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Dodge Stratus



  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    My '97 2.4l Stratus started to make a squeaking sound when I get on the drive way after a day in the salt mine.

    I asked a mechanic to check for any suspension component failure and he said that nothing was broken. In particular, the bushings were a tad dry, but not cracked.

    As he himself had had a Stratus, he told me that his made this noise too. Just in case, he added some silicon paste to the front suspension bushings. However, the noise persists.

    Should I get worried?
  • I own a 2000 ES with 30,000 miles. I hear a metallic like sound from the frontend when going over bumps. Dealer claims what I hear are the front disc pads moving around in the caliper. Dealer tells me most expensive pads that Mopar sells will cure the problem as they are made to more exacting standards. Anybody else ever hear of this?
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I do! It came to existence in my 2.4 97 when I replaced the pads at Midas. It really annoyed me and I noticed that if I was braking it wouldn't rattle anymore.

    Funny thing is that the right wheel seems to be the only one making the noise. I removed the front wheels at home and noticed that the rotors are kind of loose without them and that on the left side there was more play than on the right side.

    A couple of weeks ago I got those pads replaced and the noise is still there, though not as evident...
  • a stratus. its the four banger, not my style, but she loves it. however its short on power, have any of you done any mods to increase hp at all? i have a 300m and i've done a few things to that, but im not sure where to start on a 4 cylinder engine.. is my car if anyone cares to see it..

  • In the front dash area are the plastics expanding and contracting. I have this same problem on my 2k Impala, the first time I heard it I thought I took a rock off the windshield but have heard it a few times more and so had several other Impala owners. I think the determination was expansion.

    My wife is looking at a Stratus for 2002, I'm assuming that it is mostly the same as the 2001 is but it sounds like she should get a V6.
  • Hey all,
    I have a `95 Stratus with the 2.5 V6 and have luved the car from the day
    I bought it (new). Now it has over 120K miles, but still looks (and for
    the most part) runs nearly new. However my car has developed a
    'creaking/clicking' sound coming from what appears like the stearing
    column as well as having a "strange" sensation when i turn (hard to
    expain the way it feels). Well, my worst fears were realized when the dealer told me I needed a new stearing rack - for $1600. No way am I paying that kinda money on a 6+ year old car and the fact that my car unfortunately has poor resale value. I am at the point where I feal like driving the car until it actually 'breaks' and then buy a new one - cuz $1600 is a large chunk of change that could possibly be spent on a downpayment on a new car. If I can get it fixed for less, then I would be willing to repair it.
    So my question is whether anyone else has had similar problems, and if so how much were you raped ... err, i mean charged for a new rack? I probably will try to get a quote from a local (non-dealer) garage, but figured I'd ask you guys to see what you think. I personally think its crazy that JUST the worn components can't be repaired/replaced, instead of replacing the whole darn rack assembly. Just goes to show you that 'modern' garages aren't "Repair shops" - all they know how to do is REPLACE whole components. (I can almost imagine 'Vern' under someones car saying "Well golly - this screw here is loose, I better tell the sucker, opps, i mean the car owner that he needs a whole new tranny")
    Any thoughts?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Steering racks aren't made of replaceable parts. It is a sealed unit and can only be replaced as a whole. It is made up of a toothed rod that slides back and forth via a rotating pinion gear (thus the term rack and pinion). The rod and the gear are one complete component. You cannot take the rack apart to replace just the gear (you wouldn't want to anyway because if the gear is worn than the rod is too). What usually happens is the grease leaks out (or dirt and water gets in) through a torn dust boot and causes the rack to dry out and thus causes noise from metal to metal contact. The cost of replacing a steering rack is expensive partly because of how difficult it is to get at. They are usually stuffed into a very small area and it is very labor intensive. The rack itself is a precisely machined unit and as such is rather expensive, especially if its power steering. A manual steering rack for my 84 VW would cost around $400 just for the parts. Power steering is more complicated as it has hydraulic lines running into and out of it. So I would expect it to cost between $500-1000 just for the rack. The price you were quoted sounds reasonable enough to me but I would definitely get a second opinion. Anyway, I know it sounds ridiculous, but you can't just replace the worn parts. A rack must be replaced as a whole unit. If you are ready for a new car, I would just trade it in without them knowing the rack is bad as $1600 is a lot to spend on a high mileage car that has poor resale value. Good luck!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Definitely get a second opinion for the steering rack. You have to replace the entire rack. Try an independent service center. They can normally do the same work for much cheaper then the dealer. Plus your car is 6 years old. You no longer have any warraties with the car so get it fixed at the lowest price. At that age and mileage, another big repair could be right around the corner.
  • porkyporky Posts: 83
    A friend of mine owns a 99 Dodge Stratus and was involved in a front end collision. He struck another 99 Dodge Stratus that had lost control in icy conditions on a bridge/viaduct. It too had severe front end damage. NEITHER vehicles air bag had deployed. Both cars are totaled. They hit hard enough to snap the front axles on each vehicle, and more.

    Has anyone else had a similar incident where the Air Bag has not deployed in an accident??

    Thanks for any reply.
  • mak90mak90 Posts: 1
    In power rack & pinions there are triple o-ring high pressure shaft seals that wear out or get damaged from a worn P/S pump, causing loss of power while turning.(that strange sensation)
    The rebuilt rack's lifetime warranty requires replacing the P/S pump for the above reason.
    My friend just had a mechanic friend install a factory rebuilt rack in a '92 Camry for $150(part) plus $150(labor).(they didn't do the pump ~$50)
    Wait till you hear what they want to rebuild a front wheel drive, O.D. automatic transmission.
  • Hello,

    I'm a first timer here so bear with me. The summer of 2001 I bought a 1995 Dodge Stratus STD 2.4 off of a dealer. About three months afterwards it started to blow the ignition fuse repeatedly whenever I would attempt to start the car. I took it back to the dealer and they said that it was a bad fuel pump and that it was on the same fuse as the starter, so that is why it kept blowing the fuse. Well about a 1-2 months it started to do it again, back to service. They could get it to blow the fuse repeatedly and ended up rewrapping all the wires, this was about a month ago. Well low and behold it is doing it once again, it doesn't seem the dealers service guys have a clue, can anyone help me out here?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    make sure the insurance company knows that the airbags did not deploy. If the accident caused that much damage to the front end, they should have deployed. This should be something the NHTSA might be interestied in hearing about.
  • Has anyone had problems with the aluminum wheels on the Stratus R/T 2001.
  • crissy2crissy2 Posts: 3
    Thinking of buying a 2001 SE for my daughter. Have a few questions for you experts out there. Am considering this car for safety reasons, though I must admit I have concerns about quality control. Anything I should be concerned with? She'll be driving this car home from school and work some nights, so I'm looking for reassurance that this car is reliable. 4 or 6 cyl? Don't want her to have too much HP. She doesn't have a lotof driving experience. Does this car use a timing belt or a chain? How do I find a 5 star dealer? Where do I find their (the dealer)rating? Noticed the model has had several recalls already. Should this be a concern about what is yet to come?
    Have never bought a used vehicle, so I have some concerns. Thanks for your input.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Had to drive once a rental in snowstorm in January 2001. Was scared. The ABS worked too often. It was not a Dodge Stratus, though, but a Plymouth twin.

    A neighbour get in couple of accidents on her Stratus. First time lost control on snow, spinned and hit a pole. The second time somebody cut her on highway, she stomped on brakes, lost control and totaled the car. On the other hand, she used to save on tires. Had Futura from Pep Boys on the wheels. And I do not like her driving style: she drove me once, and I'd rather avoid repeating...
  • paddler1paddler1 Posts: 6
    Fortunately for us a friend is a Chrysler mechanic. When we bought our 99 Sebring with 14000 miles on it he told us to beware the steering rack before the warranty was up. Sure enough we noticed the click and had the rack replaced under warranty. So far thats the only problem we've had. However, without the warning we probably would have gone past the warranty before the rack was bad enough to really worry us.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I put some of the pictures I took at NAIAS here. I didn't try to compete with marketing pictures, but I'm not proud of the photographic quality of my pictures either.

    Anyway, I focused especially on concept models and engines, for I love cut out engines! ;^)

  • Anyone w/ Stratus Notice how easily the stick shifts from drive to neutral?

    I have a used 04' Stratus SE w/ 24 k miles. The shifter goes thru the gears with realitive ease. Once driving down the highway my hand bearly hit the gear shifter and it went from drive to neutral at the slightest touch. Anyone ever notice how easily the shifter changes gears ? and Does going from drive to neutral w/out pressing the button present a problem or is this a normal function?
  • svevarsvevar Posts: 160
    The shifter is designed to move from Drive to Neutral without pressing the button - that's not a problem. Notice that you do have to press the button to do something that would damage the transmission, like shifting to reverse from drive while moving forward.

    The transmission selector shouldn't move too easily; it normally takes a little force. But simply brushing your hand up against the knob shouldn't do it.
  • Hello, I have a 2001 Stratus SE, 4 cyl...It looks and runs great except for one thing; about 50% of the time when I brake and take a right turn (right turn only, not a left turn...) the "BRAKE" light comes on, a get a "ding" sound, and a few seconds later the light goes off. This is the same "BRAKE" light which illuminates when I put the e-brake on. I also get this when I brake straight on (i.e. - not turning, just braking to a stop) occasionally. The brakes work fine, there is plenty of "pedal" there. I'm no mechanic, but venture to guess maybe some sort of sensor?? Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks!
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Check the level of your brake fluid. There is a sensor that alerts you to low brake fluid via the emergency brake light. Your fluid may just be a tad low, but going around turns and coming to a stop shifts the brake fluid away from where the sensor sits on the side of the master cylinder reservoir. Adding some brake fluid should get rid of the problem. Or the sensor itself is bad. If you do need to add fluid, keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't go back down because then that means you have a leak somewhere. It is normal for the fluid to drop down some as you get low on pad life since the calipers are extended out further.
  • My wife and I just purchased a 2004 Stratus R/T sedan. Beautiful car, good handling, good comfort. We have noticed an annoying whine in the motor that increases in volume with the reving of the engine. The dealer has put two new alternators on the car to fix the problem, but the whine is still there. The mechanic told me the whine is characteristic of the R/T. That seems strange considering it has the same engine as the other Stratus trim lines except the SXT. We have just over 1,000 miles on the car, it is our first Dodge, and so far, our last. Has anyone else noticed this whine in their Stratus? One of the mechanics told me it was a characteristic of this car.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Are you sure the whine is coming from the engine and not the transmission? If you put the car in neutral or park and rev the engine, do you still hear the noise?
  • Great car so far. The body and interior look sharp. Transmission sounds and runs great. Breaks are solid. Engine is clean...whole car is clean from top to bottom. Handles very well. Wow.

    However, I'm concerned about 2 things:

    1) 90k miles. Carfax looks clean. Again - runs great - and I want to keep it that way. What can I expect if I maintain it regularly? I don't have much of an idea on what type of maintenace its had other than from the dealership. Are there any maintenance issues I should focus on?

    2) Snow. There has been some concern by previous members on this forum about the performance of the 1999 Stratus in the snow. I live in Denver and commute to Wyoming once a month so this is a concern for me. Are snow tires an approptiate measure?

    Thank you for any responses in advance.
  • I checked for the whine in both park and neutral and the whine was present in both. Payed closer attention, and the whine is barely audible once I have reached cruising speed, but any kind of acceleration increases the volume of the whine so much that it is very noticeable over the radio. I don't really know much about cars so any help would be appreciated. Could this whine have anything to do with the autostic, because the two cars we test drove before buying this one did not have either the autostic or the whine. The whine sounds more electrical than mechanical, if that makes sense.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I just spent two days driving a new rental Dodge Stratus. The car had 2 miles on the odometer when I got it. I had mostly pleasant experience with the car, except for the following: The seatbelts are out of the way when you enter the vehicle and close the door and you must reach way behind the seat to grab the seatbelt. This was getting annoying. I got about 26 MPG overall on a mixed city/highway driving trip. The visibility over the front fender humps is not good and this can be a problem when turning in tight quarters. You can easily hit the curb because you cannot judge the position of the front wheel. The seat comfort is mediocre. Engine power is adequate for a large 4 cylinder, but not overwhelming either. I am used to driving 6 cylinder cars with a manual transmission and I immediately discovered this 4 cylinder car weakness: When accelerating rapidly onto a freeway around 70 MPH, the power is simply not there. Same in quick passing situations. You better plan ahead.
  • The annoying whine in my Stratus R/T sedan is finally gone, along with the seat belt rattle and the hard shifts back to Park from Autostic. What fixed the problem? I traded the piece of junk in for a GM car. I have never been so disappointed in a car or it's manufacturer customer service. There will never be another Dodge/Chrysler product in this family again.
  • I got my 2000 Stratus in December 2003 and was very happy with it; especially after my son exchanged the outdated cassette player for a new CD player as a Christmas present. Then in January a "film" developed on the windows that I couldn't get rid of. Then I began to smell antifreeze inside the car. A local car repair chain diagnosed the problem as a bad heater core. I was given two options: Fix it, $500 or bypass the heater and live without heat or defrost for $100. I chose the later, thinking it wasn't that cold in Las Vegas, but quickly found I did need the defroster. The Dodge dealer wanted $898 to fix it. Luckily, a co-worker's husband offered to fix it for $250 and the price of the part ($135). I get it back tomorrow and hopefully will enjoy driving it again. PS I agree with everyone else... the cup holders in the front are useless.
  • pensfanpensfan Posts: 1
    I would like to find out if anyone else is having problems with this car. The problem I am having is after you start the car and let run for a few min, shut off the car and let it sit for 30 min. I get a noise on the restart of the car. The noise sounds like metal rubbing metal also like a pump is running dry.The noise comes from the rear of the car. When this happens the tac drops to 200 rpm and starts to run rough.

     I have yet to get the dodge dealership to fix this problem. They claim they could not get it to duplicate 5 times I took it in. On the 6th attempt they claimed it was a fuel pump making the noise.

    Since the last attempt to fix it I have had this problem happen 5 more times.

    I have also had a radiator replaced and my alignment will not stay in place.

    Other then that I love the looks and ride of the car. I got the car with every option you can get. I get a lot of looks in the car and when you wash and wax the car man does it stand out. I got the car for $21,000 msrp was $29,000.

    I have only seen a few of the cars on the road.

    Thanks for the help
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