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The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country Is the Worst Model Year You Should Never Buy

The Chrysler Town & Country minivan that managed to stay on the market for almost three decades. The vehicle was discontinued in 2017 after failing to keep up with more impressive rivals. Its successor, the Chrysler Pacifica, is now a popular minivan with an improved driving platform.

The Pacifica has one of the highest owner satisfaction scores and improves on many of the previous model’s weak points. It’s definitely the superior vehicle, but the Town & Country still has a spacious interior and was given a powerful new engine in 2011. A used one is also relatively affordable at around $7,000. However, be aware that this model year is known for a few expensive repair issues.

TIPM malfunctions

CarComplaints.com cites 2011 as the year with the most complaints about the Chrysler Town & Country. The most common problem was a defective TIPM that prevented the engine from starting. According to many reports, the TIPM was also known to fail while the car was being driven.

Replacing the TIPM cost drivers an average of $970, but one driver reported spending $2,000 on the repair. Some engines weren’t starting due to a failed wireless ignition node module. To fix this component, drivers ended up paying an average of $1,040.

For some drivers, the Town & Country would be running smoothly one day and fail to start the next day. Because of this, it was hard for many mechanics to determine the exact problem. Despite the frequency of these engine problems, a recall concerning them was never issued.

Various electrical problems

The Chrysler Town & Country minivan is displayed during the press preview of the North American International Auto Show
The Chrysler Town & Country Minivan | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

The 2011 Chrysler Town & Country’s battery was also notoriously unreliable. Unlike the other issues, it was a relatively inexpensive fix at $360. The car’s sliding doors, tire pressure monitors, and alternator were all prone to malfunction at some point. Altogether, some drivers ended up paying almost $3,000 to fix every problem.

The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country also had engine issues

The previous year was not much better for the Chrysler Town & Country. The most frequent complaint was that the engine stalled while the car was in motion. However, unlike the 2011 model, the solution was often not as simple as a failed TIPM.

The issue was hard for mechanics to replicate, leading to many misdiagnosed Town & Country. In an effort to fix the problem, drivers paid for new alternators, transmission hoses, and spark plugs. Each of these cost around $440. To make matters worse, the “fixed” car would experience the same problem after some time had passed.

Problems for 2012

Complaints reduced drastically the following year, but the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country is still known for one particularly expensive problem. The SUV’s blind-spot monitors were known to malfunction around 50,000 miles. Drivers reported that the system would shut off on its own and never reactivate itself. After this system stopped working, the backup camera often turned itself off as well.

For some drivers, the issue was fixed by having a dealer deactivate and then reactivate the system. However, more drivers had to have a new blind-spot monitoring system installed. In most cases, this cost over $2,000.

Did things ever improve?

During its last four model years, the Chrysler Town & Country received much fewer complaints. The 2015 model has a few reported electrical problems, but the engine was much more reliable. For its last model year, electrical issues were at an all-time low.

However, each Town & Country suffers from poor fuel economy, even by minivan standards. The car is set to make a comeback as a hybrid model, which will probably fix this issue. Currently, it has a combined city/highway rating of 17 mpg. Besides this, it’s a good pick for a used vehicle as long as you don’t buy one from 2011.