Dodge Caravan History and Info on Replacing Cylinder Heads

Categories: Cylinder Head Tips

The Dodge Caravan offered drivers a series of minivans from 1984 to 2020 that were popular with families and explorers nationwide. It was the ideal vehicle for larger families or individuals who love to travel around the US. Discontinued in the US after the 2020 model year, the car is still available on the Canadian market. Today, we’ll learn more about this popular minivan and how you can work to extend the life of your Dodge Caravan if you hope to keep it on the road for years to come.


History of the Dodge Caravan

The Dodge Caravan saw production begin by Chrysler, starting in 1984 and continuing until 2020. Over the 36 model years it was manufactured in five different generations. By the end of its production, it was the second longest-serving Dodge nameplate for the company, with the Dodge Charger being the only vehicle to spend a longer time on the market.


What’s the Difference Between a Dodge Grand Caravan and a Dodge Caravan?

The Dodge Grand Caravan is a long-wheelbase minivan that was introduced in 1987. From 2008, it was the only version for sale within the model line. The biggest benefit for owners of this vehicle was that it allowed more cargo space behind the rear seat, making it ideal for both personal and business use.


North America Sales History for the Dodge Caravan

The sales figures for the Dodge Caravan made this vehicle a huge success for the company. The early 2000s, in particular, were exceptionally profitable, with between 210,000 and 244,000 units sold each year from 2002 until 2006. After this time, the sales started to slow down, but they were still in the range of about 100,000 units a year until its discontinuation. There are many reasons for this vehicle’s success. Still, its design, versatility, handling, and hardwearing fixtures drove drivers to purchase the vehicle even decades after its initial launch.


Driver Reviews for the Dodge Caravan

The Dodge Caravan received good reviews throughout its life, which is one of the critical reasons it remained on the market for so many years. It had a knack for being a durable and long-lasting vehicle that could be used for thousands of miles, both personal and business. The interior is well-designed for large families or groups of friends, and there’s much cargo space for storage. The price point was also very competitive compared to similar vehicles on the market, making a minivan an affordable option for people who may never have considered it.


Common Problems with the Dodge Caravan

Although the Dodge Caravan was a bestseller for the company for many years, there were certainly some issues with each generation of the minivan. The shifting harshness and shuddering were some of the most common complaints, making driving the vehicle uncomfortable for some users. Some users reported issues with the transmission and brakes, which could lead to expensive repairs. Other problems include power window motor failure and leaks from the underbody coolant. When starting the vehicle, some users noticed an issue with the key, which prevented the minivan from starting. One recommendation when purchasing the Dodge Caravan in the past was for drivers to buy an extended warranty, which many people opted for to protect themselves from these common issues.


Dodge Caravan Issues with Cylinder Misfire – What is a Cylinder Misfire?

Another complaint about the Dodge Caravan that some drivers notice as the vehicle ages is a cylinder misfire. Sometimes called an engine misfire, this is when your cylinder stops producing power. It often occurs in older vehicles due to the spark plug, designed to last about 12,000 miles. When this happens, the spark plug can be removed and inspected for damage to see if this was the cause of the issue. A cylinder misfire can put drivers at risk, leading to an accident when your vehicle cannot avoid hazards or overtake. It may also lead to more significant damage to your vehicle, which could be costly or challenging to repair.


Replacing Dodge Caravan Cylinder Heads

Should you experience a cylinder misfire or have issues with your cylinder heads, one option is to replace this part. While there are some situations where you could repair the cylinder heads, in many cases, the best option is to remove them entirely and replace them with new ones. This video offers a guide to removing cylinder heads on the Dodge Caravan. As you can see, you can do this by yourself, or you could work with a mechanic if you don’t feel confident enough to do a DIY project.


Don’t Buy a New Minivan – Extend the Life of your Dodge Caravan with New Cylinder Heads

As your vehicle starts to age, you might think the only option is to look at buying a new minivan. We know how expensive this investment can be, so we encourage you to look at extending the life of your vehicle with new cylinder heads. Even if you don’t feel confident enough to DIY this job, you can work with a professional who can save you much money compared to purchasing a new vehicle. Remember that the cost of the parts and the labor can often add up to nearly $3,000, but this is still significantly cheaper than buying a new minivan.

The Dodge Caravan is a vehicle drivers have loved using for decades. If you still enjoy driving your Dodge Caravan, replacing the cylinder heads can help extend the vehicle’s life while saving you money. With so many benefits of this vehicle and its discontinuation in many markets around the world, working to maintain your vehicle is the best way to continue enjoying more adventures in this popular minivan.



Clearwater Cylinder Head (CCH) is a supplier of both refurbished and new cylinder heads for almost all vehicles as well as marine vessels. Please contact us to verify that we have your specific Dodge cylinder head in stock.