Read these 6 Used Dodges Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Used Car tips and hundreds of other topics.
Looking for a reliable used minivan? Since its launch in 1983, the Dodge Caravan is still the top-selling minivan worldwide. Due to its comfort, reliable engine, smooth ride and general value, it's easy to see why this minivan tops the list. If you're in the market for a used Dodge Caravan, there are plenty of styles to fit your needs and budget. There are three engine sizes available, a long and short version of the cab -- the longer version is called the Dodge Grand Caravan. Both versions from 2001 to 2005 (early release) boast a four-star NHTSA crash test rating, while models from 2005 later release to 2007 received five stars.
It may seem a bit dodgy (pun intended) to search for replacement parts for your used Dodge in a salvage yard, but modern salvage yard shops are actually a reliable and inexpensive resource. It's similar to organ donations in humans: Many broken Dodges are sent to salvage yards to be dismantled and have their usable parts harvested. Professional mechanics are able to assess which parts are in good enough shape to resell. The parts are cleaned, serviced (if necessary) and re-tagged for individual sale. It's your call as to whether you purchase major parts from a salvage yard, but less vital items like bumpers, head- and taillights, seats or radiators are a good buy from places like these.
Before you buy a used car from a dealer, make sure that you are getting a CPO (Certified Pre-owned) vehicle. These late model, used cars often have fewer than 50,000 miles and have had multi-point inspections. If anything needed to be fixed, these cars have been worked on before they get to the lot for sale.
Additionally, CPO programs are backed by the automakers like DaimlerChrysler/Dodge, GM, Volvo, Ford, and more. Speak to your used car dealer about CPO vehicles, including the availability of extended warranties (many are no-cost for major parts like the engine and transmission).
Many of us consider a used vehicle's mileage as a motivating (or deterring) factor before we purchase that vehicle. Typically, the higher the mileage, the more concern we have that the car or truck is going to conk out relatively soon. However, if you're considering a Dodge Ram truck, you have a little more wiggle room where mileage is concerned. As long as the truck is in good condition when you buy it, a model like the Dodge Ram SLT runs on diesel and so is quite reliable after 100,000 miles. Some have even been known to work well at up to three times that many miles! If you're interested in buying a used truck and don't have a problem with diesel fuel, consider the Dodge Ram and have no worries if the mileage is hovering around 100k.
If you have a weakness for old cars, keep in mind that no matter how reliable your used car dealer is or how great a shape your new old car is in when you buy it, things will go wrong. One of the scariest break-down scenarios is having your brakes go when you least expect it. Older cars have cracked brake hoses that leak brake fluid. Be sure to have your mechanic check the brakes every six months. In the meantime, keep a watchful eye on the brake light on the dash. If it lights up, get to a mechanic immediately. So, go ahead and buy that used Dodge Dart if you must, but stay on top of maintenance. You'll be safer and happier if you do.
Planning a serious road trip means buying a serious vehicle. It may seem romantic to take to the open road in a VW bus -- or even smart, considering you can get pretty creative with your own maintenance on a VW -- but you're better off buying a used Dodge van (or a Ford, or a Chevy). Here's why:
|Sheri Ann Richerson|