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Dodge Intrepid



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    The one in my driver's door went bad around the 33K mark. It started off kind of subtle, like just making a painful, groaning sound when it automatically locked. Then it got worse. If I got out of the car while it was running, and closed the door behind me, it would sometimes lock the door. Back then I delivered pizzas, and it's a miracle I never actually got locked out of the car! I learned real quick that if I was going to leave the engine running, to leave the window cracked! I had it fixed around the 35K mark, just before the warranty went up. I have an extended warranty too, but it's got a $200 deductible.
  • Have any of you added the Mopar Transmission Defoamer to your car? I was reading about it, and it supposed to give crisper shifts. I spoke with my Dodge dealership, and they said they would add it if I wanted it.
  • eeeleeel Posts: 57
    It does make the tranny much crisper in its' overall performance. I had some put in my 01 R/T about 3 weeks ago and it does make an improvement.

    Takes a couple of days to a week to see the difference. I had 2 1 oz. bottles put in.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    transmission defoamer?? i've never heard of this stuff. was it made for automatics with full electronic control, or was it developed for hydraulically operated units like those on the trucks?? i can't help but wonder what this stuff is all about and how could it provide crisper shifts on a tranny whose shifts are predetermined based on electronics and memory...?
  • I have had no problem with the Lexus in snow, it is no worse or better than any other car I have driven in slippery conditions, of course I ordered it with a good quality non American tires.
    Engine sludge IMO is cause by using an inferior product promoted by American suppliers. I insist on world quality synthetic oil in my auto, as far as I am aware the Lexus service dept. uses all synthetic oils
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    engine sludge is caused by using an inferior product promoted by "american suppliers"...lmao!!
    must be caused by those world quality american sythetic oils that the lexus service dept uses...??!
  • I guess you send your Lexus overseas to Japan, as you don't want an inferior American to touch it.

    Making blanket statements usually makes the listener question one's level of knowledge.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    i'd fathom that a blanket statement wasn't even only helps seal the coffin anyway!
  • Canada has probably done more for hockey than any other country in the world. I'm glad they got their gold medal.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    It took us 50 years but its ours for the next 4 . YEEE HAAWW .
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    YAWN.... Apparently someone's therapist is on vacation--yet again!
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    hey jason,

    seems more like day-care has been closed for awhile...!!
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Dear group, observers, and new comers. You've no doubt seen and heard the debate about "Intrepid reliability" or the broad-based swipes at Chrysler reliability. Since decisions are based on accurate and FULL knowledge, I encourage any interested party to visit MSN's "Carpoint" site and review the reliability data there for the Intrepid--both generations. Until last year the first generation had a "best in class" designation..... FYI
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    Looking at the reliability ratings on MSN Carpoint, I noticed that, for all years on the '93-97 Intrepids, the tranny and driveline is rated as having minimal problems. Interesting, considering that transmission failure is the issue that I hear quoted most often.

    Looks like the engine was rated as having moderate problems, mainly because of some problems with the 3.5's timing belt, water pump, and manifolds. The heating/air conditioning was also rated poorly for a few years, and so was the steering, for rack-and-pinion problems.

    Still, overall, the worst overall rating the Intrepid got was 4 out of 5. For 1997, last year of the first-gen, it was rated 5/5, and minimal problems across the board.

    I've noticed that sometimes, cars become more reliable as they age. For instance, some cars may go through a whole bunch of teething problems when they're new, but once all those problems get fixed, they last forever. OTOH, some cars may be reliable at first, but save all their problems up to dump on you right after the warranty expires!
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    It is an interesting irony isn't it? I've suspected that, while clearly there were some issues with earlier 4 sp. autos from Chrysler; the whole "transmission failure" issue was the equivalent of an urban legend or Audi's unintended acceleration debacle. The Audi issue, we now have data to conclude, was mostly well meaning, but inattentive drivers, who needed a way to absolve themselves of responsbility.
    Old timers know this--but within my extended family we have 1993 and 1994 Intrepids, my 2000 ES, three Chrylser minivans from the first and second generations, two Ram pickups, two Stratus' and a Neon. In NO case has there ever been a catastrophic transmission failure or other SERIOUS problem beyond normal where and tear or a recall. At least two of these vehicles have passed 100K. Before now, I've also owned a 1980 Aries (first year--no problems in my 60K with it), 1984 Charger, and a 1990 Shadow. The Shadow DID like to consume tires and air conditioners at an alarming rate! Replaced the AC compressor once under warranty and again two years later--perhaps being a black Northeast spec car in south Florida had something to do with it?
    Enough of all that....
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    I agree, our cars are not perfect but some people want to compare them to something like a lada or yugo( or worse). Like any product mass produced a certain percentage is bound to experience some defects. With the amount of work and material that goes into building an automobile ,it always surprises me that more things don't go wrong .I really think the big problem with DC or any auto manufacture is its dealer network. Most people understand that cars break down sooner or later , but when you take your car in to have it fixed the dealer gives you some song and dance or screws something else up.This is what gets most people mad .
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    ...I looked at a few new cars. My Intrepid's got about 58,000 miles on it, and I'm taking a trip to Texas next week, so I toyed with the idea of getting a new car. Provided, that is, I wasn't too buried in the Intrepid. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for my bank account) I was!

    Anyway, I checked out some new Chrysler Sebrings, a coupe and sedan, an Impala, and an Altima. Honestly, I don't think any of them had as nice of an interior as my Intrepid. My Intrepid's just a base model, but so were all of these, so I guess it's a roughly close comparison. The Sebrings just looked and felt cheap inside. I think they still use the previous generation's dashboard, too. The gauges are done up in that fancy typeface, which looks kinda classy, but then just looks out of place with the rest of the car. There was just too much plastic, overall, in the car as well.

    I've always thought the Impala's interior was a mess. It's put together okay, but just has too many parts, too much plastic, and too many styling themes that don't flow well together.

    I did like the Altima, and would probably pick it over the Impala or Sebring, given a choice of only the three. Build quality-wise though, I'd rate it no better than my Intrepid. There were a few uneven gaps, and too much cheap, hard-to-the touch, '70's GM-style plastic inside. Out on the highway it was quiet. I'd say it was even quieter than the Intrepid, as long as you're just driving with the flow of traffic. Stomp on the gas though, and you'll know right away that it's a 4-banger! You can see where they cut corners in a few other places too, like no insulation on the decklid, and old-style trunk hinges that use torsion bars and "goose-neck" hinges, a design that's been around forever.

    Chrysler may need to get their act together with their smaller cars, but I think the Intrepid, despite being 5 model years old now, still holds its own very well. I deal with a local mechanic and try to avoid the dealership as much as possible, so that may be part of the reason I've had a good experience with the car, though! The car really doesn't need much maintenance, so I just let the mechanic do what it does need. It's also out of warranty now, and the deductible on my extended warranty is $200.00, so if something minor breaks, and it's something he can fix, the car's going to my local mechanic who's about 2 minutes from my job, as opposed to the dealer who's almost 1/2 hour away!
  • lee1nyclee1nyc Posts: 60
    Dear Ottowrkr or others,

    Is the engine in my '98 ES the same 3.2 that was in earlier Intrepids?
  • indydriverindydriver Posts: 620
    I posted about the LH 30's which I have on my '04 ES and my wife's '00 Caravan. Very impressed on both vehicles. Very good all-season performance, mileage, etc. at a reasonable price-about $75 if I remember correctly.

    Also very pleased with the Michelin HydroEdges I put on my 300M, but don't think they're worth the extra $50 per tire compared to the LH 30.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    there was no 3.2l prior to the '98 model year. '97 and older models had a choice of 3.3l ohv or 3.5l ohc engines. the 3.2l (and current 3.5l) are derivatives of the first generation 3.5l engine. btw, the 3.2l has been discontinued leaving the 2.7l and 3.5l as the only engines available.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    lee1nyc-emale good answer
  • taffy2taffy2 Posts: 7
    I doubt the bad press Chrysler has received vis-a vis its reliability,especially transmission failures is based upon hearsay,and a concerted campaign to malign DC.The posts I've read in this forum and others concerning Chrysler products seem to be from honest owners who encountered these failures and received no satisfaction in the diagnosis and resoultion of them.Perhaps the 7 year-100,000 mile warranty DC is offering will counter this reputation,and as many of you attest you haven't experienced these problems.That is not to say others haven't,I doubt with the exception of of few dedicated detractors, that they are fabricating their problems.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    ...for example, let's suppose that the Chrysler tranny had a 10% failure rate. Just for kicks, let's say that an equivalent Honda had a 2% failure rate.

    You could look at it two ways...

    1: Chrysler's transmission is 5x more likely to fail than Honda's.

    2: Your chance of getting a good Honda is 98%, versus 90% for a good Chrysler.

    Stated the first way, Chrysler sounds like a piece of crap, but stated the second way, their reliability looks much better. If that was a report card at a public school, Honda would get an A+ and Chrysler an A-
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Taffy2... I don't intend for this to sound "harsh"...but your observation is really a symptom of the problem. In this venue (a bulletin board by any other name) you can either believe everything, nothing, or attend selectively. Two of us (myself and emale) have seen a particular individual appear under several different aliases over the course of about three years. This individual appeared in virtually every Chrysler related topic and spouted the same story--in most instances, we believe, having never owned a Chrysler vehicle.
    If you parcel out this individual's contribution, the serious complaints about reliability or catastrophic failures would be lessened. But then, we all know the "squeaky wheel" analogy, don't we. When you look at data-based sources--as opposed to the notoriously unreliable "self report" method--you see Chrysler is no worse than most domestics (better in many instances). THAT is the point. Andre1969's post, prior to mine, further illustrates the point. Suppose Chrysler minivan transmissions DID have a higher failure rate--is it REALLY a statistically significant difference or just a numerical fact based on higher numbers of total sales?
    Arguing, debating, "mine is better than yours" is all well and good. Hell, it's just human sport! But let us not confuse that with compelling data or proof. We see prime examples of the difference here in the Edmund's responses. One favorite is the "squished whale" diatribe used to describe the Intrepid's styling by one particular Edmund's writer. Honestly, isn't that just completely subjective--and who has heard any other media contributor complain about the styling to that degree. The other one is the contributor in the PT Cruiser long term test complaining about the steering.... Anyone EVER heard a complaint like that? Complaints? Opinions? OK...let's just not confuse that with "truth"--or as close to "truth" as we can come..
  • taffy2taffy2 Posts: 7

    Any individual can read a post and recognize an honest complaint versus a vendetta.I've seen all the posts you refer to,including the whale comparison,I realize what is behind them and although amusing am not impressed or swayed in my opinion of the Intrepid.I believe that too much emphasis and attention is given to these type of posts,in contrast to presenting information of interest to present and potential Intrepid owners.You're never going to satisfy everyone,and in some instances the feelings about DC are so strong they transend any arguments to the contrary.
  • lexus_onelexus_one Posts: 22
    The Intrepid is far past its Best Before Date, however things are beginning to improve and over time as Daimler issues more golden handshakes and German management takes more predominance things will improve even more.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    imo, you are way understating the efforts of "detractors" in edmunds topics. it doesn't only happen in dc topics, but others as well. all i can say is, "beware of those that can only put forth blanket statements, and can't provide specifics." plus, i think schoolkids have way too much time on their hands...! the post above is a prime example of little or no useful info.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    i just read a story that mercedes quality is slipping, meanwhile chrysler's is increasing.

    check out this link:
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