Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler Minivan Problems & Solutions



  • lgrabalgraba Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan SE that I have had into the dealer 9 times since it was bought new in July 1996. 3 of those times have been for a check engine light that was related to the transmission, one was to replace a failing battery (that battery failed also failed after 2 years), once to turn the brake rotors, once to replace the brake rotors (6 mo. after they were turned), once for a failed water pump (stranded on roadway), and this last time for a recall and check on the transmission, which appears to be slipping. I was told that the transmission needs an overhaul, which will cost from $1900-$2100. This is not a high mileage car, only 45000 miles.

    I feel that this is an intolerable list of problems, and this is starting to cost me money that I do not want to spend. Is there any way to get some relief from these problems, other than just complaining? Does Dodge do anything about transmissions that fail way too early, or about vehicles that have such poor reliability?

    This car is the most unreliable I have ever had, and this includes a '83 Alfo Romeo GTV6 that I owned for a few years in the later 80's.
  • royallenroyallen Member Posts: 227
    Sorry the first should be
  • egawronegawron Member Posts: 9
    Four or five new complaints about Caravan reliability. It should be about time for the famous Carleton1 "I never had a problem" posting to show up for the 100th time. Why put off the inevitable, here it is:

    Many Dodge Caravans have zero problems (carleton1). As swampcollie, myself, and many of my friends have experienced. My 1999 Grand Caravan purchased 3/20/99 now has 10078 miles and has performed flawlessly. Gets 18.6 to 29.1 MPG at each refill.
  • swampcollieswampcollie Member Posts: 87
    I dont see Carleton here... just you to probably try and justify your overspending for your Ody. I really dont see your problem with him saying positive things about his GC. The problem was created with the same people coming in over and over to slam them. I asked repeatedly to be shown the objective data. None has been forthcoming. Might want to check out the Ody problems forum before you get too smug. And those numbers only represent a year and a half of production compared to DC being in its 17th year.
  • capecoddercapecodder Member Posts: 17
    I showed conclusively that there were no postings from Ody proponents on the DC threads to justify carleton1's inflammatory stuff about Hondas, so why do you keep bringing this up when we all now know your statement just doesn't hold water?

    Secondly, I recall no postings claiming that the new Ody was more reliable than the 1999 and later DC vans. What I do recall was postings from carleton1 saying that the Ody was "the most trouble-prone minivan." This is what we Ody owners objected to, and pointed that, if history is an indication, DC had a long way to go. And if, as you have said, there have been no statistics anywhere yet that compare 1999s and later with each other, why did you not have a problem with carleton1's above statement about the Ody when there was no "objective data" to support it?

    In the thread titled "has Chrysler fixed their transmission problems" carleton1 recently posted "The answer is YES (carleton1) to the title of this forum. And it happened a number of years ago." Have you seen statistically-significant numbers to support this allegation? Seems to me it's still to soon to say. Doesn't it seem that way to you? Why didn't you object to *this* statement when there's no "objective data" to support it?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    ...again. The topic is Dodge Caravan Problems...stick to it. Please be courteous to other members of the Town Hall by posting helpful comments/information.

    Vans Host
  • lgrabalgraba Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan SE that I have had into the dealer 9 times since it was bought new in July 1996. 3 of those times have been for a check engine light that was related to the transmission, one was to replace a failing battery (that battery failed also failed after 2 years), once to turn the brake rotors, once to replace the brake rotors (6 mo. after they were turned), once for a failed water pump (stranded on roadway), and this last time for a recall and check on the transmission, which appears to be slipping. I was told that the transmission needs an overhaul, which will cost from $1900-$2100. This is not a high mileage car, only 45000 miles.

    I feel that this is an intolerable list of problems, and this is starting to cost me money that I do not want to spend. Is there any way to get some relief from these problems, other than just complaining? Does Dodge do anything about transmissions that fail way too early, or about vehicles that have such poor reliability?

    This car is the most unreliable I have ever had, and this includes a '83 Alfo Romeo GTV6 that I owned for a few years in the later 80's.
  • howarthhowarth Member Posts: 2
    My brother works in parts at a Dodge dealer. He said the 'phantom wiper' issue is very common on 96-98 vans. Replacement of the wiper switch assembly 'cures' it - at least it did on my 1997 GV. (6 months with no mystery wiping) This part should be under recall for the 1998, but not 1996-7.

    FYI - I bought the new wiper switch assembly from the dealership db works for. DB found a pricing issue. The recalled/replacement part and the 1996/97 part are identical BUT the two parts have different part numbers in the parts catalog. So if it's replaced under warranty one part/price is charged, if it's paid for my the owner the other part/price is charged. Guess who gets the better price - big suprise. The recall replacement is $30-$50 LESS than the 1996/97 part. So if you're paying for the replacement switch out of your own pocket, have the parts guy look up both parts and give you the CHEAPER one. And don't fall for a line about how they're really different parts. The 1998 recall replacement is working great in my 1997 GV.
  • pjjqbypjjqby Member Posts: 3
    I am considering purchasing a base 2000 Caravan/Voyager. Are there any issues w/the 4-cyl model other than hp?
  • klh_akklh_ak Member Posts: 1
    I have an 89 2.5L Caravan that has had 2 heads replaced, the second one when the camshaft broke in two. Also replaced the engine twice, the second within a month, then replaced pistons when the cylinders scored and the pistons started slapping. It has a tendency to form an air pocket at the thermostat, which then will not open, and the engine overheats. The first problem was at about 80,000 miles. I don't know whether Dodge has redesigned the engine, but it's worth looking into. Other than that, the car has been very dependable.
  • scannerscanner Member Posts: 295

    Did you start to have problems soon after having your anti-freeze changed? Also, did the same mechanic perform all of the repairs on you van?

    Chrysler stopped using the 2.5L engine in minivans in 1995. Chrysler minivans switched to the 2.4L in 1996 which is based on the 2.0L. I've heard of some head gasket problems earlier on, but nothing lately out of the ordinary.
  • pjjqbypjjqby Member Posts: 3
    Are the tranny issues related to van size - long vs short wheel base, or is it to engine size - 3.0, 3,3 & 3.8. Do I understand it correct that the 2.4L w/3 speed tranny has no problems-other than it can't get out of its own way??
  • guynnguynn Member Posts: 1
    I noticed a lot of info posted on the older Caravans. I have an 85 model with 195,000 miles on it. Runs great. Only problem I've ever had was the carb., replaced it once and the van runs better than it did. I'm in the process of replacing the struts and battery cables. I've found the key to keeping it going is (of course) changing the oil often, but I have also had all the belts, hoses, plugs, and plug wires changed twice since I bought it. Even if it didn't look like any of these needed changed. I also make sure the gas filter is changed once or twice a year. I put a container of gas treatment in every other gas fill up. My mechanic says it will probably last longer than any of the new ones.
    I also have a 94 Caravan, with 64,000 miles. It seems to have developed a miss in the past couple of months. Anyone else having problems with that? The mechanic can't find any reason for the miss.
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Member Posts: 88
    Has anyone ever discovered exactly what the cause of the transmission problems is?
    Seems some aftermarket person/company would have a cure?
    What fails inside the Chtco xmission and what causes the failure/
    Parts too small?
    Plastic parts?
  • joehedgesjoehedges Member Posts: 4
    My Voyager transmission failed twice in two different modes. Being stuck in second gear evidenced the first failure (42K miles). The transmission was replaced under warranty. I don't know the actual failure mode inside the transmission. My guess would be that a check ball was stuck in the hydraulic control unit. A Chrysler dealer had serviced the transmission at 31K miles.

    The second time it failed (92K miles), I would put the transmission in gear and nothing would happen. When I increased the engine RPM, the transmission would engage with a clunk and the van would jump. Slipping clutch packs would most likely cause this.

    There is a belief that the wrong type of transmission fluid could have caused both of these failures. An excellent reference for transmission fluid that also lends credence to this belief is:

    At this site, Ford and GM ATF's are mentioned, the recommended ATF for Chrysler is conspicuously missing.
  • egawronegawron Member Posts: 9
    Since your first transmission was serviced at the Chrysler dealer at 31,000 miles, are you saying that both the factory and the dealer may have used the wrong transmission fluid and that may be why it failed?? Also did the dealer continue to use the wrong transmission fluid in the second transmission, and that is why it failed?

    I guess it could be argued that the special transmission fluid that Chrysler developed for the 4 speed automatic (after it had major reliability problems using dextron for which it was originally designed) may still not be the "right" transmission fluid. I am more inclined to believe that it was a poorly designed transmission from day one and still has reliability problems 10 years latter. This belief is shared by most transmission repair specialists - - just ask a few.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    Ok, my post is not timely, but may be helpful. Some of you may be interested in changing your own fluid and filter in your transmission, but are concerned by the messy aspect of the job.

    Here is a tip, get one of those hand pumps with clean hoses. You can carefully route the pickup hose through the dipstick tube and pump out about 4 quarts of fluid BEFORE you drop the pan. While this may take a bit longer, you will not have near the mess in your driveway to clean up.

    Hope this helps.

  • mrbizness1mrbizness1 Member Posts: 93
    From what I have read dexron fluid can disolve the clutch material on Chrysler transmissions, that is why it takes several months for the trans. to fail after a fluid change.

    TBONER, While your method will change the fluid, at some point you will need to change the filter
  • swampcollieswampcollie Member Posts: 87
    lead to failure of all of them...that does not happen... i have never even seen a reliable number as to how many...someone had some number from consumers at 8% but I dont have a clue... It is impossible to have an objective discussion about it since the Ody guys will jump on such a topic and say that they are all bad and we DC owners will say no they arnt and we are back in that circle. All I know is that I have had no trouble with 3 DC vans and I live in a rural midwest area and have the trannys serviced at around 50k at the dealer. I do not tow and drive pretty much the speed limit. I do not have a transmission cooler.
  • joehedgesjoehedges Member Posts: 4
    I don't buy into the "wrong fluid" theory either. However, the information presented by Lubrizol (a reputable, neutral party) does present evidence for the wrong fluid theory.

    The 31K service was by Chrysler dealer A. The transmission replacement was by Chrysler dealer B. They may have used the same ATF, I don't know. If dealer A put in the wrong fluid, then the failure showed up 11K miles after the wrong fluid was installed. I'm not sure why the second failure would happen 50K miles later.
  • rmartin4rmartin4 Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 2000 Base Caravan with the V6 value pack (V6 3.0L) and the power package. I bought aftermarket alloy wheels and an aftermarket keyless entry system/w alarm. The car is for my wife. I love how it drives...compared to our 1998 Nissan know...smoother and higher seating. I just found this website though and am hearing all of these negative things about the Caravan...I am starting to get a little worried...anyone out there that can give a positive story and make me feel just a little better! I wish I came across this board before I bought the thing!
  • joehedgesjoehedges Member Posts: 4
    There are lots of positives. It's great to look at, has an excellent ride, has lots of features for the money. Enjoy your new car.
  • swampcollieswampcollie Member Posts: 87
    lots of us have had good experiences. Pick any van you want in here and go look at the postings. You probably wouldn't buy and of them. but the fact is that most of us with any brand go many many trouble free miles. I am on my 3rd DC van and couldnt be happier.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    Please read my post again. I said nothing about NOT changing the filter. If your read carefully, I said that you would pump out MOST of the fluid BEFORE you drop the pan.

    Less messy. Not less work!
  • cuadancuadan Member Posts: 13
    My parents bought a 96' Caravan, or whatever the year was when they came out with the new design. Two Words: Big lemon. Previous to that my family owned an 88' dodge Caravan. Still running at 250K....?? So I ask. Where has Dodge gone? They used to be pretty good. In fact, that 88' caravan went through hell and back and it's still running, but that dosent dispute the fact that all new Dodge products stink big time. My girlfriend's parents also own a 97' Caravan. Many problems as typical.
    Some of our problems..just for comparison :
    >>belts - needed tightening, and timing etc..
    >>brakes - ABS was getting funky needed checking out
    many interior plastics (especially air vents in rear passenger area) have been broken.
    >>flat tires etc..
    >>water pump failed - car needed towing and new pump
    >>bad front end alignment experiences. FWD is NOT the way to go with a van. rattles and rocks at 70+mph
    >>broken driver side window mechanism. (inconvenience of driving around with duct tape and a plastic bag since the window could not be rolled up in any manner)
    >>Still have problems on cold mornings (in florida that is) - belts squeak and whine, and it seems like fuel injection is inconsistent, producing occasional fits of mild acceleration at low speeds.
    >>Torque steering is typical and annoying as is with most large FWD cars.
    >>Steering column has at many times "locked" up, not allowing the driver to turn wheel. The scarriest thing is, this has happened at HIGHWAY speeds as well as around 5 mph and also at 30 -50 mph. This car is a potential death trap to my mother and is being sold as we speak.
    >>cant remember anything else off the top of my head but Im sure theres been more.

    My advice: Sell the thing while it still has ANY value (they depreciate like crazy), and get your wife a more worthy automobile. Do MASSIVE research before buying anything.
  • egawronegawron Member Posts: 9
    Joehedges. I am sure the Chrysler dealers used the correct Chrysler recommended transmission fluid in both your failed transmissions. My point is that indeed the Chrysler automatic 4-speed transmissions still fail even if you use the recommended fluid. That was also my experience. It remains a problematic transmission. Many erroneously believe that all the failures are related to not using the Chrysler recommended transmission fluid.

    Swampcollie - Poor design of the Chrysler 4-speed does not mean all would fail. It means that it is a marginal transmission. While it took Chrysler 10 years to get it to finally last past the original warranty period, it is still has long term reliability problems. Since it is marginal, failure depends on usage. It will fail much quicker if continually subject to heavy use, i.e. hot climate, heavy loads, stop & go city traffic, towing, etc. I only suggest that those who want to own a caravan past the original warranty buy an extended warranty and get rid of it before the extended warranty expires. With the history of the Chrysler 4-speed automatic, it is foolish to do otherwise. This is based on my ownership experience.
  • swampcollieswampcollie Member Posts: 87
    just the guy we have been looking for...the one that can tell us exactly what the % of failures is. If we are going on personal experience, I have had 3 with no failures...
    Unlike the rest of you, I am not allowed to name brands in here, however if you look at the problems forums on several other vans in here you will find plenty of tranny problems reported in here. And many right off the truck.
    I admit, the early 4 speed was a problem... i saw it.. I am not seeing it now. Go to car point. they list years after 93 as little or no problems. And, no, I dont know where they get their data.
  • dmori1dmori1 Member Posts: 1
    I am in the same boat as you are. I purchased a 1999 Plymouth Voyager base with the Mitsubishi 3.0L engine before I found Edmunds and wish I had found this site first. My Voyager/Caravan vehicle has run fine for almost a year. Bought it in May 99 and it now has 12,400 miles on it with no problems except for a vibration on certain parts of the freeway here. So far I'm happy with my mini van. I love the dark tinted security glass. See my posting under category #59 reply #296 and #297. I with more people in the 20,000 to 25,000 mile range would let us know how their vehicles are running.
  • jwmekjwmek Member Posts: 1
    I have a strange brake problem on my '98 T&C Lxi since new: 90% of the time I have to apply much more than normal pressure on the brake pedal to bring the van to a stop. The other 10% of the time only "normal" pressure is required but accompanied by a groaning noise from the front brakes. Brake fluid level is fine.

    Had taken the van to the dealership service twice for brake inspection and twice they told me the brakes are working fine and the poor braking is normal!?!

    Anyone with this or similar problem and what's the fix? TIA.

    Aside from the weak brakes and the useless headlights I am quite satisfy with my T&C.
  • edwardh1edwardh1 Member Posts: 88
    I posted this in #272
    This is an interesting site:,

    it talks a lot about the DC transmission problems-
    and which must exist, for so many people to be
    complaining about them (three people I know at work
    with DC minis have had transmission failures),
    even considering that there are 600,000 DC vans
    sold per year to 125,000 winstars and 60 or 70 K
    each Honda and Sienna. Most of the DC failures seem
    at low miles 40-50K, then again they fail for the
    same owner 40K miles later. Transmission is a major
    part that should not fail.

    If Dextron fluid ruins the transmission, it was a
    serious design error for DC to market a product
    with that "risk" as they must have known that most
    people think there are only 2 kinds of fluid,
    Mercon and Dextron and that most Jiffy lubes are in
    a big hurry.
    Toyotas use dextron without a problem.
    The toyota forums are full of problems too, really
    biggies like the brakes squeal or the rear window
    washer dribbles - quite an order of magniture in
    inconvience and $$$ from the transmission problems.
    The other factor seems to be that the factory has
    not been responsive to a "fix", if the fix has been
    applied, it has received no publicity. That says
    either DC does not believe its a problem,
    (uninformed) or do not care. Why should they?? ,
    "you" keep buying their products
    But "you" have stopped buying GM products as much,
    as there market share goes down each year - so
    they are getting the message from Toyota et al.
    Especially Olds, sales of what 1.3 million in 1984,
    and 200K last year?
  • StrategoStratego Member Posts: 29
    Maybe this could be part of the problem, but does the Mopar ATF+3 cost more than Mercon and Dextron? If so, I have no doubt that some shops are cutting corners and saving themselves the extra cost. Maybe even some of the DC dealerships as well.
  • egawronegawron Member Posts: 9
    You are correct that the Chrysler 4-speed automatic has a higher failure rate then any other transmission ever designed. It has been that way for over 10 years - and they are still using the same transmission and it will still be the same transmission for 2001. Some improvements have been made to it - it will now last past the warranty period and averages about 50,000 before it self-destructs. This is a well documented and time proven reliability problem. Chrysler is well aware of it, but couldn't care less. Chrysler has learned that consumers are more interested in style/gadgets and will forgive reliability problems - especially when Chrysler had no real competition.

    As to why Chrysler designed a transmission that needed a special fluid, the answer is they didn't. The 4-speed automatic was designed to and was using Dextron. But after major problems with the transmission dying after 30,000 miles, Chrysler "fixed" the design flaws by developing a new transmission fluid Mopar ATF-3. With ATF-3 and other "fixes" Chrysler achieved their goal of getting it to last past the warranty period. Also Chrysler dropped the 7 year 70,000 mile power train warranty they use to offer - it was costing too much. That still leaves a transmission with major long-term reliability problems.

    All of the above can be verified by talking to any independent transmission repair shop.
  • swampcollieswampcollie Member Posts: 87
    can you explain my 93 with 110k?.. and where is this well documented documentation at?... just exactly what is the norm?.. would there really be the number of repeat buyers if what you say is true?... i know that the 89-90 trannys were a problem. and you complain about the chrysler warrenty... doesnt it match everyone elses?... why don't the rest have the 7/70?
    you say they average 50k..exactly where is that statistic from? I am sure that you did not just pull that number out of the air. You surely have some kind of data.
    tell you what. I have a 99. I will put up a $1000 that my tranny goes past what you call average. that would be even money since if 50k is average then half would fail prior to that and half after. well that is not exactly right. vans like my 93 would raise the average quite a bit..
    how about it?..wanna put your money where your keyboard is?..
  • carleton1carleton1 Member Posts: 560
    to refute the old, tired refrain about how bad Chrysler transmissions are. Rather than repeat the old wives tales of Chrysler problem transmissions, people would be wise to read of NEW
    vehicles transmission problems in another brand ...especially if the vehicle has a V6 engine in either a sedan or minivan configuration. Check for yourself right here in the Edmunds Town Hall.
  • 2rcs2rcs Member Posts: 2
    People, People, People...

    My Wife and I have been shopping for a Mini-van for about four weeks now. Opinions about who makes the best ones are as varied as the makes themselves, but I have come to one conclusion. THERE ARE NO GREAT MINI-VANS!

    If you believe everything that you read Dodge, Chrysler, and Ford all have MAJOR engine problems. Mercury, Mazda, and Oldsmobile STINK in crash tests. Toyota is too expensive for what you get and Honda (and this is personal experience talking) is a mini-van that you can't even look in, let alone test drive, because all of them are supposedly spoken for already.

    I am beginning to look at this like the upcoming Presidential election...There is no good choice...only a better choice.
  • 2rcs2rcs Member Posts: 2
    Can you tell me what Dodge has done to fix the problems with their transmissions...this is the first that I have heard about it and you stated in earlier posts that there was a prob. I am curious what they did to fix this supposed defect.

  • swampcollieswampcollie Member Posts: 87
    just knew people with an 89 and they had a problem..fixed under warrenty.. i have no data whatsoever.... people I know with newer ones have not had any trouble... so you make a good point.. I have no place to refer you for any valid data. pro or con. I wish I did. I can only go by personal experience and that of people around me. You are right..this is a hard place to get good info... I started looking for a new van last summer and came here. Finally just went with test drives and what I felt was the best for the money. Actually, there are a lot of good vans. What you see here is the same people over and over bashing certain brands. I have even got to the point that i think maybe they are hired guns. I have friends with Windstars, Ventures, Villagers, and DCs. none have had any major problems. I am sure the Ody's and the Sienna's are fine also. You get a real exagerated view of problems in here. and you have no idea as to the validity of any statements. One thing you can pick out is that new models, while technilogically on the cutting edge, have more reliability problems. wish I could be more help, but you have reached the same point I did some months back. One piece of advice...pick a good dealer.
  • egawronegawron Member Posts: 9
    If you are looking for data on the reliability and mechanical design of transmissions, the best person to ask is an independent transmission specialist. I have spoken to a few, the following web site sums up almost exactly what they told me:

    As to a documented history of problems, one of the best sources are consumer groups. I would suggest you look at:

    I would also suggest getting the opinion of a lot of owners. Of course there is Edmunds and also:

    There is a lot of good documented historical information - past reliability is the best gage of future reliability. A 10 year history of the same problem should be enough to give anyone reason for concern/caution.

    I would strongly suggest, from painful personal experience, that if you decide to purchase a Chrysler, you get an extended warranty and sell the van before the warranty expires. Good luck.
  • hclelandhcleland Member Posts: 2
    Thought I'd see if anyone had any advice on buying a used 92 DC with 115,000 mi on it.

    It has had all the normal replacements (tranny, hoses, misc AC parts, Head Gasket) along with others (brakes, tires,etc) along with some nice extras such as new rollers for side door. Supposedly - top notch parts were used.

    All parts have low miles on them (highest is around 25,000 (tranny, and maybe the Head Gasket).

    I want something reliable that will go 15,000 mi per year for at least two years. Obviously it's hard to know, but what do some of you used car buyers look for when purchasing used cars. Any good used car buyers guides out there besides edmunds, that explain what to inspect, how to negotioate etc.

    Thanks for any help,

  • capecoddercapecodder Member Posts: 17
    then attempt to discredit the publication. Usual silliness.

    Consumer Reports' survey shows Dodge Grand Caravan transmissions rated below average for reliability through 1995 (that's more recent than 1990, swampcollie; don't you think?). Still waiting to see what happens when more recent years rack up higher mileage. This is not "bashing" or "trashing." It's noting the facts, which some choose to hide themselves from.

    Still waiting for someone to give me a cogent reason to doubt the results of the CU survey.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    While you may not like consumer reports, I don't put much faith in the EPA either. While you may not like the preferences that the writer have stated, a good deal of what they publish is from the readers polls they perform.

    So what do we make of that? It probably demonstrates both extremes. Readers will probably either praise the vehicles or pan them. When I did my survey last year, I faithfully reported on the two vehicles we owned. I have to believe that most readers, if they do the survey will truthfully describe the ownership experience they had. Scientifically, the data is not as good as a random survey, but I'm fairly confident that given the sample population, the data collected is at least accurate.

    Since CR does not accept advertising, I really doubt they have much motive to slant the numbers for a particular vehicle in one direction or another.

    Since the automakers are required by the federal government to meet certain fuel standards (CAFE, I believe that is Corporate Average Fuel Economy) which I believe is administered by the EPA, I would suspect that they would engineer the vehicles to perform exceptionally well in that test environment. So the flaw with the EPA testing is the test is known and the manf. can prepare to excel at the test, knowing full well that real world mileage will be different. (Kinda like cramming for an exam. You don't really retain anything the day after the test, but you do pass :)

    I don't think CR does the same test, therefore it is not surprising that vehicles test by CR will deviate from the EPA figures. While we would like to believe that every government agency is infallible, I'm not sure you have solid ground to stand to support the assertion that the EPA's test was superior and more accurate to that of CR.

    Have you ever achieved, consistently, the EPA figures? Probably not. They simply provide a range you MIGHT expect. (Of course your mileage may vary :)

    Finally, would you like to discuss the details of those failures. Did those Honda transmissions fail at 25K miles or 125K miles? I could say I know of seven brand X cars with transmission failures, but without information about how and when in the lifetime of the vehicle they failed that sort of information posted about any vehicle should be discounted as anecdotal at best.

    And I haven't owned a Honda since 1990, but that one was pretty darn bullet proof. My point, I have no axe to grind or decision concerning Honda to defend, I just thought your discussion of Hondas and Consumer Reports was perhaps a bit prejudiced.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    I am looking at the Year 2000 Buying Guide and on page 74, it discusses digital cameras. So tell us what you are reading. However, if you look on page 271 of the same buyers guide I will quote the ENTIRE description of how a vehicle gets a recommendation.

    "The Ratings include only cars for which we have recent test results. To earn our recommendation--mark by a (checkmark)-- a model must perform competently in our tests and based on the model's history have at least average predicted reliability. New models that perform competently and, based on the reliability of other models from that maker, whose reliability should be at least average, are marked promising (up arrow). Twins and triplets--essentially similar models sold under different nameplates--are grouped in the charts below; each is marked with a (filled square) typically, we've tested only on eo fthese models. Overall mpg is based on our tests in a range of driving conditions. Tested model notes the items that can affect specific test results."

    Now turn to page 280 and you see the posted average reliablity based on trouble spot and year. Compare any vehicle you wish to this average and see if it is above or below average.

    Again, I don't think CR is hiding anything, the rationale is posted in black and white.

    Please tell us, what does CR have to gain by reporting erroneous numbers. The only revenue the get is from the readers. If the readers have any reason to doubt the veracity of the reports, they would be out of business. THINK about it.
  • capecoddercapecodder Member Posts: 17
    from carleton1, because your questions are logical and rational. carleton1 simply cannot face the facts regarding DC minivan reliability in the 90s, and will post all sorts of amazing silliness in a vain attempt to discredit Consumer Reports. Rational people like you and me will recognize this easily and discount it.

    For example, he simply does not understand what CR is saying in the quote he cites in posting #244. What CR is saying is that the charts contain data for the model years 1992 to 1999, and there is no implication that a vehicle's reliability will not be noted if it did not exist for all eight of those years. carleton1's talk about "not following their stated policy" is just his usual red herring, and makes about as much sense as thinking that CR subscriber confusion over the inconsistency in whether a Taurus is a mid-sized or full-sized vehicle has caused the CR survey to reflect negatively on DC minivans.

    The reason CR "does not know about" the supposed Honda V-6 transmission problem in 1999 is quite simple: That there weren't enough problems reported to CR to affect the ratings. This is a classic illustration of why you can't go by the anecdotal evidence which carleton1 loves to cite, but have to rely only on statistically significant numbers, including reports from people who have had no problems. carleton1 cannot seem to grasp that concept, I regret to have to say.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    The subject says it all.

    Back to work, installing servers etc.


  • royallenroyallen Member Posts: 227
    carleton1: I am a little confused at your response to my reply to egawron. Do you like his references better than mine?
    As far as fuel efficiency testing, it appears that you like the EPA results better than CRs and therefore the EPA is accurate and CR is not only inaccurate but biased. Do you know something about the EPA test that you would share with the rest of us so we will see the light. My recall is that when the EPA test was originated in the '70s by an act of Congress requiring that it be done on a dynamometer simulating travel on a road and results calculated based on tail-pipe emissions. As a result the owners I know were not surprised that they did not get as good of results on the road as the EPA test reported. Maybe someone in the auto industry can explain if the EPA test has changed and if not why it would be better to test on a dynamometer measuring emissions than on the road measuring fuel consumed.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    You will need a PDF reader, but it is free, to read this document.

    I think the passage that is probably most telling in about the EPA's procedure is the following:

    "This formula is the equivalent of multiplying the fuel consumed per mile during the city test by 55 percent and multiplying the fuel consumed per my during the highway test by 45 percent and adding the result. SINCE WE DO NOT ACTUALLY MEASURE THE FUEL CONSUMED, we must perform the inverse and divide the fuel economy proportionately. This is known as a harmonic mean (sometimes called harmonic averaging)."

    Just to simplify harmonic mean if you drive 100 miles in the city and get 10MPG (10 gallons consumed) then drive 100 Miles on the highway and get 20MPG (5 gallons consumed) your average fuel consumption is NOT 15MPG, but 13.3 MPG. You used 15 gallons to go 200 miles -> 13.3 MPG.

    Now call me silly, but it seems that to get better EPA fuel economy results, you could "tune" the emissions.

    (The light bulb goes on in my head...) This may explain why Ford has so many Low Emission Vehicle SUV's. Perhaps, given the EPA testing methodology, this results in higher EPA fuel economy ratings for these vehicles.

    However, I believe this technique translates poorly into real world economy.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    You have yet to give a rationale concerning the possible motive of CR to bias test results.

    You have yet to give a cogent reason to doubt the veracity of the readers surveys.

    Therefore, I must conclude that you simply have an axe to grind.

    Since I clearly stated what CR states as there policy concerning vehicles that do not have a history covering all of those years the burden is on you to prove your assertion that CR is biased.

    Remember, in America you must be proven guilty. I do not tolerate vague, baseless accusations.


  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    No where does it state in the criteria that the vehicle had to have data for the entire range. They simply are making a reliability judgement. They have taken the average of ALL responses and compared the responses of each type of vehicle to the yearly averages.

    Are you saying the reliability figures are inaccurate? Or are you just upset your van is not on the best bet list. My van is not on the Good Bet list either, but I don't doubt the veracity of the figures.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    You did not answer my questions concerning the possible motives.

    You have not yet provided any details concerning your seven Honda failures.

    I guess you just have an axe to grind.

    Sorry, I'm not yet convinced.


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