Very nice vehicle, but expect to pay for it in repairs
Condition when we got it:
Radio came on when we started it, but did not work. Seats were worn. Some rust. It had the transmission rebuilt 2 years before it was sold to us.
Ran great when we got it and seemed reliable.
Problem with window on driver's side coming out immediately after purchase.
Several minor brake problems and a leak of brake fluid 1 month after purchase.
Compass only works intermediately.
Problem with latch for rear gate having to be pushed repeatedly to open the gate.
Needed a jump start 3 times.
Window regulator tape broke and was replaced twice.
This vehicle seemed very reliable still because of no major problems after owning it for 11 months. We decided to skip the Greyhound Bus and take the minivan with us from China (Small town near Augusta), Maine to Old Orchard Beach (Destination of 1-Day vacation), Maine. Me and my mom were very pleased with the Town & Country's performance. It made good time and we got there at 9:00 AM.
After we were done, we headed back home at 3:00. We traveled 30 miles. Then it happened. We were traveling at 70 MPH when the minivan shook violently. It made an awful *BANG* BANG* *BANG* BANG* noise. Before my mother could stop the minivan, it came to a jolting stop in the middle of the busy freeway. Fortunately, people went around until we could get it into the breakdown lane. We were stranded on the side of a highway with no cell phone during a thunder storm. The secure feeling of a reliable vehicle was gone. We had no idea how we would get home, which was 70 miles away.
We got back in the van and looked for a garage that was open. No luck. We drove another 50 miles at 45 miles per hour with all the traffic passing us at 65 miles per hour. After going 40 miles, the vehicle again came to a shaking halt, this time off of the road. For the next 20 miles, we drove at 20 miles per hour in the breakdown lane taking stops every time it would not go. Finally, we reached Augusta Maine, which is only 13 miles away from home.
We stopped at a garage. The garage noted the whining noise it made while moving. He told us there was a problem with the back brakes and that it could be fixed for $12 USD. We drove it home and it seemed to work fine except for some whining noise.
I was happy to be home. I drove it around the yard a bit to see what might be wrong. It seemed to work fine except for the whining noise. I then did an experiment to see if it is the transmission. I put it into neutral and pushed it backwards. It still made the whining noise. I suspected a bad wheel bearing on the front left wheel.
After some more driving, it made a BANG noise, then the V6 engine went *VROOOOOOM*, it then went back into drive and went with another bang. Later, I started it up and it would only go *VROOOM* when I put it into drive. I blamed it on a bad transmission. After it was towed to a local garage, they told us it had a bad transmission, bad tire and a bad wheel bearing. It would cost $900 USD to repair it with used parts.
As sad as it is, we cannot pay $900 dollars on a transmission that will probably fail again before we even pay off the debt. We have decided to purchase a 1994 Dodge Caravan with V6 3.0 Litre engine and a 3-Speed (no overdrive) transmission. I have been told that these last longer than the ones with overdrive. If so, this is a good buy for $1500. After a year of ownership, I will report.
My mom let me have the broken 1990 minivan. :D I plan to get a jack to replace the transmission. I am 16 so if I get it working and get my license, I can drive it. It's transmission will probably fail again, but at least it is better than the pink 1991 Buick Skylark that my mom gave me.
I LOVE the Dodge Caravans/Town & Countries. For now, the 1990 Town & Country sits in our driveway. I am glad I talked my mom out of scrapping it because it has an awesome engine. Even though they break, I still love them. I just wish Chrysler could improve the transmission. Thank you for reading.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th August, 2003