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Dodge Intrepid



  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    By the way, does Chrysler ever give tours of the plant to see up close how the car is built. I have never seen a car actually assembled but maybe its about time I did. It probably would be really neat to see how long it takes to assemble one car.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    yes they do but they dont do it on a regular basis. if you contact DC or the plant itself they can sometimes set things up . Another way to see the plant is to know somebody that works there, like me. I have taken quite a few people on tours. It sure is something to see, even I am still amazed on how it is done.
  • fuzzer34fuzzer34 Posts: 28
    I had my seat bolts replaced while in for state inspection. Took about an hour for the inspection and 15mins for the recall....This was a 5-star dealer and they do good work. Otherwise all is well with my 2000 R/T with 42K on it.... enjoy.
  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    I crawled under my 01 ES 3.2L this weekend and serviced the transmission. I haven't done one in a while. Pretty straight forward, just messy.

    It took a bit of time to find a spot to get a purchase on the pan and pry it loose. I wound up pulling the left front tire and using a long gasket scraping tool to drive between the pan and the transmission. There is a tab at the left front of the transmission that gave me a place to pry against. The RTV sealant sticks pretty well, but I went with a cork gasket. I worry about some of the RTV breaking loose and gluing the inside of my transmission together.

    The dealer sold me the wrong filter, so I had to make a run to the parts counter to get the correct one. Apparently Chrysler used a different transmission on this engine when they switched to ATF+4 in June 2001. Not sure but mine has a 13-bolt pan and they initially sold me a filter and gasket for a 14-bolt pan. I had to take the old filter and a tracing of the pan with me to get the right kit.

    Anyway, I actually got more fluid out than I expected. The transmission holds 9 quarts and the manual indicated I would get 4.5 quarts out. I actually got closer to 6 out, which is pretty acceptable. ATF+4 may be synthetic but heat works it over pretty well. The fluid was much more brown than I would have liked, and most of the miles on it are highway. I won't go 45,000 miles between services again.

    Chrysler charges $8 a quart for ATF+4. None of the local parts stores carry it. Anyone find a source for this stuff other than the dealer?
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    the lh cars have always come with and only with the 42le tranny. however, it is possible that they changed the design of the transmission case at some point...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,048
    to ATF+4 before June 2001. My '00 'Trep was built in October 1999, and its owner's manual calls for ATF+4. I haven't seen the stuff anywhere but at the Chrysler dealer, either.

    Chrysler's probably made enough changes to that tranny over the years, that different years, and even some different cars within the same year, have something different about the tranny. For instance, didn't they actually make minor changes to it twice in '00 or '01?
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    After seeing the Magnum one wonders what if any car DC will race in NASCAR? Maybe they will have to steal UPS' commercial should we race the truck?
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    Chrysler does not provide a drain plug in the transmission pan like my older GM cars had. It would make the job alot easier especially when you dont have access to a lift. My Ford TBird did not have a drain plug either. Hopefully it will be awhile before I have to change the fluid. Eight dollars for a quart seems like highway robbery but I guess its not available anywhere else. The Honda dealer charged around 5 or 6 which I thought was high.
  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    ATF+4 is synthetic, so I would expect it to cost at least $5 a quart. I would hope to find it aftermarket from Mobile or another brand, but no luck I guess.
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Morning Group...

        I shared this story last fall and thought I'd do it again--just to bring the matter to your attention. First--the second gen Intrepid has ALWAYS required ATF+4. Not the first gen (93-97)... In the fall I had my local auto store (in this case Strauss Auto) do some work on my 2000 ES. They have always done so competently in the past. I spoke to two separate people about the ATF+4 issue--because I wanted my tranny drained, filter changed and fluid replaced. Yes..yes..yes... As with MOST auto supply store they do not carry +4. Long story short they put in +3--which I saw on the sheet when I picked it up. MADE them call the Dodge manager who promptly said.."drain it immediately, flush it with some +4, then refill with +4, DON'T drive it.."
        In short--remind, remind, remind.. Though I don't believe--and the data hasn't supported-- the "transmission hysteria" some of our neurotic detractors report--this would certainly explain some difficulties..
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,048
    Just hit the big 80,000 mile mark tonite! Nothing else to report, just thought I'd share ;-)
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    Well thats quite a few miles for a 2000 model year car! I have just over 3000 on mine.I received some extended warranty stuff in the mail from Chrysler yesterday but I think I am going to pass on these warranties. They are pretty expensive. I just negotiated the price of a new Camry yesterday for my mom to replace the GTS. She can drive you crazy when it comes to buying a car. I really wanted her to buy a Honda Accord but the only color she would accept was Silver and the only interior color available was black. So she said no to the interior and the Accord. The 2003 Camry LE with the four cylinder engine and ABS cost $17,388 plus doc. fee and tax. Not a bad deal but its a rather boring car. Nothing too exciting about it, alot different than the 91 GTS. I am now going to break up the GTS for parts and see if I can sell anything.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Andre, well that's a milestone.

    How long do you think we can run these things? I am shooting for 10 years and 180,000 miles but will probably not have that many in that short a time. Just over 4 years now and only 65,000 on the '99 ES 3.2.

    Currently also have:

    1991 Acura Legend with 147,000 (Head gasket only major repair so far)--Daughter's college car

    1990 Aerostar van 4.0 Liter 144,000 (Transmission at 133,000)

    1990 Spirit 2.5 117,000+ (Odometer broke at that level 3 or 4 years ago). NO REPAIRS!!! What a car that Spirit is. Unbelievably reliable. AC still works, I have converted to 135 Freon.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,048 to hit 100,000 miles by the time it's paid off. That's when the extended warranty expires, and I'd rather not have to make payment on something that has no warranty!

    My driving has decreased a bit, though. I bought the car in early November, 1999, and hit 40,000 miles, oh I'd guess in late January/early Feb of 2001. I delivered pizzas back then though, and also had a round trip from Md to Texas in that timeframe. But then it's taken me almost twice as long to put the next 40K on, and there was still another trip to Texas in there!

    Soon, the amount of driving I do may go down again. I'm in the process of trying to buy a house that's only about 3 1/2 miles from work (I'm about 14 right now). If that ends up being the case, I have a feeling my car will die of old age, before wearing out! I'm probably going to drive it until it drops, though. Every once in awhile, I get the urge for a new car, but I think buying the house is going to put a stop to that, at least for a few years!
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    What is 135 freon. Did you mean 134a, I think thats what they call it nowadays.
    I talked to someone today with a 99 base model intrepid. He put an outstanding sound system in the car. I did not know that the custom stereo shops sell a replacement panel shaped like the OEM one which can house a rectangular shaped Kenwood unit. I told him that I did not care for the FM reception and he told me the problem was the antenna and wiring to the antenna. SO I may think about buying a new antenna and changing the wiring. He said he spent many years professionally installing car radios and alarm systems. The amp in the trunk was awesome- it cost $500 alone. And he put 19 inch chrome rims on the car and racing tires! Only problem was when he hit potholes... he showed me places where the rim was damaged.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Mike, you are correct. I thought of the wrong number It is 134a.

  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    The house is important and a much better investment than any car. A lot of our miles get put on on the two or three times a year I drive from South Carolina to Pennsylvania. Only 2 miles to work. I usually take the old Aerostar for that and only put on 3000 to 4000 miles per year. The 'Trep is the road car.

  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    10 years , should not be a problem . My trep will be 10 years come this March . Other than a leaky AC ,shes been a great car. Still looks good today .
  • Thank you, Jason and Mike, for your answers regarding my concerns about buying an Intrepid. Well.....we bought a 2002 ES, a light gold/champagne color (I am still not sure what color they really call it)....we (my husband and I) also bought the extended warranty that covers everything (the $1500.00 level) especially after being told that having to replace one little computer in the car would cost MORE than the warranty cost itself! So, we jumped for it. We now have the car covered 100% for 8years/80,000 miles (except for regular maintenance and wear and tear, of course)....we figured that if we are going to enjoy this beautiful car then we are going to have to drive it with a great peace of mind!

    Just to let you know, after I posted my previous message, we called a Lemonbuster guy locally. He told us that he has all of his family in Camry's, so, for two days we shopped around for Camry's as well as Avalons (nice! but, small) and Nissan, as well as some of the SUV's out there. We even looked at a Taurus or two (ugh! and the seats are sooo uncomfy!)...the ONLY other vehicle we liked was the Toyota, at the end of two days we decided that a full size car would fit our needs better right now, and, my husband kept saying, "Nothing we see even compares to the Intrepid!"...meaning that comfy-wise, design-wise, beauty-wise and get-up-and go-wise, none of the other vehicles even came close.

    We are happy! What a gorgeous car! Easy to drive...sooo much room, inside and in the trunk!

    Thanks again for your responses!

  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Happy motoring..!
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444

    Our '99 ES was called Champagne when we bought it in March '99. Have a great time with it. I still look back at it when leaving the parking lot and think "what a cool looking car" and with all the room inside, little does compare to the Intrepid.

    Enjoy the 'Trep

    Ed Smith
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
     Great to hear you got the trep. I hope you enjoy it . Feel free to share all your thoughts good or bad with us.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    Which dealer did you buy the ES from and how many miles did it come with. Do you know if it was a previous rental, as nearly all 2002 Intrepids available at dealerships are?
  • markh11markh11 Posts: 2
    I am trying to decide between a 2002 Intrepid SE (2.7L)program car at about $14,000 with 8,000 miles or a new Camry LE (4 cyl) for $18,000.

    I would appreciate your comments on (a) whether I am considering the right questions and (b) whether my opinions are right or wrong.
    1. Long term reliability -- big advantage to Toyota.
    2. Performance -- not much performance for either car, but presume it to be about equal.
    3. Styling - totally subjective, I prefer Intrepid but Camry is OK.
    4. Price - excellent value for Intrepid but $4,000 is not too much of a premium so modest advantage to Intrepid.
    5. Wife will drive it most -- will put 20,000 miles per year and keep it for 150,000 (so reliability is very important and resale value is not a big concern as we will drive them "until they drop").
    6. Kids will start to drive in 2 years, so blind spot (rear visibility) in Intrepid is a negative, as is its larger length (harder to judge where the end is).

    Thanks for reading the long message. Appreciate your thoughts tonight as I hope to buy tomorrow (great anticipatory planning, eh?).
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,048
    1) reliability: I'd also give the nod to Toyota here, but in this day and age, not by much. Cars in general just don't break down that much anymore, as long as you take care of them. In the overall scheme of things, I'm sure a larger percentage of Intrepids have problems than do Camrys, but it's probably not enough to make the average driver notice. If nowadays, you were choosing between a much better than average car and a much worse than average car (according to Consumer Reports), you'd probably notice a difference, but I don't believe the Camry and Intrepid are at opposite ends of the spectrum like that.

    2) Performance: if you regularly carry a lot of passengers around, I'd strongly suggest trying to get a few people in the car when you test drive, if possible. When I first test-drove my '00 Intrepid, it was just my uncle and me. Car seemed to perform fine. But the next day, I had 4 people in the car, and needed to merge onto a highway, and the thing couln't get out of its own way! I think that's a general problem with most small engines that have a fairly high amount of hp, but not much torque...they feel the strain of extra weight more than the old, torquey, battlecruisers of the 60's, 70's, and 80's that I was used to. The 4-cyl Camry only has 157 hp and 162 ft-lb of torque, so I'd imagine it would get strained pretty quickly with additional weight. With just one or two people on board though, I'd say both cars would handle about the same. The Intrepid has wider rims and more aggressive tires, so it should handle and corner better. It also has a lower stance, longer wheelbase, and (I think) a wider track, which should all contribute to a more stable, comfortable ride.

    3) Styling: I agree here. I thought the Camry was butt-ugly, but it's growing on me. Truthfully though, it took awhile for the Intrepid/Concorde to grow on me, too! I didn't like 'em when they first came out.

    4) Price: well, if the extra $4,000 doesn't strain your budget, then it's nothing to worry about. If you trade every few years, you'd easily make it up in better resale for the Camry. But driving them till they drop, you won't. In my case though, I couldn't afford another 50 cents right now! ;-)

    5) I currently have about 81,000 miles on my '00, and never any major problems. Lessee, my power lock actuator went out (replaced under warranty at 35K miles), right power mirror went out (left it alone), door seals started shrinking up (but easy to re-adjust), and my thermostat housing needed to be replaced around 51K miles because of a small leak. Otherwise, just regular maintenance, brake pads, filters, tires, etc.

    6) Blind spot: I agree completely here. I also have a 1979 New Yorker that's about a foot and a half longer than my Intrepid, but I can parallel park it easier than my Intrepid! I can see, within a few inches, of where that car ends though, so it's real easy to judge, and the stand-up hood ornament and fender-mounted signal indicators make it real easy to aim! With my 'Trep though, I can't see the hood or the decklid, and I'm 6'3"! I don't know how the Camry would be in this respect, either though. You might be able to see a bit more of the hood, but that high rump would probably be harder to see around than on the Intrepid! The Camry also has a thick C-pillar, but I haven't driven one yet, so I honestly don't know how their visibility is.

    A few other odds and ends: Going back to the hauling/luggage thing, the Intrepid has a bigger trunk, and non-intrusive struts that hold the trunk open. The Camry has these huge "gooseneck" hinges that can crush items back there, and torsion bars. If you have long legs, you won't like the Camry. My Intrepid barely has enough room for me up front, so the Camry doesn't quite cut it. And with build quality/fit and finish, Toyota seems to have cut a few corners with the latest Camry. It's still a good car, but just no longer feels "head and shoulders" above the rest of the crowd, like they used to back in the day. I'm not sure, but I think the Camry LE still uses drum brakes on back, where the Intrepid is disk all 'round.

    Anyway, good luck in whatever you decide! I don't think you can make a bad choice either way. At least, I don't think there's a "winner" or "loser" here...just whichever one you feels suits you the best.
  • markh11markh11 Posts: 2
    Thanks a lot for your comments. Its much appreciated.
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    My parents just bought a 2003 Camry LE for $17,388 plus NJ sales tax. The options were ABS for $300 and floor/trunk mats for about $185. The car is brand new with no miles. The car is a good choice, however, even with ABS the stopping distances (60 to 0 in 149 feet according to Consumer Reports) are long. My 2002 Intrepid with ABS stops better and has better braking confidence. The Camry's brakes, drum in rear, remind me of my 1989 TBird brakes. Actually, 14,000 for a 2002 Intrepid rental car is high. Last January I looked at a 2002 steel blue Intrepid with ABS and the D package in steel blue for 12,995. It had about 15,700 miles on it and was in mint condition. It was identical to the brand new one I bought for $16,900. The only reason I did not buy the program (rental) Trep was because it did not come with the powertrain warranty as did my new 2002 Trep. I liked the Accord better than the Camry because it had slightly shorter stopping distances (ABS is std. on every 2003 Accord) and the interior looked more modern, in my opinion. The cost was only about $300 to $500 more than the Camry. It had better handling and better brakes. But everyone has their favorites, and mine was the Intrepid. But the Trep does have major blind spots out the rear window. Sometimes when I am merging in the right lane, I literally keep my fingers crossed hoping I dont hit anyone. And according to reviews, the Camry 4 cylinder beats the Trep 2.7L in acceleration times. Its a marginal engine, at best, with questionable reliability over 100K miles. And rhe thermostat housing is a known problem with all 2.7 L Intrepids. But I still cant get used to Camry's styling, with time it may grow on me. If I were to buy the Camry, I would pick the SE model because it has better brakes (I believe 4 wheel discs). Plus the rear spoiler looks sharp.
  • joycem2joycem2 Posts: 5
    Engine warning came on and transmission started slipping badly at same time today. Auto parts store diagnostic equipment shows Gear 1 and Gear 3 Ratios incorrect and Transmission system malfunction. Car only has 9500 miles on it and five year extended warranty ran out 4/9/03. Took car in on 3/12/03, while warranty still in effect for slipping transmission as well as problem on driver side power window not opening. Fixed window problem and re-programmed something on transmission. Drove new '95 Intrepid 47,000 miles before trading for this '98 in April,1998. Also purchased new '97 Intrepid in late August '97 and drove it most of the time, so that's why the '98 has only 9500 miles. We're both retired, which contributes to low miles. Sold the '97 at 56,000 miles and no major problems at 5-plus years in March, 2003 and purchased a new non-Chrysler car in March. Has anyone had transmission problems on 98 through 03 Intrepids? Can't understand why transmission would go with so few miles on it. I don't know if it will matter that we had the car in 3 months ago for transmission problems when we take the car to the dealer, if the car needs major work. I guess we'll just have to see what happens when we take it in. Any information or suggestions would be appreciated
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Check the 300M board, some of the owners there have had problems with transmission sensors on 99 and up models. Its not an expensive fix.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I have had a speed sensor go out at about 44,000 miles (out of warranty). It cost me about $165 (and 15 minutes) to get it fixed. These electronically controlled transmissions (all makes) have computer problems, not likely mechanical. The same thing happened to an Acura Legend I have. Not an expensive fix. Don't be afraid to point out to the dealer what is going on. My dollar is on this being electronic and readily fixable. My dealer (Altman Dodge in Charleston, SC) has been great about these things and very quick to fix things for me.

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