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High Mileage 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan

I had to have metal tubing for the front and back heaters replaced due to rusting. What can I expect to go wrong on this vehicle with 235,000 miles currently registered. I love driving this fully-loaded van.

Anything can wrong at this point. However if you are happy and can stomach the repairs drive on. It has no resale.

As andrew_j said.

Of course its completely impossible to speculate even if someone wanted to make a “most likely” list since you said nothing whatsoever about the van. Its not on it original transmission or suspension, for instance (ok - maybe that’s possible, but terribly unlikely). We don’t know a thing about your own maintenance habits, when what has been done to it etc.

As for the lines - they can be replaced by regular rubber heater hose. This will be big $$ savings over trying to get OEM hard line replacements if that’s what you are doing.

I like those Caravans, have had 2 of them. I would like to hear that it still has the original engine or tranny.

This 2003 Grand Caravan has had its oil changed every 3000-4000 miles. It is the original engin and transmission. I have never had the plugs changed nor any change in the exhaust system. I did have a tensioner (sp) changed and air conditioner charged. That is it. It has been on a lot of long trips–Outer banks of North Carolina many times and a few trips to Nashville. It has the 3.8 engine and towing package. I just do not want it to have a serious problem while on the road.

If you haven’t been doing so, start changing your transmission fluid and filter every 30k miles or so, and use only transmission fluid that meets ATF+4 specs. Anything less will croak the transmission in short order. People badmouth the A604 and its derivatives all the time, but before they were released to the general public, test bed models were racking up over a million miles without a rebuild or any problems. Keep maintenance up to date, perform repairs in a timely manner, and this car will last and last. By the way, those steel heater pipes are a very common issue on those vehicles. You are not alone having to fix that, and it does not spell the beginning of the end for this car unless you allowed the engine to overheat badly when they started leaking. Regardless of what a lot of people say, I think the Chrysler minivans are very nice vehicles, and easy to fix. Drive on and enjoy your van!

I just saw you stated you have never changed the spark plugs. By now you should be on your third set. I say go ahead and do it. It takes 20 minutes on this vehicle. Go ahead and do the spark plug wires as well. They are overdue like the spark plugs.

There’s a maintenance schedule in or with the owner’s manual. It doesn’t really sound like you followed it. If it is true that all you have done is change the oil and pretty much ignored everything else (like spark plugs, wires, cooling system, filters…) then its pretty much a miracle that you’ve gotten this far. I’d love to see what those spark plugs look like after 235K miles. The transmission fluid must be in terrible shape.

If you had reported stuff like you’ve always done the maintenance on schedule and all of that, then I’d be inclined to say that your odds of having issues would be similar to those of any used vehicle. Given what you said about the maintenance, there truly is no way to say anything. My own assessment would be that you are now riding on random chance.