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Dodge Intrepid



  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    If the 'Trep becomes your winter car, what is your summer car? Your experience with your 3.2 ES sounds much like mine. I hope they keep going for miles and years to come. When (or have you already) will you have the timing belt changed?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    keeping my Trep around as a beater/spare car as it ages, and then getting something newer. I have a feeling though, that my Intrepid, or any modern car for that matter, really isn't going to make a very good "beater".

    My roommate has a 1998 Tracker, and I was thinking about, when the time comes, swapping cars with him, and having him pay me the difference in value if there is one, and then trading his Tracker in on a new car. My Intrepid gets much better fuel economy than his Tracker, better performance, handling, nicer stereo, etc, and it's easier to insure. I'm with Erie Insurance, and my rates are pretty cheap, but they refused to even touch my roommate, because they say his vehicle is too dangerous! I think my insurance is about $750 a year, and it would be under $400 if I had liability-only on it.

    But then, if something like the tranny or engine were to go out on it, he probably wouldn't be able to afford to get it fixed. His Tracker already has another used tranny in it, that was put in about 2 years ago. Cost about $1100. That's not TOO hard to swallow, but I think an Intrepid tranny is about $2200-2500! His Tracker is getting to the point that things are starting to break here and there (about 112,000 miles), but I'd feel guilty as hell if we swapped and I traded it, and then my Trep started crapping out on him!

    I already have an '85 Silverado that I can use as a beater, and a '79 New Yorker, but in many ways it's in better shape (and lower mileage) than my Trep, so I kind of want to preserve it!

    I think I'm just going to drive my Trep until it drops dead. I only have 6 more payments on it. It's the only car I've ever owned that I made payments on it, and I've never liked that feeling! So it'll be good to get back to being payment-free again! Of course, that's probably when the monthly repair bill will exceed what the monthly car payment was! I have a friend with a '95 Grand Marquis that's currently doing that to him. He bought it used in '99, and just paid it off earlier this year. Now, at 175,000 miles, it's starting to need repairs here and there, so he's thinking about getting something newer.

    If I end up getting a newer car, I've got my little heart set on a Chrysler 300C right now, or whatever the Dodge sedan version ends up being. But I'm not prepared to pay that much for a car just yet! Maybe I'll wait until the rebates and other incentives kick in! Or until they start to hit the used market. Either way though, I don't think I'm going to keep my Trep around. I'll either drive it till it dies and isn't worth fixing, or trade it (hopefully) before it reaches that point.

    And no cracks, Mike 372, about it already being beyond that point! ;-)
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    there may be a FEW good Intrepid 2.7L out there, but I am not too impressed with mine. I mean, the ABS controller and CD player were defective from the time the car left the factory. And rotors lasting 12k miles, come on! Chrysler has a LONG way to go as far as quality control is concerned. And the design of this engine really concerns me, like placing the water pump INSIDE the engine. God forbid if you ever have to replace it. And I never heard of a timing chain tensioner being dependent on the oil pressure to function properly. Plus having to religiously change the oil at 2500-3000 miles, and then hoping for the best. Something is wrong here, however, unlike some on this site, I was never a Mopar fan and will never be one.

    I was going to buy a Grand Marquis, but didn't like the rear wheel drive. Those cars have a reputation of lasting forever, just look at all the police depts. that have them and taxi services that run them. And, believe me, they dont meticulously maintain these cars.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    if you are so utterly worried about your car...why not get out now? if i really felt so bad about a car/truck...i wouldn't keep it. but i get the feeling you would rather keep the car just so that you can keeping whining incessantly about it...
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Smithed... Our engine doesn't have timing chains but belts. If memory serves I had the belts changed somewhere in the 70K range--they ought to last until well in the 100K mark according to the service manager. Clearly I could have gone with the original belts but the damage done when they go is not desirable. Still would like to know if anyone has changed their struts and when!
       As to my choice of a "summer car", I'm most likely going with a Magnum or Grand Caravan SXT. I know, I know...a bit of a dichotomy. My daughter is a fan of the GC SXT! Incidentally, my mother has an immaculate and dependable 1994 Intrepid ES which she will likely keep as a winter car too--she's eyeing a Magnum. When those 73 year olds hit their "late-life crisis" there's not much to be done.. Listing the Intrepid as my "work" car and the other as a "leisure" car would help keeps the rates down too.
        Unfortunately Mike, I can't support your atypical experience of the Intrepid and/or the 2.7. In addition to experiences with two Dodge service managers, several personal owners, and a senior manager for Enterprise Car Rental. The 2.7 and Intrepid do not display the quality lapses and "design problems" that you would have us believe you experienced. Sorry if it was your experience, personally I'm having trouble with it. And ultimately, Emale makes a deft, velvet hammer observation. Quite your "itchin-bay" and sell it, apply the readily available lemon laws or get a lawyer if you've been wronged or get comfortable with your decision to "suffer" will help your mental health in the long run.
        Incidentally...Grand Marquis' ought to be dependable thought they aren't "remarkably reliable" according to the data--they rely on technology roughly as old as I...
        Anyone go to Premiere night..?
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    hey jason,

    i went to premier night. unfortunately dealership had only one magnum, an SXT...and nobody could drive it. nice looking exterior but not really my style. interior a little blah for my tastes too...but materials/fit seemed pretty good. there were a number of people checking them out...i have a feeling they will sell pretty good. as for the 300, they haven't been able to keep the C models on the lot for more than a day...other models last a bit longer but are also selling very well! looks the the 300 is a bonified hit! me personally, i can't wait to see the charger next spring. unfortunately i'm stuck with my accord for 2 more years worth of lease...grrrrrr!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If you are interested in dumping the Accord before the lease is over do a google search for "auto lease buyout
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Two local 5 Star Chrysler dealers seem to have all of their 300's flying off the lot. Obviously the "C" seems most popular--but I've noticed that their Limited and Touring--as well as base models are moving smartly.
        At a Dodge dealer I caught a shipment of Magnums for fleet sales to Enterprise Car Rental--they had a special fleet discounted option package which included the ESP, antilock and brake assist for several hundred dollars. I think I'll rent one from Enterprise for a trip I must take to see how it drives and spare some miles on my Trep.
        Enjoying your accord?
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    the accord has a great powertrain (engine especially) and the interior is nice...but other than that nothing special. and to all those that thought only chrysler had rattles...think again! my '03 coupe has some very annoying ones!

    anyway, i'm sure i'll keep it until lease is up as i'm not about to pay a bunch of money to try and get out of it. i'm just hoping the charger doesn't look too good when it's released... :(
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    The timing belt is supposed to be changed at 105,000 miles according to the manual. I have not changed any belt or hose as yet (5 years and 83,000 miles) The dealer does the service (gave me some great discount coupons when I bought the car), and they have never said anything about any belt or hose.

    Regarding minivans, they are about the most useful vehicle one can find. I have a 1990 Aerostar (sorry for bringing up Ford here), with 148,000 miles that I use to tow a boat. It has been great, and if they still made them, I would buy another. Rear wheel drive is just generally better for towing. Only option now for that is an Astro, and Yuck!!!

    I suspect the Magnum would make a decent tow vehicle. I don't know what the tow rating is.

    Anyway, minivans are great people movers and (when the seats are removed or stowed), wonderful for carrying things. They have gotten a bad reputation as "mommy cars", and considered less "rugged" than SUVs. Still for a lot less money.....

    Regarding your mother and a Magnum, she isn't from Pasadena by any chance?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I want to say the Magnum's maximum tow capacity is about 3500 lb? That may sound kind of low, but it probably isn't too bad by today's standards. It may offer V-8 and RWD and be beefier than most of the FWD cars around today, but I don't think it's going to be as well-suited to trailer towing as the typical pre-downsizing '70's full-size or intermediate.

    Smithed, I think the service interval for the accessory belts is 60,000 miles. I'm not sure about the radiator hoses though. I don't think the owner's manual states an interval for them. I had my accessory belts changed last August, around the 84,000 mile mark, and also had a coolant flush. The mechanic said I should probably do the coolant again at 150,000 miles, and have the hoses changed out at that time. However, he might have been basing that on the mileage I had been driving up to that point, which would've averaged out to 22-23,000 miles a year. Most of my miles were put on early in the car's life though, so I'm probably not even doing 10,000 miles a year now!
  • cepriseceprise Posts: 8
    Hey, I don't manufacture or fabricate my 2.7L problems! You can understand my frustration that my '99 Concorde 2.7L is now a $500 flower pot at 98K.

    I'm a degreed Mechanical Engineer; I've been involved in industrial power transmission design and preventative maintenance; I work with a local shop owner/mechanic from my church to maintain my cars. (His 90K rebuild on my '96 Lumina that my son drives to college has now passed 130K.) We had just done a chain pensioner and water pump replacement on the Concorde. Oil was changed every 3-6K since I purchased it at 58K. The failure is in a crankshaft component.

    I wish I did have the 3.2L engine and a problem with one piece of trim. If the 2.7L was sooo goood, why was it discontinued?

  • cepriseceprise Posts: 8
    I don't want anyone to think that I am bitter toward Daimler-Chrysler. I was considering the purchase of a Pacifica, as I need jobsite capabilities and haul room for my Geotube business.

    Instead, my '96 Mazda MPV/SUV is in my mechanic's hands for a 92K service (timing belt, motor and tranny fluid change, front U-joint boot replacements, etc.)

    Yea, the Mazda is a freakin' truck. But at least it's honest and runs.

    Sorry, Chrysler!

  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    the 2.7l hasn't been's available on the LX cars...and JA cars.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I know I push many wrong keys too,

    but "chain pensioner" is just too funny. Maybe that's why the engine failed. It thought it was retired!!!
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Emale is correct.. The 2.7 is alive and kickin in numerous applications--including the Magnum, 300, etc... These kind of "catastrophic" reviews of the 2.7 have been extremely rare. In fact there is only one valid one I can recall--at least two others seemed or were verified as false. Unfortunately, when serious problems do arise it's difficult to know whether it's genuine or another of the neurotic "Chyrsler haters" who will fabricate anything... Shame...
  • ijennings1ijennings1 Posts: 67
    I'm looking to buy either a Concorde or Intrepid with the 3.2 litre engine. Can you guys advise as to what the running costs are likely to be? Does this engine have timing belts or chains? If they are belts, how much and how often do Chrysler recommend change? Also, I do all my own servicing, oil, dic pads, plugs, filters etc. Is this an easy task? I've also heard Chrysler auto boxes are a bit frail and have a habit of collapsing at 50,000 miles? Finally, how about body work, any rust problems?
    Thanks in anticipation. The Concorde LXI is incredible value at present due to the new 300. A lot of car for the money with apprently good handling too.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I think the last year for the 3.2 was 2000. Or was it 2001? In either 2001 or '02, they replaced the 3.2 with a slightly de-tuned 3.5 that put out 234 hp.

    The 3.2 and 3.5 are the same engine family, and use a timing belt. I don't know how much it costs to replace, but I think the first interval is 105,000 miles.

    As for fragile trannies, I think a modern Mopar tranny might still be a bit weak compared to the best trannies out there, but if you service it regularly, it should be okay. I get mine serviced every 30,000 miles, and never had any problems. But then I just have a 2.7, which doesn't have the torque of a 3.2 or 3.5. I have a theory that most of the tranny failures are in the bigger engines that have more torque, which just tears them up sooner.

    But service it regularly, and I think you should be fine.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    There is indeed a timing belt that is to be changed at 105,000 miles. I have 84,000 on a '99 3.2 liter. The only engine things I have done is the oil and filters at the specified times and coolant at 5 years. The transmission has been fine, but I have also made sure that the servicing is being done regularly and that only the correct fluid is put in. This last point is very, very important for these transmissions. Only the Chrysler recommended fluid should be used. The only problems I have encountered have been speed sensors on 2 occasions, one replaced under warranty and one I paid for (about $135). There have been no rust problems, but then I don't live in a state where it snows, so the roads don't get salted here.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    There was a new 300 sitting in the parking lot near where I parked the Intrepid last evening. I compared the two, and came to this conclusion about my own taste. What I really like is the styling of the Intrepid--sleek, rounded. The 300 appears to be a throwback to 1965--boxy, like a brick. And the trunk can't be near the size of the Intrepid. What I really want is an Intrepid with a Hemi.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I feel pretty much the same way about the new 300. I do like it, because I like old cars, but I also like the style of the Intrepid.

    As far as automotive evolution goes, I think Chrysler could have offered the new 300/300C way back in 1990, as a replacement for the Gran Fury/Diplomat/5th Avenue, and it wouldn't have looked the least bit out of place. It's almost as if, with the 300, that they've completely erased the evolution of Mopar styling that was laid by the Dynasty and all its clones and both iterations of the LH car.

    And you're right, the 300 doesn't have as much trunk space as the Intrepid. From figures I've read, the Intrepid has 18.4 cubic feet, while the 300 only has 15.6. I've had a few cars with about that much trunk space, like my '89 Gran Fury (15.6), '80 Malibu, '82 Cutlass Supreme, and '86 Monte Carlo (about 16.1) and a '68 and '69 Dart (about 17-18...wide and long, but really shallow...forget about putting a tall cooler back there!)

    I guess overall, when you figure the 300 is about 6-7" shorter than the Intrepid and RWD, which is going to eat up some space, maybe it's not TOO bad of a trunk size. But it's definitely what I'd consider a midsized trunk, whereas the Intrepid is closer to full-sized. Although with some of the cars I've had, a true full-size trunk to me is 20+ cubic feet!

    And yeah, something that looks like an Intrepid, but with a Hemi, would be way coo! 8-)
  • tedw521tedw521 Posts: 5
    I have a '98 Intrepid SE that's loaded and has always been well cared for. Belonged to a salesman relative for 5 years, then I got it last year. It has 200K miles on it. Transmission was rebuilt at 165K, but otherwise mostly original. The engine runs very well. Will need some front end work eventually, but I'm sure I could drive it a year or two without doing that work. It's now driven 15K miles/yr. Climate control, power stuff all work now, but you never know about electrical/electronics.

    So it was parked at a store last week and a neighbor, who we vaguely know, has backed into it. She waited until I came back, and there were witnesses. The dent is about as big as your hand, but because it covers multiple body panels and plastic pieces, the two body guys say it would be about $1500 to fix, based on $39/hour labor. I think that's a fair estimate.

    The lady wants to settle out of pocket, without involving the insurance companies. Money IS an issue for this person. I could personally touch up the paint, and maybe get a plastic piece from a junk yard for $100, but it would still look crummy. Trouble is, I have to see this person quite a lot, and I'd never be able to repair the damage on my own so that it doesn't show. To make it dissappear, it would cost every bit of the $1500. This is a very small town, so nothing is hidden.

    Any advice? How much longer will the Intrepid last? Do you put $1500 into a car that Edmunds says is worth $2120-2825, based on the miles? Rather than deal with the problem directly, I'm tempted to just take the money, but use it plus the car to trade for something else that's lower miles. I would be really interested to see what you neutral bystanders would have to say about the situation.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Here is what I would do, given the situation. The neighbor is responsible for the damage that she caused, and is making her own decision about whether to turn it into her insurance company. Of course, you have to go along with her on that, and it is a nice thing that you have agreed to that. It is possible that an insurance company would call your Intrepid a total loss given its current low value and the amount it would take to fix it right.

    Why don't you get some real estimates of the cost of a first class repair and present those to your neighbor? Now, if you really wanted to be nice, and the money is a real issue for her, make the repairs yourself, get her to agree to pay you $100 per month. You bank that money, and in a year and a half, get rid of the Intrepid and buy a lower mileage one.

    In addition to the Intrepid, I drive an old minivan that has been dented numerous times by family and friends. It is great to say "who cares" and say that such a dent just adds character and keep driving it.

    About how long it will last, who knows? The engine is certainly suspect given the high mileage (is it a 2.7 or 3.2?). Just about any component could go out at any time, but all could last another 50 to 100,000.

    My two cents.
  • tedw521tedw521 Posts: 5
    In answer, the $1500 IS a real estimate from good local shops. In this case, it's the 3.2 that has lasted 200K miles. And I kind of worry that since it would be spread over time, it becomes less likely that I'll see all the money. Thanks very much for taking the time to respond.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    that your car is going to be considered a total losss. I don't know if this is always the case, but the last time I had a car totaled, they said that once the cost to repair went over 60% of the book value, they'd total it out.

    Well, my 1986 Monte Carlo, with 192,000 miles on it, had a book value of around $2200-2300 when I got t-boned. Insurance company estimated $1500 to fix it, so they just totaled it. I paid about $150 to keep the wreckage, and ended up selling it for parts.

    Now my Monte really wasn't driveable anymore. The hit knocked the front-end severely out of alignment, and smashed the right side fender, door, and quarter panel. Bent the A-pillar just enough to crack the windshield, and buckled the floor pan just a little. I'm sure it would've really been more than $1500 to fix!

    Honestly, you're not going to get much of a tradein on a car like that, regardless of condtion. Edmunds might say it's worth $2100 or so, but it's a safe bet that if you trade it in, you'll only get like $500-1000. Put $1500 into it and you'll still only get about the same in trade.

    I'd let the insurance company total it out, but then hang onto it. That way, you'll get the book value of the car (NOT the tradein probably WOULD get about $2000-2100 from the ins company).

    If it's still driveable, I'd say drive it till it drops, pocket the money, and don't worry about the bodywork.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    My 99 Intrepid went into limp mode and returned to normal operation after a off on of the ignition switch. Hard downshifting, by itself would return to the limp mode. Thanks to the 300M owners, I suspected one of the trans sensors, since the car is still covered by the extended warranty, with a deductable, I brought it in to the dealer and suggested I knew that it could be one of the sensors but suggested they check both. They ended up replacing both and the car runs like a dream again. Thanks again 300M'ers and Intrepid owners for bringing this up on these boards.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    2000 Intrepid ES lease, I have a few questions about returning it...

    1.Altho I have maintained it well, it is almost time for the second transmission oil change and flushing of the power steering they request maintenance records when you turn the car in, so as to prove that you maintained it, or do they just take a chance???...if they do take a chance, how would they know if you ever changed the oil at all???

    2. Should I perform the tranny and power steering fluid change, even if it gets returned to them in a few months?

    3. There is a small star from a rock in the front windshield...should I call out one of those windshield repair services or turn it in as-is?

    4. Lastly, there is a 3 inch dent in my hood from someone's bumper backing into me...should I pay to repair it now, or turn it in with the dent and let them repair a small 3 inch dent in five years classified as normal wear and tear, as few cars last 5 years without any dents or dings...

    Thanks for your help.

  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    my experience in returning two different leased vehicles is that they basically check all the fluid levels...start the car to make sure it runs...look it over for wear and tear. check tire tread.

    they might be able to ding you on the dent (no pun intended)...that might be above what is considered normal. otherwise if i were you i wouldn't perform the maintenance stuff excepting maybe an oil change if that's needed. as for the window...if it's just a small star your insurance company would probably fix that without charging you the deductible.

    and no they've never required me to show maintenance records.

    btw, if you plan to trade for another chrysler they might even let you do it before your lease is up...without penalty.
  • mrossmross Posts: 2

    I have a Dodge Intrepid ES ’99 – 3.2L. The car has close to 60,000 and runs perfectly. I called the dodge service and they tolled be that at this mileage I should change the timing belt and the water pump (total of $1,000). I don’t know what to do, should I go ahead and change it or can I wait?
  • mrossmross Posts: 2

    I have a Dodge Intrepid ES ’99 – 3.2L. The car has close to 60,000 and runs perfectly. I called the dodge service and they tolled be that at this mileage I should change the timing belt and the water pump (total of $1,000). I don’t know what to do, should I go ahead and change it or can I wait? thanx Mark
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