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Dodge Intrepid

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,581
    Well, I bought a 2000 Intrepid base model (same essential car as the '01 SE) back in November '99. I now have about 48,000 miles on it, and no tranny problems yet. I did have the transmission serviced at 30K miles (October '00), because I'm kind of rough on cars...short work commute, delivering pizzas, etc.

    But overall, it's been pretty good. Here's a list of what's happened to it so far...
    30,000 miles: new tires, tranny service
    35,000 miles: power lock actuator in driver's door fixed under warranty
    39,000 miles: new front brake pads (installed by myself)
    45,000 miles: passenger side mirror broken, rubber seal on rear door came loose.

    As for fuel mileage, I've gotten anywhere from 20 mpg (wintertime, delivering pizzas, oxygenated gas) to just over 30 (highway, not pushing it too hard).

    There are a few things that I don't like about the car though, mainly that legroom is a bit tight up front (but I'm 6'3") with the non-power seat, and if you load up the car and take it on a vacation through the mountains, you might be in for a surprise! The 2.7 is fine with 1-2 people on board, but if you frequently travel with more, I'd suggest test-driving one with the entire family on board to make sure it's got enough power for you.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I have been following this forum, the last generation Intrepid does not have any transmission problem. These animals are pretty nice and reliable, if I were you I go for it with extended warranty.
  • thewaldothewaldo Posts: 3
    I saw a trailer for a movie in the theater the other day of Whoopi Goldberg and someone else driving an Intrepid off a cliff. I thought, "Gee, what a great idea for a movie".
    I've had numerous issues over the 2.5 years I owned it including (but not limited to): Transmsission Control Sensor, Body Control Module replaced twice, replaced all window motors, replaced all door seals (came unglued), air conditioner worked on, blown fuses for the horn/speakers, one day the alarm went off and would NOT shut off, a door lock replaced, actuator replaced, and a very sneaky electrical issue that my dealer couldn't seem to find or fix. I had almost 20 service visits by the time I sold it at 41,000 miles. Some days it would be in a few hours (usually because parts weren't in stock), sometimes a week. It was one thing after another and no lemon rules applied. So I took my problems to the corporate level.
    It would've been one thing if they were responsive to my needs and seemed genuinely concerned. Instead all they ever did was call the dealer who told them it was resolved. Corporate said they were still working on it and were assigning it to an "area manager" who finally called me 2 weeks after I told corporate I sold the car. None of them have returned my calls over the last week and a half about recouping the cost of a replacement part that didn't solve any of the problems.
    The car didn't hold it's value worth a darn, and when you combine that with a 6 year finance and trying to trade it in I ended up not getting what I owed on it. I got a deal that was good enough for me.
    I understand that not all Dodge products should be driven off a cliff and that things like this happen from time to time. But the dealers ineptitude, and corporate customer services' laid back approach turned me off to Dodge. No offers to cover the costs incurred by me, the time I wasted missing work, to pay off the car or at least get a good deal on another one, and I got ONE rental the last time I took it in- a Neon. They know how I feel from the constant contact and they didn't have the decency to at least pretend to take me seriously. I always thought the adage about catching more flies with honey was true and maybe I was too nice to them. Maybe I should've whined and complained more and could've caught more flies with shi*.
    For those that still own them, good luck to you. My mom liked mine so much she went and bought one. She's getting the window motors replaced as I write this. Despite my problems, I loved the car. It did everything my family needed it to do except the one thing that I demanded- reliability. It was roomy, great looking body style, drove and handled superbly, but it was too much of a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to keep and worry about constantly.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,581
    ...are caused by lousy dealerships and service centers? I used to have a co-worker with a '97 Sebring that she had no end of troubles with. It seemed like it was in the shop more often than on the street. She kept all her receipts, which is a good thing, because the dealership started denying that some of the problems had existed. She ended up threatening to sue, and it got really nasty, but they finally fixed the car right, and she hasn't had a bit of trouble.

    My roommate has a '98 Tracker. Diffrerent company, but still an excellent example. Today, after work, I'm meeting him at the Chevy dealership because he has to drop his Tracker off to get it fixed. It was just in last week, because of the transmission acting up, but now the problem is coming back. That thing has needed serious transmission work around 25K, 50K, and 75K miles. Now it's around the 80K mark, and still acting up.

    A few months ago, it had to go in for repairs because of a fuel leak. He got it back, and it proceeded to leak fuel all over the place! He bought it at a dealership that I'd always believed to be unreputable. If I'd known him before he bought it, I would've warned him!

    Thewaldo, I agree with you. I think if I had the problems that you've had, that it would turn me off to Dodge forever! The main reason I bought a new car was because of the reliability and peace-of-mind that supposedly comes with owning a newer car. But if it's going to break down all the time, what's the point? You'd think that when they DO break, the dealership would at least try to make the ordeal as painless as possible. After all, if you're not happy, you're not going to be dealing with them for long. I guess, though, that for every person they burn, someone else will come along.

    Just curious, what did you trade your Intrepid in on?
  • thewaldothewaldo Posts: 3
    I traded it in for a Toyota Sienna. We have 2 kids and the wife is pestering me for a third. I told her if she could guarantee me a boy I'd be willing to work on it.
    We spent a lot of time looking at Mini-vans and the one category we were obviously concerned about was reliability given our experiences with the Intrepid. Toyota gets great ratings and has great word of mouth. Needless to say we didn't bother looking at the Caravans.
    We also have a 94 Honda with almost 100K on it, and we've certainly gotten our money's worth out of that car. I just hope our luck holds up with it. With a Toyota and a Honda in the garage, I would like to think we'll be ok in the car department for awhile.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    You know with the mini-van, you are guaranteed the third child - resign yourself to the fact now. She has a vehicle she has to fill up! Actually, children are always a blessing, at least until they hit 13 or so.

    Don't blame you based upon your bad history with the car. I've got a 00 R/T, and had a tranny repair at about 2,400 miles, looking back I recall it shifted funny during the test drive. Now has almost 11,000 miles, no other problems (unless you count the urge to go 80-90 mph everywhere to get the engine in it's "sweet" range) My sister in law had a 94 that other than the air conditioner condenser replacment and a few cosmetic issues that never needed repair, served well, she sold it last month for $4,800.

    It is one of the few family cars out there with any individual styling - most the rest are cookie-cutters. Complements my Miata well, though thinking of getting a collector big American convertible or sedan to replace that, I love those tail fins and a big v-8!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,581
    a couple years ago, my co-worker's mom was going to trade in her '94 Intrepid 3.3 on a brand-new '99 base model. It only had about 30,000 miles on it. The dealer was going to give her $7500 trade-in on it.

    I was tempted, but decided to drive my old car a while longer, and then finally bought my '00 a few months later. As for my co-worker, his mom never really liked the '99. Even though the base engine went from 161 to 200 hp, torque, which is what you feel at the low-end, actually went down. And you had to stomp it to really get the advantage of the added hp. This woman is in her 70's, so it would be pretty hard to change her driving habits after all these years! She ended up selling it about a month ago (only had about 11,000 miles on it), and bought a new, fully-loaded 300M.
  • dhughes3dhughes3 Posts: 56
    Cool pics. I'd say that pretty much proves it had a Polyhead. MoPar did that a lot with Dodges, DeSotos, and Chryslers in the late 50's. Lower level cars got the Poly and the higher lines got the Hemi. Hey, ever hear of anyone owning a '55 Plymouth with a 241 cu in Poly? They listed it as an option, but I've never seen a test or live car with anything other than a 260. I'd better quit this. I'll turn the Intrepid site into a fifties nostalgia site!
  • mmeolammeola Posts: 2
    We are a poor newly-married couple moving to the Colorado Mountains and need a car! Still mourning the loss of our '88 Toronado...we want/need only one thing out of a car RELIABILITY, as this will be our only car to last through the mountain winter and mechanics in the area are notoriously s-l-o-w. Hubby picked '97 Intrepid, 50k, $9400. I am leaning towards spending the extra $$ for a new(er) Camry or Accord. Is the extra money for a newer car going to pay off in the long run? Please help! I've read all discussions and want advice from you experts!!!
  • I know I am going to get flamed. I don't care.
    Do yourself a favor. Get a Honda, Toyota, Subaru or maybe a Mazda. A manual transmission might be a good idea. You will save money in the beginning buying a used Intrepid. Before you know it you will be spending hundreds to thousands replacing failing components. Read the posts.

    Good Luck with whatever decision you make.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,581
    ...well, I won't flame ya. When I was married, we had an '88 LeBaron, and the day I got divorced was one of the happiest days of my life...because both money-pits (the wife and the car) were no longer my responsibility!

    Mmeola, which engine does this Intrepid have? I've heard that the 3.3 is a more reliable engine than the 3.5, and I think the tranny behind the 3.3 tends to be more reliable than the one behind the 3.5. If you're interested in this car, have a mechanic that you trust check it out thoroughly. Most of the people I've known have had pretty good luck with first-gen LH cars, but, as I'm sure you know, transmission failures are a fairly common problem. I think water pump failure and a/c problems are known culprits, as well.

    The main thing I would worry about, though, is how this car was maintained. Buying a used car is always a risky proposition, and that tranny, water pump, and compressor could just be waiting for you to sign the paperwork before failing. You might want to check into a newer-model LH. The quality was drastically improved with the 1998 redesign. If you looked around, you could probably find a '98 with around the same miles for about $10,000. Heck, you could probably get a 2000 with around 20K miles for $13-14K.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    andre,

    the tranny is the same unit whether mated to the 3.3l or 3.5l. water pump problems were limited to the 3.5l engine. the significant a/c condensor problems were virtually eliminated sometime around 1997 or 1998. cars previous to this were given a special extended warranty for 6 years or 100k miles...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,581
    thanks for the info, and glad to see that you still poke your head in here from time to time! I wonder, if it's the same tranny, whether a 3.3 or a 3.5, if maybe the tranny just couldn't take the added power and torque of the 3.5?

    Do you know what year they went to metal, versus plastic, front fenders? I've seen a few earlier models running around, and the fenders actually look warped or melted! Of course, I've seen GM cars like this too, so it's not a Chrysler-only trait!
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    andre,

    i don't think it mattered what engine the tranny was hooked up to, the failure rates were probably the same. of course the 3.5l produces more torque and horsepower and therefore would put more strain on the unit. a couple months ago a chrysler tech told me that the 42le (intrepid tranny) is now pretty good. upgrades over the years have really benefitted it. probably the biggest upgrade was to the seals around 1996. also, tranny fluid upgrades and better torque management software were very helpful too. he said now that most problems have to do with electronic things like speed/range sensors and the like. certainly not tranny rebuilds at 50k which seemed fairly common on the early units!

    i'm not sure about the fenders...i beleave my 96 still had the composite ones...of course the 98 had steel ones...
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    94 was the last year for the plastic fenders
  • lee1nyclee1nyc Posts: 60
    There hasn't been a posting on this board since the end of July!
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I haven't posted because we have been out driving the ES. We have put about 3000 miles on it this month between summer vacation (lots of traffic on I-95) and taking the kids to college last week. Did have a new set of tires put on to replace the Goodyear GAs that came with it. They lasted about 33,000 miles and could have gone a little farther, but I was at my family's tire place and I knew I wouldn't get back before it needed tires. Now there are 4 new Cooper Lifeliners on. The treadware rating on the new ones is 700, and on the Goodyears was 300. The Coopers have a 85,000 mile warranty. My brother balanced them up for me and they run true and without vibration. The Goodyears were starting to shake a little. Brake linings are still fine.
    Oh, by the way the Coopers have a thin white wall. I didn't know which way to have them mounted, so I decided to go for a different look and had the whites mounted visible. I like it, my son didn't. He didn't pay for the car, so tough noogies to him.
    The transmission speed sensor did go out in June, and it had to be towed to the dealer. Took them about 15 minutes to fix it. Luckily, all under warranty.
    Despite that I am still glad we purchased the 1999 ES. It was great on the trip. We have grown to a family of 4 adults and a 12 year old. We had plenty of room. The giant trunk gulps up our

    I think there is a general feeling among us owners that Chrysler does not exist anymore, and that these LH cars are among the last true Mopars. That may have something to do with the board drying up.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    hey guys,

    i was kinda bored so went in and built/priced an '02 intrepid se and es on the dodge web site. they just updated this info in the last couple days. guess what, i couldn't specify the 3.2l motor! the es for '02 now comes standard with the 3.5l engine and the se with the 2.7l. what is up with that? did chrysler quit making the 3.2l, or is it headed to other vehicles ( i can't think of any)? thought you guys might find this interesting!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Have you completely recovered from your accident? My ES has only a few Modifications . K&N filter, Exotic wood dash overlay, a flat black high temp painted rear resonator, and I've added the ES logo to the trunk on the right side. I'm considering the Mike Hugo dual exhaust setup once I figure out which mufflers are the quietest. Hope you are doing well. Haven't seen any posts from HALWG either. He used to be active on the AOL board. I visit the 300M board alot, there is a lot of info there.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    Yes the 3.2 is history. You can still get the 2.7 but a low output 3.5 is used in place of the 3.2 .The new 3.5 low has 234 H.P. The R/T still gets the high output 3.5 used in the 300M
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