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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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  • The board has been quiet lately. Personally, I have not purchased a van yet but I still am very interested in a Chrysler Town & Country. I am still trying to convince my wife we should look at Chrysler as we have not owned a domestic brand a a few years. We have an Accord right now that I am very unhappy with so I am not sure we will be shopping Honda again.

    So far I like the Town & Country Touring with luxury and leather group or the limited. Both are attractive and appear to be well thought out vans.

    Are there any limited model owners out there (2005 and newer) that would like to share some feedback? My only gripe so far is that you have to delete side airbags to get a sunroof, which I won't do because we have babies riding with us.

    Would be curious to hear from other young families who have given the T&C a try as their family vehicle.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    We have been very pleased with our '05 Touring. It will be a yr old in May and it has treated us well. For the price, it can't be beat!
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    We leased a T&C Touring (no options) a 10 days before our first child was born May 2005. Already have 12k miles. Love it. I wouldn't worry much about the side air bags in the short term as babies go in child seats w/ extra protection around them.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    I would look at the signature series if you want the best value. I have a 2005. Very satisfied. I wasnt too keen on getting a van without side airbags either. But did a little research and while the front seat driver and passenger may be sacrificing a little safety the kids in car/booster seats will be fine. The T&C has a 5 star side crash rating.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    My only gripe so far is that you have to delete side airbags to get a sunroof, which I won't do because we have babies riding with us.

    I believe you can now get sunroof and side airbags. Go to site and try building, it should work.
  • Based on the on-line 2006 downloadable brochure the sunroof still deleted the side airbags. That's okay... I would like to have it but some of the other convenience items like power tailgate, etc. would make up for it. I'm sure it is something they will change on the next generation.

    Sounds like folks are pretty happy with the T&C which is great to hear. I might still be in the market for an '06 model as I still like the look and features.

    Now if they would only bring back Employee Pricing I would be all set!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Only 1 Caravan SXT with NO extra options, 1 GC SXT with most options, 1 T&C Touring with most options and 1 pumpkin colored Walter P. Chrysler T&C Touring. (My wife does not like multi-colored leather seats).
    Last year there were 3 times the selection from a base Caravan SE 4 cyl to a T&C Limited.
    I am disappointed that DC is deleting nice features that are on my 2002 T&C LX. :cry:
    DC minivans have the most attractive exterior styling while GM "Cross-over" vehicles are least attractive with very poor 3rd row seating and very little cargo space behind 3rd row.
    DC minivan instrument cluster is not as attractive as Sienna but DC stereo and HVAC controls are more user friendly.
    DC would be smart to not drastically change the exterior styling of THE MOST ATTRACTIVE minivan...the styling and interior changes of the Chrysler PT Cruiser have been most detrimental. :cry:
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Was this the Detroit show? I was there and saw quite a few, didn't count em though.

    I really liked the Chrysler Aspen SUV (based on Durango). 5.7 HEMI, loved the interior etc........Could be my next camping vehicle :) Then there'd be no limit on the size I trailer I could tow :)~~

    I'm hearing DCX is talking about a V8 for 2008 in minivans???? and 6 spd auto?

    I also fell in love with the Lincoln MKX CUV......WOW!!! fantastic interior, styling but I'm afraid it's tow rating would be any better than my minivan :(
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Unfortunately it was not.
    The Salt Lake City Auto Show (in Sandy, Utah) did NOT have the Chrysler Aspen nor did I see the Lincoln MKX CUV. Not even a Dodge Caliber. :cry:
    There was a 2006 Kia Sedona, a few Dodge/Chrysler little sports cars (that I don't look at), a Chevy Nomad, a Ford Fairlane, Mazda 5, 2006 Toyota RAV4, 2007 Chevy Tahoe...I primarily looked at the 4 DC minivans, 2 Siennas, and the lone Odyssey.
    My wife and I did sit inside the Lexus RX330 just for kicks. :P
  • I have owned my T&C Touring for about 16 months now. Absolutely love it! The Stow'N Go feature is fabulous and I did splurge and get the DVD package. I love that the grown-ups can listen to the radio or CD when the kids use the earphones. Even if you only have two children, if you purchase your van with the DVD package, negotiate for two extra headphones thrown in for when friends are along. I didn't do it and wish I had. (We also have a rule that the DVD player can only be used if our trip is longer than an hour.) Mechanically the only thing that has happened is that my computer had to be reset for some reason (my entire dashboard shut down) - it did fall under warranty though, so no expense to me. Good luck and hope you enjoy.
  • I recently discovered a small hole in the back of the right middle seat on my '05 T&C. Looking closer it seemed as if there was a screw in the seat that was poking out slightly and that pressure is what caused the hole. I took it to the dealer and they had a Chrysler technician come in and do the repair; it was under warranty. The dealer has not had any other T&C owner with this problem, and just wondering if any one else has experienced this.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
    There's also a discussion about the 2008 Grand Caravan in our Future Vehicles Forum:

    2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Appearance does not appear to be radically different from current design. I hope DC does NOT make a detrimental change to DC minivan interiors as they did with the 2006 PT Cruiser. :sick:
  • gregmangregman Posts: 24
    Wife bought a used '05 T&C (40k miles) from Chrysler dealership. Noticed drips underneath in the mornings. Dealership said it was okay, just "overflow". She said bull, that's trans fluid.
    After repair by dealer, they said it was a bad seal in trans. Upon reading the ticket it says they replaced the front pump! Isn't that the torque converter?
    The salesman swore up and down before the purchase that DCX
    had resolved all the old problems with T&C transmissions. Can anybody relate to this problem?
    P.S.-This 5 Star dealership also tried to hand her a $600 bill for a warranty repair!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Was the 2005 T&C originally a rental or lease vehicle? If so, the original factory warranty was only 3 years or 36,000 miles - whichever came first.
    Buyer beware when purchasing a used vehicle. :blush:
  • rrc1rrc1 Posts: 5
    I bought a new 2005 Grand Caravan with sto-and-go seats two weeks ago. I have had it back to the dealer twice because of an almost constant vibration that runs through the steering wheel and drivers seat. It doesn't seem to be related to any particular speed and is even evident when the car is still and idling. It is most noticible when driving at a constant speed on the highway or coasting. This vibration is making me feel nauseated each time I drive the car and I never get motion/car sick. People at dealership can't feel what I'm describing. Every bump on the road seem to be amplified in this van. I don't understand why this is the case, when most of the reviews on the Grand Caravan rave about the smooth quiet ride. This is very disappointing as I have owned two Caravans in the past and have really like these vans. Any ideas as to what may be causing this vibration? Has anyone else had a similar experience?
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Never heard of such a thing. Was it there when you test drove it 2 weeks ago??? When did it start?
  • rrc1rrc1 Posts: 5
    I didn't test drive the van before I bought it. The weather was very bad that week and I didn't see the point. I had a 2002 Caravan on lease for four years and owned 1996 Caravan prior to that and never had a problem with vibration or ride in those vans. As this is a brand new vehicle, I didn't think it was necessary to test drive it--my mistake. If it had been a used van, I would have taken it for a test drive first. Also I had driven a Grand Caravan for 1 week as a rental when my leased Van was in for repairs and never noticed any thing similar to what is happening with this van.

    I noticed some vibration when I first drove it home from the dealership, but thought is was due to the poor road and weather conditions. When I drove the van to work the following Monday on the highway, I really noticed the vibration that comes through the steering wheel, seat and brake pedal. It is like a pulsing sensation that runs up your arms and leg and across your back and chest. It is really strange and difficult to describe. I have never been in a vehicle that has done this before. It seems to get more intense with speed and more annoying the longer you are in the van. The man from servicing said it was just the harmonics of the vehicle. I have never had a car make me feel sick before (either as the driver or the passenger)and I have been driving for 30 years.

    I found four other posts on line from 2005 Grand Caravan owners complaining of vibrations described as follows:

    "When you accelerate it feels like you are on driving on gravel"

    "there is a troubling vibration (it can be heard & felt when trany is in overdrive going 45-50 mph"

    "The engine produces vibration that can be felt in the gas pedal"

    "I got a bad vibration in the steering wheel/seat that is worse when idling"

    These complaints sound like they may be the same thing I'm experiencing.

    I'm going to ask the dealership to let me test drive another van of the same model to see if there is any difference. I don't think I'm imagining this problem, but I have no idea what could be causing it. I don't think it is the tires or steering as the vibration can be felt when the car is not moving. I'm hoping it goes away because otherwise I really like the van, but I don't want to drive a vehicle that makes me feel nauseated all the time. :cry:
  • gctonygctony Posts: 7
    Hi
    Has anyone purchased the 2nd row bins for Stow-n-Go?
    Comments? Seems like alot of $$ for them, the carpeted factory area seems fine..?
    Also has anyone purchased additonal overhead bins for the rail system? I think 2 more would be cool...

    Also has anyone heard of a snake light for the overhead rails??

    Overall this mini van rocks and is most excellent! Like others have said, should have gotten one long ago...I still dont understand the 'stigma' with them, people snicker when I tell them about it. But it is FAR more versatile than any of their vehicles.
    Stow-n-Go Rocks!

    Tony
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Has anyone purchased the 2nd row bins for Stow-n-Go?
    Comments? Seems like alot of $$ for them, the carpeted factory area seems fine..?


    I purchased the 3rd row bin and folding table. Like the bin but not impressed with the table/lid. I used the table a few times camping for my 2 burner coleman propane stove. The stove isn't heavy at all, and the table sags?

    This is my 3rd Minivan, I love em and don't care with others think :) If someone has a problem with you driving a minivan, it's their problem, not your's :)
  • gctonygctony Posts: 7
    Thanks for the table/bin info..The table does look pretty flimsy...But what exactly do you like bout the third row bin? Just easy to remove and hose out?

    I am digging on the overhead bins, I think I found out they are $140 EACH though the guy is not sure...Wouldnt that be rich?
    http://www.leeparts.com/item-1-59-326-427.html
    He thought it was one bin but has to dig ...
    Tony
  • Maybe the harmonic balancer wasn't installed correctly on the engine. The dealership mechanics should be able to detect any unusual vibration very quickly. Let us know what you discover with the test drive. I can feel some vibration in my SXT steering wheel, but it is no problem. According to the following statement from DBC, they do a lot to reduce vibration and noise:
    "State-of-the-art technology is used to ensure quietness in all seating positions for 2005 Chrysler and Dodge minivans. By combining computer simulation techniques with vehicle testing in Chrysler's state-of-the-art Auburn Hills wind tunnel and on environmental four-post shakers, Chrysler Group engineers were able to create the quietest minivans in the marketplace. Some changes for 2005 models include:

    * Robotically applied liquid spray dampener technology to prevent noise from entering the passenger compartment. The damping treatment is applied to the floor, toe-pan, cowl, and roof panel.
    * Expandable polyurethane foam is injected into cavities at the base of the cowl plenum, liftgate opening, and center and rear door pillars to cut noise.
    * The new underbody structure is designed for high bending and torsional stiffness, which helps isolate suspension vibration and chatter from passenger compartment.
    * A fluid-filled hydro engine mount significantly reduces engine vibration into the front rails to help isolate engine vibration.
    * Suspension control arms utilize tuned hydro bushings to further reduce suspension vibration."
  • rrc1rrc1 Posts: 5
    After the second day I drove my new van and really noticed the vibration, I started looking up information on vibration in Dodge Grand Caravans and read about all the engineering that had gone into the new models to reduce noise and vibration. I also read reviews where people commented on the smooth ride they had with the same model of van. This makes the annoying vibration in my 2005 Grand Caravan even more bizzare. Something is definitely not right. I'm getting to the point that I don't want to drive it at all. One thing I have noticed recently is the vibration stops when you put it in park.

    This is much more than the normal engine vibration you feel in a van, I have never felt uncomfortable driving before. The van also seem to wobble when going over small bumps in the pavement, adding to the uncomfortable ride. It may be because I am feeling ill from the vibration that I'm noticing any other movement more intensely. I won't have time to get back to the dealership before next friday, but I'll let you know what I find out from driving another similar vehicle.

    I just find it annoying to have to keep going back to the dealership after buying a brand new vehicle. This has been a very disappointing experience.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I just find it annoying to have to keep going back to the dealership after buying a brand new vehicle. This has been a very disappointing experience.

    I hope you're documenting all this(conversations with dealer/reps, work records etc.), it sounds like you might need it if it comes to a lemon law situation.
  • I purchased a 2005 GC 3.8L used with 15K on it last summer. Currently have 24K on it with mostly highway miles. Bought at dealer & service records show previous owner changed around every 3000 miles. I am using Castrol 5W30 and the engine is using a quart of oil every 3000 miles. Is this is the normal range? Previous caravans with the 3.0L engine I drove at work didn't use this much oil even after 75K miles. Is anybody with a new GC using this much oil?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Three comments:

    1) A car (ANY car) that uses a quart every 3,000 miles is just fine. Typically manufacturers have some arbritrary point (like 1 quart per 1,000 miles) where the car is deemed to be using too much oil.

    2) We have two DGCs, both with the 3.8, one with 106,000 miles, the other with 57,000 miles, and neither use a full quart between 7,500 mile oil changes.

    3) If an engine doesn't use some oil, that to me is more of a worry than if it uses a little too much. The fact is that the oil that lubricates things like valve guides is not recoverable, and as such, if no oil is being consumed, then the valve guides aren't being lubricated.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Thanks for the info Shipo! However, I'm more used to the kind of oil consumption you're seeing on your higher mileage DGC's! I very much agree that using some oil especially through valve guides is better than none. Chevy designed the 350 to use oil through the valve guides for lubrication. Someone pointed out to me that using a quart in 3K may foul the Cat-converter. I wouldn't think so. What do you think?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Someone pointed out to me that using a quart in 3K may foul the Cat-converter. I wouldn't think so. What do you think?"

    Hmmm, not too likely, especially so since many engines (the Cadillac Northstar comes to mind) are considered very frugal with oil at anything over 2,000 miles to the quart.

    Funny thing, there was a time when the older of the two vans was using oil more along the 3,000-4,000 mile range, but that was with conventional oil. Given that I find that fairly normal I've never given it much thought, however, when I converted it to Synthetic (Mobil 1 5W-30) I sort of expected consumption to get worse (given its superior flow characteristics), however, it gradually got better. Why? I haven't given that much thought either, however, a theory has just descended upon my brain. I wonder if the oil rings had become partially clogged/sludged on dealership oil, and if it just took a while for the synthetic to clean up the mess. Hmmm, thinking about this a little further, for the first year or two (between say 20,000 miles and 50,000 miles) after I started using Mobil 1, the oil would be quite black after only three or four thousand miles, now however, the oil stays amber color almost for the entire duration of my typical 7,500 oil change.

    If you want to take a look, I posted a couple of rocker arm pictures a few weeks ago at http://photos.yahoo.com/shipo inside of the "Caravan Stuff" folder. In those two pictures you can see a small pool of oil puddled in the rocker arm, and clearly see through the oil. These photos were taken at about 104,200 miles, 4,200 miles after I had changed the oil. If you do take a look, click the "Download" button to see them in their full resolution.

    I have heard a few (very few) rumors of some DC engines sludging, although I don't think that any of them were MiniVan engines. I wonder, even though the previous owner of your van changed the oil every three thousand miles, if the fact that they were using dealership oil (i.e. whatever the dealership got a good deal on from their supplier) meant that you've got some clogged oil rings. As a suggestion, you might want to convert to a good Synthetic (not Castrol, unless you can get the German version which is true synthetic). If you decide to convert, I would only go 4,000 miles for the first couple of changes because the amount of dirt that synthetic cleans up and then needs to hold in suspension is rather amazing. After the first couple of changes you can then return to a more normal 7,500 mile OCI regimen.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I second the vote for Mobil 1 5-30; it's available at Costco and WalMart fairly cheap. If you want to clean the engine out even faster, the "Extended Performance" version of Mobil 1 has extra detergents; but it is a couple of bucks a jug more than regular Mobil 1 5-30, and the 5-30 viscosity range is hard to find at Walmart (10-40 is common).

    BTW, my Caravan has the 4 cylinder engine, which works a lot harder than the 6 cylinder, so I switched to Mobil 1 at 1,500 miles and will thereafter do changes at 6,000, 12,000 etc. (the 2006 allow a maximum 6,000 mile interval, compared to a couple of years ago when 7,500 miles maximum was common in DC products; probably due to sludging concerns).

    2d BTW, the "1" in Mobil 1 signifies it is their full-synthetic formulation. There are other flavors of Mobil oils - Mobil Drive Clean (or just Clean) and Mobil 5000, Mobil 7,500. Be warned these are NOT full synthetic. When in doubt, read the label!
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