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Want to buy 2002 Chrysler Town and Country

I have the following cars

1997 Toyota Camry 150k miles running great

2003 Honda civic 60K miles running great

(I have loan on civic)

I am thinking of selling Civic and buy a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country with 62K miles on it. It needs mechanical work of around $1500/-. As of now it is in a running condition. Its my friend’s van.

Want to sell civic and buy this and pay off loan completely.

Please suggest whether its worth to buy this van or not.

NO !
You have two very reliable cars and are lulled, as many are, into thinking this dog will give you decent service after a repair. It will nickel and dime you to death. Save your pennies for a Honda or Toyota minivan or go with a compact SUV which are quite roomy. I recommend you stay away from this Turkey. Friend or no friend, good vehicles seldom need This much cost for mechanical work after only 62k miles. Run away.Keep theCivic, it"s a good car if you don’t really need a van.

These things are apples & oranges. In order to even start thinking about it one would need to know a bunch of things, like: what are you trying to accomplish? What is the $1500 worth of work & what would you end up paying before that? What does the friend have for maintenance records on the van?

But, in general, regardless of those answers I would just say that car sales among friends is a really really bad idea - no matter what.

That mini-van would end up costing you a lot more in repairs and gas.

You Don’t Say !
You Don’t Say How Much You’d Have To Pay For The T & C.
You Don’t Say What Needs Fixing / Maintaining To The Tune Of $1500.
You Don’t Say How Much You Owe On The Loan (Just On The Old Civic Or 2 Cars ?) ?

Was your friend the original owner of the van ?
Was it maintained?
Is the old Toyota paid for ?

Without the information, nobody can give you advice that’s worth a darn.

My Chrysler minivan has been a great vehicle (Make that Fantastic), but I maintain it. Give more information if you are serious about receiving worthwhile advice.


P.S. It actually would be helpful to know which engines are in each vehicle because timing belt replacements could begin entering into ownership decisions, too.

The one I owned was also fantastic. Shall we silently thumb our noses at the Honda/Toyota worship (yes, you dagosa :wink: that kicked off the thread?

I’m still just wondering whether or not this person actually needs a minivan - i.e. as in has direct practical use for one. If not I find this whole thing a nutty idea.

The Owner (Ower) Doesn’t Say How Far They Drive Per Year / Month. Also Not Known Is Whether The Larger Space Of A Van Is Needed Or Desirable. That Could Play Into A Decision.

I’m Thumbing !


It’s my opinion that Honda and Toyota make the best minivans on the market. Guess I’m in the minority.:=(
It seemed a “common sense answer”. Guess we’ve all been duped into false worship; son of a gun. I’ll think about getting on the bandwagon of the soon to be, super reliable, Fiat-controlled Chrysler Group.

Bad idea. Very bad.

I’m not going to ask why you think this is a good idea, I’m just going to suggest you do a bit of research and figure out for yourself why it’s NOT a good idea.

Bad idea. Very bad.

Yes, we all know of the general public love affair with these brands. The thing is that none of those things are ever relevant to me. The reviews and reports and whatever are all aimed at new car buyers who will have a manufacturer’s warranty, and likely trade it back in after 4 or 5 years. None of that is what I want to know about.

I want to see the reviews, not of 2010 minivans, but of 11 year old 2000 minivans with 150K miles on them. They’re more like what I drive. No one talks about that stuff. So…those links don’t say anything.

One thing I will say about Honda & Toyota is certainly not that their vehicles, in some clear way, are far superior in reliability & quality & all of that, but that those companies are far superior to most others in actually owning up to things when problems arise. So the Odyssey transmissions from the late 90s through the early '00s were rolling disasters. But Honda did all sorts of things for Odyssey owners. But you didn’t find GM dealing with its bad pressure control solenoid or LIM gasket problems. So I’ll give them that.

But don’t think that any “consumer reports” reviews somehow “prove” anything about the superiority of vehicles. For my questions and needs they are mostly irrelevant.

I’ve Been A Subscriber To CR For Decades. I Don’t Use Their Car Recommendations (Except When They Showcase Interior Space, Trunk Size, Etc.) Because I’ve Never Found That They Work For Me . . .

. . . On second thought, they do work for me. Because they have some folks thinking that Honda and Toyota vans (and other Asian cars) have this superior quality, I think it keeps the Asian car prices high and the Chrysler, GM, and Ford prices low, creating some real bargains on fantastic vehicles.

Every GM and Chrysler car I’ve owned (some purchased new and some purchased used) have been fantastic. I don’t have the problems that plague many Asian vehicles and certainly not the problems the nay-sayers belly-ache about. I bought the Caravan new, many years ago. My kids grew up with it in our family. It has been a solid, safe, reliable vehicle, and always delivers 27 - 28 MPG and we still use it for family trips. It hauls lots of people and sports equipment. Don’t believe everything you read. The proof is in the pudding. I own the vehicles.

"Guess we’ve all been duped into false worship; son of a gun."
I agree with you on this, but I didn’t fall for it.

"I’ll think about getting on the bandwagon of the soon to be, super reliable, Fiat-controlled Chrysler Group."
I have to disagree, here. I’m sitting this one out. My driveway is filling more with GM cars now and fewer Chryslers. I’m down to 2 Chryslers and up to 5 GM cars. It’s going to take some real convincing to get me into a Fiat.


This is maybe the umpteenth time the discussion gets back to CR whenever their recommendation of some products over another ensues. They are the only publication not to"accept" corporate influence, and the only one that actually gives guys like you and I a say in what products have served us best to the degree they do.

Bottom line is first, many who buy products do not like being told they may have gotten a better buy elsewhere and secondly; if you have a good experience with a product, you’ll recommend it. It’s the politic
s of car buying, and like all political debates, there is disagreement.

CR is not my guru but I will continue to make recommendations based upon their findings and conclusions in preference over Motor Trend or other corporate influenced publication. If you read my other posts, you’ll see I continue criticize Toyota for much of their profit motivated behavior including promotion of high priced service. If you’re not careful, you end up paying more for A Toyota over it’s lifetime in maintenance than You would on average for a Chrysler product in repairs.
They are all corporations out to make profit first, and deception and perception is the name of the game.
CR supports free and open access in car buying, health insurance and a host of other important issues and recognizes these behaviors and promotes consumer awareness as a non profit.

I buy Toyota products and others, not because they cost the least, which they don’t, but CR recommends Them as reliable and they along with the Hondas, Fords, Subarus and Mazda I’ve owned have gotten me safely home more times than not. I’ve given GM and Chrysler chances, but except for their trucks and captive imports I’ve been disappointed.

I agree with dagosa.

No one is claiming that Consumers Report’s method of collecting car data is perfect. No source is.


  • It has a huge sample size (in the hundreds of thousands).
  • It is not filtered by corporate profit or advertising.

Too many people rely only on their personal experience:

  • I had that car or my bro-in-law had it and it was a piece of junk
  • Friends at work say it’s a great car.
  • I’ve worked on 10-15 of these over the years at my garage and they
    are all terrible.

I’m not saying those above experiences should be discounted, but they are much more limited than the CR sample size.

Like any piece of data, you need to understand how it was collected.
In the case of CR’s auto reports, I still consider it a valuable source.

BTW, I buy compact Toyota trucks and recommend them because of what I can see when I crawl underneath them as opposed to Dodge, GM and Ford. We plow using GM because of option availability and repair convenience. my Tractors have been Kubota, not because they are better than Deeres, they aren’t, but they give you the most tractor for the buck and the cold weather performance is superior. Compact Deeres, have used Yanmar aux. Diesels for years which are not as dedicated. So really, my recommendations are not as diplomatically put as yours, but I feel they come from the same place, our individual experiences.

Camry paid off. Civic has $3500 loan on it. This van is selling for $3000. My friend brought this car in an auto auction.

A Chrysler minivan bought at an auction; I can’t think of a worse “pig in a poke” buy than that.

Honda Odysseys of the same vintage of the van that the OP is looking at had some major reliability issues.

You make a good point. Chrysler vans dominate the fleet markets and I’m guessing, put up a pretty low price when sold at auction compared to other brands. Tempting enough for many who don’t wish to spend that much to play the reliability odds.

That’s actually “the proof of the pudding is in the eating,” or in this case, the proof in the van is in the owning.