Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Good omen ? Bad omen?

While vehicle shopping to accommodate more people, ( two gransons have moved in and their 9 year old sister is soon to join us ) I was looking at minivans. On websites such as carmax and autotrader I see massive numbers of Dodge/chrysler products compared to quantaties of other brands. At least 10 to 1.

Would youall think this to be a bad omen against the brand as so many people are trying to get rid of them ?

Is it a price advantage for me with so many on the market ?

Or is it just an indication of market ratio ?

( my local servicing availability excludes some brands like Kia, Honda, and others )

a. and b., and a little c. What brands are you open for? The Mazda 5 is a bit smaller, fits 6 (if several are kids), and a bit better mpgs.

Chrysler has always had a pretty good chunk of the minivan market so it wouldn’t surprise me that you see a lot of them, although maybe 10 to 1 is a bit unusual. I wonder if maybe there’s a rental company or some other fleet that’s unloading a bunch of them on those sites you’re looking at.

Also, what backwater are you living in that doesn’t have a Honda mechanic?

The first impression we had when thinking “we need more room” was Dodge caravan or Ford freestar size vehicles.
In this small town, Mazda is another brand exlcuded if it were to need dealer service.

This town has full service GM, Ford, Toyota, and Dodge dealers and mini Hyundai and Nissan dealers…that’s it !
When buying used OR new, ‘dealer only’ service is a major concern. All the other brands are over in Albuquerque, 140 miles east.
I can name a couple good local indys I would go to without hesitation who could handle probably 80% of everything but I’d like to get a brand I’d feel comfortable with for a long period of ownership.

Although Gallup NM is on I40, it seems that we are not on anyone’s way to anywhere ! Even package freight is a sore issue sometimes. I’m still taken aback at how many people still don’t know that New Mexico is part of the united states.

Hey everybody… Get ready for the hot air balloon rallys ! The Albuquerque international balloon fiesta ( 1000 + balloons ) starts next week… and here in Gallup is the Red Rock balloon rally ( 200 balloons ) the first weekend in December.

If you are purchasing a used minivan, the care given by the previous owner(s) is as important as the brand in my humble opinion. Of the domestic makes, both GM and Ford have dropped the minivans. I believe that the last GM minivan was the 2009 Chevrolet Uplander and I think 2007 was the last Ford Freestar minivan. The Chrysler minivans came on the market about 1984–much earlier than the other brands. I’ve had good luck with both Ford and GM minivans, while my neighbor has been quite satisfied with Chrysler minivans.

Even though Dodge sells a lot of them there it seems logical that there would be more in a used lot but if they were real good why are there so many? I noticed this years ago. I IMOO would not even consider them. Try a Honda or Toyota.


I have dealer support for Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac (but losing Cadillac soon to Government Motors reorganizing). These are all within 20 miles (one way) from my house. Many independent mechanics work on these makes. We have mainly pick-ups, SUVs and large cars on the road, here.

All other brands are over 100 miles away (one way), all Asian, German, Swedish, etcetera. Independant mechanics won’t work on these cars, either.

I don’t consider my locale as being backwater. I consider it to be resort.


I’d Never Take A Honda Or Toyota In Trade For My Dodge Minivan, Never.

I don’t see how any mechanic working in the US of A in this day and age could possibly have any problems working on a Honda or a Toyota. What exactly is the major difference between imports and domestics these days? It’s not like back in the day when if you had an imported car you had to find the one mechanic in town with a set of metric wrenches. And I’m sure these places are equipped to work on Pontiac Vibes, Chevy Aveos, Duramax pickups with Isuzu engines and any other number of foreign-made rebadges. I don’t see how, warranty issues aside, this would be a major consideration.

I think Chrysler brand mini vans were by far the most prevalent in the market and would be the most common on the used market too. They can have problems as they age, but so do Honda and Toyotas. The frequency of repairs of the Chrysler mini vans is about the same as competitors, but they have more electrical problems than other mini van brands.

Rule out any mini van that has a trailer hitch on it. The most expensive and frequent problem area is the auto transmission. The more you can document up to date maintenance, especially on the tranny, the better.

You know how when you wrench with people you really get to see how their mind works and how they respond to stress? well I wrenched with two guys who “fly” (do they call it fly?) in that Festival,no way would I ever get in their ballons.

I Think Parts Availability Is The Biggest Problem Here, Not So Much The Know-How.

I tried helping out a vacationing person who drives a Hyundai Accent and it may as well of been a Stanley Steamer, no dealer and any parts had to be “special ordered - no refunds”, etcetera.


It’s good to hear you have had good luck with your Dodge. I have had 4 vans,

Ply Voyager / pos
Ford Aerostar / great
Chevy astro / great
Ford Windstar / junkstar/ crapstar

I know enough about the GM 3.1 so I never bought a front drive GM. I am not a big Toy or Honda fan but I nothing but good about them.
Hope it keeps driving well for you.