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Dodge Intrepid



  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Feel like I'm at the Republican National Convention ("fear and loathing, fear and loathing, opinions masquerading as facts, etc.."). 3.2 liter Intrepids--like my 2000 ES--have a timing belt (not a chain) that is inspected as part of scheduled maintenance. I was alerted that my belt was showing signs of "glazing" but was otherwise "OK". I decided to have it replaced at about 70,000 miles, if memory serves.
    My Intrepid is about to turn 110,000 miles, so I"m mindful of having them inspect components at each regular oil change. As I've shared in the past--I continue to use synthetic oil and a high quality filter and I've spaced my oil changes to 5000 miles. I've yet to put a quart in between oil changes which surprises me.
    My water pump has never been changed--nor indicated it's needs to be--so I don't think I'd jump to have them all done at once unless it's indicated. As always, making certain that you have regular oil changes and follow some reasonable series of inspections for critical components is the most likely way to avoid problems. Within my extended family the two 2.7 liter engines (in a Stratus and a base level Intrepid) soldier on with no problems.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    how many miles do your family's 2.7's have on them at this point? Mine's still around the 101,500 mile mark. With my 3.5 mile commmute to work, I'm just not racking them up like I used to!
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    most manufacturers recommend changing the timing belt at the 100,000 mile mark. You also have to keep in mind how many years old the car is. I mean, rubber breaks down with age, you dont have to have a Ph.D in organic chemistry to understand that. In the case of the 91 Celica GTS, the car had about 116,000 miles but was 13 years old, way past the life span (in years) of most cars on the road. So its no wonder that the belt was about to self destruct. However, I think its a good idea to follow the manufacturers recommendations. The manufacturer was the one who designed and built the car in the first place. In the case of my friends Sebring, its fact that the chain/belt malfunctioned (breakage or otherwise). No opinion here.
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    The 2.7 in my aunt's Stratus is just about to turn 80K. The base Intrepid 2.7, about two years older, is just over 100K. The Intrepid is a 98, the Stratus is a 2000 (if memory serves). We're a large family and have quite a few Chrysler Corp. vehicles in our midst. Some of this is attributable to family history and some to my brother's stint as a Dodge sales manager for 12 years. He's on another career path since 2000. Thought I'd review the unscheduled work I've had done to my Intrepid as a kind of "FYI"...
    *One Infinity Speaker replaced (persistent
    *The pinched gas filler issue from TSB--2003
    I think
    *Noise in right front suspension--2004
    *All belts--2003
    *Door seals (shrinkage) 2004
    *Transmission fluid and filter (twice)
    *Replace OEM Goodyear GA's with Goodyear
    Integras from Sam's Club at 29K.. Replaced
    Intergras with Goodyear GPS tires from
    Sam's at roughly 101K
    *Two sets of front pads--one set of rear--
    lifetime replacement warranty on them.

    Hmm...this has been a useful walk down memory lane. I noticed a question about plugs and wires--I THINK (but am not certain) that my plugs have been replaced. But never the wires. As of today my 2000 ES is 5 years, 4 months old and has 109,650 miles. Trip to Philly and around may bounce me to 110K... I have a four wheel alignment done once or twice yearly. Be well campers!
  • Manual sched B maintenance recommends 48,000 mile transmission service - fluid, filter and differential fluid change. Fluid looks clear and smells clean at 46,000.

    $240 to have this all done at Jiffy Lube. Is this over-priced?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    at a local transmission shop about a year ago. I think he charged me $78.00. And he actually APOLOGIZED for the price, telling me that the price of the ATF+4 was what made it so expensive! I had 3 vehicles done, one right after the other, so I could just pick one up and then drop the other off, and not have to worry about catching rides with friends each time I took a car up there. IIRC, my '79 NYer was around $65.00, and my '85 Silverado ran around $120-130, because it needed a shift modulator or something like that. It was sucking transmission fluid into the vacuum lines, which was then getting into the carburetor.

    I've been a bit more anal about my tranny services though, getting them done every 30,000 miles. My 30 and 60K services were around $100 each, as they were done by a different shop. Well, those guys retired in 2002, and I wasn't too crazy about the new guys running the place, so I took it to a local tranny shop, instead of a general mechanic.

    Anyway, I'm over 101,000 miles now, and no complaints with the tranny...yet!
  • Great. What did the service include? Was it just changing the fluid? Did the service include fluid, filter, and differential fluid?
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Perhaps you recall the fiasco I had with my first transmission fluid change...after two separate lectures to two service managers about +4, they went ahead and filled it with +3. Luckily I noticed it on the receipt and they brought it in, drained, flushed and refilled it. The last refill they used Mercon and an additive which brings it to +4 (or greater) levels. I was flabergasted (especially in light of the previous go round) but even the service manager at Dodge said this is OK. (Even after I put him on the phone with the shop during the first go round and he said to remove the +3 and put in +4). Go figure... In any event, it shifts as well or better and has no "freewheeling" on start up as it occasionally did in the past. Odd...
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    Was the Mercon plus an 'additive' a synthetic blend of trans fluid. I remember when I had the leaks in my transmission lines I went to the local parts store looking for ATF +4 and they tried to sell me a synthetic blend. I didnt buy their story and bought the fluid at a Chrysler dealer. With the Honda Civic, the manual says to only use Honda trans fluid so that is what I buy (its like twice the cost of fluid from the parts store).
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I know they changed the fluid, filter, and gasket. I'd have to dig up the receipt though, to I dunno what the exact price breakout was. I think there was a charge for the fluid, a charge for the labor, and a charge for a "kit", which I'm guessing includes the filter and gasket. And now that you mention it, I dunno about the differential fluid, either.
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    I don't recall any special designations on the receipt. It was listed as Mercon, plus a separate additive--which may or may not have been a synthetic of some sort. Since--as I understand it--the most significant difference among fluids are their specific lubricants and "friction modifiers"--it probably was a combination of those designed to mimic +4 fluid. Weird part shifts better than before. Perhaps this combination is more suited to an "aging" tranny such as mine.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I noticed in your post, which seemed to be about timing chain/belt life, you mentioned you had a Civic...I realize that this is old info from my Prelude and Legend, but both of them had timing belts, and both manuals stated that the belts should be changed (along with the water pump, as it is right there) and 60K miles, if memory serves me correctly...multiple Honda dealers all told me the same thing, you could go 75K miles on the belts safely, but do not think of going to 80K, as the belts would break and pistons would hit the valves at high rpm...maybe Honda has improved their belts since 1988 however...
  • Looks like Jiffy Lube is over-priced. I can get the same service done at a very reputable shop for $120. JL wants $240. They already know about the ATF+4 too. This service includes transaxle fluid, and filter.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I pulled the receipt from my last trans service fluid and filter change) at the Dodge dealer. It was $128, so JL is not the place to go for this.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    who used to work at Jiffy Lube. I knew him when we worked together delivering pizzas. I remember some advice he gave me when I talked about getting my transmission serviced. He told me that I could save a bunch of money doing it myself.

    He said to just loosen the pan and let all the fluid drain out, then re-tighten it and add new fluid in. Just like they taught him at Jiffy Lube! :-/

    So I take that to mean that at Jiffy Lube, or at least this particular one, your chances of getting a new gasket and filter with the deal were pretty slim?
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    Well.....I just looked in the Honda Civic manual for a 2000 Civic (the one that came with the car) and it recommended changing the belt at 105,000 miles and inspecting the water pump also. The mileage was the same for both normal and 'severe' driving conditions. It also stated that it should be changed at 105K miles or 84 months, whichever came first. The car just turned 100K miles so I am trying to decide where to have the work done. If I feel overly ambitious in a few months, I may do it myself. However, after 23 years, my Sears air compressor finally bit the dust so I am in the market for a new one. Wow, its hard to believe that I bought it in 1981. Too bad everything else I buy doesn't last that long.
    I think you mentioned you returned your Trep to the leasing company in one of your previous posts. Just wondering how many miles were on the car.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I looked in a Gates timing belt manual, and it looks like Hondas jumped from 60,000 mile to 90-105,000 mile intervals sometime in the early 90's. They're still inteference engines though, so don't let those belts go too long!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Obviously, they have changed their timing belts over the years, so they now last longer...if the Honda engine design is still similar to the past, when you remove the timing cover to change the belt, you are staring right at the water pump...if so, it is prudent to change the pump, not just "check it"...after all, the labor is "free" because you are already paying for the timing belt labor...besides, who would change a belt at 105K but not change the pump at that many miles, the pump used to cost about $29...even if it cost $100, I would still change it, since the only other time you would ever be anywhere near an internal engine component like that is when it breaks, and then you would pay for the labor all over again...

    My Intrepid had 72K miles on a 5 year, 75K mile lease...aside from minor repairs, it was in excellent shape for 72K miles...silver with grey leather interior...had every option available in 2000 except ABS brakes...while the blind spots were annoying, it performed well, and on the road would get 28-30.9 mpg...the Ram 1500 Hemi that replaced it gets 14 city, about 19 highway...oh, how I long for the days when $10-12 would fill the tank from the halfway mark...:):):):):)

  • fredzzfredzz Posts: 4
    Too messy for me. I'll hire the job out to CME Automotive for $120.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    that for $120 you'll get it done right! The way this friend of mine explained it, all they did was drain out the fluid, but then slapped it all back together using the old filter and gasket...
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    The days when gas was cheap are long gone. I remember in 1971 when my father bought the 5.7 liter(350 cubic inch) Chevelle, gas was 35 cents a gallon. Well, you dont have to be a mathematical wiz to figure out that a FULL tank of gas (starting from zero) was about $7.00 (that's seven dollars). So it didn't matter that the car got 10 mpg. And for less than $4K, you had an impressive car that would leave any Intrepid in a cloud of dust! (well, OK, not exactly a fair comparison since I dont think you could sqeeze a 5.7L engine under the hood). Trep has the one option that your car didnt have.....ABS....I would not buy a new car without it!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I would now expect my car to have ABS, but back in 2000, I just was not convinced that it was as necessary as I feel it is today...and, since the Trep had EVERY other option on it, I felt it was loaded...I felt at the time that 4 wheels discs were more important than ABS with disc/drum brakes...even today, if I had to choose, I would choose 4 wheel disc w/o ABS than disc/drum with ABS, altho the proper choice for me is 4 wheel disc with ABS...after driving cars with 4 wheel disc and disc/drum, I FEEL safer and it seems to stop better to me with 4 wheel disc...also, ABS only comes into play when I skid, 4 wheel disc affects my stopping EVERY time I press the brake pedal...I would not purchase our new Ram 1500, standard with 4 Wheel disc and 2 wheel ABS (don't ask why, I don't know) until I found one with the optional 4 wheel ABS...why offer it only on 2 wheels??? but they found me one with 4W Crown Vic also has 4W disc with all ABS...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    back in late 1999 when I bought my Intrepid, ABS was the furthest thing from my mind. I'd never had a car with it, so I just didn't see the need.

    As for brakes, I think the quality of the system itself is more important than whether the rear brakes are drum or disc. For instance, my '89 Gran Fury, a disc/drum setup, was vastly superior to my Intrepid's disc/disc setup. Shorter stopping distance, almost impossible to lock up, good control, etc. That may not be a totally fair comparison though, as the Gran Fury was an ex police car, and had oversized brakes. It only weighed about 3500 lb, within around 100 lb of my Intrepid, but the Gran Fury's brakes were just much beefier. I don't know what size discs were up front, but it had 11" drums in the rear. Some 4000 lb+ cars in the 70's didn't even have brakes that big!

    I wonder though, if another part of the Gran Fury's advantage might have been the tires? It had 235/70/R15's, compared to 225/60/R16's for the Intrepid. I've heard that lower-profile tires with bigger wheels can sometimes get iffy in bad weather.

    When you have ABS, does that make it any more difficult/expensive to change the brake pads?
  • mike372mike372 Posts: 354
    any new car w/out four wheel disc ABS. The combination is hard to beat. I have driven other cars with drum brakes in the rear, ie. 2003 Camry, 2004 Malibu (National car rental), 2003 Accord and there is no comparison. Plus, drum brakes heat up faster due to their design. The 1991 Celica GTS has by far the best brakes of ANY car I have ever driven( with one exception a 1984 Corvette). The combination of four wheel disc ABS, fat tires and relatively light weight adds up to outstanding braking power. Next time you're in a parking lot, look at the size of the rotors (front and rear) of some performance/luxury cars, ie. BMW, Lexus or Mercedes and I think you will be impressed. The Trep's rotors are alot smaller.
    Chnaging the pads on a car with ABS is no different that disc brake pads on a car w/out ABS. At least that's the way it is on the Celica and I believe the Trep is no different. However, maintenance costs can be higher and you have to make sure you completely change the brake fluid every few years or you could screw up the ABS pump.
    That said, my Trep came with a defective ABS controller which was replaced at 500 miles.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    Anybody ever done their own brake job on an ABS equipped Intrepid? I've done a number of brake jobs, but never on a car with ABS.

    The only other knock I have against ABS is the cost of repair once the car gets up in age. If the ABS goes out on my 94 GM, I can only guess of what that would cost.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    that ABS is kind of like airbags, in that as the car ages it becomes more of a liability than an asset. Sure, there's always the chance that you'll get into a situation where ABS will save your bacon, or a crash that you would've died in were it not for an airbag.

    However, the grim reality is probably that the abs will fail and cost more to fix than the ol' clunker is worth. Or you get into some minor 11 mph collision that happens to set off the airbags needlessly, and the added $500 or so per airbag ends up pushing your repair bill over the threshold and into totaled car territory.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I think my Intrepid is finally getting that leak in the transmission hoses that run to the radiator, that a few others have mentioned. I went out for lunch today, and when I came back to my car in the parking lot, I noticed a small wet spot under it, towards the front. It looked like just water though, and not antifreeze or tranny fluid, but it was still enough to make me pop the hood and take a look. Sure enough, on the driver's side of the radiatior, there are signs of leakage. That nasty, gummed up look where it gets wet and then gets all grimy and such. I honestly couldn't tell if it was the tranny hoses or the radiator hose, because it was all kind of splashed around.

    Guess I'm going to be taking it to the shop soon to have it looked at, though. If I really wanted to, I guess I could probably change the hoses myself. But I just don't have that kind of patience anymore, and it looks like such a tight squeeze. The bruised knuckles and flared temper just isn't worth the "satisfaction" of doing it myself!

    And, at 102,000 miles, I'm sure something finally had to let go!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Before you invest in taking it in check the hose clamps on thr rubber hoses that go from the tranny to the radiator. I had the same leaking on my 99 and it was a simple tightening of the hoses that fixed it. I have large hands, but was able to tighten the clamps with some difficulty. If the hoses look bad change them out.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    at 102K miles for your Intrepid, I would say it is still under the basic new car factory showroom warranty...ok, maybe a few miles over the limit, but hey, what a car!!!...:):):):):)
  • momx3momx3 Posts: 13
    I used to have a 97 3.5L Std Intrepid... engine gave me so many problems I had to ditch the car finally. Somehow I think it had more to do with keeping up the maintenance then anything else after reading these posts. Any thoughts from past or present 97 owners on whether I should buy another 97? (That's my fav model year)
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