My mom is offering to give me her 1993 Dodge.

  • 170,000 MILES
My mom is offering to give me her 1993 Dodge Caravan, all I have to do is pay to get it fixed, the slidder door on the passenger side needs a new track, it needs a new battery, and it needs the oil changed. I was wondering how much it would cost to get all this done?
Friday, November 9th, 2012 AT 7:04 PM

1 Reply

We don't get involved with costs here because there's way too many variables. Nothing you listed is unusual and certainly not worth questioning for a free van, especially a very desirable model and year.

We don't know where you're going to buy the battery from. I saw one at Walmart last night for $97.00. (I had heard battery prices had shot up a lot recently; now I believe it). I buy "reconditioned" batteries from a local battery store for $25.00 but you have to have an old one to trade in, otherwise they charge another $5.00. I found out "reconditioned" basically means it has been in their inventory for more than a year; big deal. I've had real good luck with them. You can also buy used batteries from salvage yards. Look for a yard that buys smashed late model cars from insurance companies. Ours sells those batteries for $19.95. I've also had good luck with Carquest batteries. My last one for my "88 Grand Caravan cost around $60.00.

An oil change is not a repair. That is regular maintenance that you'll pay every 3,000 miles. There's lots of speedy-lube-type of places but they like to sell you other services and products that may not be a good value. If you have a regular mechanic, leave the oil changes and lube jobs to him.

It's rare to need new parts for the sliding door. If you do, most shops will order the part from a salvage yard. Usually the rollers just need to be oiled once a year. If there's something wrong other than it rolls hard, you'll have to say what the problem is, otherwise there's no way to know what is needed or how involved the repair will be.
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Friday, November 9th, 2012 AT 9:46 PM

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