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2009 GRAND CARAVAN/T&C FEED BACK

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Dealerships are notorious for being, ummm, less than accurate (giving them the benefit of the doubt), or outright liars, especially when it serves their purpose. When it comes to things I've heard from dealerships, regardless of whether it came from a sales doink or from a service advisor, I always use the "Trust but verify" approach. Nine times out of ten, if what they say doesn't smell right, it turns out to be either a self-serving / convenient embroidery of the truth or a 100% died-in-the-wool fabrication.

    As for reference points, the AllPar web site is always a fount of information regarding all things Chrysler. In this case, please check out the following two links:
    http://www.allpar.com/mopar/38-40.html
    http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/62TE.html

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    You da man.
    Thanks shipo

    PS/ I hope Fiat and Dodge make a deal thats good for all of us.

    PS2// I noticed some minor mileage errors in one of my posts. All I can say is that the 17/25 is a conservative number. I am running 40 PSI and will be putting in synthetic oil the next earl change. lol
  • I emailed the Dodge customer service people today to make sure its a belt just for my own edification. I am not as enthusiastic about the belt only because the last timing belt I had was on a 2.2L in my dodge shadow, replaced it myself 3 times every 80.000 as scheduled, it was sort of a nuisance, but I did get over 200.000 miles out of that engine with no issues whatsoever. To have to dig through the front end of this V6 looks like it will require pulling it out of the engine compartment. Still, your MPG info is very encouraging and I feel the 4.0L is the best choice for my needs. Its also good to know you're satisfied with yours. JD Powers has given Dodge an unfortunately low reliability rating so real world feed back becomes just that much more important.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Dave
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    In addition to all of the other evidence that indicates the 4.0 liter engine uses belt driven cams, Napa is already stocking new timing belts for this engine. ;)

    http://www.napaonline.com/MasterPages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=430&Keyword=timing+b- elt&KeywordCat=Belt+-+Camshaft%2fTiming&VehCode=Y

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    I don't know if this means anything or not. But it was reported that warranty claims were down 30% for this model year. That could mean anything, but the sites above did say that the 6 speed and 4.0 were to be a major quality improvement over previous designs.
  • That seems to Jive with the info I have found online in driver reviews of the 08/09 model years. Roughly 40% of the reviews from 08 were dissatisfied frequently siting a brake rotor issue as well as marked steering pull to the right and other issues ranging from minor nuisance points to major mechanical failures. Then in 09 it all seems to vanish as though the quality controls were really stepped up in a hurry. Out of 23 reviews I was able to find I didn't find one negative one for the 09 model year. That the 09s have only been out for about 7 months may also factor in to the sorts of reviews I'm seeing. I was also surprise to see that the direct consumer satisfaction and reliability rating of Chrysler products was an 8.5 out of 10 the same as Honda, much higher than the rating assigned by JD Powers or Edmunds.

    Regards,

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    I was hoping that some 2009 TC and GC owners would chime in. Not that I don't enjoy this conversation, but there has to be more people out there that own these and would like to give us feedback. You know I may have the only good two in the whole nation. LOL :)
  • Yes, any one out there with millage information for your 2008/2009 Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Grand Caravan with the 4.0L please chime in and let us know what your getting.

    I had a reply from Dodge today about my question regarding the 4.0L timing chain or timing belt. (I'm sure it is a timing belt) They basically said ask your dealer. I was a bit put off by the reply but perhaps the person answering emails doesn't pay attention to whats in them or what I was asking. there all so busy trying to dodge (no pun intended) bankruptcy and partner with Fiat they probably don't have time for pesky emails from customers.

    Regards,

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    We need to keep this thread to 2009 TC and GC only. The brake issue for 2008 will kill this thread. Also I believe this is the first year for the 4.0.
    So sorry guys/ 2009 only.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The 4.0 was available in 2008 for the minivans and in the latter half of 2007 in the Pacifica.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • desi1desi1 Posts: 40
    Morning Everyone,

    While we would have not thought of looking at GC and TC (were set on Sienna and Odyssey), you cannot ignore the deals being offered, so we did this past weekend.

    We looked at both 2009 GC and TC 25th anniversary editions and both were really nice.

    Can someone elaborate on which one is better? I could not see any difference in the leather interior or the options but GC seemed to have the 4.0 Lit engine by default as well as the price about 2K less than TC.

    I am scratching my head over why the TC is more expensive. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    TC should have different colors on the interior with a perforated leather and softer. The GC MAY HAVE sport suspension with stiffer leather. Other than some minor trim stuff and the antennae that is all we noticed. Drive them both and pick the one that drives the best.
  • nursekevnursekev Posts: 18
    ETP,

    My wife and I just bought a 2009 TC touring with the 4.0 engine last week. Took it to Pennsylvania Dutch country for a little 2 day getaway with the kids and am really enjoying the satellite radio for us and the TV/DVD for the kids. The trip was a little over 200 miles and we averaged only about 23 mpg, mostly at highway speeds of 60-70mph. That was with 2 adults, 3 small kids and all our luggage. There were a few times when we did some city driving and had the car parked and ran the engine longer than we should have, so those things could have affected the mpg. I'm not worried about it, we'll see how it does for the next road trip soon enough.

    Kevin
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    My 3000 mile oil change is this Friday. I am going to risk the synthetic oil since you should wait until the rings set. But engine wear is a concern if the warranty winds up in federal hands and I want to stop that before it starts.
    Everyone, the 4 wheel disk breaks are awesome, so check the rotors with your fingers on the front every 3000 miles for roughness and report back. thanks all!
  • djmopardjmopar Posts: 1
    My 2008 GC SXT just turned over 25k miles and I still love it. I can't deny there is evidence of brake wear at the front end but the brakes do perform extremely well. General driving, to and from work and such I'm getting 19.5 to 21 mpg through the winter. Highway trips I'm averaging 24mpg + and believe me I'm no feather-foot. I love the way this thing almost leaps from a standing start effortlessly. I think it almost annoys people in other cars seeing a minivan...with balls. I'm obviously Mopar mesmerized but hey, it's not my fault they're products are awesome. (BTW this is my 5th Mopar Minivan since my first one in 84 and this is hands down, the best vehicle I have ever owned - design, quality, ergonomics, functionality, features, reliability, durability, it has it all. :blush: :) :)
  • Thanks so much for the mpg info and your thoughts about vehicle quality and performance. We are scheduled for a test drive with both Dodge and Honda this Saturday and it will be the first time I actually get to see how the 4.0 performs. If all goes well we hope to hammer out a deal on one of the two this weekend. although I like the Honda's lay out and looks I must admit the lack of stow and go on the second row seating is a bit off putting as I do manage to haul some large things now and then, also I find that big rubber H staring up from the steering wheel to be unattractive.

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Thanks man, just turned over 6K and had my toe set for free as well as the drivers door adjusted. The touring package is definitely a firmer ride than the non touring. Get the leather if you are a new buyer and can foot the cost. Honda would not quote me over the phone even though I was a repeat customer. So I dumped them. I am a happy buyer so far but drive it before you buy and make an offer and walk away if you are not satisfied. They will call back. Trust me.

    PS/ My stable is Honda 2007 Hybrid Civic and a Prius 2009 touring package 6. Dodge pulls all that weight with speed and economy that is amazing to say the least.
  • I love this quote,

    "make an offer and walk away if you are not satisfied. They will call back. Trust me."

    I'm going to have that framed for my office.

    Dave
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Thanks Dave.

    PS// I still don't have my service CDs. Even though you can order them online they are not available. ARGH!
  • Just finished up with the dealer on our Grand caravan Monday. after spending 3 days going back and forth on price with the first Dodge dealer and getting no place I called 2 other Dodge dealers in the area and both immediately met my price no question. The one who find us the van we were asking for got our business. went to pay for it that evening and in less than 4 hours we had what we wanted. the lesson to me was if you don't feel your getting what you should be from a dealer call around don't wait like I did. some one will want your business and meet your price. Our buying strategy was to find the van in the trim color and interior we wanted with the options we wanted then research average price paid for it and offer that, asking them to cover the tax. it worked well and we even got free Auto Armor soundproof and rust undercoating with it as an incentive to buy. Paid 24 for a van with a list price of 32 and can still deduct the sales tax next January.

    We are very happy with this van and althow it may not have the luxury car drivers seat apeal of the Honda it also dose not have the recall history of the Oddisy platforam. It is a more servicabul van with the stow and go, better fuel economy, larger engine, increased towing capacity and better warenty. It is just as qwiet as the Honda inside and out and we feel lookes better. we also paid 2 grand less than the best price we could get on the Honda.

    All in all this is the best time to buy the Dodge Grand Caravan. (Chrysler wows not with standing) We have every confidence in this car. If your looking to buy go for the SXT with the 4.0L you will not regret it. Considering all you can get with the SXT package and the price you can get it for there is little incentive to go with the base models.

    Dave
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