Problems With Dodge Grand Caravans

by Chris Moore

The Dodge Grand Caravan is an offshoot of the original minivan, the Caravan, making it one of the most well-known models. Unfortunately, the Grand Caravan has experienced its share of problems, leading to complaints by numerous consumers and a poor rating from consumer guides. Problems can surface on any vehicle, but many Grand Caravans have experienced similar problems.

Electrical

Electrical issues are one of the biggest problems among Caravans, and the power locks appear to be where the most common problems are. If your locks aren't working, there are two possible solutions that can at least temporarily solve it. You can disconnect the negative battery cable and then reconnect it. You can also do the same for the IOD fuse or replace the fuse.

Brakes

A number of Grand Caravan drivers have reported problem with either the brakes or rotors wearing down too quickly. The factory-installed brake pads often need replacing after only 35,000 miles or less. The disc brakes can also warp after less than 20,000 miles depending on the year. The best way to avoid changing the brakes more frequently is to get aftermarket replacement parts. A parts dealer or mechanic may ask about OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts, which are the same as the parts installed from the beginning. Requesting aftermarket parts from another manufacturer that will work on the Caravan can save you money and hassles. Other problems include the brake lines being improperly routed, causing the brakes to rub against the vehicle and leak fluid. This has led to a recall on some models.

Heater/Air Conditioner

Many Grand Caravan drivers have reported problems with their heating/air conditioning systems, though more with the air conditioner. Leaking refrigerant is the most common problem. Usually, the coolant will puddle into the passenger's floorboard. This is likely caused by a bad seal on the refrigerant lines, meaning the seal needs to be replaced. Another common leaking location is at the evaporator from corrosion. This can cause the refrigerant to leak out onto the street to the point where the air conditioner won't have cold air. Replacing the evaporator can be expensive, especially if the vehicle is no longer under warranty.

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.