Chrysler Town & Country: 2004 and Earlier

eroferof Member Posts: 3
I am trying to deceide if I want to spend the money for a new Town and Country or keep mine awhile longer.
Can anyone with miles tell me what to expect. I have the 3.8 LXI and have maintained it as required by the maint. book. I have also used synthetic oil and changed it and the filter every 6000 miles.
What problems can I expect to see in the next 40 to 50,000 miles and what are the costs.


  • eroferof Member Posts: 3
    Sorry, I forgot to say that I now have 68000 miles on the odom.
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    Can you be a little more detailed as to your question? Do you want to know before expecting engine and trans trouble? Electrical failure? etc.

    The only reason why I can justify buying a new T&C, is if your current vechicle is not meeting all of your family needs and hasn't been very reliable.

    We have an 01 DCG EX with the same 3.8L engine and trans. with over 78K that we bought used in Sep. 03 with only 37K at that time. Our van has been very reliable with only a few small non maintence issues that were covered under warrenty. I believe your van can easily make it to over 200K if properly maintained. Cars are built a whole lot better today, then in the past, and should very easily make it over 200K. Of course with replacement of worn parts over time and use. :shades:
  • eroferof Member Posts: 3
    I was trying to get an idea from other [email protected] owners what went out at what mileage and the costs involved. For instance I have heard that around 75000 miles many owners have transmission trouble.

    So I am interested in any and all problems that have occured in vehicles with mileage greater than mine.

    150 k would be okay with me. What do you base your 200k figure on?
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Member Posts: 421
    I was trying to get an idea from other TC owners what went out at what mileage and the costs involved. For instance I have heard that around 75000 miles many owners have transmission trouble.

    Since we are talking about the 3.8L engine and trans., which by the way are the same, in both the 01 DGC and your 03 T&C. The only differences between your T&C and our DGC is the year, which ours is the first year makeover since 1996 I believe, and T&C has more luxery styling. The mechanics in both are the same as well as parts.

    So I am interested in any and all problems that have occurred in vehicles with mileage greater than mine.

    Even though we don't own a 03 T&C, I will tell you what problems we have had as well as regular wear and tear. (Remember that ours is a first year makeover. So some problems will happen and should be expected on all first year models).

    1) Both front driver and passenger power window motors and regulators needed to be replaced. (Warranty)
    2) Replaced gas cap. Seal went bad and made check engine light come on. (Warranty)
    3) Replaced battery after about 4 yrs old. (Non-warranty)
    4) Front suspension work on sway bar links, etc. (Warranty)
    5) Replaced both outer tire rods (Warranty)
    6) Replaced one power steering hose. TCB (No charge)
    7) Replaced clamps on power steering cooler. Was leaking. (No charge)
    8) Trans. has been flushed once. It's had a filter and fluid change too.
    9) Regular oil changes.
    10) Every year replace all wipers, cabin and air filter.
    11) Replaced rear lift gate latch and had computer software updated. TCB according to receipt. (Warrenty).
    12) Had both front and back rotors turned and brake pads replaced.
    13) Have replaced one tire after blow out. Soon to replace two other tires that have over 78K on them.

    *Most of these repairs were done during routine maintence visits.

    150 k would be okay with me. What do you base your 200k figure on?

    I have heard people going well over 150K on the original trans. and motor from earlier makes. Right now, we have the most reliable engine and trans. that Daimlerchrysler makes. Since they redesigned under the hood to allow for more space around the engine and trans., this allows the heat to escape which was one of the problems in premature trans. failure on the earlier model vans. Also, a lot of people were putting in the wrong trans. fluid which resulted in premature trans. failure. Only Daimlerchrysler dealers have the correct fluid for your trans. :shades:
  • fdm2000fdm2000 Member Posts: 4
    Just replaced the front disk pads on my 2004 T&C 3.3L van. The calipers are retained by two short bolts within a rubber boots. I have been unable to learn the exact torque in foot pounds for these bolts. My last van 1998 called for 35 ft/lbs.

    Does anyone have a Chrysler manual - I torqued the bolts to 32 but would like to know what the manual calls for.

    Tnanks for any assistance

  • willemwillem Member Posts: 16
    If you don't have a manual torque it the same.
    It seems a low value to me(!?)Do it common sense:
    Don't overtighten those things, but don't leave them to loose either!!!

  • fdm2000fdm2000 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the response and comment.

  • arndtarndt Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Town and Country minivan 3.8 engine just turned 77,000. I have been putting synthetic oil in it from the beginning and babying it. The engine just seized up on it last week and I need a new engine. Engine failure---it was full of synthetic oil when it happened. No leaks. No signs. I will never buy another one. I babyed it.

  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    What caused the engine to seize?
  • slacker10000slacker10000 Member Posts: 13
    I have the infamous check engine light that just came on my car. It appeared 6 months ago, changed the gas cap and was charged $120 for the cap and diagnostic check.

    Just recently, the check engine light came on again. I did a trick to do the diagnostic check myself. turning the key on and off a few times will show you the codes on the odometer. When I did this, the following codes displayed: "P1684 and P0135". Does anyone know these codes and how to fix?
  • gcommagcomma Member Posts: 1
    Wondering if someone can advise re Check Engine light going on for a 2004 T & C. We've had is service 2 times already since purchased for the same indications. First time the #3 plug was replaced. Second, all six plug wires and plugs were replace with reprogramming. Now, same indications again. I suspect one of the plugs is faulty again, but, what is the underlying problem? Now that warranty is expired, the diagnostic test is $100 just to find out. Can anyone suggest a resolution or cheaper fix?
  • brad54brad54 Member Posts: 5
    The other day I was resetting my trip odometer and suddenly the instrument panel lit up like a Christmas tree and the speedometer needle went all the way past 120mph and remained stuck on the wrong side of the pin. We were getting ready to leave for vacation and had to drive the whole trip without knowing how fast we were going. Needless to say, this added
    more stress to our trip. Has anybody got any suggestions on how to fix this without going to the dealer?
  • brad54brad54 Member Posts: 5
    I tried that and it works! Thanks!
  • vmoranvmoran Member Posts: 1
    Had the same problem and dealer told me I needed new spark plugs and wires and it would cost $415 so I went to my mechanic and he had that problem he rememberd with another town and country and it was to coil pack sure enough he replaced the coil pack it cost $140 and the problem was fixed so that could help How ever I have also had problems with the trans solenoid it has been replaced three time within not even a year noone can help me with that problem so far good luck
  • bosstradebosstrade Member Posts: 4
    We have a 2003 Town and Country that has 40K miles on it. Over the past couple of weeks there has been a rattle by the front left wheel. We took the car in today for an oil change at the dealer and they diagnosed the problem. The problem they diagnosed was "links and bushings." They are claiming they need to be replaced and the total is around 320 dollars. I have never heard of that. The car is still under warranty. Seems like an excessive cost. Any advice on what to do would be greatly appreciated.
  • gussguss Member Posts: 1,167
    We had the same problem with our 2003 and my local garage fixed it for $195. This was at 42k miles.

    This was the only non-maintenance issue we have had.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Links and Bushings have NEVER been replaced on my daughter's 1999 GC SE that has 95,000 miles on it...nor have they been replaced yet on another daughter's 2002 T&C LX that has 44,000 miles on it.
    However, each was purchased NEW by a private party and were never fleet or rental units.
  • bmorronebmorrone Member Posts: 1
  • tomaydintomaydin Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Chrsyler town and country with the same brake pad problem. I had to replace the brake pads at 13,000 Miles. I have 25,000 miles on it now and I'm due for another replacement of brake pads. I thought I had a lemon since this problem was unusual but I guess it's not so unusual in Town & Country. I'll never by any Chrysler product again..
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Member Posts: 249
    I posted this last year and now have over 60,000 miles on my Caravan, 36,000 since front pads were changed, still over half thickness left on them:

    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
  • hanegrtchanegrtc Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 T&C LX with 53k miles. I just brought it into the dealership to have transmission and radiator fluids flushed. Then had them check the humming noise from the front end when steering right or left. I was called back today and was told that the PS cylinder had a leak and bled the PS fluid into the boot where it caused a bulge. I was then told I would have to replace the steering gear because it was a matter of when it would fail. So, I'm looking at a $900 repair bill. I asked if this should be covered by powertrain warranty and was told probably not. Does anybody know if this is correct? If not, how can I minimize my repair cost?
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Member Posts: 249
    Probably not covered under 7/70,000 as steering components are not considered part of the powertrain. I would take it someplace else for a second opinion, not mentioning anything about what this dealer told you.
  • hanegrtchanegrtc Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info.
  • ncnavymanncnavyman Member Posts: 6
    My 99 T&C has almost 157K on it, still drives like a dream. About two weeks ago, the oil light came on. Checking the manual it seems this light is not for oil level, which was the first thing I checked. Does this light coming on, mean my oil pump is going bad? Or does it have something to do withthe sensor installed into the oil pan? If someone could put some light onthis for me, Big Thanks!
  • 97xpresso97xpresso Member Posts: 249
    If it still runs like a dream, chances are the low oil pressure is not from worn engine internals. I would drop the oil pan and check if the oil pump pick-up screen is clogged. With 157k, it wouldn't hurt to try a heavier oil, 10-30 or 10-40 instead of the recommended 5-30, but check the screen first.
  • monkeytreemonkeytree Member Posts: 1
    I have not driven my T&C for almost 2 months (due to some brake problem that I'll post later.) I went to a local emmision test station yesterday. They said my OBD is not ready and need to drive my car normally for next couple of weeks - called drive cycle. Does anybody know how can I tell if my OBD to be in "Ready" state? I really don't think I need to drive 2 weeks in order to get OBD started.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    I have a 1997 LXi and its still running good after 148,000 miles.Im about to start with a synthetic oil regimen,and change it once a year.(i dont drive it much any more) :)
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    I bought my 1997 Town and Country LXi(at daughters insistence)brand new.I changed oil every 3000 miles and did the routine maintenance.Despite the fact that I had an accident in it,it still is pretty rattle free and orginal engine and tranny.My only complaint is the weird noises I hear sometimes from the transmission and drive train.Otherwise it's the best car I have ever owned.
    AC condenser(the thing under the dash,maybe its the wrong term)
    Serpentine belt
    tie rods
    brake shoes
    Brake fluid lines
    Battery x 2
    car horn
    water pump(mechanic suggestion)
    Most of the repairs I considered pretty routine. :D
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    That was my question too,I guess maybe he doesnt know. :confuse:
  • jrsygirljrsygirl Member Posts: 3
    I am having the same issue. I keep a second set of rotors because they warp about every 10-12k miles. I was told by one dealer that the back brakes were not set correctly causing the front to work too hard. Another dealer told me the calipers were sticking. Either way... I can't stand it anymore. It is in the shop again for the dealer to fix issues they didn't fix properly too start with. Thankfully i have the extended warranty and so it doesn't cost me much of anything to have them look at it and fix it. I will post what they come up with and whether or not they cover it under the warranty. I can tell you that i can't say the person who posted it is because some people ride the gas or the brake... well i don't so there has got to be some kind of common issue.
  • murdoogmurdoog Member Posts: 1
    My 1997 LXi's transmission went out a year ago. This was the only problem with the van. I am now in a position to get it fixed. Any advice?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Hard to advise someone on how to spend their hard earned money.If the car is in excellent condition otherwise,I would shop around for a rebuilt tranny.Where I live,I could get an overhaul for approx $1200.A 10 year old car isnt worth much on the open market,so I guess it depends on what it's worth to you.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    My 97 Town and Country makes a strange rattling noise from the front of the car.If anyone can remember the sound bad heat risers used to make,or maybe even "labor knocks",that is what it sounds like.The reason that I'm sure its not the pinging or labor knock is because it does it without :sick: acceleration.
  • stephdillistephdilli Member Posts: 2
    I too am going crazy with my brakes - jrsygirl, did you find out anything new when you took your van in this last time?
  • justin2002justin2002 Member Posts: 2
    I changed front brake pads turned front rotors and now my brake pedal will not stay pumped up. I can pump brake up it will stay for about 30 seconds then I push on the brake again it goes to the floor fluid is full have bled brakes. Now I don't know what to do. Could the master cylander be going bad? Need help.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Possibly master brake cylinder...Are you losing fluid?
  • justin2002justin2002 Member Posts: 2

    No, I'm not losing any fluid. It seems that it may be something internal in the master cylander. I just went out and the brakes seem to be pumping up better.
    It's wierd cause I just got done changing brakes on a 1998 caravan and they are working great. this town and country is giving me fits.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Sounds like there is an internal leak in the master cyl....Let me know how that works out...and good luck.
  • dhaywooddhaywood Member Posts: 3
    We have had the following issues with our Town and Country

    1. When we turn on the vehicle the radio, wiper, power windows, and ac/heater do not turn on, but the van runs normal otherwise. Then if we turn it off and back on right away they work.
    2. Sometime (more often then not lately) when all the above things are working while driving the radio (radio, CD, tape) will suddenly go to a buzzing noise and will not work again until the van has been off for a least an hour.
    3. NOW- tonight my husband saw flashing lights outside our window. When he went out to check it out our light were flashing quickly on our radio was turning on and off. The fuse box was also ticking. The vehicle had been turned off for over an hour and there were not keys in it. We unplugged the battery for now.

  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Hey D, I think it's time for a new vehicle. I have a 97 LXi but thank the deity,it is the best American built car I have ever owned.It has a few quirks,but overall it has been outstanding.(151,500 miles)I think I got my money's worth out of it. :blush:
  • bill66bill66 Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone had most of the background lights not working on the center dashboard console? The lights are to highlight night driving so you can see the various positions for heat and air conditioning. The lights show symbols for floor, vent, floor/vent, defrost. also the background lights for HomeLink Garage door opener and various other panel symbols. I am getting the Yellow LED lights which show which position the controls are in, but background lights are not lit except for the power doors, they seem to be the only ones lit.

    Any help would be appreciated!


    Bill :mad: :confuse: :(
  • bill66bill66 Member Posts: 2
    Hey Folks,

    I found the answer to this somewhere on this forum.
    All you have to do is disconnect the Negative battery cable for about 5-10 minutes and the Body Control Module Will reboot turning all the correct lights on and it may even correct some transmission shifting problems especially after a rebuild or replace of the tranny.

    Bill :):D;)
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    Thanks ,that's good to know.I wonder what will happen to those lifetime warranties when Chrysler disappears. :confuse:
  • wanna_azzywanna_azzy Member Posts: 41
    My 2001 T&C 3.8L makes a low rumble/roar between 2250-2400 rpm, right at cruising speed. It happens at that rpm, in any gear. It seems to be harmonics-related. Any clues/solutions? Thanks :confuse:
  • tylersmomtylersmom Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 T&C with 155k miles. Two weeks ago when I was pulling in to get the oil changed my van stuttered then just cut off. Had to push it the rest of the way into the shop. After the oil was changed and filters were changed it seemed to run a little better but when I stopped at a light or stop sign had to keep foot on the gas and brake because it quit idling. Was told to give it a tune up and that would fix the problem. I did that and now not only is it not idling but also have a strong gas smell inside the van. Anyone have this problem, know how to fix this or any suggestions? Please help!!!! :cry:
  • chronofishchronofish Member Posts: 1

    We just purchased a 2004 T-C. We are quite pleased with the way it runs and drives. We did have one issue this evening however.

    When we open the driver's door the Key-in-ignition reminder sounds, even though the key is not in the ignition (and lights are off and the ignition is in the "lock" position.)


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