Congrats, I "believe" the Patriot is based on the Mini-Van Platform, has a lot in common with it. Unfortunately the mini-van is NOT known for reliability. I've kept up with the maintenance and repairs on the 2 mini-vans I've had, so in my case, they have never left me stranded and were very reliable, with some repairs needed time to time, up to about 175k miles. And that is Miles, NOT kilometers, about 175k miles, it seemed it was one thing after another, if your NOT going to fix it yourself to save money, then both my mini-vans would NOT have been worth keeping on the road at that point. Keep in mind, I do over kill on the preventative maintenance, my experience is likely better than most that don't do enough preventative maintenance on their vehicles.
Is it FWD only or 4WD/AWD? If its FWD only, that might a be a blessing, I think the added drivetrain for the rear wheels has resulted in more than a few mini-vans with the same AWD configuration having a lot of re-occuring problems. Lets hope, they have improved the equipment and if you do have the AWD its reliable for you.
Check what tranny you have, if its the A604 a.k.a. the 41TE Transaxle, that trans is notorious for early failure. The reason Chrysler created their Synthetic Super Fluid ATF+4 was because of this trans and trying to prevent early failures. If you have this trans, change the trans fluid/filter every 30k miles, religously. Only use ATF+4, never anything else, there is no better "over the counter" trans fluid than ATF+4 specifically designed for that trans, using Dexron or Mercon will assurdedly result in early death for this trans. Although people report some of the high dollar Synthetic ATF's that claim they can replace ATF+4 work as well, the AMSOIL, REDLINE and MOBIL1.
I installed a temp gauge on my 41TE on my mini-van and would always shift out of O.D. when it got to hot or back off to keep the temps down, as well as change the fluid and filter every 30k miles. My 41TE is still working at 185k miles, although it has been shifting poorly and shuddering, so a rebuild is in order. There are many cases of mini-van owners having to replace their trans at 60k miles.
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Last edited by Mongo; 06-01-2011 at 01:21 PM.