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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a 2001 Caravan Sport with the 3.3L with 58,000 for 5 grand. I am coming up on 61,000 miles. I had considered the GM vans but having worked at a Pontiac Dealership for years, I was not thrilled with thier reliability. Head gaskets, intakes leaks, trans axle seals, and a lot of other issues early on in van life {under 40k}. At that price too I figured it was a good buy. This van still had the orginal tires, so I am picking up a set of Yokohoma LS4's, I had considered the Nokian WR G2's. So besides tires, an oil change, tranny flush, and coolant flush, anything else I should do or pay special attention too?
 

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I just picked up a 2001 Caravan Sport with the 3.3L with 58,000 for 5 grand. I am coming up on 61,000 miles. I had considered the GM vans but having worked at a Pontiac Dealership for years, I was not thrilled with thier reliability. Head gaskets, intakes leaks, trans axle seals, and a lot of other issues early on in van life {under 40k}. At that price too I figured it was a good buy. This van still had the orginal tires, so I am picking up a set of Yokohoma LS4's, I had considered the Nokian WR G2's. So besides tires, an oil change, tranny flush, and coolant flush, anything else I should do or pay special attention too?
DO NOT GET THE TRANNY FLUSHED ! ! !
With these tranny's, a flush tends to cause more grief than joy. Just replace the filter and make sure you use ATF4, nothing else.

Use the Motorcraft FL1A (believe it or not) oil filter (yes it fits and does a great job). Several threads here discussing recommended oil.

Keep your tires inflated, have fun.

Check your sway bar bushings and ends.


Welcome to the Forum :hi2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I had actually been planning on dropping the pan and changing the filter. I was going to use the AC Delco filters from work. I haven't ever had a problem with them, except a poor fitting seal on some Ford F-150's:cussing:, which I was under. Anyways back to point, I forgot to mention when it is below zero when I start my van up {like today} the belt squeals for a split second.
 

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You will want to change the belt (use Gatorback),tensioner,idler pulley.These are very noisy after a while.Also,the PS reservoir should be changed if you hear a growling noise.The screen in it is restricting flow and the pump is voicing its displeasure.Always use +4 in the PS system.
And to second it,check sway bar links and mount bushings.If you hear clunks over rough surfaces,you have the typical minivan problem.
 

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I agree with 2002CaravanSE on the Goodyear Gatorback belt. Best belt sold in my experience. If you can get an ACDelco filter for the transaxle, I'd use it. I've had great service from ACDelco parts. I've used that brand on my Chryslers before as well...
 

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I have had Gates belts dry out in a year or so.They are crap.The Gatorbacks are made out of some polymer blend I think,a lot better than that junk rubber or recycled rubber the G brand (and the G made NAPA belts) uses.
 

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The boys at the dealership are going to rib you to no end with that Mopar.....
Just tell them you considered a GM van,but didnt want to "Venture" in that direction...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
:lol: that was great, my boss "the owner" was pretty upset I didn't buy something off our outrageously over priced lot...We had a little discussion about it in service and we all came to the agreement that at least it wasn't a Ford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
My mom owned the 4 different Aerostars and was devistated that it was discontinued for the Windstar. I don't like Ford because of how user unfriendly they have gotten now days. Other than that I don't really dislike particular brand, and I tried getting the G8 wagon when/if it comes out.
 

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G8 wagon? I think GM pulled the plug on any future G8 model.The El Camino project is dead.Pontiac is almost dead anyway,they will have 2-3 models only shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yea, they still have developments on AWD, the 7.0L z06 motor and supposedly the wagon. However that was six months ago, and if things continue the only think we will be doing here at the dealership is service and used cars. Which is really makes the money anyways.
 

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Service and parts sales are the real moneymakers.New cars dont make anyone a whole lot of money.Parts sold after the sale amount to approx 3 times the cost they charge at new car purchase time.So why these companies havent focused on service and parts mainly is a big mystery.Heck,Chrysler could stay in business forever supplying rebuilt 41TE transmissions for the vans,and make money doing it.Now selling Avengers and Calibers,not to mention Sebrings....thats a losing proposition...
 

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Congrats on the new purchase! As I've found with our vans, if you look after them, they'll look after you.
I firmly believe that Chrysler make the best of the domestic vans. Still, from what you say it sounds like you may be a tech - & therefore an ideal Ford Windstar/ Freestar owner...:biggrin:
 
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