How has the reliability been with your 4th gen? Tell your story...



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Thread: How has the reliability been with your 4th gen? Tell your story...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    9,989


    How has the reliability been with your 4th gen? Tell your story...

    So after a discussion that gets brought up constantly about the reliability of these 4th gens, I thought it'd be a good idea to have everyone share their reliability experience with their 4th gens and the cost associated with it along with your current mileage

    If you own a 5th gen and once owned a 4th gen, please chime in and tell us how reliable your 4th gen was as well.





    I'll give you the rundown of my van which is currently sitting at approximately 204,000 kms.

    We bought the van in 2008 with 78,215 kms and paid $14,700 CDN for the van

    Here is the rundown:

    $1500 for 2 sets of tires (including repairs for leaks (like 5 receipts for tire leaks lol) etc...)

    $800 for 2 radiators which includes a tranny drop and fill

    $50 for 5 quarts of tranny fluid

    $1500 for CTC robbing my mom

    $300 for blower motor and resistor

    Brakes- $650

    Batteries, Oil, Coolant, and other stuff- $660.

    Water pump and Inlet tube- $300

    So about $6000 including everything to date for 6 years. Would have been less if it wasn't for CTC and their useless repairs and outrageous labor charges. It seems so high because we were robbed all these years and paid high labor charges. Go figure. Now I found a good mechanic, so I'm saving a boat load of $$$.

    In all, my van has been really reliable and i'm confident I can easily get another 200,000 problem free KMS out of her.
    2011 Toyota Corolla 71,500 kms--Mom's DD
    Mods:Interior+Plate LED lighting, Seat covers, Husky Liners
    Upcoming mods: Hood visor, Window visors, door sill plates


    2004 Dodge Caravan Anniversary Edition (3.3 180HP) 276,000 Kms-Bought in 2008 with 78,215 kms-My DD
    Mods:160 AMP alt upgrade, Interior+Plate LED lighting, Painted front calipers+drums, Red pinstriping, Decals/Emblems, Door sill plates, Second hatch light, Center console, Second Underseat draw, Speakers, Window visors, Passenger grab handle, Cluster, Remote start, Phone mount, PC74 LED bulbs, rear OE mudflaps. 6 Disc DVD changer, Chrome exhaust tip, Chrome grille inserts, Bluetooth speaker

    Past vehicles:
    1999 Toyota Tercel RIP @220,191 kms, Moms first car,bought in 2003
    RIP VIDEO:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGJwx1juu50

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    '02 Caravan SE, bought new, now just past 150k miles. Most comfortable car We've had for long road trips. I won't go into minute detail for normal periodic maintenance.

    Water pump, alternator, and both idler pulleys have each been replaced once. Van's been easy on tires; OE skins went 40k, then a set of Michelins went 80k. Currently on mid-grade Goodyears.

    Front brake pads replaced twice. Entire rear axle brake system replaced at about 125k.

    A/C system has never needed repairs. Still on the factory refrigerant charge. (I'm on borrowed time).

    One ignition coil failed at about 145k. New coils and wires installed.

    Driver's window regulator/motor ass'y gave up at about 140k miles.

    My big complaint is the transmission. Front pump and some other components replaced at about 20k miles, under a recall. Erratic troubles with the PCM "losing its mind" about every other trans fluid change. Requires a re-learn procedure in order to shift correctly, just due to the change in friction characteristics with new fluid.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to tsetse For This Useful Post:

    04anniversaryedition(06-03-2014)

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    9,989


    Quote Originally Posted by tsetse View Post
    My big complaint is the transmission. Front pump and some other components replaced at about 20k miles, under a recall. Erratic troubles with the PCM "losing its mind" about every other trans fluid change. Requires a re-learn procedure in order to shift correctly, just due to the change in friction characteristics with new fluid.
    Out of curiosity, how much did you pay for the van when new? As to the shifting issues after a tranny fluid change, its the typical bump shift, you didn't need to do a relearn, just live with it for 70 starts. I didn't notice it because we went on a long distance trip the same day we got the tranny fluid replaced.

    You are right, great long road trip vehicles. Thanks for sharing.
    2011 Toyota Corolla 71,500 kms--Mom's DD
    Mods:Interior+Plate LED lighting, Seat covers, Husky Liners
    Upcoming mods: Hood visor, Window visors, door sill plates


    2004 Dodge Caravan Anniversary Edition (3.3 180HP) 276,000 Kms-Bought in 2008 with 78,215 kms-My DD
    Mods:160 AMP alt upgrade, Interior+Plate LED lighting, Painted front calipers+drums, Red pinstriping, Decals/Emblems, Door sill plates, Second hatch light, Center console, Second Underseat draw, Speakers, Window visors, Passenger grab handle, Cluster, Remote start, Phone mount, PC74 LED bulbs, rear OE mudflaps. 6 Disc DVD changer, Chrome exhaust tip, Chrome grille inserts, Bluetooth speaker

    Past vehicles:
    1999 Toyota Tercel RIP @220,191 kms, Moms first car,bought in 2003
    RIP VIDEO:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGJwx1juu50

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,097


    I own the 1st year of the 4th gen (2001) and overall it has been a pretty reliable van. Mileage is somewhere around 150,000 miles now.
    It has required more repairs than my Mazda, but nothing that really stands out.
    Still has the original transmission, power steering pump, rack & pinion and struts. It keeps on going.
    They usually tell you to stay away from the 1st year of a model change, but the Chrysler & my Mazda seem to be the exception to this.
    I also own a 2009 Dodge GC.
    2009 Dodge GC SXT - 3.8
    sold - 2001 Chrysler T&C LXi

  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04anniversaryedition View Post
    Out of curiosity, how much did you pay for the van when new? As to the shifting issues after a tranny fluid change, its the typical bump shift, you didn't need to do a relearn, just live with it for 70 starts. I didn't notice it because we went on a long distance trip the same day we got the tranny fluid replaced.

    You are right, great long road trip vehicles. Thanks for sharing.
    I think the new price was about $22k.

    I refuse to "just live with" the violent and erratic shifting. The re-learn procedure takes about half an hour, to correct something that shouldn't happen in the first place.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    2,738


    We bought our van a little less than a year ago, with about 153k

    Since ownership, numerous oil changes, replaced the tensioner pulley, today makes the 3rd brake job (due to a previously unknown issue), and tires. We have replaced the rear hatch handle, the headlights (one burned out), high mount brake light (also - burned out), both front rotors, and both front calipers. And a handful of wheel studs (due to the tire shop over tightening, I believe)

    Oh, and we bought it from CarHop, who has a reputation of selling unreliable vehicles. Over all, I would say that our van has been pretty reliable.


    My vehicle: 2002 Chrysler Voyager eC, 2.4L, 4spd Auto, 185k miles and counting

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    853


    My van has been very reliable. The parts replaced in the last 2 years are (not including mods):

    New alternator
    New water pump
    New steering rack
    2005 GC SXT 3.8
    Mods: Performance cam, ported heads, ported intake manifold, CAI, custom cat-back exhaust with high flow muffler and cat, AEM fuel/ignition controller with 91 octane tune, larger throttle body, ported exhaust manifold, HID heads and fogs, cross drilled/slotted rotors, perf pads, ss lines, racing brake fluid, Koni shocks/struts, transmission mods, extra gauges
    Future mods: larger sway bars, strut tower brace, instrument cluster leds, wider wheels and tires, HID reverse lights, 35shot of nos, projector foglights, turbo kit

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    66


    The van has been enormously useful, but reliability has been disappointing. It's a 2003 AWD GC with the 3.8 and now 155,000 miles.

    Here's the list of repairs sans prices(maintenance excluded):
    1. Transmission pump failed at about 25,000 miles and caused the tranny to slip in reverse. Pump replaced under warranty.
    2. Transmission later started to downshift shift rough into second gear. Firmware was flashed, but the onboard computer failed and could not be flashed. New computer installed under warranty.
    3. AC started to howl and was replaced under warranty. Compressor, condenser, etc...
    4. Water pump leaked and was replaced under warranty.
    5. Rear axle seal leaked and was replaced under warranty.
    6. Alternator replaced.
    7. Radiator replaced due to leak.
    8. Transmission cooler hoses replaced at 60,000 miles due to leaks.
    9. All metal coolant and radiator tubes replaced due to corrosion.
    10. All four brake calipers replaced after seizing individually.
    11. Transmission solenoid pack replaced due to leaks.
    12. Lower intake, upper intake, valve cover, and oil pan seals all replaced due to leaks.
    13. Sliding door lock actuator replaced.
    14. Turn signal stalk replaced.
    15. Transfer case output shaft seal replaced due to leaks.
    16. Power steering reservoir replaced due to clogged metal filter.
    17. Fuel injector wire bundle replaced due to heat damage.
    18. Power steering rack replaced.
    19. Inner and outer tie rods replaced.
    20. Sway bar end links replaced twice.
    21. Sway bar bushings replaced three times, and now needed again.
    22. Front strut assemblies replaced
    23. Tires replaced more times than I care to count. Normally I'd classify tires as maintenance, but this van eats them for breakfast. I can only get max 30,000 miles on a 70,000-80,000 tire. Multiple shops have told me the alignment is fine, but the outer blocks continue to be eaten alive. Expensive appetite.
    24. Rust, rust, RUST! I don't see many vehicles this age with this kind of rust. It happens, but not often. I haven't had a vehicle rust on me since my 1983 Toyota 4X4 pickup. With the van I've had metal cut out and new Mopar steel installed, and the areas ground and treated three times. And it still rusts. I give up.

    That's what I remember off the top of my head. This list doesn't include interior or exterior light replacements, brake pads or rotors, fluid changes, filter changes, alignments, regular paint polishing and sealing, etc...

    We're shopping for a replacement now. While we've genuinely appreciated the utility of a van and the truly effective AWD while living in snowy states, we'll be shopping for something from a brand we trust a bit more in the reliability department. Most likely we'll buy a 2015 Subaru Outback as our interior space needs are now less than when we purchased the Grand Caravan.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to tyguy For This Useful Post:

    Miron(06-05-2014)

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    990


    Holy $hit tvguy - you got the ultimate Monday morning special, and even the robots must have been hung over for that one

    Not what you need to hear, but my experience has been just the opposite. Just a few of the more common DIY things that we all know and love. WP, PS clogged res screen, rusted inlet WP tube, O2 sensor, and some lower body rust repairs. It's been very good on brakes and tires, and MPG is adequate for a van.

    In fact, I think so highly of these 4 gens that in April I drove down to N.C. and bought a rust-free '05 GC for my daughter. About the only major complaint I have about these vans is the rust factor - very unfortunate for an otherwise solid vehicle.
    03 Caravan 3.3L 160K miles
    05 GC 3.3L 137K miles (daughter's)

  14. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,257


    2001 Dodge Caravan SE - leased new for less than 80,000km - nothing but wear & tear (oil, brakes, tires)

    2004 Dodge Caravan - leased new for less than 80,000km - never ending warranty issues + wear & tear (oil, brakes, tires)

    2007 Dodge Caravan SXT - leased new to 68,000km - nothing but wear & tear (oil, brakes, tires)

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to UN4GTBL For This Useful Post:

    04anniversaryedition(06-16-2014)

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