Five problems related to front suspension strut have been reported for the 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan. The most recently reported issues are listed below.
Left front strut housing rusted and need of repair. Dodge dealer states my problem. Is there a TSB on this issue?.
1999 Dodge Grand Caravan taken to local repair shop in March 2007 for normal servicing , oil change/tire rotation, and shop manager indicated that the front struts were worn out and needed to be replaced. They stated they could not do this since both front strut mounts were badly rusted and would likely break upon servicing. The repair shop warned me to immediately get the strut mounts fixed for safety reasons. I visited a local 5 star Dodge dealer, who stated that this problem does occur and is not covered under any warranty/recall. Cost to repair problem , no new struts was $1300. I called a number of body shops and found a local shop which has been repairing this problem since 2000! they said this problem was common for these vehicles for model years 1996-2000 in this part of the country. They had developed a system to repair the problem including removing the old strut mounts, machining new strut mounts from aluminum blocks, and bolting/welding them in place. Repair was made , excluding new struts for $600.
I had my 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan in for regular servicing and the mechanic noted that there was a serious rust problem with the left front strut tower. The person from the shop who called me suggested that I take it to a body shop to be evaluated as soon as possible. I discovered later that the actual mechanic looking at the problem wrote: "recommend: get new vehicle soon!"the next day I took it to a body shop and they couldn't believe that a 1999 would be so badly rusted and quoted me an estimate of $1300 to replace the strut tower and take care of the rust that had begun to eat at the other side. Nce they had it in the shop and disassembled, they called to say it would take an additional week of service since the local Dodge dealership had ordered the wrong part. They said that, because the damage was so severe, they were not comfortable reassembling the vehicle for me to use while they waited for delivery of the part. I have done some research online and have discovered that this problem is known and widespread. (complaint number 10090457 also documents this issue. ) I am surprised that someone has not been seriously injured as a result of this. My van is only a 1999 and the strut tower was rusted nearly half way through. I had my van in for service many times within the last year and no one had noticed the problem. There are undoubtedly innumberable families driving around in a seriously unsafe vehicle simply because a recall has not been issued. If this is not a serious safety issue, it don't know what is.
After 2. 5 years of ownership, I noticed rust forming on the strut towers. It wasn't bad enough to worry about,but I kept an eye on it. Over the next years it progressively got worse on both sides to a point that we were not going to keep the car much longer at only 70k. I got an oil change before a trip south (7/04)and the mechanic said this should be the last trip for this car. This was later confirmed by the Dodge dealership and 2 body shops. If the struts had failed and popped through the towers, the dealer told us the car would "drop" and we would not be able to steer or stop. We have the car in our driveway and are forced to incur a $2000 repair or trade the car to a dealer since we cannot sell it to someone.
The left front strut tower, where the suspension was bolted to the vehicle, rusted out. The strut can fall off the vehicle at anytime without warning. When the vehicle was first purchased, the consumer noticed minor rust on the strut tower right hand side only. The consumer said that there were others with the same problem.