Dodge Stratus -- RELIABILITY???
knockout99 Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Dodge
I'm looking into buying a 1996 Dodge Stratus, and was currious if anybody out there had info on this. I've heard really good things about the car, but nothing in particular about it's maintenance and reliability. I don't want to put 8 grand into buying this car, if it's going to cost more to keep it running. Any information or stories wanted!!! Thanks to all who help!
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The 4-speed automatic is DC's trouble-prone 41TE unit; make sure it's been maintained properly or you will have trouble with it. It seems to have caused less trouble with the Stratus than with the heavier minivans, though.
All told - get an extended warranty at least on the powertrain. Chances are good you will need it for one or another known problem.
Hope this helps.
It's unfortunate the brakes failed, but the airbags may simply have done their job - they're not designed to deploy other than in a very serious frontal collision (one that would likely destroy your car).
If you don't mind me asking, what was the approx repair amount? How long ago / mileage wise did you have it done? Are you still satisfied with your Status? With 4 more months to pay on it, I don't want to give it up now.
is about the only thing that hasn't happened to
it yet. Good thing I had the added care extended
warranty, but I am usually in for the $100 deductibel once a month. I had the head gasket
replaced, rotors too - except that this time they
had me. The first time around they tell me -
oh we have to resurface your rotors. OK. Next time
(60K mi) - they tell me: rotors need to be
resurfaced again, but
they are below specs so we can't do it - you
have to replace them. Warranty - nope - not
covered. I also had power steering pump, exhaust
manifold, front shocks - all replaced. For the
power steering hose they said the added care
extended warranty did not cover it and had me
pay $700 for it. Do you think I can get some
of it back by yelling at Chrysler? The steering
wheel rattles alright and yes, they did tell me
A local, independent mechanic (who was recently putting a new tranny in my Dodge Caravan), told me that Chrysler would pay for all (or at least part) of my head gasket replacement (at 50K miles!). Apparently, they extended the warranty on the head gasket to 100K mikes, but of course, they aren't advertising it (it could make them look bad).
I have just begun my yelling to get this paid for. Has anyone had any experiences with this?
I did not pay the full amount for the head gasket & catalytic convertor/exhaust (these repairs were performed at the same visit). It is my understanding that emissions parts are to be warranted for 10 years. They did not admit any type of extended warranty for the head gasket--but replaced it and only charged for a scheduled maintenance visit. I hope this info helps somebody!
Did I mention I was car shopping? I wish I came here before I bought this car!
Luckily I have the extended warranty to 60000. However, that did not help me on the two complete brake jobs I have had so far. Did somebody say tierods? I thought so/ I have new ones as well. It is nice to have this Stratus support group(not for the car but for the poor souls who own one) so we can vent. I have 2000 miles left and then I will get really nervous. Who can tell me what will go wrong next? Stay strong ...
'96, 70K, On my 3rd set of rotors and pads. I've resigned myself to the fact that I have to replace them every 20K or so. Whoever was the genius who designed the Stratus' braking system should be sent to bed without dinner for a month.
Had to replace head gasket like most others here. Car stereo started flipping out about 30K ago and now won't work. No biggee. I'm hoping for another 5 years and 50K out of it.
Would I buy one again? Probably not. It's been an O.K. car with some nice features for the money. If they had solved the head gasket and brake problems, I would have been much happier and virtually problem free.
I loved the Stratus. As some people have said, I also had trouble with head gasket at 63K. It cost $550 at the dealer to replace it. No transmission problem. Had the fluid and filter changed as soon as I bought it at Dodge dealer. They say any fluid but Mopar brand will give the transmission excuse to act up!!!
I changed the rotors and brake pads myself, and it cost $93. Never had rotor or pad problems that some people have been experiencing. the 2.4L is strong, and easily cruises at 75-80. I got 31mpg to 35mpg on highway. The suspension could have been better. The engine is rough and growls a little. There is plenty of leg room in the back seat. MUCH more than Accord or Camry. Very comfortable front seats.
Well kept Startus is a good used car buy.
I changed the rotors with new ones, since I knew it would have cost me more than $93, if I had gone to Midas for rotor turning and new pads. Changing rotors, and brake pads on Chrysler products is very easy.
We also own a '97 Dodge GC LE. we bought it new, and it now has 73K miles. I have spent about $400 of unexpected repairs ( Leaky Transmission selenoid pack, and belt tensioner.
I feel bad for all the folks here with Chrysler problems. I paid $6900 for it in May 99, and sold it for $6200 in Dec 00. I put 38K miles on the car.
I bought my 96 stratus with 16k on it and had the first problem with the windshield reservior leaking.Immediately I noticed the car burning oil and had no idea the head gasket might be the culprit.
At 25k the front left rotor was replaced and I realized my car had a healthy appetited for brake pads at every 20k.
At 45k the threaded o ring seal on my gas tank began to leak and almost blew my wife and kids off the continent. There is a 55k emissions warranty that covered this repair.
At 50k my fuel pump failed and cost me $300 semolies.
At 65k the exaust manifold was replaced.
At 72k I began to have fuel injector problems which the dealership nitwitts misdiagnosed.All it happened to be was the spark plug wires needed replaceing.
And at 120k I developed an oil leak and found out later at 148k that the head gasket has blown.
Yea, I think mad cow disease is the only thing that hasn't happened yet.
P.S. And this doesn't include all the factory recall work thats been done on it.
Do you still own your Stratus? I am serious considering jumping ship on Dodge, sounds like this car could nickel and dime me to death.
Over all my Stratus has been trouble free. I am trading it in but not because of problems. It is simply that because of problems with my legs I can't drive it anymore and need a truck for the upright seating position.
The car has been dependable and has not given me any problems at all. Actually there is one slight one. It is Forest Green and it seems that people can't see it. It has almost been hit too many times. That is why the truck I ordered is bright red. (also a Dodge).
Now we have 29,000. The rotors needed turning once. The mechanic said the pads were only a little used, so he left them on. Other than that it has been perfect.
Handles great, takes the bumps lots better than my old Dodge Spirit, comfortable and quiet, except for some road noise on rough roads. My daughter has a 2000 Camry, but I like the handling of the Stratus better. The Camry steering precision seems a little vague compared to the Stratus. The 4 cylinder Stratus has better pickup than the 4 cylinder Camry, but the Camry is quieter and seems to get better gas milage. But the Camry cost 21,000 and we only paid 14,000 for the Stratus. (Of course it was a demo) And the Stratus has more room than the Camry. Even fits me, and I am 6'6". No rattles, smooth, powerful. Great car so far. And some writers rate the 2001 Stratus equal to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
On the issue of the Status s. Carry/Accord. I couldn't agree with you more. My parents are on their second Carry and they are head and shoulders better than the Status. They had 90k+ miles on their 1997 when they traded it in on their 2000. They needed nothing but routine maintenance on it (oil, filters, tires etc.) I have heard the same about the Accord. I am actively looking for either a Carry or an Accord as my Status' days are numbered.
I once had a new car with such problem - a pinched line. Took a while to find!
I just wanted to add that even though an Accord or Civic (even a used one) may cost more, it will hold it's resale value WAY better than a Dodge. When I was looking for my Stratus replacement, I found that 1998 & 1999 Accord EX's were on avergae only $1,000-$3,000 less than buying a brand new one! While I was hoping to get a late model used one, these prices both convinced me to buy a new one AND to buy one!
By the way, I got $3,000 for my 96 Stratus ES with 62K. It was ALMOST paid off.