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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans

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Comments

  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    Yes, a forty mile an hour crash will total a vehicle. It is supposed to on modern vehicles to absorb the energy of the crash. Everyone keeps saying it was only a couple ounces of fuel and how Chrysler didn't have it happen. No one has said anything about the wording of Chrysler's statement nor answered why they redesigned the part if it is a one time event that they cannot duplicate. But you refuse to think about the fact it could go the other way and ignite the fuel in the tank. Is this how owners of a pre July '01 D/Cs rationalize gambling with their families' lives? I know it is a very slim chance but is one you really want to take?

    I certainly hope that a through inspection of all fuel related parts becomes part of the IIHS test after this.

    Why are we getting so emotionally attached to the machines we drive and acting like the criticisms are personal attacks on our being? Can't this topic get back to poking fun at disappearing seats vs. triple zoned a/cs? Please Chrysler do the right thing and recall this part. I'd much rather be poking fun at somebody's quirky likes or peeves in a vehicle then writing about this.

    If this was a Honda, Ford, Toyota, etc. van with this defect I would feel the same way on this subject. I gave up the BWM as the daily ride and now drive a van strictly for my family's safety. Yes, it makes me feel damn macho every time I look in the rearview mirror and see my loved ones behind me in the mini-van.

    We bought vans for the safety of our families and now some want to rationalize away a safety risk. I know it is a small risk but we as consumers should not allow this attitude no matter what vehicle or manufacturer.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Odd1, it is you and some of the other Honda Odyssey owners here who keep taking things to a personal level. How can this be? Odd1, when you speak as if people who buy 2001 DC minivans are GAMBLING with the safety of their families...it does take things to a personal level. Especially when you consider that the minor fuel leak occurance has only happened ONCE out of every crash test the 2001 DC minivans have ever been in.

    No, I am not just talking. This quote from odd1 is a perfect example of what I mean.

    "But you refuse to think about the fact it could go the other way and ignite the fuel in the tank. Is this how owners of a pre July '01 D/Cs rationalize gambling with their families' lives?"

    Now how in the hell do you expect people who have pre-July 2001 DC minivans NOT to take a remark like that personally??? You are saying that owners of these vans are WILLINGLY "gambling" with the safety of their own beloved families. If this is not a personal remark, than please tell me what is.

    -Adam
    2000 Chrysler Town & Country LX
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    and lay off the personal attacks. The problem with the Internet is that you can never see someone's facial expressions and often more is read into what a message actually says. Please keep this in mind. Let's also give people the benefit of the doubt. Heck for all you know, I could be a college student sitting in my room and glued to my computer screen!

    FWIW, ANY fuel leaked in a collision is a serious hazard. The flash point of gasoline is not particularly high, IIRC, and it doesn't take much to ignite.

    Thank you,

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    I am admittedly a DC fan, and only take issue with things that I feel are a misinterpertation of or distortion of the facts(as I see them) I don't remember posting any distortions about Hondas but references to sources and asking people to "draw your own conclusions". Hondas are a Great minivan and if the dissapearing seat (which I had in my 1969 Town and Country station wagon) turns you on and you feel it is going to be used alot, by all means buy it.I have had a 96 DC minivan for over five years and can count on one hand how many times I had to take the rear seat out to carry cargo. I usually had to take out the second row captains chairs too. We have seen post where people have questioned the safety of the DC minivans and praised the Honda for its IIHS ratings. If that is your basis for buying, go for it. But realize that no van or manufacturer is perfect!
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    You made my point clearer. No van is perfect that is why I said I'd feel as strong about this issue no matter the maker of the vehicle.

    If we as consumers don't object to how companies handle possible dangerous products then, we deserve what companies give us. That was more my point. I wasn't trying to rile up Chrysler apologists.

    Adam- I was trying to point out that we put so much of our person worth in what we own and drive that at times we defend things to an extreme and don't acknowledge possible negatives. I changed my lifestyle for the protect of my family and I don't understand how people can rationalize a risk albeit very small that is real. Maybe at your age with the maturity you have shown here you can understand where I'm coming from on this point. I certainly could not at the same age. Having children changes how you live and your outlook on many things.

    Don't get me started on people who buy mini-vans for their family's safety and then drive them at 80+ mph.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    How many times you've seen people spill gas on the ground when they tired to fill up the tank?
    How many times you've seen people using their cell phones next to the gas pump?
    How many times you've seen a mechanics smokes while working on a car?

    Finally, how many times you've seen a 40mph accident?
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    We almost bought a Granite Green 1999 Odyssey LX-C after placing an order with a $500 NON-Refundable deposit with the order March 16, 1999.
    We looked again more closely at the Grand Caravans and purchased a very well equipped 1999 GC SE for $1025 LESS than the price of the Odyssey LX-C. At the time, I had intended to drive the 99 GC SE for 2 or 3 years and either trade it in or sell the 99 GC and get a 2002 Honda Odyssey.
    We drove my sister's 2001 Odyssey EX 34.9 miles when it had 3677 miles on odometer at speeds up to 80 MPH (On I-80 where speed limit is 75 MPH...but people are driving well above 75 MPH) and were VERY impressed. We then drove our 99 GC SE in exactly the same place but it was only 34.0 miles for our GC when it had 30,809 miles on the odometer. Ody quicker 65-75 MPH but GC is quicker 0 to 30 MPH. Both are equally quiet, smooth, and nice to drive. The Automatic Temperature worked flawlessly in the Ody EX...fan speed would adjust if I adjusted temperature setting on Ody. Using manual control, I noticed the Ody fan has about a dozen different speeds. Our GC has only 5 speeds for fan.
    We did NOT detect any extra road noise from the well for the "Magic Seat" area. The Magic Seat had been folded into the floor when we drove it. Although our GC has the top of the line Infinity Sound, we were also completely satisfied with standard equipment Ody EX stereo...but would miss the Cassette player our DC has.
    Guess what? each has distinct advantages and it would be just as difficult to select one over the other now as it was in March 1999.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And here is the brief "exact wording":

    ...."I just tried trading in my 2000 EX w/ navigation, leather (after-market of course) and 11k miles and was told that it was only worth $21,500 and that was from the mouth of a Honda dealer(s). "

    Very clear and concise. The owner paid MSRP and it was over $30,000. The trade in at 11k miles was $21,500.

    And of course NADA and others do not add extra for many options just like his aftermarket leather. The trade-in values are the basic equipped as purchased by fleet, rental, etc.

    The same policy many use to bad mouth DC should also apply to a Honda Odyssey. Trade-in is very low on ANY vehicle...Dealers make more money on trade-ins than on new vehicles.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    Q:How many times you've seen people spill gas on the ground when they tired to fill up the tank?
    A: Many, usually from people who top off their tanks.

    Q: How many times you've seen people using their cell phones next to the gas pump?
    A: Several (less than 10). I wouldn't try it myself though.

    Q: How many times you've seen a mechanics smokes while working on a car?
    A: Actually, never. Then again, I don't call go to the mechanics too often. =)

    Q: Finally, how many times you've seen a 40mph accident?
    A: Several, on city streets, usually due to lane changes and/or at intersections. Only seen one on the highway, where a volvo stationwagon lost a tire and swerved across several lanes, didn't hit anyone though.

    As for the gasoline thing, it's a crap shoot. If gasoline did spill on the floor and you were standing about 3 feet away and lit a match, would the gas ignite? Who knows for certain? By the way, it would be the gasoline vapor that ignites, not the liquid. Also, you do not need a spark to start a fire, just the three requirements in the flammability triangle: fuel, catalyst (usually oxygen), and activation energy (e.g. heat, spark).

    Just wanted to clear some stuff up. Heck, if we could predict the time, location, and nature of all accidents wouldn't life be grand (rather than 5~10 grand, okay never mind...)??
  • scoyle1scoyle1 Posts: 14
    I really don't appreciate the personal attacks either.

    I did buy a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country Lxi and returned it to the dealership. For anyone who doesn't believe me, post your email address and I will gladly send you a copy of the registration cancellation (I will however disguise my last name and address).

    I did not know about D/C history of safety related issues prior to buying my 2001 Town & Country. After becoming frustrated by Daimler Chrysler's response to the IIHS tests, I have done a lot of research. That research has led me to believe that DaimlerChrysler's response to safety concerns is not an isolated event. Had I known that D/C had such a history, I would not have bought a D/C product.

    Minivans are not fun to drive, sexy etc. My family drives one because it is functional and hopefully safe. I did like the Town & Country the best prior to the safety tests. In my mind, it was the clear winner for drive, comfort, features, etc. However, saftey was my number one concern when it comes to a minivan. This is not a sports car. Please do not call me a liar or hurl any further insults at me. I have only told the truth thus far. I have not challenged anyone's morality or judgement. Please do the same.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    The most important safety feature on any vehicle is the driver.
    Difficult to access responsibility issue as there are too many cases of "Rigged Tests" that do not represent life in the real world. Remember the infamous "GM Exploding Pickup" Fraud by a major television network?
    Reliability is more affected by driver/owner responsibility. When the driver is NOT the owner, the normal maintenance schedule is flagrantly ignored as are normal, decent driving habits. Too many people simply do not follow correct driving and maintenance procedures.
    AND...there can be lemons in any vehicle just as some are so-so and the lucky buyer gets a ZERO problem vehicle.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Your points about safety, responsibility and reliability have merit, but I'm not sure I agree with the implied conclusion that the driver/owner factor is the primary determinant of the safety or reliability of a vehicle.

    As for reliability, yes it certainly makes a difference if the owner performs proper maintenance and drives in a sensible manner. But even so, certain vehicles exhibit much better reliability than others. For example, I took meticulous care of my 94 DC minivan, but had the typical owner experience for that MY. Lots of minor flaws (every one of the interior panels had to be re-glued within 4 months, for example), two early failed A/Cs, and a failed tranny before 50k miles. And please don't repost your theory that trannies only failed on DC vans where the owners did not follow prescribed maintenance ... we did EVERYTHING right with this one, including frequent tranny fluid changes with the correct fluid and coming to a full stop before changing gears.

    As for safety, yes it is true that a defensive driver will have a far lower chance of collision than a normal driver. But even the best defensive driver can get into an accident outside their control. For example, my only serious accident was when a car travelling the opposite direction on a two lane road suddenly turned left and crossed in front of me without signalling or slowing down ... there was no time for any avoidance maneuver. In these cases the substantial differences in crashworthiness come into play. Measures of crashworthiness can be reasonably debated, but by mentioning the "rigged test" of a few years ago you certainly are not, I presume, implying that the IIHS or NHTSA tests are rigged? The parameters of these tests are published years in advance and the tests are open to complete inspection by vehicle manufacturers. Therefore, it is reasonable to question the safety commitment of a manufacturer of a car that does poorly in such a test.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    It's my understanding that no fuel leaked during ANY of the actual crash test. The fuel leak occurred only after the fuel tank was removed from the vehicle and turned on its side.

    My opinion is the IIHS should have made it a priority to test the best selling new model for 2001 first. Now it's somewhat unrealistic to expect DC to recall 300,000+ vehicles for something as questionable as this.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    I probably would not buy another vehicle of the same brand if I had the problems you had with the 94 DC minivan. I will NEVER buy another Volvo or Volkswagen.
    The only vehicle we had with as many various problems as you had with your 94 DC was a NEW 1972 Volvo 145S. Volkswagens came close but Volvo was the worst. Trim had to be attached to dash with screws. Carburetor springs broke and engine would not idle. Was more difficult to shift gears than my father's old 1940's Reo farm truck (The 1936 Reo shifted more easily than the later model). Pneumatic lift assist broke loose off tailgate. Rear axle seals leaked on both sides. One rear disc rotor had to be replaced and the list goes on.
    Perhaps the reason we like our 99 GC so much is that in 29 months and 32,628 miles it has had ZERO problems. Average overall mileage is 23.7 MPG with 3.3L V6. Everything works perfectly in HOT, COLD, or moderate weather.
    Based on our experience, there is no better vehicle made than a DC minivan. If our transmission fails, we will not buy another DC minivan. We may try another brand but so far we have not found anything else with all the nice comfort, convenience, and "gimmicks" (if people prefer to call the separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger, the heating coils at base of windshield, the lighted controls on front doors, the built in child safety seat, the Overhead Console display that has compass, outside temperature, and Trip Computer, etc. gimmicks.)
  • The part did in fact leak and Chrysler admits it. Yhey say do not worry it is only 2 tablespoons full of liquid. I questioned their answer and they said oh yes that was 2 tablespoons per minute, not total.
    It is Chryslers problem and they need to recall all vehicles. Why do you theink they fixed the problem immediately, so when eventually forced into the recall they would have fewer vehicles to do. In my opinion they are sleazy and dop not deserve anyones consideration for a new vehicle purchase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Carleton1, my 94 was not, by the definition of my state's lemon laws, a lemon. No problem in the first year took more than two attempts to fix, nor did the minivan spend close to 30 days in the shop in the first year. However, my experiences

    But to reemphasize, my point was that car reliability varies greatly even for well-maintained cars. Your experiences with VW and Volvo demonstrate that, since I assume you maintained those vehicles well.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    The IIHS tests were reported to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB). They can order a recall if they feel it is a saftey problem. None of your posts will. Were you the one who posted in the NHTSB customer complaints that the test resulted in a catastropic fire? (It did not, as IIHS does not use fuel in their crash tests) If you live in a large city and your newspaper has a "Cars" section try reading it under recalls, DC does do recalls. (i.e Chicago Tribune) This sundays issue listed a half page of recalls by ALL manufacturers.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I don't believe cgaydos' 1994 T&C was a lemon either. Many of the problem were typical of Chrysler minivans of that era, and even the one that is sitting in my garage right now has had many of the problems that cgaydos has mentioned in the past. I just found out a while back that I'm in fact on my second transmission. When the torque converter blew up at around 35K kms, I assumed that they only changed that part, when in fact they had to rebuilt the transmission as well. Thankfully, everything is okay so far, knock on wood. This van has also been maintained solely by the local Chrysler dealership, and under the extreme conditions service schedule.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Did you ever have a problem with the window switches on your T&C? My driver's side cluster tends to get a bit sticky occasionally, and I have to hold the switch a bit longer for the window to start moving back up. You may also recall the rear window glue coming out from underneath the seals. Mine has also started to do this, and I had to use a strong chemical stripper to get rid of the guck. Yuck...I've seen numerous other Chryslers (around the same model year) with the same issues.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Yes, the rear window glue was a constant problem. I never had the window switch problem you describe. However, the automatic rear windows did have a problem that sometimes the motor for one or the other would simply not work. My mechanic, who has done very nicely over the years by specializing in DC minivans, indicated that the problem was probably deteriorating wiring and would cost a lot in labor to fix. I could get the motor to work by manually adjusting the mechanism.

    I think my first clue that the 94 MY DC vans were really, really unreliable was when I made my first appointment with the service department. The guy told me, before I said anything about the reason for the appointment: "Make a detailed list of all the issues you have with the van in advance before you come in." I never, before or since, had a new car that required a detailed list for the problems on the first service visit.

    However, I can also say that half of my first year problems could have and should have been caught by the dealer inspection. Loose interior panels, leaking rear differential, seat belt problems, etc. The same is true of my 01 DC van ... if they'd just applied the recall repair properly as part of the dealer prep I'd still have no service trips to date for the van instead of the 2 I've made.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "My opinion is the IIHS should have made it a priority to test the best selling new model for 2001 first. Now it's somewhat unrealistic to expect DC to recall 300,000+ vehicles for something as questionable as this. " -- scanner

    Scanner, this makes sense. What you don't know, however, is that the IIHS *did* test the DC vans early on. DC twice asked for a retest, and the IIHS delayed publishing the results in order to accomodate DC.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I don't have the problem of the loose interior panels (knock on wood), however, about a year ago, both of the plastic straps holding the glovebox lid open suddenly snapped. Imagine my surprise when I was reaching over to grab a couple of pieces of paper when the entire glovebox dumped its contents onto the floor after I released the latch. It was not as if I slammed it open either! More recently, I had an annoying creaking from that vicinity whenever I made turns or drove over rough pavement - basically whenever the dashboard flexed. Fortunately a few squirts of silicon spray did the trick.

    I didn't realise than the leaking rear differential was a widespread problem. I too had the problem, and it was fortunately taken care of under the 7 year powertrain warranty, albeit with only one month left before the expiry date. In my case, it was a very slow leak though, so initially they topped if off. After the service manager (nice guy, I might add) approved it the next day, they replaced the rear differential and rear main seal I think.

    I feel fortunately that I don't have the peeling paint problem that so many '92 Chrysler minivans have, or the Bendix ABS failures that the '91 Chryslers had. Knock on wood again. I did have the peeling paint problem from the wiper arms though, both front and back. It really made the van look far older than it was and eventually I just resprayed the entire arm with some black, non-glossy high heat barbaque paint. Matches perfectly, and it's not longer an eyesore

    As for the list, I didn't get a chance to write one up, and hence forgot to ask them to check the rear defroster at the oil change last week. It has suddenly been reduced to about 10-20% of its effectiveness.

    Always a pleasure :-)

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Ah, yes, DC minivan owners swapping war stories. I used to kind of enjoy sharing experiences with the other casualties while waiting for our minivans to be written up at the service shop. It's amazing just all the things that could go wrong. I did learn that my experiences were better than many people's.

    In summary, my most annoying repairs were:

    * A/C problems. First failure occurred day before a 2 week vacation. Had partial A/C while driving through a desert on a hot day. Kids were great, though.

    * Starter failures. Twice, repaired once under warranty.

    * Tranny failure.

    * Broken timing belt.

    * Radiator/pump failure. Twice.

    * Approximately 80,000 recalls (okay, I exaggerate slightly), including the "non-recall" recall of the rear hatch latch.

    * Also had a broken engine block support that was detected in my just-before-warranty-ended inspection.

    As for the 01, I've had two minor breakages. The rubber covering the emergency brake pedal came off, and the cute cell phone holder fell off. Oh yes, and I've had the previously-reported problem of the air bag warning light coming on infrequently. I'm scheduling another visit to the service department this week. Even so, though, I have to say the design and construction of the 01 is a quantum leap ahead of the 94 in quality.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    War stories, LOL, I'll have to remember that one. We had a starter problem too...I wasn't driving that day, but my father was. This was probably about 4 years ago, I think. Basically after the key was turned, the engine fired, but the starter motor refused to stop cranking even with the engine running. You can imagine the amount of noise that created. What was even more perplexing was that even when the key was turned off and removed from the ignition, the starter motor continued to crank. You could smell the motor starting to burn now, and there was obviously a serious ugency to disconnect the battery. Fortunately we have always had a small tool kit tucked under the driver's seat, and somehow I found the correct size wrench to loosen the nut from the battery clamp.

    A call was made to BCAA (British Columbia Automobile Association) and within half an hour, the technician arrived. He found that the starter flywheel, after starting, would not go back into the starter and hence was being dragged along with the engine. He could not really explain why the starter kept cranking after the key was removed though. There was an explanation by the service advisor but I can't remember it at this point.

    One of the more recent faults was the "Check engine" light coming on and then subsequently going off. This was traced to a faulty MAF sensor, I believe, which caused the engine to run a bit richer than normal. It did explain why the fuel economy had decreased slightly.

    No problems with the pedals, but both front wheel bearings were replaced. I did damage one (left side) by smacking into a curb at about 35-40 km/hr with the steering wheel at right full lock after sliding on black ice. The impact also put a quarter sized dent in the edge of the transmission fluid pan (I think) which was fortunately thick enough not to crack. A 3" chunk of the aluminum alloy wheel rim did fly off after driving at highway speeds right after the accident (which, as you can imagine, threw the alignment + balance off + bent the lower A arm of the suspension).

    Fortunately, the A/C is still nice, cool, and more importantly functioning properly. The timing belt hasn't created any problems, but the tensioner pulley has been replaced a couple of times. You probably know all about the jingle bells noise characteristic of Chrysler vans, or the creaking noise from the transmission shifting gears (outside the vehicle).

    The van does eat a bit of oil right now at 60K miles on the odometer; it ate more before they found that the oil pan gasket was leaking slightly. That's where the oil pressure gauge comes in handy. When it drops below a certain amount after startup, I know that it's about time to add a bit more oil to the crankcase. The van has, amazingly, no more rattles. They seem to have quelled themselves altogether. The seats are also in brand new shape since there were seat covers on all of them until I removed them recently.

    At this point in time, it's not worth selling the van since it's only worth about $10K, if not less. Better to have it around as a (ironically) standby. ;-)
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And in the legal sense, my NEW 1972 Volvo 145S was not a lemon. Nor was my 1977 VW Bus nor my NEW 1975 VW Rabbit.
    However, I had been driving Chevrolet Impalas (NEW 1963, 1967, 1978,1980),1 NEW 1965 Buick, 1 NEW 1987 Chevy R-10 pickup, 1 NEW 1991 Astro so I was not used to having problems with vehicles. My GM vehicles NEVER gave me the problems those damned imported vehicles did.
    The 1980 Chevy Citation had loose bolts and oil leaks that were promptly fixed under warranty by the Chevy dealer. The synchronizers went out on 2nd gear after the warranty had expired and the Chevy dealer rebuilt the transmission AT NO COST to me. We shortly thereafter traded off the Citation (my drive-to-work vehicle) on a NEW 1981 Chevy C-10 pickup. The 1981 C-10 was not up to GM standards and ran poorly in cold weather until warmed up. I solved the problem by installing a manual choke.
    The 1987 Chevy R-10 has been mechanically perfect. It did start running roughly once at about 8 or 9 years of age. The cure: new spark plugs and cleaning of throttle body fuel injection. The paint has peeled on hood and top of cab, but I much prefer mechanical perfection to a body that has no paint peeling at 10 years of age.
    Now we own a 99 GC SE with 32,626 miles at 29 months of age and it has had abolutely ZERO problems. No Odyssey or Toyota can be any better.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    I'll share my stories with all the three Chrysler vans I've had. I've previously said I was never "burned" or felt they were unreliable (to an extent) but they have and had their share of problems...

    1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE (traded at 84,145 miles)

    - Mitsu 3.0 V6 head gasket blew up

    - A battery that would always almost go dead if too many ac systems were on. This is where the battery gauge came in handy because I could watch and tell when the battery was about to die especially at stop lights with the ac on. The '96 and '01 are kind of crappy in the respects that all they have are idiot lights. Those idiot lights would have told be jack if I had had the same problems I had in my blue van that I did in the '96 and '01.

    - Electrical problem involving having to drive the car EVERY day, or else the car wouldn't start. Talk about surprised when we took a vacation right after we got the NEW van and it wouldn't start. NO dealer or our mechanic could figure it out even after 8 years. I felt bad for the dealer we traded it to who had no idea that it would be dead if he tried to drive it or give someone a test drive. From then on, we had to have neighbors drive our car every so often everyday while on vacations.

    - Overhead console readout (just temp and direction readouts in '88) Towards the end, the readout would say it was 120-145 degrees F when it was anywhere from 30 to 80 degrees F out

    - Loose trim pieces all around

    - bubbling wood paneling that was starting to peel I guess after too much rain and too many car washes

    - Many visits to the dealer for small things, which led to the obligatory, "We can't let you walk out of here driving that 'death trap' 100 things need to be replaced. Hand me $500 dollars" After so many $500-$600 dollar visits for what was probably nothing, just there way of getting our money, we almost bought a 1992 Town & Country after putting in nearly $10,000 worth of repairs from the dealer on a $20,000 van, until we found a reliable no nonsense mechanic that knew what he was doing

    1996 Town & Country LXi (traded at 40,312 miles)

    - after not even one day of ownership, rattles were coming from the front passenger window, and the passenger sliding door

    - two weeks after buying the car, the rattling driver's side rear quarter vent window came unglued from the thing that pushes it out, so basically anyone could enter our car by opening that window

    - Within weeks of that, the passenger side rear quarter vent window rattled and came unglued, too

    - the third row seat after a month would NOT stop rattling. It was awful, and it never truly stopped even after 4-5 years we had the car, even though the dealer replaced the whole assembly 2 times

    - rotors warped after 12,000 miles. Was told by Chrysler and later by my mechanic to just go get Midex or something, because Chrysler rotors were just plain crap (still waiting for the '01's to warp)

    - after less than a year, the rear shocks had to be replaced, because of an incessant rattling which they deemed were the shock absorbers

    - After about three years, we experienced door locks that would sometimes lock and sometimes wouldn't

    - Around the same time as that, we got the phantom windshield wipers, plus they would stop in whatever position they were in of the car was turned off

    2001 Town & Country Limited (now at 5,340 miles)

    - Nothing, THANK GOD!

    See, other than the electrical issues I had in the '88, which I could handle and understand what to do with, none of my vans were "unreliable," in the respects that I was afraid that on the highway it would explode or break down. The '88 could probably in fact been classified as a lemon, but it was too late until we found out about the major electrical problem. If we had caught it early on, we probably would have gotten a replacement van. So my '88 did have it's share of problems, but once we found a credible mechanic and not the slimy dealer we were taking it to, the '88 started to act OK for a change. The '96 was just filled with annoying inconveniences but nothing mechanical EVER went wrong. From what I hear, the phantom locks/windshield wipers, the bad rotors, and the rattling were all common to the '96 vans, except for the rotors whch have always been bad. The '01 so far has been fine, and the quality actually shows in this one. I still think it's wrong that Chrysler is wrong for not recalling the part on my mini just for my own piece of mind, but OH WELL..... Anyway, maybe all of this qualifies as being "burned by Chrysler" but I'm sorry, they make some darn nice vans on the outside and inside. How they used to build them is a differnet story, and I know with Chrysler, beauty is sometimes only skin deep, but I've been loyal (basically because there didn't used to be any other REAL minivan competitors) and I'm glad that they seem to be better in quality now. I'm still waiting to see that new 2003 Sienna, though.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    After almost buying a '92, I was really disappointed they didn't keep the digital dashboard that was on the '91-'95 T&C's. I take it you liked it? Our neighbors had theirs short out a couple times, but maybe that's why Chrysler got rid of it.

    Also, is it me or do you think the '87-'95 'Grand' versions of the Chrysler vans have and had more leg room in the middle row. I swear, when I got the '96, it was a big difference in how the front seats really dug into the leg room in the middle row, which I remember in the '88 not being a problem. The '01 is about the same as the '96 was in leg room, too.

    Also, have you had any problems with all the curves and now the power liftgate intrusion in the trunk area. I used to be able to fit two bikes in the back of the '88, but when we got the '96, I had a rude awakening when I couldn't do that anymore. This I think was partially due to all those curves in the trunk area, and the fact that the rear air compressor was moved from behind the driver (where the driver's sliding doors is now) to the trunk area, which took out some width in the trunk. But because of the more boxy trunk opening of the '88 (and your '94) it was much easier to get big stuff in. Now, not only is the '01 still really curvy in the back, but the power lift motor take up more available cargo space that I used to have even in the '96. Chrysler keeps on saying how the new vans get bigger with each redesign, but I'd like to know where they're putting the extra space other than in extra elbow room in front, which I did notice in the '96.

    One last thing, what did you think of all the leather that was along the inside of your '94 T&C. When looking at pictures, it looks really luxurious, and better than the vinyl I had in the '96, and now the sued in the '01.

    Sorry about all the questions, but since that was the one generation of Chrysler vans that I did not get, I'm just wondering if there were things you liked better about it when compared to your new '01. I know there are still things I want back that were on my '88, such as a full amount of gauges and less curves and intrusions in the trunk area. I guess you can't win them all though...
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If you go to the IIHS site and look up the DC tests, you will see the picture of the leaking tank.If you look closely at the enlarged version, you will see that the tank is removed and tipped at what appears to be a 45 degree angle to show the leak area. They stated that the flange that leaked is on the TOP of the tank. Unless the laws of physics change liquid cannot flow uphill! So the tank could only leak under the following conditions: 1. Full tank (including filler neck) and a 40 mile per hour crash. Just pulling out of a gas station or within 20 miles of a fillup. 2. 40 mile per hour crash with van on its side or roof. And remember in the first test it did not leak. The government mandates that on a rollover crash no fuel should leak. Let them make the decision. You should not top off your tank if you are worried until this is resolved
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    I think Chrysler vans are finally on par with the other competitors now in terms of quality and I'm glad to hear that you've had such good luck with your '99.

    I'm just thinking when I look at vans again for the 2004 model year, the Toyota and Chrysler vans will be the only vans with the luxury features I'm looking for. That's great that Honda is finally offering heated leather seats, but Chrysler has been doing that since 1990 with the Town & Country and since 1998 with the heated part. When the Odyssey first came out, it's big selling point for me was the auto temp control, which is now in the Toyota and the Chryslers, thus not making it a real big possibility on my list since I want luxury more than a 6 month waiting list and a fold away seat, which is supposed to be on the 2003 Sienna anyway.

    Plus, I've had such good luck with the four Toyota's I've owned that I'm not too worried about having problems in a Toyota. And by reading my previous post, you can tell that all those problems I had in the two Chryslers didn't scare me away from getting a new 2001 Chrysler. Plus, I have trust in Toyota for at least making a vehicle on par with my Chrysler. I'll just have to see what happens....
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    1. Yes, the digital dashboard was functionally better than the analog. I never had problems with it.

    2. I can't be sure, but there probably was slightly more leg room in the middle row of the old minivans. I wish DC offered second row seats that should shift forward and backward, like the Sienna and Windstar.

    3. Yes, there may be some compromises in cargo room behind the third seat between the first generation and the post-96's. I think that in terms of cubic feet the post-96s have more cargo room, but partly that's because the post-96's have a wider stance, which contributes to better stability and ride, but the aerodynamics may take away some usable cargo room. Two things I've done in the '01 to help are: 1) remove the headrests (not needed as the kids in the back are in car seats) and 2) move the seat back to the most upright position. The '94 rear bench did not have an adjustable seatback, and as I recall it was closer to vertical than the normal '01 seatback.

    4. I find the leather/suede on the '01 to be luxurious. I think there is a difference in that leather was not a common option in '94, so it looked and felt like it was done by an aftermarketer. You know, it didn't exactly fit the seats or the panels, leaving a lot of extra material in wrinkles and folds which can seem more luxurious. The leather we have now definitely seems factory installed, and fits exactly.

    5. Overall, except for the electronic dashboard and perhaps rear cargo room there is NOTHING I like about the '94 over the '01. It had a harsher ride, poorer handling, much more wind noise, rotten windshield wipers and sprayers, no left sliding door, no power doors, rotten rear climate control (the vents were all on the left), no wheels on the seats for removal, seats that were very difficult to remove and to lock back in place, a stupid place for the tire jack (next to the engine, so it was guaranteed to be too hot to touch), a rubber pad where the hood met the car that kept coming off, a stupid hood ornament that hurt gas mileage and added noise, impossible-to-clean white alloy wheels, a rear climate system that let the kids turn the heat on full while the front was putting out A/C, and horn buttons on the sides of the steering wheel instead of the center. Not that I have an opinion about the '94 or anything.

    However, having said all that I would buy the '94 again. Amazing, huh? But at the time that was the best minivan choice out there for those who needed a larger minivan.
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