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Dodge Stratus



  • dean52dean52 Posts: 12
    I bought my steel wheels from the tire dealer for $53 a piece. Dodge wanted anywhere from $85-$105 each. I tried to get used ones, but its hard to find 15" steel wheels for Cirrus. Most have alloy wheels. It would be a lot easier to find 14" for a Stratus.
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    I had a 1998 ES V6 and it was very reliable... I thought... until an old lady ran a stop sign and when I tried to stop, by brakes failed. I hit her broadside at 45mph and NEITHER airbag went off. I'm lucky to be alive. Then 2 weeks after getting the car back from the shop and the "OK" from chrysler that the brakes and airbags were fine, a drunk driver pulled onto the parkway in the wrong direction with NO LIGHTS ON. I came around a corner and again, the brakes failed and head-on. And, Again, NO AIRBAGS. So, at the advice of a friend, I checked out the consumer complaints area of and there are zillions of complaints about failed brakes and airbags not going off... even in 2000 models. My advice, don't waste your money. And I wouldn't buy a new one until they are crash tested... Chryslers are the worst in that regard.
  • robnjrobnj Posts: 11
    Sorry to hear about your encounters. Sounds pretty scary.
    The car was not totaled after hitting someone at 45MPH? How about after the second time? There is not exactly a lot of material in the front end of a Status to absorb that kind of impact. Any physical damage to yourself?

    When you say the brakes failed, what happened? Pedal to the floor, lack of assist (hard pedal)? Just curios. Did you have the ABS option? I am just trying to put an image in my mind as to what happened mechanically.

    I know that one time that someone stopped dead in front of me on the highway, I had to stop from ~70MPH to 0 real quick. I planted the down the brake pedal and the car stopped incredibly fast. I do have 4 wheel disc ABS. The front rotors did warp a little from the panic stop, but that was the only problem. Considering I smelt my brakes cooking after I stopped, I was not surprised. I was just glad the guy behind me swerved and missed my rear end.
  • Well folks - some of my enthusiasm is now dead. Dead and rotting on the street and mostly at the dealer. Less than 500 miles on the car and a variety of "lemon" flavored events. Still trying to make lemonade out of it but so far not very promising. Here it is - my story part deux...

    Drove the car at the dealer and all seemed well with the world. Was looking forward to the next 42 months on a lease getting to know what I thought was going to be a fun family ride.

    Drove the car going to a party some 180 miles roundtrip and suddenly my front right tire (Michelin) developed a bubble on the side wall along with some other unusual noises at the front end.

    Brought car back to dealer and they had to order a new tire. I also asked them to check the front end for the unusual sounds of the jungle I was experiencing.

    3 Days Later...
    Got car back with new tire and also the assortment of front end noises.

    Next Day (Day 7)
    Called dealer and expressed my concern that noises were still present. Dealer sent me to a local STS shop to check tires again. Both front tires required rebalancing and the STS technician identified the additional noises as possible factory f'ups. Unconfirmed yet, but he contemplates that it could be the transmission mounts, or the engine mounts or just a crappy transmission. He also suggested I promptly bring vehicle back to dealer.

    Day 8
    Brought vehicle back to dealer who seemed surprised to see me once again. The sales manager was very courteous but did not acknowledge whether there was any communication between sales and service as to whether they checked to see that my issues had been addressed.

    I also mentioned to him that there were significant paint blemishes I suddenly noticed on the inside of the doors and the rear right passenger door in particular, actually looked like it was only partially painted since much of the primer/undercoat (light brown) was prominently showing. He suggested that is the case with most inside door paint. I suggested that this is the first new car (and I've had 6) where this was actually noticeable to the point of being a nuisance.

    Day 9
    No call yet as to the status of the vehicle, but frankly I expect the worst...

    All comments/replies/help/thoughts welcomed...
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    Hi, well the first time I was traveling at about 45mph and an elderly woman ran a stop sign and crossed into my path... she then "froze" and stoped moving and I had no where to go.. I hit the brakes (abs, front disc/rear drum) and the pedal went to the floor, the wheels screeched and there was no abs vibration and BANG. Fortunately, I hit the rear side of her car and she flung around like a top (a civic; her trunk lid, back window and bumper were OFF of the car). My car was crushed halfway back to the windshield. The front doors wouldn't open and the car had to be flat-bedded away. I hurt my back and leg slightly but I was OK. The second time was worse because the person had just started accellerating and his nose was up. Again, the brakes went to the floor, the tires screeched and no abs feel/sounds. This time the hood was pushed back to the windshield and again, the front doors were stuck shut. Also, both times the airbags didn't go off. Check out I'm by no means alone with regards to the brakes and airbags. Cirrus/Stratus commonplace on there.
  • slockoslocko Posts: 107
    That is the smartest thing you can do. Document every single phone call, conversation. Look at all your service invoices and make sure they have detailed descriptions of what was done to the vehicle.


    that is very disturbing. considering my wife drove my stratus many times during her pregnancy. why don't you look into suing them? that is horrible!
  • The saga continues -

    Feb. 2nd - after a grueling week of talking to the dealer's service department, they are still waiting for replacement parts to fix what they described as an "unusual" problem. The front left strut was either damaged or simply missing some parts (possibly rubber bushings). They were not specific as to which, and it looks more and more like this car may have been assembled from "left-overs". Could be that Daimler Benz had all but drained Chrysler of money so this is the result of it or maybe the Stratus is just a lousy car. The NHTSA already has a half dozen recalls on the 2001 (although none applied to my vehicle) and the other night one of the network channels did a show on the best and worst cars to withstand 5 mph bumper damage. The 2001 Stratus seems to be at the bottom of the list -- funny enough so was Mercedes.
  • tom_tom_ Posts: 25
    The all new Dodge Stratus & Chrysler Sebring sedans received the highest rating in a federal government crash test.

    To se results follow this link...
  • read my comments posted in the Coupe version of the comments. I have had some really major issues with the 2001 RT that I bought, but nothing like that ever happened with the 95 2.0L stratus ES that I had...goes to show, even the German's can screw things up!

    My brother just bought a new one (an SE 4Dr, with the V6 and all sorts of options, including side airbags...) so we will see how this one is, considering that the '95 ES was awesome. I put 132000 miles on it, and still traded it in for $700, considering I had been in a major accident with it, which caused the power steering pump and rack to be useless. Nonetheless, I did not have any major repairs, beyond the norm, except for the head, and the timing belt. Once, the wiper switch died, initially, but the dealer fixed it promptly.

    Anyway, check out my posts for the R/T coupe! Maybe you won't feel so bad after that! Enjoy,
  • We have a 1997 Stratus with over 80,000 miles on it, and it still rides/drives like a brand new car. We love it for its pick up and great gas mileage. It also looks sporty even though it is a 4 door. From reading the posts on here, unfortunately you can get a lemon in anything.
  • fastlinefastline Posts: 7
    Finally running without any noticeable problems!!!

    Total tally:
    -Car back to the dealer a total of 12 times
    -Replaced front left strut 1 time
    -Replaced 2 front tires (Michelin MX4 205's)
    -Rotated tires 2 times
    -Rebalanced wheels 2 times
    -Tightened/adjusted??? front-end 2 times
    -Pending - Reordered front calipers (rusting/leaking???)
    -Pending - repaint inside of doors (summer)

    Folks - this car had 7 miles on it when I leased it in January 2001 - it now has 1300 miles on it - what a nightmare...
  • cruisingcruising Posts: 9
    I replaced the burnt out trunk light in my 2000 Dodge the light stays on all the time. Had to remove the light bulb so that it doesn't drain the battery. Where is the switch that controls on/off operation of light?
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Morning group... I own a 2000 Intrepid ES which I purchased after driving a variety of rental Intrepids. Since I just finished my second extended experience with a 2001 Stratus SE sedan rental, I thought I'd share with those who might be buying or interested..
    In both instances my experiences were positive. The first SE had a few more features than my most recent rental--but both were satisfactory. I was impressed with the ride, handling, space and structural feel of both cars. Base stereo was solid--considerably better than the base unit in the Intrepid SE. The stats suggest that the sedan lost about 2 cubic feet of interior space in the redesign. I'm convinced damn near all of it is out of the front headroom--but at 6'3" and a former linebacker, I can't blame the car for my gene pool. The headlights are strong, the climate control worked well. NVH seems much improved. My advice would be to forego the 2.4 DOHC four for the V-6 if possible. It's certainly adequate (I drove mine in Florida with the AC running), but a V-6 I test drove seems better suited. Good trunk space and hauled a few folks in back who commented on the space in back.
    Have a close friend with a 1996 Cirrus which is bumping up against 100,000 miles. His experiences have been quite positive with no significant reliability or mechanical problems. His experience is very similar to that of my aunt whose 1998 Stratus is doing well. Fortunately or "un", I can't hop on the "Chrysler sucks" bandwagon so prevalent at some topics. My experiences have been positive--NOT perfect--but positive. My mother's 1994 Intrepid continues to soldier on with no significant problems--though it is garage kept and fairly low mileage. Although very new my 2000 Intrepid ES has been flawless--except for a "skipping" four disc CD changer.
    Hope my experiences with the Stratus are helpful for someone contemplating the vehicle. Take care..
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    The problems described indicates the car had to go over a curb or hit something hard. I find it an unusual coincidence that the tire, alignment, and front strut were all damaged from the factory. Those are all classic signs of curb-hopping at a high rate of speed. I know you bought it with only 7 miles, could a valet or someone have driven it early on?

    I do tend to avoid 1st year cars, regardless of make. My 2000 Intrepid R/T was it's third model year, and the assembly seems quite good.

    Good luck, but I can tell you are not thrilled owning this car right now.
  • tom_tom_ Posts: 25

    What did you think about rearward visibiltiy in the new Stratus? How do you compare the visibilty with your Intrepid? How do you compare it with the older generation JA models your friends/family drive?
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Mixed bag Tom... Preface all comments by saying that I'm 6'3" and a former linebacker--a bit of a "Wide-Trac"--so to speak. I sit much more easily in the Intrepid, despite the impression of being "down and in". Rearward visibility was definitely superior in the Stratus however--more so, I suspect because I felt I was sitting higher up. As I mentioned, very limited headroom in the 2001 Stratus--adequate but no room for "big hair".. I notice that the older JA's seemed to have more headroom--my buddy is 6'5" and does just fine in his Cirrus. However, that being said, I"m aware that the power seat options seems to offer up an inch or more in either car when you motor it into the down position. I've noticed that in my Intrepid vs. the non-power seat on a base I had as a rental. Perhaps it's the same with the power seats vs. the non-power I had on my Stratus rental. Hope this helps...
  • tom_tom_ Posts: 25
    Thanks for the helpful comments.
  • illustr8illustr8 Posts: 1
    My 1996 Stratus is a really reliable car and runs today (with 155,000mi) like it did in 96. I am experiencing a problem with the AC (It doesn't work). Anybody experience an AC failure---What did you do. I was told by one garage that it would cost approx. $800 for a new compressor or something like that. WOW! Think I'll get another opinion. Also, I've experienced a moaning in the steering from the day I bought it. This usually gets really load when the steering is stressed (i.e. Hi-Speed turns). Anyone else?? I had the steering unit replaced 3 times...To no avail. I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL CHRYLSER WISES UP A PRODUCES THE NEW STRATUS SE SEDAN V6 WITH A MANUAL TRANS. HEY GUYS, WHAT ABOUT US SPORTS SEDAN LOVERS???? WHO WANTS A SPORTS SEDAN WITH AN AUTOMATIC TRANS.????
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I do not have a Stratus, but did have a bad AC experience. One mechanic told me it needed a new compressor (about $800.00). Another mechanic said why not try a flush and fill. The flush and fill worked.

    As to the second point: I wonder why no R/T version yet?
  • sp01sp01 Posts: 81
    ES v6 had an AC failure. It was the high-side AC switch that went out at about 72K miles. Cost about $150 to fix.

    75K miles and six years! It's an awesome car!

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