How to Tune up a Chrysler Town & Countryby Dan Ferrell
The following steps will help you maintain your Chrysler Town and Country model in good condition. The time and miles maintenance intervals presented here are based on an average vehicle use of 12,000 miles per year, but you can adjust these intervals to reflect the operating frequency and condition of your car. For example, if you use your Town and Country everyday in short trips, at low speed and with frequent stops, the engine will require more attention than if you drive regularly over 10 miles, between 40 and 60 mph with very few stops. Help your engine run at its best. Let's go.
Check the ignition system. Make sure the insulation on the spark plug wires is in good condition and replace the wires every three years. Also, replace spark plugs every 18 or 24 months and distributor cap and rotor every year to ensure a proper spark for the combustion chamber. Check and adjust the ignition timing every year--on some models, the timing is controlled by the vehicle computer and is not adjustable (consult your owner's manual).
Check the charging system. Clean the battery terminals and cables every three months and check that the alternator and starter electrical connections are tight and in good condition. Inspect and adjust the alternator and air compressor drive belts every three months. Replace the drive belts at least every two years or whenever signs of glazing, cracking or fraying appear.
Inspect the cooling system. Check coolant level, radiator hoses and radiator cap condition every month. Replace coolant every two years. If you live in a region with winter freezing temperatures, replace the coolant each fall.
Examine the fuel and emission system. If your Town and Country model is equipped with an air pump, check and adjust the belt tension every three months. Clean the crankcase breather, check the PCV valve, and replace the air and fuel filters every year.
Check automatic transmission fluid every month. Warm up the engine, move the gear selector through every position and back to Park. With the engine running and the parking brake applied, check the transmission oil level. Add transmission oil as necessary.
Change engine oil and filter every three months or every 3,000 miles.
Inspect the brake system every month. Make sure brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir is at the proper lever and add recommended fluid if necessary. Replace brake fluid every two years. When checking brake pads and shoes, make sure the lining is thicker than the backing plate, otherwise replace them.
Check the power steering system every three months. The power steering fluid in the reservoir should be at the proper level. Inspect the drive belt tension and look for signs of glazing, cracking and fraying. Replace every two years or whenever signs of wear appear.
- Consult your vehicle service manual to identify and locate components on your Chrysler Town and Country. You can buy a service manual at most auto parts stores or consult one for free at a public library.
Things You'll Need
- Oil and filter Brake and shoe pads, if necessary Air filter-if necessary Crankcase emission filter Spark plugs and wires, if necessary
Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.