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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager



  • kkshinkkshin Posts: 13
    Thanks for your response and thanks for your apologize.
  • "I honestly hope you don't think I was the one over-exaggerating or going for the lawsuit???? I was only responding to pgs_28 comments about how terribly noisy his/her TC Ltd.. is... "damaging to her infant/child", etc...

    I was agreeing with you.
  • "HOWEVER... does this rear bumper 2000.00 portion have something to do with the electronic lift gate?? Just curious...

    Regardless of how you look at it, $2K in damage from hitting an object at 5mph with a "bumper" is incredibly high. Chrysler should take some heat for that.
  • Grplavloff,

    I will be the first to admit... I don't look forward to any repair bills such as described on Dateline about the DC or TC.

    I would still like to know if the 2000.00 repair to the rear bumper does have anything to do with the electronic lift gate however. As with many cars that have more electronic gadgets we as consumers have to decide if we want the convenience of the gadgets (electronic sliding doors, liftgates, etc...)enough to pay for them when they break.

    I use to own a Toyota Supra... great car... tons of electronic gadgets that all needed to be repaired over time. I loved driving the car, but hated to pay the repair costs. I guess this is just my frame of mind... and nobody has to share it with me.

    If Chrysler is listening... yes.. please fix the bumper issue so that if I buy your minivan... it won't cost me a small fortune to fix it! (And.. at the same time.. please ensure the safety of my family with a 5-star safety rating, etc..!)

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    From what I've been able to tell, no, the $2K repair bill does not have anything to do with the electronic tailgate mechanism (which is housed in the upper left - driver's side - corner of the tailgate opening, and not on the tailgate itself).

    I think the reason why it is so pricey is that the tailgate was significantly dented/damaged in the test, and hence needed to be completely replaced in addition to the rear bumper and bumper support. Obviously this is quite a bit of parts and labour.

    FYI, a vehicle which gets 5 stars for the driver and passenger in the NHTSA's full width front test (i.e. the entire front end of the vehicle is smashed at 35 mph into a non-deforming concrete wall) may not do well in the IIHS's 40mph front offset crash (i.e. 40% of the front end of the vehicle gets smashed into a deformable barrier, simulating another car's front end). The latter test basically tests the effectiveness of the vehicle's crumple zone, as well as the strength of its structure/platform and safety cage; since only 40% of the vehicle's front end is crashed, this test is more demanding The NHTSA's test, in contrast, emphasises the vehicle's restraint systems - ex. effectiveness of the seatbelts, airbags, etc. - and not so much the vehicle's structure.

    May I suggest an aftermarket reverse warning system (can be had for about US$200, or less, depending on the models) to help you avoid any low speed rear end accidents? I have one on my vehicle, in addition to the convex stick-on Fresnel lens, and both complement each other very well. The reverse warning system gives me audible warnings from 1 metre and below (to an object), and visual warnings starting from 1.5 metres and below. Of course, one needs to be backing up at low speeds for this system to give the driver sufficient warning to stop.

    Vans and SUVs message boards
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    The funny part is auto insurance rates are less for Chrysler minivans than for that other minivan which I won't name that had less damage cost. Can anyone explain that one?

    Just another example of simulated test not translating in to what happens in the real world.

  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Simple explanation: auto insurance rates aren't based solely on one factor (collision repair cost). Unfortunately for Honda and Toyota owners, theft rates for those vehicles are higher than for DaimlerChrysler products, which offsets some of the disadvantage of higher collision repair costs. Depreciation is another variable - D-C vans depreciate faster, and are probably more likely to see their owners drop comprehensive collision coverage earlier in the life cycle than owners of Honda and Toyota vans.

    I would further suspect that minivan drivers are more careful than average drivers, based on experience and lifestyles - fewer collisions, fewer payouts, lower premiums, whether or not the van is more expensive to repair.

    Insurance premiums are by necessity averages for certain populations - however, if you're unlucky enough to get into a low-speed accident with a new Caravan or Voyager, etc., you'll pay more than someone with a similar accident in a van with a better-designed bumper system, that's for sure - collision premiums can rise on a case-by-case basis on claims history alone.
  • In the rather effusive press release at the link given above, one finds a description of the advantages of DC's new bumper, including:

    "Improved impact resistance – the system was designed to meet DaimlerChrysler requirements and passes Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 581 at 5 miles per hour."

    Could the requirements have been for $4,000 in damages?
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295

    And in the fine print, standard 581 goes on to say, "make sure that Honda owners foot the bill."

    Read it for yourself and thank Ronald Regan while you're at it.

  • The GE press release cited above on DC's new bumpers reads "meet DaimlerChrysler requirements."

    Lest anyone infer from posting #528 that the Odyssey has high average accident losses, one can check the IIHS/HLDI compilation of actual loss data (injury, collision, and theft) through June 2000 at the following web site:

    We should all keep our fingers crossed that the new DC minivans will have equal or better numbers when the next recompilation is done.

  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    I would suggest that people make a telephone call to their auto insurance company to compare rates. I'll bet the rates quoted will be cheaper for Chrysler minivans across the board.

    Here's an example of "real world" collision repair cost. target=_blank

  • In regard to babyangels1...HI...We just leased a new 2001 T&C LXi...I don't know if you'd call it "tricked out"..As for AWD, I live in Ft Lauderdale, FL. So needless to say,we got FWD. One bit of advice though..I don't think you can switch out the bench seat for the split's more involved than that because of the seatbelt situation and the way it's designed. We got leather, 4 disc changer(which is the same great system that is the top of the line in the Limited), rear liftgate (love that feature), and the 3.8L engine (don't even consider not getting that). We also got the 29U package (about $2,220 list price). It includes the armrest storage that is movable, power seat on passenger side, leather seating, etc. Be careful if you are tricking out an LXi..don't get the 25 doesn't come with as many features and you still have to add the option of leather separately for another $800. I don't have it but I heard the handling package is a great feature (I think it is only like $100-$150 extra). Also, the side airbags would be nice. We wanted and got the Bright Silver with the Navy Blue leather inside...I like you thought I'd never own a minivan...but this vehicle is such a pleasure to drive (we only got it three weeks ago). The retail on our vehicle was $33,160 including the $655 destination charge from Chrysler. Go to a site (same as the used car company but they have a few select dealers that are set up for no haggle new car different cities across the country..for example, their is one here in Florida (Orlando)that is a Chrysler dealer...for purchasing, they can't be beat on price. As far as leasing, they suck. They only finance leases through Chrysler financial which is so uncompetitive. We came out of pocket $1,000 including the first month payment, tax,tag and whatever...did a 39 month lease with an allowance of 15,000 miles/year for $476/month + tax...we were getting quotes from all the other dealers in the neighborhood of $518 plus tax/month all the way up to $578/month (for a similarly equipped vehicle). The basic difference between a Limited and Lxi:

    The 3.8L engine is optional on LXi
    The features of 29U package are standard (including leather) on Limited
    Sueded inserts on top of seat on Limited
    Body colored luggage rack on rood on Limited
    Memory seats and memory side mirrors on Limited
    Heated seats on Limited
    Power liftgate is standard on Limited
    High polished shiny wheels on Limited (in silver, the LXi wheels look better than shiny ones)
    50/50 split seat on LXi (to me, that was a plus)
    (We will use the features of only folding one half of the back seats up more than we'll have people sitting in the way back of vehicle...besides, it can't be that much more uncomfortable in the middle of the back what are you more likely to get more use out of...seats that are more versatile or some whiny person complaigning...hey, they should be lucky enough that you let them ride in your new van.
    The differences between the two similarly equipped isn't justified by the $2500 difference ( that difference is just a guess)

    If you find a car at, some local dealers will match the deal...A friend of mine went into a local dealer and they matched the internet deal at carmax...his Limited listed for like $36,000 and he paid including all rebates $30,700 (and it was fully loaded...the only thing he didn't get is the flip down television and the smokers group package).
  • Sorry if I missed something, you actually paid more for a LXi than your friend's Limited?...Anyway, I agree with you on the wheels, I like the LXi's wheels better than the Chromes I have on my Limited. It is a pain to wash with all those gaps between the spokes. I bought the Limited because I like the bench seat..yes it is very heavy (removed it once).
  • I am in the process of narrowing down a van for a family of 5 and large dog! Interested in the LXI but am concerned with safety issues (serpentine belt/pulley problem I have been reading about). Does anyone out there have a 2001 LXI or LX and how do you like it? Honda's car seemed tighter (narrower) and didn't have power driver's seat adjustments-but nice drive position. Confused, please help!!
  • abealiabeali Posts: 13
    To ingramwd2 .... I just picked up a new 2001 GC ES, FWD earlier today (yesterday!). This was the second of two vehicles of this model that I test drove. I looked intently for that reported noise/vibration and I didn't hear or feel the slightest hint of a problem on either vehicle. So I don't think that this is an issue with these models. The 3.8L engine is so smooth and nimble that I can't think of a reason why one would pass it up for the future 3.5L. This is really one fun car to drive ....

    The touring suspension on mine came with the 29S package on the vehicle. The load leveling came separately as part of the other Trailer Tow Group. I noticed that you can order the Touring suspension separate from the 29S, but you would probably have to order it that way from the factory ... I have not seen the touring suspension just by itself on any dealer stocks ... and I looked at several.

    The 17" tires with the chromes that came with the 29S really look great!!! I don't know about the difference in the ride as opposed to the 16" though, but the van rides very tight and quick and with very nice road feel.

    I, too, took back my 98 GC with 45K miles and without any problems to speak off during the last 3 years. It has been a great car for us and the family had lots of fun in it. My kids were sad waving good buy to that old friend they grew up in, but soon forgot it while basking in the luxury of the new leather.

    Now if someone can help me find a good lease for the new van. The dealer gave me a couple of days to come up with my own financing. To bondguy, I think that your Chrysler lease is not all that shabby compared to what I was quoted for a lease. My dealer talked up a Wells Fargo lease (same as the one I had on the 98 GC) but with monthly payment of $658 (tax included) on a 3 yr lease with 15K miles/year. The residual was $17,195 on this vehicle which had an adjusted capitalized cost of $34,068 (this includes license, fees, and the $2600 rebate that Chrysler is giving on leases). Yes, as of yesterday, Chrysler is giving $2600 rebate on leases, but only $1000 on purchases. Anyway, I don't think the lease offered was all that good, and I would appreciate references to banks that will give me a better lease.
  • Thanks a lot for the valuable info on this vehicle.

    Re: your lease, I think some of the rate changes they introduced rcently in Canada were applicable to the US market as well. In here, the residual of GC ES FWD was brought down to 44% (from 47%) in early January. But the good news was they reduced the lease rate at the same time to 5.5% (from 6%). I heard today they slashed it again to 4.8%.

    Other than this info, I know, I can't be of much help to you living outside of the US... sorry!

    Enjoy your van - I'm certain you will just as you did with your '98!

    Thanks again.
  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    Can anyone provide some information on the 3.5L engine option?

    1. The press said Mar for availability. Can anyone confirm this, and has anyone ordered one with this option?
    2. I notice that HP, torque, and RPM went up a bit, but gas mileage suffers by 1 mile. Any detailed info would be helpful.
    3. Will this new engine come with a new transmission? If so, is it the same setup as the LHS & 300M? I am concerned about the 4sp as it had lots of complaints after 60K miles.
    4. When will dealers start to take orders for this engine? Is it an automatic upgrade on the Ltd model, or do you have to specify this engine?

    I am considering the Ltd, and don't know if I should wait for the new 3.5L. I understand the 3.8L is very smooth and powerful, but the 3.5L is newer technology with more potential. Any insights or information would be appreciated.
  • I don't know about the real performance of the new engine but I am sure you will get a even better deals on those 3.8L vans once the 3.5L is avaliable. If you are not in a hurry to buy the van, I would wait and see.
  • jfz219jfz219 Posts: 63
    Now have about 9000 on a 2001 Limited. Van was delivered in 8-2000. The noise that is described on this site is totally absent on this van. This is the quietest van that I have ever driven.
    Recommendation: not all samples have the problem. I suspect that if the van didn't exhibit the problem from the start, it would not present the problem hence. If you like the ride, luxury features, and price, then test one. If it is as quiet as mine, buy it and enjoy it.
  • With all of the postings on the 2100 rpm noise, I'm surprised that there have been so few
    thoughts on what its source may be. Being of an engineering nature, and being most interested
    in buying a TC, the following questions are bouncing around in my head:
    Can any vestige of the noise be heard at 2100 rpm and 0 mph?
    What tires are on TCs, both with and without the noise?
    Is there any evidence that can rule out some relationship to the radiator cooling fan? For example, can the noise be invoked when the engine is cold?
    Is the noise present both with and without the third seat (or cargo) being present? (Floor pan resonance)
    What measures, if any, have dealers taken that have made any change in the noise?

    If more people who post these very interesting noise reports would address some of these questions, we might be able to make some actual progress in narrowing down the possibilities.

    Thanks and good wishes to all TC owners!
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