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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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  • The dealer gave us a quote of $26065.00 for a silver EX with the side airbags. He said this was $100.00 over invoice. I know that it is not according to this site, so we will work on that. We also want the el grande warranty (7yrs/100,000 miles), which he quoted at $1995.00. How can I find out if this is a good price for the warranty?
    Thanks.
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    Suppose I am looking at a Grand Caravan for sticker of $30,000. What would be a reasonable lease rate for 48 months given the $2000 owner loyalty allowance and other rebates.

    Ed
  • rfo10rfo10 Posts: 1
    To familyoffive: We have a '01 T&C FWD Ltd. and had the Chrysler VCR unit installed. Looked at others, but most had the box mounted on the floor under the 3rd row seat leaving it exposed if you removed the seat and difficult to replace tapes. Cost as I recall it was probably around $1500. Downside if you're leasing is that lessors do not residualize it. I would say that picture quality and fit & finish is excellent. You'll also lose a little bit of storage as the box is mounted in a center console unit which can be installed in either the 1st or 2nd row. Once mounted however you'll lose the ability to move it. Hopefully this helps.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    But the important question is: WHY do owners of an Odyssey feel compelled to troll in DC forums? Are they completely disapointed that the "Magic Seat" is a cheap trade-off for the many comfort and convenience features of a DC minivan?
    We who own the ultimate comfort vehicle...A DC minivan...do not consider the ability to haul home 10 sheets of sheetrock each week from Home Depot by flipping down the Magic Seat the ONLY feature of a minivan. For DC owners, comfort and convenience is more important than to have our minivan double as a cargo van each weekend.
    I am always amazed at how CR, Edmunds, etc are awed and overwhelmed by that old station wagon folding into the floor trick...now called the "Magic Seat".
  • fly6869fly6869 Posts: 17
    Mandm5 I also had the same experience before buying an Ex. I was telling the dealers things they should have known. First talked to Chrysler about using our friends and family "coupon" and recent grad. discount. They said it was no problem. Went to a dealer who had finally got an Ex in stock, they said no problem to use such discounts. Didn't buy because van did not have side air bags. Talked with a dealer later in the week who said my discounts were no good. Called first dealer back and made sure they said my discounts were good and bought the van. Paid $26081 out the door. Three days later dealer calls and says they made a mistake and we owe them money back for the discounts they gave. Long story short talked to an attorney and will not have to pay money back. Dealer should have done it's homework..
  • bondguybondguy Posts: 20
    TO JFZ219...that's exactly what the dealer told me it was and what they used to get it off...he said they would give it a clay wash...took care of the problem and now it looks great...and, CARLETON1, I agree with you...the Odyssey's "magic" seat was around on station wagons in the late sixties...so what's so magic about that...the vehicle still looks like a giant potato on wheels. The Honda Odyssey, besides being "plain jane" inside and plasticky all over, has got to be one of the ugliest vehicles to come along since the AMC Pacer. The only real thing it has going is it's high safety ratings (in which case you go with the Toyota...I think they rated them the same). And maybe the assumption that it is built well because it is a Honda (although if you look in Consumer Reports, the last two years of Odyssey's...since they changed the style...have been less reliable and more prone to problems than the original body style that came out...what does that tell you. I think that with all the problems that Chrysler and Dodge have had in the past few years, this is going to be their breakthrough year...they know it's basically a totally redesigned vehicle from ground up and I'm hoping they put more emphasis on fixing prob's they had in the past...ie:transmissions, etc. Everytime I see another Chrysler van on the road that is older than a 2001 model year, especially a 2000 model, I can't help but think how pissed off I would be if I had bought one of those and this totally new model came out with all of the features. That rear liftgate is a real lifesaver with two kids when you've got four or five kids birthday parties in one weekend. People who wait two months for a Honda and then eagerly pay over sticker price prove that there are all kinds of people out there: I'm in sales...I wish I could get these same people in my closing office and charge them way over list price!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • bondguybondguy Posts: 20
    I just went to the Prob's with Odyssey section...because I've never been there before. it's amazing all the problems people are having with their vans. Like the service engine light coming on for no reason after so many miles...maybe this is just a way to get you into the dealer...like Nissans used to have years ago...where they tell you only a "Honda" dealer can turn off the light...so you either succomb to them or wait until it burns out. And all the road noise people talk about from the rear of the vehicle...yo...idiots...if your "magical..arghh" seat folds into the floor, how much empty space must be there when you have it in the upright position...and then there is the sloshing sound because that's the way the gas tank is designed. Pay more..get less...I think Honda Motor Co. should be commended on the marketing genius to create such a demand for a second rate product. Hey, they even fooled all the press!!!
  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    OK - I've been reading along and taking interest in the 2100 ram resonance/vibration issue.

    I have a couple of questions.
    1. In one post you recommended driving uphill and holding about 2100 ram to induce the problem. However I have also seen posts that say cruising at highway speeds (65-70mph) puts the drive train in the same range and the problem is evident. Does both of these situations cause the problem? I would think driving up an extended incline puts the drivetrain under more load than maintaining a cruising speed and so I'm curious if the drivetrain needs to be under load for this to happen or just be turning at the indicated rpm?

    2. Vibration vs resonance. I've heard this problem described both ways. I've been unable to drive an AWD van yet so this is why I'm trying to get a better picture of the issue. Is this sympton like having a wheel out of balance, something you would feel? Or, is it more of a tonal frequency phenomenon and hence something you hear? Is it both of these?
    For instance, our 95 Volvo has a quirck in that if you are driving at 35-40mph with the sunroof open the air passing over the opening creates a harmonic disturbance inside the car (it has to do with the shape of the opening btw). The effect is a 'thumping' sound, like a helicopter hovering directly overhead. This is something you hear, and maybe feel in your ears but it really isn't a vibration that you feel thru the steering column, gas pedal etc.
    Can you say as to which of these the 2100 rpm issue is more like?

    Apologies for the somewhat long post but appreciative of the input.
    -- BKS
  • BKSutton, I'm sure Rolfe will respond but thought it might be of value to share my experiences as well.

    Regarding your first question, cruising in an AWD at 65-70 mph once the transmission 'locks-up' puts you in the 2100 RPM range. The noise heard here is the same type that the van will exhibit in any gear at 2100 RPM. In the lower gears (1,2,3), normal driving situations rarely result in sitting at 2100 RPM. In this case, you will hear the noise briefly as the engine goes through 2100 RPM but it is quiet on either side. In the higher gear ratios, engine RPM varies less with speed, and the load on the engine is also increased - thus the vans will stay within the 2100 RPM range longer and you will hear the noise continuously all the time they are in it. Increased load results in increased volume. In my van, cruising at 65-70 up even the slightest incline causes a noticeable increase in volume. Rolfe's technique of driving uphill achieves the same thing, you just don't have to be on the highway going as fast.

    Vibration vs Resonance - you will feel a small vibration. It is nothing so severe as a wheel out of balance. In terms of vibrations, it is very slight and is of a high frequency. It can often be felt through the gas petal, if you sit in the middle seats, reach down and rest your hands on the metal pedestal under the cushion. You'll feel it. The vibration is really not a problem however. It doesn't change much with speed or engine loading. If there wasn't a corresponding noise, I suspect we'd never be talking about it.

    The problem comes from the sound. Hum out-load to yourself at a low frequency continuously. Or imagine having a small hole in your muffler. The sound is more like that. For a point of reference, if I travel down the highway and turn the van's fan on high, I can still very clearly hear this low frequency resonance (or hum, or drone) throughout the passenger compartment. I can turn on the radio - its still there. On a cold day (20s or below), there is more resonance in the sound. Imagine having your head in an oil drum and humming loadly to yourself. When its warmer, you only have the sound to contend with vs the harsh resonance.

    It is not at all like the low frequency thumps of a helicopter.

    I hope you're able to test drive an AWD and listen for yourself. Only then can you reach your own decision as to whether this is acceptable for you or not. Good Luck!
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    BKSutton, I prepared this offline, and I now see the post by mnoutdoors. Even though much of this is repititious to his post, I'll leave it as-is so that you'll see the remarkable similarity in our experiences.

    >>1. In one post you recommended driving uphill and holding about 2100 rpm to induce the problem. However I have also seen posts that say cruising at highway speeds (65-70mph) puts the drive train in the same range and the problem is evident. Does both of these situations cause the problem?

    Answer: Both cause the problem. In the former case, your speed will be in the low 30mph range, so there is less wind noise and road noise and the problem is very evident. Also, this may be an easier test to perform, depending on your terrain (I live near Seattle -- hilly). I recommend modulating (or pumping) the accelerator every second or so to hear the noise come and go. Don't stomp it or hold it so much that your speed changes, just your rpm.

    In the latter case, 68 mph or so corresponds to 2100 rpm in overdrive. However, in my vehicle, the noise is considerably masked by the road and wind noise at 68 mph. But other reliable sources (also owners) report that at the higher speed it is VERY annoying, even intolerable for extended periods.

    The two critical factors are: 2100 rpm, regardless of which gear you are in; and some load on the engine.

    >>2. Vibration vs resonance. ... Is this sympton like having a wheel out of balance, something you would feel? Or, is it more of a tonal frequency phenomenon and hence something you hear?

    Answer: It's not at all like a wheel out of balance, it is a tonal freqency thing that you hear. I call it a resonance, because I have a technical background. That term may not be familiar to all. I claim it is quite sharply "tuned". It will actually start at exactly half way between the 2000 tick and the 2100 tick on the tach where it is maximum volume, then gradually diminish as you increase rpms toward 2600 or so. Less technical folks call it a "drone", and I think that is also a good description. You can feel it in the accelerator pedal as a vibration, but you'd have to be looking for it. It's the sound that you'll notice.

    It is steady; it is not a beat frequency; it does not pulsate. It is NOT like your sunroof example.

    I cannot tell what is resonating. It could believe it's in the intake manifold, the exhaust system, or in the engine or drivetrain.

    I hope I've answered your questions; if not, try me again.

    FWIW, I'm continuing to pursue this with my dealership. They cannot fix it, and acknowledge that. They have one other customer with the same complaint. I'm pressing them to find out from an authoritative D-C source a) what the priority is for fixing this problem; b) whether someone in Engineering is actively pursuing it; c) whether and when they expect a fix. Understandably, my dealership and the zone rep are unable to reach the appropriate people in Detroit because of the current shake-up in DCX. Until the dust settles and people know what their new job titles and responsibilities are, things will remain cloudy, I'm afraid.

    The encouraging things are that D-C is "well aware of the problem" according to several dealers and zone reps, and that the problem is acknowledged to be present on all 2001 AWDs. The discouraging things are that D-C claims they have always had a resonance problem with AWDs (it's just more noticeable in the newer, quieter van), that D-C is having severe financial difficulties, and that there is no hard evidence, such as a TSB, that there is or will be a fix.

    My belief is that the "noise level" from owners and dealers will have to increase sufficiently for this to get high enough priority to get fixed. (We all know that if wheels were falling off, they'd get right on it!) I certainly think that we consumers are greatly empowered through our ability to share information via the Internet. It's already changing how merchants have to deal with us.

    --rolfe.
  • rrtkerrtke Posts: 11
    I have about 800 miles on T&C LTD AWD. I too am experiencing the noise and vibration. Even my wife who seldom notices any noise notices this one.

    In addition, has anyone else had problems with excessive rattling/squeaking from the side doors and center quad seats?

    I have an appointment this Thursday to have these looked at.

    While I love the van I am concerned. 20 minutes after taking delivery the driver side power door failed. The dealer ended up replacing the in door motor and computer control module in order to correct the problem. This was somewhat disconcerting, but I will say that my dealer has been quite good at addressing the issues. So far anyway....
  • rrtkerrtke Posts: 11
    One additional note. Maybe if enought people register complaints with NHTSA DCX will be forced to address the AWD issue.


    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/ivoq/default.htm

  • geoduckgeoduck Posts: 52
    The NHTSA complaint form deals with safety complaints--whereas the 2100 rpm issue appears to be one of inconvenience (let's hope. . .). So, I would avoid using one of these silver bullets.
  • bondguybondguy Posts: 20
    As far as the rear power liftgate being only entertaining to a three year old...you've never been in the rain and loading groceries...or let somebody whose 5 feet tall or less use your van...that power liftgate is not "gimmicky"...it happens to be a great feature. In fact, sometimes when I use it when dropping my kids off at school, I get a reaction from other van owners or SUV owners like, "wow...that's a great feature...can I get that put on my van...they don't realize it's a new feature that only comes on the Chrysler/Dodge (at least for now). You can say what you want about the mechanical probs they have had in the past but don't knock the power liftgate. Also, the "yanking" sliding doors to me were one of the reasons we hated the Toyota and Honda vans. Everytime you would valet the vehicle...or somebody would try to open it like a non-powered door, they would screw it up by pulling it open and not stopping after they yanked it. I like the fact that we can open our doors on the sides manually without any more effort than a non-powered door and in the power mode, they are a lot quicker to open and close than the competition. This also seems like it would be a safety factor if the power was out on the vans, we could still effortlessly open our side doors without a problem...I don't know if the Toyota's and Honda's would work without power to the vehicle. I also wasn't aware that the Honda had rear roll down windows...I thought the Mazda was the only one that had that feature. We do have rear side windows that open (electrically I might add) from buttons on the drivers door. You want to talk gimmicky...here's gimmicky...the Mazda sales are sooooo low that for a limited time, when you buy a Mazda MPV they are including the overhead TV system as standard. I heard this on the radio last week and couldn't believe what they have to resort to...talk about a featureless, underpowered van...even though they have a "magic" seat, too!!!!!!!!!
  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    Thanks for the input. I realize it was a bit repetitious but much appreciated. A co-worker just picked up a Limited and has been very impressed. He got the FWD model. So, curiosity got the best of me - I took Friday afternoon and went test driving. FWD and AWD back to back.

    Yes I noticed the issue with the AWD and both your descriptions (posts 797, 798) were spot on but expected it to be worse. Maybe I'm not as picky as I thought. If the symptoms occurred across a wider RPM range I could see it being an issue. Granted the ambient temperature was 45-50 degrees on Friday afternoon so it was certainly on the warmer side. It will certainly make my decision tougher since when the time comes. I'm most likely 6-9 months away from a purchase.

    -- BKS
  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    It is not clear why Mr. Wardlaw insists on taking a fully optioned Grand Caravan then comparing it to the Odyssey and complaining about the price. Chyrsler should not be faulted for taking their product line and spreading it over a greater price and content range than Honda chooses to.

    I've had three Hondas - my current one being a 99 Accord sedan. I think they make some fine products that are economical to own (I really miss my Prelude!). However, with the current Odyssey, I feel the Honda product does not offer all that I want in a vehicle that I average 2+ hrs in when I travel. It feels like too much of a 'basic box' when compared to the Chyrsler. My purchase decision would be much more difficult if Honda offered some features I find useful in an environment that is more inviting. Also, the current Odyssey has had problems unchararistic to Honda, showing that just because it has an "H" in the grill doesn't mean its bullet-proof.

    If Mr. Wadlaw wants to draw direct comparisons on price and content then he should not have taken a *loaded* Caravan and compared it to an Odyssey.

    -- BKS
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Hey Hotspur, the topic here is MY2001+ Chrysler T&C/Voyager/ Dodge Caravan. Unless you bought one, otherwiwse you should stop posting your comment in here
  • geoduckgeoduck Posts: 52
    After 2500 miles, the 2100 rpm noise is somewhat acceptable to me--though I wish is was gone-- I am concerned that when the vehicle gets into the 7000+ territory it may well become obnoxious.

    Right now, as long as I can converse with my 3 year old sitting in the back row I am pleased.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    At least if we can believe owners of each vehicle who post in the Town Hall. Very few, if any, owners of late model DC minivans report any transmission problems while over in the Odyssey Problems Forum the dreaded "Clunk" precursor to Odyssey transmission failure is a common discussion.
    The April 2001 CR shows the 1999 Ody as having much worse reliability for hardware and worse than average reliability for electrical. Meanwhile, Caravan has no reliability rating worse
    than average. Then look at the T&C 2WD: NO reliability rating lower than "Better than average".
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