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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager



  • veritasveritas Posts: 17
    Has anyone else noticed that the last (and only) report on Edmunds' long term test 2001 Dodge GC ES was on March 8?

    I have to wonder if it has been off the road so much that they haven't yet managed to get any actual on-the-road testing done. (grin)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    This one? (looks like there's one for April with a 4/30/01 date on it).

    Long-Term Road Test

    Note the warped rotors problem at the bottom :-)

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  • cpalmer87cpalmer87 Posts: 2
    I am about to purchase a 2001 GC Sport with "9" miles on the odometer. It has to be sold as "used" because, as it shows on the sticker, it was manufactured under Canadian specs/rules (Daytime Running Lights, etc). Are these vehicles great or am I making a mistake? Plus, I was told the only change was switching the speedometer cluster to US specs... could this have more miles on it than "9" (everything looks/smells new & in plastic)??? And will it be covered by the DC warranty until 3 yrs/36k miles? I'm saving about 5,000 by doing this - is it worth it????? Thanks in advance..........
  • cpalmer87cpalmer87 Posts: 2
    Did DC honor the warranty after the speedo cluster was swapped? The salesman/owner of the used dealership said they would, but he doesn't work for DC, so I don't know if I believe him or not....

    Also, on the new vehicle sticker, it said "This vehicle is manufactured to meet specific Canadian requirements and not manufactured for sale outside of Canada". I'm wondering if Canadian specs are worse/same/better than the US specs (reinforced doors etc)? Are they safer or what?

    I can still back out of this deal --- wondering if I should or not.?.?.?
  • veritasveritas Posts: 17
    Steve - I don't know how you get to page 2 of the long term test of the Dodge GC ES, but I can't.

    If I click on the link you provide, I get a message saying page not found. If I go through the normal steps and reach the first page of the long term test, I can find nothing that tells me there is another page or how to turn the page. If I just try adding the page002.html onto the end of the first page url, I get that same message that the page isn't found.

    I notice that the link address of the page you point me to is:

    But the first page of the long term test I arrive at the normal way is:

    I don't keep cached pages when I exit my browser(Opera), so I shouldn't be just pulling up some old page.

    I never have this problem when going to the Honda Odyssey long term test, so I am at a loss to explain this one!

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I have no problems getting to the other long term road test pages for's '01 Grand Caravan ES. Please try this URL again:

    Hope this helps!

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  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100

    I notice that short wheelbase minivans are very popular in Canada. Can you get the options on the short wheelbase in Canada that are not available in the USA(e.g., traction control)
  • sheik2001sheik2001 Posts: 1
    Many thanks to the guys who helped me with issue several posts back. I took it into the dealer after they originally said there was no problem. I gave them the TSB number and they addmitted that there was a problem and would replace the roof rack. Thanks again!
  • bev15bev15 Posts: 3
    A while back, others were talking about steering problems. I still can't get mine fixed and was wondering if anyone else had luck yet.

    My problem is that when I turn the wheel, I feel/hear a grinding sound coming from the steering wheel. They have replaced the steering column and the rack. I am still having the exact same problem.

  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 99
    We're thinking about purchasing a Dodge Caravan ES, but a couple of questions came up that I haven't been able to find answers to. I thought somone here might have them.

    1. Is the power split on the AWD model fixed at 90% front, 10% rear or is there some variability if one axle has more traction?

    2. What is the main difference between the touring and regular suspensions, and does it make a major difference in the handling?

  • veritasveritas Posts: 17
    I have also tried Internet Explorer in case it was something in my Opera browser that is causing the problem, but no luck.

    I simply cannot get to the reviews section. No mention of a section called "reviews" occurs on the home page I get ( All I see is the option for "road tests."If I click that I am taken here:

    The main title says "Automotive Reviews."

    On that page I select "Long-Term Road Tests" and am taken here:

    On this page I select "2001 Dodge Grand Caravan" and am taken here:

    And that is as far as I can go.

    I see no mention of a "Reviews" section until I come to the Town Hall Community page:

    at which point I see the options "Home, New, Used, Reviews, etc." along the top to the right of the "Select Topic" item.

    But if I click on "Reviews" I get a "File Not Found" message with the suggestion that I only bookmark the Edmunds home page - which I did.

    I simply cannot find or get to any section that has the word "reviews" in its URL.

    I am open to suggestion.
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    Hopefully someone else can give you better answers, but here's a start.

    1) I believe the 90/10 distribution is under non-slip conditions. It will dynamically change as needed under slip conditions.

    2) You said you were considering the AWD. I don't believe you can get the 'normal' or the 'touring' suspensions with AWD -- you get the load-leveling and height control suspension. To get touring (17" wheels not 16") you'd have to get it as an option (or in a package) on the plain ES model, although you could get traction control as an alternative to AWD.

    Just to make it more confusing, you can get the load-leveling and height control as an option on the plain ES. But you'll have to check whether you can combine that with the touring wheels (I don't know).

    A source for this is

    As far as handling is concerned, I can only tell you that my 2001 ES AWD rides a bit stiffly when unloaded. On the plus side, it corners very nicely (for a mini-van, anyway!).

    Except for the resonance I have at 2100 rpm, I can't say enough good things about the vehicle.

    Hope this helps a little.

  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 99
    I knew the split of the AWD was 90% front/10% rear under non-slip conditions, but nothing I've found disusses how much it will vary in slip conditions.

    As for the suspension, I think a more accurate question is how does the touring suspension differ from the suspension in the AWD model?

    Rolfe - did you compare a FWD with the touring suspension to the AWD before your purchased your van? I'm leaning to the AWD for the improved bad weather traction, but want the best handling I can get even if it means giving up the AWD.

    I was going to go for the load-leveling suspension regardless of which model (FWD or AWD) I eventually decided on.

    Now, if they'd only offer the 2nd row buckets with the integrated child seat and the 50/50 third row with leather I'd be all set. I also wish I could get both captains chairs with the built in kid seat. Does anyone know what DC doesn't? I don't want a second row bench - too much loss of flexibility.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "Now, if they'd only offer the 2nd row buckets with the integrated child seat and the 50/50 third row with leather I'd be all set."

    This is an option, at least on the limited.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The AWD system employs a viscous coupling centre differential and thereotically transfer up to 100% of the power to either axle. You'll probably get about a 50/50 split on snow roads though, as needed. I have found this system to be generally effective.

    You have to be careful on split-mu partially snow covered uphill surfaces. I have been able to get stuck (when starting from a dead stop) on my sloped driveway when one side of the vehicle was on the snow, and the other side was on the plowed surface. Due to the front and rear open differentials, power was leaking to the side with the least resistance; wheels on the side with traction were not spinning at all. I had to back down the driveway and take a run up. I will admit that I tried to get stuck on purpose though ;-) Of course, the 2WD vehicles wouldn't have been able to make it up at all!

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  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 99
    cgaydos - you are partly correct (if my information is correct). The configuration available on the Ltd T&C is second row buckets with the integrated child seat and a third row bench with armrest. We want the 50/50 split seat for increased flexibility for people/cargo hauling.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    I just looked it up, and you're right. The option you want, "Intermediate Quad Command roller bucket seats with 1 child seat and rear deluxe 50/50 split 3-passenger bench", is available only on the high-end LX (2K package) and low-end LXi (2R package).

    However, there's a good chance you can talk the dealer into a swap as long as you stay within the trim line. For example, you could buy a Limited with the quad-child and full bench, and swap the rear bench with a split-bench Limited. Depends on the dealer ... I did a similar swap with mine (traded the split bench for the sliding full bench) before inking the deal, and the dealer had no problem with it. However, I've heard other dealers won't agree to this.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Tues., May 22nd: "Road Rage: What's up with that??"

  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Yesterday, I sat in a 1994 Grand Caravan SE of my niece. Both the driver and front passenger seats are MORE comfortable than our 1999 GC SE. The place to rest feet in each seat is also more comfortable. There is much better access to the engine compartment for service. The windshield wipers are in tandem and not the goofy flip-flop of 1996 and later DC minivans that GM made popular with their "dust-buster" disasters.
    Why do auto manufacturers abandon a winning style?
    In my opinion, DC would have been MUCH smarter to have refined the pre-1996 design by making the window glass flush and made an evolution instead of the radical change for 1996. DC could have added 2nd sliding door, etc to the more overall practical design they had. DC could also make more profit per vehicle without wasting money on a complete re-design by adding the nice features to an existing winning style.
    GM made a radical design change with 1990 Impala and killed off one of their popular sedans.
    Ford lost sales with radical change of Taurus a few years ago.
    DC designs become less appealing to me each change starting with 1996 and now 2001. Thus, our very lovely 1999 GC SE will probably be our first and last DC minivan and based on 26 months and 27,414 miles with zero problems, it will probably last us a VERY long time. No other maker has the many nice features of DC and now DC took off the Trip Computer on all but GC ES and T&C LXi and Limited.
  • becwarbecwar Posts: 9
    We had a squeeking steering problem. If you turned the wheel, you could hear something squeeking from underneath the van. You could also feel it through the steering wheel.

    Here is an excerpt from the invoice from the local Dodge dealer:
    "Customer states when turning steering wheel can hear a squeeking noise from front end"

    CAUSE: FT Sway Links (N/C)
    Link-Sway Eliminator (N/C)

    Replace right sway bar end link.

    Fixed under warranty along with a wheel alignment. It worked, the squeeking noise was gone.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    It pointed out the glaring errors in Edmund's report. I highly recommend all Town Hall readers take the time to read it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    See what DaimlerChrysler thinks of our Dodge Grand Caravan introduction

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  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "DC designs become less appealing to me each change starting with 1996 and now 2001." I disagree with your assessment of the pre-1996 versus later DC minivans. I just went from a '94 T&C to a '01 T&C Ltd. The '94 was basically the '85 K-car-based design with lots and lots of kludgy retrofits.

    Seats? One of the '94's good points, but even then the "power" seats had a manual control for the seatback that made it hard to find a comfortable position.

    Wipers? A major design flaw in the '94's -- hard to keep the windshield clean with the wiper fluid that kept spraying off the wipers. And once you turned the wipers off wiper fluid keeps streaming UP the windshield blocking your view. The '01s also have a nice feature ... the wiper heater.

    Better engine compartment access? Maybe ... but how do you like the rubber padding at the top of the compartment that is always falling off in the '94s? Hey, isn't that a cool place to put the jack, next to the engine? ... guaranteed to be heated to 140 degrees F or higher if you have a flat on the road. And just try changing oil without getting it all over the lower surfaces around the engine. The '01's engine compartment shows real design planning; the '94s were nothing but a pile of kludgey retrofits.

    And how about the '94's great rear A/C, down the left side of the car? The kids on the left have frozen legs while the kids on the right are in a sauna. And forget dual zone heating ... in '94 the DC minivan even had no option to do both defrost and heat at the same time. Hey, whaddaya want, a clear windshield or warm feet?

    If you think the '98's 100 lb rear bench is a pain to move, try it in the '94 without the wheels! Or just try locking in the captains chairs in the rear without jumping on them several times.

    Ride, handling? No comparison. Road noise on the '94 is extensive, while the '01 is very quiet.

    I could continue, but you get the point....
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    First off, I would like to say I'd take my 1988 Grand Voyager over both my 96 LXi and 01 LTD in a heart beat if I needed to haul a lot of stuff, because Chrysler sacrificed the cargo space and leg room for a new design in 96. I for one was glad when they got rid of the boxy boring wood paneled van like my 88, and I love the designs of my 96 and 01, but because of the way the back of the 96-01 vans curves in, I was unable to fit my bicycle in my trunk with my 96 and now 01. My 88 was perfect for hauling things because the boxy opening had now curvaceous intrusions as in the 96-01 vans. The only thing I noticed with the new 96 van was that it had more shoulder room, taller side glass, an annoying "arrow dynamic" windshield that is impossible to totally clean, better features comfort, etc., and ugly gold wheels that the LXi vans once adorned. Granted, I liked the van, but going from a van that could hold and do anything (okay maybe not that big piece of plywood), to a van that couldn't hold my bike yet could recall two seating positions took a while to get used to. Plus with the addition of the second sliding door, the rear air compressor was moved to the right rear side of the trunk, also impairing anyway of fitting wide objects such as my bike.
    But, as you know, I liked my 96 enough to get a 01. At least this time it wasn't hard to get used to the change since there wasn't much of any. To me it wasn't really a redesign in my eyes even thought I know it was internally and all. It got more luxury features, nicer wheels (chrome), but kept the same general shape that I had finally gotten used to even if this one still can't hold the same type of objects as my 88 GV LE. I also feel they've shrunken the middle seat leg room with each redesign, but maybe it's just me. I know though that the vans have gone from 192 inches to 199 inches to 200 inches, so I don't know exactly where they are putting the extra room.
    Anyway, back to what I really wanted to say...with the way the Chrysler option packages change very other minute, I wouldn't be surprised if they added the trip computer to one of the new models (probably EX) sometime soon. Granted the GC SE didn't get a trip computer option till I believe 99. Keep your fingers crossed.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Steve: Appreciate you posting the link for easy reference of Town Hall readers.
    cgaydos: Many excellent points I had overlooked!
    dave210: move up in quality. I looked at a very appealing Sterling Silver Satin Glow LXi today...but had the 3.3L. Which engines did you have? Swampcollie feels the 3.8L in his 99 GC Sport is quite superior over the 3.3 and 3.0 in earlier DC minivans. My sister had great praise for everything about her 86 Caravan SE...except for the anemic 4 cyl engine.
    We love our zero problem 99 GC SE but after sitting in my niece's 94 GC SE and later a ride in her mother's NEW 2001 Odyssey EX, the driver's seat of our 99 GC SE seemed quite uncomfortable today. Our GC engine accessibility is much worse and cargo area appears less.
    However, we can not adequately praise the Dual Zone Temperature Control and Trip Computer of our 99 GC. Odyssey has nice features but I would not trade our 99 GC SE's comfort features for my sister's NEW 2001 Odyssey EX utilitarian features. If I had to pay MSRP, the Ody EX at $26,860 is more attractive than our GC SE at $27,490 and appears to retain value more for trade-in at a later date.
    If we would get a new DC minivan, it looks like the T&C LXi is the lowest priced DC minivan that has ALL the features we feel one should get in a DC minivan. I also feel the Chrysler versions are more attractive than the Dodge clone.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    carleton1, you're welcome :-)

    dave210, I guess it wasn't stylish enough, but my '89 short Voyager had a terrific body style for hauling the kind of stuff I like to haul (maybe "style" is the wrong choice of word ). My brother's '00 Caravan is definitely more comfortable than my old one was though.

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  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    If the Chrysler minivans are so great, why the $2,000 rebates and $6,000+ discounts in the Boston Globe? I agree they are great vans, but obviously the competition is fierce and making significant inroads.

    Frankly, I'd be pretty angry if I had bought one of the early 2001 minivans back in September with no or minimal rebate. Now they carry huge rebates (expect the EX I know). That penalizes the "early adopters" of Chrysler's new minivan with reduced resale value. Notice, Toyota and Honda have no rebates on their vans. I'd bet that resale value will be better in the long run.

    Summer's coming. What is Chrysler going to do, up the rebates again, like they did with the 2000 models last year? Just wondering.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Here I'll just list the new main features my three vans have had at their introductions and their MSRP's (although not the price I actually paid for the most part)

    88 Grand Voyager LE (MSRP $20,870)-top of the line at the time and waited 3 months on order so we could get the new rear air conditioning, power drivers seat, overhead consol with compass and temperature, 3.0 Mitsubishi V6, luxury cloth.

    96 Town and Country LXi (MSRP $30,890)- leather seats, dual zone air, dual power seats, memory driver's seat and mirrors, trip computer plus compass and temperature readout, 3.8 Chrysler V6, tacky (my opinion) gold wheels.

    01 Town and Country Limited (MSRP $36,240)-heated seats, triple zone automatic air, 4 disc CD changer, homelink garage door opener, power doors and lift, nice (my opinion) chrome wheels, and larger Chrysler 3.8 V6.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Where have you been for the past 20 years? ALL MANUFACTURERS offer end of model year rebates on all but the highest demand vehicles, I.E hard to get models. This allows them to move dealer stock and encourage buyers not to wait for the 2002 models which will probably not have any rebates. DUH!!!!!
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