1997 Chrysler Town and Country LXI AWD 3.8L OHV


Can't give up on the ones that fail


Power train control module replaced.

Strut towers rusted through.

Body control module has a mind of its own.

Multiple belt tensioners.

Power steering pump.

Power steering high pressure line.

Fuel pump.

A whole bunch of sensors, fuses, and relays.

Alarm is touchy.

Overhead display is dead.

Had to re-solder gauge cluster.

Broken OHV pedestal in cylinder head.

Broken flywheel "marbles" sound.

Eats rotors and brake pads quickly.

General Comments:

Got the van used for $1,600 because of the AWD option for MN winters. I had previously owned '98 and '99 Grand Caravans (same vehicle), none of them bought brand new. For some reason, I keep returning to these vehicles.

It's a good thing I can do my own repairs and parts are (relatively) cheap for these vans. Otherwise, the repair and maintenance costs would have been unbearable. Granted, my current van is approaching 15 years old now, and most of these repairs are maintenance and upkeep.

Even basic tune-ups require removing the wiper assembly and upper intake manifold to reach the rear spark plugs.

AWD system works extremely well.

Very comfortable inside with captain seats.

Stock Infinity sound system is not bad.

3.8L engine provides enough "move" power to get around town, but eats gas like crazy. About $65 to fill up a full tank now with about 15-18 mpg around town.

Transmission 4th gear "overdrive" kicks in at around 45 mph, and runs about 2,000 rpm at 60 mph smoothly.

Will probably drive this van until 200K miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th May, 2012

1997 Chrysler Town and Country LXI 3.8


The car is a money trap, and has forced me to take up auto mechanics as a hobby


Replaced the engine at 92000 miles.

At 78K miles, I purchased the vehicle, and was driving it home when the water pump froze up, and we had to stop midway and service it.

Also had replaced the AC system, belt, battery and transmission last year at 129k miles.

The front passenger window has now failed to power up. Looks like the power window regulator cabling has failed.

The van has a fuel level problem. It shows full with just 13 gallons of fuel. I had replaced the fuel sending unit twice to no avail. The dash indicators often times flash all at the same time, I have a constant check engine and brake light on. The dash lights are also completely dark, and I had checked all fuses. What's the chances the bulbs all burned out? The van thumps when cruising down the interstate and backfires when accelerating. I replaced the air filter, added gas treatment, and will be replacing the fuel filter again.

General Comments:

It's a cozy car, however I am afraid to take my love ones on a long trip or trust the reliability when driving other kids to the ball game outside of town.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th September, 2011

12th Sep 2011, 11:09

Regarding your dashboard lights, if your van is the same as my parent's 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan, then there is a dimmer switch that is the same switch for the interior lighting. If it is turned to the left, the interior lights go out and the dash dims. If you spin it 3/4 to the right, the dash gets brighter, and all the way turns on your interior lights. It is located at the bottom left side of the steering wheel.

I hope this helps.

As for the problems you experienced, they also had to replace the transmission at 150,000km, and have had expensive oil leaks and various suspension noises (bushings, shocks, etc.)

13th Sep 2011, 16:02

My buddy had one of these, he bought it cheap with high mileage, but still, what a heap...

Had almost all the same problems as you; water pump failed, fuel levels always off, tailgate would stay closed sometimes, power locks would open on their own, dash lights, interior lights, everything electrical had some bugs pretty much..

These are OK vans as you can buy them cheap, but just way too many problems.

I would recommend buying the 91-95 Town and Country though, way less problems, better built, etc.

I had one myself, bought it for $1000 and put about 60000 kms on it of hard city mileage as a work van for my business. Served me pretty well, 3 years and all it needed was a brake job, radiator, and oil changes.