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Chrysler Sebring Problems and Solutions



  • To vish1, I have had the same crunching noise in my 2002 LX since day-1. After repeated trips to the dealership they finally replaced the steering rack assembly. The noise was gone for (1) day but has returned again louder than before. I also experience a wind whistle noise at speeds above 45MPH ONLY when the A/C is in the recirc. mode. The dealer resealed the windshield but that did not solve this wind whistle noise.
  • I've had my car since it was brand new and the main problem that i've had is that the front end scrapes on everything that is several inches high off the ground. I've literally gotten stuck on several cement parking blocks and am constantly scraping the bottom front if i don't pull out of driveways at an angle. I've actually already had to replace the whole front bumber (or whatever it's actually called) one time because it was literally dragging on the freeway at one point. It just seems like they angled the car (on a tilt) way too much and it is just too low in the front. Have others experienced these same problems and frustrations? Has anyone actually changed the height of the front or is it even possible? I would really appreciate anyone's input on this!
  • Any other 2003 Chrysler Sebring Coupe owners encounter Sunroof problems? I have had mine into the dealer four times already and am considering pursuing the lemon law in an attempt to get some action. When engaging in the slide motion it shakes and shudders as if it may come off the tracks. The dealership appears to be in a fog on the whole situation. Replacing every sunroof component has still not fixed the problem.

    Overall I am appalled at the service received and the quality of product Chrysler is peddling. In addition to the sunroof problems I have had air conditioning issues, a stumbling transmission, an inordinate amount of front bumper paint chips, and problems with the trunk mechanism. All have occurred within 7k miles! I shudder to consider my future mechanical headaches with this vehicle.
  • I have a 98 Sebring Convertible JXi. For the past 3 weeks it randomly won't start. With the key in 1st position, the odometer & engine lights work correctly. With the Key in 2nd or "run/on" position, all instrument panel lights and accesory lights including radio, come on perfectly. As soon as you turn the key all the way to start, you hear a subtle "click" as Fuse #8-20amps, under the hood is blown. That fuse is for the starter, ignition and fuel pump. I can replace the fuse and it may or may not start. Very randomly. I've had it towed to 3 different shops now, including the dealer and no one can find the problem...because "it fixes itself". I tried pulling out the fuel pump relay and the car still started (obviously running rough) so I am assuming it has nothing to do with that. But, it could have been during one of the "good" tries. Does anyone have any ideas?
  • goggagogga Posts: 6
    In response to several (I counted 10) messages on this board re the crunching/squeaking noise in the steering, especially at cold temps and when braking. I found this tech service bulletin, haven't tried it yet but I will very soon. Cannot stand the noise any longer and the deaf Chrysler techs are no help.

    TSB number 19-03-98

    GROUP: Steering
    DATE: Mar.6, 1998
    Cold Start Power Steering Noise

    1995-1998(JA) Breeze/Cirrus/Stratus
    1996-1998(JX) Sebring Convertable
    1998-1999(LH) Concorde/Intrepid/LHS/300M
    1995-1998(PL) Neon

    Power steering system noise following cold starts in low ambient temperatures.

    The noise typically occurs in -12C (10F) or below ambient temperature and lasts less than one minute in duration. The noise occurs with and without steering wheel input and increases in duration and intensity as the ambient temperature decreases below -12C (10F).

    The power steering noise may remain present until the fluid begins to warm which occurs as the fluid cycles through the system with the engine running. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take for the fluid to warm.

    If the power steering system demonstrates this symptom/condition and operates normally when warm. perform the Repair Procedure.

    3 qts. of p/s fluid #05010304AA

    This bulletin involves replacing the original p/s fluid (MS-5931) with new p/s fluid (MS9933) which has improved cold temp. properties.
  • We have a 2001 LXi convertible that we bought after moving here to Colorado and the great weather for convertibles! Great car and we love the warm evening drives in it!

    One of the first problems was leaking from the seams around the windows and top. We took it to the local Dealer and after a few "heated" sessions, they fixed the rubber seals and it is a lot better. I understand that if you take a hose and aim it under the top you are going to get water in the car. Typical for convertibles and we accept that. Just gotta watch where you point the hose when washing the car!

    As for top maintenance, do not use the Wax additives for washing the top. We use just water, a nylon brush and maybe just some kitchen liquid if it is really dirty. The rest of the car we use water and a Wax supplement. Works great!

    As for the front end, yes, it hangs low and we have "ripped" off a portion of the plastic. The dealer has replacements for this and some day I will get them and screw them in. The ripped parts I just cut off and threw away to make the car still look good in the front. They aught to make some better "skid plates" up front for situations like these. The plastic ones are cheap and do not hold up on those high cement bumpers.

    Our car is great and we love the convertible aspect as I said before. Now we need a car to tow a boat and are looking at other options. If we trade this in, it will be a "memory" for us and we will miss it.

  • I can't find in the manual.
  • ctrcssctrcss Posts: 9
    Don't know where in the manual it is but there should be two small recessed buttons labeled H and M on the radio face. Take a small semi-pointed object (like a ball point pen) an press these buttons to set the hour and minute.

  • Those are rain water. But the rear seats are dry.
  • goggagogga Posts: 6
    Refer my previous post #90.
    Tried it and it worked !! Less than $50 parts and labor to get rid of something that's been bugging me for 2 years..

    BTW the TSB is wrong, it only takes one quart of fluid, and the latest part number from Chrysler is 5013457-AA.

    Also, this problem occurs at far higher ambient temps than mentioned in the TSB.

  • My finger can touch the floor through the hole on carpet. The same thing under front passenger seat.
    Is it normal?
  • curt31curt31 Posts: 1
    Hello just bought a 2000 Sebring LXI with the works, leather seats roof the works!! I LOVE THIS CAR! really runs great so far, checked it out on Car Fax and everything came back ok and I got it for a really really good price to boot! The only problem I'm having is my right leg hits the bottom of the steering wheel while braking I'm only 6' with a inseam of only 30 inches so I can't understand how the engineers could of goofed like this. Let so of my friends drive and all except the one that's 5'7" has problems. Can't understand how I missed this when I was checking the car out guess I was so excited that I wasn't paying attention. Went to the Chrysler dealer and seat in a new 2004 and found that they corrected this buy allowing the wheel to tilt upward more. I only need about a inch more leg room I estimate to resolve this problem wondering if the seat could be moved back a little? or anything else within reason that anyone could suggest would be helpful. Thanks for your time and assistance.

    Tom j.
  • dpotts1 I have a 2000 sebring, a I am having the same problem you are. There are days when "she" will start fine and then there are days when I'm afraid to turn "her" off for fear of her not starting back up. If you have any information about this problem please let me know. Thank you.
  • Hi, Curt31:

    Could you please tell?
  • Hi everyone I have a similar issue to the person in item#9,after my 2.5 6cyl is warmed up completely after a highway ride then down a 3mile stretch with a bunch of lights,my idle will drop to around 500 and then my oil light comes on. Shifting from drive to neutral for a second makes it go away. Also turning the AC on takes care of it. I have had the pressure switch changed and the pressure checked with a manual gauge and the 5star dealer said it was fine. I still have the light issue and I would love to resolve it. Any suggestions?
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    my power steering makes noise all the time. Finally go the service guy (AT the dealer) to hear it, and he said, that's just the power steering pump - that's how it is supposed to sound. This sucker is loud. A rubbing noise anytime you apply the breaks or turn the wheel. He says he has taken out the pump and replaced it, but the noise is there 90% of the time.

    What do you think?

    2000 Sebring Convertible.
  • Problem started ~80k miles. My problem is actually with a Cirrus, but the problem is identical to post #75: The "problem is that the odometer and tachometer work intermittently. The mileage accumulates, but we can't read it because the odometer is not illuminated."

    I noticed that sometimes the headlights being turned on/off can "trigger" it back on. Help?
  • goggagogga Posts: 6
    Hi adp3,
    If the noise is worse right after a cold start, then this is exactly what mine sounded like. See my previous posts #90 and #96, its been several weeks now and the noise is gone !!

  • Just like posting #75 and #103, my 97 JX is having the same problem of the odometer and tachometer going offline intermittently. Everything else works on the dash. Mileage still accumulates so I don't think it is anything mechanical like the cable. Has anyone been able to get this resolved or have any information as to why it is happening? I'm used to it now but it is sooooo annoying especially since I change the oil every 4-5k miles and need the odometer to tell me when I need to change the oil. I'm also used to the Service Engine Light coming on intermittenly as well but I've had Chrysler check out the electrical system only to tell me they've found nothing wrong, reset it and charge me $70. I've done that 3 times and given them $210 to let me know my car is fine.

    As always, thank you all for being a helpful community of owners.

    --1997 Sebring JX with 160,245 miles last time odometer was on (yesterday). Still running strong !!!!! THE MOST reliable car I've ever had the pleasure of owning !!!!!!
  • batesnowbatesnow Posts: 2
    I have had this problem with my car (2000 Limited)every winter mainly. Someone posted that the power steering fluid was probably low. I finally took this guys advice and it worked! Within 5 minutes the sound was gone and haven't heard it since. I can't believe that was all it took. I put in Havoline Stop Leak PS fluid. It only took about 4-5 ounces to top it off hot.
  • batesnowbatesnow Posts: 2
    I have just over 50K miles on my car (2000 Sebring Conv Limited, bought new). Last week it began backfiring. I took it into the dealership this morning and they say I need new plugs and wires. Platinum plugs $190 and wiring about $180. The manual says I should get to 75k miles before replacing. The dealership said something else must have been wrong at one time and screwed the plugs and wires up. Does this sound common to anyone else?
  • I own a 2003 Sebring Sedan LX 4 cyl with 23,000 miles. Has anyone noticed rough idle? It's not real bad, just a constant vibration felt on the steering wheel. Dealer says it's normal, but I never noticed it until the weather got cold. Get's a little smoother with warmer temps, but never seems to go away. Any suggestions appreciated.
  • tr13tr13 Posts: 10
    Has anyone else experienced this problem? When I put my car into reverse in the morning it is kind of hard to do and it make a metal on metal sound. My car is garaged and I live in Southern California so it is not a cold climate issue. Please advise.
  • I kept checking back here for the answer but there was never a response. So (reluctantly) I searched elsewhere and sure enough Google provided for. I haven't tried it yet but a gentleman in TX figured it out and thoughtfully, put the step-by-step instructions with very helpful pictures on his personal website. Below are his instructions and here is the direct link:
    Please keep in mind his references to images are to those on his site.


    SYMPTOMS: Your tachometer and odometer are intermittent. They go on and off randomly, most noticeably with temperature changes.

    THE PROBLEM: The circuit board on the instrument cluster has 3 power resistors (I think two are 2-watt and one is 1-watt) that are insufficiently heatsinked. As a result, the low-temperature solder that is used during the manufacture of the circuit board "goes cold" (cold solder joints) over time as the components heat up and cool down.

    I personally think that they have two problems here. One is insufficient heat sinking of power dissipating components. The second is that the use of low temperature solder during the flow solder process, combined with the additional heat, causes the solder to get close enough to its melting point that it actually begins to melt. Over time the solder joints go cold.

    I understand that Chrysler has a redesigned circuit board that fixes this problem. Too bad they didn't have a bunch of cockpit fires that would have caused them to create a recall (for those of us not burned to death) that would have replaced it for free. Now that was an odd thought...on to the repair procedure.


    Be sure to check to see if you have any dash lights that are out. You'll want to get some bulbs and replace them while you're in the dash.

    Make sure you have a set of Torx screwdrivers. Go to Wal-mart and pick up a set for a few dollars. You'll be glad you did.

    Send me an email and let me know if this helped or what I can do to improve it!
    1. Remove the fuse cover.
    2. Remove the screw (sorry for the focus problem).
    3. Remove the trim bezel by grabbing the inside edges near the tab locations and pulling straight forward. Don't bend it and break it! Check out the next pic to see where the tabs are located.
    4. Here's what the back of the bezel looks like, so you know what you're up against. There are 5 clips on the tabs.
    5. Now you can see the screws you need to remove (out of focus, again).
    6. With the steering wheel lowered pull straight out on the dash assembly. I don't have a picture of me doing this, because I couldn't do it and take the picture. However, I can show you the "clippy tabs" and the connectors that you need to disconnect to get it all the way out. This picture is the back of the dash showing the connector for the computer gauge (if you have one). As I remember, most of the connectors have a little tab or slide lock that you have to pry (gently) on to get them loose.
    7. Here's the instrument cluster before removing the 4 screws that hold it in place. There are two connectors on the back of the cluster that you will have to disconnect, prior to its removal.
    8. The cable harness is held to a cardboard backing with the cable tie/clamp. Instead of cutting this loose, get your torx screwdriver out and remove the silver screws holding the cardboard backing in place. This will allow you to remove the instrument cluster. Also, note there are two connectors on the back of the cluster. One is red (disconnected) and one is blue (still connected at the bottom of the picture). Disregard the Fortune and Nortel marketing in the background.
    9. Now you should have the instrument cluster removed and you can put it on the towel of your choice to protect your wife's table! Flip it over and let's get to work!
    10. Okay, now time to start warming up the soldering iron. Here are the locations of the torx screws that you need to remove. Also, I've indicted the location of the power resistors whose solder joints you will need to touch up. After removing the screws, you'll have to pull the circuit board loose from the instruments. They "plug in" to the circuit board. You can see the pins of the sticking through the board into their respective sockets. It isn't difficult, but you don't want to inadvertently flex the board and break anything. I didn't unplug the connector at the bottom, as I merely folded the circuit board over to work on the solder joints.
    11. Here are the solder joints that you need to touch up. Be sure and use some good electrical quality, rosin core solder...don't use acid core solder that is for plumbing! If you don't have any soldering skills, check out this link and practice before working on your circuit board. You'll want to clean up your soldering (flux removal) with some alcohol, after you're done. We used to use some really good chemicals for cleaning up flux in the past, but I don't think most of them are considered environmentally friendly, anymore.
    12. Now, as they say in the shop manual, "to install, reverse the above procedure."

    Good luck and please thank Russell as well as letting the Edmunds folks know how your repair went.

    --1997 Sebring JX with 162,634 miles last time odometer was on (yesterday). Still running strong !!!!! THE MOST reliable car I've ever had the pleasure of owning !!!!!!
  • ceadsceads Posts: 24
    I have a sound that sounds like a cupped out front tire, I can feel it in the wheel and hear it above 30 MPH and up .When i went to get my tires balanced .I was told that my tire looked like it had a flat spot on it VERY very small Is this caused my poor struts??Anyone help? Im going to replace the struts on the front .to see if it would help, The tires have only about 4K them . I bought the car from a friend and had heard it before when he had other tires on it. WHAT WOULD CAUSE THIS ?? email me if you want

  • goodyrlgoodyrl Posts: 83
    Does anyone know where I can find a right rear tail light for a 96 Sebring Convertible. The Chrysler Dealer wants a mint :(
  • slf144slf144 Posts: 1
    I purchased my 99 limited convertible new and have enjoyed the look and feel of the car. BUT the problems are growing. My Sebring has 28,000 miles on it and was not driven the first two winters I owned it. So far I have had my CD changer replaced - this was warranty. My ignition switch was replaced - not warranty. Last week my transmission speed sensor needed replaced and this week I took my car to the tire shop and they tell me my tire will not hold air because there is a hole rusted in my $400 wheel. Has anyone heard of this problem with the wheels.
  • tim1tim1 Posts: 1
    I've had my Sebring into the local dealer numerous times starting early in the warranty. The vehicle now has only about 30,000 KM on it. It started with a clunking noise in the right front end as I passed over sewer holes. They said it was a control arm bushing which they changed. Little better but still there. Took it back and they replaced another bushing. Still there and I took it back. Changed the lower control arm. Still there but not as bad, took it back again. Changed upper control arm. Better but still clunking. Took it back. Replaced front strut......problem gone. NOW I have a creaking noise in the front end when I'm braking and turning. Sounds like a bushing that's binding. Dealership says it's normal sounds and they all do it. I say, "You say it's normal but I say it was never there until you fixed my front end". Chrysler Rep to listen to it. Odometer and internal lights, gauge backlighting, etc. would intermittently go out and flicker. Replaced turn signal lever [non-permissible content removed]'y. Never has happened again. Had loud growling noise coming from front end while travelling at 50 km/h (30 mph). Could hardly talk due to the loud interior noise. Dealer found front wheel bearing gone bad and replaced. Now quiet.
      My opinion,,, if you're going to buy a car, skip the Sebring. While it's a great car to drive, the problems don't out-weigh the good. Spends more time in the shop than on the road.
  • lmdjrx4lmdjrx4 Posts: 1
    I leased a 01 LXI Convertible in 2001 and while I have had some problems, I love the car. I would love to get another one but really can't afford one with the same level of "nice-ities" and don't want a base model. I could buyout my lease but I am concerned with all the issues I have read on the message board. I have not had any tranny problems or creaking, etc. I had a leak and it was fixed, I had a dash and radio problem, it was fixed, I had a rear defogger problem, it has been fixed. Mechanically it has been problem free. (SO FAR) What to do, what to do???
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    Here's a post from another forum about the front end steering noise. I have tried nothing yet, but will try this or the Chrylser procedure soon. What do folks think about using this fluid veruse the Chrysler fulid?

    I also had a noise similar to what you described on right hand turns. My was solved by replacing the power steering fluid. I used a turkey baster to remove as much fluid as possible from the reservoir, refilled, drove for about 10-15 minutes to circulate the new fluid, and did a another round of remove and refill. My noise went
    away. Note I used ATF+4 trans fluid; it states on the bottle that it is recommended for power steering use (I have used it in my '93 Intrepid, '97 JX and '99 Ram 1500).

    Note it must be ATF+4, no other trans fluid will work.
This discussion has been closed.