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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager



  • brians5brians5 Posts: 23
    Hi Pat! (dave210)

    No, I'm not referring to your 14 year old. Or any short/light adult.

    The booster seat requirements are for the child who is not fully developed physically. They are the ones who are injured because they flop around like rag dolls. This happens for a variety of reasons from the seat belt being positioned wrong on their little bodies to they just don't have the muscular development.

    Remember those of you who have short/small children... we are the parents, they are the children. Sell it to them this way: "boy you sure can see better sitting up higher, and live to tell about it."

    Of course, compromise (even at the expense of safety) is sometimes better than arguing with your prepubescent teen. Or... is it?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Have you ever thought of asking your dealership if they'd be willing to trade the Limited's rear bench for the LXi's split 3rd row seats? It would be part of the deal if the van's IIHS crash test results are to your liking.

    Hang tight, those should be out soon (it has been about a month since the 5mph bumper tests results were released). FYI, the IIHS has actually already tested the van and the other vehicles (in bumper crash tests) for the 40mph offset crash test, they're just sitting on the results for now. Chrysler also already knows the results. How do I know this? Well, according to my MB Canada contact, the MB C-class (which you may recall was one of the cars tested in the bumper crash tests) scored a "good" and a "best pick" in the 40mph offset crash, as I expected. I found out about this about 3-4 weeks ago, so clearly the IIHS has already provided the manufacturers with the results.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    I now see what you mean about the children in the booster seat thing. It caught me off guard though because I took it literally, and the very thought of me unbuckling my son from his booster seat for his first day of high school made me laugh. But I see what you mean about the small children having to be in booster seats. My son was out of his booster seat by 2nd grade, and even then I thought that was pushing it. Hope you like your T&C, because I know I sure do!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    Well, after many hours of internet research on reviews, owner comments(most helpful from this forum), and prices, I think we are going ahead with the purchase of a T&C with full options.

    Anderson in Cupertino had a sale of $6K under MSRP over the weekend, which included the $1500 rebate and a $400 college grad rebate. This was limited to 3 vans only but they were willing to extend the same pricing to me for a van at another dealership, which they can trade for my color choice and options. Net discount is about $4500 off MSRP, then I can choose the $1500 cash rebate, or probably go with the $1k rebate + 2.9% financing for 24-36 months.

    This is probably the best deal I've found for a T&C, certainly much better than any "deal" I can get on a Honda Ody. Although I am still concerned about the reliability of the Chrysler tranny, along with all the potential electrical and mechanical problems; we are sold on the overall luxury, appearance, comfort, safety w/side air bags, and value of the T&C. If our criteria was only reliability, we would probably buy a Sienna or MPV. However, when you are spending $30K+ for any car, you expect certain level of amenities, such as memory seats, on-board computer, great stereo, roominess, etc... which is found on the T&C. I would give that up for better reliability if the Ody can be bought for under MSRP. Unfortunately, the Ody is pretty close to $29,000 when you add leather, which in our mind have less value when compared with a fully loaded T&C Ltd at around $30,500.

    Keith and Sharon at Anderson were great to work with so far, as we are dropping by after work to look at the van and take care of the paperwork. I'll share more details after we conclude our deal.

  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    So what color did you finally decide on? I have just finished installing the running boards and the spoiler on mine and I like it even more now.
  • andisandis Posts: 2
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a newcomer to town hall. We have a '96 I&I LX-i which will most likely be replaced by a '01 FAD Lad soon. We've had good luck with the '96 till a few weeks ago when I put it up for sale and it decided to start leaking fluids. Needless to say my wife was NOT happy about the $1300+ bill for new cranny seal + boat load of hoses for coolant leaks but such is life.

    After reading Edmunds review, I immediately got a severe case of cold feet. That was until I went out and really looked at what's available on the market. As Cary28 mentioned, when you're spending $30k+, you expect certain amenities and the competition just didn't do it for me. And seeing how they've be-contented (read "stripped out") the various models, it left me with no choice but the Lad. I was shocked to see the LX-i doesn't have wood trim on the doors and no reading lights in the 3rd row. To get the same level of equipment that we have on the '96 LX-i, we need to get the '01 Ltd since a lot of it isn't even optional on the '01 LX-i.

    After reading the Edmunds review, I thought about how we use our current one and realized the following:
    - we have NEVER removed any of the seats
    - can't believe that you can't manually override the Odyssey's power sliding doors, what if you're in a rush or the slider mechanism konks out?
    - the price point was not bad compared to other alternatives I was looking at (even went to see ML320/430). if you're going to spend $27-28 for a Odyssey, why not spend the addl $5k to get the Ltd.
    - split 50/50 3rd row seat is NOT acceptable for middle seat passenger which is a major reason for us to get the minivan
    - competition can't adjust legroom of the 3rd row seats
    - our car seat had no headrest problems securing in 2nd or 3rd row
    - resale value is subject to finding a buyer willing to buy your vehicle, and a lot of people do NOT want minivans at all
    - undecided about AWD, but it was most impressive when I took a test drive during very nice snow storm. just not sure about the price difference.

    Thus far the dealer is offering us $31801 for the FWD Ltd w/heated seats, trailer tow pkg, & 4 CD in dash. I'm in Princeton, NJ, Maria's price in Eugene sounds great. I will do some comparative shopping before signing on the dotted line.

    Our dealer is a 5 star dealership, but there's another 5 star dealer about 15 miles from us. Our dealer's svc dept is good & they pick you up when your car is ready in addition to dropping you off in the morning. Haven't tried svc at the other 5 star dealer, but will look into that as well.
  • erucehteruceht Posts: 26
    Does the $31,801. include the $1,500. rebate? The best price I've received for a limited with the tow package, heated seats and a built in child seat is $33,210., MSRP price is 36,410. This price is before any rebates.
  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    For those interested - the most recent Autoweek magazine had a short mention that DaimlerChrysler is "reviewing" the option of the 230HP 3.5L engine in the minivan.

    Given the dire financial situation within Chrysler they may be rethinking offering the 3.5L engine at the moment given costs to place that drivetrain into the van. So hoping its available any time soon may be a long shot.

    -- BKS
  • singletnsingletn Posts: 2
    Anybody out there who has recently dealt with Carmax? I would like to know (from someone who has actually purchased a NEW Chrysler product what they actually paid in terms of fees, and let's get specific here. I am interested in purchasing an LXi through Atlanta and I want to know if/when/where the Advertising and Owner Loyalty type fees show up in the price you actually paid. Thanks in advance.
  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    We picked up our T&C Ltd last night, after completing all the paperwork and deciding on the extended warranty with finance. The dealer offered us the Max Care extended warranty for 72 months and 60,000 miles for $1000, which is $110 less than the MSRP. Is this a decent deal, or can I do better elsewhere? I am inclined to use the Chrysler vs the Warranty Gold or other third party warranties, due to less potential issues when it comes time to use this warranty. Everything was smooth with no surprises, and both Keith and Sharon were very easy to work with, so I would highly recommend them.

    We initially wanted the Silver T&C, but also looked at the Champagne as that has a better match between exterior and interior color. We test droved a Sterling Blue but thought it was too dull. Then we saw the Patriot Blue and thought that had an interesting hue of color variations under different lighting.

    My wife likes the Silver because it can hide dirt better than the other colors. Our current Accord is light beige, so we opt for a dark color. We bought the Patriot Blue w/Taupe interior. We may have to wash the van more often to keep it looking clean, but the majestic blue color really shines in the sunlight.

    Anyone has ideas on how to pre-treat the leather, suede, and interior material to maintain its luster and improve wear & tear for the long haul? The dealer was offering an "appearance package" for both int and ext for $495, so I kindly rejected it as I'm sure I can do the same with some elbow grease and the right products.

    I would also appreciate any comments from owners who have installed a reverse obstacle detection system for the rear end of the T&C, as that seems to be a helpful tool for backing up. BTW, has anyone determine the relative merits and effectiveness of using a bug deflector, hood cover, and hood and bumper screen to reduce paint chip and damage to the frontal area? I'm wondering which is better? Thanks.

  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I guess I will look for you around town. I have got rid of the Anderson license plate but Yes, a clean patriot blue van looks great under the sunlight but it looks pretty bad after a shower. I hope you are not going to put those bras to cover the front end, it might be able to protect the paint but it looks stupid and I would rather have the paint chips. As for the leather seats, I took out the seats and sprayed them with a couple of leather protection sprays I bought from Wilson leather. By the way, you better peel off the sticker that holds the temp. registration on the windshield. It will melt and leave you a sticky mark when it gets really hot. I guess I am going to wonder if it is you next time I see a patriot blue Ltd with an Anderson license plate on. I still haven't received the license plates yet but I have gotten rid of the Anderson license plate... they don't pay me enough to advertise for them ;-)
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Quick, everybody to the Dodge dealers! ;-)

  • cesarpcesarp Posts: 47
    We've also purchase our 2000 T&C Limited AWD from Keith at Anderson in Feb 00. We got our T&C for $4500 below MRSP and .9% financing for 5 years. Didn't purchase any extended warranty or other packages they were offering. My wife wanted the Patriot Blue but it was not available in the Limited version for some reason, so she opted for the silver. I've Scoth Guard the carpet and added some carpet runner. Got love that seat warmer on cold nights we been having lately. Of note, Normandin Chrysler/Jeep has an excellent service department. Enjoy your T&C! :-)
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Cesarp and Hayneldan,

    Long time no see...
  • fly6869fly6869 Posts: 17
    Finally found EX in Columbus OH. Loved it, just waiting on delivery of unit with side air impact bags. Wish the over head computer calculated distance till empty and gave fuel consumption but oh well. MSRP is $26830 but get a friends and family coupon and get 2% below invoice. Sorry Honda.....
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    As 2001 Grand Caravan Sport looks cheaper than my 1999 GC SE and has no Trip Computer option and a narrow, cheap rub strip on the side. I think the Chrysler versions are more attractive than the Dodge clone.
    We have had zero problems with our excellent 1999 GC SE in 24 months and dealer service is OUTSTANDING. It pisses me off that Dodge was so cheap to take off the Trip Computer, Compass, Outside Temperature on all but the ES. The EX is nice with the 3.8L V6 but I do NOT want the power center console, power lift gate, power sliding passenger door. If I can't have Trip Computer w/compass and outside temp, I just as well get the Odyssey LX or Sienna LE and have a much better trade-in value after 2 years if I want to get a newer minivan. After all, there are no Odyssey or Sienna used as rental, fleet, government use where they get abused and thus ruin the resale on a one-owner cream puff like I own.
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    Does anyone know if it is possible to order the standard wheelbase Caravan with traction control?

  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    I don't think that's an option.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    ...are all manufactured by Johnson Controls.


    I think trip computers are currently available only on models with power doors because it looks like the power door controls are now integrated into the new one piece overhead console. You may eventually see trip computers on other models once production gets up to speed. Look at how long it took them to get the cargo organizer production up to speed.

  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    See the following link for instructions on programming the Homelink system. Just don't tell the Odyssey owners, as some of them think it was made by Honda.

  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Silver and blue are overtaking white and green.

  • keygokeygo Posts: 38
    I am looking at buying an WAD. I have been shopping at a dealership that sell both Caravans and Town and Countries. I have gotten different information from different sales persons. One say the only difference is bells and whistles. The other said the structure is different and the ride is very different. Needless to say, they didn't have any to test drive. I would love any thoughts and information on this. I am looking at the Grand Caravan AS and either the Town and Country DX or LXi. Thanks
  • jschultejschulte Posts: 1
    fly6869 what is a friends and family coupon? Are you referring to friends and family of chrysler employees?
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295

    Sorry you found out that Honda isn't the innovator of Homelink.

    hotspur "Chrysler Town & Country vs Honda Odyssey" Jan 15, 2001 5:08am

    Regarding your comment about employee cutbacks, my profession has no affiliation whatsoever with Chrysler or the automotive industry if that's what you're implying.

    scanner "Daytime Running Lights" Dec 12, 1998 5:53pm
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    I'm right here looking at my 1998 Town & Country brochure (got it in the fall of '97) and on the option list and in a picture it shows a Town & Country LXi with the overhead consol with the homelink integrated into it. So, I believe it was Chrysler to first add this since the Odyssey didn't even come out till 98/99.
  • cesarpcesarp Posts: 47
    Glad to be back! How's it going ol'buddy? Must agree on the Silver color, I see quite a few of them where I live. :-)
  • fly6869fly6869 Posts: 17
    Yes, I got my "coupon" from a Chrysler employee. The dealers here in Ohio didn't want to honor it on a EX but a call to Chrysler resolved that issue. It's supposed to expire April 2nd but it was also supossed to expire Jan. 1st. Ask around..
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I just noticed that there is an open-ended hose hanging down from the engine/anti-freeze department which I can see it clearly in front of the driver side front wheel. Any of you see that hose?
  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    I don't intend to put a bra on the front of a minivan, as I also think it ruins the appearance. However, I may install the plastic shield to help protect the paint from flying debris. I would appreciate any comments from owners who has put other protection on the front of their T&Cs to reduce paint chips. Thanks for the tip on the reg sticker, I noticed the bubbles already. Do you know if its illegal to remove the front license plate and holder? I did it anyway for my sports cars, but didn't know the "real" legal implications.

    Funny thing, I have not noticed many 2001 DCX minivans in Cupertino. I saw a white one and a Champagne one last weekend, but not much more. I do see lots of Odys in this area, particularly between Steven's Creek and Bollinger. I'll wave if I see a Patriot Blue T&C in case its your van!

    Any more thoughts on how to treat the suede seats? I remember most leather products are for processed leather, and specifically cautions against using them on suede. I'm also interested in a durable polymer or wax which can last. This is a pretty big minivan so I would prefer not having to wax this thing more than once or twice a year. I will have enought trouble washing this to keep it looking sharp all year long!
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    The spray I bought from Wilson leather is safe for suede (according to the text on the can). I just thoroughly washed the van yesterday and it took 30% more time than a regular car. It especially hard to do the roof area but boy I am so happy to see the result. According to the law in CA, it is illegal to have only one license plates installed. Tinted windows on driver and passengers side are illegal also. Cops could hand out ticket if they don't get their morning the way, my sports car's windows are tinted and didn't have the front license plate on but I've been lucky (touch wood). I guess cops will not stop you for those things unless you commit another kind of traffic offend.

    I still want to know if anybody have the loose hose like the one I described. If not, I think I will take it to the dealer tomorrow to check it out.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And as always, scanner has been able to provide the answer to many questions. It was nice to read of the sales data on 2001 vans (posted by scanner) that show T&C sales have the greatest increase over last year.
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100

    I am interested in the standard wheelbase Dodoge Caravan. Traction control is not listed as an option. The service department says it cannot be added by the dealer. Anybody know?

    I have found traction control to be excellent, hard to believe one cannot get it on the standard wheelbase.
  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    I took delivery of a new T&C and just noticed a lot of rust on the lower A-arms, tie rods, anti-sway bars, and parts of the linkage from the CV joint to the wheels. Everything else in the undercarriage looks brand new and normal.

    I checked with the service mgr at the dealer and he informs me that these components are forged steel and it is common to have a thin layer of rust due to their exposure to the elements. I thought forged steel is impervious to rust, and didn't they start to use aluminum for some of the steering and A-arms?

    Can some recent owners check their undercarriage and tell me if they are seeing the same symptoms? This does not sound "right" to me, but I just wanted to do a sanity check with other owners. Thanks.

  • cal12cal12 Posts: 1
    Where can I obtain a coupon? What's is worth towards the purchase of a new I & I EX? Does anyone have any info to help me? Thanks, I ordered one 3 weeks ago.
  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    To owners of LXis and Limited: What four basic functions does the trip computer in the LXi have and what additional features does the computer in the Limited have?

    Documentation doesn't really tell you but I believe there is a difference. Thought I saw it posted here earlier but can't find the information.
    Thanks - BKS
  • fly6869fly6869 Posts: 17
    The "friends and family coupon" can be obtained from employees of Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep. It get's you 2% below invoice price. Even on the new EX.
    The Ex trip computer has only outside temp. and compass. Can the other functions be added later?
  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    The limited version allows the user to program many things, like the remote controls, memory seats, service interval, whether the doors autolock after moving, and other user preference if you don't like the factory presets. Other than that, it gives you Compass & outside temp for one mode, and another mode for instant MPG, avg MPG, distance to empty, elapsed time, trip odometer, time to next service, and total driving time. I may have missed one or two functions but there is quite a few to scroll throught.

    I don't know if the LXi also has these functions, as the user document does not point out which model has which featues.

  • dimiterodimitero Posts: 6
    Hi guys,
    I am new to the forum. I have a Dodge Grand caravan ES AWD 2001. I have made 7000 miles. I have read through most of your messages. I am familiar with most of your concerns and observations.
    I have noticed the 2100 rpm vib-in my case it is more like a HUM or DRONE noise.
    MORE CONCERNING however seems to be a radiator FAN VIBRATION that is felt through the whole front of the vehicle especially when the car is not moving. It is quite unpleasant since it sometimes even makes your hands tingle a bit. I still own an old 1998 GC that does not produce any similar vibs.
    Would await any ideas!
  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    I also noticed the small hose running down which is visible from the left front wheel well. I'll trace it up to see what its connected to. Did you verify its function from the dealers?

  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    Can you tell me your experience with installing the running boards on the T&C? Did it come pre-painted to match your Patriot Blue? Any special tools needed or tricks to the install?

    I also wanted to poll other owners on the merits of the cargo tray for the back. Does anyone have this option, and is it useful? I saw the video tape and it looks pretty nifty, but lets hear it from users. Thanks.

  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    It very well may be the overflow tube for the coolant system. I believe most systems have an overflow tube running from the coolant resevoir so that in extreme overheating conditions, after the overflow resevoir is full, additional hot coolant/water would be expelled via the tube towards the ground.

    This is based on my knowledge/experience with working on my own cars, not this particular Chrysler product. Let's see what the dealer says.
    - BKS
  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    Cary28 - Thank you for the information. It encompasses more functionality than I had imagined. However I had forgotten that the Limited also offers driver presets on mirror settings and the like. I didn't realize they incorporated them into the overhead system.

    I just wish Chrysler offered the more versatile seating arrangement on the Limited....

    -- BKS
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Cary, I bought the running boards and spoiler from Anderson the day I bought the van because Sharon was able to get a discount from the parts dept. The boards are pre-painted to the color of the van so I thought it would be a matter of putting it on with a few screws here and there...but I was wrong!! You have to drill some holes underneath the color and there was no clear mark to show where the hinges suppose to go and the instruction was horrible. So I ended up taking it to a body shop and have them installed it for $200. Anderson would do the installation also but they would charge $380. BKSutton, thanks for the information, that was what I thought the hose is for but i didn't think DC would just leave it hanging like this. So I went to the dealer and checked out the other T&C in the lot. They all have a hose hanging down so I didn't bother to go to the service department.
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    As an owner of a 2001 ES AWD with 8,500 miles on it, I can tell you that I have not experienced any fan vibration problem. I'd see what the dealer has to say about that. If he calls it "normal" challenge him to show you any other AWD on the lot that exhibits the same noise.

    Regarding the 2100 rpm resonance on the AWDs, your descriptive words of "drone" and "hum" certainly apply. (For fun you might challenge your dealer to show you any other AWD on the lot that DOES NOT exhibit the resonance :-)

    Based on my discussions with my dealership and off-line emails with others experiencing this same problem (2100 rpm resonance), it's very clear that Chrysler is aware of the problem, and that they have done some (unknown) amount of investigating. They seem convinced that the problem is exclusive to the AWD vehicles. District personnel in two districts that I'm aware of are offering no assurances that there will be a fix, however.

    I was personally told (by my dealership) that in Chrysler's experimenting, they succeeded in shifting the problem from 2100 rpm to 4500 rpm, but I have not been able to confirm that. Nor were they offering any suggestion that a solution is imminent.

    In my case, I'm planning to carefully document my telephone conversations and service trips on this topic in a letter to the District Sales Manager so that if and when a fix is available there is a record of my issue. I would encourage all other AWD owners to do the same.

    As posted earlier, if someone is considering an AWD he/she should carefully assess whether this resonance is tolerable before committing. Several of us believe the degree of resonance varies somewhat based on ambient temperature (worse when cold). One Chrysler person believes the main variables are driving habits (how you accelerate) and personal tolerance levels. I tend to agree.

    So even though this topic has grown cold in the forum, there are at least several of us continuing to pursue it offline.

  • cary28cary28 Posts: 53
    This is a first for minivan trip computers, the ability to change factory presets via user setup. I didn't mean to imply that the memory seats/mirrors are controlled by the overhead console. You can, however, program your remote controls via the trip computer to assign different controllers to the two memory setting, cool!

    BTW, I've been very happy with the T&C Ltd after living with it for about a week. It is so quiet and luxurious, with so many gadgets and fancy features, that I am impressed with its value every time I sit behind the wheel. The leather and suede seats are very comfortable, pampering, and supportive. And there is so much room in the back, with such nice amenities as the separate climate controls, really capable stereo system, 4-Disc changer and steering wheel controls are easy to use, and no problems of any kind yet!

    I have not heard any noise or vibrations at 2100RPM, no pulling to left or right, the power doors work very well(much better than the Ody), my son loves the integrated child seat(his version of the "adult seat"), headlights are pretty good, and I love the autochromatic rear/side mirrors. I can only hope the insulation material doesn't get worn down too much with time, as I'm sure I will hear more road noise as the van ages.

    I'll give another update after spending more time with this new toy.

  • dimiterodimitero Posts: 6
    I called the dealer and he said to bring in the vehicle for a check up. Rolfe, I find your suggestions very helpful, thanks!
    Only problem they do not have so many AWD to compare
    He also said there should be no vibrations and probably the fans need to be balanced.
    During the visit I plan to bring up the 2100 rpm issue.
    Just to let you know at about 1000miles I had problem with a sensor responsible for mixing air and gas I guess. The car would almost stall on occasions. The dealership replaced the part and everything has been o.k. since,
    No other major flaws sofar.
  • I recently bought a 2001 Grand Caravan EX. I also own a 1987 Plymouth Voyager LE with 241,000 miles (Original engine & transmission). I have a prostate condition that makes me sensitive to road feel. Something other folks like. I've noticed that my power driver seat in my 2001 is more uncomfortable than the power driver seat in my Voyager. Someone told me that one of the causes is that the pretensioning seat belt requires Dodge to use a firmer seat. As a result, the seat aborbs less shock from the road. Does this make any sense to y'all? Any ideas on how I can minimize the road feel? I'm uncomfortable driving the van for more than a few miles. I recently reduced air pressure in the tires and will see if that helps. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • geoduckgeoduck Posts: 52
    Dimitero, I agree with Rolfe, take it in for a fix. I don't have any such fan vibration on my 2001 AWD LXi. Have not had any quality problems at all (excepting the 2100 rpm affair) after 2500 miles.
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