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Dodge Intrepid



  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    I sort of agree with you about those old issues of car magazines... they are sometimes interesting to look thru. Thats why I still have them, maybe 20 or so issues. There is still room for them, at least for now while I am still living in my current house. Some of the older cars were really neat for their era. I especially liked the 1976 thru 1981 Firebirds. I talked my parents into buying a new 1976 and 1979, and for now I still have the 1979. I would like to restore it, I have all the equipment necessary, but dont have the $$$. By the way, I did not get a recall notice from Chrysler yet. Who knows, maybe I'll never get one?!
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Quite a trip down memory lane! I started buying (and later subscribing to) Car and Driver and Popular Science back in the late 1970's, added MT in the 1980's. Yes, I started young--got the car bug early from my father (a dealer and collector) and brothers. One of my favorite articles, still, is the MT Car of the Year competition from--was it 1987? There were FOUR competitors--the "new" RWD Thunderbird and it's sibling, and the new Dodge Spirit ES and it's Chrylser sibling. That was "back in the day" when they actually included ALL the testing and commentary on each automobile as opposed to today's condensed version.
        The state of the art in American automobiles has come a long way....well...except that Ford and GM insist on recycling their V-6's and V-8's based on the 1960's and updated in the 1970's (the 3800 series V6 and 5.0 liter V-8)..oh yeah and the Mustang chassis from the Fairmont...and the Cavalier still based in the 1980's... oh..yeah and the..........(wink).. Couldn't resist..
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040 that the technology in our cars isn't nearly as "recycled" as it is in GM and Ford cars! The transmission dates back to the "Ultradrive" that was first available in Dodge Dynastys and Chrysler New Yorkers starting around 1989.

    The 2.0 and 2.4 engines are (very) loosely based on the 2.2/2.5 4-cyl engines from the '80's that were rampant in K-cars. The minivan 3.3/3.8 also date back to around 1990, and I think originally, the 3.5 OHC engine was very loosely based on that same block.

    I think Chrysler has come the furthest though, from those dark days of the late 70's and early '80's. I've had a few Mopars from that era, and while I do like them, they left a lot to be desired. Sloppy build quality, huge, uneven panel gaps, premature rusting, squeaking, rattling, horribile emissions controls, etc. They've cleaned a lot of that up nowadays, but when I look at some Ford and GM products, it seems their build quality, fit and finish, etc, is still stuck in the Jurassic era!

    One exception though...I checked out an '04 Pontiac Grand Prix yesterday. I gave a friend a ride to the dealer to pick up his car, and figured I'd check out the '04's. While it's not perfect, it looks like it's a big improvement for GM. I'd say that the fit and finish (how well the body panels line up and go together) is better than on my Intrepid, and about on par with what the best of the Japanese are putting out. The interior still had a lot of cheap bits in it, and a few other annoyances, but they've improved some things, like some of the plastics, cloth, front seat comfort, and the dash display.

    I don't think it's enough of an improvement to sway me from the Intrepid, as the 'Trep is a roomier, more comfortable car all-round (although the GP's front seats went further back). I also didn't get a chance to drive it, so I can't comment on that.

    I wonder though, if GM is finally starting to get a clue. Of course, by the time they do get their act together to match the best cars of today, today's best will be totally re-done, and even better ;-)
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    of my Intrepid, although the passenger side fender and door could line up better. There is a little too much gap inbetween, maybe it could be adjusted to fit better, but probably not worth it. One thing I noticed though, is that the engine seems to be eating some oil. I am going to have Chrysler change the oil and filter at 3K miles, but at 1500 miles the oil level was about an one eight inch above the min mark. I changed the oil with Valvoline 5W30 but not the filter, and the level was just a little below the max mark. I will have to see what happens during the next 1500 miles. The Intrepid manual said "some" oil consumption during the first few thousand miles was normal, but I was still a little concerned. Has anyone else experiences oil consumption when the car was new?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    around 2,000 miles, and didn't notice any drop in the oil level. Actually, I just changed it on Monday nite, at around 78,400 miles (I was bad and let it go to about 3500 miles, instead of 3K!) and everything seemed fine.

    I've heard that too, though, that it's common for a car to use oil when it's new. I think some manufacturers say up to 1 quart per 1000 miles is "normal" even once a car is broken in!

    As for fit and finish, I am pretty happy with mine, too. I really didn't notice it when I first bought the car, as my previous cars were an '89 Gran Fury, an '85 LeSabre, an '86 Monte Carlo, and a '79 Newport. Compared to those beasts, the Intrepid is a precision instrument! Still, compared to something like a Camry or an Accord, I can tell that some things are off just a little...seems like Chrysler has always had problems aligning their doors just right!

    As for the oil though, I use Castrol 10W-30. I dunno if that would make much difference in consumption. It might, since it's a thicker oil and may not burn off as easily.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    aligned everything in the engine right. The oil consumption, almost a quart in 1500 miles, still concerns me. If this car eats a quart of oil every 3K miles, I am going to be a little *pissed off*, to say the least. I think a new car should go 3K miles with little oil consumption. I am wondering if it had anything to do with the fact that this car sat on the dealers lot since the middle of June2002. I bought it on March 12, 2003. I know it was driven at least once towards the end of Dec. 2002 because I test drove it then but the dealer still wanted too much $$$ at that time. The thought of rust forming in the cylinder walls entered my mind, but I decided to buy the car anyway. I checked the oil the day I bought it, before I handed over the cash, and it looked OK. I thought this would be a good way to check out the engine for signs of rust, but maybe I was incorrect. Any comments?
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    you are prolly stressing out over nothing. do you have the 2.7 or 3.5l??

    i must admit that i had 3 intrepids ('96, '98 and '00) and never had to add any oil between changes at 3-4k miles. if it continues to use oil over say 5k miles or so, have em check the PCV valve and maybe even do a compression check on all the cylinders. btw, i don't think your car sitting on the lot for an extended time would really hurt anything...fwiw.

    good luck...
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    I first changed the oil in my Intrepid at about 1500 miles. During the first year, it would occasionally use some oil between changes. Since that first change I have used full synthetics, go about 5000 miles between changes, and rarely add more oil. The last go around--which involved almost ALL highway miles, I went almost 7000 miles and the oil looked as clean on the last mile as it did going in. I spoke with numerous folks--who felt that even regular oils could go more than 3000 miles. My Trep is a 2000ES with the 3.2, Autostick, and 59,000 miles..
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I have never had to add oil to my 3.2 in 63,000 miles. The change intervals have been 2900 to 4600 miles, depending on my schedule. The level never seems to drop at all.

    All my body panels seem to line up just right. I have looked at Camrys and Accords in the parking lot, and they don't seem to be any better than this Intrepid. There is a manufacturing defect in the Intrepid where the interior plastic near the driver's left foot doesn't line up with the dash just right. You have to be looking for it to notice.

    ES '99
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    You are probably right,I am too concerned with the oil consumption. I just thought it was alot of oil for 1500 miles. I have to wait and see what happens in the future. My Intrepid is an SE model, and the only engine offered is the 2.7 Liter. I replaced the oil with 5W30, as this was the weight the mechanic at the Dodge dealer told me to use, and the manual prefers this against the 10W30. He also stressed oil changes at 3K miles, since he called the 2.7 L a 'high performance' motor. I'm not sure what he exactly meant by this. I asked him if it had anything to do with the fact that it is a DOHC engine, but his response was 'it was in the way the engine was set up'.
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    There seems to be quite a bit of debate around the 2.7 liter. I confess to being impressed by this engine. I've had 2.7 liter equipped Intrepids on numerous occasions and marveled at the "little engine that could." It's certain "fun to gun."
          Perhaps Emale might be helpful on this one--I remember several threads where the 2.7l was being discussed and regular maintenance was emphasized. I certainly think you can use the factory specified scheduled maintenance as a starting point. That being said, the number of 2.7 liter equipped Intrepid rentals that are about--and likely used very hard--strike me as testimony to this engine's durability. I live in the NE and use synthetic 10-30 in 3.2 and it performs flawlessly--no cold start problems or other difficulties.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    For its displacement, the 2.7 is a pretty powerful. Ford needs a 3.0 to get 200 hp, and GM needs a 3.8 to get to that!

    The 2.7 also has the highest hp-to-liter ratio of any of the LH engines, but at the same time, it really doesn't have much torque. It has to really rev to get power out of it, whereas the 3.2 and 3.5 are torquier, and can pull off the line with greater ease.

    I'm guessing that since the 2.7 works harder than the 3.2/3.5, that maintenance is more critical? It's also more complicated, being DOHC, versus SOHC for the 3.2/3.5, so there's more to fail, more places for crud and sludge to develop, etc.

    I must confess to being a bit of a "no replacement for displacement" kind of guy, but I've been pretty happy with the 2.7's performance. For an engine not much bigger than some 4-cylinders to move a 3500 lb car like it does, I think that's a testimony to how good the engine is!
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    more powerful when new than the 2.7L Intrepid engine. It was rated at only 140 H.P. but at a lower rpm than the 200 HP Intrepid engine. It also had a little more torque, as can be expected from a higher displacement engine. Both cars weigh appoximately the same. But I am reasonably happy with the power from the 2.7L engine. It has enuf power for most driving situations. I just hope it lasts as long as Fords 3.8 L. engine?! But when compared to my 149,000 mile TBird, the Intrepid is like driving a luxury car.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Your T-bird's 3.8 might be the exception to the rule. Ford's 3.8 has always had a nasty habit of blowing head gaskets, among other problems. Sadly, even to this day they still have that problem. A guy here at work just had his '98 Windstar blow. He was rolling along at highway speeds, and when it failed it pretty much shot the whole engine. I think it's a common problem with that engine, once it gets to around 80-90K miles.

    I always thought those T-birds from that generation were fairly heavy though...around 3700-3800 lb? I think most Intrepids only run around 3500 lb, tops.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Took a little trip to the Dodge dealer after work yesterday. I had ordered a new rubber seal for the rear door opening, which had shrunk up and was starting to fall off.

    They only had one Intrepid on their lot! I wonder if the factory has finished their run of Intrepids, and is now currently switching over for LX production?

    This particular model was a purple SE, and stickered for about $22600, which I thought was kinda high. It was almost identical to mine, which in '00 stickered for $20950. I notice that cruise control is now listed as a $235 option (it was standard in 2000). It also had a CD player, which I think added $125, and a remote entry (forget how much that added).

    And this is just a minor nit-pick, but I don't like the way they replaced the cloth on the door panels with vinyl. And the new-style wheel covers, I'm not too crazy about, either. I mean, I've seen worse, but I just like the old "twisted star" pattern better.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    LX production doesn't begin until around nov/dec of this year. i've noticed that my local dealership really never has very many intrepids on his lot either...:(
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    in November 1999, there were only two on the lot. Both of them silver. Guess which color I got? ;-) I've seen as many as 10-12 on this dealer's lot at a time, though.
  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    I have been away for a while. I imagine some of you are a little harder on tires than I am. My 01 ES has 44,000 on it and it is still on the OE tires (Eagle GAs with a treadwear rating of 300). They are noisy for my tastes, but they are still smooth and grip well. I rotate them every 9,000 miles. Based on the amount of tread, they should reach 55,000 before I have to take them off. And that will be well before the treadwear bars start to show.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I just noticed this new color, "Butane Blue" listed on the Dodge website, and available on the '04 Intrepid (and Concorde). Has anyone seen it yet? It's kinda hard to tell in a computer rendering what it would look like in real life, but it makes me think of that "Sterling Satin Glow Blue", or whatever it's called...that pale blue that's common on Sebring sedans and convertibles.

    Looks like a nice color.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    i kinda like the butane blue. i've seen it on recent minivans. reminds me of a steel blue, if you will...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I noticed that the steel blue (if I had it all to do over again 3 1/2 years ago I think that's the color 'Trep I would've got) wasn't listed in the color charts any more. Maybe the butane blue replaced it?
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Morning... I too, have seen the Butane Blue on several minivans and, I believe, a Stratus. It's a nice color and very reminiscent of the Sterling Blue Andre referenced. It's very light..
        My 2000 ES is Steel Blue and one of the reasons I waited for the 2000 model year. For my tastes, I believe the manufacturers rather "overthink" the color issue. Anyone noticed that with the exception of the standard "gold" and "silver", most of Honda's colors seem extremely dark for 2003? Getting the same impression of some of Chrysler's colors.. Ah well... Sure sign I'm nearing 40..
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    It seems like the previous-generation Intrepid and Concorde were offered in a wider variety of colors. Maybe it's just one of those things that, like styling, comes and goes in cycles? Kinda like how cars are going back to a boxy, angular look?

    I put on my new weatherstripping last night, for the rear door. This is the piece that is famous for shrinking up and popping loose in the corners. One thing I never realized is that the piece isn't molded to the shape of the's just one long, straight, flexible piece that you kind of force-fit into place. You just put it in so that both ends are underneath the plastic sill panel.

    I discovered though, that an easy, free, fix to this is to just pop the sill loose and re-fit the existing molding back into place. Since it shrunk, it'll leave a gap at the bottom, but the sill will hide most of that. I did that with my driver's door seal.

    It's amazing how much quieter the car is, now! Since the seals shrunk up gradually, I guess I didn't really notice how much the noise level had increased. Big difference now though, with the seals fixed!
  • pkciccopkcicco Posts: 13
    Maybe its me...but has anyone with the 3.5 engine (232hp version) noticed how noisy the intake manifold is when cruising at 60mph or better. At first I thought I had a loose valve stem or needed a valve adjustment. The dealer says its the active intake manifold and they all sound that way. I'm not sure whether to believe him or not. I find it hard to believe an 02 with Chrysler's better engine should sound that way.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    $23,220. It started out at 20,810 plus $650 for destination, then add $600 for ABS and about $1,100 for the 'D' package. The 'D' package included power drivers seat, cruise control (which is no longer std.), alloy wheels, cd player with changer controls, fold down rear seat, and keyless entry and I believe that's it. I was told steel blue was discontinued for the 2004 models. Keep in mind that mine is a 2002 model. As I said before, Chrysler is getting real sleazy and the four wheel independent 'touring' suspension is no longer standard on the SE model. They call the SE's suspension 'normal suspension'. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that means but one thing I noticed was that the rear stabilizer bar was deleted.This is true of the 2003 models, I did not research the 2004 model. And I have to agree with you Andre1969, the cloth inserts in the door panels looked better than the vinyl which I have. But I thought the interior still looked better that the black vinyl and leather seats in the ES models I looked at. Well its about 4 AM in the morning and I hope I did not make any spelling mistakes?!
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    Chrysler even deleted the body side molding as standard equipment on all Intrepid SE models. And, rumor has it that the steering wheel is now optional equipment on all '04 Intrepids. Well, just kidding about the steering wheel, but I wouldn't put it pass Chryslers cost cutting initiatives. But all this said and done, I still think its a good value for the $$.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    emale, nope we are still building Intrepids ,Concordes ,and 300M's till Aug 28 . Then they will retool the plant ( around 8-10 weeks) and then we will start to build LX pilot cars sometime in Nov/Dec . The first customer car will not be built till late Jan 04.
    Yup Butane blue is a new color for us, also we have started building midnight blue . It is a lighter version of the old Sappihre blue they had in 03, very nice.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444

    Thanks, it is great to have someone with the inside scoop. I am a little sorry to see the old LH go away. We have really enjoyed ours, and continue to do so. Somehow I think this was the last car of the real Chrysler. The new ones may be great, and I will consider when it comes time to buy once again, but there remains a hole in my heart.

  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    True the LH cars are a nice car ,but we must change with the times. Sales have really gone down for us in the past few years. From working 7 days a week , then running 3 shifts . We now only run 2 shifts and have around 10 weeks of layoff a year . I will miss the LH but look forward to the LX
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    to see the LH go, too. It really put Chrysler back on the map as far as large family cars go, an area that they've really been weak in since the 60's!

    I'll definitely consider a new one when they come out, once my '00 Trep is ready to retire. It's only at around 79,000 miles now, so hopefully that's a long way off!

    This is kind of a minor nitpick, but I was just wondering...does anybody know if the rear windows on the LX models will roll all the way down? (that's always been a pet peeve of mine) Anyone? Ottowrkr? Bueller?
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