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Transmissions

Quick question…which is more reliable, Dodge Caravan or Chevy Astro with 140,000 plus miles on them ?

As far as transmissions go, I give the nod to the Astro and it’s 700R4 transmission. The Dodge may have Chrysler’s not-so-great “Ultradrive” A604 unit.

I agree in principle with FoDaddy, but there is another consideration, namely maintenance.

If neither vehicle has had the transmission serviced every 30k miles or so, they are both prone to transmission failure at any point after ~90k miles. At 140k+ miles, a non-maintained automatic transmission is essentially a ticking time bomb waiting to explode with the contents of your wallet.

One of the reasons why I don’t buy used vehicles is because they rarely come with complete maintenance records. However, if you can verify that one of these 2 vehicles did have its transmission serviced appropriately, then I would give the nod to that one–even if it is a Chrysler product.

Flip a coin.

Although neither are my favorites I had a Chevy Lumina APV van circa 1996 that held up well. I’ve heard of lots of problems with Chysler mini vans long before the 140K mile mark. From 140K miles on I’d expect Chysler mini vans to be expensive to maintain.

Of the two the Astro is going to hold up better. The Astro is not a very sophisticated design, it handles badly, rides badly etc. In this case however less sophisticated means simplier and easier to repair as the miles pile up.

You don’t mention the model year for the vehicles.

I agree with the “maintenance” wildcard that others have mentioned. We have a 1996 Dodge Caravan with 176K miles on it. Never had transmission problems.

It is being turned in as a Clunker in the CFC program. The drivetrain is fine but I’m getting tired of keeping up with the rust (body and parts).

Sorry…the Astro is a '99 and the Dodge is a '01, assuming the Dodge was kept up and I have the paper work for the Astro. I know the Chevy is rough riding but it’s a PU chassis but when loaded the ride is not bad. Anyway, thanks for the input…