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Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions

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  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    But since the subject has been brought up, the Neon 5 Speed is rated 29/36 which exceeds Accent, Rio, and Elantra 5 Speed. The VW Golf GREATLY exceeds them at 34/45 with 4 AT and 42/49 with 5 Speed Manual. However, I would not have a diesel.
        Since this is a minivan forum, the Kia Sedona at a paltry 15/20 is very much a gas guzzler compared to the Caravan 21/27 with 4 cyl, the Caravan 19/26 with 3.3L V6 that has comparable power to the Sedona 3.5 L V6, and even the more powerful, much more spacious Grand Caravan with 3.8L V6 rated 18/25.
        Look at the more spacious Odyssey 3.5L with more power than the Sedona and rated 18/25 and the more spacious 2004 Sienna with more power than the Sedona and rated 19/27.
        Hyundai and Kia gas mileage is poor for the size engines offered in any Hyundai or Kia. However, Hyundai and Kia do provide a good warranty on paper....but reading in forums for the 2 brands indicates many dealers take too long getting the parts to honor the warranty.
  • ...and about the same distance per quart of oil :)
    :)
    :)
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    :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    This IS a minivan board, and besides it is worthless trying to have a discussion with someone who think's it's fair to compare the mpg of a diesel car to that of a gas-powered car, or who makes blanket generalizations (also non-true generalizations) based on skimpy evidence (BTW, I read the same boards). Back to Caravans.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Caravan has more interior space than the Kia Sedona, gets much better gas mileage, and has fewer reliability problems for 2002 than does the 2002 Kia Sedona according to pages 93 and 96 of April 2003 Issue of Consumer Reports.
        The much larger Grand Caravan has the same EPA fuel economy rating as does the regular Caravan that has more interior space than the Kia Sedona.
       The Caravan has all red circles but 3 which are red half circles while the Sedona has 3 red half circles and one plain circle.
       For the BEST reliability, get either the Toyota Sienna with all red circles but 1 or the Honda Odyssey with same reliability. Sienna with more power rated 19/27 while Odyssey with the MOST power rated 18/25.
       Is the information in the EPA Model Year 2003 Fuel Economy Guide and April 2003 Consumer Reports considered "skimpy evidence"?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    No, "...but reading in forums for the 2 brands indicates many dealers take too long getting the parts to honor the warranty" is skimpy evidence, IMO, because I follow the Hyundai and Kia boards closely and don't see the problem you noted.

    Could we please get back to Caravans here, for Caravan owners like me and others interested in Caravans, and stop trying to make this a comparison board? There are already other Edmunds.com boards for comparisons where you can post erroneous information such as the claim that the '02 Caravan and Grand Caravan have better reliability records per CR than does the Kia Sedona. The charts in their 2003 Annual Auto Issue clearly show the Caravan has a Below Average record, the Grand Caravan is Average (as is the Sedona), but overall (see p. 87) the Sedona tops both the Caravan and GC in predicted reliability. Also, the MPV vitually ties the Sienna and tops the Odyssey by a large margin in predicted reliability per CR. If you are going to quote a reference like CR, please try to post accurate information, for the benefit of people who look to these boards to help them make buying decisions.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Just go count the full red circles, half red circles, and empty red circles on pages 93 and 96 for the year 2002 which is the ONLY year one can compare since Sedona has no other history.
        IF a poster owns a Caravan, why is it not listed in the poster's profile?
        I believe Dodge minivans are not as reliable as Toyota and Honda. Problems posted in Edmunds problems forums do not support the idea that late model Dodge minivans are not reliable.
        Many friends who own Dodge minivans tell me they are reliable with very few problems.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    My '99 GCS has been pretty reliable, with just a few problems over 4+ years: O2 sensor, battery failure (at 30,000 miles), and either a broken idler arm or serpentine belt at 42,000--hard to tell which broke first. Plus a few recalls, which were taken care of with minimal fuss by my dealer. Overall a positive ownership experience, especially due to the great ride, handling, and comfort of the van. But I will probably not get another one when my lease is up early next year, not so much for reliability but because several other vans have surpassed it since '99. In particular I really want a fold-away rear seat next time; that rear seat is pretty heavy to lug in and out of the van, even with the rollers.

    As for why my GCS is not in my TH profile, you'd have to ask the TH people about that, as to why they only allow one vehicle to be listed. My Elantra is my daily driver, so I list that one. The GCS is my wife's daily driver; I get to drive it on weekends, vacations etc. Since you asked me about this, I guess it's fair to ask you why you're interested in this board since you've never owned a Caravan and apparently have no plans to buy one, based on your TH profile.

    BTW, CR has made it easier for readers to figure out which vehicles are more reliable than others in their estimation than having to "count circles." They sum it all up for us in bar charts, which I referred to earlier. They also have check marks (or not) at the bottom of each vehicle for each year to indicate whether it's Below Average (blank), Average (black check), or Above Average (red check). I personally don't know why you insist on "counting circles" rather than just reading CR's assessments using the bar charts and check marks, but if that's your thing and you think you can come up with a reliability picture reading the circles better than CR can by using its raw data, go for it. But I prefer to use CR's assessment of their data vs. yours.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,974
    You can add more about your fleet in the "And here's some more about me:" section of your profile.

    As I mentioned in the "main" Caravan discussion, my brother's '00 Caravan just got driven 5,500+ miles on a road trip (out here to Boise & back) and he's got over 60,000 miles on it now. No problems so far!

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • This thread is deader than a 7-year old Dodge!
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I guess the DC vans have really gotten better when no one reports any problems...
  • Could be tomtomtom--but I'm still b*ing and moaning about my 1996 lemon.
  • brainteabraintea Posts: 1
    My 2000 Voyager has been a most pleasant family vehicle. Even with the slightly underpowered 3.0 liter engine, the performance and amenities have given us a fine car for daily use, and a few sizeable road trips. We operate the car with respect, are never hard on it, and give it regular maintenance.
    Suddenly, the "outer joint" has broken, requiring a replaced left axle. Also, after the tow-in, it was determined that the valve cover gaskets needed replacing, as well as two different belt tensioners.
    The dealership service department was courteous, and subtracted a significant amount from the labor charge, so I have no gripe with them.
    I do find it very unusual and disconcerting that these things would happen at 46,000 miles, particularly the jammed axle. I know that cars have problems, things happen, and no brand of car is perfect forever. It just seems ridiculously soon for these malfunctions to occur, and stands in stark contrast to my 1984 Chevy S-10 pickup which is approaching 200,000 miles, and has had nothing replaced but the brakes.
    There is certainly a high number of Dodge/Plymouth minivans on the road, and maybe this is a somewhat isolated incident, but I can't decide if I should raise "a loud complaint" with Chrysler, or accept the odds of it happening to any late-model Chrysler product. What do you think?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Not many problems being reported here but CR does not think very highly of DC vehicles.
        Since DC has been having financial woes and there is report of Daimler considering dumping the Chrysler part of DC, who would be a prospective buyer?
        Would Toyota buy Chrysler from DC just to get hold of sufficient assembly capacity for the demand for the new 2004 Sienna and all the other "much in demand" Toyota vehicles?
        DaimlerBenz made alot of vehicles sold around the world but Mercedes Benz has long held a reputation for requiring costly, frequent maintenance.
  • haagidazhaagidaz Posts: 1
    I've got 200 warranty miles left to see if anyone knows if this "2100 rpm" drumming vibration noise is serious or if it can be fixed. I've got an '01 DC. The noise usually occurs at 45 mph when the tranny locks in, BUT it also happens occasionally at low speeds with the tranny still slipping. Dealer (bless his heart) has replaced a muffler, a tranny pump and a converter to no avail. My guess is its a vibration caused when the engine lugs a little because it doesn't have the hauling power it needs just then. It doesn't seem to happen when I goose it a little going through 45 mph. It's a minor thing I guess I can live with if it's not the beginning of a major transmission problem later on. Anybody help?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,974
    Has the dealer been recording your complaints on the service records when you bring it in? If something does go wrong down the road, they'd be handy to show to DC that the problem arose during the warranty.

    It would be a little extra clout when you ask DC to eat some of the repair bills if needed in the future.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • I have 1999 DC @61000 miles now.. I used here a chirring sound when i change gears like from Park to D and from D to Rev. But now it started happening more often even while driving also. The sound is like chhhrrring and last for about 2 sec.
    Any ideas? or if anybody had similar prob?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    My '99 GCS has had that noise since I can remember, especially when shifting into reverse. It lasts about 2 seconds. I haven't noticed it while driving. My van has 43,000 miles on it. The extended warranty goes to 50,000, or five years. I plan on turning it in at about 49,998, or five years less one day, whatever comes first.
  • I have had a long codependant relationship with my 1996 Dodge/Chrysler that has been based on "what should have been" rather than what is. When this ends soon (as I have come to realize it must) I will never again enter a relationship with a Dodge/Chrylser.

    At the same time, I have to remember what brought me to her in the first place. Those curves, that sleeky showroom sexiness. I mean, she was stacked with features that an average Joe like me could normally only dream about! And when we were alone together--man, how she handled. That little dreamboat could perform better than any car I'd ever been with.

    But in the end you just couldn't depend on her! When you really needed her should would let you down, leave . I can't tell you how many times she left me hanging about all those bitter lonely mornings in the servic department waiting room. And she ruined just about every vacation we ever took!

    I used to ask myself if it was me? Did I not service her enough? Was I somehow not worthy of her? Was it because we went to Jiffy Lube once or twice instead of the dealer?

    But I gave her everything--oil changes every 3 K, fuel injector cleanings, tranny flushes every 12 k, but it was never enough for her. She always needed more--head gaskets, starters, computers, valve covers, and oh-my-god--brake jobs, brake jobs, brake jobs! I've worked myself to death and gone broke trying to please her.

    I have finally come to realize that the problem is her and not me. Yes, I'm alone and on foot for now. But I have faith that soon I'll find another. Not any thing flashy--maybe a used Honda or Toyota--but something that I can take car of and that will take care of me.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Please dump it and get on with your life. Our '96 Caravan, having never had the transmission touched to date, having never had fuel injector cleanings and having the original head gaskets, starter, computer, valve covers, and brakes, still treats us well at about 67K miles. Other than the few minor recalls and the well known phantom wiper issue, fixed under warranty, the only major problem to date was the AC that went last year. (I do lovingly change the oil and filter myself every 3K miles, however)

    You can switch to an Odyssey, but they haven't been trouble free either, check the Odyssey problems and transmission problems boards.

    Maybe you spoiled it by too much loving care!
  • Thats it. I gave too much! I was an enabler!
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