Q--My wife has a 2000 Dodge Caravan with a six-cylinder engine. I do believe it is a pushrod engine with a timing chain. The dealership told me a while ago that the chain should be replaced at around 60,000 miles and the van has 45,000 now. I’ve been told by a buddy who knows a lot about car that the chain should last at least 100,000 miles. Who is right?
A--I think everybody is wrong. First, the six-cylinder engine is Chrysler vans is the 3.0-liter which has a belt-driven overhead cam. Curiously, when I checked our replacement guide, there was no schedule listed for 1997-2000 models. Prior models were scheduled for a belt replacement at 60,000 miles. It may be that the schedule is in excess of 100,000 miles.
Nevertheless, I feel you can’t go wrong by replacing the timing belt, even if you do so prematurely. It may just save you some money in the long run.