The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Other than the reviews from Edmunds, etc. How have your experiences been with these vans? I am looking that some are sold with very high mileage at great prices and I'm looking into possibly purchasing one of these vans because they don't use a timing belt like Honda.

Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,550 Posts
3.3/3.8 engines are solid but lack power compared to 3.6, the 3.8 can have issues with burning oil
3.6 engine is good with some care, early 5th gen vans had issues with rocker arms and they still have issues with a plastic coolant y-pipe that needs to be replaced with a metal substitute, easy job
4.0 is rare and has a timing belt, doesn't seem to offer anything desirable

41TE transmission is solid, but no passing gear can be limiting
62TE transmission seems solid, i haven't heard anything specifically bad about it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
My 2017 DGC SXT with fold down seats and very little electronics (re: no power sliding doors, no on-dash display, no factory backup system, no factory GPS unit, no rear AC system (don't need in my far north region), no DVD player) has never left us broken down. Only break/fix repair under warranty was its factory plastic oil filter assembly with a new plastic replacement. Recently, I bough Dorman aluminum replacement and will get local auto mechanic to replace its plastic part with better aluminum part soon.

For DIY upgrades, I installed better tires, D-Rings on its rear hatch, my own Class III Trailer Hitch, Timbren SES units with 1/2" spacer, proportional Brake Controller, extra rear marker lights (for loading / unloading my son's wheel chair at dark time), HD disc brakes. Also installed custom LED lighting in its center console cup holder and "key" lock-able gas cap (from Amazon). Note: Not all DGC or T&Cs need these custom upgrades....

I've driven 5 different make vans since my Special Needs son was born. In all, the 2017 DGC is the best van we've owned. Not perfect but it's in the top 95+% near perfection range....

Hope this helps in your "real world" research.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
30,166 Posts
Well, I'm a Chrysler fan but:
  • rocker arm needle bearing failures on the 3.6L engine are too common and too expensive. $1500 a shot and no guarantee against future failure is a :(
  • plastic oil filter housing is failure prone (cracks). Another :(
  • plastic connectors for rear heat are close to being called garbage. Replace with metal is advisable. Another :(
  • sliding door lock actuators fail all too often and are expensive to replace (5th Generation). Some have extended warranty (2015 to 2017 due to Class Action proceedings) but some Dealerships seem to want to duck the 4 hour replacement involved. Watch out for the "not buzzing" story. Luckily, a hack is available.

The whole, under the hood, setup is not as dependable as the older 3.3L/3.8L combo, the 3.8L being more prone to burning oil since 2005.

Other Brands have their faults, I'm sure, so do compare. Chrysler isn't the best in the taking care of customer/extended warranty business either.

Some information here:

 

·
Registered
2010 Routan
Joined
·
35 Posts
Our family needed a minivan so we tested several and did a ton of research. Obviously, the most popular are Honda and Toyota but they were way out of our price range, unless we wanted something much older with a lot of miles and very little in amenities. Hondas also have bad transmission issues so it didn't make since to pay the premium and still have a possible expensive repair in the future so we kept going back to Chrysler products because you get so much more bang for your buck.

The 62TE transmissions in these gen 5's can be problematic from jerky shifting to all out failures but it also seems like having the latest programming and changing the fluid every 60k will help them survive longer. Our 2010 already had the tranny swapped out so hopefully that's not an issue for a while.

Like others have said, the 3.6 in the 2011+ models is a very powerful and fuel efficient motor but have rocker issues that can be costly. Many have not reported any such issues but it's a gamble. This is one of the reasons we decided on the 2010 (besides the fact we got it pretty cheap) is because it has a more road tested 3.8 that seems to be more reliable.

When searching for vans, i noticed a lot of 200k+ options with 3.3/3.8 which is a good sign that they can last a long time. You won't find too many 2011+ vans for sale with that ever kind of mileage.

What ever you decide, know that there are a lot of good deals out there to be had that can offset the higher repair costs in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
I set out to buy a 2012 or up for my son, who lives too far away for me to be helpful with maintenance. His current 2009 with the 3.3 is nearing life end and he needs a van. The sig issues with the 3.6/ trans and electrical gremlins killed my enthusiasm for these models. BTW, I've come across more than a few 2015 model years with the engine issue, so whatever Chryco/Dodge is calling themselves today, has not fixed the problem in those years yet. Disgraceful!
No idea if they ever got around to fixing the rocker issue.
My own 2005 just keeps soldiering on with its very adequate 3.3, currently at 194k miles. The trans is the weak link in these models and changing the fluid every couple years seems to be the best available solution to extending their life. For me, when the trans dies the van is scrap, I'm not spending 2.5K on someone's idea of a rebuild.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
I have the 3.3 4 speed combo. Tranny and engine have been reliable. Lots of other failures though. Suspension, bearings, rear brake caliper issues(integrated park brake has caused issues).

These problems have been easy to diagnose and easy to fix myself. So I would say, for me, the van is quite reliable. If I had to go to a shop for every repair, well, I wouldn’t be driving it. Most stuff thats gone have been wear items though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Other than the reviews from Edmunds, etc. How have your experiences been with these vans? I am looking that some are sold with very high mileage at great prices and I'm looking into possibly purchasing one of these vans because they don't use a timing belt like Honda.

Cheers.
Save your self money and headaches,buy a toyota,Honda or kia we have a 2006 3.8 a 2010 4.0, both spent a lot of repairs on ,just read this forum you can see all the problems I will say 3.8 is or was a tough engine 4.0 just quits running going down road,no codes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
Buy a toyota,honda,Honda, also have 2000 2.7 4 runner 224000 never a repair,just tune ups
2009 T & C
240K Miles, great machine with no issues beyond my capabilities to repair. I also have the lifetime warranty that fixes broken or worn-out things too.

Daughter's Honda Odyssey has been in the shop constantly. Recalls (heads?), oil pump failure, batteries every year or so, and the problems go on and on.

Generalizations do not answer the OP question in regard to YOUR real world experience. People parrot CR and other magazines so it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. "Surely my Honda (that's been in the shop 7 times) is a fluke, all the others are super reliable".

Just like squirrels (rats with furry tails and good PR):

Honda's PR keeps them ahead in the "polls".

Just look at CR articles now and vehicle reliabilty over the last years. Dodge is at the top now, with the GC up there.

So, OP - do your homework and buy the van you want. Pay for a CarFax, a VIN check, and then buy what you want, not what others tell you is best.

Been there, done that. Just ask my daughter about Honda quality and reliability :ROFLMAO:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,119 Posts
4.0 is rare and has a timing belt, doesn't seem to offer anything desirable
Smooth performance.
The 4.0L is smoother to drive than any of it's brethren, delivers a much better driving experience thanks to it's massive torque band, and is the quickest of all the engine options.

@rodo01 These vans are as reliable as their owners.
Take proper care of it, it will easily go 2-3-400k miles without major issue.
Treat it like the average van owner, they'll go to **** under 100k.

That's why buying them used becomes such a gamble. It's why I'll only buy them used one of three ways:
1. Under 30k miles.
2. With full maintenance records.
3. Cheap enough I can afford to completely rebuild it.


Mind you, we have over 1.3 million miles between four 5th gen vans in our family. We've replaced one oil cooler, that was due to the one and only time the van saw a quick lube. Outside of that:
Oil changes every 4-5k using quality MS-6395 synthetic and a Mopar filter.
Transmission fluid/filter every 30-50k using only ATF+4 and a Mopar filter.
Coolant/thermostat change every 80k.
Brake inspection/caliper greasing every 15-20k.
PCV replacement every 30k.
Basically doing all the service that gets neglected by pretty much everyone.
 

·
Registered
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
Joined
·
333 Posts
@rodo01 These vans are as reliable as their owners.
Take proper care of it, it will easily go 2-3-400k miles without major issue.
Treat it like the average van owner, they'll go to **** under 100k.
It needs annoying repaIrs too often, but has been reliable.
I concur with the above two quoted statements, based on my own personal experience with my '09 GC SE (3.3L V6 4-speed) that has been in my family since it was brand new and is currently nearing 120,000 miles.

On one hand, it's had no issues so far with major components such as the engine, transmission, power steering, exhaust, air conditioning, and electrical system, knock on wood! I have the engine oil changed with full synthetic (sorry Jeepman) and a high-end filter (e.g., FRAM Ultra Synthetic) every 10,000 km/6,000 mi and transmission fluid every 50,000 km/30,000 mi with ATF+4, which has helped keep my van's engine and transmission both running smoothly - the latter's shifts are often barely perceptible.

On the other hand, it has needed a multitude of other components replaced throughout its thirteen years so far, which include (in comparison to my previous list, I've left out parts which didn't necessarily require replacement [e.g., suspension upgrades] or constituted normal and/or expected maintenance):
  • Front wheel hub assemblies (both replaced twice)
  • Rear wheel hub assemblies (both replaced twice)
  • Front brake calipers (both replaced once)
  • Rear brake calipers (both replaced once)
  • CV axles (both replaced once)
  • Inner tie rods (both replaced once)
  • Outer tie rod ends (both replaced twice)
  • Rear trailing arm bushings (both replaced once)
  • Lower intake manifold gasket (replaced once)
  • PCV valve (replaced once)
  • Thermostat (replaced once)
  • Transmission cooler lines (replaced once)
  • Lower radiator hose (replaced once)
  • Serpentine belt (replaced once)
  • Cruise control switch (replaced twice)
  • Multi-function switch for turn signals and wiper controls (replaced once)
  • Driver side sliding door lock actuator (replaced once)
  • Front passenger side door lock actuator (replaced once)
  • Rear wiper arm (replaced twice)
  • Starter (replaced once)
Most of what I listed above was done in my van's ninth and tenth years of age, which felt annoying at the time because it all happened within a fairly short time period. Before then, it was pretty rock solid, and is back to being that way after having all this replaced. I had the dealer and shops do everything above, except for four things (switches, lock actuators, rear wiper arm, and starter), which added up to quite a bit in labor costs; otherwise, if I had the skills and tools to do the work myself, none of it would've been all that costly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
3.3/3.8 are very durable. I have always got a low or mid level van, no power slideing doors or fancy electronics. Thye biggest draw back is after 10 years you may have high ac repair costs.
Hi, I have a 2002 Chrysler Voyager with about 256,000 mi. My sister gave it to me when she was getting a new van. I am the 2nd owner. Have had good luck with it, but now again having issues with the instrument panel gauges going crazy again and radio will not work right away. Seems like it's jumpy. Then it may bog down like we aren't moving and then have a surge of power and then will buck. I also need an exhaust manifold. Has some exhaust leaks. Main problem is it being jumpy and the instrument panel unstable and radio too. I no way can afford a car note. Have an El Camino frame being swapped. Only use my Voyager year-round. Has the 3.3 and was running well until now. Tranny filter and fluid changed a few years ago and not smelling burnt. Maybe some kind of short circuit. Had coil changed last year. Hard to get into a garage right now because they are full. I think I will disconnect battery tonight for 24 hours and see if computer needs to reset itself. Worked before. Van is very simple. No power doors or liftgate. Anyone else have these problems? It's like all at once!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
30,166 Posts
Buy a toyota,honda,Honda, also have 2000 2.7 4 runner 224000 never a repair,just tune ups
I was on the carcomplaints.com site yesterday looking at 2016 Honda Civics. There were even people there saying they would never buy another Honda. That's almost blasphemy, isn't it?

Some years back, Honda bought back 2007 to 2011 Honda CRVs in Eastern Canada due to rust out on rear suspensions. Rust on a Honda? No Way Jose. Not according to the biblical publications of Consumer Reports. :)

A 2000 RAV 4: Some weren't so happy.
"HUGE HOLE IN THE BOTTOM
My daughter was stuck on the Interstate in multiple lane traffic with her Rav4 and was almost hit by several cars awaiting a tow truck. She had a major oil spill that went into the lane beside her of oncoming traffic. Had she have been killed or hurt in any way, heads would be rolling at Toyota. She had considerable mileage (but not for a Toyota allegedly), but it was in great running condition.

She is a recent college grad and struggling as it is to start paying her student loans off. I am beyond pissed to think she has to go buy another car as this one is not even paid off yet!!!!!! I see on the website many, many, many complaints about this. Why not fix the problem and stand behind your product. Thank the good Lord above she is fine, but these are an inferior product for Toyota."

If that were a boat, it would have sunk. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Long_Voyager94

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
2009 T&C Limited (4.0) 180000 miles The 4.0 is a noticeably better engine for driving than the 3.3. I wouldn't have a 5th gen with a 3.3, too heavy to have decent performance. I've run many 3.3s/3.8s in earlier models and like then fine, but the 4.0 certainly has more power. Yes, you have a timing belt to change every 100K, but it's worth it.
 

·
Registered
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
Joined
·
333 Posts
I was on the carcomplaints.com site yesterday looking at 2016 Honda Civics. There were even people there saying they would never buy another Honda. That's almost blasphemy, isn't it?

Some years back, Honda bought back 2007 to 2011 Honda CRVs in Eastern Canada due to rust out on rear suspensions. Rust on a Honda? No Way Jose. Not according to the biblical publications of Consumer Reports. :)

A 2000 RAV 4: Some weren't so happy.
"HUGE HOLE IN THE BOTTOM
My daughter was stuck on the Interstate in multiple lane traffic with her Rav4 and was almost hit by several cars awaiting a tow truck. She had a major oil spill that went into the lane beside her of oncoming traffic. Had she have been killed or hurt in any way, heads would be rolling at Toyota. She had considerable mileage (but not for a Toyota allegedly), but it was in great running condition.

She is a recent college grad and struggling as it is to start paying her student loans off. I am beyond pissed to think she has to go buy another car as this one is not even paid off yet!!!!!! I see on the website many, many, many complaints about this. Why not fix the problem and stand behind your product. Thank the good Lord above she is fine, but these are an inferior product for Toyota."

If that were a boat, it would have sunk. :)
To try to bring a more balanced perspective here on this, every manufacturer is going to have their good and bad vehicles. This is evidenced on CarComplaints.com, with their top 20 worst vehicles list having vehicles from Jeep/Dodge/RAM, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai on it, and on the flip side, a multitude of manufacturers (except for Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/RAM, interestingly) have vehicles which made their best vehicles list, with Toyota having the longest list of vehicles on there. That Honda dropped the ball with the 2016 Civic, perhaps an example of why to skip a new generation's first model year, or someone had a bad anecdotal experience with their one 2000 RAV4, a model which made the aforementioned best vehicles list, can't be used as examples alone without further evidence to try to claim that Honda and Toyota are not actually good and don't deserve the reputations they've earned over the years for superior reliability. While every manufacturer does have their good and bad vehicles, some are better at turning out more good vehicles than bad, and while blind brand loyalty isn't good, someone's odds of getting a reliable vehicle if they just stick to Toyota/Lexus are probably better than with another manufacturer.

Going back to these 5th gen Chrysler and Dodge minivans, although major powertrain issues with these can usually be avoided with proper on-time maintenance (with only a few exceptions), there are a number of other issues like the TIPM fuel pump relay failures, buzzing or jammed sliding door lock actuators, premature brake wear of older models with the smaller "LD" brakes, rear AC evaporator corrosion and refrigerant leakage in salt belt states, etc. that might just be nuisances to those who are adept at repairing them, which I presume applies to sizable amount of those on these forums are, but understandably can be deal breakers to anyone who "knows nothing" about vehicles and takes their vehicle to the dealer or shop over every little issue it has.

I know this might not be a popular sentiment on a forum like this, so feel free to disagree and react with a sarcastic :ROFLMAO:.
 
  • Like
Reactions: beretta96
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top