Do Chrysler Minivans last a long time?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by needin4mation, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. I don't mean this offensive. I admit I am ignorant of this. But long
    ago American cars were not very good beyond 100,000 miles. Now,
    however, I see them all over the place for sale 100K+ miles $5,000 or
    more. Is that just an old stigma about American cars? What kind of
    work might I expect to have to put into a minivan with 130k miles on

    needin4mation, Nov 11, 2005
  2. Well...that depends on your definition of "long ago". American cars of the
    '60s and early '70s were often good for several hundred thousand miles.
    They'd never reach it intact if you lived in a salty area, but then
    *nobody's* cars, except perhaps for certain Volvos, were particularly
    salt-resistant back then. Mid-'70s to mid-'80s US cars were, as a lot and
    with a few exceptions, pretty grim.
    Totally depends on the year, engine, transmission, equipment, and prior
    maintenance. Up here (salty Toronto) there are *scads* of first-generation
    '84-'90 Chrysler minivans still in daily use in good condition.

    Daniel J. Stern, Nov 11, 2005
  3. needin4mation

    Joe Guest

    It's very hard to wear the engine out on anything these days, with
    reasonable maintenance. Some of the minivan engines are a little better than
    others in basic reliability. The 3.3 is particulary good. The 3.8 is a
    derivative, so I guess it's okay too. If you're going to drive a car 300,000
    miles, usually the one big ticket item that won't make it is the
    transmission. You'll have to have that overhauled some time. As for what it
    costs, as somebody at a transmission shop about a particular car. Don't
    bother asking here. All the other mainteance items are small stuff that you
    usually pay a few bucks here and there as you go. You might get charged
    $1000 for the small stuff, but that doesn't mean it's not small stuff. How
    you pay depends more on your looks and where you get your car fixed.
    Joe, Nov 11, 2005
  4. needin4mation

    jdoe Guest

    They can and do providing they are reasonably well taken care of and
    especially if you have a 3.3 or 3.8 engine. The transmissions can last a
    long while. THe one in my 99 lasted until 150k (miles) and only grenaded
    because of the cheap POS Chinese filter I installed in it which
    disintegrated and caused the oil pump to grenade. (It still got me and the
    family home safely 150miles even though the bottom of the pan looked like a
    scrap metal yard FWIW so I have to give it it's due). How long would it have
    gone had that filter not been installed is anybody's guess. The 93 T&C I had
    before my 2003 went in excesss of 200k and fell vixtim to salt and a rusted
    frame. The aforementioned 99 has over 175k on it now and runs like a swiss
    watch. Salt is taking a slight toll on this one though too as I will have to
    have the strut tower repaired and a rust area on the rear driver side fender
    opening fixed. The 92 Grand Voyager we had b4 the 99 T&C was only replaced
    because it gave it's life to protect my wife from a 16 yo girl in a Mustang.
    Totalled but the wife aled away well...limped away. It was a VERY bad wreck.
    Kid in Stang taken to hospital. It had close to 180k VERY reliable miles on
    it when it went to Mopar heaven.
    jdoe, Nov 11, 2005
  5. I've had three. 87, 93, 99 (still have this one).

    87 not worth talking about engine/transmission no longer supplied,
    however it was a good vehicle that I kept to 130K miles with minimal
    non routine-maintenance.

    93 also kept to about 130k miles, however went through three
    transmissions. Chrysler coverd 2.5 of them. (7/70 Years). In all
    other aspects minimal non-routine maintenance.

    99 Currently approaching 130K and it has been very good with almost no
    non-routine maintenance.

    My view. The engines are great, durable and reliable. The
    transmissions have a clouded history, however, I'm told improvements
    in later models have minimized problems. All other systems seem to be
    very reliable and at the highest trim levels they are without a doubt
    the most comfortable and well appointed of the mini vans if that
    matters to you.
    Frank Boettcher, Nov 11, 2005
  6. needin4mation

    PC Medic Guest

    My experiences....

    85 Caravan 148,000 miles
    87 Caravan 241,000+ miles (odometer stopped working year before I sold it)
    95 Caravan (current) 161,000 miles

    Only major repairs ever needed on the 3 was a new timing chain on the 87'
    and a new timing belt on the 95.
    PC Medic, Nov 11, 2005
  7. The 3.8 is not a "derivative", it is the larger of the two engines (3.3,
    3.8) in that family. With the sole exception of the difference in piston
    displacement, these two engines are identical.
    Daniel J. Stern, Nov 11, 2005
  8. needin4mation

    Bill Putney Guest

    That's would not be a derivative?

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Nov 11, 2005
  9. needin4mation

    Bill Putney Guest


    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Nov 11, 2005
  10. That would not be a derivative.
    Daniel J. Stern, Nov 12, 2005

  11. You guys are so cute, having your discussions about vocabulary words
    when a guy asks a simple question about minivans.
    Robbie and Laura Reynolds, Nov 12, 2005
  12. They seem to be astonishingly pretty good. Now sometimes you get the
    wrong engine and the wrong year, like 1993. And the transmissions with
    overdrive seem to be a bit touchy and a mechanic told me, no problem,
    he just budgets a new tranny as a maintenance item. But new or rather
    rebuilt trannies are 50% more expensive than they used to be, so that's
    some money there.

    I am 199,000+ miles. If you're talking about recent minivans within the
    last couple of years, I don't know about those except some of them have
    been reputed to be quite good, from also other manufacturers.

    I see a lot of Chrysler Minivans on the road and I think I see a lot
    more of them than any other minivans that are old. And quite a few
    still look quite nice.
    treeline12345, Nov 12, 2005
  13. needin4mation

    Bill Putney Guest

    OK - we'll give him his money back. :)

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Nov 12, 2005
  14. needin4mation

    SBlackfoot Guest

    Ah crap.

    (Hoping you're not referring to the 3.0/3-speed)
    SBlackfoot, Nov 12, 2005
  15. The 1993 3.0/3 speed is the one I had that stopped going in reverse.
    Drove it another 60,000 or so after that, only going forward.
    Robbie and Laura Reynolds, Nov 12, 2005
  16. needin4mation

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Gee, another old guy flashback :)

    Had a 59 Galaxie 500 that quit reverse. Back in the days when
    dollars were really really tight.

    Lot of effort finding stopping places where there was no chance
    that you'd have to back up to get out... but you do what you have

    Thanks for triggering the memory :)

    Ken Weitzel, Nov 12, 2005
  17. OK, but that doesn't mean a 1993 with 3.0/3spd is "the wrong engine and
    the wrong year". The 3spd transmission is considerably more dependable and
    durable than the 4spd overall; that doesn't mean failures never happen
    with the 3spd.
    Daniel J. Stern, Nov 12, 2005
  18. A mechanic I know recommended against the (used) Chrysler minivan
    unless it had recently had a new transmission (or two) because he said
    the transmission on these vehicles only last about 60,000 miles.
    needin4mation, Nov 12, 2005

  19. I've owned 12 Chrysler minivans and had three catastrophic transmission
    failures. Two were overdrive models, and the other was the
    aforementioned 3-speed.

    By the way, I like the 3.0 engine.
    Robbie and Laura Reynolds, Nov 12, 2005
  20. needin4mation

    Bob Shuman Guest

    Robbie and or Laura,

    What specifically do you like about the 3.0L Mitsubishi engine? I ask since
    I own a 1991 and although it is in a Mitsu 3000GT, it is basically the same
    engine. Mine is the 222 HP DOHC and has 128K original miles. The engine
    still runs well, but the overhead valves are noisy as can be and it burns
    about a quart of oil per 1500 or so miles. It really needs the heads
    removed and a valve job and new valve stem seals, but I am waiting so I can
    do a complete rebuild when I have some $$$.

    I also do not like the basic maintainability of the 3.0L engine itself. It
    basically requires plugs, a new timing belt and water pump every 60K miles.
    OEM NGK double platinum plugs are very expensive and you need to remove the
    intake manifold to get at them. The timing belt and water pump
    accessibility are also a royal PITA. I'd imagine that my 60K mile "tune
    up" would easily cost $1K or so at the dealer if I did not do the work

    Don't get me wrong, it has been a decent engine and develops some good power
    above 3,000 or so RPM, but I've owned 3.3L and 3.8L Chrysler vans and
    although the rear plugs can be obstinate, the engines were much more durable
    and required far less regular maintenance. The maintenance and repairs were
    also far easier to perform as well, a recent water pump on my 3.8L as a
    case in point. They also developed more torque at lower RPMs which is a
    good thing when pulling about a heavy minivan.

    Bob Shuman, Nov 12, 2005
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