2000 Dodge Gr Caravan - Rods


We are about to trade in our 2000 Dodge Gr Caravan with 136,000 miles. However, the dealer is worried about a noise it’s making, and said something about the “rods” as being a sign the engine is about kaput. He says it’s common in this car with a 300 engine.

I’m willing to take the hit on the trade in value if this is really a potential problem. I couldn’t sell it to a private party, knowing they may have to put in a new engine in the near future. I don’t feel like I"m being shafted, but I’d appreciate any thoughts.




Is it knocking / rattling? He’s probably talking about a connecting rod knock (connecting rod being the connection between the piston and crankshaft) and that’s usually a pretty bad sound. It’s hard to be certain that’s what they’re hearing, a lot of other more minor ticks and rattles can sound like a con rod knock. Considering that it’s the dealer telling you this right as you’re about to trade it in, I would take it to a qualified independent shop and let them give it a listen.

If they’re essentially going to offer you nothing for this van because of the sound, be very wary. They are NOT going to rebuild the motor in the car, and they can’t put a dying motor on the lot, so it’ll probably go to auction and they’ll make money on it somehow. I’d be willing to bet that in the end, you could make more from a private-party sale than the trade in if they stick to their guns on the rod knock thing.

EDIT: And by my “make more money” comment, I mean after disclosing that it’s making a noise. If your independent mechanic gives it a clean bill of health, even better.