GM joins Ford in jettisoning the minivan market

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hls wrote:


Probably the Windstar, didn't that use the AXOD?

Very true.
nate
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hls wrote:

SEems like ford is STILL having transmission failures... buddy of mine has a 5spd 3.0L ranger, tranny went at 12,000, took them 42 days to fix it, and he just got it back yesterday. another buddy just bought an escape to head out west, brand new, 7000k, tranny went, doesn't know if he'll make it out west by new years...
at work, one ranger 3.0L auto, two tranny failures, one a complete rebuild, truck had less than 80k on it both times. now the other one was an 02, with 220k (talking kilometers here) and it failed, it was also automatic. Thats not real good out of 5 rangers. (3 are 05's, 2 02's). The other 02 only has 120k kms on it, and it hasn't failed yet however.
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I had a 98 Ford windstar that dropped 2 trannies in 28k miles and now have a Honda Odyssey on its 4th tranny at 100k miles. There will be no more mini vans for my family when this one is gone. btw, had a dodge crapavan before the ford and the trannys and AC were good for about 20k miles also. I don't think there is a good minivan.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

The Astro was actually a decent minivan, it just didn't appeal to the soccer mom set due to its truck-based nature. However, it proved to be a good, reliable service vehicle and therefore would probably have lasted forever in soccer mom duty.
Of course, as repeatedly stated earlier in this thread, they aren't made anymore, and there's no new equivalent from any manufacturer of which I'm aware.
nate
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| I had a 98 Ford windstar that dropped 2 trannies in 28k miles and now | have a Honda Odyssey on its 4th tranny at 100k miles. There will be no | more mini vans for my family when this one is gone. btw, had a dodge | crapavan before the ford and the trannys and AC were good for about 20k | miles also. I don't think there is a good minivan. | |
I have a 2000 Safari with 80K miles that has only had maintenance performed on it so far. Transmission was flushed at 60K. Just put the third set of tires on it this month.
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Your experiences could well say more about your driving style than the viability of minivan transmissions. In my 45 years of driving, I've only had one auto trans fail, and it had over 200k miles on it.
Dave
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Hairy wrote:

Not necessarily, just poor vehicle choice - but how was he to know? I dunno about the Odyssey but the Windstar and Caravan trannys were notorious time bombs.
nate
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His trannys seem to consistently go at about 20k. Nobody makes 'em that bad.
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Hairy wrote:

I can easily imagine an AXOD failing that early under "severe service" but not abusive conditions.
nate
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Dave, I have owned 18 vehilces in my life and did not have one tranny problem except on minivans. I have ALL my trannies serviced every 20k miles and drive very easy. Have you done a search on Honda and windstar tranny problems? The 00-01 odyssey was so bad that Honda extended the warranty to 100k on my year model. Now Ford was a different story.....
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I had a 95 Windstar with 170K km on it with no sign of transmission trouble when I traded it on Venture. The Venture had some slipping problems when I traded it on an 03 Windstar.
I asked the opinion of a local well respected transmission shop on which current domestic minivan has the best transmission for pulling my 2500 lb boat. He said they are all "pretty good" and should be ok if they are serviced regularily. Of course the trans cooler is a must. The ford and chev allow you to disable the overdrive when towing, the Chrysler doesn't. Therefore I eliminated the Chrysler.
BTW, I love my Windstar. By far the most comfortable of the big three.
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In other words you don't care if you have a tranny problem, as long as somebody else pays for the repair? ;)
If I could get a discount of several thousands dollars by not getting ANY warranty, I would take the discount. I haven't had a problem with any vehicle, foreign or domestic, in over twenty years.
mike

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On Wed, 27 Dec 2006 13:30:58 -0600, Hairy got out the hammer and chisel and etched in the wall:

Possibly, but those two instances have known issues. The ford FWD 3.0 (?) tranny was known for failure. Also, I've read of several people with the Honda 3.5 engine who've had tranny issues. My wife's VUE with a 3.5 so far is okay, but I'm crossing my fingers. :)
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About as excited as Walmart gets when a corner grocery store closes.
There weren't that many GM and Ford minivan sales to begin with.
Jeff
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I was selling these for a while and we could never get enough Astro vans for the trade. Not only did GM stop making them, they closed the plant in Baltimore to boot. From what I understand the Astro was doing well on the coasts but not elsewhere. I'm sure they could have kept it going somewhere. Boneheads.

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It's kind of amazing, really, that GM is the world's largest company and there are so many markets that they don't even sell to. They don't even care. For instance, they had unreliable junky diesel trucks that nobody would buy. They let that drag on forever. They didn't field a 4-door small (now considered mid-sized) SUV for a long time. They made a half-hearted effort with the stretched S-10, but that was just a pile of junk. They just watched while Jeep and Ford ran away with a huge market. How about this - no extended cab pickup until 1988. 15 years later to the market than the 2nd slowest. How about a competitor to the Mustang? Nope. Police car? Nope. How about something you could use for a Taxi? Nope. How about a low-slung 12,000 lb GVWR truck for rollback service, like an F-450? Nope. Minivan? Nope. V-8-powered rear drive car? Well, yes, at a price much higher than a 300C.
To be fair, though, I do see some markets coming back to them, and Ford doing some of the same kind of ball-dropping that GM used to do. In the 1980's, GM squandered Cadillac's leadership position through a superhuman effort to embrace every kind of mistake possible. It appears that market is coming back around, or at least you could say Lincoln isn't leading any more.
I also think the gas mileage of the 5.3 gas-powered trucks may be a class leader. I'm pretty sure it is.
I think the HHR might be a hit. It may actually be outselling the other entry-level crossovers.
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Actually, the Chevy Impala is used both as a taxi and cop car.
For that matter, Corvettes, Camaros and Tahoes are used as polices vehicles, too.
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The Impala is a horrible police car. The transmission doesn't last and where I live it didn't make it as a taxi either.
I don't know where you live but a Corvette used by police enforcement? Palm Beach or Malibu?

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I am in Ontario, and we have Impala's as Police cars, as well as taxi's. Crown Vic's are also used. So are Tahoe's too.
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Here in Vancouver the Impala is currently popular as an airport cab, but the Toyota Corolla is increasingly becoming very common for in town taxis and even airport use. A few months ago 4 of us each with a checked bag and a carry on, were brought home from the airport in a Corolla. It's large space for a smaller car surprised me; fortunately the three smaller people took the rear seat and I got the very spacious front seat.
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