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Chrysler Sebring Problems and Solutions

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
Please share your Sebring problems and any solutions!

Owner's Clubs


  • "Mee too". 98 Sebring convertible as well. We may have had the problem from the beginning, since we drove it every day, but we first saw the same behavior after we trailered the car to Phoenix when it was 1 year old. Sometimes it can sit longer, but sometimes after 2 days it will be dead dead dead. We had 3 or 4 batteries replaced under warranty and two different dealers say there was no drain in the system. Now that I think of it, it might have something to do with rain, since I remember it was raining at the train station last time it happened (March '05 in Virginia this time). I just can't remember if rain was an issue in Phoenix. (Yes, actually, it does rain in Phoenix.)

    Some low power component shorting out when it gets wet?

    Either of you notice rain being an issue?

  • sjm308sjm308 Posts: 3
    My 2003 Sebring Limited Conv had the same problem with its 16" chrome factory wheels. Was having new tires mounted at all corners and the shop owner called me out back to show me the flaking chrome plating on the wheels where the tire bead makes contact. He said he sees this often on Chrysler chrome wheels. His solution is always to apply black goop on the tire beads before mounting them onto the wheels. This cuts back on the chances of air leaking out at the bead/rim contact area. Personally, if I find that in the future I need to replace the rims, I'll order new tires mounted on rims from a discount tire house like "Tirerack" or "Discount Tire" - not through Chrysler. No point in having the same problem all over again.
  • steve1947steve1947 Posts: 2
    I am in the proces of replacing my 3rd wheel. After the 2nd one I was told by the after-market wheel mfr. that Chrysler uses the "softest alumnium in the industry".Admittedly each replacement was necessitated by hitting potholes,but the impact didn't seem to be that serious.Is the "softest aluminum in the industry" statement valid? Has anyone had a similar experience? Does Chrysler offer any assistance in replacing the wheels?
  • mbaeschmbaesch Posts: 1
    I own a 2001 LXI. I previously owned a 97 JXI. The 97 was a dream to own. The 2001 is a different story. I like the new body/interior design but the shifting of the automatic transmission with the 2.7 is not as smooth as the 97 / 2.5 V-6. Anyone noticing the same with theirs? I have spoken to the dealership and they state it is operating normally. I beg to differ. It clunks when reversing and then moving into the forward drive gear. In addition the upshifting when accelerating is jumpy from one gear to the next. I have owned several Chryslers and this is the first automatic to operate this way.
  • beezybeezy Posts: 1
    My wife and I love the car, and just purchased another one (2002 LXI, different color.) But, the 2001 has not been without its problems:
    . Central command control module failed - interior lights wouldn't go off, etc. Replaced.
    . Passenger window wouldn't operate - replaced window motor.
    . Rear window defroster failed - replaced entire rear window.
    . Front windows don't lower completely when lowering the top. Haven't taken it in yet.
  • I have had sixteen flat tires since owning my '98 Sebring -- I cannot get to the bottom of the issue, though much like Steve above I have had two rims replaced (at the dealerships cost) but the dealership refuses to acknowledge that the rims are faulty. Aggravating enough that I may just sell the car!!!! I've shelled out about $1,000 of my own $$ to fix the repeated tire issues. I complained to the Better Business Bureau and that at least got the dealership to start paying for the repair costs and to replace the two rims, which is the least they can do, since the car is unreliable due to the tire problems......
  • dianalldianall Posts: 1
    I bought a brand new (leftover) 2001 Chrysler Sebring in Nov. 2001. It was a quiet ride...for about 2000 miles. Dealt with a rattle under the middle of the car which was remedied after 2 visits by tightening exhaust. Around 4500 miles noticed a loud creaking noise in the front end when turning. Have been back five times since. So far the Five Star Chrysler Dealer service dept has replaced the control arms on the left side, the stabilizer links on both sides, and lubed an area on the tire rod which "should" have been factory lubed. In between all that I was told those noises are normal. Within the last two weeks I took it to 2 independent service technicians. They feel it is in the struts. Chrysler said they cannot authorize repair
    because they cannot hear the noise. Also, the warmer the weather, the less sound is heard. Pulling out of my garage in the morning it sounds like an old rocking chair for several miles. I will be leaving my car for them to drive "cold" again. There is currently 8000 miles on it. In addition to the creaking noise in the front end, I notice a clicking noise from the steering column, and a shift in the seat on quick acceleration/stops which I am told is normal for these vehicles. The garage did replace what they said was a defective bolt in the seat, it is only a little better. This is my 4th new Chrsler product and I am greatly disappointed. I never returned to the garage with the others.
    Anyone else having problems with their 2001 Sebring sedan?
  • humming trans up 60 mps . what is causing this .
  • Not to sound dumb, but how and the heck do you change the air filter on this thing?(2001 convert) I have a K&N ready to go. I found the snaps and can see the top of the old filter but with all the piping and wiring etc. the top "circular housing" wont get out of the way. Its ironic that in the plastic it says "to service filter see owners manual". But when you look in the owners manual, all you get is the schedule to change it. K&N didnt provide instructions as well. HELP!
  • Have owned my first mid life crisis convertible with the 2000 LXI. Have been a Chrysler purchaser for 30 years, but next month I believe I'm going NISSAN. Have had plenty of trouble with the clicking in the engine, windows that won't go down, total replacements of parts not warranted replacement with only 20,000 miles on the thing and the inferior interiors. I am not going back.
  • parranparran Posts: 1
    Similar to dianall, I purchased a used 2000 JXI with a little more than 13K miles. Have noticed the creaking and crunching under the left front when driving over changes in grade and while turning. Dealership never heard the noise while under warranty but also replaced the control arms on the left side, the stabilizer links, etc. Suspect struts too - will be taking it in for that noise, brakes (an annual event), and work on the top. Have also had the cruise control replaced, AC button replaced, and both rear tail lights. Now the elastic straps that keep the header close to the top are wearing out and the header in the top is sagging. Although fun to ride with the top down - I'll be trading soon. Not worth the worry.
  • we recently purchased 2002 Chrysler Sebring convertible. It seems there is a lot of body flex when going in & out driveway or on rough roads. The popping or groaning noise seems to come from the body binding on the doors. Has anyone had this problem and if so what was the fix?
  • ... a sebring convertible. have wanted a ragtop for awhile.could also use an alternative to my long bed ext. cab f-250 diesel. rented a sebring convertible on a trip to nawlins'. while going thru several forums have read some real horror stories; mostly concerning jx series. things like car filling with water in heavy rains (top up ), body panels falling off doors, mystery electric problems. i truly enjoyed the ltd. experience i had with the car. the 2 used jxi's i've driven ( both 99's w/mid 40k on the odometer ) had front end shimmys & the seat retaining bolts were rusty. i've heard that the rack & pinion bushings are not available so the whole unit gets replaced, the intake manifold requires diassembly for spark plug replacement, & a few other quirks.
    what do you owners have to say?
  • I used to have a 97 sebing convertible jx and was very disappointed with it. In 2001, Chrysler basically remade the car, and it is a MUCH IMPROVED car. I am actually considering purchasing a 03 Limited, after test driving the Toyota Solara, BMW 3 series, Saab 9-3 and Volvo c70 (all convertibles). Good luck! Go test drive an 01-03 models and but those, not the old ones!
  • whit4,

    Hope your car is still under warranty. Just had a similar humming in my 2002 at 6k miles. Damn noise was so loud that it was driving me crazy. Well, my dealer heard it, knew what it was immediately, and fixed it right away. It was a front wheel hub. Mine was a defective left front hub (drivers side), but I'd have them check both. Only took the dealer about 45 min. to fix. Unfortunately, this is starting to sound like an endemic problem in the 2001/2002, therefore, if you're just out of warranty, I'd have them contact Chrysler for a free fix. As for me, with the problems I've had lately, I'm buying an extended warranty in the next year.
  • drove 00'-a jx & a jxi & an 01'lxi & 02'lx. all 4 had a slight wobble in the front end. the lx's had noticably more road noise rear view mirror & window rattles. top noise on one was at the windshield & would be an wasy fix by adjusting tie down clamps. the jx's actually looked better as far as body fit & interior finish. they also had noticably less power & weaker brakes. now thinking about another auto maker, mitsubishi perhaps.
  • plrodplrod Posts: 13
    I purchased a 00 JX ex rental with 15K 2 years ago and while I've only logged 10K during that time, I'm happy with the car but I did have it go into limp mode once because of a tranny problem. That was fixed with the rebuilding of the transmission valve body. I had noticed some clunking when going from neutral to reverse and sometimes from park to reverse prior to this and this has not happened again.

    The breaks on these cars (at least 1st generation)are very noisy when cold. They squeak alot when cold but once they warm up that goes away. Dealer says it's normal with the OEM pads - I'm still on the original set with 25K. Anyone using a pad they can recommend that doesn't make this noise?

    Prior to purchasing the car I researched here and elsewhere and became aware of the TSB's that were out on my model. One in particular addressed the water in the cabin issue and offered a fix which the dealer did on my car. I'd never had this happen bc my car is mostly garaged but I asked for the fix to be done and they did it. Check out the TSB's on this site or at:

    My car's original 3/36 waranty just expired, now I have 7/75 extended warranty. During the last two years my car would go to the dealer for every little thing. They replaced: all weather stripping, passenger visor/mirror, couple of brake lights which kept going out at first, the transmission valve train and various other details which I can't even recall w/o getting out the file.

    Bottom line is: Let others pay the depreciation of the new car, buy the last model year of any American car (never the first) used while still under factory warranty, then get an extended warranty (a must for Chryslers IMO) which will cover you for the time you will own the car. If the car has many problems during your time with it, unload it around 1 year before the extended warranty expires. I realize this formula doesn't work for everyone but I've grown to like it. I do like new cars too, just haven't bought one since 95.

    On the wheels, my JX came with 15" steelies w/hubcaps and man those stock tires would squeel around the twisties - they didn't hold the road at all. I purchased aftermarket 17's and am running 215 50 series and the car handles much better. I've also installed an aftermarket rear sway bar which further improves cornering.

    Safe motoring!

  • Any clue why the dealer has asked me to come back in after I just leased an 03 Sebring two weeks ago and sign another agreement just so they can change the excess mileage charge from 0.15 to 0.20?? What if I say no thks, I'll just keep what I have that you signed already? They tell me it is now Chrysler policy and they just got the word.
  • leebealeebea Posts: 25
    I've never leased a car, but to me a contract is a contract. If they screwed up, they eat the extra .05. I think any lawyer would agree.
    Good luck,
    Lee B.
  • Bought my 2001 Sebring Sedan LXI in July 2001. Loved it from the first time I saw it in 2000. Several irritating problems though:

    1.) 2-Months old - Rattle under middle of car. 5* Dealer tightened but every time there is a temperature change w/ weather (warm to cold) rattle comes back.

    2.) 4-Months old - Whinning/Humming Noise coming from front end (transmission) dealer says not transmission. Replaced rt/frnt bearing hub assembly. (only after 4 trips to 5* dealer who couldn't duplicate noise) Happens usually between 30 & 45 mph & in cold weather only. Had tires rotated - noise coming back. (dealer deaf again)

    3.) Crunching noise when turning and braking at the same time. Dealer can't figure it out.

    4.) Rear brakes grind in reverse. Usually when wet & cold. Rear brakes replaced by warranty. Never stopped the problem.

    5.) Interior light flickering. Switch replaced.

    6.) January 2003 Heater went. Would only blow on level 4. Warranty - blower resistor faulted...resistor replaced.

    7.) Driver's side passenger window switch faulted - warranty repair

    So far no recalls - but Chrysler doesn't admit to anything being wrong w/ their vehicles.

    Love my car but these minor noises that can't be fixed are irritating. Wondering when they will turn into major fixes. Putting on alot of miles. 27,185 in 18 months. Warranty will be up soon (before I pay off) Wondering whether or not to dump it off. Again - I love this car -- it's a head turner, but when it spends more time at the dealer than in my hands??? Any advice?
  • wxjonwxjon Posts: 4
    I bought a 97 Sebring JX back in 98 as a program car. The car now has 95,xxx on it, and would I buy another? NO. Don't get me wrong this is a fun car to drive, and for anyone consider buying one, consider it. If you want a convertible for not a whole lot of money, this is a great car.

    Now that being said my days with Chrysler are probably coming to an end. This car has not been a nightmare just lots of little things.

    1) 4 sets of front brakes, front roters once.
    2) Fuel gage replaced (not cheap)
    3) Standing water in the back seat floor after the car was parked at the airport during a rain.
    4) Door switch replaced (you know the thing that turns off the dome lights) That was fun driving down the road with the map lights going off and on and the car dinging.
    5) Hydrolics went out top (that is really not cheap)
    6) Back window defroster disconnected itself (never been fixed by dealership)
    7) Hydrolics on trunk -dead
    8) Trunk release button -dead
    9) Black cover over transmission hole (broken twice once under warranty, second time was on my dime -was told it would be $250 -it stayed broken.
    10)Heat sometimes switches to just blower and then back to heat.
    11) Countless other things.

    Again nothing huge, the car still starts and it still gets me to work and home.

    Just thought I would add my 2 cents!


  • Now have 14,000 miles on 2002 LX. Car has settled down quite nicely. Still have crunch and grind when turning and do expect A/C groan to return in hot weather (when it comes). Biggest complaint so far is wiper blades, they don't last long. Dealer has replaced for me (3) times. A positive note, I live in Delaware, lived most of life in Pittsburgh PA, believe in snow tires for winter. Bought some 15" wheels and run of the mill real live snow tires for the car. In a recent 8" snowfall just get out of the way! This Sebring went everywhere, plowed roads or not! Great car in snow with right tires. Wouldn't even try with the 16" factory tires. Maybe I'll keep it after all.
  • Yea, I get the "crunching" noise also. Especially on cold mornings and/or evenings after the car has sat a while. It seems too always happen during "right" turns.

    My dealer is also stumped. Please post should you find anything out (and vice versa). thx
  • has anyone had this problem? The aluminum wheels on my 98 jxi have a clear plastic coating on them that has started to peel off. I'm the 2nd owner and Chrysler says they won't pay for refinishing. Seems like a clear defect to me.
  • jotekjotek Posts: 2
    We have a 2001 LX convertible w/15,000 mi. We have taken it to the dealer several times with minor complaints, however lately we've gone in with the same complaint. Tapping in the engine has gotten very loud. The first visit the dealer stated there was sludge in the engine and indicated that it was due to poor maintenance. We quickly informed them that simply was not the case. They changed the oil, even though we had just had it changed 2,000 miles prior to the visit. The second visit they "could not duplicate the concern" and suggested we use synthetic oil at the next oil change. The third visit, the tapping was so loud it was ridiculous, they changed the oil to synthetic oil. (even though they had recently changed it) It now is tapping as loudly as ever. This is a five star dealership and of course our frustration is mounting. We are thinking of taking the car to another dealer to see if we can get any results. These people appear to be deaf. We are very displeased with the performance of this vehicle. We have owned convertibles in the past and this has been the worst. (the original top frayed with worn areas,sagged a little, and had to be replaced in Oct. 2002, seems it was immproperly mounted) The replacement was done only after we insisted that something was wrong. Is anyone else experiencing a problem with very loud engine tapping?
  • leebealeebea Posts: 25
    Nope, my 2001 Limited has only about 4,000 miles and is still very quiet. From what I have seen at a couple of Sebring convertible message boards, your level of trouble is unusual. I have seen very few complaints with the 2001's.
    Definitely go to another dealer if there is one in your area and you're not getting satisfaction at yours. I've seen dealers that get hard-of-hearing if they think the noise might be of a serious nature. My father-in-law had that problem with a Mercury and even the Ford district rep "didn't hear the noise in the engine". All it took to clean their ears was a letter from the Mass. Attorney General's office. They found and fixed the problem.
    Good luck,
    Lee B.
  • I am considering buying my first convertible, and I am very impressed with the Sebring so far but am nervous about the cloth top. What's the best way to care for this type of top? I live in an area where we get intense sun in the summer, and some snow in the winter. I park in a garage both at home and work, so that should help. Advice?

    Also, I'm looking at a 2002 LXi really loaded with only 30 miles (except for the 15 I put on it today!). The dealer has shown me an invoice of $27,507 but is giving me a $4,500 rebate so my final cost out the door (including tax and other charges) is $24,812. Is this a good price?
  • leebealeebea Posts: 25
    I wouldn't be concerned with the cloth top if you keep it garaged at work and home. I keep my '01 Limited (Blue cloth top) garaged and it looks like new. Soap and water should keep it clean. I generally use clear water often. New England summers aren't too hot, but we get plenty of snow. I must confess that usually in bad weather I'm able to leave the convertible in the garage and use my T&C.
    I'm not much of an expert on price, but if my dealer came in with that deal, I'd take it.
    Good luck,
    Lee B.
  • Beware the "Great" price with rebates etc. My 2002 LX Sedan stickered for $18,300. I bought for $15,636 before down payment. To trade in car now (1)year later (bought Jan 17th, 2002) can only get $9100 for it. Trade in is only 50% of sticker after (1) year. If you want a convertible, buy a certified used one from a dealer and take the best warranty they offer, total negative cash flow will be less than buying new. Rebates and incentives are killing resale values, the industry knows it!
  • ...from up North. I have a Sebring LXi 2001; only some 15000 miles in. Regular oil changes and more gas -- that's all I've been needing after bad radio was changed (warranty).

    I shipped my car to Scandinavia about a year ago and now live way up north. For weeks in a row we have -20F temperatures. No problems for Sebring. No rattles or anything. I could use heated front seats, though.
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