Most recently, at 145,000 miles, the vehicle needed a new distributor which cost $450 installed.
It needed a new starter at 135,000 miles.
The ignition key tumbler was replaced at 130,000.
It needs new rear shocks now.
I'm beginning to think this vehicle has reached the end of its life. It has now stranded me thrice. Most recently it just stopped running due to a problem with a pick-up in the distributor. Of course they just don't sell the item you need... had to buy a new distributor and lost a whole day on a trip.
The second time I was stranded was due to a bad tumbler that would not engage the ignition switch. Beware: Chrysler does not sell new tumblers! They will re key a new one to match your old keys.
The third time my love left me was when the starter quit without any warning. I'm not too upset about this since it had reached its lifespan anyway.
For the past 20k miles, the vehicle has had a major oil leak. There are several opinions as to its origin which range from the rear main seal to valve cover gaskets.
I have also noticed that all vans of this vintage burn oil noticeably. I have been told that this is a common problem and that it is related to leaky valve guides that Chrysler at some point recalled.
Everyone I've spoken to who has had one of these vehicles claims that I'm among the lucky ones who haven't had any problems with the transmission. Knock on wood, not a single problem.
This is a no frills, utilitarian van. It handles poorly with 14" tires and it's very loud - when you step on it, you feel like the engine is in the passenger seat. The lack of noise insulation makes it impossible to communicate with anyone in the third row seats from whom I always hear the that the seats are too shallow. The absence of a second sliding door makes loading and unloading kids a nightmare.
Only open the glove compartment if you want everything out.
The serpentine belt chirps. I've replace it twice and both times, in about 5,000 miles, the bird returns. Also, there is an annoying (but seemingly harmless) rattle from one the clamps associated with the exhaust system. The previous owner had a replace twice with no avail. The noise is only audible on rough pavement which I've come to understand as the van saying "Oh no, this hurts."
23rd Aug 2004, 21:25
I don't understand why people don't look at consumer reports or online before buying anything from chrysler they are the worst for dependability and cost to own. Do some research before spending big $$$ on a lemon.