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Old 09-26-2004, 07:03 PM   #1
thunderbird1100
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My Beef with Daimler Chrysler

Okay, My family has owned a 2000 Town and Country Limited FWD 3.8 for about 5 years now. In this time, it has given us more problems than every other vehicle we have owned combined for the past 20 years.

We bought it back in early 2000 as a 2000 model for $31k out the door (which at the time was a good deal considering the MSRP was around $33k on it). Being it was going to be our first American Vehicle since our late 80's Mercury Wagon (which also gave us a lot of trouble) we decided to get the extended 100k mile warrenty (which thank god has saved us thousands). We were also looking at the Odyssey at the time and that was our first choice but unfortunatley these were impossible to obtain and you had to be put on a 4-6 month waiting list. So we went on and bought the Town And Country. The only options we didn't get was AWD and the DVD system. The car right now is pushing 79k miles. Since we have bought it we've had numerous problems including :

Tranny replacement twice (once at 60,000 and it's being replaced right now again as we speak at 79,000)
Speed-Sensor replacement
Cruise Control replacement
Various lines that were leaking
Volume control knob on steering wheel replaced 3 times
Fake wood on center console popping off
Rearview Mirror falling off
Plastic wire holder from rearview mirror to a little box falling off
Alarm malfunctioning on numerous occasions
Spare Tire coming loose about every 2-3 months and squeaking (needs to be tightened)
Squeaky rear end (leaf springs i suppose)
Stock tires (that came with the car) worn off in less than 20,000 miles
A/C vents coming out of place in numerous locations

That's about all I can think of for the moment without resorting to our repair record on it. Does Dodge/Chrysler normally build cars like this? Because it's annoying having it spending as much time in the shop as it does. We've decided to get rid of it once the warrenty runs out right before 100k miles. We've looked at the new 2005 Chrysler Town and Country Limited to see what it had to offer this one didnt. I was suprised to find out the build quality has worsened even more-so than ours. The seats have less padding and are very uncomfortable (feel like bus vinal seats). The door and side trim are just plastic and not suede/cloth like it is on our T/C and they STILL use the same enigne/trans as we have in ours. Not only all of this, but this one is actually about $2k more MSRP than our's was. This angers me how this company is ran and it's (at least vans) vehicles are built and charged.

We've basically decided on a new 2005 Odyssey Touring with the 3.5 and 255hp with cylidner shut off tech for better gas mileage (going back to our usual Honda-line). After looking at pictures of the Odyssey online I can visually see how much better the interior is and obviously it being much better well made. Also, we know it will be VERY realible as all Hondas we've owned in the past have never given us one hiccup.

Basically I want to know if anyone else on here has experienced these problems or other problems with Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth vehicles you have owned in the past or still own.
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Old 09-26-2004, 10:22 PM   #2
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well...our 2003 caravan has been working great...although the tranny was kinda funky at 14K...turned out it was just something with the tranny cooler.

but we've had little to no problems with our Odyssey (2002)...its a great van.

sorry to hear about your problems
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:24 AM   #3
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Why would you even CONSIDER the SAME model car after all of that? Ugh...
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:36 AM   #4
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My wife's '94 T&C has been total crap. We are now having to replace the engine. Just recently had to change the fuel pump, windshield wiper motor, several "cheap" hoses, etc.

We will not be getting one of these vehicles again, the amount of repairs we've had to do makes me want to simply lease a good family car for my wife.
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Old 09-27-2004, 04:39 PM   #5
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A lot of the minivans they made were problematic.

OTOH, my '02 PT Cruiser ahs had zero problems in 52k miles. And I mean ZERO problems, mecahnical or trim related. Nothing falling off or falling apart, nothing rattling, nothing failing. And we use it pretty hard, from autocrossing it in the first year, to hauling lumber and heavy tools, to long distance driving.

From what I hear in PT owners associations, our story is pretty typical, though some of the owners of the ones withthe automatics from the minivans have had trans problems similar to the minivan owners. Ours has a 5 speed manual, so I'm not concerned.
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Old 09-27-2004, 04:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaChao
Why would you even CONSIDER the SAME model car after all of that? Ugh...

Because ALL cars can break, which is why there are independant service shops that work on any brand. I can find similar horror stories for Toyotas and Hondas, as well as BMWs and Mercedes. If we only wanted a car brand that didn't break, we wouldn't be able to own any cars at all.

True, some are more likely than others, but the truth is, there are no guarantees. Who's to say that if his family bought an Odessey, that that woudn't be the example that was in the shop most of the time?
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Old 10-03-2004, 07:31 AM   #7
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I've never heard a story about anyone having ANY big problems with imports. But I have heard many about Domestics. I had 2 American cars with MAJOR problems in the first year.

CAR 1 - 1994 CHRYSLER INTREPID
Near the end of it's first year (bought it brand new), the auto transmission stopped switching gears. It was still under warrenty so they replaced it. Never thought a cars tranmission would go that fast under regular driving conditions. I put that one down under bad luck.

CAR 2 - 1995 PONTIAC GRAND AM
This one was for the wife. Just over one year of owning this one, the engone (engine) seized and had to be replaced. Still under warrenty. Bad luck again???

By now the Intrepid had had many other smaller problems but quite a few of them so I ended up selling both pieces of crap and bought a Honda Accord. Never a single problem since I got it. When I was younger I had a Honda Civic that I drove to 500k KM (300k miles) without any major problems and still sold it for decent cash.
Based on my experiences I'm staying away from American cars. I do have to admit though that the Caddy CTS is sweat.
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Old 10-03-2004, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisV
Because ALL cars can break, which is why there are independant service shops that work on any brand. I can find similar horror stories for Toyotas and Hondas, as well as BMWs and Mercedes. If we only wanted a car brand that didn't break, we wouldn't be able to own any cars at all.

True, some are more likely than others, but the truth is, there are no guarantees. Who's to say that if his family bought an Odessey, that that woudn't be the example that was in the shop most of the time?

That is very true Chris V. Honda right now is having some issues with thier auto trannies in some of their cars (nothing like Mopar...but still problems). Also, remember the Honda Passport and Acura SLX? Basically Honda just copied some Isuzu products and put them in their line (SUV craze). Long story short, Honda only had these vehicles for 2-3 years because they tended to get so problematic they decided it would be better for the company to just drop the line rather than take a bad rep.
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxurySeeker
I've never heard a story about anyone having ANY big problems with imports.

So all those independant honda and Toyota specialists stay in business by doing oil changes and brake pads, eh? if you've never heard of anyone having bigger problems with imports, you simply havne't been paying attention to the world around you. My neighbor wants me to help him replace teh engine in hisAcura RL, because I have an engine hoist. Now, why might he need to replace an engine?

And your anecdotal evidence can be countered by mine. My PT has 54k miles on it and has never had a single problem, as I noted. My SVT COntour had zero problems during the years I owned it. Neither dsid my '96 Ford Ranger. My wife's '96 beretta was traded in on the PT, after she had put 96k miles on it, with the ONLY problem being an alternator replacement at 50k miles.

So now, who's evidence says which is more reliable?

That's right, neither.

I've owned over a hundred cars in teh last 25+ years, though most ahve been used, and many of them have been customs and race cars. But I havne' seen any empirical evidence during that time to say that any of them are automatically going to be more reliable. I love Hondas, even thouigh the ONLY one I had (an '86 CRX Si) cost me an arm and a leg to keep running, and never ran right for very long. it was VERY fun when it worked, but some little problem or another was always tripping it up, and never the same problem twice.
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Old 10-06-2004, 01:14 AM   #10
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You're totally right. Every car can have problems and there's no way of determining which maker is more reliable. I know that there are many american cars that run the way they are supposed to. Unfortunately, my experiences weren't as favorable. I have heard of friends having problems with their imports but I have never personally known anyone that has had a MAJOR problems with any import in their first 3 years of ownership (not to say that is doesn't happen), it just seems to be less likely. Personally I experienced MAJOR probelms with my american made cars and have also heard a handful of stories about MAJOR problems that personal friends have experienced. The truth is that most people generally view imports as being more reliable then american cars, now weither that's just perception or fact is agrueable. I know that there are alot of diehard domestic fans out there that won't agree to this and everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'm not trying to start any agreements. All I'm trying to say is that due to my bad experiences I will be very cautious if I ever decide to by a american made automobile. I'm actually considering a CADDY CTS right now and if it wasn't for my past experiences I would have bought it already. Instead, I am scared to purchase it even though I love the car and I'm looking into others just to be safe.
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