Service, Much Service - 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Long-Term Road Test

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Long Term Road Test

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan: Service, Much Service

July 30, 2008

dodge caravan.jpg It was time. At the close of a recent road trip (see worn-out child in above photo), our 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan had racked up some new and reoccuring issues, making a service appointment necessary.

I made the call to Cerritos Dodge.

"I'm calling to schedule a service appointment for a 2008 Grand Caravan," I said.

Service Advisor Dave said, "Sure, what are you coming in for?"

"Well, I have a list," I said, starting to rattle off the firstcouple ofitems.

Dave interrupted me. "I thought you said this was a 2008."

"It is," I said, a touch of sadness creeping into my voice.

I've always felt that the positive packaging aspects of the new Dodge minivan outweighed some of its questionable ride characteristics, and have defended its honor numerous times to different members of our staff. But even I had to admit that the number of problems was a bit excessive for a new vehicle. Our list included:

--Passenger sliding door won't close all of the way. The power feature lets it get a couple inches away from complete close before it kicks it back open.

--Rear tailgate won't open due to warped bumper cover.

--Shifter is often difficult to move from "park" to "drive."

--Intermittant ignition crank without engine turning over. (An issue we've been experiencing since we received the minivan several months ago).

The dealer was able to address just two of our concerns.The sliding doors were reprogrammed and seem to be fixed. A new bumper cover was ordered and the minivan went to the paint shop to finish the job.

"Operating same as like equipped vehicle" says the service report regarding the shifter and crank issues.

I sure hope not.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 11,805 miles

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