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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager



  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    re: pgs_28 post 571
    Good ideas. Keep in mind that resonance doesn't have to be from rotating metal (engine, tranny, etc.). It could be air or gas. For example, the gas (I don't mean gasoline) in the exhaust system can resonate based on the pressures in the system, the geometry of the exhaust pipe, etc.

    An example of what i'm talking about is the sound coming from a pipe in a pipe organ. A particular pipe in an organ resonates at a particular frequency based on such things as the length of the column of air.

    Too bad the noise in our Caravans doesn't sound more melodic :-(

  • egrandegrand Posts: 14
    kkshin where did you go??? Rolfe2 do you know where kkshin went?
  • One test of the hypothesis that torque on the engine is overloading, bottoming out, or otherwise distorting the engine mounts is terribly simple: With the noise present, under steady-state powered conditions, just release the gas pedal. If the noise instantly vanishes, that would be strong support for a torque related effect.

    Since I haven't a clue about the nature of the engine mounts, I can only cast out wild guesses. One such is that the mounts are OK, but some feature of the installation hardware is wrong. For example, a bolt that is too long. That would be good news indeed. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that DC hasn't done something definitive about this problem. Of course, there is always the possibility that the relevant staff has been fired and the temps don't understand German.
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    If I set up the 'steady-state' conditions you suggest and release the gas pedal, the noise instantly stops.

    In fact, when demonstrating the effect to my dealer's tech, I would 'pump' or modulate the pedal, and the noise would come and go accordingly.

    However, I'm not sure what this really says about torque, because, of course, the RPM also drops instantly. I don't discount your engine mount theory, however. Solving that kind of problem sounds cheaper (per vehicle) than replacing all or part of the exhaust system.

  • rolfe -
    Your positive test result emboldens me to hazard another test idea. The idea is to get the engine into the critical rpm range without having the engine heavily torqued. I see at least two ways to do this: (1) Drive above the critical rpm and let off the gas. (2) Drive downhill. A result of no noise would support my idea.

    Come on, DC, get your asses in gear and get this problem fixed! I want to buy a T&C but will wait until there is evidence that someone is minding the store.
    (Apologies if there are two messages like this from me. I tried to check spelling, then edit, and poof, a Microsoft genie ate my message.)
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    I don't have to perform a test to tell you what happens -- with 4500 miles on the odo, I have lots of experience.

    Either (a) or (b) produces no resonance. Furthermore, the 'test' doesn't have to be so severe -- simply cruising on the flat at 2100 steadily OR accelerating slowly on the flat right thru 2100 produces no significant resonance. (The latter is a little hard to do, because the tranny will upshift before you hit 2100 if you accelerate too slowly, so it takes a little practice. But the point is that the less you have your foot in it, the less the resonance.)

    (I'll look to others to confirm my experiences above.)

    Although this supports your theory, I don't think it rejects the notion of an exhaust system rather than engine mount cause. I say this because when the engine is under load, there is not only more engine torque as you point out, there is also more air/fuel going thru the system.


  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    larrysher --
    Since you are obviously 'invested' in the noise issue and are a potential T&C customer, how about hopping down to your local dealer and test driving an AWD and doing your experimenting directly. I have no problem answering your questions, but I just thought this might be more satisfying and/or productive for you.

  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    When riding with my Dodge service tech, he mentioned something about customer satisfaction. What I understood him to mean is that a so-called '5-star' rated dealership has huge incentive to give customers with less than 15,000 miles on the vehicle the VIP treatment. I gathered that this incentive is based on DC's use of customer surveys, and that somehow '15,000' is a magic number. This somehow directly affects their '5-star' rating.

    I hadn't realized that there was a break-point below the 36,000 mi warranty, but evidently there is.

    I pass this on because you, like I, may want to be sure we do all we can to get the noise issue addressed before we lose 'VIP' status.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    There is now a topic for you to post your experiences with the van's AWD system. Feel read and contribute here: Chrysler minivans with AWD (only)

    Vans and SUVs message boards
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    This may be too elementary, but it is clear that when in neutral, there is no noise at 2100. The van must be in gear. Just rev the engine in neutral and you will see what I mean.

    There must be some way to copy all of our posts and send them to a regional dealer rep. for consideration.

  • Try driving down a relatively steep hill with the van in '3rd' gear well above 2100 rpm and let your foot off the gas. I think I can hear the resonance come in and go away again in the 2100-2300 rpm range as the car slows down. You have to be really listening however. It is obviously not the same magnitude as highway travel in the 60-65 range.

    Some of the earlier theories of exhaust or air intake have me thinking... this really could be more of a resonant noise. The air intake would really seem to be too simple but I may poke around tonight and see if I can discover anything more.

    It's not unlike my daughter listening to her new CD with the volume on high and the bass turned all the way up : - ).

    Rolfe, thank you for the 5 star comment... my dealer has that designation as well.
  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    Hi Gang... I have a question. For those of you who have not read my posts, I have a 2002 T&C LTD.
    I live in Toronto and the nights get down to below 32 F. When I start the van in the am there is the strangest noise emitted from underneath. It sounds like a muffled honk sound. Does anyone else get this sound? What might it be?

  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    forgot to mention that this sound is heard only for a second but it is pretty loud.
  • Our Minnesota nights get well under 32F, a few mornings ago we were at -16F. No noises from underneath. In the last week, I've test driven several 2001 T&Cs sitting outside on the dealers lot - no noises like you describe... and even on a sunny day, the temperature hasn't been over 32F.
  • I went to the dealer this morning to try a number of other 2001 T&C minivans. I wanted to drive FWD versions to see that IF I decided to trade-in/swap my 2001 AWD, I would be rid of the resonance my van has. Here's the results:

    Blue 2001 T&C LXi - 3.8L - FWD (early model, was a demonstrator, on the lot with 6600 miles on it). Was completely quiet at all engine speeds, no hint of resonance anywhere.

    White 2001 T&C LXi - 3.8L - FWD (380miles) - Could hear the start of low volume resonance at 2100 rpm but the window was very narrow and on the highway, it did not set up into the resonating drone my AWD has. The volume was much lower.

    Silver 2001 T&C LXi - 3.8L - FWD (100+ miles) - Similar to the White LXi.

    I asked the service/tech about the FWD resonance - he acknowledged it was there but felt it was low enough to be deemed acceptable. I agree. And again, he related that he has not had anyone complain about it.

    Out of all of this though, I conclude with these thoughts:
    - should Chrysler claim this resonance is due to the AWD, I think one could clearly say 'no'. It may have to do with exhaust, engine mounting, etc that is different between AWD and FWD, but this is not noise from the AWD unit itself.
    - this sound can be present on FWD to varying (lesser) degrees - but not always. If you are test driving FWDs, look for it and decide if it is acceptable or not. Every person is different. Having driven our AWD van for 4 weeks now, I could be happy with any 3 of the FWDs I drove today... but the blue one would be nicest!

    I asked the tech 'how different is the exhaust between AWD and FWD'. He didn't know and didn't offer to run right back to the parts department to start looking. Right now, he is waiting for a call back from his Chrysler contact for an update on Chrylser's position on this problem.
  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    I would be very interested to know what Chrysler is prepared to do for you. The noise I was talking about is ONLY at the instant the car starts... 1 second. It is odd.
  • dodgeramdodgeram Posts: 202
    That noise you here for that one second is the horn.
    I have a 94 dodge ram which does the exact same thing. When you start it under fairly cold condidtions the horn honks for a quick scecond. I wouldn't worry to much about this, my truck works fine and never had any starting problems. I also have 97 GCES, It honks, only when it's really cold, but the 2001's are a little diffrent.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Trying to get my good name back since in the past I have bad mouthed you Chrysler boys as some of you have done to us Odyssey people on our sites I spent the weekend at the GM-buypower site specking out some vehicles for a friend and I noticed that a number of them (Olds Intrigue spelling wrong) come with liquid filled motor mounts on the higher Hp engines. My Seville STs had a similar system but of course more refined do to the price. Does GM know something about these frt. wh. drives that Chrysler don't. Maybe being that the Chryler vans have raised their HP as someone said they need something like that to isolate the engine more. Just a thought.
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    Andy, I've been accumulating posts related to the 2100 rpm in a Word doc. I'll email it to you (and anyone else who requests it). I'll keep appending to it in preparation for my own next trip to the dealer.

    It starts with post 371 on 12/29. Unfortunately, my original post that got this whole thing started, and perhaps some others, were apparently lost when Edmunds converted its format in the fall.

  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    I'd like to revise my statements in post 580 regarding resonance at low torque.

    I did some additional testing using my 'auto-stick' feature to control engine shifting.

    On a level road, locking in 1st or 2nd gear and gradually accelerating through 2100 rpm produces SOME resonance there. But it is much reduced from what I experience with the engine under load.

    In fact, under loaded conditions, I can always tell when I'm at 2100 without looking at the tach. In the unloaded conditions above, I could tell sometimes, but had to concentrate on listening.

    I continue to believe: this vehicle type (FWD and AWD) has a natural frequency associated with 2100 rpm. How much it resonates depends on how much you excite the system, and on some other unknown factors that seem to vary from vehicle to vehicle.

    We owners will never figure it out, but it's fun trying to isolate it!

  • abealiabeali Posts: 13
    To pgs_28 and rolfe2 ...

    It was interesting to see your discussions back and forth on the FWD. I wanted to add for your benefit that I have test drove two FWD Dodge Grand Caravans WITH the 3.8L engine, the towing group, and the load leveling feature, and neither one had the vibration issue at 2100 RPM. I bought the second of the two and have been driving it for a week now. I live in a hilly area with steep inclines in and out of the neighborhood. I am always driving the engine under load on those roads going up without the slightest hint of vibration at the RPM in question. Going downhill I am always switching to Autostick and holding the van in 2nd and 3rd gear to control speed. I frequently go through the 2100 RPM under this condition and have looked for the vibrations ... nothing was ever felt either - subtle or profound. Actually, compared to my other cars (I have a "quite" 2001 Lincoln LS) I am amazed at how quite the Grand Caravan is; it makes the smallest anomaly noticeable, but this vibration is one anomaly I have not detected.

    Taking stock of all the previous posts on this subject, it seems that all Town and Country AWD vans had this vibration, and that pgs_28 was the only one that has detected a subtle form of it on the Town & Country FWD.

    So, I will ask again the question in my previous post several pages back: has anyone detected this vibration on the Dodge vans - particularly on the Dodge FWDs? Could it be that for some strange reason the Chrysler T&C's have this issue and not the Dodge GC?

  • abealiabeali Posts: 13
    To bondguy,

    Thanks for your post on the current financing situation with the GC's. After a lot of checking, I decided not to lease because of the lousy deals being offered - despite the $2600 discount on leases. If one works out the math, these vans are being leased with around 40% residuals on a 3 year lease. This is terrible ... I don't believe that one should pay 60% of the value of these van and then turn it over. This vehicle has everything I need for the next 10 years so it is much better to buy under these conditions.

    This is my personal preference, of course. Unless a great lease program is announced tomorrow morning, I am walking into the dealership to pay them off (incidentally, they are trying very hard to get me to bite into a lease because they get payed mucho bucks for them!). The only question I have to answer between now and tomorrow is if I should use some of funds ( they qualified me at 7.39%), or if I should just pay off the car myself. But this is a topic for another forum ....

    Thanks again and for corresponding on this topic. A sanity check always helps ....
  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    Andy I would very much appreciate a consolidated version of the noise/resonance issue ([email protected]). I find the vibration to be even more evident when the engine if very, very cold (less than -22 F) and you slowly start out. This may have to do with the rubber mountings being extremely firm. As the vehicle warms, the
    resonance/vibration improves marginally. I went to one of my kid's hockey tournament about 2 hours away on the weekend. My wife drove and I put the middle quad chairs down, stretched out and watched Dante's Peak on my drop down Audiovox LCD TV set-up. It was absolute heaven. Add to that my pop cooler plugged into the accessory socket and a few chips and my life was heaven. I channeled the audio through the van's stereo system and it blew me away!!!!

    I read the post by Abeali. Interesting. I wonder if you have felt the resonance, vibration on any Chrysler product. There is no question that it is there and I also noticed it on a Sport that I drove. I am convinced that it is present to some degree on every vehicle. It may be something that one doesn't notice inless concentrating and looking for the problem. It is somewhat sublte inless you are looking for it. I wish you could hop in my van and drive it. It reminds me of a noise that you notice while you're going to sleep at night and you toss and turn once it is noticed. Not everyone notices it depending on a number of factors. But it is there. I am totally convinced that it has to do with connections (engine mounts) from the drive train to the body and the accelerator cable design that allows for the transference of this vibration to the pedal. I just wish someone in Chrysler would admit to noticing it and give a practical solution to remedy it. Heck I'll even pay to get it resolved.... do I sound desperate???? Thanks for you input on the subject.
  • As a soon to be former Windstar owner, (as soon as I can sell it), what other problems, (other than the noise) have people had with the 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan. I am looking at a DC Sport with 3.3 or the EX when it hits the dealers in our area. I have driven a GC Sport and was completely overwhelmed. The fit, finish and detail was so much better than my 99 Windstar. As a life long ford man, the Windstar burned me for more than I can say. I will never go back to Ford. I was so impressed I hope to be a Dodge man now. Just how good is this Grand Van
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295

    Here's a comparison of the two.

  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    abeali -- to clarify, mine is a Grand Caravan -- 2001 Dodge GC ES AWD. So it's not just the T&Cs.

    Thanks for adding your experiences to the mix.

  • Does anyone know if Limited is available next month with this motor?Can you order it with navigation system and is this nav with dvd or old regional cd's?
  • wikelwikel Posts: 5
    I have a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan ES 3.8L FWD.

    I stalls out a couple of times after sitting overnight. Seems to stop when it warms up. Always seems to stall during backup operation or stopping at a stop sign before the vechile warms up.

    Also am having some issues with the one of the power sliding doors.

    Anyone having these same issues???
  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34

    I have not specifically had the problems you mention, however, I notice that when I stop at traffic l0ights the rpms go from what should be around 750 to just over 5000. The engine is sputtering abit but it doesn't stall. The dealer blew me off by saying it was normal and as a result of the fan motor coming on. The reality is that it happens even when the fan motor is off. I suspect these 2 problems are related. The doors have worked fine for me. Ihave a 2001 T&C Ltd FWD.
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