Here’s the situation: I own an 08 Dodge Caravan, 117000KM’s (Canada), bought used at 94000KM’s or so. It’s been good to us…but I have this feeling in my stomach that doom is pending on this van. I keep it well maintained, do my own work on it when I can. I am noticing more and more rust spots (underbody) and oil seepages under the hood (oil levels are good). It’s a base SE, no power doors or lift gate. Last time I did some brake work a bolt broke due to corrosion.
We have 2 kids and love the space of the stow and go’s and such. However, I’m no fool, this van is a liability in my mind. Am I overreacting?
Want to sell and buy a similar vintage Honda CR-V.
Of course you are overreacting, this ain’t no Mazda!
There’s a chance that your average 6-year-old CR-V has less rust than your van. Or perhaps what you see is a fact of life in places where there’s more salt on the roads than butter in Paula Deen’s kitchen.
Will a similar vintage Honda have less rust? Maybe. But, more importantly, will that less-rusty body last long enough to justify this effort?
More to the point, the CR-V’s resale is stronger than any base model Mopar Van: you’re gonna get hosed on this deal. Are you gonna find a comparable CR-V for less than $1000 over than your van’s market value? Possibly, but vehicles this age all have problems (leaks you mentioned are commonplace) unless the last owner did a ridiculous amount of preventative maintenance, with reams of paperwork as proof.
That said, bolts on any older vehicle get far nastier with winter salt/rust on them. Now IF you didn’t soak the bolts in penetrating oil and carefully break them free with a TON of patience and a dash of manhandling, well, you are partially to blame. That’s not hate: that’s me remembering the times I snapped bolts, kicking myself for overlooking the obvious.
So anyway…stick with the problems you know and drive the wheels off the Caravan. Literally.
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.