this van:

1. Fault Code p0134 - Oxygen sensor

2. Fault Code p0131 - Cylinder 1 Missfire

3. Intermittent issues with the wiper switch

4. Intermittent issue with the left turn signal

It is a piece of junk

- melmaan2000, San Jose, CA, US

problem #2

Sep 222006

(reported on)

Grand Caravan LE

  • 190,000 miles

We bought this van used and paid cash ($3500). We had it for about 3 mo. There was a loud pop while going down the road and the automatic transmission wouldn't shift beyond 2nd gear. We stupidly took the dealers recomendation for a transmission "specialist". Took it, and had the transmission rebult. More happened. Read the following complaints I enter.

- jedmonds, Winchester, KY, US

problem #1

Sep 222006

(reported on)

Grand Caravan LE

  • 200,500 miles

We were on a family trip, only about 200 miles, round trip. Going up the mountains in North Carolina, with my four children ages six and under in the van, we started loosing power. We coasted to the shoulder of the interstate. Had to call for help, and have it towed. This time we found our own mechanic. An old fella that knew his stuff. He said the 96 chrysler trannys where sh*^. He replaced the whole transmission and gave us a nice warranty on it. We were without a vehicle for 4 months. We are just average joes and don't have any money on hand let alone 1,800, The mechanic was nice. Let us make payments, but had to keep the van til we paid for. it We haven't had anymore transmission problems YET (just in case, don't want to jinx us). Trading it in at tax time.

- jedmonds, Winchester, KY, US

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