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Dodge Stratus

L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
edited July 1 in Dodge
Welcome to the continuation of the Dogde
Stratus/Plymouth Breeze Experiences
topic. Those
of you joining us from that topic are welcome to
continue your discussion. I dropped the Breeze
from the title because, well... the Breeze is being

If you're new to this topic, you may want to
follow the above link for additional archived


Sedans Host


  • For people entering a Stratus/Cirrus board for the first time, I'd like yot to know that there is a website that has a more extensive discussion on these cars from performance to trouble shooting. Also there is a company, that sells performance parts for Stratus and Cirrus models from 95-'01. Check out my website below.
  • I put my brand new 2000 Stratus SE through my regular car wash a few months ago, and the metal strip under all four windows discolored, turning purple and green. My friend has a Plymouth Breeze and it's the same. Is there a cleaning product out there that will take out the funky colors?
  • I own a 96 Stratus, 2.4l auto 65k miles. We bought a 2000 Caravan and are currently marketing the stratus. One potential customer really like the car but wanted her mechanic to check it out. I gladly agreed because it has been a great car and I had nothing to hide. Much to my surprise, the mechanic pointed out an oil leak on the back of the head where in meets the block and a broken trans mount. The trans mount doesnt bother me near as much as the head gasket leak. Now I am hearing rumors of a history of head gasket problems. Can these rumors be confirmed? What does it take to correct the problem? Also, when should the timing belt be replaced and are there other recomended parts that need replaced with the timing belt?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Chrysler does have a design flaw concerning the head gasket on their 2.0 liter and 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engines built between 95-98. The problem more centers on the 2.0, but there has been problems with the 2.4 as well. The only way to correct the problem is to have the head gasket replaced with their new design. Chrysler supposedly warranties the gasket on the 2.0 for 100,000 miles, which your car falls under, and will fix it for $100. I'm not completely sure whether this warranty is extended to the 2.4 as well. Just go to the dealer and inquire about it. If you don't get a satisfied answer, call Chrysler directly. Let them know you just bought another of their products and I am sure they will want to keep you a satisfied owner. The timing belt should be changed at 105K I believe. So you are fine in that area. Hope this helps you out some. Good luck.
  • slockoslocko Posts: 109
    that has happened to me twice. both times the dealer replaced some sort of ac fitler that accumulates mold. don't remember exactly what it was.
  • sp01sp01 Posts: 81
    one! How long have you had the car, how humid is your locale and how often do you use the A/C?

    If I may ask!

  • There is no filter,it´s called "evaporator". The bad odor happens to many cars,it happens when the "evaporator" gets contaminated by smog and pollution.
  • we have a 97 Grand Caravan that has a stinky ac, live out in the boonies with low humidity, smells like a musty basement, yeech.
  • Car is in great shape. See my ad in the marketplace. 9200 miles. Only driven on weekends. Color: Deep slate, 6 cycl 2.5l, alarm system, ABS, dark gray (agate) leather seats, power driver's seat. $14,500.

    I have to say I'm glad I bought the car despite some not so favorable reviews. The car hasn't given me one bit of trouble over the 2 years. So why am I selling? Well, I got that new job and I'm buying my bimmer.

    If interested e-mail: [email protected]
  • Do anyone out there have any maintenance horror stories? I'd like to compare notes.
  • slockoslocko Posts: 109
    It happened to me like 2 months after I had the vehicle. I never use the vehicle much, but maybe it got contaminated during my trip to washington dc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think evaporator was the term used. I don't remember if they cleaned it or put some sort of deodorizer.

    After those two incidents it hasn't happened again. I also have had 3 blown amp fuses in the 3 years I owned the vehicle. Dealer can't find any reason and suspects it might have been the cellular cigarette adapter but I doubt it.
  • robnjrobnj Posts: 11
    The stinky A/C problem is common, especially if you park the car in a garage. The mold grows better in the damp garage. You can try to turn the fan on high and suck in some Lysol through the outside vents (turn off recirculate).
    The best fix is through the dealer. They have a wand they use that gets down into the A/C system and shoots the disenfectant right in there.
    The problem will come back, but I found a way to postpone it a little. For the last 2 miles of my trip I turn off the A/C and leave the fan on. I am trying to get the condensation off the evaporator. Since I have been doing this, the problem has not come back. I usually only do this on the way home, when it would sit in the garage overnight.
  • robnjrobnj Posts: 11
    I saw a post about someones window molding turning blue/purple. I have had this happen. Similarly, the mirrors will get a white film on them. You can remove both by using a good cleaner wax. Unfortunately, this is the only solution I know of. There is a TSB on the mirrors, but all it says is to tell the customer to use a wax product to clean it off. Not a big help there.
  • sp01sp01 Posts: 81
    Gel-Gloss to remove oxidization from all the exposed black trim. It leaves behind a very clean surface with no swirl and no clouding (completely non-abrasive). It's available in most hardware and marine products stores.

    After they're stripped, the surfaces get a paste wax sealant. At that point, they look virtually brand new.

    I find I have to repeat the treatment about every eight to ten weeks; more frequently if I go to a conventional carwash. Whatever they use in those carwashes, it leaves behind splotches that annoy me no end. But sometimes, when you run out of daylight...

    Works on our '98 Caravan SE as well.

  • my daughter drives my 97 stratus at college - she reports that ocassionally while going up a hill she presses the accelerator and the engine revs to high rpms and the car doesn't go for a moment then grabs and goes on. dodge recall 21-07-98 had a recall in l998 for this problem. has anyone else had this problem?

    Also tsb 750 concerns front lower control ball joints. I had the right side one fixed at my expense. I received no recall on this problem. My service manager told me to get the vin # and he would see if that numbered car was on the recall list. so I'm going to do that. has anyone else had this problem?
  • We have a 1997 Stratus, ES with the 2.4L engine. The timing belt, well actually the idler pulley went at 43,000. We now have 53,000 miles on the car and we will be having a new head gasket put in early next week (first week of Oct.). The two dealers that I spoke to in our area didn't mention anything about an extended warranty on the 2.4L's. If anyone has gotten Chrysler to pay anything for their head gasket, please let me know at [email protected]
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    Yes I noticed that sort of lack of response with the subsequent 'Oh did you want a down shift?' reaction from the transaxle. But I passed it off as a symptom of a cheap car since it was a rental.
  • leo70leo70 Posts: 1
    Hello, Im in the market right now for a used car. Earlier today, I visited a dealer in my city to look at some of the cars which they had to offer. I was amazed with one car inpaticular, a used 2000 Dodge Stratus SE 2.4. I was wondering if anyone out there had any info that might be usefull to me about this type of car. Im a college student which needs it to tow around friends, and for my personal driving. So it will be driven quit a bit. It has 23000 miles on it, but i have the option of purchasing an extended warranty for 36000 more miles. So it would have a 100% warranty until almost 70000 miles. I would greatly appriciate it if someone could help me out with some usefull info, and maybe even personal experience. Thanks a bunch,

    You could either post it or e mail me at [email protected] Again, thank you
  • I have a 1997 Dodge Stratus ES with 55,000 miles and I can't complain about my experience. I haven't had any of the problems described by others (no oil leaks, head gasket problems, or anything like that). I did have to get my ABS computer replaced when my ABS light came on, but it appeared to be a random problem. Thank goodness I got the 7 yr/100,000 mi. extended warranty. (Warranty Gold, fyi)

    I do have a bit of an odor with my A/C, so I think I'll have someone check that out. It's not horrible, but it's not how most ACs smell.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you prospective buyers that the 1997 ES (with 6 cyl autostick) is a pretty decent buy.
  • slockoslocko Posts: 109
    Mine has 29k miles with no problems yet. It's a pleasure to drive.
  • I love mine,it´s a 97,LOVELY,GREAT CAR!
  • sp01sp01 Posts: 81
    '95 2.5L over 71K miles with zero issues. Just replaced an o2 sensor and the A/C high-side switch this month. That's it.

    Love this car.

    As always,
  • I just sold our 97 stratus,it was the best car we had,all of us fill bad. We will miss him a lot; we replace him for a new Neon.
    Our stratus was full loaded,and had the 2.4 l engine,the only minor problem was weak brakes,it had 4 wheel disc brake,and we think it needs more power.
    So far in more than three years it went back to the dealer to normal maintance,and to fix a noise coming from the rear brakes,and bad odor coming out from a/c three times.
    What a wonderful car,we are not sure today if we made the right thing selling the Stratus!
  • abaltoabalto Posts: 22
    That questions and technical advice web site...

    I have also looked for a good Dodge web site to ask questions and technical advice, opinions, etc. The best site I have found is This site is clearly the best in quality, with over 60,000 posts! Good luck either way Trevor!
  • jjv55jjv55 Posts: 20
    I have a '97 Stratus 4cyl. It now has 60,000 miles on it. I have been through three sets of brakes, replaced faulty sensors, experienced noises which no one could explain, a/c odor, and a radio which pops in and out of stereo. I have religiously maintained the car and now have a blown head gasket. The car has been nothing but trouble since the day I got it. I also have yet to find a Dodge dealer in the Chicago area that doesn't give me problems whenever I have to bring it in. Once I get the gasket fixed (which I'm definitely not paying for) this car is history (as well as the chances of ever buying a Chrysler product again)!
  • I have a 1998 Plymouth Breeze and has 45,000 miles. 2 weeks ago, as I was starting my car starting to make a horrible noise, I opened the hood and I saw a spark plug out of the head. I put it back in place and I had a friend start the car and the spark plug was shout out of the head. Took it to the mechanic, replace the spark plug, but the loud noise from the engine is still there and does not have enough power. Chrysler service shop suggests taking the head off to find out what the problem is. Another friend did some research on the internet and found out about Heli-Coils, being a long-term solution if the problems happens to be a stripped spark plug thread.
    Does anyone have any knowledge of this procedure?
  • robnjrobnj Posts: 11
    First, there is no possible way for the plug to just strip out itself. Odds are, the plug was not put in correctly. It must have been cross threaded and stripped from the last person to have them out. Even if the piston hit the plug, it would not blow a plug out. It would just smash the end of it.
    Anyway, a Helicoil is a good method of thread repair. It is approved by Chrysler and other manufacturers. You need a Helicoil installation tool and tap and the right assortment of coils. You also need the correct drill to match the coil you need to install.
    It is a fairly straightforward procedure where you find the coil that matches the thread size you need for the spark plug. You drill out the wasted threads with a drill that is matched to the coil. You then tap the threads with the appropriate tap size. Then you screw in the coil and set it in place by breaking off the tang on the end of the coil.
    The coil then becomes the new threads and they are just as good, if not better then the original aluminum threads. If done correctly, you will never have a problem with this plug again.
  • MOPAR "Move Over People Are Racing" - trading my '98 150hp 2.0 DOHC Neon and upgrading to the '01 200hp 2.7 Stratus. Anyone have the experience yet?
  • I have just purchase a 2001 Stratus ES loaded. The engine is strong. The style of the car is awesome compared to the older body style. My parents have an older Cirrus and have had some leaking tranny problems but thats about it. Reading alot of these postings really made me thing twice about buying the car. But, I have read some reviews about the car and have read nothing but good things. So far, I love the car and have got a lot of comments on it. The color is Inferno Red w/a deep pearl coat, it also has the chrome wheels and leather interior. The Infinity Premium stereo/CD changer w/120W amplifier is outstanding. I say go for it.
  • Thanks a bunch for the response. I also did a lot of research and had mixed feelings. In fact I went back to the dealer 5 times and drove 5 different models/configurations before deciding on this one. Anything quirky that I should be looking for post-dealer prep? I know sometimes they have a tendency to overlook things and it seems that patterns are consistent with model types.
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