1994 Dodge Caravan Review, M. Boyle, From Manchester, MD.
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| ||Model of the car:||Dodge Caravan |
| ||General comments:||We did much research before purchasing this vehicle, mainly "Consumer Reports" and such, and felt that we were making a sound purchase. We purchased it used in 1996 from the dealer with 35,000 miles on it and were initially happy with it. Within days I noticed a rough down shift when coming to a complete stop (like a "clunk" into first gear), the dealer said that that was just how they shifted, so I got used to it. It also seemed to vibrate or bounce a bit, as if you were going over tiny little speed bumps in succession, this, they also said that they did not notice when they checked it out. It still does that. Soon after the warranty expired (you guessed it), we had to replace our transmission ($1600.00). We were shocked. The mechanic (not affiliated with the dealership) who specialized in transmission repair, said that the Caravan's were notorious for having transmissions go out at, or around, 40,000 miles or so, new or used. I wish that "Consumer Reports" would have mentioned this "slight flaw" when listing it as a "recommended best buy" in their magazine reviews. After learning this the hard way, I think it's probably a good idea to speak to a transmission repair person before purchasing any vehicle because replacing a transmission is an expensive endeaver, and one that should not come so soon in a vehicle's lifetime. We felt so suckered at that point, but we had only had it for a short time and kept it. Before the next major repair, we had pretty good success, just the minor stuff: like the rearview mirror coming off 4 times, the ashtray in the back seat coming lose and finally out, the drawer under the passenger seat not latching anymore (my husband just put a piece of duct tape on the side to keep it closed because it always stayed open and you constanly had to close it because it would "pop" back out and rest right into your calves), the tape deck breaking, the "service engine light" on, the side door refusing to open, locked or unlocked, and having to have the A|
| ||What things have gone wrong with the car:||transmission, emission problem, not enough cargo space, A|
| ||Previous car:||My husband has always sworn by Toyotas. We have a Corolla and it is strong, no major repairs. Too bad they don't make a full sized van, which will be our next purchase, Lord Willing.|