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Dodge Intrepid



  • I love my 2000 ES but there are two big things I hate...

    Number one is the road noise. It sounds like I'm driving a truck! :)

    Number two is how many times I have scraped the bottom of the car. I don't know if its too low or if the suspension is bad but I scrape the bottom about once a week. I scraped my 98 Taurus about 3 times in two years. I literally have to crawl out of the parking lot of the local Mini-Mall.

  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Are you comparing your intrepid with your 98 Taurus or your previous car. If it was your previous car, then what was it?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    it will soon be time for tires for my 2000 ES...I am not looking for high-performance tires, just decent high-mileage tires at a moderate price...locally they are selling 80,000 mile tires made by Douglas Tire for about $56 each...has anyone ever heard of Douglas, and what can you tell me about it??? Thanx.
  • The starter on my sons 98 Intrepid (2.7L) fried (80000 miles). The dealer nailed him $353.00 for the repair ($230.00 for the starter). The starter was not available from any of the parts stores in his area except NAPA and they wanted 214 for a rebuilt unit. Lets hope this is not a common problem for you Intrepid owners.
  • Marsha7, I have not heard of Douglas tire. For all I know they may be a good tire. However I would recommend going with a "brand name". While I can understand you may be on a budget and just want to keep maintenance costs down, decent tires are a very important aspect of the overall safety of your car as well as affecting ride, feel and handling. Wet and dry traction ability, correct size, speed rating and good tire construction are the things to look for.

    To start with you may want to browse at and do a search for tires for your Intrepid. When you select the vehicle it should give you a tire size of 225/60/16. You can then narrow the search by selecting boxes below. I'd suggest selecting Touring, Grand Touring, All Season & Performance All Season. You can then view a whole selection. Also when you are looking at specific tires clicking on specs will give you a table showing specifications. The 1st 3 numbers under the heading UTQG have to do with relative tire wear or how many miles they would normally last. A higher number is better meaning they will last longer.

    There are a number of tires in or slightly above your price range for example the Bridgstone Potenza RE910 at $67 looks decent. Anyway once you decide on a tire or two that look good and meet your budget needs write down the manufacturer, model and size and call some local tire places to get their best price. It should be fairly close.

    Hope this is of some help.

  • Don't know much about the cost of starters, though I would guess the repair price itself is not out of this world. I know the infamous water pump failure on my 92 Taurus set me back abot that much at around that mileage. Whether it failed prematurely, I have not heard of any problems before on any model year with starters. Not like my old 69 Catalina, which would eat starters (I was only 16 at the time, probably not installing them correctly), but at $20 a pop, no big deal.

    For tires, I would also check out Sam's Club. They tend to have very good prices on tires, and the mounting, balancing, stems, etc. are pretty reasonable. If you are looking for inexpensive tires, they sell General's, which are good basic tires. They also sell BF Goodrich and Michelin's.

    Good luck.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,033
    I had a '69 Bonneville that ate starters on a regular basis, too! Must have been something with that year, because I also have a '67 Catalina that has been trouble free in that respect. My main problem was the solenoid...the thing would try to start, but if it didn't catch, it would keep grinding until I either got it to start or yanked off a battery cable! There was most likely some other problem causing it to kill the starters, but I didn't have time to fool with it and got rid of it, because I already had too many cars. The starter on the 400 was easy to get to, though, so that was a small consolation!

    As for my experience with starters on Chrysler products, I've replaced two starters on my '68 Dart, one on my '79 Newport, and two on my '89 Gran Fury, all of them 318's. The Dart's was 133, and when it failed the second time was still under warranty, so I only had to pay the $50.00 labor to put it on. That was May 1996 when it failed, and it's been fine since.

    I think my Newport's starter was about $188 installed. I got ripped with my Gran Fury, though. I took it to Precision Tune or some place like that, and they said that because it was police spec, it would be very expensive. I forget the exact total, but it was over $300! It failed about 3 months later, and I would have taken it back, but the guy that had put it on killed himself that night, so I felt really weird about ever dealing with them again. So I took it to my regular shop (should have gone there in the first place) and they charged about $213. They also said it was a heavy duty police spec starter, but $213 installed seemed like a bargain. Plus, I trusted them enough to know they'd do it right.

    All things considered, I guess $353 isn't TOO ridiculous for a dealer-installed starter. I don't know how much harder they are to install than older starters. Considering that's about what I got ripped for for my Gran Fury's first starter, from a chain-store. I bought the extended warranty with my Intrepid so at least it's covered to 100K miles. After that, if it goes, I'm taking it to my mechanic! I trust him a lot more than my dealership (and obviously, a lot more than that chain-store!!)


  • Maybe I should have given a little more info. I have replaced starters on quite a few cars and the most I ever paid for a rebuilt unit was 45 bucks. The hardest starter I ever replaced was on a 85 LTD wagon with a 3.8L. I had to unbolt the engine and tranny mounts and lift the motor about a 1/2 foot to remove the starter. The Intrepid starter did not look that difficult and if my son wasn't 350 miles from me I'm sure I could have replaced it for him (my cost @$175.00 for the starter). I'm just saying that I think he got wacked by the dealer because of the lack of availabilty by the after market parts distributors. Also the most simple starter I ever replaced was on a 69 slant 6 Dodge Corronet - man what a piece of cake.
  • Hiya Gang,

    When I first got my '98 ES, I too would hear the front plastic air dam scrape the ground when I was going up and down my driveway. I had the Dodge dealership clip off about an inch of it, from side to side. That has solved the problem I was experiencing. You can't take too much of it off, otherwise it defeats the purpose of the part, which is to force air up into the engine compartment.

    Happy Driving,

    28,000 miles without a single significant problem. :)
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    thanks to all who responded.
  • The 98 Taurus was my previous car. It was the base model (read: manual locks :) and I traded it in for the spiffier Trep.

  • I plan to test drive an Intrepid (ES 3.2, or R/T)soon and was wondering if someone can tell me what I need to do to reproduce this vibration problem that seems to be one of the consistant problems mentioned througout this board.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,033
    The only vibration problem I'm aware of is when you put down the rear windows and get the car above 35-40 mph. They'll start to wobble, and the faster you go the worse the resonance. It'll give you a serious headache. You can achieve this by putting down one or both rear windows, but if you roll down a front window it will cancel it out.

    It's not just the Intrepid that does this though. I've experienced it first-hand with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Saturn L-series. I've heard the Stratus will do it, too.

  • Actually in my R/T when the sunroof is open there's a very, very bad buffeting around 20-25 unless I put the rear windows down...then it goes away else your head explodes.... :(

    Guess this is the price we pay for very aerodynamic cars these days....put the windows down and all the air comes INSIDE, not going around the car like it is supposed to....

    In the summer I drive around with both fronts down and a rear down about 1". No buffeting....ahhhhh... :)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,033
    After the experience with the rear window vibration/sunroof vibration in your Intrepid, do you notice that you can suddenly pick it up in other cars, as well? When I first got my Intrepid in November 1999 was the first time I had experienced it in ANY car, and it drives me crazy sometimes! I like to drive around sometimes with just the back windows cracked and the front ones up. But now, even in older cars, like my grandmother's '85 LeSabre, and my '89 Gran Fury, I notice it too! The LeSabre's windows only open half-way, and the Gran Fury's go down all but about an inch or two, but I can still sense it! And I never even noticed before I got the Intrepid!

    I had thought the vibration was due to the fact that the window glass on the Intrepid (and most modern cars) is so thin that it will flex and vibrate if it's not fully up and secure. It's not that big of a deal though...I just learn to crack a front window a bit to neutralize it.

    How is your Intrepid R/T doing? I'm kind of tempted to go for an R/T the next time around instead of another base model.

  • Andre1969, My Intrepid R/T is still going strong. 14K+ miles, no problems, and I don't baby it. Got a flat on the front the other day, glad I had the full sized spare. I plugged the flat and made it the new spare. :) Got a scare when pricing out some new tires for the R/T. :O Even on the 17" R/T tires are pricey($189ea). I guess you have to pay to play.
    Talking about vibrations, I get the brain-beater vibes even in my ford truck. I'm guessing alot of new vehicles have bad vibes as even a friends VW passat suffers from this. Guess they don't runn'em through a wind-tunnel with the windows down huh? Must be some new EPA thing..... =)
    Have fun drivin'.........
  • BjorBjor Posts: 7
    My 2000 Intrepid on cold mornings makes a creeking sound coming from the steering column inside the car. After it warms up I don't hear it anymore. Took it into service and they couldn't do anything because they couldn't hear anything (they had it until around noon). Has anybody else heard this noise?
  • Saturday I went to start our 96 intrepid and the alarm went off and also disabled the
    engine so it would not start. I tried to set and unset the alarm as you normally
    would but had no luck.
    Will I have to tow it to a dealer?
    Thanks if you can help.
  • 2000trep2000trep Posts: 30
    Hello all. It's been a while since I've checked in. I have been encountering a problem I remember hearing about several months back either in here or over in the 300M area. The problem is when I'm driving at night (with my lights on), the dash lights (particularly noticable are the transmission status display lights and the clock on the radio) blink back and forth between the bright setting (for day use) and the dimmer setting (night use when lights are on). I watched this happen over the course of a few seconds and then I "dialed" a different brightness for the dash lights. It quit after I did this. Has anyone seen an explanation/fix for this? Thanx.
  • sysdudesysdude Posts: 2
    Sheesh, I just realized that there is an Intrepid forum, AND an R/T forum!

    Anyway, I picked-up a 0% 2000 leftover. Got a grand total of 1,700 miles on it so far. I love the car, but I've got my first problem. There is a "rattle" that sounds like it's coming from near the glove box (nothing in it), maybe the right vent area. Had a friend in the car today but couldn't pin-point it.

    I kind of remember seeing, but not reading, something on the net, a few months ago when I first started looking at the car, something like "what's that rattle". But I can't find it now for the life of me.

    Not a big deal since I plan to take the car in for regular maint. Just wondering if anyone has had this "problem" of if ya have seen the mysterious document... :)
  • binubinu Posts: 81
    I have the same problem with my 1998 Chrysler Concorde Lxi. But it happens to me only during the day. It has never happened to me in the night time over the last 3 years of ownership. In my case, When it changes to the day (bright) settings the headlights also go off and come back on when it changes to night (dim) settings. The dealer was of no help. This problem does not happen always and so I learned to live with it.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    I think vibration from driving the car causes the dimmer switch to move up against the first stop, which causes the lights to switch back and forth between the two settings.

    Turn the dial down slightly.
  • stgdstgd Posts: 1
    I am responding to "Andre1969"'s message #153. Ive just passed 104K on my 3.3 L ES. The transmission is being rebuilt as I write this. Other than this issue, this car has been well maintained and seems to run fine.I am about to take it on a 2600 mile 6 day trip, virtually all at 65-70 MPH. Question for all you Intrepid fans: What is the statistical probablity that it will make this trip without any issues?
  • mystic99mystic99 Posts: 1
    I am trying to figure out which vehicle would be better overall to buy, Dodge Intrepid, Pontiac Grand Pix, or a Chewy Blazer. If anyone has any major problems or knows of any defects please let me know. I will be putting approx 2,000-3,000 miles a year on it.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,033
    The main thing I would worry about, on a long trip, is how well the rebuild was on the tranny. If you notice alot of the posts in these threads, people sometimes start having problems right after a rebuild or servicing, often a result of the wrong fluid or something else that would ordinarily be fairly minor.

    I've only had 2 rebuilt trannies in my at 61K on an '82 Cutlass Supreme, and one at 230K on a '79 Newport. Just before the 12mo/12K mile warranty was up on the Cutlass, it quit engaging and had to be towed back to the shop. Turns out the bolts came loose and the whole tranny actually separated from the engine!!

    When you mentioned staying at 65-70 on your trip, you reminded me of something I'd said I'd do a few years back when I took a trip. I drove from DC to Oklahoma in a '68 Dart with about 285K miles on it. I remember saying to myself "it's an old car, so I'm going to keep 'er around 60-65, and take plenty of rest stops. Well, before I knew it, I was doing close to 90 at times on those highways, and made the 1300 mile trip in about 28 hours (About 7 hours for sleep, plus had to stop for gas every 250-275 miles, and a couple of food/pit stops)

    BTW, my '00 Intrepid is up to almost 42,000 miles, with no major problems so far. Serviced the tranny at 30K, and needed new tires. Those soft 300-rated tires that came with it just didn't hold up. Power lock actuator replaced under warranty at 35K miles, and new front brakes at 39K.

    stdg, I'm catchin' up to ya! ;-)

  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    Assuming you meant 20-30 thousand miles a year, not 2-3, I would tend to avoid the Blazer mainly because gas mileage sucks on those vehicles, and gas should be back up around $2 a gallon again this summer, unless the world economy tanks. Not to mention 4 wheel drive is expensive to repair.

    Between the other two, they are both good buys, so it comes to personal choice if money is not the deciding factor. The Intrepid will be somewhat bigger, smoother styled, and with rebates and special financing, a good deal. The Gran Prix is a nice, but a little too flashy inside for my tastes. I actually prefer the Impala with the 3.8 to the Gran Prix, but all 3 are good choices.

    Now if it is actually only 2-3 k miles a year, buy a used car.
  • xmannxmann Posts: 19
    Add my vote with jsylvester. My company has had all 3. Forget the Blazer unless you need the space for carrying things. The ES and GP are both very good and have good records with us. Our vehicles log 25-35,000 miles/yr. and both seem to hold up well. But this is assuming the GP has the 3.8L V6. That is the only drivetrain to consider. Its probably one of the best V6's on the market, older technology but well proven and durable. But I agree the ES looks better.
  • neuronbobneuronbob Posts: 43
    I haven't posted for quite some time....I've been out enjoying my base 2000 Intrepid. It now has 24500 miles on it (1.5 years in my possession today), without significant problems.

    It's already time to replace at least two tires. In my line of business, I simply haven't had the time to go and get the tires rotated every 5000 miles. I'd like to expand on Marsha7's original recent question about tires and ask the general fund of knowledge here about replacements. What have been your experiences regarding various brands. What I'm looking for is the appropriate mix of all-season roadholding, reasonable performance (I drive this car HARD!), and longevity. My inclincation is to simply buy another set of the stock tires and take better care of them this time, but if there's something better out there, please tip me to it.


    ps--glad to see marsha7, emale, and a few other oldsters (in terms of longevity in this forum) here still!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,033
    Don't feel too bad...I DID rotate my tires, and needed all four replaced at 30,000 miles! I didn't rotate them every 5500 though. I rotated them at around 9,000, 17,000, and 24,000. I think the main problem with the stock tires is their 300 treadwear rating. Back in my "poor" days of being a college kid, whenever I'd have the tire shop put the cheapest tires they had on whatever clunker I was driving, they usually had a rating of 260.

    I ended up getting tires from Discount tire online (, I think), and they had a treadwear rating of 560. I forget exactly which ones I got; I remember they were made by General. They're a little harder than the original Goodyear Eagle GA's, but I'm now at 42,000 (rotated at 39K), and there isn't the slightest hint of wear on them. If the 300 rated tires lasted to 30K, I'm hoping the 560 rated will last me to 86K.

    I'm pretty rough on my car, too. I hit 30K miles in 11 months, and now, at 16 months and a couple days, I'm at 42K. I just couldn't justify replacing my tires every year, so that's why I went with the higher treadwear rating. I think they were only about $250.00 for all 4, too, and a local shop put them on for $50.00.

  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    See my posting above about General Tires being carried by Sam's Club.

    I had the factory set of Michelin's last 82,000 miles on my 92 Taurus. Michelin's have excellent reputations, but Generals are good basic tires. Both are carried by Sam's Club.

    No, I don't work for them, just lucky that the closest tire retailer to me is them.
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