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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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Comments

  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    Dimitero

    Hi... I couldn't help but notice your post. This is definitely good news. Can you tell me what this fix consists of and what the attribute the problem to? Any more information would be appreciated including a phone number I could call for clarification.

    Thanks
  • I can understand why the boys at Mercedes are pissed that their new American Cohorts are losing so much dough.
    Don't get me wrong, I am stoked to get a new Town & Country and am just waiting to figure this whole thing out.
    They come out with the LX, LXI, Limited and then months later the EX to stop the bleeding from Honda's pesty van.
    They offer tons of cash back on all but the EX and now are finally addressing the AWD 2100 RPM problem.
    Then they promote that a 3.5L 240HP engine will be coming later this year, when, true?

    I am waiting this storm out to see what gives at model year end. What will the 2002 have different and if nothing what will the left over 2001's go for when I buy.

    Good Luck - no matter what it is the best van out there.
  • howie99mnhowie99mn Posts: 20
    Unofficial Crash test results for 2001 voyager/T&C results 4 stars both sides of front and 5 stars on the sides?. Not sure if they had airbags on when crash tests.
  • oreo2oreo2 Posts: 2
    I have been monitoring this board for a while. Great comments. I like the vehicle. Quick question it is 3/28/2001 I am dealing on T&C LX. We are at invoice and 3.9 for 60 months, dealer does not want to budge of invoice I think he can do better. Has any one done better? If so how. This deal does not involve a trade. Money down and financing. Comments welcome.
  • tomc12tomc12 Posts: 1
    I ordered a 2001 T&C LXi AWD fully loaded - 29U pkg, heated seats, power lift gate, heavy duty cooling, 4 CD Changer, Roof Rack, Side Air Bags, Full Size Spare. I think I got a great price of $31,533 (MSRP = $37,145) taking the $1,500 rebate. However, I am getting cold feet. The more I read about the AWD 2100 RPM issue and DC product reliability & quality issues, the more concerned I get about taking ownership of the vehicle. Maybe this is just buyer's remorse , but I am questioning whether to move forward with the deal.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Quite common when spending over $1000 for most people. Our 99 GC SE is our FIRST ever Chrysler product and in 2 years it has had zero problems. Not one of the many people I know that have DC minivans has experienced problems. I think DC reliability problems come from the many ABUSED DC minivans that were used as rentals, fleet, and / or government vehicle usage. Buy a NEW DC minivan and chances of a problem are very near to zero.
    Of course you could buy another minivan, pay MSRP, and based on CR reliability it will have a worse reliability record than does T&C.
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    Hey, this is great news; Rolfe and others take note!

    Let us know the details of this fix so our dealers can address the issue!

    Thanks.

    ps : to Tomc12: just had the awd van in (again) 2 feet unplowed drifted snow, uphill, and not even a slip. The van is awesome; go for it.
  • > Maybe this is just buyer's remorse , but I am questioning whether to move forward with the deal.

    If it were me, I would wait until there is some real resolution to this problem. I talked to my dealer today, and he did not sound hopeful about a fix after talking to 'headquarters'. He promised to get me in touch with the district manager to discuss the vibration problem. So far, Chrysler has not informed me of a fix or even if there will be one.

    Still waiting....
  • krsperbkrsperb Posts: 1
    I have been researching minivans for the past 5 weeks using Edmunds.com and what a difference that made when purchasing our GC. My husband has been too busy with college courses and work to be able to help, so I can proudly say I did this deal solo. Tomorrow I am picking up my 2001 GC ES with a 29S package (husband loves those chrome wheels!) + pwr liftgate, side air bags, roof rack & trailer tow group. MSRP was around $33000+, invoice $30355. I called the sales manager directly (no salesman to take up hours of my time) and told him exactly what I was looking for and asked him what was the best deal he could offer. He said he would sell a loaded ES off the showroom floor for $28,800 (invoice - $1000 (manuf. rebate) - $500 (dealer rebate)) with 5.9% financing for 60 mo. We thought that seemed reasonable, but determined it was still over the amount we wanted to spend (I'm a stay-at-home Mom of 3, so every dollar counts). I called back his co-manager today to see what deal he would offer me on an ES order with less options - he ended up offering me the loaded ES for $27,800, (previous night's bid - $1000 (rebate)) with 4.9% financing for 60 mo. We literally raced back to the show room to sign the deal - good thing, too, because another couple was waiting right behind us to buy it. We ended up paying as much for the loaded ES, if not less, than ordering one with much less options. This was all done with no trade. Going into the dealership knowing my numbers made for such a smooth deal - the sales manager even commented that he knew I did my homework! By the way, thanks to the info I received from the Town Hall discussions, I should be getting the roof rack problem fixed (amazing how many salespeople I had to educate on this problem!) Also some helpful info to those of you who are scampering to get in on the rebate/financing deals from Dodge - they have just been extended to 4/30/01 (previously 4/3/01). This is per my discussion with Dodge this morning (1-888-4-a-dodge). But a word to the wise - each dealer handles this differently. Some will let you lock in as long as you order before the expiration date, others will only honor it if you take delivery on or before the expiration date. I assume Chrysler has extended their offers as well.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    While the domestic manufacturers are improving, they still seem to be behind the Japanese WRT quality, in general.

    As you may recall, I drive a '94 Grand Voyager LE AWD. It currently only has 93K+ kilometres (about 58K miles) on the odometer and has never been our of the province or out of the country (yes, it hasn't even been down to Seattle!); this van is our first domestic vehicle, BTW, my family has only owned Japanese and German (MB) vehicles prior to this.

    Even though I drive sensibly and not punish the vehicle, I do have to admit that it has had its share of problems. Nonetheless, it hasn't been too too bad, especially after reading and hearing so many horror stories. Interestingly, the first 2+ years of ownership were completely troublefree, just as your has been thus far. Just the regular oil changes and services. No problems whatsoever! However towards the 3rd year we experienced a few problems, and then one major one. The torque converter failed and it had to be towed to the dealership. Next (several months later) it was the starter motor that crapped out and wouldn't stop cranking even with the key removed from the ignition! It was a tense minute as I jumped out of the van, dug around for a wrench in the garage to remove the battery clip. Again, it had to be towed from my home garage to the dealership. I've had the ringing noise (from the tensioner/pulley) problem, and still hear it occasionally actually. The head gasket and more recently, the oil pan gasket has also been replaced once each, because of a slow oil leak. Same with the rear differential seal (remember its AWD :-))...they topped it up and then replaced it a week later under the powertrain extended warranty.

    The most recent problem was that some kind of switch controlling the brake lights was defective, and the brake lamps refused to go off. This meant that I had to disconnect the battery to get them to shut off. I'm still on my first transmission though (I hope it lasts!; the unit is okay, but not particularly refined), and everything else seems to be okay for now. Thank goodness for the extended warranty!

    My dealership (Coquitlam Chrysler) has been just excellent though. The service advisors and service manager are just a pleasure to deal with (even though, I've had to visit them enough to be on a first name basis with them), and just about bend over backwards to please the customers.

    One of my parents' friends has worked for Chrysler for the last 20 over years (he handles the warranty claims from all of the dealerships) and even he admits that these vans have had their problems. The good news is that they're improving. For example, I was told that their failure rate for the trannies was something like 15% a few years ago...it's down to something like 2% (or below) nowadays.

    Good luck!

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    A very important posting to retain in my files for future reference. Obviously it will be important to be very alert so that if and when the first problem occurs with my GC I should hurry
    down to the nearest DC, Toyota or Honda dealer to trade it off.
    Many of my friends have owned DC minivans (some are now on 3rd one) and none have had major problems (except for one who inherited an old dog 1986 Caravan that was bought by her father from a fly by night used car dealership. That old dog had engine problem and when she had engine rebuilt, the mechanic said it looked like it had gone 187,000 or 287,000 instead of 87,000 as indicated on odometer. The 86 odometer rolled over at 100,000 miles). When a person buys an old, abused dog from a fly by night 2nd hand joint, it is my opinion that they are buying some expensive problems.
  • geoduckgeoduck Posts: 52
    Tom-
    First, you got a great deal.

    I fully understand your anxiety regarding the purchase of an AWD T&C. Prior to our buying the same vehicle 4 months ago, we had never owned an American brand (in over 20 years of car purchasing) and we were nervous going in, but surprisingly I haven't had any nagging feelings since

    Premature transmission failure was the major risk we worried about, as I know several folks who had problems with pre-1997 vans. While Consumers Reports is not a holy source to me, their compiling owners survey data is a great service. I have been encouraged by the reliability trends for T&C transmissions over the past 3 years . It seems like major problems leveled out around 1997.
    Furthermore, their data shows that the overall quality of Chrysler vehicles is pretty decent - better than most US makes-and not that far behind most Japanese brands. This gives me hope.

    The 2100rpm effect seems somewhat variable for each vehicle. We are lucky-- the noise is tolerable--unobnoxious enough to converse with my 3yr old. Certainly worth having the functionality of an excellent AWD system. Maybe a fix will magically appear real soon, but I counted on something to be problematic on a version 1.0 model.

    Otherwise, the T&C's quality seems excellent and owning one has been fun. Test drive one everyday for a week and you will be better able to gauge if you can live with the 2100rpm noise.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You're welcome...Since it seems that your van is in good shape now after 2 years, I'm betting that it probably will be for the future too. I suppose it's a question as to whether you are in the good or bad batch. Arguably there shouldn't be these sorts of erroneous batches, but still I'm sure that your dealership can rectify them, just like mine has (or at least tried their best to). I definitely wouldn't jump the gun and get rid of it. After all, ours is 7 years old now and it still runs pretty darn well! The AWD is excellent in the rain and snow, especially with the highly rated BFGoodrich Control T/A M65 tires (only 3K kilometres old) that are fitted to it right now.

    The 3.8L V6 engine, while definitely not always as refined as some of the newer SOHC or DOHC designs out there, is torquey and that makes it more than adequate in most conditions. I do have to say that in certain uphill conditions, the transmission gearing could've been better matched with the engine. It seems that there is a big gap between 2nd and 3rd gear, and I have had to shift it between 3 and 4, or 2 and 3 when climbing up one of our local ski hills. That or leave the engine whirling away at 3500-4000rpms, obviously not something I want to do. This seems to have been rectified with the newer (like yours) models, at least with the loaner Chrysler minivans that I've driven, as well as the ones my friends own.

    My fuel economy is not particularly good though, probably because I live on a mountain (about 700 feet above seat level; the town is at sea level) and do a fair bit of hill climbing almost daily. Fuel economy is usually about only 14-16 mpg. If I drive on the highway though, 20 mpg is possible. Due to the slightly smaller fuel tank with the AWD models, as well as my hill climbing, I am only able to squeeze about 290 kilometres out of one tank of gas. Ah well...

    Just my humble opinion :-)

    Best of luck!

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • Has anyone investigated getting a EX and having aftermarket leather put in? I wonder what that would cost. I have heard of people doing this on the Honda. I ask because the price between a LXI FWD with leather and similar options - except for the left power door is so much more even with the rebate.
    Any more info on if the 3.5 will be coming this year or on the 2002.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    What vehicles has your family owned?
    Experiences of my friends has indicated to me that the BEST reliability of major Japanese brand vehicles is as follows (in order of Most Reliable first):
    #1. Toyota
    #2. Honda
    #3. Tie of Mitsubishi and Nissan
    #5. Tie of Suzuki and Mazda
    #7. Last place Izuzu
    Is there any correlation with Japanese brand reliability to the fact that a major stockholder of Mitsubishi is Chrysler, Suzuki is GM, Mazda is Ford, and last place Izuzu is GM?
    And Korean made vehicle reliability is about on a par with Izuzu...but ahead of Fiat and Yugo?
    Although I have owned primarily GM vehicles since my first car, a 1950 Chevrolet 4 door sedan bought in 1957, I would NOT want any GM vehicle that has any parts supplied by Izuzu...including the much-hyped, powerful new Izuzu/GM Turbodiesel in GMC and Chevrolet vehicles. I recall too vividly the disgust my niece had with GM cars based on her 1981 Chevy Chevette (designed and made by Izuzu).
  • shepherd5shepherd5 Posts: 35
    I would look into what your monthly payments will come out to. I too waited for the EX to be available in my area before finally ending up with a Limited. My advice is to calculate what the monthly payment on the LXi will be using no rebates and 0.9% to 3.9% financing (depending on how long you want to finance it for) and do the same for the EX using whatever rate you can get for it. Keep in mind the LXi feels more luxurious than the EX. When I ran the numbers, the Limited costs $70/month more for 5 years. This amounted to $4,200 over the 5 year period. At this point, I figured the enjoyment I derive from a much more luxurious Limited is well worth the extra $70/month (but keep in mind I am getting a tax break because I am using it for business purposes). I hope this gives you a useful perspective.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    We're mostly a Mercedes-Benz family, but my parents and relatives have owned quite a few number of Nissans in the past. Obviously they're quite reliable or repeat purchases wouldn't be made.


    We've only owned one Toyota, a '99 Toyota Camry XLE V6 (one of the few built in Toyota City, Japan) and for the short one year that it was with us before it was replaced by a MB, it was great. I did have a problem with the front brakes grinding after a month that it was bought. The brakes were cleaned a couple of times and then a TSB came out specifying brand new pads (different compound). To my surprise they not only changed all 4 pads, but all 4 rotors as well. No problems after that...the car was bought from the high rated (for customer satisfaction) Toyota dealership in this area.


    I comment about Hondas from personal experience, but friends have had excellent experiences with them, mostly Accords and Civics, which seems to back up Consumer Reports' reliability ratings. Subaru seems to be way up there around Honda/Toyota levels of reliability and quality as well. Remarkable for such a small manufacturer. As for Mitsubishi, it's not sold in Canada so I can't really comment on that. I'd expect that they're up there too, but possibly below Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Mazdas I don't have any personal experience with either, but from C.R and from family friends who are repeat buyers, they appear to be highly regarded, and definitely more reliable than Suzuki. Isuzu has improved significantly over the last few years and I would say that they have average or above average reliability. None of their products interests me though.


    Overall, the domestic vehicles seem like they still have some catching up to do with their Japanese counterparts. Perhaps it may be because the Japanese brands don't nickle and dime the same way that the domestic makes seem to. I was shocked that Chrysler decided to compromise the design of the tailgate latch just to save 25 cents per vehicle. It was only after a few tragic events where the tailgates opened in a rear end collision that they had a recall (which ended up costing them more than 25 cents per vehicle). Yes, my vehicle was part of the recall campaign. Then there is Ford who tries to save a couple of dollars from a ignition module placement, and GM, with the fuel tank location fiasco of a few years ago.


    IIRC, the Chevette was a GM design (not Isuzu) and it was basically a cheap car thrown together with various components from the corporate parts bin. Not surprising that it wasn't particularly well made, especially two decades ago where domestic car quality was far below the Japanese.


    You may be interested in reading this (there is something in the Chevette on the 2nd link):

    http://www.autonews.com/html/main/stories/flintspeech.htm


    http://www.freep.com/business/gmfire7_20000107.htm


    Anyway, I digress...back to the topic at hand. Hope you find the above links good reading at least.

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards

  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And GM top brass needed a dose of reality. I have driven mostly GM...then got a 1971 VW Super Beetle for 2nd car and traded 67 Impala in on a new Volvo 145S. Later traded Volvo in on a 75 VW Rabbit...and could not wait to get back to GM and traded 75 Rabbit in on a 76 Chevy Nova (6 cyl 4 door made by GM...not Corolla Clone). After Volvo disaster and same with 5 VW, I stayed with GM for reliability and less costly maintenance.
    We looked at all minivans very closely and narrowed it down to Ody and GC. Got 99 GC SE and love it but DC brass needs a pep talk like GM got in your links above. DC takes many nice features off all but most expensive minivans and then comes out with an EX model that has some nice features...but some I do NOT want. Why not just offer the more desirable 3.8L V6 and Trip Computer on all minivans? Would now get either Ody LX or Sienna LE.

    Mercedes: Friends who owned them loved them but said MB safety and quality comes with a price: they are costly to purchase and routine maintenance is very expensive.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    FYI, routine maintenance is free for the first four years for all US MB vehicles. Oil changes are every 10K-20K miles. The computer will calculate when you need to go in to the dealership based on your driving style and other environmental changes. Yes, they're more costly to maintain and service, but I guess if you can afford one, you should be able to afford the other costs too. They're no more expensive to maintain (in fact as cheap as Chrysler in many situations based on our experiences) than other luxury vehicles though.

    I have to agree with the trip computer bit, but I think it's to cut costs. As for the 3.8L V6, perhaps some people don't want/need the larger engine and the accompanying fuel consumption costs. The new 3.5L V6, if it ever make production, is a step in the right direction. Smoother/more refined, less fuel consumption, cleaner, and more powerful. I think Chrysler's shareholders have blasted them already, so perhaps they're waking up. We'll see what happens in the next few months. It's for the better, I hope!

    Good luck

    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • pgs_28pgs_28 Posts: 34
    Dimitero

    Hi... I couldn't help but notice your post. This is definitely good news. Can you tell me what this fix consists of and what the attribute the problem to? Any more information would be appreciated including a phone number I could call for clarification.

    Thanks
  • dimiterodimitero Posts: 6
    I talked a second time to the dealer. He was much more vague. He said Chrysler was aware of the issue and was coming up with a solution but we do not know when...it is presumed that the dealers will be receiving it, maybe a KIT or something. He said he will call me.He still has not however..
  • kendolinkendolin Posts: 1
    Has anyone started to look at what may be causing the resonance?

    I know that the MY 99 Mustang Cobra's had a vibration around 70 mph, which was related to the driveline (http://www.blueovalnews.com/svtproblems.htm).

    Also, a common modification of the Ford Taurus SHO is to bypass the restrictive air intake (http://www.v8sho.com/sho/intake1.html). The effect of this is right at 3400 rpm when the intake secondaries open, a noticeable howl is felt (especially in the accelerator pedal) and heard. It occurs right at 3400 rpm and dissipates quickly as the revs climb. The howl is most prominent at high load and less prominent, but still noticeable, under smooth throttle application. The noise is similar to the howl that Don Knott's character makes in the Incredible Mr. Limpett movie. This modification may violate emission warranties as well as EPA noise levels. This second issue may prompt DC to fix the problem if the noise goes above EPA standards.

    My wife took delivery today of a 2001 AWD Limited. When I get home Thursday, I will investigate some more.

    Ken
  • josaljosal Posts: 2
    I just picked up my EX and love it. I should just give up and be happy BUT... Paid 25,600. (including the ad fees that we didn't expect) salesman claims it $47 over invoice. Of course we had to add 8.25% tax. Salesman gave us copy of invoice but it is a copy and how do I really know if it is the real one! Anybody get a better price?? I have a case of buyers regret that we could have got a better deal!
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    All DC ads state that the EX is not eligible for discounts, rebates, incentives. When you get an EX for less than MSRP, the purchase is a very good deal.
  • Just purchased and picked up a I&I EX with side airbags for $25,807.00. This was roughly $150 over invoice which I consider to be a very good deal. Live in NH so there is no sales tax! The dealer was great to do business with and my wife and I love the van. This is our first mini van. The EX is simply a great vehicle with great features for a great price.
  • fly6869fly6869 Posts: 17
    We bought a T&C EX inferno red for $26081 final price including tax. Used frieds and family coupon and recent graduate discount. Dealer called days later and asked us to pay them the discounts back because they didn't know that the EX was not to be sold with any discounts. Had to have an attorney call them to get title work sent because they wanted their money or the van back. After all this, the van with 800 miles developed an oil leak. The dealer today had to replace the power stearing rack. Hopefully not a sign of things to come. By the way, a dealer here in Ohio is already making plans to install leather seats in some EX's.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Too bad you didn't have the attorney tell them to refund every penny you paid. They made money on the EX they sold you although it may not have been as much as they would like.
  • kcapri13kcapri13 Posts: 1
    I bought my wife a T&C EX for MSRP with 1.9% Fin. for 48 MO. I know Chrysler made a mistake, but I wasn't going to tell them. By the way it's a great van.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And as either a Chrysler T&C or Dodge GC it is an excellent buy at MSRP. Please let us know how you like the power liftgate and the modern design passenger power sliding door that also works very well manually.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Making a Marketable Minivan

    Steve
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