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Former Dodge Owners...


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Jan 10, 2002
Edmonds, WA
In reading the Avalanche owner's reviews there is a lot of former Dodge owners (Dakota Quad Cab and Ram extended cab). I'm really curious on the following:

1) Why did you buy the Dodge originally?

2) What made you decide to change (most of the Dodge owners are trading in '99 or newer, quite surprising)?

3) Why did you switch manufacturers and go with the Avalanche?

Just curious because by far it is the number one name plate that folks have swapped over from.
I bought a Dodge Quad cab 4x4 when they were first were released in 1997.

This was the first Dodge I ever owned and more than likely the last. When I first seen them I hated them but just like any new vehicle they will grow on you over time.
Prior to purchasing the I owner a S-10 Blazer but I wanted something bigger and I liked the way the Dodge looked at that time and that's way I went the way of the Dodge. Looks aren't everything as I was soon to learn. From that point on all I had was trouble, mainly with the transmission. I had it replaced once while it was still under warrenty. Another time when it ran out and when I trade it in on my Av the transmission pump was getting ready to give out. :mad:

I should have known that once you go Chevy you stay Chevy. I am just glad to back as a Chevy owner especially with my Av!! ;D
This is true, Dodge's are infamous for there lack luster transmissions....my father bought himself a brand new 98' 1500 ram and has basically regreted it ever since....

Everything from leaks, to ball bearing issues...you name it....I told em' get rid of it now and get in a Chevy before it's to late...

I think that is way Dodge is offering that 100,000 mile warrenty on their transmissions for the 2002 models. They are just trying to cover up their short comings on their tranny,s from years past!!
I can honestly say I have never owned a dodge, plymouth, Jeep, chrysler!!!!! ;D ;D
I don't know maybe Dodge has finally got their act together when it comes to tranny's :p

More like an incentive for buying a Dodge knowing they will flip the bill for tranny fixes....no thanks....Chevy till the day I die....
Chief Avalanche Fan said:
In reading the Avalanche owner's reviews there is a lot of former Dodge owners (Dakota Quad Cab and Ram extended cab). ?I'm really curious on the following:

1) ?Why did you buy the Dodge originally?

2) ?What made you decide to change (most of the Dodge owners are trading in '99 or newer, quite surprising)?

3) ?Why did you switch manufacturers and go with the Avalanche?

Just curious because by far it is the number one name plate that folks have swapped over from.
I bought my 2001 Dodge Quad Cab for the towing upgrade from my 2000 Dodge Dakota. The reason for the switch to the Avalanche was to get some more room for my growing family. Why did I switch from Dodge to Chevy? I could have just traded over to a Durango, but the Durango is built on a Dakota frame and the towwing is not that stable with such a small frame. The Avalanche seemed to me to me Towwing Worthy. It is also a Family Vehicle. And finally IT IS WAY COOL TO LOOK AT!

I LOVE MY AVALANCHE and need some mental help because thats all I think about these days!! >:D >:D >:D
I traded in my 2001 Durango before the first year. I had the 5.9 liter that cost me 9 miles per gallon. I found the steering stiff, so stiff my arms were tired after 4 hours of driving. Driving for four hours was fatiguing for some unknown reason, and my eyes would start to close on the straight stretches. The ride was bumpy, there were rattles after a few months. Whenever you went into four wheel drive you came out of it left with a grinding sound from the steering and the front end was wrecked once when I hard steered sharp in four wheel drive. Had good pickup but was noisy. And the payload was less than a mini van. The third seat wasn't comfortable for a dog, and was therefore useless (unless your passenger didn't have any knees). I was happy to get an excellant trade-in value form the Chevy dealer.

Most of all it lacked the outdoor versatility of the AV. I'll never go back. Ever.

I bought a Dodge Ram the first year they came out. I bought it because of the looks. I had it lifted, put bigger tires on it and I really liked that truck. Because of some personality defect, I can't seem to keep a vehicle over two years so I sold it.

After a few more vehicles, I decided to buy another Dodge Ram. It was a 2001 model. I put a two inch lift on it so I could put 33's under it.

On that trucks best day, it got 10.5 mpg. I'm quite sure that my wife's mini-van could have beat it in the quarter. I can't tell you how much I hated that truck. It didn't even last one year.

Inquiring minds want to Know!!

We purchased a new 99 Dodge Ram Quad Cab in April 2000. We wanted a truck for the occasional hauling and to store all of our stuff when traveling. We liked the all four door opening feature (for our two kids), plus it was in our price range. We spent another 2K for a shell and bedrug.

After about a year, I became somewhat dissatified with the performance, and the technology Dodge used in the truck. I mean, using the 318 CI engine with a couple of updates for smog control and fuel deliver was pretty lame. Not to mention the suspension was basically a 60's era design (how pathetic).

Then came the pinging, it would ping all the time. Took it to the dealer, they basically said Dodge knows about this problem, but cannot fix it. If you want to know about the pinging go to abhunter.com and look up pinging. Tons on posts on this issue. Our fix was to run midgrade fuel. .10 cents more per gallon.

About 40k miles the truck started to surge at idle and on the road; the dealer said new transmission ($2K). I said I was not going to pay for a new transmission, and I believed it was the throttle body sensor. His tech said the sensor was good. They cleaned the throttle body and the problem went away.

The other issue I had was safety. My children were exceeding the height of the rear seat and without head rests, I was afraid of an accident causing my child's head to swing back into the glass.

My father-in-law had purchased an Avalanche, and when my wife and I rode in it, we were most impressed.

I decided that in the long run the Dodge was not going to go the 200K without major work.

My wife's family had the GM family discount, the 2.5K cash back, 30K out the door, (including eating $1,500 on the trade-in), plus a whole host of other goodies the truck comes with, and here we are.

So far the truck is wonderful, gas mileage is not that great, but neither was the Dodge.

BTW, when we traded in the Dodge the dealer did not want to take it, seems he already had 4 or 5 Dodge Ram trade-in's n the lot.


Looks like we touched on a sore nerve there buddy. Sorry to hear 'bout your experience. At least your driving an AV now. Glad to see all is well with the AV.

I would hate to get on your bad side. LOL ;D
yes i'm a former dodge ram owner, in fact twice a '96ram 4x4 reg cab with 318, then a '00 ext cab 4x4 360. actually had no problems with my dodges. did have a feww recall early in the '96's live. trades the '96 for the ext cab needed the room. I thought it was the answer, but my little girl still complained about the backe seat not big enough. She was pretty I had a 3" susp lift with 33'' mudds on it brushguard and nerf bars. I got many complements. my wife drives a '99 chevy venture and we love it :B: excellent service & drives awsome, so when i stated looking at a new truck for the room, i kept coming back to the av. it just fits our lifestyle better. the dodges just get poor gas mileage, and as far as pulling the av rates better in most cases. so i'm now a proud chevy av owner with no regrets.
I have always been a Dodge fan. ?Very happy with their service and products. ?I have had 3 minivans and a 99 Dakota Ext cab pickup.

In 98 my wife and I were trying to have a baby. ?I had a 96 Dodge Grand Caravan. ?To save $80 month in car payments and not having a big family to haul around so we got the 99 Dakota Feb 12th 1999. ?2 freeking weeks later we found out we were going to have a baby.

Getting a car seat in the back of the Dakota was tough. ?My daughter is 3 years old now. ?We still need a truck but LOVE the flexibility of transforming when I dont need to haul stuff. ?I have never owned a GM product before but after finding this site and getting a pretty good deal on the AV AND the AV being the ultimate Inspector Gadget car.....May 22 we brought the "Lil" Bundle of Sunset Orange Metallic joy home.

Our only problem was the fact that some cowardly SOB hit the front bumper. ?Did NOT leave his/her name.

I went back to the Dodge dealer cause I had some of my extended warranty left over and all the Dodge save guys came out to drool over it. ?I still like Dodge's but my AV is the most luxurious car I have ever owned.

That's why I switched!!Hope to own a Hummer someday.


I've owned Chevy's since I was 16 years old. Back in 2001 I started a new job which required me to travel quite a bit. I did not want to give up the 4x4, but needed to get a little better mileage than my lifted 1996 Z-71 was delivering. I traded for a new 2001 Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 with the 4.7L V8 and an automatic transmission. From week one it was an unpleasant experience.

After the first week my new Dodge was back in the shop because the transmission would not shift correctly. Worse yet, sometimes it would momentarily lock the drivetrain when downshifting from second to first at light throttle. After MANY trips to TWO dealerships Dodge could not find "the problem." Despite the fact that I knew the problem: Transmission was junk. After many threats, State Statutes waved around, etc, Dodge gave me an extended warranty.

I just learned to live with the crappy transmission. Most of my driving was on the highway anyway---not a lot of shifting. Around 30,000 miles the front end started making squeaks and clunks. Took it in, they adjusted and lubed the truck. Problem went away---for about 5000 miles. We went round and round on this a few times. Final straw was on about round four. I called and said it only made it 3000 miles before it was making noise again. The service manager said "Only made it 3000 miles? This problem is getting worse, bring it in to adjust again. We have no idea why Dakotas are doing this." Apparently this was a common problem on this vehicle. After less than 50,000 miles in about 18 months, I got sick of the squeaks, rattles, transmission, and the constant pinging. I gave up on my Dakota and Dodge. Not likely I will ever go back! :B:

I figure for karma's sake, I should end with something nice: The 4.7L overhead cam engine was very nice (except for the constant pinging which was fixed with Premium gas). Good power. VERY SMOOTH. Even with stock exhaust it sounded (almost) as cool as my Av with Gibson duals!
I bought a 96 Dodge Ram Extended Cab new because
I wanted a pickup and the Ram's had the most interior room and looked great. I've had very little problem with
it and have gotten 6 good years and almost 80K miles.
It's getting to the point where many small things are
going and I'm afraid some big things and so it's time to
trade...(I won't say anything bad about it until my 03' Z71 is delivered and becomes the dealer's problem :D).

I have mostly owned Chevy's (Dad wanted to disown me for buying a :9: Dodge, but we worked it out).
I've been fascinated with the Avalanche since I first read about it well before it came out last year and almost bought one then but held off.

It did come down to a choice between the quad cab Dodge Ram and the Avalanche. I didn't have any hesitation buying another Dodge, but hey, who can turn down the chance to own a Avalanche ;D

I'm now pacing like an expectant father...my Avy is being built this week...let's hope everyone at the factory is having a really "quality" week this week...lots of sleep, alert, and happy.

Happy Trails!
I'm just happy that my experience with dodge wasn't as bad as some of you. My family has been loyal GM buyer for as long as I remember. The only reason I bought a dodge is that I found out my Camaro doesn't like cold rain on a cold road. Pricy lesson to learn. Well, I was looking for a truck at the time but didn't like anything that I saw. Then one day I was at a dealership when a 99 ram sport came in with only 30,000 on it. They had a good price and I was driving a borrowed car so I took it. I didn't now about the tranny problems then.
It was a fun truck, I used it like a truck too. Put it in the ditch a few time during our wonderful minnesota winters but drove right out. I got it stuck once in clay, that sucked.
Then I got married, well, a shortbox, stadard cab will not due if I'm gonna have kids. I planned on trading if for a used silverado crew cab. I ended up at a dealership in Hastings and the saleman proved that I would pay the same for a 2000 silvo or a 2002 Av. Tough decision there. I loved the Av's anyway and my tranny was starting to go. So I figured what the hell, it's fun to be in debt. Two vehicle payments and a wife. The funny thing was that the dealer sold it two days after I traded it in for a grand less than what I payed for it.
That's my story and I'm sticken to it.
hi all

well i had a 2001 (picked up in 2000) 2500 4x4 long bed club cab (4 door). i loved the truck. i could carry anything (y) i got it cuz it had good ground clearance and i loved the looks and size. i lived in wisc when i got it. we (the wife and i) where looking at land and building a house. we could have used the truck for all that stuff. then we moved to castle rock, co (about 20 miles south of denver). land is way to much money so thats out for know :7: getting 13mpg and nothing to carry really didnt seem like a good idea. the av was the prefect middle ground. wife wanted suv with seating for 5. she liked land rover type truck. i wanted truck with bed for carrying dirty stuff and a full sheet of plywood. we got the av and the best of both worlds. with 19mpg its a lot better then my dodge was.

if i do get some land in the mountains (some day) i would still love to get a dodge with a nice cummins under the hood - now thats a real truck >:D
My first vehicle, not counting the 1983 Skylark ?:rolleyes: was a 1993 Dodge Dakota. ?I loved it at first. ?It had a decent ride, the 5.2 L engine made it really move. ?The only real major problems I had with it were corroded wires which had to constantly be replaced. ?I also had a radiator blow a seam on me, and I lost a break line. ?When I lost the break line the vehicle was 9 years old. ?The timing kind of blew too! I was coming off of an exit ramp, after going about 70, and trying to slow down!!! ?:9: Thankfully, it was just the line going to my front driver side break, so I had just enough pressure to slow down. ?In the heat of the moment, I forgot all about the e-break!!! ?:-[ . That still must be one of the most uncomfortable feelings I've ever felt. Hauling down the exit ramp and feeling the break pedal drop to the floor. In the snow, the Dakota also had the tendancy to slide around like a hockey puck. ?I had the two wheel drive long bed, so that didn't help matters much. ?I had 350 lbs. worth of sand bags in the back which helped, but in the winter it was still white knuckle driving. ?Well, I gave myself a treat once I graduated and brought the Av. ?I love it. ?I doubt I'll have to worry about snow issues again. ?I'm actually looking forward to the snow this year!!

A friend of mine, who has been a life long Dodge fan, bought a 2002 Dakota. ?He's had nothing but problems. ?It's been in the shop at least three times already.

It is starting to sound like ever since the Germans took over a few years back, they've been really placing a strain on the Dodge workforce, from dealers to engineers, to upper management. ?I think the quality may be suffering a little. ?A girl I knew up at school, her Mom is in the upper ranks of Dodge management, and she can attest to this fact. ?:( ?
Hi gang! This is my very first post here. I hope you don't mind a non-Avalanche owner invading. Rest assured that I will be a proud Northface owner by tomorrow at this time.

1) Why did you buy the Dodge originally?

Quite simply, I fell in love with the whole package. The looks, the V-10 power. I especially dig the Sport package, without the chrome grill. I am 99% satisfied with my Quad-cab '99 Ram. Absolutely no problems, but a few design complaints:

- Having to slow down to shift to 4WD on-the-floor.

- Tiny back seats.

- Cheap vinyl back seats to go with my leather front seats.

- Power seats available on the driver's side only.

- No power seat pre-sets. It takes me a week to get them back to where I like 'em after the carwash guys have their way with the settings.

- The wiper blades do not stand up on their own, making it very difficult to clean the windshield.

2) What made you decide to change (most of the Dodge owners are trading in '99 or newer, quite surprising)?

None of the downsides of the Dodge are responsible for my change. I still love my Ram, and I'm going to miss it. I just fell deeper in love with the Avalanche. I love the look of this car, and the power is descent. A few other things:

- the North Face has the 2nd best-looking seats ever put into a vehicle (sorry but the Audi TT baseball leather still beat 'em out for the #1 spot).

- I love the better snow/ice traction I'll get with a more balanced vehicle.

- The functionality is tremendous (a lot easier to get in and out of the back than it is with my shell).

- Much bigger tires, yet lower doorway entrances that are easier to get in and out of.

- I'm hoping the cladding will help me fight the war against runaway shopping carts.

- Automatic climate control.

- Best-looking vehicle on the road.

3) Why did you switch manufacturers and go with the Avalanche?

Are they made by different manufacturers? I didn't realize that. Okay, obviously I'm kidding. To be perfectly honest, I'm not willing to give any company my brand loyalty. I value my individuality too much for that. I really don't want to be a marketing department's dream customer. I evaluate each and every vehicle on its own merits, with total disregard for who makes it. I'd buy a freakin' Yugo if I thought they made the best stuff.
Thanks irontrain. Not sure on color/year yet. I'm going in to buy one tomorrow. I'm not real picky on either. I kinda like the TNF seat color better in the 2002's than the 2003's, but it's hard to pass up the latest and greatest. I pretty much like all the colors, except the orange and the light green.
Hey dog...whatever color you do decide on..it will be great...that's one thing I can say about the color selection with the Av's....none of the colors look out of place or odd....welcome and enjoy... :B:
I had bought a durango in 1998. I liked the styling, but after driving it for awhile I hated the ride. It rode like a board, the steering was to hard, the 4x4 was a pain to use, the third row seat was fine when my little ones were little ones(not anymore), the head gasket was going bad, had rust along the window trim, all in all I was very disappointed with it except for the looks. I got an excellent trade-in when I went to buy my Av.
- The wiper blades (on the Ram) do not stand up on their own, making it very difficult to clean the windshield.

Okay, how come none of you guys told me this was the case on the Avalanche too? I didn't find out 'til after I bought it and drove it halfway home from Colorado.
We got rid of a Dodge Stratus when we got the AV. It was a spirited little 4 banger but really gutless at hwy speeds. The worst thing was fitting behind the wheel and trying to see out. It has a large windsheild, unfotunately it is at a serious angle. You feel like you have to duck just to see the car in front of you.

Not a problem in the AV.