is the drivetrain and engine reliable

Asked by Jul 04, 2009 at 08:50 PM about the 1999 Dodge Caravan

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

looking at buying one with 200000 km

4 Answers


what is the engine displacement? the 3.3 were garbage, very slow, completely underpowered. Also the transmission that is coupled with that engine is KNOWN to have trouble (i.e. not uncommon to kill 3 or 4 transmissions in hte life of the car) the 3.8 comes with just shy of 00hp as well as something like 210 torque. Fairly powerful engine, i cant complain with mine. The engine i have never really had a problem with, except now I have a lower end problem with oil and i believe the lifters. This is solved by adding Lucas additive every oil change. The transmission coupled with the 3.8, is a 3 speed plus overdrive, never really had a transmission problem, just make sure like with all cars, it doesnt burn trans fluid. (it would be a dark burned colour, its supposed to be red) Oh right, my caravan is at 2708xxkm and is still going well. If you have other questions, as common problems and what not, post again, I hope this helps cheers Nick

1 people found this helpful.

Ignore the previous response about the 3.3, there is only 50hp different between the 3.3, and the 3.8, plus better fuel economy. I have personally put over 300kmiles on 6 different 3.3's, and know about 4 other people that have done the same on at least one. As far as the trans go, 90% of the problems come down to a $60usd part, the Trans. Shift Solenoid. I've only replaced 2 out of the 6 I've had, the other 4 I never spent a dime on the trans. in 300k miles, other than changing the fluid and filter. I drive hard, not so much just punching it, but a steady 10mph over the limit, and I have been known to smoke the front tires on these vans with a 3.3. Having said that I would like to have a 3.8 for that extra 50hp/torque, because any extra is something you have.

4 people found this helpful.

Forget to say that the 3.3 is known to have a slight tick, sounds like a lifter or a valve, this is a known issue. Chrysler has torn these engines down and can not locate the problem a majority of the time. I have had three that ticked, they started ticking around 100k-150k miles, and I put another 150k-200k on them after it started, with no problem, they actually seemed to run better and get better mileage after it started. It reminds me of the mid-late 1970's 318-V-8 engines. Which the 3.3 is just a 318 minus two cylinders.

4 people found this helpful.

I've had several of with both 3.3 & 3.8. Got over 300k on 3 of them. I like the 3.8 better more power but same has millage. Just keep oil changed. The 4th now would have hit 300k but got a deer at 250k. Now have two Dodges with 3.6 hoping it's as good as the older ones.

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