Last post on Mar 23, 2008 at 8:43 AM
You are in the Honda Odyssey
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Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town and Country, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Van
#473 of 7485 Chrysler 41TE transmisson
Jul 28, 2001 (10:43 am)
Today I took our new 2001 PT Cruiser into our local 5 star Chrysler dealership to have the 3k mile oil/filter change done. While there I asked Dave, one of the service managers about the causes of the notorious Chrysler transmission over the last decade and half and why so many have either failed or have serious problems.
He said the blame could be passed around to many places. He said Chrysler has re-done their transmissions over three times since the first minivans rolled out in the 80s and the current version used on the 2001-2002 model DC vans are "bullet-proof". According to Dave, a big part of the problem has been the owners of the vans with failed transmissions because many of them fail to properly service and maintain their vehicles. For example, he said not too long ago a customer came in and complained about his van's transmission and when asked about how often he serviced his car, he said "what service???".
Obviously, Chrysler did not make the best transmission on the planet to put into their vehicles. However, I would be willing to bet that the rate of failure in 2001 models is much lower than it was during the re-design in 1996.
Carelton, I think your right when you say the Ody's weight really ties down the powerful engine Honda put into the van. I think the same can be said for the 2001 long-base DC minivans as well. When I test drove a 2001 Town & Country Limited with the new 3.8L V6 it was only moderately more powerful than the 158hp 3.3L V6 in our 2000 Town & Country LX. In that respect, I was rather dissapointed.
#474 of 7485 Chrysler 3.5L V6
Jul 28, 2001 (10:58 am)
If Chrysler would really like to boast about having the fastest and most powerful V6 engine offered in any minivan, it should reconsider offering the 3.5L V6 engine as an option on the 2002 Town & Country Limited and 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan ES. Offering this powerful engine would attract people who not only like to enjoy the driving experience but also those who carry heavy loads and tow boats, trailers, ect.
The 3.5L V6 engine is the same one that is optional on the Dodge Intrepid ES and standard on the Chrysler 300m/Prowler. A salesman and friend at the local Chrysler dealership said that with without any computer speed-chip limiting the 3.5-liter SOHC 24-valve V6, it could reach speeds of at least 150 mph. This would be a great option for AWD long-wheel base DC minivans which are heavier than the regular long-wheel base models. It also might allow these vans to tow significantly more than they currently are able to.
Hopefully, DC might choose to put this babby into future models. It would really bring a new level of performance to the minivan market.
#475 of 7485 jimj139: Dodge and Ody comparison
Jul 28, 2001 (4:31 pm)
Your comparison above is right on. Dodge EX has quieter and smoother ride and better sound system. Ody EX feels more spacious, has better engineered second and third row seats, and comes standard with climate control, traction control and the homelink system. The Ody overall is a more functional van. I think the Honda design team must have done some extensive consumer research before they designed the current Ody.
Jul 28, 2001 (4:51 pm)
Re-do as in updated. The transmission has never been completely redesigned from the ground up. What they have basically done is to look at what has failed, and then to tried to strengthen it so that it doesn't fail again. This has worked only marginally well at best, which is why it has taken them literally decades to work it out.
Although part of the reason for the transmission failures was due to improper maintenance or the wrong fluids being used (much of the time by the Chrysler service department), the fact remains that the transmission design was never really good in the first place and many owners were having problems within the first 20K-40K miles of their vehicles' lives. That's practically brand new and obviously something terribly wrong there. Chrysler knows this, and the owners who have had problems know this.
In any case, we have a seperate Chrysler minivans transmission problems discussion topic, so feel free to carry on this discussion in there if you wish.
The 3.8L V6 engine is not new, simply updated with more horsepower and torque. It's still the basic same 165hp 3.8L V6 engine that my '94 Grand Voyager LE AWD has. I found the 3.3L V6 sluggish in comparison though and the 3.0L V6 was worse, even in the non-"Grand" version of the vans. In my experience (and I've had plenty of experience with Chrysler loaner minivans) the fuel economy from the smaller engines isn't much better/worse than the 3.8L V6 either. The 3.8 in my van is good, but it runs out of breath in certain conditions.
BTW, what does the "(16/M/CA)" sig at the end of nearly each of your messages mean?
Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
Jul 28, 2001 (6:56 pm)
16/M/CA = age/sex/location, very popular in online gaming conversations.
#478 of 7485 3.3L V6 Performance
Jul 28, 2001 (8:55 pm)
If only the weight of these new vans was improved, I think their powerful engines would shine even more. Especially in the case of the Ody's 3.5L V6 and the T&C's 3.8L V6. While the 3.8L engine is not new, it certainly does feel that way when compared to the 3.3L V6 in my 00 T&C, as it is much smoother and quieter under hard excelleration.
Drew, under what conditions do you feel your 165hp 3.8L V6 "runs out of breath"?
The fastest I've ever taken our van was to 85 on the freeway but only for about two minutes. I was worried about cops and possibly getting a ticket, and my parents would not be to happy about that. Anyway, the van seems to be very comfortable at 80mph but as you near 85 it seems to be nearing the end of it's threshhold.
However, I have two friends who have take then their DC minivans slightly over 100mph on several occasions. One of these friends has a 96 Grand Caravan LE and the other has a 98 Grand Caravan SE, both with the 3.3L V6 engine. On optimal conditions I think the 3.3L could pull 110mph, but that might be pushing it.
What do the Ody owners have to say about the 3.5L VTEC engine in their vans? Any performance comments? Problems?
00 T&C LX
#479 of 7485 3.5 V6 Performance
Jul 28, 2001 (10:43 pm)
I personally have taken my Ody to 95 mph (Vegas run), at which point it's running about 2500 rpm, seems to rev quite happy still (V-TEC kicking in I guess).
Jul 29, 2001 (10:59 am)
Adam, it runs out of breath when climbing up a grade at higher speeds (48-60mph). I have to literally floor it if I want to pick up more speed. More torque at higher rpms would be nice. However, what I usually do is pick up speed at the bottom of the hill and then maintain a steady speed, around 90 km/hr. No problems doing that.
I also find that the transmission ratios between 3rd and 4th gears also a bit far apart. When driving up to one particularly ski resort, I have to constanty switch between 3rd and 4th. It revs too high in 3rd gear, but starts bogging down in 4th gear. Eventually I just stopped using the van to go up to this ski hill The new vans appear to be improved in this area.
I've taken the van up to 145 km/hr, but only for about 30 seconds and on a flat, smooth, and deserted road. However, at that speed, and in fact above 110-120 km/hr, the front end doesn't feel very stable. Almost as if it's starting to lift. No surprise there. Oh yes, and the wind noise is quite noticable at those speeds . In contrast, the MB SUV that I also drive feels as planted at 145 km/hr on the same stretch of road that it does at 50 km/hr. Since I don't typically drive at such high speeds, I'm not too concerned about this.
DTKWOK, thanks I figured as much, but I just wanted to make sure
Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
#481 of 7485 Adam: DC Transmissions: I was told the same thing by 2 Dodge Service Writers
Jul 29, 2001 (5:30 pm)
No problems encountered with transmission of DC minivans owned by people who had proper, routine maintenance performed. (I asked each of them when the other one was not there while getting 30,000 mile service performed).
BTW, how does the gas mileage and performance with PT Cruiser compare with the T&C? I would suspect the mileage of PT Cruiser slightly higher with performance of T&C the winner. I would like to see a DC minivan with PT Cruiser styling from the front doors forward (enlarged to the same size as T&C/GC) AND with at least the 3.3L V6.
#482 of 7485 carleton1: no problems with DC transmissions?
Jul 29, 2001 (8:11 pm)
"No problems encountered with transmission of DC minivans owned by people who had proper, routine maintenance performed."
Based on what evidence?
I babied our tranny in our '94. First, we got the towing package for the extra duty AT cooling, but never towed. Second, we made sure to always come to a complete stop before changing gears (our mechanic strongly urged this). Third, we changed the AT fluid every 15k miles, and yes with the correct fluid (our mechanic specializes in DC minivans and can give lectures on tranny care).
Result? Almost made it to 50k miles. Granted, this was over 7 years of predominantly short, 1 mile or less stop-and-go trips.
Based on incomplete evidence I've heard over the years, your likelihood of having a pre-98 DC minivan tranny fail is affected by the following factors:
* Luck. Some failed in the first year no matter what owners did.
* Driving severity. Lots of long trips on flat, uncrowded highways won't strain the tranny as much as soccer mom trips. When I hear of pre-98 DC minivans going 100k+ miles with the original AT I usually find they were predominantly highway miles. Too bad DC minivans are bought more by soccer moms than traveling salesmen.
* Driving like an adult. Don't strain the AT by, for example, switching from R to D before the minivan has stopped.
* AT maintenance every 15k miles with the correct fluid.
* Keeping tranny cool. Good: heavy duty cooler. Bad: Towing, especially uphill.