Scotty,

I own a 2009 Chrysler Town & Country minivan I bought new during the Cash for Clunkers program. Chrysler gave a lifetime warranty on the drivetrain. To keep the warranty valid, we have to take it in every 5 years for a free drivetrain inspection, which we’ve done and have the paperwork on file to prove it. We’ve met or exceeded all recommended maintenance and have all receipts on file from Day 1. Oil changes every 3,000 miles.

It now has 130,000 miles, and has given us only minor problems. Our lifetime total for repairs to-date is under $400 for 2 brake jobs. It has been a good vehicle for us and we like it.

But here’s the rub: we took it to a tranny shop a few months ago for the recommended 120,000 mile tranny fluid change. The shop called back and asked me to come down to look at the pan magnet. It was covered with a good quarter-inch of metal shavings. I've watched most of your videos, so I’m sure this is no surprise to you. The shop owner recommended I sell the vehicle immediately and did NOT do the flush; he just put the pan back on and replaced the lost fluid.

However, 10,000 miles later the transmission still shifts very smoothly and gives no signs of trouble. And we have that Lifetime Drivetrain Warranty from Chrysler (It is not an dealer add-on insurance policy, but manufacturer warranty).

So, does the thick coating of metal on the pan magnet concern you?

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND SELLING THE VEHICLE NOW AND SHOPPING FOR A USED SIENNA, OR KEEPING IT AND GETTING MY NEW, FREE TRANSMISSION WHEN THE ORIGINAL FAILS. (I usually keep a car for 15 years or more).

Do you know if Chrysler is good at honoring the Lifetime Warranty? I did some research and found there is a class action suit against Chrysler over this, but all of the plaintiffs had failed to have the 5-year inspections done, claiming they didn’t know about it. (Well, if I knew about it from reading the warranty book that came with the van, why didn’t they?)

P.S. The shop owner says he would charge me $2500 max to rebuild the tranny if Chrysler refused to honor the warranty. It is a reputable shop, in town since 1949, and the current owner is the son of the founder.

Jesse

Comments (4)
No. 1-3
Techsus
Techsus

Does that shop keep a spare can of metal shavings in the back room to try to leverage customers into $2,500 transmission rebuilds?

Jesse A
Jesse A

Thanks.

Scotty Kilmer
Scotty Kilmer

Editor

they are not good at lifetime warranties, esp since fiat took over. But If it's running now good, I'd drive it till it drops then get a sienna if you need a van