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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager



  • I have a question hopefully someone here can answer. Is the 3.8L engine available as an option on the FWD GC Sport? Page 19 of the 2002 brochure lists a max towing capacity for FWD Sports and ES's w/ the 3.8 and the towing package, but I don't see the option in the charts and I can't configure it that way on the dodge website. I have had two dealers each tell me it was and was not an option on the Sport. I would like to get a GC or T&C with the 3.8 and towing package, but don't necessarily want everything that comes witht the ES trim (or T&C equivalent). Any clarification anyone can offer would be most appreciated.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The answer to your dilemma is simple, order the Dodge Grand Caravan eX which has the 3.8L engine as part of the package. This van has few options, however, it has a fairly complete content setup as is, and has a base price of $26,790.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, it seems that I spoke too soon. The "eX" model does not have the Trailer Towing package as an option. That leaves you with two alternatives.

    1) Add an aftermarket package to the "eX".
    2) Upgrade to something like the T&C LXi with the "R" package. I just configured one with the 3.8L, Touring Suspension, 16" Aluminum Wheels, Traction Control, Trailer Tow Group and AM/FM stereo Radio with Cassette/CD Player for $31,885.

    There is also a similar "Stripper" Dodge ES at a similar price point. Both vehicles, as a result, do not have many of the amenities of the normal LXi/ES vehicles, however, they do have the parts that count.

    Best Regards,
  • Shipo,

    Your correct, I could move up to the LXi or ES, but I don't think I should have to. I am going to question the dealer about this. I don't understand why they would show this powertrain/towing package option in the brochure if it isn't available. I also think that DC may be missing a significant niche in the market if they don't offer an all muscle few frills version for around 25K. I could get an Odyssey LX with towing package for considerably less than $32k.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    When is $31,885 not $31,885? When you buy a new car these days.

    There is a fair bet you can negotiate the price closer to $30,000, and that is before you apply the incentives, which by the way, are $2,500 if you buy or $2,700 if you lease. Now, that $31,885 is really more like $27,500.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Oddly enough, there is a way to get the GC Sport with a 3.8 Liter engine, with AWD.

    I configured a GC Sport AWD with Power Drivers Seat, AM/FM Radio with Cassette and CD, Infinity Speaker System and the Trailer Tow Prep Group, which totals to $32,060. The GC Sport AWD has the same incentive package as the LXi if you buy, however, if you intend to lease, there is a $4,800 incentive, which could mean that you could get this vehicle for $25,200.

    Best Regards,
  • Know of any good mechanics in the Calif
    Bay Area (San Jose, and surrounding
    areas)? I have a '96 Chrysler T&C with
    71K miles on it, and it has sundry electrical problems

    - control LEDs (a/c, rear wipers, defroster, etc.) flashing
    - horn, cruise control kaput
    - AIRBAG warning light on
    - etc.


    - as
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    The flashing LEDs indicate an AC malfunction (likely gas leakage). You need that looked at by a good AC shop. Common failures include the condenser (parts=$350, labour=$600 or so). Or it may be as simple as a rest required due to replacing the battery.

    The horn/cruise control/air bag light points to a clockspring assembly failure (parts=$125, labour=$100 or so). Remember, the air bag may not deploy in case of an accident, so you may want this repaired rather quickly.
  • I contacted my local dealer last night and confirmed that the only way to get the Sport with the 3.8 is with AWD, he admitted that the brochure is in error by showing the FWD Sport with 3.8 and towing package. Don't want or need AWD and no way I am paying more than $25k, so I guess I'll be looking for a used ES or at something else altogether. Anyone done much towing with a GC with 3.8? Any thoughts?
  • asastry, try DanNick's auto repair at Lawrence and Reed in Sunnyvale. Dan's shop was rated well in the SF Consumer's Checkbook.
  • I traded in my '96 GC SE 73.5K for a loaded '02 GC eX at South County Chrysler in Gilroy, CA. Got a fair trade-in price and an excellent price and service on the new one. This is the second van I have bought from Todd Foster, Director of Fleet.
    On both occassions, he made the purchase experience an easy and pleasant one (which is why I went back to him!). If you are in the market for one in the bay Area, I would recommend him very highly. Todd is at (408) 842-8244 ext 26 or 800 266 2100.
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    I wish I were ready for a Voyager purchase. Chrysler has continued their incentives till 4/01/02: $2500 cash back AND cash incentives to the dealer. Also, if you plan to lease they are allowing $4000 for leases. These are fabulous deals for a great mini van.
  • We just completed our lease on a 99 T&C LX van and leased a new 01 GC Sport. We love the new van as much as the T&C but were real disappointed to find out that in 01/02 models that DCX doesn't offer the rear cabin reading lights in most models. My children 14 and 12 used them all the time to read or play video games. In the Chrysler line up we would have had to purchase the upper end Limited model or the LXI and get the Electronics Convience Group for an additional $300+. Dodge didn't even offer them (to my knowledge) and I asked.

    The new van has a light in the center of the intermediate cabin that can be turned on independent of the other internal lights but blinds the driver via the rear view mirror. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to change this light to the aircraft type directional light or other change to resolve this ongoing battle between my kids and myself/wife (depending on whos driving).

  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    I have a 2002 AWD and its is perfect. Why can't they replace your 2001 AWD components with 2002 components?
  • Let me first say, I love my 2001 Caravan EX. I have had no mechanical problems whatsoever. But it seems like the safety problems keep coming up. First the fuel tank problem, and now has a story on seatbelt problems.

    I'm starting to really get upset about these things. Obviously I can't ever guarantee the safety of my children in an accident, but I have done everything I can to make them the safest possible in the child carseats, but I feel like I'm letting them down because I bought a crappy van. It would be different if Daimler,Chrysler would admit to the problems and correct them, but they aren't Somebody, please ease my fears of this van.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Before I purchased our GC I made sure it had the newer style release buttons on the side of the buckle because we had a GM vehicle with the release button on the face of the buckle and these were alleged to release too easily. I agree that DC should replace the Gen-3 buckles and will probably be forced to if enough people complain. The Gen-3 buckle is probably better than those old GM buckles
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I'm not too concerned about this report, just like I wasn't too concerned with the gas leak in the 2001 GC Sport that was tested. But what is the difference between the generation 3 and generation 4 buckles that are used in these vans?
  • sdmansdman Posts: 65
    Just got a 2002 ES. It came with the tire pressure monitoring system, and after reading about this system in the owners manual (it's really vague), I came away not understanding how to interface with the system.

    Is this system supposed to display the actual tire pressure in PSI, or does it just alert you if the tire pressure exceeds preset low and high limits?

    I have stepped through all the menus in the overhead console, but beyond an entry that says "calibrate tire pressure sensors", I don't see any other options that pertain to the tire pressure monitoring system.

    Any ideas?
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81
    scarab105 (post 1484) and ed12 (post 1485):

    Here's what (little) I understand about "buy-backs." You need to research your state's lemon law procedures (you can find them on the web). In my state, I need to verify that my type of problem is covered under the law, and that the dealer has had sufficient attempts to try to fix it. Then I need to send a letter to DC requesting that they buy the vehicle back under that statute. They have 40 days to respond. After that, I can request an arbitration hearing.

    The zone rep of course knows the lemon law backwards and forwards and probably never winds up in arbitration unless he's confident of winning. In my case, I'm interested in getting a 2002 awd as a replacement, since the problem has been fixed or at least reduced to an acceptable level.

    In this state, the way it works (if either the zone rep decides to settle or I win in arbitration) is that I'm "responsible" for paying a usage charge based on mileage. The formula is not favorable to the consumer unless you have neglibly low mileage (I don't). In this state, I take my mileage divided by 120,000 and multiply by my original purchase price. That's what I have to give the dealer, plus or minus any difference in the MSRP of the replacement vehicle compared to the original MSRP. DC takes care of license, sales tax and everything else. Any rebates aren't considered. I'm told that DC won't negotiate anything different from what's stipulated in the lemon law.

    For example, if I have 20,000 miles on the van and paid 30K: 20/120*30 = $5,000 I'd have to pay for my usage.

    My zone rep is confident that some kind of "fix" will be available by early May based on discussions he's had with those who do the testing. He believes it will involve weights on the driveshaft or the like, and that it will reduce but not eliminate the problem. (I've heard these kinds of assurances for a year, so I don't share his confidence.)

    ed12 -- He also told me that the 2002's have some kind of different mountings or brackets or something such that whatever was done in the 2002's won't fit a 2001. Sorry I can't be more specific.

    That's all I can offer for now.

  • Did they fix the off-set wrecking issue? I read on that they had fuel line problems and wrecked it twice. I reread it twice. Am I understanding that this problem is fixed on the new '02's? Thanks.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    chrysler has fixed the potential leak in the fuel line in the late 2001 and all 2002 models.
  • paul164paul164 Posts: 11
    Rolfe, thanks for the update. On our 2001 with approx 9,000 miles - problem has not abated at all, maybe gotten a little more noticeable. I used to think it was just a resonance in the intake or something, but now figure it must be related to the drivetrain - it seems to occur when the transmission is in lock up mode, i.e when cruising. Very disappointing that the car would be brought to market this way and obviously re-engineered for model year 2002. Mind you, this is a $35k plus vehicle! I am surprised that none of the testing done by auto mags or Edmunds found this problem, but GC probably made sure their vehicle had whatever fix was put in place. I do find it hard to believe that the 2001 cannot be retrofitted with the 2002 parts - sounds too much like the leaking gas tank to me (simply too expensive to repair not too difficult). As to the lemon law, my general understanding is that the manufactuer has to be given a few tries to fix the vehicle or at least a few notices of your dissatisfaction - you cannot simply walk in off the street and demand a buy-back or other remedy. So, you must complaind and try to get it fixed first, which for most of us who have busy lives this is rather difficult, so most people just live with the problem.. Keep after them for all of us, Rolfe!!!
  • newvan2newvan2 Posts: 30
    Does the tranny in the 2001 grand caravan sport have overdrive. I am used to that cool little overdrive button in other vehicles and just noticed our "new to us" 2001 gcs does not have overdrive. Is this true for all GCS.
    thank you
  • rolfe2rolfe2 Posts: 81

    You are correct about the dealer getting a few chances to correct the problem. In my case, after the first try, the dealership was informed by the factory that Engineering was aware of and was working on the problem, and that the dealership would not be reimbursed if they threw parts or labor at it. That was over a year ago.

    I completely agree that it's hard to believe that 2002 parts can't be put on a 2001. If they replaced enough stuff, they surely could do it.

    I have 26,000 miles on mine, so the "offset for use" charge as it's called in our lemon law is almost $7,500. Seems expensive to me. But in your case, with only 9,000 you might want to press it before your mileage gets any higher. If I could trade my 2001 and less than $3,000 for a 2002 (with drive train warranty) I'd do it in a heartbeat.

    I didn't press for a buy back in 2001 because I wanted AWD and there were no fixed 2002's back then. But that's changed now. Meanwhile, my mileage went up!

  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Aside from this vibration problem, which must be very annoying, im curious as to how you guys like your DC minivans? What models do you guys have?

    Also, isn't it possible to trade your 2001 vans in for newer 2002 models which probably won't have the vibration problem?
  • tm4419tm4419 Posts: 10
    I just purchased a 2002 carvan ec and checked the seat belt buckles with the 40mm ball test.
    The front buckles were fine but the back seat buckles all failed the ball test and are the gen3 buckles. I sent a message to the nhtsa and prompted them to force Chrysler to have a recall.
    I think if more people contacted them it might do some good.
  • tm4419tm4419 Posts: 10
    I just bought a 2002 caravan ec with the 2.4 litre engine and four speed automatic. The owners manual says I can pull up to 1000 lbs. . I intend to install a transmission oil cooler and pull a 800 lb boat once a year for about 800 miles. Anybody out there had any pulling experience with the 2.4 litre and four speed automatic?
  • tm4419tm4419 Posts: 10
    I bought my 2002 ec for $14,398 and also got a $300 rebate because I had a cdl. It has the 7 passenger seating and rear defroster for options. Elmhurst Dodge is the voluum dealer in the Chicago area and advertises special prices in the sun times about twice a week. If you go there to buy one call first to make sure they have any left and bring the add with you. It is like a coupon and only good on the day of publication. The way they make any money is by giving low trade in or by finance charges so if you want a great deal dont trade anything in and dont finance. PS I bought a factory cruise control from the dealer for $235 and installed it in 1hr and 25 mins.. It is a very easy installation for any mechanic with know how and a good set of tools.
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