Used 1999 Dodge Ram Van Consumer Reviews
We were the second owner of the 15 passenger version, white w/ dark tinted windows. First off I want to say, I really wanted to love this van. It was priced $10k below the comparable Ford 15 pass van. But, now I realize with good reason. We purchased this used, with 45k miles on her from a used car dealer. We bought the extended warranty, luckily! The former owner was a church, or group home, so the miles were hard miles mechanically. Within 6 months the front-end needed a complete overhaul. The first of 2 that would be needed within 100k. More on that later. Then the whole AC system needed replacement: from the compressor to the dryers to the hoses! Fortunately the $1500 it cost was in the last month of our extended warranty, on the dealers dime. Having a big family, the size and ride were very good. And she ran very reliably for us, needing very little maintenance besides the usual, oil, filters, cooling and tires. Tires on this baby were a huge expense, but we only needed one set in 60,000 miles or so. Back to the front end on this series van.... I have a friend who was a Dodge/Chrysler mechanic and he said the front end on these were always wearing out. IMO Chrysler didn't get the design right. The van always creaked and made weird noises, like the geometry wasn't right. Even with the new parts and alignment was done. And the van always felt like it wandered on the freeway. And you were always correcting the steering. At first it was annoying, but I guess you get used to it after awhile. Again, I wanted to like/love the van. But there was always something to complain about, despite the solid reliability it had for us. If you are considering this vehicle? Make sure the front end has been checked. Its quite pricey to do. And it seems the parts only last 40-50,000 miles before you will need another go. The van will run forever. But you will need to repair the front end at some point. Its not an option. Oh.... if the one you are considering has the 4sp overdrive tranny? Don't do it! My mechanic friend said the standard 3 speed automatic is way more reliable, on any Chrysler product in that time period. **UPDATE** We sold the van to a traveling, sales/marketing group. Not before we spent another $500 welding the frame around the control arm. Again, the front ends of this period 3500 is atrocious! Be vigilant about it when purchasing one.