Last post on Oct 23, 2006 at 1:11 AM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
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Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Town and Country, Van
#4030 of 4276 Why Consumer Reports says stay away?
Jun 16, 2006 (9:36 am)
Im not sure were exactly to post this but I guess here will do since you all are familiar with problems. I was looking at the GC used, and when I went to do some research in Consumer Reports it says Used cars to avoid, Dodge Grand Caravan for years 2000 through 2003. It doesn't say WHY, but that people should avoid them.
Can anyone tell me what typical problems occur with these years and why CR would list it as a used car bad bet?
#4031 of 4276 Re: Why Consumer Reports says stay away? [sc00bs]
Jun 16, 2006 (9:44 am)
Hmmm, I find that kind of odd. Our 2003 has suffered exactly three faults (itemized below) in its first 66,000 miles.
1) A dead OEM battery, which I replaced with a DieHard
2) A failed wheel speed sensor which disabled the ABS and the Traction Control, fixed by the dealership for about $200
3) A failed bulb in the center brake light at the top of the tailgate, replaced during the mandated annual New Hampshire inspection
The sum and total of all unscheduled repairs on our 2003 has yet to hit $300, so by my standards, that van can well be called Extremely Reliable.
#4032 of 4276 Re: Why Consumer Reports says stay away? [sc00bs]
Jun 16, 2006 (11:21 am)
There are a lot of faults with Consumer Reports surveying methodology, too numerous to get into in detail, the most glaring of which is the inherent bias in most of their subscribers, and subscribers are the only database from which they draw surveys.
I do subscribe, mostly to get their non-reliability evaluations, so I do get and fill out their annual survey.
The worst part of the survey is they do not discriminate in an objective manner between severe and minor issues, do not ask any information about the cost or down time of the particular issue, etc. Their reliability question is only a very vague to paraphrase "Did you have any repairs that you deemed serious" and then have you list the various components. Check out truedelta.com and click on the "Think Pieces" section for some good essays.
Our 1996 Caravan (Yes horrors the first model year of a major redesign!) has served us well (AC repairs has been its only significant downfall) and it is now too old to even be considered in the CR survey.
Bottom line, they are good vehicles, and a bargain when purchased used, because they are so numerous.
#4033 of 4276 Re: Why Consumer Reports says stay away? [sc00bs]
Jun 16, 2006 (10:55 pm)
We have a 01 DGC EX that was purchased used in Sep. 2003, w/37K for just under $16,000 before taxes etc. Our van has been very reliable and we have never been stranded or inconvenience To date this is what we have had done both regular and non regular maintenance.
1) Replaced both, front driver and passenger, power window regulators and motors. (Right after purchase and covered under warranty) Total cost was around $600. Only paid $100 deductible.
2) Gas cap. This only cost $12.00 for the part, but close to $90.00 to read the code. Total was just under a hundred to which we paid out of pocket.
3) Replaced front link, sway bar; link-sway eliminator; bushing-sway eliminator and cushion, front sway bar at 52K. Total in parts was $173.12. Don't remember total bill, but everything was covered under warranty. We only paid $100.00 deductible.
4) Battery replaced for just under $100.00 at around 55K. Paid out of pocket.
5) Had latch on liftgate replaced, upgraded computer software and adjusted the liftgate. Also, had outer tire rods replaced on both wheels at 74K. Total price was $451.25. Everything was covered under warranty, so we just paid $100.00 deductible
6) Complete brake job including turning all four rotors for $450.00 at 74K. Paid out of pocket.
7) Complete trans. flush for $89.00 at dealer at 45K.
8) Regular oil changes every 3K.
So, we have paid around $1,039.00 for all routine and none routine maintence. (This doesn't include oil changes). We definitely got our money's worth by purchasing the extended warranty. Our van has been very reliable, especially since it was the first year new model.
#4034 of 4276 TURN SIGNAL PROBLEM- 99 CARAVAN
Jun 17, 2006 (1:32 am)
Need some direction with a problem with turn signals. First I need to state that 4 way hazard lights work all the time and all the bulbs are good. My problem is that from time to time, with no noticeable pattern, the turn signals do not work. Sometimes they do not work at all, at other times they work but stop. Usually, if I turn on the 4 way hazards and then turn them off, the turn signals will work the next time I need them. Sometimes this trick does not work. I have 108,000 miles on car and do not want to spend hours of labor to solve problem. Anyone familiar with this problem? Thank you! David
Jun 17, 2006 (10:57 am)
I have a 2001 Grand Caravan with 90,000 on it. Its been a very reliable vehicle but lately the speedometer has begun to fluctuate and the check engine light is on. I did the on off on off on check with the ignition switch and got a P0601 code from the computer. I took it to my local mechanic and after checking it over he says the PCM needs replacing. I believe this is the module I know as the ECM. Are these the same thing? By the way I have also had the intermittent failure of the drivers window to operate. I will have to read the previous posts on this problem.
#4036 of 4276 Re: Why Consumer Reports says stay away? [sc00bs]
Jun 17, 2006 (5:19 pm)
You can look the CR "Detailed Reliability Ratings" (the tables with red/open/black circles)where you will find these models have higher than average problem reports from the member surveys done the previous year. Roy
#4037 of 4276 Gen3 Pulsing Brakes...
Jun 18, 2006 (11:40 am)
As many of y'all know, we have a 1998 DGC 3.8 with the Touring Package (heavier suspension and 16" wheels), and ever since the van was new it has suffered from a Pulsing Brake pedal. This van now has over 115,000 miles on the clock and as such has been through three sets of 11" MOPAR rotors as well as two top of the line NAPA sets. Each set has developed a light pulsing in the brake pedal within a few hundred miles of installation, with the problem gradually getting worse over the next 20,000 to 30,000 miles. In every case I was forced to perform a complete brake job even though the pads were far from gone. Now however, I think (hope is more likely) that I've solved the problem once and for all.
Sliced and diced every which way I could, the failure mode of the previous sets of pads and rotors led me to believe that our 1998 has been suffering from heat related warpage of the rotors, and so about a month ago I launched my quest for cooler running brake components. Here's what I found:
Rotors: Power Stop: High-Performance Cross-Drilled Rotor (about $70 per)
Pads: Performance Friction Brakes: CarbonMetallic (about $41 per axle)
Total cost for the parts (with shipping) was just under $200.
I installed them last weekend and now have just over 500 miles on them. So far at least, they stop as smooth as the brakes on our 2003. Note: by 500 miles on the previous sets I could already feel the early vestiges of the warping problem.
To see the results check out the "Caravan Stuff" folder on my Yahoo! photo page: http://photos.yahoo.com/shipo
FWIW, the 11" brakes that are on our 1998 only came from the factory on minivans with 15" or 16" wheels, a smaller 10" rotor was standard on vans with the 14" wheels and I have no idea how well those deal with the heat generated from stopping these vehicles.
FWIW #2, as illustrated by a couple of other pictures in the Caravan Stuff folder, the 11" brakes on our 2003 are substantially thicker and as such have a much greater thermal mass which is better able to deal with the heat generated from stopping. With over 66,000 miles on the 2003 we've pretty much confirmed that the heavier components on that van don't suffer from warped rotors under the very same driving conditions.
Iíll keep y'all posted as to the continued smoothness and pulse free driving that I expect to get out of them. I suppose this post will be worth it if even one of y'all have been dealing with the same issues and it helps solve them for your too.
#4038 of 4276 Minivan brakes.
Jun 18, 2006 (3:19 pm)
My folks are empty nesters, and are on their second minivan. Dad has a lead foot, so he burns through brakes like there's no tomorrow. First brake job, and he just puts Brembo blanks (rotors), and high-perf brake pads. I suspect a lot of these companies undersize brakes, not taking into account that a van that's loaded down with a thousand pounds of people and gear NEEDS huge brakes.
#4039 of 4276 on my 4th set
Jun 19, 2006 (2:45 pm)
$th set of fronts and 2nd on rear in less than 36000 miles