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2009 GRAND CARAVAN/T&C FEED BACK

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Comments

  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    I honestly am not too concerned that GMAC is taking over; I wouldn't be too surprised to see Chrysler/GMAC offer similar, or better "deals" this month, or possibly later in June...Either way I'm a fairly patient guy; don't need the mini-van just yet ;)
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    I would like to see parts onsale. I would like to swap out my radio as it did not come with navigation or blue tooth or DVD.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Data point. All my vehicles get less MPG when my wife drives.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Looks like you will get 4K plus 1K(return customer) plus 1K credit union discount. Maybe another dealer discount in addition to that. Ready to buy another one?
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    Last month many here felt I should offer $10,000 off the MSRP; anyone think I could get the $10 grand, or more this month?

    Took a Sienna LE8 out for a spin last night; thought it was nicer than the Odyssey EX (Sienna has a softer ride/less road noise), but the Mrs, & I still like the T&C better :)

    Now if we can only get this bloody re-financing done.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Depends on if it is loaded. If it is you should try again and make an offer. 10K is a bridge too far in my opinion but give it a try. Most likely it will be 7-8K if you are lucky.
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    Can anyone here give me an idea of the reliability of both the 3.8, & 4.0 engines offered?...At this point I'm impartial; the T&C my wife, & I drove had the 3.8, & it seemed adequate.

    Is the sport tuned suspension on the Dodge GC anything like the Odyssey?...We test drove the Odyssey, & didn't care for the ride since we could feel every crack/bump from the wonderful roads here in WI (heavy on the sarcasm - roads here are pretty bad)...The standard suspension we had in the T&C seemed quite nice.

    Thanks in advance!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The 4.0 engine is a fairly new design that has yet to be on the market long enough for reports of high mileage to start hitting the internet, that said, the 3.8 has been around for at least fifteen years and has a reputation of lasting for hundreds of thousands of miles with just regular maintenance.

    The thing is, there is, in my mind at least, little doubt that the 4.0 will be capable of running for hundreds of thousands of miles as well.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    From what I recall (from reading an article in Motor Trend a few years ago) isn't the 3.8 a 3.3 with an increase in both bore, & stroke?...Anywho it's good to hear from a "salty vet" like you Shipo on these engines (I'm new to all things MOPAR) ;)

    The Mrs likes the looks/styling of the T&C more so than the GC; not many 4.0 in the T&C so it looks like I may be "stuck" with the 3.8; no big deal to me since I'm more concerned with long-term reliability than just about anything else.

    Test drove the Sienna LE8 last week; nice, but we still like the T&C best.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We've had two 3.8 liter engines and they have proven to be HIGHLY reliable. The engine in our 1998 was running as well the day I traded it in at 170,000 miles as it did the day I drove it off the showroom floor, that and it was still delivering fuel economy that was as good as anything it had ever recorded. The engine in our 2003 only has 121,000 miles on it and it too is running as efficiently as it did the day it came off the showroom floor. So far at least, neither engine has required anything more than periodic oil and filter changes and a tune-up at the 100,000+ mile mark.

    FWIW, I ran/run Mobil 1 in both engines, and once outside the warranty period I switched them from the 0W-30 grade to 0W-40. I've had three Used Oil Analysis tests run on oil from each van and per the results, the 0W-40 is good to go for about 12,000 miles (altough to be on the safe side I target my oil changes at 10,000 miles).

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • desi1desi1 Posts: 40
    Shipo,

    Your expert comments/feedback would be appreciated...

    We got a 2009 T&C 25 Anniv Edition 28L Pkg & 4.0 engine upgrade a month ago. In addition, we got the B2B (not exactly but close) Maxcare Lifetime/Unlimited Miles warranty from Chrysler ($1875).

    I have read your detailed comments on 0W-40 on your other posts and want to ask what should be the recommended schedule for me to follow for oil changes moving forward, keeping in mind the lifetime warranty, some dealers' reluctance to add 0W-40 (from others' posts), etc., in mind? We intend to keep it until the wheels fall off.

    I anticipate running on the current oil until the 1st oil chnage and would be interested in switching to your recommended 0W-40.

    Thanks,

    SS
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    This whole lifetime warranty think kinda puts a kink into what I'd do if I was to buy a new minivan. As a general rule, I follow the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations until the warranty period runs out (both of our vans came with 3/36 warranties; we somehow missed out on the 7/70 by a few months in each case), and then "do what I wanna do" (which in the case of our two DGC was to switch them to Mobil 1 0W-40 and extend the Oil Change Interval (OCI)).

    In the case of both the 3.8 and the 4.0 liter engine, they call for oil that meets the Chrysler MS-6395 oil specification, primarily 5W-20 for the 3.8 and 10W-30 for the 4.0. However, given that I'm an absolute believer that the lower the first number and the higher (to a point) the second number, the better protected my engines will be, I'd most likely use Mobil 1 0W-30 for the life of either engine. Why? A few points:

    - The 3.3 and 3.8 liter engines originally called for 5W-30 (and still do when sold in Europe), so "something-W-30" isn’t at all too thick.
    - The 4.0 calls for 10W-30.
    - Anything a conventional 5W-30 or 10W-30 can do, a synthetic 0W-30 can do better. Period, full stop, the end.
    - Mobil 1 0W-30 and 5W-30 are the only "something-W-30" oils on the market other than 10W-30 that meet the MS-6395 oil specification.

    The only other issue with regard to the lifetime warranty is that I'd be forced to stay with short oil change intervals (versus the 10,000+ mile changes that I'm using now).

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • desi1desi1 Posts: 40
    Thanks Shipo for your feedback.

    With short oil changes with 10W-30 (regular) compared to 0W-40 (or 30, synthetic), is the outcome in terms of engine protection and other benefits relatively the same?

    I am asking if a higher frequency of lower performance (only comparatively) regular oil changes will compensate for the lack of higher performance synthetic oil?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Will a higher frequency of changes with conventional oil roughly equate to the same amount of engine wear in an engine using long intervals and synthetic oil? As with most things in life, it depends.

    If you are comparing two identical vehicles, one running 10W-30 conventional oil changed every three to five thousand miles, and the other running a synthetic 0W-30 changed every ten to twelve thousand miles, and both are started up once per tank of fuel and driven non-stop until the next fill-up is necessary, then there will be virtually no difference between the wear on the two engines.

    However, given the superior cold flow properties of a 0W-30 compared to a 10W-30, if the two subject vehicles are driven in cold weather and/or are frequently cold-started and only driven a few miles per start, then the engine with the 0W-30 will last significantly longer, in spite of the fact that the engine with synthetic oil will be run much further per oil change.

    Best regards.
    Shipo
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    My two cents on the 3.8/3.3 pushrod V6... we purchased a new 1994 Grand Caravan ES in July 1994. The engine was bullet-proof until November 2007, when the front bank head gasket let go at 162,000 miles. I had changed coolant religiously at 24,000 mile intervals, but I guess it was just "time." I was surprised, but not shocked. Nevertheless, I replaced both head gaskets myself - took some time - but, was actually a pretty easy job for one who's used to working on European cars which are much more difficult to work on.

    I'd been using Mobil 1 5W-30 since break in, and while I had the heads off, you could still see the factory cross-hatch honing marks in the cylinder bores.

    The 3.3L, although down on torque in the GC, was an excellent engine, and typically delivered 26MPG on the highway while using the A/C. The only other engine-related part replaced over the 13 year period was one serpentine belt tensioner and a starter.

    The bottom end on the 3.8/3.3 isn't the strongest in the world, but for everyday driving, this engine is very reliable. I'd vote for the 3.8L.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, I pulled the heads off of our 1998 3.8 at 143,625 miles in search of a slow coolant leak (which turned out to be a $0.10 "O" ring elsewhere in the cooling system), and while I didn't find a leaking head-gasket, I too saw a full compliment of honing marks on the cylinder walls (see the picture in the post at the following link). Good stuff that Mobil 1. :)

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1cb076/92

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    I hate to say it, but I saw that coming. I actually expected Cerberus to sell of the company in chunks to the highest bidders. Hopefully this development will work out to the benefit of current owners, whose "lifetime" warranties might actually be worth something in the coming years.
  • desi1desi1 Posts: 40
    Thanks for all the learning.

    Will the warranty be voided if I insisted and used 0W-30 synthetic and changed oil every 10K miles.

    I have not had an opportunity to go through the fine print on the warranty so am asking if you already have this information.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Getting outside of my areas of knowledge here...

    That said, it is my understanding that there is no way for Chrysler to "Void your warranty", however, any given dealer can refuse to perform any engine work should it become necessary; and if worse comes to worst, that will leave you to bring a law suit against them and Chrysler.

    The 0W-30 isn't the issue as it's MS-6395 certified, however, the extended oil change interval is problematic. In theory at least, you can have your oil analyzed every so often, and that in turn will show you information that will most likely point to a problem if one is in the making, or (more likely) affirm that your engine is in good health and being properly lubricated. Such UOAs will further a case against those responsible for fixing the engine should such repairs ever become necessary, however, changing the oil in time is the cheapest insurance.

    Were it that I had a new Chrysler with a "lifetime power train warranty", I'd opt for the Mobil 1 and simply change it when the maintenance system says to change it. Yes, I'll be throwing away oil that has plenty of life in it, but that's cheaper than having a UOA performed after every oil change, and cheaper still if I need to prove to a dealership that my vehicle has been properly maintained.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • desi1desi1 Posts: 40
    Okay. Thanks for the help. I will keep everyone posted of my experience once my first oil change comes due!
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    IMHO, I would use full synthetic 5W30 for the 3.8/3.3 and 10W30 for the 4.0. Keep detailed receipts for warranty purposes and change your oil when the manual says to do it or earlier. In cold climates 0W30 may be authorized. I am going to press to test at the next oil change but if they threaten to write wrong oil on the receipt I am not going there folks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    If you plan on keeping the van for a long time and live in an area where it gets cold and/or do lots of short tips with your van, then you'll be doing yourself a great disservice by using 10W-30.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • desi1desi1 Posts: 40
    Thanks for all your help!

    For reference, I am in Toledo, OH, and the temprature does go down to about -20 F. Also, we would be taking several short trips. I will keep everyone posted of my experience during the first oil change.
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    It's hot where i live man. LOL
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Then using a 0W-30 or a 5W-30 is probably of no benefit for you.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    Scheduled Delivery: 05/14/2009 SERVICE MANUALS//

    Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    1. Verify that the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
    2. Remove the dipstick tube cap.

    WARNING: There is a risk of accident from vehicle starting off by itself when engine is running. There is a risk of injury from contusions and burns if you insert your hands into the engine when it is started or when it is running. Secure vehicle to prevent it from moving off by itself. Wear properly fastened and close-fitting work clothes. Do not touch hot or rotating parts.

    3. Actuate the service brake. Start engine and let it run at idle speed in selector lever position "P".
    4. Shift through the transmission modes several times with the vehicle stationary and the engine idling.

    NOTE: When inserting dipstick special tool 9336, excess insertion force may cause the dipstick to slip past the stop on the bracket in the transmission oil pan. An approximate distance that the dipstick sould be inserted into the fill tube is 424 mm (16.69 in.).
    5. Warm up the transmission, wait at least 2 minutes and check the oil level with the engine running. Push the Oil Dipstick 9336 into transmission fill tube until the dipstick tip contacts the oil pan and pull out again, read off oil level, repeat if necessary.

    NOTE: The dipstick will protrude from the fill tube when installed.
    6. Check transmission oil temperature using the appropriate scan tool.
    7. The transmission Oil Dipstick 9336 has indicator marks every 10 mm. Determine the height of the oil level on the dipstick and using the height, the Transmission Fluid Temperature (TFT) as viewed with the scan too, and the Transmission Fluid Graph, determine if the transmission oil level is correct.
    8. Add or remove oil as necessary and recheck the oil level.
    9. Once the oil level is correct, install the dipstick tube cap
  • etpetp Posts: 153
    50% of one cd. I was expecting several CDs. Oh well!
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    Not wanting to sound redundant, but does anyone know if this package causes the ride to be a bit more harsh/bumps more pronounced?...Seems as though there are quite a few new 2009 T&C in my neck of the woods with this option; even though I don't plan on using this vehicle for towing - is it a package worth spending the extra $$$ on?
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