Can this 2003 Dodge Gran Caravan Survive a 1000 miles trip?

I’m planning to move so I sent my car to the mechanic to be checked and I got bad news. I’m attaching the report to this post, but in summary, it has problems with the brakes’ electric system and with the transmission. The transmission is leaking, so I was thinking of just getting some extra oil as a reserve and putting some leak sealer with the transmission oil. Can this car survive this trip? Is it safe?


UPDATE: I will be traveling in May, so the winter doesn’t scare me lol. I forgot to say it.

I don’t like your odds on the transmission. It would be best to bring the car to a good independent transmission shop and fix whatever needs to be fixed, especially if you’ll be driving in cold weather.


The ultimate decision is up to you, but I wouldn’t take a car with an ailing transmission on a long trip. And, I wouldn’t drive a car with brake problems anywhere except directly to a competent mechanic, so that he could fix them properly.


it will last all the way to the point breakdown or crash, and hopefully everyone will survive when it does.

if you must make this trip, Get a rental truck and tow this. or get the van fixed first. It may cost money, but it will be infinitely safer.


Lets see , brake problems - transmission problems - winter storms and you want to drive 1000 miles in this thing . I would not do it .


Does it have ABS? That was not standard in 2003 but may have been available

If it does not have ABS I would question that printout!

Best to ask your own mechanic, someone who has seen the actual car. Nobody here has seen it, so any advice here should be treated with skepticism. What I’d do in that situation, if there was no other alternative, I’d Ask a qualified mechanic if the transmission diagnostic codes are caused by low transmission fluid. If so, I’ds top it off, then verify the codes don’t come back. As long as trans isn’t leaking too much and codes don’t return, I’d ask the mechanic how risky it would be to drive to my destination, and just add fluid as I go to replace the leak.

You don’t mention what the brake problem is. Known brake problems can’t be deferred, have to be repaired before returning vehicle to road. Definitely fix the brakes before any trip.

The electric system problem? In generaly I’d want that repaired too, before taking a trip. What is the nature of that problem? If the cigar lighter doesn’t work and you don’t smoke cigars, that might be an acceptable risk.

If I had this problem myself, me, I’d say “why take on the risks?” Instead I’d rent a car for the trip. If long trip and not coming back, and couldn’t afford the needed repairs, I’d probably sell the Caravan and buy another used car at my destination.

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More than 2k to fix this car, so I think I’m going to buy a new car. I asked many moving companies and they offer the service for 5-6k! it doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I think it would be cheaper to move by driving a van where I can put my washing machine, dryer, and other expensive things in.

I’d sell everything you can’t carry. Washer and dryer. No way I’d move that stuff you have bed? Couch? Table? And it fits in van?

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My mechanic told me there was a problem with the ABS electric system, nothing more.

And yes! I think that buying a new car at my new destination would be the best, but I need a car to travel with my few expensive things. I will have to check prices to rent a van or two.

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There’s 2k in my wash and dryer machines lol. I would get a couple of hundred if I sell those, and then I would have to buy them again. So yeah, there is a lot of money in those stupid things. And yes, it fits in my van

I rented one of those Penske rental trucks to haul a load of house-hold goods like that from Denver to San Jose. It’s designed for moving this sort of stuff so has plenty of places for rope-holds, etc, to keep everythingfrom moving around. And has a built-in ramp so pretty easy to load and unload by wheeling the stuff up and down the ramp. Overall it worked out pretty good, weekly rental price ok, and truck very easy to drive. The only problem I had was forgetting how tall the truck was and scraping it against tree limbs when parking. They had 12, 16, and 24 foot trucks. Mine was the 16 footer.

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You will have to get the trans done one way or another, Get it serviced and go for it, my thought,

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Do you remember de price? And don’t you need any special license to drive a truck?

George made that move years ago . You can go online and get the price to rent the size you need . And anything below 24 feet just requires a normal license and valid insurance.

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I think it was around $600 per week, pretty good bargain. One-way. I didn’t need any special driver’s license. The quoted rental price varies widely, depends on the dates, and depends on which city has trucks and which needs trucks. One way trips mostly, so to avoid trucks accumulating in prized destination cities, they lower prices if you’ll drive one of their trucks the other way. Phone the rental office several times over the course of a few weeks, and snap up the best offer. Penske is the one I used, but I think Budget has the same thing. Let them bid against each other. It’s actually pretty fun driving a big truck like that.

George , tell him how long ago that was . A 1000 mile one way rental will be a lot more than that . Stop confusing people.

With a rental truck you could get a dolly to tow your Dodge.


You listed all the problems in your first post.

ABS; Pump circuit failure. The ABS pump may have seized and/or is inoperative. My car does not have ABS, an inoperative ABS pump would not bother me.

Transmission; Loss of prime. When the transmission fluid level becomes more than 2 quarts low, the transmission will experience insufficient pump pressure during start-up. The leak caused the low fluid level but how long did it take to lose 2 quarts of fluid? 2 years? Refill the transmission, do you see a leak? Have you been ignoring a fluid leak/oil stains in the parking space? Road test and see if the gear ration errors return. Unless there is a transmission cooler line ready to rupture, this would not discourage me from making the trip.

And gasoline was 75 cents/gallon, the fuel bill for a big truck will cost a lot more today.