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2008 Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan

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  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Well, after driving several other brands of van, including the Kia, I still feel my 2006 grand STX has them beat. More solid, more power, better fuel real world fuel economy (3.8L), and the Stow and Go is the icing on the cake. The Odyssey is nicer looking, but the more solid feel of the caravan, the lower price, and the stow and go make me pick the Caravan. I do feel the 3.3L engine, while adequate, is not enough engine.

    I tried a sedona on a recent trip, and it felt very sluggish and stodgy...a bit like the 90's era grand caravan. The highway fuel economy was about 3 MPG less than my 3.8. The only good thing I can say about the Sedona is that it rode better than the Kia Amanti, which is supposedly a luxury car.

    Does anyone here have an opinion about the new chrysler 4.0L vs the 3.8?

    I just passed 66K and other than a leaking rack, the van has been flawless.

    Note: I just replaced the factory Bridgestone's with Cooper CS4's. What a difference in feel and road noise!
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    And see, I bought a used 2007 DGC last year and have over 43,000 miles on it with absolutely no problems. The only thing that's been replaced/repaired, except for consumables such as oil and filters, has been the front pads at 40,000 miles. I seriously considered a used Odyssey but, 1) I had good luck (10 years and 174,000 miles on out '94 DC) and 2) a comparable year and mileaged Odyssey would have been $5K+ more than the DGC.

    People's experiences with Chrysler/Dodge minivans seem to be all over the map.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Look, I also had a 2005 Grand Caravan, which was definitely better than my 2008 Town & Country. Not in terms of features, but handling, and some other minor things, was a bit better. IMO Chrysler took a step backwards with the new design. Also, entry/exit is more difficult due to being much taller for some reason.

    What I meant to say, that I never expected the Kia to feel so much lighter, faster, better bump absorbing, less body lean, easier controls, than my once-beloved Town & Country. But it did. And that was my shock. Hyundai/Kia are improving with giant steps. And Chrysler?????

    Anyway, we're not into comparisons here, but I just wanter to air out my feelings, my thoughts... That's all. Back to the Chrysler Town & Country........
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,276
    I agree; from what I read here, the experiences are all over the map. I think that points to poor quality control in the factories, but it also does not mean everyone buying a Chrysler van is destined for hardship. There will be some folks on either extreme, and most right down or near the middle.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    While I kinda agree with that statement, I think the Caravan has a worse than deserved reputation due to some quality problems from 1984-1998. Since then it has been much more reliable. My family had 1986, 1989, and 1991 models. All had more issues than normal. Since then, I've had a 1998 Grand Sport (Good until it hit 8 years old at 140,000 miles, when tranny went out, 2000 Grand Sport (perfect for the 2 years 80,000 miles I had it), 2002 Grand Sport (perfect for the 2 years, 75,000 I had it), 2006 Grand STX (only had a problem with power door locks).

    My Mother still has a 2002 Caravan Sport which has also been flawless. Two close friends each drive a Grand STX or T&C Touring which also have been flawless in the 2 years they've owned them. I know these are just anecdotes, but the truth is that you rarely hear the success stories. I don't blame people for complaining when they get a lemon, but I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater either. I just hope Chrysler hangs on, because the Caravan is their only vehicle that reigns supreme in it's market segment, and I hope to keep buying them.
  • drewdldrewdl Posts: 2
    Did you ever find out what this rattle was? I have a 2008 Dodge Caravan, and when it rains, I have a horrible rattle in the rear. It usually happens as I am coming to a stop, or when turning left, but it only happens when it rains???
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I complained to my dealer. I think there is a service bulletin for the muffler rattle. They replaced it (it took them a week waiting for the replacement part to arrive) and I think it's now better. In yesterdays rain I did only once felt it slightly, but otherwise was good during the day.
  • atcmmgcatcmmgc Posts: 4
    I have an 08 SXT 3.8, now has 7,300 miles. Changed oil at local tire place around 6,000 miles from 5w-30 to 5w-20 this time as dealership is to lazy to carry the proper oil. In town mileage increased to about 16 right away and engine seems to rev a little better. Took a rare highway trip and mileage indicator was reading 24-25mpg. so I guess it can get decent higway mileage but i drive mostly in town. Got home drove the last 3/4 of tank in town and ended up at 18.6mpg. I don't know if I'm happy with that or pissed off. On a side note I had a Sedona for a few hours the other day and in most respects its way ahead of the Dodge. Better ride, much better acceleration(it loves to rev) and mostly nicer interior materials, quieter engine,etc. I need a minivan and want to buy american, but IMO any of the imports are a better long term bet. Face it the only real thing the dodge/chrysler have going for them is stow-n-go and price. You can buy a Sedona pretty darn cheap too though. The squeaks,rattles continue. Only 17 months to go on my lease Yay. I wonder who I'll turn it in to when all the dodge dealers are out of business by then? :lemon:
  • I've got a 2008 GC SXT early build (10/08). It has lots of great features, but has had plenty of problems:

    - Power doors open back up just as they hit the closed position. Dealer has upgraded software several times and it still happens every week or so. Quite a security issue--we've returned to the car a couple of times to find the door open since we don't always stick around to watch it close. Has anyone heard of a definitive fix for this?

    - MyGig freezes with no sound, can't adjust volume. Seems to have been fixed by latest software upgrade (fingers crossed).

    - Rear hatch shock sticky, so it doesn't open all the way and then won't power close. Dealer is replacing on next visit.

    - Loud whine from rear at highway speeds. I found that gently pressing the brake at speed several times clears the noise. Will have dealer check rear brakes next visit.

    All the bells and whistles are nice when they work. The Backseat TV is great. Stow 'n go is fantastic. No other minivan was able to get rid of 2nd row seats so neatly. 4.0L Engine is powerful but noisy.

    GPS is fine, but the fact that you can't use it while driving makes it virtually useless. If I'm driving and need to find nearest gas or food, I don't want to have to pull over to do it. Does anyone know if the dealer can override this?

    Is there a list of all dealer-programmable settings for the GC on the web somewhere? I couldn't find anything via Google.

    I was able to get the Chrysler lifetime warranty when I bought the car, so if they can stay in business, I won't have to pay for repairs ($50 deductible), but overall the car has been very disappointing in quality, despite having many good features. Make sure you get all the SW upgrades.
  • joejr303joejr303 Posts: 3
    The window work fine. Problem is when the window is in the down position,and then use the auto/express feature the window goes up and then goes back down. Happened 6 times in 2 months. Dealer could never get it to happen when they have the car.

    Has any one else had this problem??

    Thanks
  • wzman1wzman1 Posts: 8
    Wife and I own a 2008 Grand Caravan SXT, 4.0. Had opportunity this week to rent a Kia Sedona LX while travelling, and had high hopes based on your comparison. I'm afarid I can't agree with any of your observations. The only way the Kia bested our own Dodge was in sticker price. We liked power,handling,ride, appointments, etc, in our Dodge better than the Kia.
  • kkellnkkelln Posts: 8
    Hi; There is a fix for the MyGig. Please note that most other makers of minivans do the same thing and limit the nav and entertainment system function for the front seat while the vehicle is at speed.

    Here is a link to the product: http://www.coastaletech.com/MYGIG.htm
    Copy and paste it in your browser address bar. Scroll down a bit and watch the demonstration video. As you will see, ALL factory options are unlocked. So, while driving, you can now use all nav features, watch a movie, or even view the backup camera.

    If you are impressed, go to ebay and search for MYGIG LOCK PICK. You can usually find it on there for quite a bit cheaper than ordering direct from the maker. Finally, there are other products out there too, but this is generally the one most recommended. BE CAREFUL ON EBAY. There are several knock-off -look exactly the same but are not LOCK PICK brand and I can not vouch for how well they work (or do not work).

    Hope this helps!
    Kirk
  • kkellnkkelln Posts: 8
    There are some pretty spanky accessories available for the 08 and 09 T&C and GC so I thought we should compile a list and maybe share some information about where to buy and reviews of the products. Maybe we could nest the reviews and sources in responses so that the list of accessories stays tight. Just a thought. I will start out the list with a few MUST HAVES for every proud T&C owner:

    1. MyGig Lockpick. This little devil box turns off all the My Gig safety features. Now you can watch movies (including auxiliary and VES sources), use all navigation features (including address search), and even watch the backup camera - all while driving! For more information on this product visit the following link (or google Mygig lockpick), scroll down and watch the demo video - you will love it: link title

    2. Weathertech Floor Liner. These puppies are made of slightly rigid plastic that still has a grippyness of rubber. The are digitally molded to fit over almost every inch of carpet and hang just a little over the door trim. So, you get nearly perfect protection for your carpets. Plus they have color matched to all production interior options! They are expensive, but just remember, a dollar isn't worth a dime until you spend it. This is one product you will praise for years to come, after you make peace with the price. Here is the link:
    link title

    3. Chrome Pillar Posts. The T&C Limited is an eye catcher. But with a few more additions, it will become a chrome-clad automotive Adonis. These are easy to install, inexpensive, and make my ride look incredible. Here is a link - the pictures look good but really dont do it justice - in person, these things really, REALLY look great! link title

    4. Chrome Fender Trim. After the pillar posts are nicely sparked, the only thing missing is fender trim. Click on this link then pick year, make, and model, and then click on the picture link to see it installed on the 08 T&C - B&I is the best in the business! link title

    5. Blind Spot Obstacle Detection. This uses infrared sensors mounted inside the mirror cover to detect when an object enters the blind spot of the vehicle on either the driver or passenger side. This will be standard equipment on all vehicles in the near future and could certainly prevent an accident. Retails for $580 but can be had for $450 and maybe even less. Here is a link for more information and Mopar part number: link title

    6. Update MyGig Software. Most dealers have no idea how to do this. The most recent version of the software is 1.220. If you have anything earlier, UPDATE NOW! It is easy and addresses a lot of bugs. It is also FREE! Here is a link - read it carefully - there is a step by step instructions and pictures to show you what you will see. A 5 year old could do it. link title

    7. Update the Grace Notes database. Grace Notes is the database inside the MyGig that allows you to see the names of songs and related information when playing back from the internal hard drive. Database and instructions available from this link (when you get there, click on GRACENOTE on the left-hand side): link title

    8. Update the Nav Database. I am reluctant to recommend this except to people really needing it or for the rich who will not mist the $220! They claim to have increase the number of points of interest by over 10% but tehre are some markets, especially in Canada, where there have been no new data in 3 years! Call the company and ask specific questions about what has been updated before you buy. All sales final. NO REFUND! Here is the link: link title

    9. Invisible Mask Paint Protector. Invismask and 3M are the top makers of these products, though there are other competitors. This is an incredibly durable super thin film that is glued onto the paint. I have had it on my 300C for over 3 years and not even 1 chip or ding in the area protected by the film (which is the entire front of the car) plus it has not yellowed in any way. This product is an absolute mast have if you want your vehicle to keep looking new for the next 5 years. Finally, while the makers assure you that you can install it yourself... DONT! Get a professional and CHECK THEIR WORK before you hire them. Puting this stuff on the lower bumper is harder than hanging walpaper with your feet! link title

    10. Factory running boards and the upgraded trim kit.
    So this is my list. What is yours? Also, there are a few things I am still looking for:

    1. A chromed cover (or replacement part) for the black plastic fog lamp holders.
    2. A chrome replacement grill - something big and bold like my Boss grill for the 300c

    Kirk
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,276
    That is quite a list, Kirk! There are some excellent recommendations on there, especially the Weathertech floor liners and the invisible mask. The floor liners are fantastic and well worth the money.

    Regarding the blind spot detectors, I recommend 2" convex mirrors, which stick on the surface of the side view mirrors (I mount mine at the outer, lower corner on each side), to eliminate blind spots. These cost about $4 total and completely eliminate bind spots along both sides. Of course, they do require the driver to actually check them.... Just when someone makes something that is foolproof, along comes a new model of fool. ;)
  • macusermacuser Posts: 23
    Is is possible to have a portable Garmin GPS (nuvi) work with (show up) on the MyGig screen?
  • kkellnkkelln Posts: 8
    If you have a Garmin with audio output, then you could connect it to the microjack of the aux input on the mygig (RER version). If you have the VES, you could connect the Garmin audio output the VES RCA input. Very few GPS systems include video out. If yours does and, again, you have the VES option in your Chrysler, then you can connect the video out into the VES RCA video input. All this only turns the garmin into a source that can be played on the MyGig. It does not integrate the nav functionality of the garmin into the Mygig. That is to say, there is no way to use the Nav functions of the mygig by serving this function over to a Garmin but keeping control of the nav through the MyGig.

    Hope this helps.

    Kirk
  • trupp22strupp22s Posts: 1
    Here is the down and dirty of the TSB for that rather spooky winshield howl/whistle/honk.

    If your dealer can't find it.... Show 'em this. It's TSB: 23-023-08

    SUBJECT:
    Whistle, Honk Or Howl Sound Coming From "A" Pillar Or Windshield Area
    OVERVIEW:
    This bulletin involves applying clear flowable silicone sealer to the backside of the
    windshield molding lip seal to adhere the lip seal to the A-Pillar.
    MODELS:
    2008 (RT) Town & Country/Grand Caravan
    SYMPTOM/CONDITION:
    The customer may experience a whistle, honk or howl sound from the A-Pillar area or
    windshield area of A-Pillar on either side of the vehicle. A combination of high ambient
    temperatures above 32° C (90° F), high driving speeds 112 Kph (70 Mph) or higher and
    cross winds are required to make this sound occur. The condition may be intermittent or
    can be continuous when the conditions are met.
    An outer lip seal on the windshield moulding that contacts the A-Pillar may vibrate and
    cause this sound.
    DIAGNOSIS:
    If the vehicle exhibits the condition described in the Symptom/Condition, perform the
    Repair Procedure.
    PARTS REQUIRED:
    Qty. Part No. Description
    1 04467708 Clear Flowable Silicone Windshield & Glass
    Sealer - (1.5 oz. Tube) 1 Tube may service 2
    vehicles
    NUMBER: 23-023-08
    GROUP: Body
    DATE: August 1, 2008
    REPAIR PROCEDURE:
    1. Start at the top or bottom of the A-Pillar and insert a thin fiber stick between the
    A-Pillar and the windshield molding lip seal so the lip seal is lifted up and away from
    the A-Pillar. (Fig. 1).
    NOTE: A thin card (plastic) can be used as a tool to lift the lip seal from the A-Pillar if
    a thin fiber stick is not available.
    Fig. 1 A-PILLAR WINDOW MOULDING
    1 - A-Pillar
    2 - Windshield Moulding Lip Seal
    3 - Windshield Moulding
    4 - Windshield
    5 - Silicone Sealant Applied to Back Side of Lip
    6 - Windshield Moulding Lip Seal Lifted from A-Pillar
    NOTE: The area where the sealer is applied is narrow. Carefully cut the silicone
    nozzle tip at the narrowest point at an angle to be able to apply the silicone
    into the area described.
    2. Insert the nozzle of the silicone sealant in between the A-Pillar and windshield molding
    lip just behind the fiber stick.
    3. Move the fiber stick slowly along the A-Pillar while allowing the silicone to flow onto the
    back side of the molding lip and A-Pillar.
    4. Proceed as far along the A-Pillar as possible. Do not overfill cavity. There must be an
    adequate volume of silicone to adhere the tip of the lip seal to the A-Pillar.
    5. Wipe the A-Pillar surface clean of any excess (exposed) silicone sealant.
    6. Allow sufficient time for the newly applied sealer to air dry.
    POLICY:
    Reimbursable within the provisions of the warranty.
    23-023-08 -2-
    TIME ALLOWANCE:
    Labor Operation
    No:
    Description Amount
    23-50-25-90 Adhere Windshield Moulding Lip to
    A-Pillar (B)
    0.3 Hrs.
    FAILURE CODE:
    ZZ Service Action
    -3- 23-023-08
  • bigsky10bigsky10 Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    I agree with you Spooked, "CHRYSLER LIFETIME POWERTRAIN WARRANTY SHOULD COVER ANY POWERTRAIN PROBLEM THAT MIGHT COME ABOUT", the problem many people along with myself are having is The Chrysler is not standing behind the Dealer who are not standing behind the WARRANTY. I have been to the local dealer 6 times with a transmission problem that started at 7500 miles on my 2007 Town and Country Van. I have now 21,000 miles on the van and still have the problem. The dealer is telling me Chrysler is writing a software update. I finally contacted Chrysler themselves 4 time and after two years I still have the same problem.

    I do agree with you about buying American. the problem I see in buying American is there is no integrity in the American manufactures anymore. It is difficult to know where the American manufacture makes his product. I happen to also have a 1997 Pontiac which is a General Motors (made in America). Most of the nuts and bolts on it are metric and there are stickers all over it Made in Canada. I also am 62 and I guess I just don't remember when America went to the "Metric System". A warranty is only as good as those who stand behind it.
  • jeffuhdejeffuhde Posts: 10
    Kirk,
    Ran across your post and used the MyGig webpage to reload my operating system for the van - great link! My nav system was "choking" and not updating the display map or the traffic with Sirius. Went to that webpage and downloaded the latest version of MyGig and FOLLOWED the instructions to a "T" which is a must. Worked like a charm! Agree with the weather Tech mats as well - 3 small kids and they are a life saver! Great post!
    Jeff
  • theflushtheflush Posts: 100
    I am looking at buying a used van and have looked at some 08 T&C Touring and GC SXTs. I can't tell much difference other than a couple pieces of plastic trim. Is there any reason to prefer one over the other other than some trim?
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