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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • mary36mary36 Posts: 52
    I already have.

    All it takes for the passenger (GEN 3) seatbelts to unbuckle is for the red release button to become FLUSH with the retainer. We're talking less than an inch compression.

    In addition, it doesn't take much pressure at all for the buckle to release. During a collision, a loose cell phone, or child's toy... or even an elbow or foot could accidentally release the seat belt and have a child ejected from the vehicle. (And it's already happened to other families. Chrysler has settled millions of dollars in lawsuits, but still refuses to do a recall.)

    My driver and side passenger seat belts are different. It takes MUCH MORE pressure to release them. Also, the red release button has to be forced INTO the retainer pretty DEEP for the buckle to release.

    If you look at the list of models affected, you will see that my vehicle (02 Caravan) only has Gen 3 belts in the rear, which is consistent with what I'm finding.

    I believe only your rear belts are affected too.

    Is it POSSIBLE my children will be ejected during a wreck? YES.

    Is it PROBABLE? Probably not.

    But after obtaining this knowledge and doing my own testing with my own seatbelts, I am going to be a VERY cautious driver until we get this van replaced with an Oddy.

    Each family needs to weigh their own risks vs probability.
    My family is choosing to replace our vehicle as soon as possible. Until then, I'm going to limit projectiles in our van and drive as cautious as I can.

    (Although, it's not me I'm worried about driving... it's all the other idiots out there on the road.) :mad: :sick:
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    "I believe only your rear belts are affected too." Nope
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Those are all not including $635 destination charge. For comparison:

    2008 T&C Pricing, with destination:

    $23,190 LX
    $28,430 Touring
    $36,400 Limited

    The LX & Touring models have three option pakcages each plus individual options to play with.

    With the trims/features/options of minivans ranging from $22k to $45k, it's hard to compare any particular vehicle trim level to antoher. I may regret it, but True Delta's comparison is a reasonable tool to commonize features between competing models. The MSRP of the 2008 Chrysler minivans undercut Honda and Toyota on a feature by feature basis except for powertrains of the base models.
  • I'm planing to drive from eastern ontario to burnaby british columbia in the spring of 2008. My odyssey has 181,00 kilometers on the engine. The engine has been maintenanced according to the dealers recommendations faithfully. I'm concerned about taking a 4000 kilometer trip with an engine that is 8 years old. For example, would head gaskets fail if I were driving between 6 to 8 hours per day for about 5 days. Has anyone taken this kind of a trip with a 1999 honda odyssey?

    Allan :)
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    No I wouldn't worry about that if the eninge is running fine and not using any oil. That's really not that many kilometers in the greater scheme of things. I have a brother with a Ford Ranger with 255,000 miles on it and it still runs like new and he routinely drives it from Lousisana to Iowa. Routine maintenance is the key and sounds like you've done that.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Probably the easiest 4,000 kilometers your van's ever done, won't even tax the head gasket(s).

    Best Regards,
  • are there certain things that need to be checked ahead of time prior to a 4000 kilometer trip? i.e. radiator, tranmission, fluid etc? Or should I just bring it to a dealer for a check over prior to going?

    allan :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Assuming that you've been maintaining the van all along you're probably good to go. That said, how long since you've had the coolant flushed, the hoses and belts replaced, the brake fluid flushed and the brakes checked?

    While none of the above are a really big deal, if you're 400 miles from the nearest large town the last thing you need is a radiator hose or some such to go sour on you. Another thing to consider is when is your next oil change due? It's kind of a pain to have to stop for an oil change mid trip.

    Another good thing to do is to evaluate the condition of your spare tire. Once again, getting a flat in town is no big deal, but of you're a long way from nowhere and the rubber on your spare is old and cracked, you may very well not make it to the next tire shop.

    FWIW, I took two 2,000+ mile trips this summer in our old 1998 Grand Caravan with 150,000 miles on the clock and had absolutely no worries about it going the distance. Said another way, it's really no big deal for a well maintained older car to go on long road trips. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • Thank you for your feedback. I have a clear idea now of how to prepare based on what you've said. I can see the years of appropriate maintanence are going to pay off now. My wife is often concerned about the cost of things especially when going to the dealer. I'm not necessarily worried about cost of labor and parts, that's just the way it is. I'm more interested in knowing that mehcanic knows what he's doing and can admit when he's not sure. I l also prefer to know that I've got the attention of the dealer and that people are listening. Over the years I've built a good relationship with the dealer and given them lots of money but, now I see the pay back; I don't have to replace it based on high mileage alone.

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling but many thanks. The rad flush is due and so is brake fluid.

  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    I have 172,000 on my CT&C. I loved the new 08 T&C so, I ordered one. Wanted it before X-mas when we plan to do a 800 (each way) mile trip to see family like we do every year. It looks like my new 08 T&C may not arrive on time so I did the following:

    Received a mailer from a local Dodge dealer offering a $19.95 oil & filter change and a coupon for a free 23 point safety check. Dealer did a good and honest job and said low front brakes, nothing else. I then asked them to check the suspension since everything is still original except struts and shocks which I replaced at 143,000. Dealer said bushings are worn. Brake job at dealer $200, bushings $200. Paid only $19.95 for the oil change.

    Have had only 1 brake job -- at 105,000 with Midas who gives free pads for car life. Replaced front brakes for $90 instead of $200 with Midas's free pad replacement warranty (still pay for labor though). Said they can do bushings for $150 but it is not unsafe if I do not replace them, just noisy and perhaps bouncier. If my new van does arrive in time I won't replace them.

    Within this last month we have taken this high mileage van on three 200 mile trips. Goes fine. Suspension is worn but adequate.

    If you have maintained the vehicle reasonably well (and I am not NEARLY as good as some of these posters) you should be fine.
  • looks like we might finally get rid of lemon caravan. woohoo.......... It's a 98, has had lots of maintenance, unfortunately with lots of repairs. Looks like it needs one more, but I don't think we'll do it. Power steering has a leak.

    So if things work out, husband will trade it in for a toyota truck, as old as maybe the van or slightly newer, but hopefully we'll have better luck with it.

    Wish us well the next few months that we can somehow budget that in.
  • marine2, thanx for the nice comments. I just spoke to her again, she still has the gas leak problem and has missed a few days work dealing with it. So even though it's free, it's not, kwim? She said they had to call the fire dept because it had pooled up so bad in her driveway. Yikes.

    Then she said her son was pinned in the sliding door and her husband had to work frantically to get that child out, not to mention the dog being pinned. At least it was a big dog ;) I know, not funny, but I can't help it. ;)

    She also said her brakes are worn. She has to brake about a block away. LOL Well, that's what she said. So more time off work to get that fixed. What gets me is that this car is newer than my car which I bought March 07 and she's had that many problems.

    My van is a 98 and it started having problems within a week or two of having it, but darn, it wasn't as many as that. Not sure what quality control is like these days, but they failed on her van. stinks when all you can afford is this. I told her to force Chrysler to take it back, but she won't. I know her and she'll keep dealing with all that. I'd be a wreck right about now.

    So yeah, at least I can hope and pray we'll be rid of ours soon. The phenomenal deal we got early on on it has been spent towards repairs. I won't even count the regular maintenance. Right now we are holding it together with spit until we can get something else.

    you sound like us with our first dodge. We have a 93 shadow and our 16 year old is now driving that. We bought it when he was 2 years old. We kept it in great shape and other than the typical chrysler crap paint, it's been good to us.

    Good luck to everyone else on their car buying.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    marine2, thanx for the nice comments. I just spoke to her again, she still has the gas leak problem and has missed a few days work dealing with it. So even though it's free, it's not, kwim? She said they had to call the fire dept because it had pooled up so bad in her driveway. Yikes.

    Then she said her son was pinned in the sliding door and her husband had to work frantically to get that child out, not to mention the dog being pinned. At least it was a big dog I know, not funny, but I can't help it.

    She also said her brakes are worn. She has to brake about a block away. LOL Well, that's what she said. So more time off work to get that fixed. What gets me is that this car is newer than my car which I bought March 07 and she's had that many problems.

    Leaked so bad she had to call the fire dept. because it pooled up in her driveway? I would think most of it would have run down a driveway onto the street. If not, all she would have had to do is hose it off.

    Having to break a block ahead to get it to stop in time?

    I have to wonder if she's telling you the whole truth. That sliding door has a sensor on it that will make the door pop open if anyone touches the edge of it while it's closing. Same with the rear hatch. The whole thing sounds fishy
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I owned a 1994 Dodge Caravan 3.3L for 11 years that gave us good service for the 170,000 miles that we owned it. The transmission did need to be rebuilt once, but that was done at less than 50,000 miles under the new car warranty. It was fine for the rest of the time we had the van. There were really no other major costly repairs that we had to do. Struts, brakes, one starter, along with the usual maintenance stuff (plugs, oil and transmission fluid changes, filters, wipers, etc). Never needed any A/C work, and I think it was still on the original exhaust (including catalytic converter) when we traded it in for a PU truck. I think our overall TCO (total cost of ownership), including acquisition, fuel, maintenance/repairs, insurance, etc was $0.26/mile.

    Now, there's been some changes in our family and my wife wants another minivan (she's currently driving a Subaru Outback wagon). But, I have mixed feeling about buying another DC minivan because of all the bad press about drive train issues. I'm not worried about the smaller stuff because I can do almost all of the other work (brakes, struts, etc) myself. I'm leaning towards the Honda Odyssey. Either one will have to be a used vehicle, but the Odyssey's, are $5K-$8K more expensive than the DC products for comparable years and mileage. I can find a low mileage 1-2 year old T&C for $12K-$14K, while a year older Odyssey seems to be running more like $18K. Should I gamble on a DC product, figuring I have $5K-$8K to thow at it, or go with the more reliable Odyssey. Note that we intend to keep this van as long or longer than we had or Caravan, so longevity is a major consideration, not trade-in value. :confuse:
  • Have your researched reliability for the Honda Odyssey transmissions?

    They have a really poor history of failures. There was a class action lawsuit for the '99-'01 models. The '02-'04 models also have numerous failures reported.

    The '05-'06 models have the same transmission as the '02-'04's so don't expect longevity there.

    '07+ Odysseys have a redesigned 4-shaft tranny shared with the Pilot & Ridgeline trucks. Have to wait for reliablity data on these models.

    Overall, if you can afford one, I think you are better off with the Honda. They drive like new after 150k+ miles & are worth a good trade when you're finshed. I know that re-sale is not a factor in your decision but it is nice to see at least $5k for an 8 year old van (We got $5k for a 2000 Odyssey with 165k miles).
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,225
    My take (and an Odyssey owner at that) is that $5,000-$8,000 on a used model is a TON of money. It's not a guarantee that the Honda will not need the same amount of repairs so if you're happy with what the DC van offers, I'd say go for it. We mainly bought the Ody for some of the features and the 8 passenger capability. Otherwise, I would have probably gone the DC route myself. I know plenty of folks with DC vans that don't have problems and are more than happy with them (my mother is on her 3rd Caravan that's about to pass the 200k mark).
  • I am sure she put in some drama to her story, but I was there for the smelling of the gas after that repair. It was clear as day that something was not right. I expect to smell some gas after refueling, not when the thing is half used. The braking, well, having had issues with the caravan's brakes, albeit a 5 year old one, I did have to brake well in advance. So that much I believe without exaggeration. Not to mention since we had brake problems in snowy upstate NY, darn skippy I braked a block out. :cry:

    That snow did a number on the underside of the vehicle. I don't know if other cars have issues with rust and snow damage like ours did. I kept it garaged and hosed it quite a bit, but darn! Of course, we have a 93 shadow and the paint on that was never terrific.

    Sensors do occasionally malfunction, but that I had heard from a friend who had an imported van. I just have never trusted power sliding doors myself. Us getting power windows was a big step for me ;)

    I spoke to another close friend of mine who has a caravan one year newer than mine. We almost wet our pants laughing because all the stuff going wrong with mine is happening to her right now. Luckily she has a friend of a relative who can fix them for cost of parts. I was afraid to know what it would cost for us. We just give up, kwim?

    Luckily dh was able to find a used Tacoma that he wanted and they were willing to take the van. I feel like we cheated them in the deal. ROFL.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    If you looked at my carspace, you can see what a work horse those vans are. I can load it up moving my Daughter, like I did. Or carry two electric wheel chairs or scooters at once and still put a passenger in the back. Which was the main reason I bought my Dodge, stow n go. Great idea Chrysler had. Sets it apart from all the rest.
  • I am glad it has worked out for you guys. I hear either extreme, people adore this vehicle and have had good luck with it or the opposite extreme like mine. I would have been inclined to keep mine longer if I felt confident about it, but I just never could.

    Thank God it never left the kids and I stranded like it did my one girlfriend. I had to pick her up an hour away in the middle of the night at -45 degrees northern NY winter. I will say this, it was practical when the kids were little, when it wasn't in the shop, of course ;) But I did find out that my van could hold 3 half frozen kids, two addtl adults and the tow driver on the floor. yes, the tow drivers truck wouldn't kick over. rofl

    I had to drive him up to Watertown to get some addtl fuel for his hydraulic lift maybe, can't recall, and then drive him back to his truck and it STILL would not start. But my little caravan kept on ticking ;)

    But I'll pay a little extra maintaining the Honda and hopefully won't have the repairs like the van. I wonder if it has to do where they were manufactured, or just that myself and two very close friends got lemons, altho we bought ours in different states, NC for us, OK for one and MO for the other? hmmm.....
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Blackexv6 and sebring95 - thanks for the comments. Yeah, I've been diving into the transmission issues on both vehicles. I'm leaning towards a late model T&C, either mid '07 on or earlier than May '06, that still has the longer period power train warranty. Don't need 8 passenger (or even 7, for that matter) capacity any more, so that feature of the Odyssey is a a non-issue.

    I think in the end it's going to come down to money, or more properly, value. Unless I stumble upon an Odyssey who's price difference is significantly less than the $5K-$8K I mentioned in my earlier post, I'm going with a low mileage T&C.
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