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#2305540 - 07/04/11 06:24 AM High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 1297
Loc: Indiana
We still love our 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport with the 3.3L. We have done any and all maintenance on this vehicle because we want it to last as long as possible. We recently replaced the entire coolant system (including radiator) to finally solve some long term coolant leaks. The body has held up remarkably well and it drives great. We will be trusting it for two more 2,000 mile trips yet this year.

My current concern is the multiple oil leaks. Our local mechanic is recommending replacement of the valve cover and intake manifold gaskets and quoting $300 for this work which seems fair to me. I'm leaning toward getting the work done but curious if folks think this engine could last another 100,000 or if you think it is at the end of it's useful life.


Edited by Indydriver (07/04/11 06:26 AM)
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2014 Camaro 2SS/RS LS3 Vert Dexos1 3500
2012 Sienna XLE 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2011 Accord V6 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
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#2305542 - 07/04/11 06:35 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 20757
Loc: NY
If you're referring to the Caravan in your sig line, the engine can go another 100K miles. The problem with them ususally is the transmission. But then again I heard the tranny's sucked in the Ford Aerostar I own and its 2 weeks away from 200K miles. All I did was service it and replace a vacuum modulator. $300 to stop the oil leaks sounds fair, but if all he's doing is replacing the VC gaskets that seems high. If that's the case change them yourself. JMO
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#2305548 - 07/04/11 06:49 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: demarpaint]
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 1297
Loc: Indiana
Yes, the Caravan in my sig line with 158,000. I hear ya on Chrysler trannies. Our previous Mopar minivan, a 1990, blew it's transmission at only 68,500. Fortunately, that version came with a 7yr/70,000 mile power train warranty and was replaced at their cost. This 2000 model has gone the distance although knowing this, I've have had the trans serviced at 30,000 mile intervals. So far, so good. The quote also includes the intake manifold which I'm not willing to tackle myself, so I can live with the $300 quote.

Thanks for your input.


Edited by Indydriver (07/04/11 06:52 AM)
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2014 Camaro 2SS/RS LS3 Vert Dexos1 3500
2012 Sienna XLE 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2011 Accord V6 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
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#2305568 - 07/04/11 07:40 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 20757
Loc: NY
If he is also changing the intake manifold gasket with both VC gaskets go for it. As long as you manitain that tranny and not beat on it you should be OK.

My brother has the same mini van with about 70K on it. What he's been doing with his tranny, overkill and perhaps a bit of a waste by some people's standards, is this. He drops the pan and filter at 30,000K miles, does a fluid exchange via a tranny line. Then after 15,000 miles he evacuates the pan, removing about 3 qts, and refills it. Then at 30K pan drop, fluid exchange. He feels the $15 worth of ATF at the halfway point keeps the fluid clean. He also adds LG red at the recommended amount. HTH
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#2305582 - 07/04/11 08:02 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
Chris Meutsch Offline


Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 1945
Loc: Cincinnati
If he's 100% sure that's where the leaks are coming from, then that's probably a good deal. If it's a rear main seal or another location that he's not sure of currently, it could be more than that.
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#2305596 - 07/04/11 08:27 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 1297
Loc: Indiana
I put paper towels down on the garage floor and got five spots 1-2 inches in diameter. By my own visual inspection, there is no question the valve covers are leaking. I suspect that having this work done will certainly reduce the leakage sources and perhaps make it easier to find any remaining leaks. I did just put PHM 10W-30 in a couple of days ago but I'd be really surprised if it stops all these leaks. This engine had a steady diet of 5W-30 Kendall GT-1 Semi prior to this.

This is the first time I've tried a high mileage oil. Should I get it out of there once the gaskets are replaced?


Edited by Indydriver (07/04/11 08:29 AM)
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2014 Camaro 2SS/RS LS3 Vert Dexos1 3500
2012 Sienna XLE 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2011 Accord V6 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
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#2306413 - 07/05/11 06:32 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 10775
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Indydriver
I did just put PHM 10W-30 in a couple of days ago but I'd be really surprised if it stops all these leaks.


Give it some time to work. After 500-1000 miles, you might notice the weeping is less. I had a '97 Dodge Dakota with a real main seal leak...but only if I didn't use something like MaxLife in it.

Originally Posted By: Indydriver
This is the first time I've tried a high mileage oil. Should I get it out of there once the gaskets are replaced?


No. In fact, I like high mileage oils. They tend to be a little on the thicker side, which can help keep aging engines quiet. They're nearly the same price as conventional, so if I owned a vehicle with that mileage on it, I'd use the high mileage oils anyway probably.
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#2306486 - 07/05/11 08:43 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 1297
Loc: Indiana
Thanks Hokie. I will be taking the first trip starting Saturday which will be about 2,000 miles and will wait until my return to re-evaluate. Now that I think about it, I have three long trips this year, not two. I spent some time driving it yesterday and it just drives great. Well worth spending some money on to keep in top notch condition.

I see you are from NC. I will be driving through your great state to Wilmington where we are staying for a couple of days before moving on to Myrtle Beach.


Edited by Indydriver (07/05/11 08:46 AM)
_________________________
2014 Camaro 2SS/RS LS3 Vert Dexos1 3500
2012 Sienna XLE 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2011 Accord V6 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2004 Intrepid 100,000 PP 5W-30

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#2306507 - 07/05/11 09:12 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 10775
Loc: North Carolina
Sounds good. We go to Wrightsville Beach at least once a year. I like the atmosphere in Wilmington. It's a typical beach-side town, smells like fishing and life is pretty laid-back. We're about 2 hours inland from Wilmington.
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#2306515 - 07/05/11 09:19 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
volvos_rock Offline


Registered: 04/23/11
Posts: 137
Loc: PA
I can say (from expierience) +1 on the HM for helping with leaks. Bought a Volvo 850 in 08' with about 220k on the clock, leaked like a collinder. After about a year, 10k or so, and three oil changes with Valvoline HM it did not leak a drop (still consumed a little, 1 quart in 4 month OCI).

Enjoy your trip!


Edited by volvos_rock (07/05/11 09:19 AM)
Edit Reason: added
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#2306661 - 07/05/11 12:38 PM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 1297
Loc: Indiana
Thanks Rock, good to hear. Like I said earlier, I really can't expect HM to solve my issues. If it does, I will certainly be singing its praises. It will get a good, long, hot run-in on this trip so it will have plenty of opportunity to do what it's going to do. I'll be carrying a couple quarts of back up just in case.
_________________________
2014 Camaro 2SS/RS LS3 Vert Dexos1 3500
2012 Sienna XLE 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2011 Accord V6 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2004 Intrepid 100,000 PP 5W-30

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#2308381 - 07/07/11 06:01 AM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
Paulson Offline


Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 348
Loc: Minnesota
My 94 Intrepid 3.3L has 257K on the clock currently and runs great... transmission slips a little here and there but it's to be expected for that many miles.

I'd say do it and keep the car running... $300 is cheaper than years of car payments!
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01 5.3L Suburban 213K - OReilly Syn 5w30/M1-206
94 3.3L Intrepid 264K - Ace 10w30/DW-4670
06 2.0L Mazda 3 122K - O'Reilly Syn 5w20/M1-102

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#2308892 - 07/07/11 04:53 PM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Paulson]
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 1297
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By: Paulson
I'd say do it and keep the car running... $300 is cheaper than years of car payments!

Amen to that. The body is in great shape, the vehicle drives really nicely and we've already invested in some major mechanical replacements. Like I said, I'll probably get the gasket work done after this trip. It will be interesting to see what's dripping when we get back.
_________________________
2014 Camaro 2SS/RS LS3 Vert Dexos1 3500
2012 Sienna XLE 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2011 Accord V6 30,000 0W-20 TGMO
2004 Intrepid 100,000 PP 5W-30

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#2309752 - 07/08/11 02:09 PM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
hypervish Online   content


Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 1467
Loc: new jersey
My 96' Dodge Grand Caravan has 230k miles on it (3.8L), but it's on the 4th transmission... yep that's right 4th... that's even the worst part, it's starting to slip again...

I only use the van for hauling parts back and fourth from the junkyard for my uncle's shop, so it's in pretty bad shape.

All the transmissions i installed were Mopar Brand- New but they were still [censored].

I'd keep driving it till the trans. [censored] out then just junk it.


Edited by hypervish (07/08/11 02:10 PM)
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PP w/ Pure Plus 5W-30
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#2313176 - 07/11/11 09:58 PM Re: High mileage Chrysler/Dodge minivans w/3.3L [Re: Indydriver]
CBR.worm Offline


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1385
Loc: Jupiter, Fl
They seem to be hit or miss. I had one that I used to tow trailers regularly that the tranny never wore out - and it was an '89 grand voyager with the 3.0 and infamous first year A604 ultradrive. A head gasket at 289K was the final nail in the coffin, at that point the van wasn't really in great shape and oil consumption had gotten to be about a quart every other tank of gas (valve guide seals), the A/C stopped working again and none of the power windows would go down, the 'wood' had all blown off the sides and only one speaker worked, but the transmission still shifted better than most do today, I still miss the buzz-click as it would roll to a stop.

Friends of mine had identical vans that had tranny failure after tranny failure after tranny failure. Others had no problems.

I was in an early '00's chrysler minivan a few weeks ago with 237K on it, I could tell it needed motor mounts, but the owner said he had never had any problems aside from squeaks and rattles.
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'06 Infiniti G35 Sedan 6MT - 145k

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