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Dodge Intrepid



  • davidudavidu Posts: 40
    Thanks for the info. Maybe some of the new quiet comes from tires other than the Badyear GA's.

    Thankfully the relatively small fires around here have been extinguished pretty quickly, but the Red Lodge Montana fire making U.S. headlines is a big concern, since it's a close and popular getaway for our part of the state.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I live in South Carolina but I had the "smell" once this summer when I had the 'Trepid in PA. I don't think it has to do with humidity, because there aren't places much more humid than Charleston SC. It lasted maybe 10 seconds and was gone. Hasn't happened since. I've heard that a lot of cars occasionally do this, depending on what is rotting in any standing moisture in the system at the time.

    Up to 20,400 miles on the 99 ES. Still like it a lot. Only problems have been that all the power window motors went south. Haven't had any of the new motors go bad, though. The dealer took care of each one as it went. It seemed to happen just before the next oil and filter change was due, so we killed 2 birds with one trip each time. Actually 2 motors were replaced at the same time on one occasion.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,848
    I wonder how long it's going to take me to kill my power window motors. When I'm driving, I can't leave them alone...I'm always adusting them, especially when I deliver pizzas.

    Smithed, that scares me that all 4 of yours have already been replaced! And I have more miles than you (about 23,500)! Oh well, at least it's still under warranty.
  • fritofrito Posts: 70
    Andre you must really have to vent the 'trep when some knucklehead orders anchovies on his/her pizza ;-). No wonder your window motors are well broken in and never a musty smell! I love the smell of pepperoni in the morning.

    I've heard that an easy way to defeat the musty smells (for at least a while) is to turn the a/c on to max and fresh and then spray some Lysol (or other aerosol disinfectant) into the intake and then switch to recirc.
  • davidudavidu Posts: 40
    I had the front passenger window motor replaced about two weeks ago, with just over 20,000 miles. Other than the driver's window, I hardly ever use the others, so I have no idea why it just quit (thankfully in the up position. Maybe the failures come from lack of use rather than too much!
  • Side airbags,leather,colors are new and optional plus "refinments"
  • 2000trep2000trep Posts: 30
    thanks for all the feedback on the brief musty smell. i had no idea this "problem" was so wide-reaching. i have never noticed it in any other car i've owned until the 'Trep... and that includes a chevy blazer, a toyota camry, 2 honda civics, and a ford f-150. i don't live in a REAL humid area now (south central ks), but previously i lived in a VERY humid area (s.e. tx). strange that it happens.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,848
    Hey gang,

    I was just looking through the Intrepid's owner's manual, and noticed that on schedule "B", the heavy duty one, and it says that the differential fluid should be replaced at 15K miles. Oops! I have about 23,500 on it now! Is that anything major?

    It surprised me, too, because I didn't think fwd cars had differentials...I thought the tranny and differential were combined into one piece called the "transaxle".

    I figured I'd just wait until it hits 30K miles and take it in and have them do the differential fluid and the power steering fluid at the same time. Should this be too much of a problem, stretching it out till then?

    I also noticed that the book says the timing belt doesn't have to be replaced until 100K miles? Is this true? I always thought they were pretty chancy after about 60K.

    Just curious...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,848
    When it comes time to take my Intrepid in for its fluid changes, would I be better off going to the dealer, or just a local garage? There's a local shop I've dealt with for years, ever since I got my first car, and they've always been honest, trustworthy, and reliable. They've worked on all of my other cars, but I wonder if the Intrepid is too high-tech for them? Although I guess a fluid change is a fluid change.

    My dealer hasn't given me reason not to trust them, but I'm sure the local shop would be cheaper, and it's a lot closer. Plus, my roommate, who has a '98 Tracker, has been having problems with repairs he's had done at his dealership, so that's putting bad thoughts in my mind...
  • davidudavidu Posts: 40
    At 15,000 miles, I had the differential fluid changed in my 99 Intrepid. The differential (which the manual states is part of the "transaxle") takes the power from the transmission and engine and routes it 90 degrees to the front wheels. While it appears to be part of the transmission, it does not use automatic transmission fluid. My Intrepid was serviced with 80W90 gear oil, about 24 ounces if memory serves correct. The dealer recommended changing it every 15,000 miles- cost for my dealer to do it was about $25.

    You might want to check with the dealer about a TSB regarding a redesigned vent tube for the differential- I'm sorry i don't know the TSB number. I had the new vent installed on my Intrepid after it belched an ounce or so of fluid after I apparently managed to force some water into the old vent while washing the underside at a car wash.

    Regarding the timing belt- I'm of the personal belief that it should be replaced on a regular basis sooner than specified in the manual. I don't know the details of the Intrepid's engine designs, but some engines do not have adequate clearance between the valves and the pistons if the timing belt breaks. In some engines, a failed belt won't result in any internal damage, but in others, a failed belt can result in valves impaling themselves in the piston head.

    Better to replace the timing belt (or any belt for that matter) too early rather than too late.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    andre and davidu,

    interesting discussion about the trep differential. a chrysler tech i met on usenet has been nice enough to answer any questions i might have about my intrepid. and, i did ask him not too long ago about servicing the differential. he said that as a rule at his dealership they don't ever change the diff grease unless the car sees severe duty (andre, you might fit the bill). he also went on to say that even tho some 99s and all 00 treps have tranny fluid (atf+4) good for 100k miles, he'd still change it around 60k. i also asked him if chrysler had ironed out all the problems with this particular tranny and he said that in the past few years tranny problems have really decreased. due mostly to better electronic control (torque management) and better tranny fluid. he went on to say that the minivan tranny (41te - te for transverse electronic) still sees some problems because of its somewhat weak tranny-diff connection. the 42le (le for logitudinal electronic) in the trep has a much stronger and better lubricated diff and apparently sees far fewer problems. anyway, i'll have to ask him about the timing belt thing. later...
  • You Intrepid owners aren't alone. My 98 Durango with only 23K miles has had the regulators and motors replaced 7 times on 3 trips to the dealer. This isn't the same dealer either. I started in Texas and am now in Nebraska. They must use the same design even though I was told the first time that they are an "improved" design. Since I'm here I'll ask a question, especially to any of you 98 Intrepid owners. Do any of you have problems with your clearcoat? I was wondering if this is just a problem with the Durango or if it is a Dodge problem or more specifically a problem they had in the 1998 model year. The slightest thing will etch the clearcoat to a point where I cannot remove even after using a prep/swirl reducer, polish, and wax. Bird droppings have etched it in less than 4 hours. Even my dog's saliva when he sticks his head out the window will etch the clearcoat. This seems awfully sensitive. My previous car was a 96 Taurus and it had armored paint. Nothing hurt it at all.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,848
    ...not to trust them.
    I called them about changing the differential grease, and they're telling me there is no differential, that they just do a transaxle service and that's it. They also tried to sell me a "30,000 mile service package" which was basically a cooling system flush, transaxle flush, oil change, rotate the tires, replace the air filter and pcv valve, and change the spark plugs for something like $347.00.

    But if the thing has long-life coolant and long-life spark plugs, why should they need to be changed so fast? The owner's manual also said the transaxle fluid should be changed around 50K miles.

    The dealer also said changing the power steering fluid was a waste, but recommended putting an additive in it to make it last longer. Any opinions on that?

    The local shop I deal with also recommended changing the transaxle fluid at around 30K, but also didn't know anything about servicing the differential separately, although they at least said they'd look into it (as opposed to refusing to admit the thing even exists like my dealer did). I think I'm just going to take it to the local garage, since they'll do what the car needs, and for a heck of a lot less.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    sounds like your dealership is trying to take you for a ride! just follow the owner's manual for the proper care of your car and you'll be fine. and, every car has a differential, i'd hate to try and make a turn in a car without one. can't even imagine what would happen!

    i think the concept of a differential becomes harder to understand with fwd cars because you can't see it, per se, like you can with a rwd car. on fwd cars, the diff and tranny are usually housed in the same casing (called transaxle) but are still separate and have their own lubrication systems and lubricant.


    i'm presuming you probably have a dark colour? that's why i always buy light colours. but, no i haven't had any paint issues with my intrepids (96, 98 and 00). i did however lease a 97 ram back in 96 that had a bright spot on the box that required a repaint of one side of the box...
  • fritofrito Posts: 70
    Kerry, I've had no such problems with the finish on my '99 Concorde (bright platinum metallic clearcoat). After nearly 1 year, I learned of the Zaino line of products ( from other forums here at Edmunds. I can testify that these polymer finish products are GREAT! The car is always garaged so there are few opportunities to get hit by birds, etc. But, when it has, these spots come right off with minimal effort and no residual damage to the finish. If you choose to use these products you will probably have to go the full remedial process (clay etc.) to fully prep the clearcoat. It is worth the effort and these products don't really cost that much more than others. These products are much better than polishing compounds (WILL DAMAGE THE CLEARCOAT!!) and waxes that are usually very ephemeral and don't bond with the clearcoat.

    The few minor (superficial scratches) that have inevitably occurred to my clearcoat have been greatly minimized by the use of these products. I have also discovered that by using a large rubber eraser (pink pencil type) I can prep these scratches by removing the damaged clearcoat so that the Zaino blends into them much better than without the prep.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    My brother runs a tire shop and car repair facility. They have taken on doing this process where they suck absolutely all the fluid out of the tranny, put in some cleaner stuff (or maybe they do that first), then put in all new fluid. What do you guys think? Is this a good idea for the transaxle fluid change rather than just dropping the fluid out the bottom?
  • My wife discovered our 'Treps first door ding. Put a pretty good divot into the plastic strip on the door AND scuffed the paint too. Why can't people watch what the $#%& they're doing???!!!
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    andre and the rest of the gang,

    concerning the 3.2/3.5l timing belt, my service tech buddy says to be sure and change it before 105k which is what the manual says. he recommends changing it by 90k just to be safe as both of these engines are not free-wheeling...meaning that if the belt breaks you'll likely have valvetrain and maybe even piston damage.
  • emale,
    Where my Taurus had a pearl black finish my Durango has the straight black color. You can't beat that deep black when it's clean but they can be a "wee" bit more difficult to take care of.

    I've been using Meguir's Deep Crystal system for the prep and polish and then the gold class for wax. I do like Meguir's products a lot and have never had problems in the many years I've used them. I don't blame them for my problems because I used their products on my Taurus with absolutely no problems. I have heard a lot of talk about Zaino on Edmunds but I really don't know much about them. Just about everyone who talks about it endorses it but I need a little more than that before I want to put an "unknown" substance on my vehicle.


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,848
    ...on the 2000 2.7? I bought one from a parts store, figuring I'd just put it on myself and save myself the hassle from a dealer that wants to lube my suspension and change my spark plugs at 30K miles. But I can't find where the dang thing goes! I figured it would just plug into the valve cover somewhere, but I can't see where it goes.

    Any suggestions on where to put it? (be nice, now! ;-)
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