Recently had to buy my wife (78yo) a replacement for her old but loved '98 Dodge Caravan, only 76K but starting to rust and AC no longer working in spite of recharging etc. I did all oil changes 4x/year etc. since we are small people (5’2) she loved sitting up high and getting in and out of the vehicle was fantastic. Unfortunately, it did not have the sliding door on the driver side nor electric windows (her choice). Since Dodge stopped making the shorter wheelbase and went to Grand Caravan, were worried the newer models of Caravan or Town and Country would not easily fit in the garage. Also, since about 2015 to now, Pacifica especially, have narrowed the window height by a few inches, but this was very uncomfortable for her. Beware, elderly people need the rear doors to be sliders (Journeys etc don’t have them), especially to unload the Walmart Shopping carts. You want the protection of loading between cars and not at the rear end because the idiots zooming by.
We located a used 2014 Town and country with only 34K and perfect shape. Yes the wheelbase was longer than the old Caravan but we made a slight adjustment in the garage. It also has the Sto/Go seats. When purchasing the vehicle I asked how and where the temp tire portal crank was located, the old Caravan was at the back compartment. I was shown that it was just in front of the consul between the driver and passenger. I was shown where the compartment for the jack and cranks were stored and "oh by the way you have a small air compressor for emergency inflation. I am now 81, a Viet Nam Vet, I don’t bend or stoop too easily, so I didn’t look under the car and we drove it home. Wife loves it.
About a month later she tells me the dash warning shows a low tire pressure. Also, time for an oil change. Strange, since it was purchased with full warranty and all the bells and whistles of Dealer warranty I decided to see where the oil filter was since I do my own maintenance after I filled the tires.
Finally , biting the rag I get down on the hands and knees and glimpse over at the temp tire cradle and it was empty. I immediately call the sale manager and gave him the vin number and was informed that there was no temp tire and the air compressor should take of any flats. Whoa Nellie, what do you do when you blow the tire of have a major puncture. You call the roadside assistance and he can’t do a darn thing for you other than tilt bed tow you off the road. Great if you are within 5-10 miles from home or your tire shop. What if you were on the way to a family wedding or a relatives funeral out of town. Or its 2 AM and your headed home from Disney World (car filled with screaming kids) and it is Sunday evening. Gee, we’re sorry you didn’t full understand (dealer) but to keep car costs and weight down, decided not to furnish a temp , since so few are ever used…BOY TILL YOU NEED ONE AT 2AM DRIVING I75 IN INNERCITY DETROIT, CHICAGO, PHILIDEPHIA, ETC. More than half the people I asked were not aware what potential jeopardy they were in. Fortunately, I have a tremendous relationship with a tire dealer and he was able to locate me a aluminum wheel and used tire from what have been a totaled vehicle. I realize it won’t stow under but I have plenty of room in the back compartment and the total assurance that if a tire goes, I have a usable spare that will carry me hundreds of miles till I get to a real tire shop
Brought to you as a public service and I’m burning off my nightly insomnia. don’t be caught short for you, your spouse, your children and friends and family.
Ddinky Dau, and ddmau, bro. Remember 58K didn’t make it home…pray for them and their families.