2018 Dodge Caravan - PentaStar 3.6L V6 Check In

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25,050
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ON, Canada eh?
I just thought I would summarize some of the observations I had while taking the long road trip to Ohio in the new Caravan for reference by others that own this vehicle or similar engine from FCA. Vehicle: 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan GT 3.6L V6 PentaStar V6 62TE 6 Speed Transmission (Mercedes/Chrysler design running ATF+4) Purchased new as of 10/10/2018 Mileage as of 10/22/2018 - 3560km (2225 miles) - Changed the oil twice from the factory fill during this time using conventional to rinse the engine of break in particulate / assembly lube / gasket material etc. - Broken in as per the manual recommendations. - Driven normally after formal break-in was completed at 500km. Noticed during the trip and after the trip: Fuel economy average was reset when I got on the highway: 10.2L / 100km (23.06mpg) when I arrived 8 hours later at my destination. Fuel economy average with in-town driving: (12.1L / 100km) (19.44 mpg) Fuel economy average with drive back: 9.8L / 100km (24.00 mpg) The transmission had really positive engagements and felt grabby while shifting under low throttle and at lower speeds. This smoothed out dramatically by the end of the trip. (Checked the fluid before the trip and it was full) Thermostat opening temperature for this engine is 95C (203F) Engine coolant temperature on the highway never exceeded 95C (203F) Engine coolant temperature in-town never exceeded 105C (221F) - Cooling fan kicks in at this point Engine oil temperature on the highway never exceeded 87C (188.6 F) Engine oil temperature in-town never exceeded 100C (212F) - Briefly hit this maximum once (Engine is equipped with a oil to coolant heat exchanger. ) Oil pressure is not linear in this engine and the ECM controls the pressure based on oil temperature and demand from the engine so it fluctuates. (More about that here: https://www.pentastars.com/engines/tech.php) All in all I'm happy about this purchase and the performance of this vehicle since I bought it and with some miles on the engine now it feels like it has loosened up a bit and it very eager to perform with minimal throttle input. I'm looking forward to keeping this vehicle as long as possible and it should see a long life thanks to its great design and the easy type of miles I put on my vehicles with the long runs up-down the highway. Any questions let me know. I would be happy to provide information.
 
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3,646
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
Do you have a device or are you using the car's display to access the temperature information?
Originally Posted by StevieC
Any questions let me know. I would be happy to provide information.
Burnout vid, please!
 

StevieC

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25,050
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ON, Canada eh?
Originally Posted by Inked
Sister to the Pacifica? If so, any reason why you went with the Caravan instead?
The Pacifica has the same engine but with a 9-speed transmission and built on a different frame entierely. The Caravan has the older 6 speed. The 9-speed had issues when it first came out along with other new model issues and I didn't consider it out long enough to warrant putting it on my safe list. Maybe when they refresh the design and have ironed out all the bugs completely in 5 years time when I'm due to replace this one I will have a look. I drove a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan for work and have seen the abuse they put up with by co-workers that would do oil changes whenever they got around to it sometimes many thousands of miles after the OLM had told them to change the oil all on conventional oil. They never changed the transmission fluid in them and the vans spent their whole lives fully loaded and were operated like fleet vehicles with extended periods of idling as well. I bought the one I drove that I looked after properly and did the maintenance on time from my work at the time when the lease was up, for my dad and he is still driving it with 300K so I know this is a proven durable design. He still uses bulk conventional oil and it doesn't use any and still has all original parts other than the battery, brakes and tires! I also am not a fan of the styling of the Pacifica and I happened to get my Caravan GT loaded for less than what a Pacifcia would be loaded as well.
 
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StevieC

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25,050
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ON, Canada eh?
Originally Posted by Inked
Gotcha. With the exception of the tranny and asthetics, same feature set in both I presume?
Similar but different units for the Nav/Radio unit.
 
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One option in the Caravan that I like, if you have kids, is that it can be optioned to have two DVD screens, one for the second raw and one for the third raw. The Pacifica, on the other hand, can also be optioned to have two DVD screens, passenger airplane style, but these are only for the second raw, nothing is there for the third raw. They should've included a third screen suspended from the ceiling for the third raw, like in GC.
 

StevieC

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25,050
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ON, Canada eh?
Originally Posted by WobblyElvis
The highway mileage? Is this highway only and the speed? Driving style? I think they make a proven vehicle.
Most of the trip was 70mph there was some 55/60mph zones the way we travelled. The fuel economy numbers were reset when we got on the highway and reset again once we got off at our destination. The only change would be getting off briefly for fuel once in between and then getting back on the highway. Maybe 2 miles at best in these numbers so not enough to really skew them. I'm not heavy footed on the accelerator from the light. I would consider my acceleration away from a light would be moderate with the shifts happening about 3,000 rpm. I rarely passed anyone with the need to drop a gear just a tad bit more pressure on the accelerator and allowing the van to creep up in speed. Some hills on the trip had the engine briefly drop a gear but for the most part the engine just lugged up in its 6th speed. It's quite the hauler even at lower RPM's. RPM on the highway at 70mph is about 1800.
 
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StevieC

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25,050
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ON, Canada eh?
Originally Posted by PimTac
You should start a diary thread on your car.
I'll just update this one as time goes on. Fingers crossed it doesn't meet the same fate my Journey did with some idiot taking it out well before its time. frown
 

JTK

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13,643
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Buffalo, NY
Just curious if the 2018 version of the 62TE in these vans still shudders a bit in reverse when backing up an incline. Those engine temps are pretty much inline with the pentastar in my 2017 Ram 1500. I've seen engine oil and transmission oil temps hit 215-217F on mine on a 93F day. Oil pressure is annoying to watch. It's all over the place as designed. I believe low is in the 35psig range and high is 99 on mine. My (digital) engine oil and coolant temp indications don't go below 100F. For what ever reason the transmission fluid temp indication will drop to what ever ambient is.
 
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StevieC

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Messages
25,050
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ON, Canada eh?
Originally Posted by JTK
Just curious if the 2018 version of the 62TE in these vans still shudders a bit in reverse when backing up an incline. Those engine temps are pretty much inline with the pentastar in my 2017 Ram 1500. I've seen engine oil and transmission oil temps hit 215-217F on mine on a 93F day. Oil pressure is annoying to watch. It's all over the place as designed. I believe low is in the 35psig range and high is 99 on mine. My (digital) engine oil and coolant temp indications don't go below 100F. For what ever reason the transmission fluid temp indication will drop to what ever ambient is.
I'm not aware of this shudder as it didn't happen in the 2012 my dad has or my in-laws 2017 and both of them have inclined driveways, unless it needs to be really steep. I will check it on mine next time I'm at my dad's. I'm still messing around with the X-Gauge on my ScanGauge-II with other codes from models of Jeep etc. to see if I can get it to read Torque Converter / Pan oil temperatures in the transmission as I can't see this on the driver information center which is stupid considering I have the towing package and can read oil temp / pressure and coolant temperatures digitally.
 
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StevieC

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25,050
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ON, Canada eh?
Originally Posted by AZjeff
Interesting to see a guy so into a.........shh.(minivan). Carry on and many trouble free kms ahead! thumbsup
I'm into what is comfortable for my back, durable to last the length of the loan, and has enough cargo capacity for road trips and that does well in the snow. The Caravan fits this bill for me so I'm ok with the soccer-mom persona. grin2 Besides I think it looks great in black with the darkened headlights. [Linked Image]
 
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2,727
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WY
We have a 2014. It replaced a 2005 Chrysler minivan. Best value on the American err Canadian road imo. The van will return better than 27 mpg on premium gas and 70 mph. On regular gas at 80 she gets 23-25 mpg. The 6 speed transmission can be somewhat harsh in gear engagement which I favor over the too greasy slipping into gear most transmissions do. It now has about 47,000 on it and the original transmission fluid. I plan on changing it and the filter at 50,000. It started life until 40k on Valvoline 5w20 conventional. I went to Red Line 5w20 for the last 7k and will probably go to whatever when it's due again. Normal Battery and tire replacements and the rear evaporator sprung a leak. I capped those lines and recharged just the front which is plenty to cool the whole van and saves me a days labor and a few hundred dollars. The same thing happened to the old van with the same results from me, it is a known issue. I may someday repair it but probably not. Funny story the old Chrysler minivan had 180,000 miles on it when I bought this new van. I was gonna privately sell it for $3500 but the dealer offered $4500 so I traded her in. I rarely drive the van but am always thoroughly impressed when I do. Congrats!
 
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11,960
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USA
You may want to get the Dorman transmission pan and change the ATF every year if not every OCI. Use any licensed ATF+4 during the warranty period, then use Redline C+ once the warranty expires smile
 
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