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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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  • We started having the same issue in December 2008. We took it to a dealer who proposed replacing up to 3 different parts (front control module, body control module, and a wiring harness - they had no clue what the real cause was). We said thanks but we can't afford that many repairs.

    It also happens to us more when it's wet out. Did you ever get a resolution?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Just completed a 2500 mile trip in my 2007 T&C LX (3.3L). Fuel economy ranged from just over 21 mpg to a high of 27.4 mpg. Also had a tank at 26 mpg and another half-tank at 25 mpg. I found that the fuel economy was dependent on wind and speed (duh). Three tanks at 21, 22, and 22 mpg were achieved with a strong headwind and speeds between 70-75 mph. The 27.4 mpg tank was achieved with an hour of 55-60 mph speeds, but the rest of the day at 70-72 mph, mild temperatures (50s-60s), and almost no wind. The 26 mpg tank was under similar conditions but a little faster speed.

    The van was fully loaded with five people, a dog, and the rear compartment stuffed up to the top edge of the 3rd row seat.

    If gas had been closer to $4/gallon rather than $1.35-1.55 a gallon, I might have watched the speed more to get better fuel economy. But with 8-12 hour days on the road, even a few mph more made a significant difference in arrival time, so I gladly paid the price at the pump.

    This was our first long trip in the T&C and it proved a great cruiser, with a smooth ride (15" wheels) and also quiet, except when we were heading into a 30-40 mph headwind. The driver's seat was very comfortable. I spent some time in the middle row and those seats weren't bad, but the cushions are noticeably firmer than in the front. My daughter staked out the 3rd row with our dog and they were very comfortable back there. All the power points came in handy for our portable DVD player, cell phones etc.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Returned recently from an extended vacation to the desert southwest from Wisconsin, driving our 2006 Grand Caravan. Overall fuel economy was 23.44. Best tank was 26.58. Worst tank was 20.99.

    Several legs of the trip included extensive mountain driving during which the fuel economy interestingly didn't suffer much. In fact the worst tank was on the drive west from St Louis to Tulsa. We must have had strong head winds during that stretch. We generally kept the speed on the freeway stretches at the speed limit of 70 or 75 mph in the western plains.

    I am pleased with the mileage, given the size of this vehicle. The 3.3 V-6 had all it could handle in the mountain driving, and if I drove in those conditions on a regular basis, would consider a larger engine version, but in our normal fairly flat daily driving, it is just fine. No vehicle problems during the trip whatsoever. It is only now at 25K on the odometer.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    That's fantastic. Well done! You can look forward to many more miles since that thing is just getting broken in!

    We recently completed a 4500 mile trip from Alaska to Pennsylvania with a '98 DGC AWD (3.8L). We averaged 21.7 mpg, with best tank at 24.6 and worst at 19.7. As with you, the worst tank was driving across South Dakota, running at 79 mph, and bucking head cross/head winds. It was a great trip. We clocked 200,000 miles just about the time we crossed the PA border. I think the 3.8L engine has plenty of power in all situations. We ran with a fairly heavy load of cargo, but the van felt quite peppy nonetheless.
  • tlkisertlkiser Posts: 1
    Hi all - I've got a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country Touring with about 53,000 mi. on it. Last week the oil light started coming on - nearly at 3months/3000 miles on the nose. Today took it in to have oil changed - repair shop says there was no oil on the dipstick and they only drained about 1 qt. There are no obvious leaks and no signs (smoke, etc.) of consumption. They don't (at this point) have any idea what is causing the consumption.
    Repair shop advises monitoring weekly - and having them do it and document so that everything is documented in case there is an issue and we need to file a claim with the extended warranty company.
    Has anyone seen anything like this? Thoughts about what might be causing and/or what we should do?
    Thanks!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Consumption of up to a quart per thousand miles would not produce any noticeable side effects, so it sounds like (for now), you should simply check your oil on a reasonable basis - once every couple of tanks or so. Waiting to check at each oil change interval is just asking for trouble. It may be that consumption did not suddenly increase, but did get to the point that the pressure was low enough to trigger the warning light. Warmer ambient temperatures, slightly more miles, etc., could all have contributed to increased consumption since the last change.

    Regular monitoring by you will help a shop determine if a problem does exist. Otherwise, like us, they are left to speculate.
  • cparentcparent Posts: 1
    Hello! We are thinking of purchasing a 2006 Grand Caravan. How would you rate your experience? Do you still have the Grand Caravan that you talked about here?

    Thank you for any help you can provide. We're in a real "pickle".

    Carol Parent
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Yes, we still have our 2007 DGC, SXT with the 3.8L engine. We bought it used in Feb 2007. It now has 46,000 miles on it. The only thing we've done to it has been oil changes, wiper blades, and front pads a couple of months ago. The passenger side window no longer works, so I am planning on taking the door apart this weekend to see what the problem may be. I figure worse case it will need a new motor/regulator assembly.

    I have no real complaints. Though, to be honest, I really wanted a Honda Odyssey, but could not justify the price difference between it and the DGC.
  • andridgeandridge Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Chrysler T&C and since last December have been adding about 1 quart every 4,000 miles. My dealership said this is normal and did not see any evidence of oil leaks or blue smoke from oil burning in the engine. For now, I check the oil every month and keep a couple quarts in the garage.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    I recently took my 2007 T&C LX in for its 60k mile servicing. I had some surprises, some pleasant and some not so pleasant. On the pleasant side, there was very little that needed attention. The serpentine belt looked good, the plugs are supposed to be good for 100k miles (per the dealer), the transmission fluid looked good, and other than the oil change and air filter replacement and a thorough check, there was little to do. Even the OEM Goodyear tires still had some life in them (more on that in the Tires & Wheels discussion).

    Except... the tie rod ends were worn to the point the dealer recommended their replacement. I was shocked that tie rods would need to be replaced on a 3-year-old van with 60k miles. Second, the front brakes needed replacement. I could understand how the pads would need to be replaced, but the dealer said the rotors could not be resurfaced and needed replacement also. Total was about $700.

    So while I am pleased that the van has very low scheduled maintenance costs for 60k miles, I am not too happy that parts like tie rod ends and front rotors should need replacement so soon.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I too am surprised (and disappointed) about the tie rod ends. But, they couldn't have been that much money, were they?

    When I replaced the front pads on our '07 DGC at 42,000 miles, the rotors looked good so I left them on. I agree with your dealer about not resurfacing the rotors. They are probably thin enough as they come from the factory. But, without having seen your rotors, I do not know if I would have replaced them or not.

    $700 seems a little high to me for front pads, rotors and tie rod ends. Pads and rotors are around $125-150 from a parts place. Tie rod ends (just the outer, I assume) can't be more than $40/each, so we're at $230 for parts, say $250 to be generous. I could do all that work in a good afternoon, maybe a day at tops. That's why I stay away for shops whenever I can.

    Maybe there was some other work done that you didn't mention.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    The total was $744 for all of the services, including the oil/filters and inspections. Also I had a $100 coupon so the actual total was $844.

    The brakes and tie rod ends were each around $350. That included a front end alignment, which seemed like a good idea given the tie rod ends were replaced.

    Had I had more time, I would have gotten estimates from another shop (not a dealer). But I was leaving in a couple of days on a trip and my wife needed the van, so I needed to get the work done. Also the van has a lifetime powertrain warranty (not the Chrysler warranty, but one I got for free when I bought the van used) which requires I pre-authorize any service work if done anyplace but the selling dealer.
  • I have a 2006 T&C as well. At 39,000 mi. (and 3,000 since last oil change), oil indicator light came on, but time to get oil changed anyway. They only drained 3 qts! Checked oil at 40,500 and looks about a qt low - at min line and was at max after oil change. Going to add a qt now, with next oil change at 42k. This van leaks absolutely no oil, so it is definitely due to consumption.

    I had never had a problem with oil consumption prior to the 36,000 mi. service. Based on my experience, I would check oil every 1,000 miles once you hit 36,000 (same time the factory warranty expires coincidentally), and keep a qt or two in the garage if it's low between oil changes.
  • frazer1frazer1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 T&C with 3.8 and my brother has a Pacifica with 3.8. Both of our Chryslers started consuming oil at about 30,000 miles. I was baffled. No leaks and no obvious burning or smoking. I mentioned it to my brother and he had the same experience. It uses 3-4 quarts between oil changes. I changed the air filter and it made a huge difference in oil consumtion on my van. It still uses oil. but only 1-2 quarts between oil changes (3000 miles).
  • abashalabashal Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 that does this also; I was told that this is common on the 3.8 engines and the dealership won't do anything about it. My guess is that the valve seals are faulty and either we'll have to get a rebuild or deal with it. And Chrysler can't understand why people don't like their vehicles...
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    How often do you all have to add oil? 3-4 qts between oil changes doesn't tell us a whole lot.

    Leaky valve stem seals manifest themselves as a brief burst of gray smoke when the engine is first started up. What happens is that when the engine sits overnight, the oil that has collected above the head seeps past the seal and into the cylinder. When you start the engine up, this oil is burned.
  • jb0120jb0120 Posts: 1
    edited June 2010
    Just purchased 08 Gr. Caravan, on several occasions alarm goes off when opening a door prior to unlocking with the RKE (remote keyless entry). Unable to shut off alarm either by pressing unlock on the RKE or inserting and starting the van? Is this normal behavior, do you have to unlock prior to opening one of the power doors or liftgate?

    Seems like it may be an issue for just one of the RKE's, have not duplicated the issue with the spare RKE?
    Cannot duplicate issue at will?
  • I've checked behind the glove box and under the dash on the passenger side for the door to change filter. The manual says 'if your car is so equipped" The maintainance mannual says to change it every 12,000. Is it likely my van doesn't have this filter?
  • kenj2kenj2 Posts: 1
    Thank you this gave the fix for my dad (it was very frustrating for him when service personel did not return the display to temperature/compass)

    Thanks again
    KenJ2
  • Hi, I have a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan with a shudder in the transmission. The gas mileage has dropped down from 21 to 16 mpg. It happens when shifting from 2nd to 3rd or from 3rd to 4th at a slow acceleration. Runs good with a heavy foot on the gas.

    Someone told me it was the torque converter. I think it is the solinoid shifting in and out of gear???
    Any advise other than a tranny rebuild?
    Uncle Hank
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