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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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Comments

  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    "I would assume that since it is a chain..." You answered your own question. You don't have a timing belt--you have a timing chain. Generally speaking, you don't change timing chains. They pretty much run forever. There may be a chain pretensioner or something may need replacing periodically, but timing chains do not. Have you called your local Chrysler dealer to see what they say on the subject?
  • We just bought a 2002 Caravan SE with just over 35,000 km. We had tested it out in the city but live 110 km outside of the city. On the way home on the highway, we noticed that it pulled left too much. We took it back to the dealership and they aligned the front end. It was out 3 degree.
    This did not fix the problem, we have had it in 3 times and they have rotated the tires, re-adjusted the alignment etc but it still wants to wander. Strange thing is, it does not only wander to the left but also to the right. You have to constantly correct the steering yet the head mechanic says it is the way the Caravan handles. The dealership allowed us to try another Caravan, same model. year and mileage and it was much better.
    Anyone had this problem and know what it might be? The dealership has promised to fix it but we need to figure it what to fix !
    You can email us at candlemaker@telus.net if you have any info. Thanks for the help.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Well, after almost 5 years and 75,000 miles, my wife has decided to trade in our 1998 GC Sport with the 3.8 liter mill for a 2003 GC ES. We are placing the order this afternoon, and the dealership tells us that it should be in by mid June. Interestingly enough, our GC Sport cost us something like $27,000 five years ago, and with the $3,500 rebate our new ES (with Supplemental side air bags, Security alarm, Adjustable pedals, Rear seat DVD video system, Leather seats, Heated front seats, Wireless headphones, Rear cargo organizer and Tire pressure monitoring system) is going to cost just a hair over $30,000 (the dealer is selling it to us at invoice).

    If all of that isn't good enough, Dodge is now offering a free portable DVD player with the purchase of any new 2003 Caravan. All you need to do is perform a "Build your own Caravan" on the Dodge web site, and you will be presented with the option of filling out a form for an eCertificate for the free player.

    I was trying to talk my wife into either the BMW 525iT 5-Speed wagon or a new Chrysler Pacifica, but she wanted the space and utility of the Caravan, so that's what we are doing. :-/

    Regarding our experience with our current van, it has 75,000 miles on it, and is as fast, rattle free and tight as the day we bought it. That and the fact that it has only seen the inside of a dealership twice since it was purchased (30K and 60K service) has proven to us that this is a great vehicle. Other than those two scheduled services, the only things that the van has needed has been normal oil changes (I use Mobil 1 and change every 7,500 miles), wiper blades (annually), front brake pads and rotors at 30K miles and again at 65K miles (I do them myself, and I do use a torque wrench, which seems to eliminate any problem of warping the rotors), and tires at 48K miles.

    I'll keep y'all posted on the new van.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286
    Mine is at almost 50k, and I agree with your overall assessment that this is a great vehicle for the price. We plan to running it for another couple of years before looking at alternatives.

    Did you look at the new Sienna at all? I would love to hear your thoughts on that if you did.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Interestingly enough, our dealership is a Dodge/Nissan/Toyota dealership, however, they did not have any Siennas at all to look at (the only had a couple of low-end Caravans in stock as well). Looking at the brochure seemed to be enough for Mrs. Shipo, being an extremely visual person (former clothing designer, current development and production manager for a division of Liz Claiborne), she did not like the look of the front end of the Sienna at all. I of course looked at the "Specs" and it seems that these two vans are remarkably similar in size, utility and performance, with a slight overall edge to the Toyota. Assuming, that is, that you like the look.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286
    ...just like in my household, what the lady wants the lady gets.

    Thanks for the reply though.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What is the difference between the "Climate Group III" of the GC eX and the "Climate Group IV" of the GC ES?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We are picking up our new GC ES today, so I will post a little later this weekend with our impressions on the differences between that and our (soon to be) former 1998 GC Sport.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286
    Plus, if you have the time, how about a "wrap-up" on your old 98 GCS? I have to hang onto my 99 GCS for a bit longer, so far at 51K, and doing okay I guess.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    It has been a bit quiet in here. My brother was out visiting earlier this month in their '00 Caravan (I never can remember the model but it's spiffier than my base Quest).

    I've spent ~20 hours in it over the last couple of years, and it's a nice ride. Drives good too. He's up to ~60,000 miles including the 5,500 mile recent road trip out here and back, and nary a problem.

    Steve, Host
  • walter24walter24 Posts: 1
    I' am living in UK and I've got some problems with my Chrysler-Voyager LE (1994-5 manual-petrol). Even Main Dealers for Chrysler in this country cant solve my troubles or even suggest Erny thing. The problems are: no sufficient heat hing inside a cabin, speed control on 5-th gear - not working (working on 4-th one) and heavy vibration - some time when the engine is running.
    Can you help or suggest some thing?
    Thank you for reading this!
    Walter
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We bought our ubiquitous Green Grand Caravan Sport in July of 1998, and traded it in today just three weeks shy of its fifth anniversary with us. During that time it has been a very faithful mount, hauling family and friends to many points within 800 miles of NYC. The total mileage when we traded it was 76,214, and through it all, the only unscheduled fault that it suffered was a dead battery back in 1991 (or thereabouts). I gave it a DieHard as a reward for all of its hard work. ;-)

    During its time with us, I kept it on a constant diet of Mobil 1, kept it shod with the same OEM rubber from Michelin that came from the factory (one set), replaced the front brake rotors and pads twice, replaced "The Belt" once and mounted a number of sets of wiper blades. Other than that, there was not so much as a burned out light bulb. Not too shabby. ;-)

    When we first picked the van up, we were literally on our way out of town, in this case, up to Maine. During that trip, we averaged about 18.5 MPG, and I thought that wasn't too bad given that we had opted for the larger 3.8-liter engine. Over time, the mileage has increased to the point where we would consistently get over 22 MPG on a road trip, and something in the neighborhood of 19 in mixed city/highway driving.

    The only truly annoying item regarding the 98 was the "Speed Control". It would work just fine on normal (relatively flat) roads, however, there are several places on I-84 in Connecticut, and other places on I-70 in Maryland and West Virginia where the hills appeared to be too much for the system. On the way up, the van would slow down from say 75 to about 55, unless I would use the gas pedal up the hills. Weird problem. :-/

    Finally after five years of spilled baby bottles, spilled coffee (I don't drink coffee, hehe) and the various road related hurts that the van has suffered, Mrs. Shipo decided that she wanted a new one. The only reason why we won't miss it too much is that we have its newer sibling, and I trust that it will serve our family every bit as well.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    About six weeks ago or so, we ordered a 2003 Grand Caravan ES, Bright Silver Metallic, Taupe Leather Interior, Supplemental Side Air Bags, Rear Cargo Organizer, Heated Front Seats, Security Alarm, Power Adjustable Pedals, Tire Pressure Monitoring Display, and the Rear Seat Video System. The prices on the window sticker (which says "This vehicle was built especially for MRS. SHIPO") show the following items:

    Total Before Discount: 38,060
    Special DVD Discount: 1,220
    Total Price: 36,840

    We then negotiated a deal at "Invoice" and took the 3,500 rebate, so the entire deal worked out to be 30,540, which is only about $3,000 more than we paid for our 98 GC Sport, which had FAR less content. I think that this is a pretty good deal. ;-)

    Speaking of content, WOW does this thing have a lot of buttons and controls. I'll bet it is going to take me half of the night just to peruse the Owners Manual and figure out how to use everything. The good news is that I can sit in the middle row, and watch something intellectually stimulating like Die Hard or Last Man Standing on the DVD player while I am learning how to use the van. ;-)

    I will post more as I become more familiar with it.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vtec200vtec200 Posts: 12
    Our GC Sport has just turn 60K miles. I don't think this van had any more problems than any other vehicles we had, except our 92 Jetta which was a Mexican-built junk. So far we had the tires changed, AC recharged, Emergency latch replace, front brakes changes at 59K miles for the first time, and coolant changed to long-lasting mix. It gets about 20 mpg in winter in city, 23 mpg in summer in city, and close to 27-28 mpg in hwy driving. It is not the most powerful van with 3.3L V6, but it does the job well enough. I hope this van contiues without perform without that dreaded tranny problem for another 5 years or so, when we plan on another van at that time.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    My boss and I rode over to another building for a meeting the other day in his aging Caravan. I was amazed to see the oddometer at 321,000 miles. It's the original engine and transmission,too.

    Yes, he's done a number of repairs (including two headgasket replacements), but overall I though it was darn good for a vehicle with that kind of mileage. Still more amazing was the body. Chrysler vehicles sure don't rust as quickly as Ford and GM around here (Rochester, NY). This Caravan had a rusted out sliding door and there was rust on the rear hatch door. But that's it!

    Dusty
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    "Dodge Offering $500 Lion King Rebates

    Dodge is teaming with Disney to offer a special rebate in tandem with Disney's release of the DVD special edition of its box office smash, The Lion King. In time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the minivan, Dodge will equip special-edition Lion King DVDs with a $500 coupon good toward the purchase of one of the company's Caravan/Grand Caravan minivans. Disney also will run a sweepstakes on its Web sites where entrants can win a new Caravan. Lion King characters will also appear on Dodge's NASCAR race cars at the Kansas Speedway race on Oct. 3-5. Dodge and Disney had a similar deal last year as Disney released the DVD of Monsters, Inc."

    Steve, Host
  • Anyone experienced a problem with the air bag indicator lighting up?
    I have read about a recall on earlier models(clock spring) but can find nothing on the 02.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Have you taken your Caravan in to get checked out? There may be a real problem--that's what the light is for you know. I had a car in the late 90's that did the same thing. I figured there was something wrong with the light, so I took it to the dealer. They ended up replacing the driver's air bag. Thank goodness for the light!
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Looks like 2001, 2002, and 2003 Caravans and Voyagers with 6 cylinder engines have a new warranty on their compressors. I got a letter from Chrysler saying the compressor on my Voyager LX is now covered for 7 years or 70k mi, whichever comes first. Apparently there was a problem with the lubrication on some of these, so they are covering all of them for an extended period to guard against problems down the road. I think this is a pretty pro active approach, and I appreciate it!
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