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Dodge Intrepid



  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    See the website

    for info on tranny repairs.

    The waterpump issue is a possible $1,000 repair if you have the old 3.5 liter engine, as when it goes, it could cause some engine damage. Thankfully, the 1998 redesign brought a completely new 3.5 engine, and this is not an issue on the new one.

    Again, for a repair of this cost, I would consider getting a second opinion. Many mechanics are so pressed for time to reach their hour requirements on repairs that they use a sledgehammer when sometimes a scalpel will work.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Hey gang,

    I just got this snippet from my Mopar mailing list...

    "For those interested: Dodge will be back in the squad business for 2002. For 2002 and 2003 the Intrepid police package will be FWD and have the 3.5L-V6.

    For 2004 the new Intrepid will see police service as a RWD police package with the 353 V8.

    Mopar is doing this for 2002 and 2003 to prepare for the real squad launch in 2004. They are also doing this, because 2001 is the last year for the Cherokee squad, and they don't want to leave the squad market for two years in between for prestige/reputation reasons."

    Hopefully, there's some truth to it ;-) I think it would be kinda cool do have an Intrepid with an engine putting out the same displacement at a '57 Saratoga! (well, almost...the '57 would've been a 354)

  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    You got some good info Andre. Yes we are going to be building police Intrepids. They even come with vinyl floor instead of carpet. I cant wait till 2004 , RWD and a V8 option . That should be fun.
  • bvanderbvander Posts: 3
    1. Warranty replacement of electric driver's seat. One of the motors wouldn't work.
    2. At ~50k miles, replaced sway bar links. Dealer said this is typical.
    3. Warranty replacement of A/C condenser.
    4. Recharge A/C system 4 different years.
    5. Transmission went out last year with ~120k miles. I didn't realize the transaxle gets gear lube oil and is not part of the transmission. Simply filling the gear lube with 80W-90 weight oil every year would have saved my transmission.
    6. Water pump went out and chewed up my timing belt. Replacing them myself. Timing Belt and water pump cost ~$115.
    7. Intake Manifold upper and lower gaskets replaced with ~122k miles. Dealer said this is typical for these to go out.
    8. Had an engine 'miss' recently. I checked everything, cylinder compression, replaced plugs and wires, vacuum checks, etc. Dealer found that the spark plug gap is now 0.035" rather than 0.050" based on a Technical Bulletin. Car ran great until the water pump went out a few days later.
    9. If it were not for me doing most of the work myself, I would have sold this car a long time ago due to the repairs.
    When the car is running, its great with lots of head and leg room for me (I'm 6'3" ~250#), lots of trunk space, handles great, engine and transmission are smooth.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    Bvander- sorry to hear about your problems with your ES. Unfortuantly the first couple of years of the LH were prone to many problems. A/C has been the biggest by far. Yes when the car works it is a great car . Hope this has not scared you off of the Intrepid as a future replacement for this car. The 2001 have gotten 1000 times better than the first generation .
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    Is there any upgrades to the tranny or suspension on the police package? Since the 300M is coming out with an increased horsepower special edition, any chance a possible tranny upgrade would make it on the R/T for 2002? Just wondering, as I am sure any horsepower upgrades could be retrofitted to an older R/T, and don't want the tranny turning to rice chex.

    Our local police dept. has a few 98-99 Intrepids in police service. Of course, they still have a few Caprice, but I think for 2001 they bought Crown Vics.
  • dmceresidmceresi Posts: 3

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    You might want to double check, but I think the Intrepid, and all LHS bodies, use the 4.5" 5-bolt pattern.

  • dhughes3dhughes3 Posts: 56
    I'm probably too late with this and you've already bought or not bought the 97 Intrepid. You don't say what motor, 3.3 or 3.5. I have a 96 with the 3.3 and your husband's drive sounds a lot like mine, which is about 30 miles each way to work, 80% of that freeway. Under those conditions I regularly get 26-27 mpg and manage to keep up with traffic while doing it. That doesn't mean you'd get the same, as many drivers can easily consume a lot more gas due to driving habits, but it shows the car is pretty economical if you use it right.
  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    My '96 Intrepid ES had a major problem today: While sitting in the McDonald's drive through, I noticed our engine temperature gauge drifting above the halfway point which seemed a little unusual. That normally only happens when I'm towing our popup trailer up steep hills for a long time in hot weather. But I was just sitting in the drive-thru. Granted, it was over 100 degrees today but it still seemed odd. Then, the needle kept drifting and drifting and drifting very quickly until it almost reached the redline. I decided to turn off the engine and smoke started coming out of the right side of my engine compartment. I thought, "this doesn't look good." So I'm stuck in the drive-thru in between the cashier and the food provider and I thought, "am I going to be able to get out of here." Well, my wife looked under the car and sure enough I had a pool of green coolant beneath the car. I was able to drive the car to a parking lot and call a tow truck who towed it to my local mechanic. Can anybody diagnose this? Does it sound like a radiator hose leak or is this symptomatic of the water pump failure I've heard about? Couldn't ask my mechanic because they are closed on the weekends.

    The reason this post is addressed to you Andre, is because we took the bus to the airport to rent a car for this weekend. We have to drive to my parents house for fathers day and can't take my wife's company car. We had the choice of renting an Escort (no way) or for $6.00 more we could rent a 6-cylinder Mustang (whoopee! I passed)$8.00 more a day to rent a Taurus (same as my wife's company car and I said no way to that too)or a 2001 Intrepid. We decided on the Intrepid. The one we rented was a Gold Intrepid SE with, I think, the 2.7 liter V6. I've only had it for less than half a day but I must say I'm pretty impressed with it if it's the base model. Nothing fancy, just power locks and windows, AC, etc., but thought I would give my input. Power is more than adequate, though torque is a little on the lean side at low speed. But it was much better than I expected. Leg room up front was typical Intrepid (as we had discussed earlier) but the engine was real smooth and quiet. In fact, this base model is much quieter on the highway than my '96 ES. Now, if there was more legroom up front, and the bottom seat cushion tilted back, I would seriously consider this car. I thought it did a little better in fuel mileage than what I'm reading (20/28). One final question: It doesn't appear the back seats fold down. Do they in yours and are they an option in higher-level Intrepids? Are you experiencing the fuel economy for which it is rated?
  • eeeleeel Posts: 57
    the back seat folds on the es model - not the base
    model. i have a 98 purchased new - have had no problems - 2.7 v6 gives me 29 on the highway and about 24-25 combined (depending how i drive) - i never got less than 23 on a tank
  • rob5000rob5000 Posts: 1
    I'm from Canada and looking at a 98 Intrepid ES with 200 000 km on it. The price seems right at $11000. Haven't looked into it's maintenance history yet but I'm getting lots of flak from family and friends. They seem to think the vehicle is due for a complete overhaul with such high mileage. Any advice from some experienced Intrepid owners on what I might expect maintenance wise? I.E. is this car ready to die or does it have plenty of life left? Heck, its only 3 years old.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Good luck with your coolant leak. That could actually be anything from a bad radiator hose or pressure cap to a bad radiator or water pump. The only way to diagnose it yourself would be to fill it back up with coolant, run it, and see where it leaks. Since you have a regular mechanic that you trust, I'm sure you'll at least get an honest assessment.

    As for mileage, I've gotten anywhere from just under 20 mpg (when I used to deliver pizzas, and during the winter when we get stuck with the nasty gas) to just over 30 on the highway if I'm gentle. The last couple times that I've filled up, I've been getting about 22-24 mpg, which is mainly just driving back and forth to work, running errands, and goofing around. Mine's actually rated at 20/29, but they changed the ratings sometime in mid-year 2000, I think.

    As for the back seats, they don't fold down in the base model, but I'm pretty sure you can get it as an option. My great-aunt just bought a 2001 SE, and I noticed that it has an arm rest in the back, but not sure if the seats fold down or not. My back seat is stationary, with no arm rest.

    Well, good luck with your coolant problem...hope it turns out to me something minor!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Definitely get the car checked out by a mechanic. I know enough about the metric system to know that 200,000km comes out to around 120,000 miles, but not sure about the exchange rate. What would $11,000 come out to in U.S.? About $6-7,000?

    I'm guessing with that kind of mileage, most of it was highway mileage, such as someone with a real long commute to work, a person whose work requires a lot of travel, or retirees who take a lot of vacations.

    Then again, it could be someone like me, who used the car to deliver pizzas and put it through its paces. If I hadn't quit that job, I'd easily have that kind of mileage racked up in 3 years.

    I'd say maintenance is the key issue. Pay special attention to the transmission...that's been a Chrysler weak spot for awhile now. If it goes too long without servicing or has the wrong fluid put in, you'll be looking at a rebuild/replacement, which isn't cheap.

    A car with mileage that high isn't necessarily bad, as long as it's been maintained well. Just make sure you get it thoroughly checked out by a good mechanic.

  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57

    Just returned from dropping off the Intrepid at the rental car agency. I still am very impressed with that base model SE. The 2.7 was incredibly smooth and refined....way smoother than my 3.5 liter. Power was a little less, but more than adequate. We had four people in the car at 4000 ft elevation and the car had plenty of power. Overall, this 2001 Intrepid SE was far better than my wife's 1999 Taurus with the Vulcan V6. I'm not sure about the reliability of the new Intrepids but for a base model, it's an excellent car. Enormous trunk by the way.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    glad you liked the SE! Compared to the '99 Taurus with the Vulcan 3.0, well, I think I read 10.9 seconds, 0-60 on the Vulcan, while the Intrepid 2.7 is around 9.5, so that's a pretty big jump.

    Whenever I would load mine up with people or luggage, and/or do a lot of hilly/mountainous driving, I would notice a pretty big drop in acceleration. I think that's because I've just been used to old V-8 engines with a lot of low-end grunt that had to be SERIOUSLY weighted down before they'd start to strain.

    I don't know how well this car is going to age, but afer 46,000 miles and about 19 months, nothing major has broken yet!
  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    To get that kind of power and performance out of a 2.7 liter engine in a car as big as the Intrepid ~3500 lbs, and then offering it as a base drivetrain is outstanding. I feared the new generation of LH motors was going to be better then the first, but this went beyond my expectations. And it wasn't even the power that impressed me over the Taurus, it was the smooth, quiet idle, and composure under full throttle that you certainly wouldn't expect from a base model. I can only imagine what the 3.2 is like. If they only offered it as a wagon....:)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Well, here's what a first-gen LH might've looked like, had it been offered as a wagon...

    Something I drew up about 4-5 years ago, experimenting around with a graphics package. I stretched out the wheelbase and gave it a L-O-N-G rear door, so I'm sure most people nowadays would complain about it being too big...

  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    You may want to check that link again. I got an error page. Would still like to see that picture, though.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    If you want to email me at I can respond back and attach that pic. Or, if you go to, that's my web page. It's really outdated, and unfortunately, I forgot the password to get in to change things, so it needs some serious work.

    But if you go there and scroll down, there's a fake Intrepid convertible. If you click on that, it'll take you to another page that has some fake cars I did up.

    I don't know what's up with that link though. Geocities is just obnoxious, I guess!
  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    Nice Concorde Wagon! I didn't imagine it could look that good. Now if they only built it and gave it a 3000 lb tow rating, it would be in my driveway.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    Can anyone confirm if the 3.5 liter engine will be available across the entire Intrepid line in 2002?

    The reason I say that is if you take an SE model Intrepid, add the engine, autostick, antilock brakes, CD player, and the suspension, tire, exhaust, and brake upgrades, you have the R/T.

    If it is just the engine, I assume it would be similar to the R/T to keep things simple at the factory.
  • keryekerye Posts: 1
    I bought a 99 intrepid with 21k miles on it 15 months ago. about 6 months into it I had the shifter cable replaced because it was slipping. about 1 yr into it and 35k miles I noticed it again. brought it in to the dealer but they said nothing was wrong. now at 39k miles it is awful I am bringing it back to the dealer, but I am wondering if I should push the issue so they will cover it under the warranty as it has been a continuous problem. please advise. thanks
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I haven't heard that across-the-board rumor for the Intrepid. However, I've heard that over in the Chrysler lineup, they're dumping the LHS, and making a new top-shelf Concorde that has the 3.5.

    Right now, I kind of look at the Intrepid R/T as the SE with a 3.5. After all, doesn't the R/T have the same interior as the SE, while the ES is more upscale?

    Does anybody know if the tranny that gets mated to the 3.5 is beefier than the other trannies (like the 3.2 and 2.7?) If you just took an SE and threw in a 3.5, but without the upgrades, wouldn't that put some compromises on the car's performance?
  • dhughes3dhughes3 Posts: 56
    I'm afraid you're mixing cubic inches and cubic centimeters. A 3.5 L engine equates to 213.6 cubic inches, quite a bit less than the 354 cu in of a "'57" Chrysler. Also, FYI: the '57 had 392 cu in; the '56 had 354 cu in; the earlier ones were all 331 cu in. A further bit of trivia; there was an optional upgrade on the '56 Chrysler 300 that gave 355 HP out of the 354 cu in (I think the standard 300 engine was 340 HP). So the next time some Chevyphile tells you the '57 283 cu in/283 HP was the first car to have 1 HP/cu in, throw that in his face!!
    When you factor in that HP is now rated DIN rather than the old SAE system, that 253 HP of the 3.5 L in the 300M would probably equate to at least 325 SAE horsepower. Not bad for 214 cubic inches! If the old 354 could be modernized with all the new technology, it would be putting out close to 420 horses.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    The Saratoga and Windsor ran 354 Poly head engines in '57-58, while the NY'er and 300's ran 392 Hemis. I think the 354 had 280 hp in 2-bbl version those years, and 295 in 4-bbl.

    As for 1 hp per cubic inch, the DeSoto Adventurer was actually the first model to offer it as standard in 1957, 345 hp, 345 CID. However, you're right, there was an option on the '56 Chrysler 300. Another nice fact to throw at the Chevy huggers...the Chrysler and DeSoto engines got their power from dual-quad carbs; Chevy had to resort to fuel injection, which was extremely unreliable back then (just ask Chrysler and DeSoto in 1958!)

    What I was comparing to the Saratoga was the proposed Chrysler Hemi that's supposed to be coming out. I've heard it quoted as both a 5.7 and a 353. Wouldn't that make it a 5.8 though? Ford used to make a 351 that was also labeled as a 5.8, although they may have done that for marketing purposes, to make it sound better than Chevy's 5.7
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    here are some metric conversions...

    353 cubic inches = 5.785 litres
    351 " = 5.752 "
    302 " = 4.949

    i guess what litre the automakers pen to their motors depends on how far back they wanna go before they round up! ford is obviously pushing it by calling the 302 v/8 a 5 litre!
  • warzonectxwarzonectx Posts: 26
    can the Dodge Intrepid se go 120. and do you like your dodge intrepids.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Well, here are some Car & Driver test from an old issue I had lying around...
    Dodge Intrepid ES: 119 mph (tested 12/97, I'm guessing a 3.2)
    Chrysler Concorde LX: 118 mph (tested 5/99, 2.7)
    Chrysler 300M: 143 mph (tested 6/98, 3.5)

    Every once in awhile, Fox airs its "World's scariest police chases" or something to that tune, and they usually show a first-gen Intrepid that they estimate was doing about 126 mph running from the cops. It clipped another car, flipped on its roof, and slid, upside down for about 1/4 mile, amazingly with very little damage. The driver was unhurt. I don't know if it was a 3.3 or 3.5, though.
  • I am normally a Ford man usually buying in the used car market but lately I have been eyeing a 97 Intrep.ES I am wondering if there are any common problems w/ the 3.5L 24V or the tranny w/ the autostick option. The car seems to handle great and the cabin space is excellent compared to the Taurus. I guess I need a lot more car to cram my 6'5" frame into. I am a little skeptical about the autostick and the performance of the tranny in comparison to the std model. both cars perform well but the tranny seems a bit sluggish to shift in the ES. Engine has plenty of power but still falls short of the 4.5L V8 in my old T-Bird. I guess I have to start sacrificing power for economy now though. - My first time on this thing - please respond, Thanks.
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