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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    Come on! A rigged test? IIHS is looking for real result for the insurance companies that sponsor their testing. They aren't trying to sell magazine or commercial time. Do you drive a '01 model pre- July ? If you don't how do you know what the owners of these vehicles think about the test results? Do you know for a fact they aren't concern?

    Adam- How about you. Is your family in a '01 model pre-July D/C? If not, then are why you so readily dismissing this test's results? Because your family is not in one of these vans?

    I want to know how many people who are defending Chrysler's actions in this matter are actual driving around with their families in a pre-July '01 model year.
  • Dear 4Aodge,
    We take the car back to the dealership we bought it from. I am not sure if it is a five star. I called Chrysler today and the service manager called and told me he would personally take care of the problem, so we'll see. As far the the door, it makes a scratching noise as if the glass was contacting something when it closes. They replaced all the hardware and the problem got worse for a couple of days but seems to be better. That particular problem has been fixed two times. I like the van but I know once the warranty runs out, it will be about $500 or more everytime this happens and we live in TN and cannot live without AC.
  • I can count at least one owner of a pre-July DC van who is unconcerned about the test results - yes, that would be me.

    The last thing I think about is the possibiliity of a fuel leak, and had I been in the market for a new van now rather that last year when I ordered mine, I'd gladly make the exact same choice. For my needs the DC vans are head and shoulders above the competition.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "Since the leak did not occur in 50 similar tests conducted by DC, it appears that the leaky fuel problem could be a rigged test like the infamous rigged tests on GMC/Chevy pickups with the "side-saddle" fuel tanks that was headlined by a TV network in a viewer ratings gimmick. " -- carleton1

    Get real. We're talking the IIHS here. We're talking a testing methodology that underwent extensive review, was published years in advance, has been utilized on hundreds of other vehicles, and in which all aspects of the test are open to review by vehicle manufacturers (that's why the publishing of the test result was delayed over 4 months to allow DC to fix the problem for the 2002 minivans).

    As to the 50 crash tests conducted by DC, other posters in Town Hall have correctly noted that DC's carefully-worded press release never said what sort of crashes were involved (frontal, side, etc), what stage of the vehicle development was involved (earlier stages might have generated very different results), whether fuel was put into the crashed vehicles (can't have a fuel leak without fuel), whether DC examined the tank for cracks (won't find any if you don't look), etc. DC clearly wants us to draw the conclusion that many have here ... that DC ran the identical IIHS frontal offset test 50 times without generating the fuel tank crack that the IIHS found two times out of two (the third IIHS test was with the 2002 fuel tank design and did not have the crack). However, the DC press release was carefully worded to avoid making that statement, because it no doubt is not true.

    I suggest you think twice before trying to start rumors like this in the future.
  • kpost2kpost2 Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 T&C Limited with a AC problem. Its intermittent -- so of course it was working fine when I had it in for service. Thought maybe someone here would have some idea.

    Here is the situation -- the car has three zones -- the problem is with the rear zone. The rear zone can be controlled from the front or the rear (set by a nob in front). Every once in a while I'll have it set at 70 or so (controlled from the front/auto control)then suddenly (not when the car is hot but in the middle of a drive when the temp is stable at 70) the rear fans will come on full blast with cold air. They keep going at full blast regardless of what temperature I set the control to (I went up to 86 or so and it kept blowing full blast max fan cold air). However, if I switch it to the rear control (which lets you control temp from a dial on a panel above the middle row seat instead of from the main AC panel) it works fine. Usually it does this on hot days -- but the car isn't hot inside when its doing it. It clearly is some sort of fault in the front control of the rear AC. The guys at the dealer had no clue and seemed to think I didn't set something right -- but its all right and just out of nowhere blasts cold max fan air like that (it doesn't stop either -- but when I shut of the rear or switch the controls to the rear and then another day switch back to front it works -- if I switch back to front in just 5 minutes or so it keeps blasting the cold air).

    Does anyone know what this could be? What I could tell the dealer to help them figure it out. I'll try to drive by there when it is happening.

  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Kelly -- I haven't seen this on my Ltd. I assume that you have the unit in full auto mode when the problem occurs? Do you usually have it on High auto or Low auto? Do you notice if the recirculate function turns on when this happens? Do you have rear passengers when this happens (this may affect the rear temp sensor)? If not, do you carry any special cargo?
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    The IIHS tests were reported to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB). They can order a recall if they feel it is a saftey problem. None of your posts will. Were you the one who posted in the NHTSB customer complaints that the test resulted in a catastropic fire? (It did not, as IIHS does not use fuel in their crash tests) If you live in a large city and your newspaper has a "Cars" section try reading it under recalls, DC does do recalls. (i.e Chicago Tribune) This sundays issue listed a half page of recalls by ALL manufacturers.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    No, my family and I are not in a 2001 DC minivan. As I've said numerous times before, we have a 2000 Chyrsler Town & Country LX. In no way am I trying to "readily dismiss" the "questionable" results of the 2001 Dodge Caravan. However, I do not feel as though a minor fuel leak in one of many performed crash tests warrants this kind of paranoid "anti-Chrysler" response, especially from Honda Odyssey owners.

    Even if my family and I were driving a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country (pre-july) instead of a 2000, I would not be nearly as concerned and frantic about this issue as others here are, such as GATOGONOW and SCOYLE1. I've also asked my dad about how he would feel if our van was an affected 2001 model. As my dad points out, a fuel leak can occur in any vehicle and in any crash.

    Do the Honda Odyssey owners here feel as though their vehicle are immune to a fuel leak? If so, I have news for you. It's not. I'm rather possitive that if you took a 2001 Odyssey and crashed it into a certian object, at a certain angle, and at a certain speed you just may get similar if not worse results than the 2001 DC minivan tested by the IIHS.

    If this is such a horrendous problem, than why haven't we heard of numerous DC minivans suddenly exploding into flames after a real-life crash? Surely out of the thousands of pre-july DC minivans out there, some if not many have been involved in serious accidents. And please do not tell me there have been such instances in the past but the report was covered up by greedy and devious Chrysler lawyers.

    If this was such a serious problem as GATOGONOW would like us to believe, than the government would FORCE Chrysler to reacall it's minivans. That hasn't happened yet and probably never will. Why? Simply because there is no need to recall over 400,000 minivans because a minor fuel leak occured in one test of out of many performed by both Chrysler and the IIHS.

    2000 Chrysler Town & Country
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "I'm rather possitive that if you took a 2001 Odyssey and crashed it into a certian object, at a certain angle, and at a certain speed you just may get similar if not worse results than the 2001 DC minivan tested by the IIHS."

    I believe that is not the point that the IIHS is trying to make. The whole point of having crash tests is that the variables are controlled and the results can be compared to other vehicles. The point is that in this particular test, a test which is representative of a serious real world collision, and a test that is replicable in other crash test facilities, this '01 model had a problem. In over 150 vehicles the IIHS has tested since 1995, only two have had fuel leaks, IIRC. The Isuzu Trooper (which was immediately recalled) and the '01 Chrysler minivan.

    "If this was such a serious problem as GATOGONOW would like us to believe, than the government would FORCE Chrysler to reacall it's minivans."

    This is easier said than done. Any recall has to involve safety issues, and extensive investigations have to first be conducted by the NHTSA. The fact that the fuel leak occured with in a non-government crash test probably delays this even further. My '94 Chrysler minivan was recalled a few months ago for a steering wheel that could seperate from the column in a collision. Look how long it took them to conduct the investigation, discover the problem, and then recall the vehicle.

    A fuel leak is not to be trivialised since it only takes a couple of drops of gasoline and a stray spark to ignite. Considering the fact that minivans are family vehicles, owners who are gravely concerned are justifiably so. Fortunately Town Hall is a place where owners can air their thoughts and feelings on this matter.

    As an aside, if the '01 van did not have a fuel leaking issue, we would all probably be discussing the van's "Marginal" IIHS rating.

    Good luck,

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • It is my belief that Chrysler will eventually recall the affected vehicles. It will be either because of the NHTSB, or publicity that effects image or sales.

    A lot of people looking for a mini-van come to these boards looking to see what current owner think. I intend to keep the idea fresh that Chrysler is not a company they want to deal with. The vehicle is unsafe and they refuse to recall it until they are forced to. It is how they have decided to treat their customers.

    It is my contention that Chrysler knows it is a safety defect or they would not have immedicately changed it on current vehicles as well as the 2002 model year.

    Comsumers, spend your money with someone that deserves it. Chrysler has abandoned current owners on this major safety issue and will do the same to you in the future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If you go to the IIHS site and look up the DC tests, you will see the picture of the leaking tank.If you look closely at the enlarged version, you will see that the tank is removed and tipped at what appears to be a 45 degree angle to show the leak area. They stated that the flange that leaked is on the TOP of the tank. Unless the laws of physics change liquid cannot flow uphill! So the tank could only leak under the following conditions: 1. Full tank (including filler neck) and a 40 mile per hour crash. Just pulling out of a gas station or within 20 miles of a fillup. 2. 40 mile per hour crash with van on its side or roof. And remember in the first test it did not leak. The government mandates that on a rollover crash no fuel should leak. Let them make the decision. You should not top off your tank if you are worried until this is resolved.
  • I have a 1997 Grand Caravan Sport. Occasionally, during driving the service engine soon light comes on for a few miles then goes right back out. It may not happen again for a week or two. I just had a MAP sensor, belt tensioner, and a fuel sending unit put in it. Van only has 54K on it and runs great. Anyone else out there had an problems with a periodic service engine soon light?

  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    I suggest you look up capillary(sp?) action in a physics text to understand how liquid can flow upward. Additionally, if the van turns on side in an accident you are at a 90 degree angle. Two ounces a minute add up pretty fast if you're injured and cannot free yourself or others in the vehicle.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    You must have flunked Physics, look up capillary in the dictionary. Can you explain what happened to the 2000 Honda Odyssey shown in
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Ya got to do what you got to do.
    Carleton1 says: door armrests, Triple Zone Temperature Control, Trip Computer
    Door armrests-- I'm so sick of hearing about those stupid arm rests. If that's all it's got going for it than buy it. As far as they go I drove a 01 and at 6'3" and the back tilted as I like it all they are goof for is to look at, since I sit back to far to do any good. Triple Zone, Odyssey has dual zone, our Caddy STS had temp control for both front passengers and we kept it on the same temp. Advertising gimmick. Trip computer, what a joke, I have never seen one that tells accurately what's going on. Now to me a trip computer tells me where to turn, how far to my destination, directions, where to cash my check, get gas, eat, hospitals in case I'm in an accident with a DC van and it catches on fire and a host of other important things. Now thats a real trip computer.
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    not a dictionary. It is capillary action; not capillary. It is the principle used when you get a blood test and they fill those little tubes/straws off the droplets of blood they force to the surface of the skin without any suction.

    Sorry, I don't have a physics transcript for you I CLEP-ed out

    Carlton1 - Aren't you getting an '02 Odyssey?
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    use their navigation systems to help them locate the Odyssey topics?
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    You have a great post in #753. Without the fuel leak this van rated only marginal in safety. Everyone is concentrating on the fuel leak and ignoring overall score. It takes the addition of side airbags to bring it up to acceptable.

    Is there anyway to speed up safety findings? Seven years before they recalled a steering wheel that could separate in an accident? How many of these vans are still on the road seven years later? I don't think NHTSA will act quickly on the pre-July '01 D/C vans due to how critical IIHS is of the NHTSA testing. Personally I look at the two test as complementary.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    dmathews3 -- yes, I get tired of seeing the same features repeated in posts almost every day. But I disagree that the temp control and trip computer are gimmicks. Depends on your situation. Like many couples, my wife and I prefer widely different temp settings. She'll even put turn the heated seats on the high setting on a warm day, while I will use the low setting only rarely. For us, the dual zone is a nice feature. The kids get a third setting, which prevents having kids on the left from freezing while the right side kids roast.

    Is this feature essential? Of course not. But it's the sort of feature that you get used to and want in your next car. Same with the trip computer. I admittedly don't use the computer functions that much except for compass, outside temp, and distance-to-empty, but I do use the others occasionally and would miss them if they weren't there. In fact, I miss the user-programmable computer functions I had on my BMW in Germany 10 years ago.

    Now padded armrests and suede-backed seats are meaningless to me. But steering wheel radio controls are another gimmick I love. My last car had them as part of a package. They turned out to be so useful I put them on the "must" list of options for the minivan. And the DC minivan implementation is just outstanding ... within a day or so you're perusing your cd changer without taking hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

    Another gimmick that's nice to have is memory seating, a fact I realize whenever a mechanic or car wash attendant screws up my seat position in my non-memory seat car.

    The automatic rear hatch? The jury's still out on that ... we used it a lot, but not clear if I'd cry over it if my next minivan didn't have it. The removable console? Jury's also out on that .. it's very well designed, and nice to have the flexibility of removing it for cargo or rear access.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Pertaining to the attraction of liquids in narrow tubes to above normal levels..NARROW as in a blood pipette, NOT a 2 1/2 inch fuel filler tube. TRY it some time. You still flunk Physics! Stick to trying to find out why the 2000 Odyssey caught fire and burned up in the collision on the site I mentioned earlier!
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