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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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  • We recently bought a 2001 T&C LXi and are considering getting a mopar hitch and a 4-bike rear rack. We have used conventional rear racks for 30 years and are fed up expending care and time trying to cushion the bikes from each other and ending up with scratched bikes despite all our effort. Does anyone know about mopar rear bike racks? Is it relatively quick and easy to mount the racks and then the bikes on them?
  • In reading numerous posts at several Chrysler minivan sights it seems there are two major problems which keep reoccuring, transmission failures and serpentine belt longevity. I understand that the new 3.5 engine is rumored to come with a revised/redesigned transmission and a transmission cooler as part of the standard equipment with this new motor. Also, does anyone know if the serpentine belt design has changed with the 3.5? It seems that two of the most significant past problems with Chrysler vans might be addressed with the new motor. As a potential nearterm buyer of a new Chrysler van I would very much like to hear whether either of these problems has in fact been addressed with the 3.5. Comments from any qualified Chrysler service technicians would be greatly appreciated.
  • rhznrhzn Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 t&c lxi awd. the vibration occurs between 2000 and 2250rpm. its extremely annoying almost to the extent as to drive one crazy. my service writer drove another one and said that the noise was worse than mine. What do we do?
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    I thought I could live with it, but this vibration is getting worse. I had the van in for the never-worked seat heater and mentioned it, and they said the frame is missing a bushing, which they will replace.

    I had a loaner Dodge R/T and it had similar resonance, for a bigger rpm range.

    The problem is, at 67.5 mph to about 70 mph the resonance is now louder and surges in an out, like a droning propeller aircraft (if anyone is a pilot or flies in smaller planes, you know what I mean). I am finding it more and more annoying. I will print all the posts that rolfe collected and try my service guys, but they told me they sell "alot" of these vans and I am the first to complain.

    Anyone know a national customer service number?

    Andy
  • With respect to post #607. I'd be surprised if the 3.5l suffers this problem since its design is significantly different than the 3.3 or 3.8. I'm assuming this is the same 3.5 that was introduced in the 300M (Overhead cam and is mounted longitudinally in Chrysler FWD vehicles, not transversely)

    For what its worth, my father has had his 300M for better than a year and a half and its been rock solid. Motor and all.
    -- BKS
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    This is an update on the annoying resonance exhibited in my 2001 GC ES AWD at 2100 rpm.

    I took my van to my dealer, along with copies of over 50 posts on this subject from this conference. My service tech read them, then called the "Star Center" in Detroit, whom he referred to as "the engineers" to whom dealerships escalate problems. The purpose of this post is to relate to you what the service tech passed on to me.

    First of all, he reported that his contact at the Star Center was well aware of the problem, and could describe it "to a 'T'", including mention of vibration in the accelerator pedal. Engineering believes the problem is related to the driveline in the AWD vehicles because if the driveline is disconnected, essentially rendering an AWD vehicle to FWD status, the noise disappears. Furthermore, my tech says that the AWD mechanism/driveline was entirely redesigned for 2001, implying that there could be unresolved problems with it.

    He also said that the "engineers" would be meeting with the "designers" to discuss this problem on Friday. My tech believes that a solution will be found -- "they have to fix it." Such a solution, in his speculation, might involve dampers (metal blobs, etc.) placed strategically under the vehicle (doesn't sound too elegant to me!). He is empathic that the problem is being actively worked, but that they don't yet know the cause.

    The engineer my tech spoke with said that DC will not reimburse any dealership that "throws parts" at this problem. Their advice is for dealerships to await some kind of resolution from engineering, and not to work on this problem directly. To the best of my tech's knowledge, no written communication has flowed from engineering to the dealerships on this issue (if there were, I'd have asked for a copy.)

    BTW, my tech faxed approximately 10 of the posts I had brought in to him to the Star Center, to emphasize the widespread interest in this problem. I made the point that if a half-dozen or so owners are complaining about this problem in Edmunds, there are potentially hundreds more 'silent' readers who come to this conference prior to making a buying decision.

    The advice my tech gave me to pass on was that those with this problem should contact the "Tech Advisor" at their dealership and request that he/she submit a "mechanical report", including the VIN, to the Star Center. The Tech Advisor is apparently someone to whom the techs go for assistance when they need additional resources; he said every dealership has one.

    My own plan is to wait a couple of weeks and then contact my tech again for an update. He plans to follow up with his engineering contact and is expecting my call.

    All this seems like good news to me. However, I'm well aware that this does not address any issues with noise experienced by FWD owners. However, I continue to hold the belief that all 2001 GC's and T&C's have a natural frequency associated with 2100 rpm, and that the AWD just exacerbates it to the level of being a problem. I acknowledge that in some FWDs it may be up to the level of unacceptability. For FWD owners, I only hope that an eventual solution will apply to them as well. But my tech was emphatic that engineering regards this as an AWD phenomenon currently.

    (I guess if you own an FWD and are convinced that your problem is the same, you should attempt to communicate that to DC.)

    A disclaimer: obviously, I don't speak for DC. Please verify any information I've provided before acting upon it. Your mileage may vary.

    --rolfe.
  • Thanks, Rolfe, for your diligence in keeping the forum informed of your progress in sorting out the 2100 noise problem. I'm sure others appreciate it as well.
  • I AM one of those silent (sometimes) readers that is just waiting to see what is going to come out of the complaints regarding the DC and TC AWD's. My husband and I are waiting to see if the new 3.5 V6's in the new Limiteds expected out this spring resolve this annoying resonance/vibration problem. I will not purchase a DC or TC AWD at this point... so I hope Chrysler IS listening. I've done all my research and am waiting to see how the safety ratings and this AWD issue pan out!

    Thanks so much for all your research! We all appreciate it... owners and possible owners alike!

    Maria
  • You're doing great work for us. After they fix this thing (and I would think they will as the engineering challenge doesn't seem that difficult), let me know when you are in Seattle. I will drive you in my T&C to a great brewpub and treat you to a few.

    I must be lucky as the noise level in ours is pretty tolerable. My wife thinks it has gotten quieter. Maybe, as the primary driver, she is used to it. We did a 200-mile trip to a neat plant nursery this weekend to pick up some blueberry plants. Both freeway and two-lane winding blacktop adventures. I, who rarely has the opportunity to drive the T&C, noticed the rumble occasionally--and I am certain that my consciousness of the sound is fomented by hanging out here.

    The vehicle, by the way, still performs superbly--excellent handling, supportive seats, very quiet, nice audio system, and great dashboard graphics. Reminds me of my boss's Infiniti--but we accommodated seven blueberry plants, a tobaggin, a snow disc, the inevitable storage bin, a 3yr old and a 1yr old easily inside.

    Only negatives so far with the T&C:
    1. A puny backup light. A real contrast to the much improved headlight illumination. I would have thought that raising the reverse lights up the tree would have helped too.
    2. Tape deck takes too long to rewind a 90min cassette.
    3. Slight body gap on passenger side sliding door to the rear; no water leaks just 1/32nd of light at a certain angle. Maybe all minivans have that, I am new to them.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "A puny backup light. A real contrast to the much improved headlight illumination. I would have thought that raising the reverse lights up the tree would have helped too."

    You may want to switch to 55 watt halogen backup bulbs. That's what I did. I believe the standard ones are only 10 or 15 watts, and these halogen bulbs are unbelievably brighter. Your headlamps are 55 watts, after all! :-) The only thing that you have to watch out for is not to leave the van in reverse for more than 1 minute or so (I doubt this is a problem for most people) since the halogen bulbs generate more heat than the other incandescent bulbs, and that could cause problems with the wiring/lenses.

    These are the bulbs that I bought. For those of you Canucks out there, they can be found at Canadian Tire as well.
    http://www.designtech-intl.com/merchant.ihtml?id=7&step=2

    Hope this helps!

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • As a potential buyer of T&C/GC ES (FWD), I really apprecaiate all your research and keeping this forum informed.
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    Let me add my thanks for the diligent work you've done. I do think there will be a resolution. It is amazing to me that this company would have full time engineers and designers, yet it takes laymen like us about 5 minutes to find this defect. Who are these designers? Did they ever drive the vehicle? It makes you wonder, is anyone competent at what they do?

    Andy
  • Well - I read along in several different categories and the information provided by Rolfe has certainly been some of the more enlightening.

    I will be in the market for a minivan within the next 12 months and the T&C is at the top of our list. I've had three Hondas thus far but the Odyssey just doesn't have the amenities and comfort we are looking for in a vehicle that we spend no less than 2hrs in when we travel.

    I'm waiting for the 3.5l engine as well and am very curious to see how they mount it. Keep in mind that in all FWD applications this motor is NOT mounted transversely as is the 3.3 and 3.8. This makes me all so curious as to how they'll mate it to the AWD driveline. Assuming they offer it in such a configuration.

    Again - thanks to Rolfe and all current owners. Please continue to post experiences and how you think the vans are holding up. I've loved Chrysler styling for some time but have naturally been concerned about the quality. Here's to hoping 2001 is a noticeable step in the right direction.

    -- BKS
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Rolfe,

    Try reading the email that I sent you. You have to know where to look.
  • I'm considering a 2001 GCS with 60 miles on it bought from a dealer. Price seems almost too good to be true - asking $21,000 with CD player, child seat, etc but I'm not sure what pkg (haven't seen it yet, supposed to be in today). Anyone have an opinion on this deal? The car was being sold from dealer who was getting rid of 40 GCS's - should I be suspicious of a dealer selling a 2001 with 60 miles on it? The used car guy does have a favorable rep for getting good deals.
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    Drew or others - anyone know which of the two bulb choices on Drew's link above would work for the 2001 T&C or GC van?

    thanks

    Andy
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    I am the owner of a 1996 Plymouth Voyager LE with the 3.3LV6. Since day 1 it has had a high pitch whining noise at about 80 KM/HR and 120 KM/Hr. Four years after I bought the van, I finally had a tech explain the problem. It might relate to the one some of you are having.

    Seems the gears (I believe called planetary) which convert the longitudinal power of the engine to lateral power out to the wheels were designed with a specific pitch. Seems the selection was not the best. At the speeds I mentioned, they make an audible whine. The "fix" DC implemented for the '97 model year and up was to increase the insulation on the drivers side of the interior! Never mind about addressing the real issue, they bandaided it. This explaination came to me from a Chrysler master mechanic who had recently left a large dealer to work at a smaller independant garage where I'd had some routine maintenance work done

    In numerous letters to Chrysler, I received answers ranging from you're nuts to go pound salt (paraphrasing of course). I decided at that time this would be my last DC vehicle. I was just perusing the site to see if anything had changed in the 5 years I've had the van. Appears all is normal.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I seem to recall that it's the 3156 style bulb that you should be looking for. Check the owner's manual to verify. It should indicate which bulb is required for the backup lamps.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • I would imagine that this is a Canadian bought van... I live in Washington State, just South of the Canadian border by a couple of hours and we have TONS of Canadian "barely used" 2001 SUV's, vans, etc... to choose from. Many of the dealers ( including my relative in Oregon) buy a lot of their inventory from Canada... since the exchange rate is so much in our favor!

    In the case of Hondas... Honda will not honor the factory warranty in the USA if you have a car/van that originated in Canada...

    If you do have a Canadian vehicle the price is probably just a result of the dealer being able to get it at such a low cost. There is a dealer near me that gets 100% of his inventory from Canada.. Odysseys mostly... and offers them at less than all the Honda dealers, etc..

    Good luck!
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