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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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Comments

  • aapyeaapye Posts: 3
    The interioer height is just low enough to where you might have an issue hitting your head on the roofline as you sit down inside one of the vans, I know I do and am only 5' 9". I am constantly bumping my head sitting down in the drivers seat compared to my Durango.
  • We were out trying to buy a minivan last November. We went to Honda first, WOW- they showed us an ex-l, nice- but cost too much for me! We then went to Kia, the vans were ok, but a little to bare-bones in the safety department. We then went to Chrysler, overall fairly nice, but lacked the get up and go of the Odyssey or the Sedona. Didn't consider the Mazda MPV- too small. Nissan's Quest was too out there in styling and price. We ended up taking the Sedona and the T&C home for a night and decided not to go through. We then went to Toyota and although their pricing was higher than the Sedona's, they offered a lot more standard safety and better MPGs. The Honda lost out because they are too prideful. The T&C lacked the power and they also would have cost more if we wanted side air bags and that would have been way too much for any van, incentives or not! Toyota seemed to be the best choice for my family and our safety concerns. I believe most companies make decent vehicles, but the true problem may be operator error, i.e.- lead-foot drivers, no oil changes, no preventive maintenance! They all stack up against the driver, usually. I like to think that I'll be able to keep my van for over 10 years and say I have over 200,000 miles. I know my old '98 Olds Achieva was a fairly crappy car, but with my meticulous care, it's going strong with over 125,000 miles. I had a 1988 Corolla that had more than 140,000 miles and the only thing that killed it was a thief that crashed it!
  • dm3dm3 Posts: 25
    Good luck w your new Sienna.

    We had a 2005 Sienna and found it to feel weaker than our 2006 GC SXT with the 3.8L. If you drag race the two, the Sienna could beat the GC hands down, but in normal driving the Sienna has less torque and you always had to punch it to even do normal driving. Our mileage was poor as a result, averaging 19mpg in city/highway mix. The GC is much more able to stay with normal traffic without ragging on the engine. Its gas mileage is better as a result, averaging 21mpg in the same mix that we used the Sienna.

    As the old adage goes, people buy horsepower but drive torque.

    Of course, YMMV.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    I know my old '98 Olds Achieva was a fairly crappy car, but with my meticulous care, it's going strong with over 125,000 miles.

    I had a 1983 Chevy Cavalier all thru the 80s....180k miles, brakes, plugs, muffler, plug wires and starter!!! Oil changes every 3000 miles. BEST car ever!!!!

    Had 2 Caravan for company cars...never any problems, 70k miles on each one. My personal 2005 DCX GC SXT has been great. I'm one of the lucky ones....got an employee's price and all rebates and got $10k off. Loving my DCX minivan!!!
  • gman73gman73 Posts: 3
    I have an '05 SXT with 31,000 miles on it (bought 4/04). We are on our 3rd PAIR of front rotors, 3rd pair of front brake pads, and 2nd pair of rear brake pads. In addition to that, we have had it in for service for the following:

    Slow moving driver's power window (3 times).
    Driver's window fell off track
    Wiring harness in side door pinched, causing power door not to work.
    Two bad spark plugs and plug wires.

    Needless to say, I am very disappointed with this vehicle. The service manager says that the brakes normally wear out quickly because it is a "heavy-duty" vehicle. Bull!

    Anyone else having these issues?
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    When someone who's owned a vehicle for a number of years, joins and posts major problems the same day. Just skeptical here.
  • Hey everybody, my wife and i have about $15,000 to spend and I see plenty of low mileage Dodge Caravans as well as Mazda MPV's for sale all over California, usually being former short-term rentals/shuttles. I drove a Dodge Caravan and really enjoyed the ride. The interior parts seemed cheaporama, though! My dad owned a Caravan when I was in High School and HATED IT. It broke down constantly, (it was a 1990 model) and we had constant electrical problems. I drove an MPV and LOVED the way it drove, thought the interior was sweet and generally wife and I adored it. Problem is, I'm not sure if the reliability is up to the old school Mazda I grew up with. So many Ford parts, Duratec motor/Ford Transmission, I read in Consumer Reports about bad trannys and other things. JD Power rated it really low in mechanical quality. How do you think the Mazda stands vs. Dodge Caravan, Kia Sedona? My dad has a 1996 Mazda MPV and that thing is bullet proof!! He's driven that thing over 110,000 and only replaced batteries and tires! Has the same brakes on it as from factory, everything! Timing belt had to be changed, obviously, but that rig is solid!! That being said, it had a REAL Mazda engine, not a Ford. What do you guys think? I see some awesome deals with Dodge and a mechanic I know at a local Dodge dealer said they never hardly see Caravans except to service them. He said Neons and Intrepids are the usual bad apples.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While I've no experience with MPVs at all, I can say that the Caravans were significantly bumped up in quality starting in about 1996 (my Brother had a 1990 and we've got a 1998, no comparison at all). As for reliability, our 1998 (we also have a 2003) currently has 109,000 on it and has required a total of $240 in unscheduled maintenance, comprised of one battery, one door light switch, one vacuum battery tray and one headlight (I replaced both just to be safe). Sounds pretty reliable to me. ;-)

    By the way, have you heard that Dodge is working on a new model, I've heard that it's going to be called the "Ornithopter". ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I believe with the current rebates, if you watch the advertisements in major metropolitan areas, you can get a 2006 Dodge Carvan for between $14,000 and $15,000. You should check them out. I have one and the 4 cylinder is pretty peppy, plus I get 23.5 mpg on my mostly freeway, mostly free-flowing commute. On road trips I have gotten 25 mpg. If you can live with manual windows, mirrors, and locks, you still get aircon and a nice interior.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I have seen some ads for stripper 4-cylinder Caravans for about $13k. But since loaded Grand Caravan SXTs with Stow-n-Go, 3.8L V6, power doors/seat/windows/locks etc. etc. can be had for under $20k, or $99/month lease, and these large vans get 25 mph on the highway too (I know because I had a 3.8L Grand Caravan), why go with the smaller van unless you really need a short van?
  • Hey I also have a '05 SXT with 33,000 miles. I can tell you that I also have the brake dust problem, but there are more important issues you should read about... my :lemon: was bought in may of 2004. I have your problems, and also, my car will turn off while I am driving. I am trying to work with Chrysler, but unfortunately chrysler has pretty much told me to get a lawyer.Even after my car turned off on the expressway and I almost got creamed with my two young childrne in the car. Needless to say I am not happy. In the past year and a half my SXT has tuened off three times, I have had to be jumped-started over a dozen times, and I have heard that this has happened from too many keys on my keyring (I had 5: the van key, my house key, and our parents house keys.) to spark plugs (they have been replaced i believe 3 times) to a bad battery, and now they say it is a fuel pump. Not to mention countless other repairs to the vehicle.
    Please let me know if you have had your situation solved??
    Anyone else??? HELP!!
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Posts: 249
    4th generation Caravans are very heavy vehicles, and tend to roll forever when you ease off the gas pedal (unless climbing a grade) I purchased my Caravan with 24,000 miles, and had to replace the front pads immediately, because they were worn to the metal. I now have close to 50,000 miles, and the replacement pads look almost the same as the day I installed them. I read many posts about early brake wear in Caravans, and I am willing to bet driving habits have a lot to do with it. I have seen many people who either have their foot on the gas or on the brake, not anticipating stops, and never rolling to a braked stop, but like I said from the gas pedal right to the brake pedal. With the weight and inertia of these vans, the brakes will not last if driven this way.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I agree with you. I drove a '99 GCS for five years and nearly 60k miles and never had to repair the brakes.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    As I just posted in another forum:

    2004 Town and Country. Bought 2/23/04. 25000 miles. Absolutely flawless operation. Just oil changes and tire rotations. Nothing else.
  • eggi541eggi541 Posts: 1
    We got our van in October 2004 with 200 miles on it being sold as a brand new van. We have had in to the dealership many times for repairs. The first issue was an interior flaw where the rubber molding around the passenger door was not installed correctly. Took the dealership 3 times to fix it. The next issue was when we would back you the vehicle would sometime make a weird noise and shake. They said it was the vehicles callipers. after taking it in 3 times for repairs on that it still makes the noise. We are on our 2nd dvd plaer and now it has to be replaced again because it has stopped playing dvds and will only play cds. afew months ago it was rainning really bad and my windshield wipers stopped working while i was driving on the highway. I pulled off the road and turned the car on and off and they worked fine after that. The newest thing that has happened is i had the carr in park idling on a flat surface while i went to run into a local store and the van drove 3 feet into the wall. i went back to the car and it was still in park. I put it in reverse and it made that noise that it would sometimes make and the van shook. then when i put it in park again the van started to go forward again. so i turned off the engine waited a couple minutes then started the van and it appeared fine, but because of that i had the van towed to the dealer and we have been without a second vehicle for 2 weeks now. Chrysler had an independent inspecter checking the van 4 days ago and yesterday we got a call to from the dealership saying the inspecter is finished with the van but told the repair department he will have a report on his findings sent to chrysler and can not tell them anything. The van just hit 20,000 miles on it the day before that happened.
  • gman73gman73 Posts: 3
    Luckily, I purchased the 100,000 mile extended warranty with the van. Our sales person has left the dealership, but may be advising us on how to enter into arbitration to have the van replaced (a friend of our did that on her Caravan a few years ago). If we come to that, I will definitely not buy another GC, but unfortunately may be forced into another Chrysler product.
  • shirlieshirlie Posts: 1
    We have a 2003 Town and Country which has been making a "whinning" noise for a while I took it to be serviced today to be told the thing needs replacing! It is only just out of wararenty and has done 31000 miles can nayone help?
    Thanks
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I thought the 2003 DC vans still had the 7/70 powertrain warranty?
  • mojdodyrmojdodyr Posts: 22
    I had my 03 GC SE for 2 years and 8 months. Great Van with very comfortable and pleasant drive. I had bought it from the auction for 14.4k when it was 1 y.o.
    Transmission had to be rebuilt at 48k - but yes, it was covered by Chrysler 7/70 extended warranty (we had to pay 100$ deductible). When I had tried to use it as a trade-in for 06 Sienna I was only offered 4k for the van 2 months ago - needless to say, it ruined the deal. I had just sold it for 9900$ via internet, but it took awhile.
    My take on that - I would never buy a new Dodge or Chrysler minivan, but might consider 1-2 years old if they come with extended warranty. It is a shame that Chrysler can't fix their reliability problems. They should really get their act together or they would eventually follow the path of GM and Ford. How come Hyundai can offer 10/100.000 bumper to bumper warranty and Chrysler can't even keep their 70k powertrain one?
    Otherwise - great van. Love the exterior look and drive. But I just can't be sitting on the ticking bomb and wait for something to go wrong with it (and expect to pay a fortune for a fix).
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    Mojdodyr shared:
    "My take on that - I would never buy a new Dodge or Chrysler minivan, but might consider 1-2 years old if they come with extended warranty."


    Even better than what you advise is to simply take Chrysler up on one of their $229 per month "Sign-and-Drives" on a *new* fully loaded SXT Dodge Grand Caravan for 27 months like I did. I actually am paying $195 per month, but I paid the $800 start-up fee up front (tax, 1st month's payment, etc.)

    My van has everything but the leather and DVD player. All the power vents, sliding doors, rear hatch, rear heat/AC ,etc.

    In 27 months I simply hand the keys back and say "Go away!"

    I know that this deal is $1.5k more costly than your experience, but the combination of a more feature-laden vehicle and guaranteed entity to hand the van back to makes it worth it. Another thing going for us is that my wife doesn't have to commute too far... otherwise leasing wouldn't be practical for us then.

    -SM
  • mojdodyrmojdodyr Posts: 22
    It does sound very attractive - no doubt about it. For almost the same price you got to drive brand new van and don't have to bother about getting rid of it. I just can't find anything close to that deal in my local Denver papers, nor on Dodge website. Is it a national program? Is that how they call it -"Sign and Drive"? So, you had paid 800$ up front and than 195$ per month? Almost sounds like too good to be true deal.
  • dm3dm3 Posts: 25
    Have an 06 GC SXT, 7k miles on it, no problems, great van so far. Much better than a 05 Sienna I recently ditched.

    But I would feel more comfortable with an extended warranty. A 7yr/100k miles bumper to bumper $0 deductible manufacturers warranty on a 06 Sienna costs ~$800 discounted on the internet. Lowest price I've been able to find online for the Chrysler is ~$2500.

    Does anyone know of any places (dealers) which give deep discounts on the Chrysler extended warranty?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Unfortunately I think the great lease deals on the GC SXT expired on April 1. I have seen the lease payments shoot up since then. Before March 31, I was seeing $99/month with $2990 down, or $219/month with nothing down. Now it's more like $179/month with $3000 down.
  • mojdodyrmojdodyr Posts: 22
    bummer. Anybody knows where can I find a comparison between Toyota, Honda and Dodge safety wise?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    That's pretty easy by visiting the two sites that have crash test ratings: www.iihs.org and www.safercar.gov (NHTSA). Another factor is that the DC vans don't have stability control available but Toyota and Honda do.
  • dm3dm3 Posts: 25
    The Chrysler does really well in NHTSA tests but gets dinged on the IIHS tests because it was not tested for side impact.

    I don't understand why in all these years IIHS has never tested a Chrysler minivan in side impact.

    And even the front impact on one of the sites is a 2001 model. Chrylser has added the knee airbag since then, I would assume it performs better in front impact than the tests indicate.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    The IIHS probably hasn't tested the DC vans yet because they sell in such small numbers, don't have much market share compared to other mini-vans.

    Oh, wait... never mind. :blush:
  • maguiremaguire Posts: 1
    My 2005Town&Country with 30,000miles has been giving me trouble with the brakes since I last had pads/rotors turned in Oct 2005 (car was just over a year!). Now the dealership says nothing is wrong and this noise I hear is normal. It feels like the ABS is coming on too early going slow in the neighborhood! I have called Chyrsler and reported this problem and my next step is talking wo a regional manager about this! The pads were replaced last month again and the rotors turned again since October. Can this cylinder be the problem?
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    You should never feel the ABS engaging unless you are slamming on the brakes full force coming down from speed. When your in the neighborhood the ABS system should be invisible. Sounds like your pads may be sticking...
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Warped rotors? if the rotors were turned because they were warped once, they are even thinner and better chance of warping again/more. Most independent brake shops offer free inspections. Let them test drive it for you.
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