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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager



  • bmarkobmarko Posts: 8
    I have an 01 T&C LXI with 3.8 V6 engine. It has only been getting 11.8 MPG with 75% city25% highway driving. On freeway only it is getting only 17 mpg. This is way below the EPA estimate of 17/24. My old 1997 Grand Caravan with the same size engine and same EPA rating got 16 to 17 MPG in the same exact city driving pattern. The service guys said to "give the engine some break in time". I have never heard this and the engine now has 1400 miles on it and the mileage is exactly the same as it was on day one. The service dept. says they ran full tests on the engine and it is tuned and running to spec. This is about 30% lower gas mileage than it is rated. That is a huge amount.

    Is this the mileage everyone out there is getting?

    Chrysler corporate (of course) says there is nothing they can do.

    I cant believe there is nothing wrong or if lots of folks are getting this same lousy mileage they also would not be raising a stink.

    What say you...
  • We purchased our GC in May and we just love it. We test drove almost every minivan on the market and nothing else came close. I'm really wondering if Daimler had some engineering influence here. Whatever the formula's working wonders.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And it is probably some little item that is preventing the computer that manages the fuel, air, etc. from working properly.
    We have always been able to exceed EPA estimates...exept with a used 1977 VW Bus (purchased January 1979) that got 11.1 MPG on a 220 mile round trip while driven 55 MPH. We had to refuel 3 times!
    The VW dealership where we got it said there was nothing wrong and the 77 VW Bus would get only 11 MPG. To make a long story short, we contacted the VW Factory Rep who told us to have them replace the cylinder head temperature sensor.
    We took it to a different VW dealer, gave him the advice, and after their service, our 77 VW Bus got 30.4 MPG on a test drive at 55 MPH.
    Our 99 GC SE with 3.3L rated 18 city and 24 highway gets 27 MPG on 1400 mile round trips with cruise set at 65-66. Overall AVERAGE for 30,848 miles is 23.6 MPG. Your van needs to be checked by a competent dealership.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    sorry to hear about your gas mileadge problem with your new town and country. although what the dealership is saying sounds like a bunch of b/s, i would wait and give their advice some time. even though your van has 1400 miles, it is still a baby. we have a 2000 town and country lx with the 3.3l engine and get about 20mpg average between city and freeway driving.

    my dad complained to our dealership about the miledage on our new 2001 pt cruiser when we first got it. we were only getting about 18mpg on average between city and freway driving. however, now that we have over 3k miles on the car, the mileadge seems to be slowly improving. according to my dad, we now get about 21mpg on average.

    anyway, just wait and see what happens. if you do not notice an improvement in the next few months or at least until the car breaks 3k miles, then i would have it checked out at another 5 star chrysler dealership to make sure everything in fact, is ok. hope this helps!

    -Adam (16/M/CA)
    00 town and country LX 3.3l
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I rented a DC Sport in Denver last week. After owning a 96 DC, I was impressed with a few of the improvements they have made. First, the headlights were actually really good. The handling seemed to be better, especially at speeds over 70 (CO has 75 MPH speed limits.
    I was pleasantly surprised by the improvements in fit and finish. It was one of the best rental vehicles I've had in some time.
  • After waiting a week and a half i got a new transmission for my 2001 AWD ES Dodge. There is a little slipping/shudder when I initially engage Direct or reverse.
    The service manager said that that is to be expected for the first 500 600 miles with a new transmission. Something about the clutch getting broken in.
    Is that really normal?
    Any input is appreciated.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    We have NEVER had a transmission slip or shudder except in a 1950 Chevrolet Powerglide and a 1965 Olds Delta 88 with Turbohydramatic.
    The Powerglide would slip when put into reverse but not very long afterward, the reverse would not engage at all. The Drive (one speed) and Low (another lower speed) would both continue to work so I would park it where I could drive forward until I had time to get it rebuilt for $180 in the 1957 - 1963 time frame at which time I got a new 1963 Impala Sport Coupe with a 3 speed manual.
    I got the 65 Olds Delta 88 used in 1973 when it had 89,000 miles. Years later, it started slipping in Drive. A few weeks later, it actually stopped forward motion. After it sat awhile, it could be driven again. It probably just needed a transmission service with a new filter.
    We have owned numerous sedans, pickups, and minivans with automatic transmissions, and these 2 were the only ones where a slip was detected.
  • I still have 18000 miles waranty so I will drive another 500 miles as they told me.
    I am starting to have very serious doubts about DC reliability
  • Chrysler knows that tests have shown that model year 2001 minivans produced before July 6th may have a part crack in a collision and that part may leak fuel and the possiblity exists that the fuel could catch fire, explode and kill all passengers aboard.

    Think they will send flowers to your families funerals? Buy one, you can trust em!!!!!!!
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Zzzzzzzzzzz... IV
  • ...gatogonow is better than Sominex!

    Incidentally, gatogonow - why don't you live up to your handle, and go, NOW.
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    Were have you been since three weeks ago when the story come out? We've beat it to death around here.
  • We've had discussions on various boards re: gas mileage and tire pressure. I pumped up my tire pressure to 40 psi and do notice an increase in gas mileage. A little more bumpy, but definitely tolerable.
  • I understand you have beat the problem to death, and that is the point! Chrysler will not do anything about the problem unless publicity continues. This forum is publicity,like it or not, people read this board to try to gather information to make an intelligent choice.

    To give your hard earned dollars to a company that makes decesions like Daimler Chrysler is not an intelligent choice. I was stupid, at least I can help others not make the same mistake! Isn't that what the forum is really for?

    Chrysler may abandon you someday, how will you feel having done nothing when your family has burned to death!!!!!!!!!!

    So continue to post ZZZZZZZZZZZ and other slams, maybe you do not care about your families either!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ...I could post reams in rebuttal to the above, but gatogonow's last sentence is more revealing about the true nature of his arguments than I could ever be.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Please re read the IIHS tests and check all the photos before you go into your "Chicken little the sky is falling" song. The van was crashed 52 times (50 by DC and twice by IIHS) before the leaking was found on the 52nd test. Yes I agree that a possible leak in the center of the fuel tank after a 40 mile per hour collision could possibly cause a fire, but how many accident scenes have you seen where there was no fuel spilled? My son was involved in an accident with a VW Jetta that blew a stop sign and rammed the front of his car. Minutes after the crash after everyone was out of the cars the Jetta burst into flames and burned up! The verdict, the driver neglected to turn off the ignition and the electric fuel pump kept merrily pumping fuel onto the hot engine. Are all Jettas firetraps? NO! are all 2001 Caravans/T&C's firetraps NO! REREAD the test results!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Checked for 2001 DC vans (its a site for wrecked car parts) only 7 DC vans shown 5 Chrysler and 2 Dodge, only one fire damaged but with no body damage due to a crash.One 2000 Oddysey with fire damage due to crash. Realize that this is not the entire list of wrecked vans in the world
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I agree with hayneldan that gatogonow is overreacting and that all 2001 DC minivans are not death traps. Any car can leak fuel in a crash if the variables are just right (speed, direction, position, ect). Even the Honda Odyssey has the potential to leak fuel in a crash test as the results of these tests all depend on many different incalculable factors.

    I drive a 2000 Chrysler Town & Country LX and love it. I know two friends who have gotten into accidents in their 96-00 DC minivans, both accidents were minor. Both friends said their vans held up admirably in the crash and they did not suffer from any back/neck injuries.

    gatagonow, when was the last time you heard about a DC minivan exploding after a crash due to a fuel leak? I sure haven't heard any stories about that. Out of all of the 2001 DC minivans that are on the road some are bound to get into serious accidents, some even worse than the simulated crash test. None of these vans has suffered from a fatal or serious or even an uncomon gas leak after the crash.

  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    That is why we bought a 99 GC SE that is so safe that USAA gives me a "Safe Vehicle" discount on automobile insurance.
    When Consumer Reports listed Accident Injury Claims Rates, the 5 Star rated Windstar had a HIGHER injury claim rate than did the lower rated DC minivans. I prefer to AVOID accidents with the superior driving and handling characteristics of DC minivans.
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    I do care about my family that is why I have an Odyssey. If you'd taken the time to read the past post then you would know I have the same feeling about this topic as you do. I have learned that most of the posters hear are die hard D/C lovers who will defend this product to death(hopefully that is no pun intended). So, I've quit wasting my time on this issue.
  • On to a different topic for a moment... There were posts a while back about the Airbag warning light coming on. The part finally came into my dealer and is being replaced today. I was told that D/C issued a recall for the clock spring on the Dodge trucks, but they weren't sure if the vans had be issued yet. Needless to say if you have ANY weird stuff going on with the Airbag lights get your dealer to replace the clock spring ASAP. I think a van recall is imminent. I'll let you know how things go today to see if it solves the problem.
  • I am an owner of a Chrysler mininvan and I think Chrysler is a worthless company. They now they have a safety defect and yet refuse to recall the vehicles. It is a joke when you talk to them. I asked several different reps if they would drive my van with the potential safety, "exploding issue" and they would not answer. I asked if it was not a problem why did they immediately change the part on current production, still no answer!

    They are not deserving of your money, buy elsewhere, you will be much safer and happier!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    The IIHS tests were reported to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB). They can order a recall if they feel it is a saftey problem. None of your posts will. Were you the one who posted in the NHTSB customer complaints that the test resulted in a catastropic fire? (It did not, as IIHS does not use fuel in their crash tests) If you live in a large city and your newspaper has a "Cars" section try reading it under recalls, DC does do recalls. (i.e Chicago Tribune) This sundays issue listed a half page of recalls by ALL manufacturers.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If you go to the IIHS site and look up the DC tests, you will see the picture of the leaking tank.If you look closely at the enlarged version, you will see that the tank is removed and tipped at what appears to be a 45 degree angle to show the leak area. They stated that the flange that leaked is on the TOP of the tank. Unless the laws of physics change liquid cannot flow uphill! So the tank could only leak under the following conditions: 1. Full tank (including filler neck) and a 40 mile per hour crash. Just pulling out of a gas station or within 20 miles of a fillup. 2. 40 mile per hour crash with van on its side or roof. And remember in the first test it did not leak. The government mandates that on a rollover crash no fuel should leak. Let them make the decision. You should not top off your tank if you are worried until this is resolved
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    The one paragraph that you have just written really proves the point that I have been wanting to drive home for quite some time now. As others have said, this fuel leak can and only will occur when certain very rare an uncommon variables are taken into picture. Like the position of the fuel tank, the position of the van, the speed the van was going, and the angle at which it was hit.

    Also, even the spokesman from the IIHS said that it is not their intention to say that this whille occur on EVERY DC minivan that is on the road. That makes so much sense judging by the fact the leak only occured in one of many tests performed by Chrysler and the IIHS.

    In addition, for those of you who think Chrysler has carefully twisted around it's words in it's press release...wouldn't you think that somewhere along the line in designing a brand new vehicle, they would have tested it for fuel leaks during or after a simulated crash test? I think it would be very realistic that Chrysler would have checked for any leaks that might occur from it's new minivan's tank BEFORE they even started production. Also, when Chrysler tests it's own cars, they don't slam them into a wall at 40 mph but into other vehicles. This would most likely be the case in most accidents.

    People like GATOGONOW seem to want to make this into something its not for some futile reason to further slander the name of Chrysler. The level of intensity and almost fear that emminates from his "don't spend your hard-earned money on a Chrysler deathtrap" postings really does suprise and bewilder me. Some Odyssey owners (odd1) would accuse me of not being reasonable and not looking at the facts. However, I think you should go talk to GOTAGONOW if you want to converse with someone who does just that.

    BTW Steve, if there had not been a fuel leak we would be disscussing the 2002 model's "ACCEPTABLE" saftey rating, not a "MARGINAL" one.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "BTW Steve, if there had not been a fuel leak we would be disscussing the 2002 model's "ACCEPTABLE" saftey rating, not a "MARGINAL" one."

    It was me who wrote that and that's incorrect. The fuel leak issue does not affect the '02 models because of the update parts. The '01 model, if not for the fuel leak, would've received a "Marginal". The '02 gets an "Acceptable" only because it has side impact head protection airbags.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "for those of you who think Chrysler has carefully twisted around it's words in it's press release...wouldn't you think that somewhere along the line in designing a brand new vehicle, they would have tested it for fuel leaks during or after a simulated crash test? I think it would be very realistic that Chrysler would have checked for any leaks that might occur from it's new minivan's tank BEFORE they even started production. "

    I'm sure that some testing did occur, but I'm not sure how extensive it was because Chrysler doesn't publish that. I do think it is possible that Chrysler did not detect this problem during their own testing. I'm sure they do not want to spend the tens of millions of dollars it will cost to retrofit those minivans. I'm also sure that they will do whatever they can legally to give the impression that the leak is not a problem, including implying the testing was more thorough than it was and implying the likelihood of occurance is less.

    As to the leak itself, it appears the leak was on top of the tank, as suggested here. It was discovered by the IIHS when they turned the van on its side, something they do as part of routine crash test analysis. What this implies for real life is that a) the tank is open at the top, exposing vapors that may ignite. b) if the car turns or rolls during the crash, the fuel may leak out increasing the chance of ignition.

    As to the comments that the offset frontal crash represents a rare occurance in real life: it is true that the exact conditions of the crash test are very rare ... but that is true with any standardized test you choose due to the fact that crashes are unique. However, the offset test is considered by safety engineers to be a good representative, and standardized, sample of how a car will perform in a variety of crash situations. More importantly, it is considered far more representative than the frontal crash.
    So, for people to say that because the exact circumstances of this crash test are rare, the problem won't occur in other crashes is simply unsubstantiated. The reality is the car did something it should not do during such a crash, and DC should fix it. DC's stonewalling on this is reminiscent of Ford's stonewalling on the Pinto.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295

    I'm curious to hear your opinion as to whether you think Honda should have recalled its CR-V when it rolled over unexpectedly during similar crash testing? After all, it "did something it should not do during such a crash". Personally, I don't think these types of lab vs. real world occurrences are so cut and dried.
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    I am looking at leasing a new minivan. All the dealers are very negative about AWD. They hardly ever sell one and think the extra money is not worth it. Anyone with a AWD have any comments? I am interested in beter traction on wet roads or when loose dirt is on the street.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Honestly, scanner, I can't offer an opinion as I don't know the specifics of the CR-V situation. In general, I think any fuel leak or breakage in the fuel tank is very serious because in a crash situation there is a strong potential for sparks or other causes of ignition which, in combination with fuel or vapors, can turn a survivable crash into a firebomb in a matter of seconds. It was such reasoning that lead the IIHS to give the DC minivans a "poor" rating for the leak, versus an "acceptable" (for vans with side airbags) without the leak. We also know that the problem is easily correctable, as DC has fixed the problem starting with late MY 2001 production cars.

    In the CR-V rollover situation, two questions come to mind. First, how much additional danger does the rollover add to the occupants? Second, can the rollover potential be corrected without a complete vehicle redesign?
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