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Old 10-05-2011, 01:32 AM   #1
chia
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Recommend me a minivan for work



Our business has been rocking a 94 GMC safari until big blue sadly passed away this week.

Does anybody have any advice/recommendations?

I'm looking for something:
*Cheap ($6k range)
*Good on gas
*Enough space for tools, a ladder, cable boxes, etc.

I'm not worried about power or aesthetics. I need a reliable car that is going to get me from job A to job B for a few years with little maintenance expenses.


I've been looking for dodge grand caravans.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:59 AM   #2
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^ If you get a Dodge Caravan, install a transmission "Oil" cooler right away.
The $150 will go a long way to saving the transmission.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:18 AM   #3
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My parents had a Chevy Venture. It would get almost 800km per tank mixed driving. We also drove that thing to Myrtle Beach loaded with clothing and such. I also used that van in high school to carry 8 friends around to parties. I actually miss that van
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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My folks have an '06 Sienna and the only thing it's ever needed is regular maintenance. 165k and only brakes, oil and tires.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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My folks have an '06 Sienna and the only thing it's ever needed is regular maintenance. 165k and only brakes, oil and tires.

Sienna is a good van. I like the Oddessy as well (but a few have had Tranny issues). Once again, put a larger oil cooler. It will go a long long way to saving the Tranny.

The Venture, I would stay away from. They have head gasket issues.
It's a lot of labour. Cylinder #1 way at the back goes first.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:30 PM   #6
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the Sienna & Oddessy is the way to go for reliability, but those 2 minivan also cost a lot more new or used, I agree with MrRWD, the Caravan will be much cheaper & parts are everywhere, and like he said install the tranny cooler, when my parents has a Plymouth Voyager it would intermitently have tranny problems, just for thought those Dodge minivans also had rust issues with the hood & tailgate.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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Yeah the Odyssey and Sienna are definitely the top rated minivans, but definitely out of my price range.

Thanks for the quick input. I walked into work today and the pops already picked up a really cheap 02 Pontiac Montana this morning.

Unfortunately, I just read that these are notorious for head gasket problems as well =/
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:23 PM   #8
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who wants to lend me a minivan friday to move a hood?
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chia View Post
Yeah the Odyssey and Sienna are definitely the top rated minivans, but definitely out of my price range.

Thanks for the quick input. I walked into work today and the pops already picked up a really cheap 02 Pontiac Montana this morning.

Unfortunately, I just read that these are notorious for head gasket problems as well =/
Just drive it till it blows. A family friend had one and it was a nightmare.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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Yeah the Odyssey and Sienna are definitely the top rated minivans, but definitely out of my price range.

Thanks for the quick input. I walked into work today and the pops already picked up a really cheap 02 Pontiac Montana this morning.

Unfortunately, I just read that these are notorious for head gasket problems as well =/
Just watch the coolant level, and the condition of the coolant.
Don't let this motor overheat, as it will surely warp/crack the head.

As others have mentioned, if it worth less than $1.5K when/if it starts going, drive it into the ground.

Repairs are around $1K and quite difficult to do (access).
Apparently, dropping the motor a little makes the work go easier.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #11
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Just watch the coolant level, and the condition of the coolant.
Don't let this motor overheat, as it will surely warp/crack the head.

As others have mentioned, if it worth less than $1.5K when/if it starts going, drive it into the ground.

Repairs are around $1K and quite difficult to do (access).
Apparently, dropping the motor a little makes the work go easier.
these are more know for intake gaskets going not headgaskets. think i have changed a headgasket in one, maybe two of these. as for intake gasket replacement. i have done hundreds. when these go you leak antifreeze, or have the oil and coolant mix. and no you dont have to drop the motor to do it. ive done these on ventures, malibus, aleros, grand ams, grand prixs, century, and so on and so on you get the idea
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:56 PM   #12
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problem is that the gasket is made of plastic with silicone. the plastic deteriorates with age. the upgraded revised gasket is made of metal and silicone. this is the one that should be used if you ever get that job done. should prevent that from happening again
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:20 AM   #13
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Intake Gaskets is a common problem on the 3.1's, 3.4's, and 3.8's from GM.

The headgasket is definitely an issue on the 3.4's. A lot of people simply toss the vehicle when that occurs. A GM mechanic told me they lower the motor slightly, to make the job go much faster (for more room).

Anyway, check your coolant levels very very regularly.
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