Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cars Suck -- Chrysler T&C In for Repairs

Got the wife's van in for repairs today -- bad news, needs a steering rack and power steering pump.

Gonna be $1,100 and take at least two days to get the parts and complete the repair.

This on a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country AWD minivan that's been treated like a baby -- I have assiduously followed the maintenance schedule for this car. And it's only got 77K miles on it.

My opinion of Chrysler has been greatly diminished by this vehicle. In the four years we've owned it, it's been in for a long series of repairs that I can only attribute to poor engineering and selection of inadequate materials.

Lessee, there was the armrest that snapped off, and the cupholders in the back that broke within the first month.

We had a seat brace on the driver's seat break and a Macpherson strut that leaked, but they were covered under warranty, so no sweat.

Then there was the oxygen sensor that burned out when the cable came loose and shorted out against the exhaust manifold. I think that was couple-three hundred bucks.

There was the power window actuator on the driver's door -- another $250 or so.

There's also a power lock solenoid on one of the rear doors that only works intermittently -- can't wait to find out what that's gonna cost.

And did I mention this thing goes through tires and brakes like I go through toilet paper?

We also own a '94 Dodge Caravan, 150K + miles and still runs like a top -- it's up on blocks right now, waiting for my daughter to get her license. Never had a lick of trouble from that other than normal maintenance. I did have to replace the tranny at 120K miles, but hey, what do expect from a car that old.

Can't figure what Chrysler did between 1994 and 2001 to diminish the quality of its vehicles, but I'll bet it could be summed up as: cost cutting.

I'll tell ya, I'm thinking one word for the next time I buy a van, and it's not "Chrysler."

It's "Toyota."

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