Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

I dont know what to do about this @$#%^ van!

Hi, I have a 2000 town & country van, and right now it is not running very well. I went to get it looked at, but my husband wont take my results into consideration. I instead he went out and bought another car just so he can get to work, I am just lucky he is letting me drive it. The van has widows that wont work, some of the electronic devices has stopped working, and now it is clunking up a storm. The mechanic that I had look at it said it needed a new engine. My husband made me cancel the repairs that I had scheduled, and said that the machanic I chose was hosing me. Now I have an option: Do I go get the thing fixed despite the many repairs that it needs, including a bumper thanks to the blizzard of 06, or do I just get a newer car or van instead? I am supposed to be looking up my options online but frankly I wouldnt know what to look for. I am sure whatever dicision I make would be wrong anyway, but my husband is not making any progress with it!! What should I do?

You need to evaluate is it worth the repair costs windows, motor, bumper,etc… Or would it be better to replace? Have your mechanic give you a detailed description of what all needs repaired to run well. And compare what it would cost to buy another vehicle, full coverage if your paying it out, and so on. If you have your research your husband has no reason to get upset! My husband argues constantly about my clunker geo, but it runs, just not well! Good luck.

I agree with ladymechanic420. You should also find out what the Blue Book Value of your van is now if it were in good shape, and then see how much are the repairs going to be. If the repairs are substancialy more, get another vehicle.

although i own an 01 caravan, i would have to think long and hard at doing the kind of repairs you are considering.

since you have so many things to repair it seems (i don’t mean to be critical, so don’t take it that way) like you maybe, possibly have not taken the best care if this van, so any more repairs are going to just be the “tip of the iceberg” if you get my drift!

Don’t cook dinner until he has fixed every last broken item in the kitchen…lets not get into what is broken in the bedroom, but you could confront him on this too. But,I feel for your husband also. My wife has a 2000 Bravada that I call the GM POS. This POS of ours is defiant to me and a trusted, experienced shop (I am a truck mechanic with 25 years experience.). When I mention the following, don’t take my opinion. Check for yourself: ever noticed that most of the Police cars in your town are Ford Crown Victorias? Most of the city fleet vehicles are Ford? That is because many cities are just meeting the basic requirements of the fleet contract with local GM dealers and compensating with Ford products. Chevy hasn’t made a reliable product since the mid-70’s, and Chrysler is out of the question after the Diplomat Dudds. If you still need an SUV like the Town and Country, look at the new Taurus X. I usually don’t trust first year of production cars from any maker, but this Taurus X is fantastic. Also check out the Explorers. I have an explorer with 225,000 miles and it is still running like the day I drove it off the lot. But, yes, the T&C has had it. It wasn’t made to last any longer then 5 years. Do yourself a favor and don’t even think about Chrysler products or GM until GM has pulled their heads out.

Even a newer van just like the one you are driving would be good. Some of them last a long time, just not the one you have. It’s luck mostly but now it’s expensive luck.

The van is not worth the cost of installing a brand new engine IMHO, but a good used engine is an option depending on the price.
Clunking is not a good term to describe a faulty engine so it’s unclear if the van even needs an engine.

If all of the windows are inoperable this could point to something simple; fusible link, circuit breaker, etc. and no idea what these other inop electronic devices are.

This one is hard to figure since hubby is so uncooperative and I don’t want to become a marriage counselor.
Quit cooking dinner, washing his clothes, etc. and see what happens. :slight_smile:

As others have intimated, the van is only part of the problem. Ah, the joys of matrimony! (Don’t get me wrong. I am a strong believer in marriage. To prove it, I’m taking a third trip down the aisle next week!)

ALL 2000 T&Cs (and Caravans and Voyagers) clunk after a while. The anti-sway bar bushings and end links go bad. The window motors are another weak point, although nowhere near as universal as the anti-sway bar issues. What other electronic devices aren’t working?

The engines in these vans (3.3L and 3.8L) are almost bullet-proof. What’s wrong with it that the mechanic says it’s shot?

Interesting. All the folks here are trashing the husband. Yet, it sure looks like she does pretty much whatever she wants, has failed to keep her vehicle maintained and repaired, and DOES NOT LISTEN TO THE HUSBAND. Without more detail, it looks like she should stop ignoring her husband and assuming she knows more.

Does it make you guys feel more masculine to trash a husband with no information to support it? Since clunking tends to relate mostly to things other than an engine, sounds like the husband knows what he is talking about. Yet, you are encouraging her to dump on him some more.

Oh good grief! I just wanted some advice about the van, I had no idea I would start a big arguement about the husband! I do NOT ignore him, he is a control freak and threatened to leave with the kids unless I did it his way!! I do not get to do whatever I want! I wish! Before you start judging people you should try to figure out the whole picture, or dont say anything. Thank you for the actual van advice that I got, some of it was actually useful.

sorry you had to experience the ill effects of this site,but its just a bunch of old people chatting,just read some of the other posts and youll understand.they dont know you but will trash your way of life ,and god forbid you speak your mind.whew!.. GREAT ENTERTAINMENT THOUGH!


hello brokenvan2000, Let the truth be known! If the engine is running it does not mean it is blown! A blown engine would not run at all! The fact of the matter is, the heads are going out, that could be determined by the heavy knocking in the valve covers, loss of power,smell of gasoline coming out of the exhaust pipe. Just because a mechanic says the engine is blown or needs to be replaced, doesnt neceasarily meanits true. A mechanic that would state that you neet to shel out $300 for a new engine block, is only looking to make a nice paycheck. The truth of the matter is, do not trust a stranger. To repair the actual problem with the engine would only cost a few hundred dollars. As far as the other items in the van, those do not effect the engine. ( I am van’s husband so I know what I am talking about!!!)


NOW, there are some symptoms accumulated: “…it is not running very well.” “…it is clunking up a storm.” “…the heads are going out.” [!!!]. “…heavy knocking in the valve covers; loss of power; smell of gasoline coming out of the exhaust pipe.”
[Listing the symptoms didn’t take many pages, did it?]

There is definitely a problem in the valve train. Remove the valve cover and examine the valve train.
Then, discover the engine size and whether the timing chain, or timing belt have gone south [gone out of time.]

Some slightly incorrect information and this whole thing sounds pretty screwed up.
A “blown engine” certainly can run depending on the definition of “blown”.
The part about the heads going out and causing a gas smell at the tailpipe is also odd.

If the problem (knocking) is nothing more serious than a fault in the valve train then why not fix it?
As to 300 dollars for a new engine block and making a nice paycheck - only in someone’s wildest, drug induced dreams would this occur.

At this point not one of us knows exactly what is wrong with this engine since any comments from the owners of this van are very hazy to put it mildly.

I also don’t see where anyone has stated that other problems affect the engine or are affected by the engine. The point of the exercise is trying to help someone determine if the van is worth fixing based on the complaints and as to the engine we’re still pretty much in the dark on that.

If the van needs quote “a new engine” then dump the vehicle. If the van only needs a top end repair that is related to the valve train then it’s a “maybe” on the repair.

thats a GREAT idea. click on this genious’ name, and look at the last three information packed, useless, uninspired reponses. see if THAT doesn’t make you wonder which dealership this guy works for!? (and how to avoid him like the plague)

What a completely useless post. Seriously, if you don’t have something to add don’t say anything at all. You keep telling others this but you’re too incompetent to do it yourself.

All due respect ma’am if you review your initial post it is impossible to separate your frustration with your husband from your frustration with the van. If you want only commentary about the technical problems of the van and its repairs, then just describe the problems with the van. You opened the doors for seeing the van’s problems in light of the personalities surrounding it.

was this directed at me? I just wanted to share with you ppl an update: The van has a thrown rod and has been uncrivable for months. THanks for adding the advice!! I drive my husband’s car now, no van for me…:frowning:

If your husband does not believe the first mechanic, get some other opinions on your car problems. Maybe he can suggest a mechanic. I’d guess that your mechanic is his, too. He might also ask his friends and coworkers for a suggestion on a mechanic. If it needs a new engine, then I’d get another car or van.