2005 Grand Caravan questions

Messages
623
Location
Pullman Wa
Does the 3.3 V6 have a timing chain or belt? The owner's manual says that under normal driving conditions the tranny fluid/filter doesn't need to be changed, why do they say this? I'm a new owner of this used minivan and any info about the vehicle would be very helpful. Thank you
 
Messages
632
Location
Idaho
3.3 is belt 3.8 is chain,and the tranny and filter should be changed with Atf+4....I like the Redline C+ myself. The reason they are making that statement is the synthetics in today's OEM trannys are good for 100,000.But ask any bitoger here and they would change before that. If you want to know how the fluid is doing, send a sample into a analyer that sponsers here on this forum. Or flush the system around 75,000 with Atf+4. I would do the sample thing and see what they say. Keep us posted, I would like to know...by the way, how many miles on the van now?
 

Buick92

Thread starter
Messages
623
Location
Pullman Wa
There are 20,000 miles on the van now, when I looked up for a timing belt for the 2005 3.3 engine it listed a chain instead of a belt that is why I was wondering about the belt, the owner's manual says nothing in regards to a timing belt replacement, it only mentions the 2.4 timing belt change at 90,000 miles.
 
Messages
23,745
Location
CA
Changing the fluid and filter every 30,000 mile with the OEM ATF+4 is probably overkill, but is good preventive maintenance. Every 60,000 miles is more than enough, especially if you do a complete fluid and filter change. Since the new Mobil 1 ATF is suitable ATF+4 applications, you should consider using it despite its lacking of Chrysler approval. Perhaps you should unhook the return line, allow the engine to pump out all but 1/2 qt, drop the pan, change the filter, and refill with Mobil 1 ATF at 30,000 miles, then repeat every 60,000 thereafter? [I dont know]
 
Messages
135
Location
chicago
disagree. chrysler trannys have become better and better, yet i would not go 60k or never change. mine is a 99 and i change it once a year, regardless. do some checking on the a604 tranny on the minivan section of allpar and you will likely change your mind. i'd also suggest atf+4 only in this tranny. also look at the grille, is there a secondary cooler from the factory on the vehicle? if not, i'd have one installed and consider a second inline filter like a magnafine. regards engine, it has no timing belt. it is a timing chain. it is a classic old pushrod v6. somewhat outdated compared to the dohc hondas and toyotas, but there is alot to be said about simplicity when repairs do need to be done and the motor is pretty bulletproof. good luck.
 
Messages
777
Location
USAF Museum
The Allpar link smeltjr referred to above. Go there and your research will confirm what he said. That research will also convince you to treat your transmission to regular filter and fluid changes with Mopar ATF+4, and to install an auxiliary transmission cooler if it does not already have one. If you do the maintenance yourself, consider getting the reusable pan gasket. The part # for it will be in those threads.
 
Messages
2,324
Location
Baltimore, MD
i second the use of atf+4 only. the +4 allows longer fluid changes. in one of our neons book it says to change the fluid every 48000 or so but a lot sooner if anything else is used. amsoil's, redline's, and mobil 1's atf's meet the atf+4 spec. you can also go to the dealer for normal +4. my dad just changed the fluid in his 05 cummins with the redline atf. hes not one to go against factory recomendations, so im guessing he really likes the redline.
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
Unless Chrysler has redesigned these engines recently, the 3.3 and 3.8 are pushrod engines.
 

blupupher

Site Donor 2021
Messages
6,926
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
Yup, the 3.3/3.8 (the 3.8 is a stroked 3.3) are old fashiond push rods with timing chains. Just change the oil and regular maintanance it should last forever. I would not use the Mobil 1 ATF, it is not approved, it just says "recomended", there is a difference. Mopar ATF+4 is only a dealer item right now (although I heard Valvoline now has their ATF+4 out). I just did a flush @ 30,000 miles on mine since I got it used. I plan on doing a filter change around 45,000 and every 15,000 after that. Many on allpar have the feeling that by 2004, most all of the tranny issues have been resolved, but why chance it. And I agree with the above, an aux cooler will only help (unless yours has the towing package, which is not likely with the 3.3).
 
Messages
632
Location
Idaho
Well it looks like you have the chain...cool, and if you read the posts and take the middle ground...you would service the transmission at 50k and forget about the engine. I believe the engine uses 5-20, what oil and filter will you be running? I have a 94 Town and Country with the 3.8 and love it. Just turned 185K
 
Messages
23,745
Location
CA
quote:
yet i would not go 60k or never change
Agreed... [I dont know] If it makes you more comfortable, by all means change it every 30K. But one should consider "extracting" the fluid from the dipstick tube using an oil extractor every 30K, then change the filter and pull the pan every 60K. I think a transmission filter should last 60K, right?
 

vad

Messages
1,856
Location
So Cal
quote:
disagree. chrysler trannys have become better and better
There are of the same ***ty design, one of the worst in the segment. I hear the next DymlerChrysler minivan redesign will be shared with VW. Expect major changes, including the transmission.
quote:
regards engine, it has no timing belt. it is a timing chain. it is a classic old pushrod v6. somewhat outdated compared to the dohc hondas and toyotas
Somewhat??? [Big Grin]
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by GoldenRod: I'm just curious as to what oil viscosity Chrysler recommends for their 3.3/3.8 V6 [Confused]
5w20
 
Messages
189
Location
Atlanta
My mother has blown 3 Town and Country trannies on 3 different vehicles with mostly highway travel at approximately 60,000 miles each time. This was even changing the fluids at 30,000 miles at the dealer. The vans were 98, 01, and 03. For the record, the factory fluids have gotten better, but it is still the same garbage tranny. Why do you think Chysler and Dodge vans are listed as Consumer Reports "worst bets" for used cars? Why do you think they almost have the worst resale value in its class? The depreciation makes them atractive used vehicles, but maintence is the KEY ingredient to making sure that it doesn't turn into a costly mistake. Change to a fully synthetic tranny fluid ASAP. Also consider doing a pan drop, followed by an immediate flush everytime thereafter to make sure that you get a fresh filter, and have completely new fluid.
 
Messages
849
Location
WA
Hey Buick92, Does that thing have a Hemi? BTW: Make sure you pick up a few bottles of Zaino or Zymol (you'll need enough to do both your van and my truck).
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by GoldenRod: G-Man II, If a pushrod motor can run with 5W-20, then why is there 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40.... on the market?
Because people still buy those grades. Duh. And in the case of 5w30 and 10w30, these are still the specified grades for a good number of engines coming out of Detroit. There is nothing intrinsic about a pushrod engine that would preclude running 5w20. The 5.7 Hemi used in the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Magnum, and Dodge Charger comes with 5w20 in the sump. The aforementioned 3.3 and 3.8 come with 5w20. These are all pushrod engines. Ford specs 5w20 for their 3.0 and 3.8 V6s, and these are pushrod engines. They back spec it for the 4.9 I6 and 5.0 V8, and these are pushrod engines.
 
Messages
231
Location
Kansas
FWIW - I've run MC 5W20 in my 05 Caravan 3.3 for two 3K oil changes. (switched from Penz) So far so good...the engine is very quiet and smooth.
 

JTK

Messages
13,375
Location
Buffalo, NY
Buick92- Your GC is no worse than the GM, FMC or Honda MV's. The 3.3/3.8's run forever, are not costly to maintain and have good power and economy. As for the transaxle, dont romp on it all the time, dont tow anything, keep up on the maint and she'll do fine for you. You could have spent 2x the money on a honda and had the same worries + a timing belt, etc.. G/luck Joel
 
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