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Chrysler Sebring Problems and Solutions



  • wxjonwxjon Posts: 4
    I bought a 97 Sebring JX back in 98 as a program car. The car now has 95,xxx on it, and would I buy another? NO. Don't get me wrong this is a fun car to drive, and for anyone consider buying one, consider it. If you want a convertible for not a whole lot of money, this is a great car.

    Now that being said my days with Chrysler are probably coming to an end. This car has not been a nightmare just lots of little things.

    1) 4 sets of front brakes, front roters once.
    2) Fuel gage replaced (not cheap)
    3) Standing water in the back seat floor after the car was parked at the airport during a rain.
    4) Door switch replaced (you know the thing that turns off the dome lights) That was fun driving down the road with the map lights going off and on and the car dinging.
    5) Hydrolics went out top (that is really not cheap)
    6) Back window defroster disconnected itself (never been fixed by dealership)
    7) Hydrolics on trunk -dead
    8) Trunk release button -dead
    9) Black cover over transmission hole (broken twice once under warranty, second time was on my dime -was told it would be $250 -it stayed broken.
    10)Heat sometimes switches to just blower and then back to heat.
    11) Countless other things.

    Again nothing huge, the car still starts and it still gets me to work and home.

    Just thought I would add my 2 cents!


  • Now have 14,000 miles on 2002 LX. Car has settled down quite nicely. Still have crunch and grind when turning and do expect A/C groan to return in hot weather (when it comes). Biggest complaint so far is wiper blades, they don't last long. Dealer has replaced for me (3) times. A positive note, I live in Delaware, lived most of life in Pittsburgh PA, believe in snow tires for winter. Bought some 15" wheels and run of the mill real live snow tires for the car. In a recent 8" snowfall just get out of the way! This Sebring went everywhere, plowed roads or not! Great car in snow with right tires. Wouldn't even try with the 16" factory tires. Maybe I'll keep it after all.
  • Yea, I get the "crunching" noise also. Especially on cold mornings and/or evenings after the car has sat a while. It seems too always happen during "right" turns.

    My dealer is also stumped. Please post should you find anything out (and vice versa). thx
  • has anyone had this problem? The aluminum wheels on my 98 jxi have a clear plastic coating on them that has started to peel off. I'm the 2nd owner and Chrysler says they won't pay for refinishing. Seems like a clear defect to me.
  • jotekjotek Posts: 2
    We have a 2001 LX convertible w/15,000 mi. We have taken it to the dealer several times with minor complaints, however lately we've gone in with the same complaint. Tapping in the engine has gotten very loud. The first visit the dealer stated there was sludge in the engine and indicated that it was due to poor maintenance. We quickly informed them that simply was not the case. They changed the oil, even though we had just had it changed 2,000 miles prior to the visit. The second visit they "could not duplicate the concern" and suggested we use synthetic oil at the next oil change. The third visit, the tapping was so loud it was ridiculous, they changed the oil to synthetic oil. (even though they had recently changed it) It now is tapping as loudly as ever. This is a five star dealership and of course our frustration is mounting. We are thinking of taking the car to another dealer to see if we can get any results. These people appear to be deaf. We are very displeased with the performance of this vehicle. We have owned convertibles in the past and this has been the worst. (the original top frayed with worn areas,sagged a little, and had to be replaced in Oct. 2002, seems it was immproperly mounted) The replacement was done only after we insisted that something was wrong. Is anyone else experiencing a problem with very loud engine tapping?
  • leebealeebea Posts: 25
    Nope, my 2001 Limited has only about 4,000 miles and is still very quiet. From what I have seen at a couple of Sebring convertible message boards, your level of trouble is unusual. I have seen very few complaints with the 2001's.
    Definitely go to another dealer if there is one in your area and you're not getting satisfaction at yours. I've seen dealers that get hard-of-hearing if they think the noise might be of a serious nature. My father-in-law had that problem with a Mercury and even the Ford district rep "didn't hear the noise in the engine". All it took to clean their ears was a letter from the Mass. Attorney General's office. They found and fixed the problem.
    Good luck,
    Lee B.
  • I am considering buying my first convertible, and I am very impressed with the Sebring so far but am nervous about the cloth top. What's the best way to care for this type of top? I live in an area where we get intense sun in the summer, and some snow in the winter. I park in a garage both at home and work, so that should help. Advice?

    Also, I'm looking at a 2002 LXi really loaded with only 30 miles (except for the 15 I put on it today!). The dealer has shown me an invoice of $27,507 but is giving me a $4,500 rebate so my final cost out the door (including tax and other charges) is $24,812. Is this a good price?
  • leebealeebea Posts: 25
    I wouldn't be concerned with the cloth top if you keep it garaged at work and home. I keep my '01 Limited (Blue cloth top) garaged and it looks like new. Soap and water should keep it clean. I generally use clear water often. New England summers aren't too hot, but we get plenty of snow. I must confess that usually in bad weather I'm able to leave the convertible in the garage and use my T&C.
    I'm not much of an expert on price, but if my dealer came in with that deal, I'd take it.
    Good luck,
    Lee B.
  • Beware the "Great" price with rebates etc. My 2002 LX Sedan stickered for $18,300. I bought for $15,636 before down payment. To trade in car now (1)year later (bought Jan 17th, 2002) can only get $9100 for it. Trade in is only 50% of sticker after (1) year. If you want a convertible, buy a certified used one from a dealer and take the best warranty they offer, total negative cash flow will be less than buying new. Rebates and incentives are killing resale values, the industry knows it!
  • ...from up North. I have a Sebring LXi 2001; only some 15000 miles in. Regular oil changes and more gas -- that's all I've been needing after bad radio was changed (warranty).

    I shipped my car to Scandinavia about a year ago and now live way up north. For weeks in a row we have -20F temperatures. No problems for Sebring. No rattles or anything. I could use heated front seats, though.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    well, it seems the Sebring has a disease in the right front area that no dealer can diagnose

    mine, a '99, also has this problem - ghas had it from the moment I drove it out of the showroom

    you can even feel the "pull" when you are coming down a hill, breaking at the stop sign, and preparing to make a right turn - the sound SUCKS

    a mechanic friend of mine came for a drive with me and heard it clear as day - but everyone at Chryusler service is deaf. Why do they hire deaf people? I know everyone deserves to work, but....

    otherwise, I've had 45,000 error/pain-free miles with it

    if they don't fix the problem (and cover it under warranty), then I'll be crossing the Pacifica off my list (along with the Town and Ciountry, PT Cruiser, and anything else with the Chrysler badge)

    after I send my complaint to the local DA, AG and every message board I can find
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    Also, does anyone know how to get the TSBs free online?
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    You can get the TSBs for your vehicle throug Edmunds Maintenance Guide.

    Also, this discussion in Maintenance & Repair may be helpful. Long time member, 0patience, has the skinny on just about every TSB out there.

    Technical Service Bulletin

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    Karen: Do you have any tips for other message boards that discuss problems? This noise while turning and breaking problem seems to be prevalent and I haven't heard that anyone has correctly diagnosed the problem.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    I'm not aware of any other discussions here in the Town Hall that pertains to Sebring problems.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • cooldivacooldiva Posts: 2
    I have just purchased a new Sebring Coupe 2003. After reading all these negative messages I hope this redesigned and restyled coupe gives me no problems. Does anyone have anything positive to say about the Sebring Coupe 2003?
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Did the info help at all?
    Hadn't heard if you received it or not.
  • jotekjotek Posts: 2
    Just an update to my post of Jan.22,03 concerning my 2001 Sebring Convertible. We purchased the car new on July 24,01. Since I last posted to this site, Jan 22, 03, I have taken my car to two more dealers.(The first dealer changed the oil twice.) The second dealer kept the car for ten days and never turned a wrench. Needless to say, I provided each dealer with all the documentation pertaining to service, oil changes etc.. The third dealer found thick sludge in the engine and called us to check it out. It was so thick it was ridiculous. We took pictures. (my car has had five oil changes within 15,000 miles) The thick sludge in this car looks like it should have been found in a car with at least 100,000 miles with never an oil change. My car is still at the third dealership. It has been there since Feb 25th. They are installing a new engine this week. When they finish with the engine they are going to investigate what sounds like a wheel bearing noise at the right front. At the same time, they will also check the leak in the new top. (the top was replaced by dealer number one at the end of 2002 due to visibly worn edges and the improper installation) If your car is making engine noise, I would suggest checking for sludge even though that seems terribly farfetched. Of course no one has a clue as to how the sludge got there..but it's there. (how about poor manufacturing and poor quality control)
  • I have a Jxi 99 sebring convertible, the wheels are peeling and now so is the clear coating around the bumper on passenger side by fog light and also on the tip of the hood. I went to dealer and they said I have to write to corp headquarters to see if they will admit to a factory defect. Wondering if anyone else has tried this yet?
  • emserlemserl Posts: 1
    My 6 cyl Sebring has 35,000 miles. This problem was detected at approx. 28,000 miles. There is fuel leaking into the engine oil. The oil appears very dark and strongly smells of gasoline. It seems thin. I've been taking oil samples to an independent lab for analysis. They confer that there is gasoline in the oil and the percentage keeps increasing with the mileage on the car. I've been taking car to many different dealerships. All claim that oil is fine & say there is no way that this can possibly occur. I've shown the lab results and they say they aren't valid. I've called Chrysler Corporate asking for help. They too claim this can not happen. All Chrysler reps act like I am crazy and I dump fuel into my oil. Obviously, I am not anxious for the engine to blow up. If problem goes untreated, this will occur.

    Additionally, I constantly have coolant and brake fluid "disappearing" from the car. There are no obvious signs of leakage. The car's been to the dealers for these problems too. Radiator hoses have been replaced and 100's of dollars spent to no avail.

    I also have the problem listed with my aluminum wheels peeling. When I asked the dealer, they claimed it was due to a cleaning solution used. Since I purchased car with 12,000 miles on it, I don't know what previous owner might have used on it. I believe it is inferior workmanship.

    Chrysler acts like I am crazy & intentionally damaging my car. I am upset because I owe money on this car and cannot afford to have the engine blow up while I still pay on it. I've consulted with independent mechanics that say fuel leaking could be due to faulty injectors, seals, etc. However, I cannot afford to pay a huge repair bill, that should be Chrysler's responsibility. I will never own another Chrysler product again in my life. Chrsler has the worst customer service in the world. They deserve to go bankrupt! Previously, I owned a Nissan & Toyota. I received superior customer service from both companies and their representatives.

    jotek might have the same problem as mine. This could very well lead to the sludge in the engine.

    Can anyone help?
This discussion has been closed.