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Dodge Intrepid



  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Interesting...I posted a response last night--#2487 I think--and it's gone. I'll post it again, in an abridged form.
           Couple thoughts on your post Mike. First--the article does has several factual errors. The 2.7 does not underpin much of the Chrysler line and is limited to two vehicle lines in the dates posted--the Intrepid/Concorde and the Stratus/Sebring. As others have noted a 2.7 NEVER found it's way into a minivan.
          Second--the data is quite clear that in the majority of cases--so called "sludge" is an artifact of either poor maintenance and care or atypical engine use.
           Third--I have no history with the Center for Auto Satety. Anyone else heard of them? One should never trust the word of an organization without understanding who and what they are--and who supports them. Anyone familiar with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth....wink...?
           Lastly.. The service managers include a family member who has never lied to me in the past--or to other customers that I'm aware of. Since I know him well, I suspect he's likely to be honest, as are the majority of my family. Toyota deciding to extend warranties could have as much to do with public relations as culpability. 16 reports? We've seen more posts here in a year by our residents neurotic flamers than that.....
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    about 40-50% of the Chrysler 300's that leave the showroom are Hemi models, so that leaves two 3.5 models and one 2.7 model to fight over the remaining 50-60%. So if it's any consolation, the 2.7 is not making up the majority of 300 sales!

    I haven't seen that many Magnums yet, but so far, every one I have seen on the road has been an SXT model, which has the 3.5. So even here, I don't think that many are getting the 2.7.

    In contrast, the majority of Intrepids sold were just base models, whereas the ES, SXT, and especially the R/T were relatively scarce. So, simply put, there were a lot more 2.7 Intrepids to go around!

    Over at Chrysler, the Concorde was a relatively rare sight, and around 2002, once they made the LHS into the Concorde Limited, but made all the Concordes look like LHS's, it muddled things further. But even here, I'd imagine that a good deal of the Concordes were just the 2.7 LX model.

    As for why there are fewer complaints about the 3.2/3.5 models, versus the 2.7, well, I can think of a few...

    1) As I just explained, there are simply many more 2.7's out there in the first place than 3.2/3.5's

    2) The 2.7 is more complex, being DOHC, than the 3.2/3.5, so I'd expect it to be less reliable. I don't expect it to be a lemon, but in general, the more complicated something is, the more likely it is to break

    3) The 2.7 has to work a lot harder in an Intrepid/Concorde than a 3.2/3.5. While it gets its peak HP/Torque at around the same RPM as the other engines, that's only going to come into play in all-out floored acceleration. And in normal driving, you'll have to floor a 3.2/3.5 less than you would a 2.7. Simply put, it might be too much car for the engine. Now back in the day, there were plenty of cars with engines that were too small for them, such as putting a slant six in a full-sized Mopar, or putting an inline-6 in a full sized Chevy. However, those engines come from an era when they were overbuilt, and they weren't that powerful to begin with. So instead of working their little butts off to move those big cars, they just rev kind of lazily and just don't move out that fast. But one thing this doesn't explain though, is why they would still be failing in the smaller, lighter Sebring and Stratus. The engine seems like it would be a perfect match for those cars.

    4) Since the 2.7 has to work harder, I'd imagine that's part of what makes it run hotter, meaning maintenance is more crucial.

    5) Since the engine runs hotter, works harder, and revs higher than the bigger engines, it's more crucial that you maintain it. Just like you can abuse and neglect the hell out of an old slant six or Chevy 250, I'd imagine that a 3.2/3.5 could take a bit more abuse than a 2.7.

    I still have a feeling that the majority of these sludge cases are from owner neglect. I'll concede that, no matter how well an engine is designed, there are always going to be some that fail, but let's face it...who's actually going to ADMIT that they let their oil changes to too long, or that they let it run low on oil, let it overheat, etc? It's kind of like a car accident. What's the first thing a person says? "I didn't see you!" Not "I wasn't paying attention and didn't look and wasn't under control of my vehicle!"
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    You brought up some good points, however, I still see quite a few ES models out there ( you can always tell because they have the fog lights in the bumper). And although DC did not make the 3.2/3.5L engine standard in the ES until around 2002, I think, I would imagine alot of ES's came with the larger engines. It would be interesting to find out exactly how many Intrepids actually had the larger engines compared to the 2.7L engine.
    My Celica GTS has a DOHC engine in it, and its not the most powerful car in the world), and so far at 117,000 miles there is no sign of sludge build-up. Usually, sludge appears in the cylinder heads and you can look in the oil fill hole to get a pretty good idea if you have sludge in the heads.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    Thanks for the 2.7 information, i'm still changing over to Synthetic oil for my 2004, seems from what i've read owners haven't had any issues when running Synthetic oil compared to regular oil.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I thought there was a message about replacement tires for the Intrepid however I can't find it now, I thought it mentioned the Yokohama's as a good tire for the Intrepid, how is the Yokohama's in comparison to the Eagle's that I currently have on the Intrepid?
  • setzersetzer Posts: 127
    My parents can get a 2000 Dodge Intrepid with 55,000 miles on it for $5600. The guy that is selling it doesn't own it, but his company is willing to let him pay $5600 to close out the lease and he wouldn't mind selling it to someone else for the same price he paid for it. My aunt works with the guy (thats how we found it) and she said the car is overall in good condition besides a few minor things that you would get with any 5 year old car. The only problem is that they would have to drive it up from California to Portland, OR. They have to make a decision tomorrow morning so any quick help would be great! Thank you!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    I put some Yokohama Avids on my Intrepid about a year and a half ago. Before that, I had some cheap Continental tires, and before that the Eagle GA's that came with the car. I'd say the only thing the Yokohamas give up is a little bit of ride quality, and they seem a bit noisier. I think that's because they have a longer treadwear rating, so they're not as "soft" of a tire. The Eagles that the car came with had a 300 treadwear rating, and were pretty much reduced to racing slicks at 30,000 miles. They were expensive, too. At the time, even on sale, I think replacement of all 4 tires would've been over $500. In contrast, the Yokohamas were about $250 online (can't remember if I got 'em at or, and the local garage charged me $50 to mount and balance them. The Yokohamas had a 620 treadwear rating, more than double the Eagle GA's. I think they improved the Eagles a bit over the years though, so maybe the newer ones don't have that same crappy treadwear rating?

    I've been happy with the Yokohama's so far. They seem to hold the road pretty well, and even in wet/snowy/icy weather, they've been fine.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    Thanks for the reply, I like the handling of the the Eagle GA's that I currently have, I'll have to keep the Yokohama's in mind when I change the Eagle's out, to bad the Eagle's don't have a longer tread life.
  • I had a 1999 Intrepid with the 2.7L engine and NEVER, NEVER had to crack the engine open. The only time I had service on the engine was for a camshaft position sensor at 50,000 miles and spark plug replacements at 130.000 miles. I waited too long for the spark plugs... Two are "welded" to he head and stayed there. As for brakes, my first brake job was at 74,000 miles! I had gone through a total of two sets of rotors for 156,000 miles. One radiator fan had to be replaced at 135,000 miles. The check engine light came on at 140,000 miles (catalytics). When I traded in the car (for a 3.5L Intrepid), I had 156,000 miles on the car. It was starting to burn some oil (about 1 qt per 1,000 miles), and I was getting nervous about the timing chain (still original).

    I had trouble with the trans, but just sensors again (input and output speed sensors).

    It's possible that I had little trouble with this car because I used it for highway driving (about 3 hours per day), 80 to 100 miles per day.
    I don't think I was lucky, and I certaintly didn't baby the motor. I pushed my car to the limit almost daily.

    I finally traded in the car on a new SXT trep today. I'll let you know how that turns out...
    Personally, I think that the car was extremely well engineered.
  • purchasing a 2002 Intrepid SE with 61,000 miles on it. Is there anything I should look for as far as routine problems with this car?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    if you don't mind me asking, how much of a trade did you get for your '99? Last year, I came close to trading in my '00, which had about 86,000 miles on it at the time, for an '02 Intrepid R/T with about 35K on it. At first they said my car was worth $3500, but then quickly bumped that up to what I owed on it at the time, $4822. That's pretty much where it stopped though, because once I drove the R/T, while I liked it, I didn't like it better enough than my '00 to even think about trading, so I didn't push negotiations any further. Plus, they couldn't produce any service records for it (I wanted to at least see a tranny service at 30K...I'm anal about that stuff!), and they couldn't give me an answer as to whether it had a 3/36K warranty or the longer one (5/70K? 7/70K?) that they instituted sometime in mid-year.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    I'd say if the car has good service records with it, and the price is reasonable, that it should be a good buy. With that kind of miles, I'd imagine a lot of it was highway. But then again, I put about 30K on my '00 in the first 10 months, because I delivered pizzas part time!

    Here's a few things I can think of, though...
    1) brake rotors: they're really easy to warp, on any car nowadays, because they cut 'em so paper thin.

    2) thermostat housing: the one on my '00 2.7 started leaking, just a little bit. Ended up costing about $210 for the local mechanic to replace it. They might've fixed that problem with the newer models, but my mechanic told me back then that it was fairly common.

    3) power windows: I haven't had any problems with mine, but a few other posters on here had mentioned power window problems in the past. I think one guy had to have all 4 replaced! Under warranty though, IIRC. Again, that might be something that's improved with the newer models.

    4) transmission: Chrysler still has a reputation for problematic transmissions, but I think for the most part it's more talk and bad memories than it is reality, nowadays. Still, make sure it shifts okay, and check the dipstick to make sure the fluid doesn't look nasty or smell burnt.

    5) sludge: the 2.7 does seem more prone than the 3.2/3.5 to developing sludge, and the 2.7 is also a pretty expensive engine to rebuild, or buy used. I think for the most part if you change the oil regularly and/or use a synthetic, you should be fine. But since this car already has over 60K miles on it, I'd make sure that I could get ahold of some service records for it. That would be true of any car at that age though, not just the Intrepid.
  • I'd always thought it was weird when the local dealer had bench seat Intrepid's in stock, not just one but a couple. A split bench front seat is mismash with the exterior design of the car.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    as well. Seemed like they were pretty rare a few years back, when I bought my 'Trep, but now I see them on a regular basis. I wonder if maybe when it came to do the final run of Intrepids and Concordes, they had a bunch of bench seats left over, and so they stuck them in the cars just to use them up?

    My godmother used to have an '00 Intrepid with a bench seat. She liked it for the extra width it gave, not that she's big-boned, or big-bunned, or anything like that! But for 3-across seating, I'd think it would be useless. The Intrepid might have the shoulder room for it, but there's no room for your knees or legs there, the way the dash juts out.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    are the ONLY way to go with the Intrepid! Even the console and shifter looks better than in some other cars ie. the Monte Carlo.
  • I got $1,000 as a trade-in. Note that the "check engine" light was on (catalytic converters, about $400 each to replace, an that doesn't include labor), and there was a dent in the right rear dorr, courtesy of my teenage daughter (the classic response to What Happened? "I Dooon't know..."), and the timing chain was NEVER replaced, and the Transmission was slipping a little...(shall I keep on going?). I changed oil about every 5,000 miles with 5W30, later 10W30 "high mileage" oil. Keep in mind that a "perfect condition '99 'Trep is worth about $2,000.

    I think I got rid of it just before it became a large flowerpot. However, in its defense, I was well served by this vehicle. I did encounter some interesting problems. I broke the drivers side seat before the recall notice. When that happened, I got hosed by the dealer who insisted that it would take 4 hours' labor to "rebuild the seat". About two years later, the same thing happened again. I fixed it myself this time, with a 5/16" shoulder bolt. The repair took me about 30 minutes. Says a lot about those mechanics...
    About a month later, DC came up with a recall on the seat. This time they fixed it in 30 minutes.

    I don't buy cars for their resale value. I plan to drive 'em into the ground, and I believe that I got my money's worth with this one.
    By the way, they sold me the new SXT 'trep with options for about $500 more than I paid for the original base sedan 6 years earlier. Now, that's a deal...
  • By the way, I had a problem with my oil pressure light, the same as you. I had the dealer check it our and they told me about the "wiring fix". Well, I did...nothing... for about three months, and the problem just went away.
    It started at around 130,000 and stopped at about 136,000.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    probably came with a 4,000 rebate, something that Chrysler was not offering in 1999. I almost bought a new 03 SXT from Reedman in Langhorne the winter of 2002-2003 for about 3000 more than my leftover ('02) Intrepid SE. It had no sunroof but did have ABS like my SE which was a requirement. Perhaps I s/h bought it instead, the engine was much better (3.5L, no sludge problems). However, the SXT was silver and it did not come in Steel Blue (my favorite color). Well.......hopefully my SE will last 130000 miles. If it does, then the car wont owe me a dime.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    the dealer I bought my car from had Intrepid SXT's and ES's for around $22-23K, which includes the $4000 rebate. And considering that price is off the MSRP, I'm sure I could get 'em down further,easily. And believe me, I've thought about it! The idea of getting an SXT, with a sunroof and all the other goodies for about the same price as what my '00 cost new is very tempting! But then, knowing that I only have 3 payments left on my car is a pretty nice feeling, too!

    But I think it's too late now anyway, as the last time I was down at the dealer, the only Intrepids on the lot had plates on them and no window sticker (maybe they were demonstrators?), and the only thing roughly comparable they had was three Magnums.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    would have cost me 19,818 at Reedman, plus tax. It had ABS, premium sound, 17 inch alloys with Michelin tires,fog lights,upgraded material on the seats which to me was a downgrade from my SE, no sunroof plus all the goodies std. on the SE. They had two silver SXT's on the lot at the time, including one which had a defective speedometer (a tribute to DC's QC). Anyway, I bought the SE for 16,900 cash so that I would have no payments. I am not used to car loans, never had one and hopefully never will.
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