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Future Of My Van

My only vehicle (purchased new) is a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country Van with 91,000 (Blue Book approx. $5,500). Regular maintenance & needed
repairs have been done over the years. Can I expect many more 1,000s of miles of use? How much $$$ is reasonable to put in as time
passes or before considering a vehicle replacement? I would appreciate in put, etc. Thanks. REM

I think u can expect many more miles. That’s my gut feeling.

Just keep up with the regular maintenance that’s listed in your owner’s manual. With that and a little luck your van could see 200K on the clock. If you do run into a mechanical problem just weight the cost versus the benefit. If the repair is $2K and will make your vehicle whole again then it’s worth repairing. If the repair is more than the value of the van just sell it for parts and buy another vehicle.

One thing you might do that’s not in the owners manual is to have the transmission fluid changed, making sure the factory-specified type is used. For an infrequent item like this I use the dealer, just to make sure the right fluid is used.

As for $$ over time, given that a new car payment is about $1,000/month, I’d consider most things short of replacing the transmission or engine ‘reasonable’.

Agree that you can get another 5 years out of this vehicle with any luck at all. Just keep maintaining it.

The Transmission is the weak link…if it fails, you are done…So as Tex recommended, have it properly serviced to extend its life as long as possible…

Its not the transmission or the engine, if either of these go, replacing them is always a good ROI (return on investment). Its the body and the interior that determine when to give up. Those are the really big ticket items.

A new van will run you about $30k. Its worth about $5500 right now. If you had to put in a new engine and transmission right now, you would be looking at about $9k, but then you would be looking at another 10 years and 100k or about $75/month amortized cost. A new van would run you about $250/mo amortized cost for the same time period.

But your engine should be good for 200k and the transmission at least another 35k, longer if you change that fluid as recommended here. BTW, be sure that the old fluid is drained and the pan is dropped and filter changed.

A lot of shops just want to hook up a fluid exchange machine or flush machine. Do not allow that unless they first drop the pan and change the filter. If they don’t drop the pan and change the filter, go somewhere else. Also make sure they use the factory recommended fluid (ATF+4) and not some universal stuff with an additive.

Yes on the transmission fluid change, pan drop and refill but no flush and make sure they use ATF +4. If you have the 3.3 or the 3.8 engine, then no timing belt, they should last a long time, but are prone the head gasket issues.

I have a 2000 (previous generation) 3.3 with 151K miles. At around 100-120K miles had a mid-life crisis. I can list the parts that I or the mechanic has changed, it I did not do most of the work myself, the cost would have been prohibitive. Right now, it seeps a lot of oil from all seals, but doesn’t burn any oil and the seepage is minimal.
So as far as parts for me, what I remember is ‘Rear shocks, sway bar bushings, Water pump, belt, tensioner X 2, alternator, radiator X 2 (defective part), brake master cylinder and rear wheel cylinder, fuel pump, front wheel bearings, brake light switch, power window switch’. Also I should mention we are pretty easy on the car :slight_smile:

A cousin of mine with a Town and Country of your vintage got 300,000 miles out of his. We have the prior generation T&C and have just shy of 160,000 miles on it at present. I agree with the others to change the transmission fluid with a pan drop/filter change…not a flush! And to make sure that ATF +4 transmission fluid is used. I know others who have over 200K miles on their vans and are still driving them.