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a dad
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
any dodge caravans owners have opinions on them?? looking at a 01 caravan se, 69,500 miles, around $8000. mechanic owned as well....its just so much cheaper than a sienna or an oddysey (which we'd love, but not at $15-18K). would love to hear pros and cons, good experiences and bad. thanks in advance.
 

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occupation : Foole
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billybobzia said:
any dodge caravans owners have opinions on them?? looking at a 01 caravan se, 69,500 miles, around $8000. mechanic owned as well....its just so much cheaper than a sienna or an oddysey (which we'd love, but not at $15-18K). would love to hear pros and cons, good experiences and bad. thanks in advance.
Ummm, $15 to $18K for comparable (70,000 miles) '01 Siennas and Oddyseys (sp???) ??? I find that kinda hard to believe....if true, makes $8K for the Chrysler "product" seem reasonable......almost, kinda...if ya REALLY want a Chrysler "product"...have never had a Caravan, but have never had a "good" experience with ANY formerly owned Chrysler "product".....NOR Ford,... and somewhat limited satisfaction with GM.....American auto companies are still lagging as to quality, even compared to Japanese vehicles assembled HERE in the US (so you can't blame it on the cheap labor...)
 

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a dad
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fuelish said:
Ummm, $15 to $18K for comparable (70,000 miles) '01 Siennas and Oddyseys (sp???) ??? I find that kinda hard to believe....if true, makes $8K for the Chrysler "product" seem reasonable......almost, kinda...if ya REALLY want a Chrysler "product"...have never had a Caravan, but have never had a "good" experience with ANY formerly owned Chrysler "product".....NOR Ford,... and somewhat limited satisfaction with GM.....American auto companies are still lagging as to quality, even compared to Japanese vehicles assembled HERE in the US (so you can't blame it on the cheap labor...)
Take a look, thats what they (hondas and toytotas) are going for in Denver. Believe me, i'd be driving one if they were somewhat reasonable. i really don't know if i want a Chrysler, but consumer reports gives em a decent rating (thats why i want some feedback). however my ford truck (97 f150) has been unbelievably reliable (now at 103K, more than any car i have ever owned, including honda, subaru and toyota). Also there was a great NPR segment on recently about how the American cars were so much more reliable than in the past, but the biggest problem was getting the public to believe the facts (don't know how they were gathered, could spur another argument, but thats besides the point). anyway, you seem to be a perfect example (and me too at this point, but shifting, i think, Thanks to NPR) of what we think about American cars.
 

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caravans are known for tranmission problems. Tranny shop next door to my work has them and windstars in all the time. Not unheard of for the tranny to fail after 40kmiles. My advise is to somehow go with toyota, or honda. Stay away from the older nissan quests because they were made along side with Ford. If you cant tell im very anti ford, chrysler and gm. Honda and Toyota just make better automobiles.

Take care,

Jay
 

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a dad
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Please reply if you actually have or have had a newer caravan.....i really don't need any stories about someones brothers, ex-girlfriends cousins who knew a guy that sold her weed that drove a caravan.... i know, as does everyone else, that the older ones werent the greatest..trying to get some real life feedback from people that drive them. thanks
 

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billybobzia said:
Please reply if you actually have or have had a newer caravan.....i really don't need any stories about someones brothers, ex-girlfriends cousins who knew a guy that sold her weed that drove a caravan.... i know, as does everyone else, that the older ones werent the greatest..trying to get some real life feedback from people that drive them. thanks
Wow someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning
 

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rack admirer
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Extended Warranty

I have a had 97 grand caravan since new in the family fleet. It uses the same 3.8 motor that you may be considering. It has given great utility as the seats can come out when cubic cargo must be moved. Drives good in new england snowstorms. "Rear air" is a must option if you are going to have humans back there.
Now the caviat. We bot it with 100K warranty. Under such, both heads needed servicing, then the motor blew at 98.9K. In my fleet, I have a 209K honda and a 155K toyota with original engines and drivetrain, so I would be pissed to pay for a new motor at merely 100. The steering racks and trannys are suspect, but I haven't had trouble. (These may be the same as in your '01) Check it. Also under warranty, we had horn relay (pricey, don't laugh), and some other on board CPU replaced. When I was shopping for a pick up truck, I was amazed at the number of 70Kish Dakotas with new trans or motors in the want ads.
I'd grade mine a c+, F if I had to buyt those warranty parts, but that is what you are paying for.
 

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contains quinine
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used to be a used car sales guy...

So I havn't owned one... But I worked at a Chysler dealer til '99.

If you pay 8k for a dodge van and have to replace the motor and tranny you're still off for less than an import.

That said, most of the tranny problems were pre-96 (in my experience). Everyone at the dealer with a family had a van and they all loved them and had good reliability. My parents owned two, my sister owns a '02, and all three of those vans ran great.
 

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WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE!?!
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Not sure if they are still doing it, but Honda is pretty much blowing out new Odyssey's as the 05 models are all new.

My brother's wife leased one loaded (i.e., EX with navigation, leather, etc) for like $300/month for 24 months. Forget what the down was, but I do remember the total lease cost being about 9k for two years on a $31,000 van.
And the Odyssey is actually a nice vehicle, which is saying a lot coming from this minivan-hater.
 

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Ride what you want!!
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I have a 97 grand voyager (same thing). Bought it used with 30k miles on it, it now has around 120K on it and those transmission worries never surfaced. The biggest thing I've had replaced is the water pump as a preventative measure when I put a new timing belt on after 110k miles since it was already apart.

It does one weird thing.... On hot days, when I unlock and open the front door, the windshield wipers wipe once. Weird.

I use it as my mtb car. I remove the rear seat and I can put my XL Blur into the back, standing up without taking the front wheel off.

george
 

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owned a grand voyager, bought it in 2000. was a 1998, less that 27,000 miles on it. in three years it proceeded to go through one exhaust line (parts were splitting at the seams), one front hub, one serpentine and tensioner, and finally a transmission that had a hole in the case - from the inside. chrysler didnt want to stand by there product, gave us some excuse that the warranty was invalid since it was sold in canada, which we werent informed by the dealer, all before 52,000 miles were logged.
others have had great results, not me. i now own a mazda. zoom zoom.
 

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Love my 2002

I've got a 2002 Caravan SE, I think its great. I've put about 36,000 miles on it with no mechanical problems yet. I like the thought that went into a lot of the details-like the adjustable cup holder. Compared to the old cluncker cars I used to drive its very suave and comforatable. If I had one wish it would be for a little trunk for tools, battery cables, etc...

Scott
 

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george_da_trog said:
I have a 97 grand voyager (same thing). Bought it used with 30k miles on it, it now has around 120K on it and those transmission worries never surfaced. The biggest thing I've had replaced is the water pump as a preventative measure when I put a new timing belt on after 110k miles since it was already apart.

It does one weird thing.... On hot days, when I unlock and open the front door, the windshield wipers wipe once. Weird.

I use it as my mtb car. I remove the rear seat and I can put my XL Blur into the back, standing up without taking the front wheel off.

george
We have a '97 grand voyager too. And from time to time we have simliar electrical glitches such as the wipers going on for no reason. Nothing major has happened yet.
 

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(enter witty phrase here)
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billybobzia said:
any dodge caravans owners have opinions on them?? looking at a 01 caravan se, 69,500 miles, around $8000. mechanic owned as well....its just so much cheaper than a sienna or an oddysey (which we'd love, but not at $15-18K). would love to hear pros and cons, good experiences and bad. thanks in advance.
We have a '97 grand voyager and have had some problems with it. The '96 thru '00 or '01 have been known to have transmission problems. While others on here have said they haven't had a problem, go ask any transmission shop and they will tell you it's very common. The trans was redesigned in the ealry '00's and I believe the problems have been taken care of. I'd suggest looking into it. We had to have ours rebuilt this year at 74,000 miles.

We like it overall. Has more room (the grand) than any other minivan out there. We got it at a great price, even with the cost of the new trans, it was cheaper than anything comparable.

It's also very poor on front brakes (front disk rear drum). Should have been disk all around. Autozone lifetime warranty brake pads come in very handy!

Also recently needed:
a new water pump
cooling fan transistor (these had problems in the '90s as well but were corrected)
serpentine belt and tensioner
 

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My rent's own a 98' Plymouth Grand Voyager (same as a Caravan) with the 3.8L V6 in it.

It has approximately 88,000 miles on it, and has had some issues.

One of the biggest problem we've had.. is the stock shocks went bad really fast, and the A/C went out on it. The compressor's fine, but the Receiver/Hydrator failed (somehow).

Keep in mind this's still a sub-100,000 mile vehicle here...

As a whole, it's been pretty darned reliable. It's had a few quirks here and there. The ABS light intermittantly comes on.. and we can't figure out why (even had a scan tool on it to pull codes and nothing comes up).

I drive a 1995 Ford Thunderbird with the 289 V-8 in it.. I have 156,000 miles on it.. and it's been more reliable than the 88,000 mile Dodge.

I'd say steer clear if you can. Some of them have reached over 300,000 miles... and others crap out at like 65,000 miles. Seems to be a quality control issue to me... as it is with most American-Made cars. I'd still be driving my Saab 900 if it didnt finally break on me (broke at over 400,000 miles... original engine & head gasket!).

I'd say go Japanese or European if you can. A Honda Odyssey may be ugly.. but they'll LAST.

-Matt
 
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