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Dodge Intrepid



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    get another new car anytime soon, it'll probably be either a Charger with the Hemi, or a 300 with the Hemi. I've had good luck with most of the Mopars I've had. I'd say the worst I had was a 1988 LeBaron turbo coupe, but thankfully it waited until after I was divorced and it was in the ex-wife's possession before it started really crapping out! :lemon: :shades:

    My '00 2.7 is running well enough though, with around 103,500 miles on it, that I just don't see the need to get a new car anytime soon. Plus, I just bought an old '76 LeMans, which I'll drive occasionally, like during nice weather, so that'll take a few miles off the Trep.
  • Didn't meen to offend you. I was mearly stating my issues with my car, thinking that people considering buying one might look at it and maybe think about some people who do have probs with their Treps. I have been told by my Dodge dealer that they had many problems with the 2.7 in the 98's, as a matter of fact my co-worker and I bought ours at the same time, same place, same model, and had the same exact problems as I have had with mine. My mothers co-worker had just as much luck as either of us did with them as well. As of today, none of us have our Treps. I loved the car, just didn't like the problems that came with it. Again, my entry wasn't meant to offend, it is just a entry I thought might help people in decision making.
  • Hey, I can't complain about my Trep other than the probs I had with it, as a matter of fact, I wasn't really happy to see it go I loved the cars style, size, and handling. It just go so annoying needing to put so much money into it. I know not everyone has had probs with theirs, but I know of at least three off the top of my head that had the same probs I did. I did pick up my new and used 05 Grand Am and 98 Grand Am today. I like both of them, I would have liked to feel safe in buying a new and used Dodge today, but I just don't feel comfortable after the probs with my Trep. I guess sometimes a person can only take so much before they bust. My only hopes with these two cars is that I don't have any MAJOR probs with either of them. Good luck with your Trep and on your future purchases. Maybe someday I will feel safe buying Dodge again, I know I would have liked to continue my relationship with them.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    I'm on the Lexus ES330 Board too and you should hear the way people complain about a hesitation/acceleration problem. You would think the car was a Ford Pinto.

    I'm of the opinion that whenever you produce x-Thousand number of units some will invariably turn out bad. I got lucky with my Trep, and like you I love the size of the car more than anything else.

    Most Importantly...Good luck with your Pontiacs...We've had several in my family and one - a 1979 Bonneville - either had 300,000 or 400,000 miles last time I checked up on it (Sold it in 1995 but I know the owner who kept it until about 1999 - he lost count on how many times the odometer turned over). Ya never know...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I'm thinking about replacing the battery in my Intrepid soon. It's time to do an oil change and rotate the tires, so I figure that while I have the front wheel off, I'll try to get to the battery. It's still running fine, but now that I've had the car for 5 1/2 years, I'm starting to think it's time.

    Would there be any real advantage to going to the dealer and getting a Mopar battery, versus just going to K-mart or any generic auto parts store and getting one?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    do you remember what engine that '79 Bonneville had in it? The summer before I bought my Intrepid, I almost bought a '79 Bonneville! A local guy had it parked in front of his house...I used to see it all the time when I delivered pizzas. It rarely moved. One day I stopped by and asked if he was interested in selling it. He was going to just donate it! He did let me drive it, but warned me that it was an old car, and tried to talk me out of it. This one had a Buick 350 under the hood, and right around 100,000 miles on it. It wasn't a bad car, but wasn't any better than what I was driving at the time, an '89 Gran Fury copcar, so I passed on it.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77

    I have bought Sears Diehards, Pep Boys and Service Station batteries and I've seen no difference in their performances. 5 1/2 years is a good amount of time for a battery to be in a car. I changed the batery in my Intrepid in Novemver 2004 (5 years, 3 months). I didn't NEED to change it but my thought was that you would CERTAINLY want to change the battery before it got cold...

    FAQs for car batteries here:

    Between now and when you buy a new battery, perhaps Consumer Guide could give you an idea which batteries may be "better" than others.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    The 1979 Bonneville I sold had 119,000 miles on it in 1994. If I'm not mistaken, it had a 305 C.I. V8 under the hood. The guy I sold it to put anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 ADDITIONAL miles on it - the car either had 300,000 or 400,000 miles on it (ORIGINAL engine and Tranny too...which is pretty close to a miracle). For all I know the car is still on the road in Brooklyn, NY since the guy I sold it to turned around and sold it to his mechanic back in 1999.

    BTW - My '99 Intrepid rolled past 148,000 miles this past weekend and is in the shop today for an oil change and tire rotation. As far as I'm concerned it's got another 152,000 miles to go before I expect any troube out of it :) ">
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I would not be tied to a mopar battery, go ahead and buy from any reputable chain...but, a few thoughts prior to purchase...
    1. be sure you have a good chain of stores for warranty purposes...altho most folks don't think of WalMart, they are everywhere and I think they sell Champion batteries (same company that makes spark plugs) you have warranty service all over most of the country, depending on where you, in GA and the South, I would be covered everywhere...

    2. check you battery case and see if the case is bigger than your battery...if yes, there is probably a heavy duty battery available that will fit in the larger case...I might guess that a 2.7 engine in a Trep might come with a smaller battery than, say, my former 3.2 ES which had every option on it, mostly electrically controlled, like power seats both sides, moonroof, power trunk, etc...since these require more guts than a stripped 2.7, a larger battery MAY be available, but Dodge may only have installed one size case for all batteries, since the underhood space may be identical in all models...check your base and check the book for the most decked out Trep, and see if the batteries (or dynamo, if you are British) differ...

    3. let us know what you did...

    Bob :) :)
  • otoluvaotoluva Posts: 158
    No offense, but expecting 300,000 mi out of an Intrepid is a bit of a stretch. However, the first Intrepid to reach that mark will certainly qualify for a museum spot ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    in reading your profile, cfazzari, I see you're turning your Intrepid over to your two 15 year olds when they hit driving age? And you "only" have ~150,000 miles on your Trep? Sorry to tell you this buddy, but there ain't no way that car's gonna go another 150,000 or so in the hands of a couple of teenagers! :P

    Still, as long as you take care of it, you never know. If I were to lay odds, I'd say that two things that would fail before the engine do would be the transmission and the air conditioning. Chrysler's traditionally been a bit weak in the 4-speed automatic tranny department, but these days, they just don't build transmissions in general like they used to. Nowadays they make them compact and lightweight, so that they don't take up much space, and don't sap too much horsepower. Although I've heard that the Chrysler unit actually "dumps" some of the hp along the way to the wheels, because it's not quite strong enough to handle high hp. Or, at least that's the way it was for awhile.

    And as far as air conditioning goes, it's not that Chrysler units are bad (I think the same company sources both Chrysler and Honda a/c), but just, as the car ages, a/c just seems to be one of those things that inevitably goes! Also, on the quest to 300,000 miles, I'd also expect an alternator and a starter or two to go, and maybe a couple of power window motors. Plus the obligatory water pump, but that's something that's a maintenance item these days, and changed with the timing belt.

    Also, how you drive is a big factor in how easily you get up to high mileage. If you do a lot of highway driving and take a lot of long trips, have a long work commute, etc, then 300,000 miles will come a lot more effortlessly than if you live 3-4 miles from work and just do a lot of local driving, like I do. I'm at around 104,300 miles now. I put on a lot of my mileage early in the car's life, because I used to deliver pizzas part time, and took a couple trips to Texas. I think I hit 30,000 miles in just 10-11 months! Nowadays though, I hardly put 10,000 a year on the car any more. So I'm only about 20 years away! :shades:
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    Ah my friend I expect much because I am psychotic!

    Cases in 1981 Grand Prix - I sold it after it reached 91,000 miles. I was much younger and richer in 1987...I probably would have gotten another 30,000 or 40,000 miles out of the drive train...! My 1987 Cougar - 185,000 Miles on the original drive train before I sold it to my Idiot Cousin - who got ANOTHER 48,000 miles out of it - before he donated it. My 1979 Bonneville had either 300,000 or 400,000 miles on it before we lost track of it (sold to a mechanic in Brooklyn).
    NONE of these cars ever needed a new engine or tranny while I owened them.

    My 1999 Intrepid is better than any of these vehicles, both in performance and condition. To look at it today (I did have the back bumber and front hood repainted earlier this year) - you could not guess that it had more than 30,000 or 40,000 miles on it. I use Mobil One oil and change the tranny fluid every 15-20000 miles.
    If I'm worng about this car, I will let everyone know.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    Open letter to my sons: Boys - here is my Intrepid. Use it in good health, and enjoy it. The car remains in my name. The car's maintenance and care is now is YOUR responsibility. I DO NOT CARE that you are both teenagers. If you accept the the responsibility of driving - you accept the FULL Responsibility. In my book, Youth does not equal Stupidity. If I feel you're too young or not ready, you will get the keys when I think you ARE ready, not before. Treat the car well and it will provide you with many years of safe & reliable service. Anything major goes wrong with the car that is not your fault, I will of course be behind you. My priority is you guys, not the car. I will always help you maintain the car and guide you so that you are always safe and secure in it.

    Now...Some New Rules:

    Dad's Rule #1 - I will not buy you another car if you neglect, abuse or destroy this one. Screw this one up, plan on many bus rides.

    Dad's Rule #2 - Show any signs of recklessness, start trashing the car, or become too preoccupied with the car, I will notice it. See Rule #1.

    Dad's Rule #3 - Show any slips in your grades, I will hear about it. See Rule #1

    Dad's Rule #4 - Show any disrespect to yourselves or others on the road, get busted for anything illegal while driving, I will hear about it. See Rule #1

    Dad's Rule #5 - If you get tired of the car, that's understandable - My advice is - get a part-time job, save up the money and see Rule #1.

    That should about cover it, don't you think?
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    I am considering purchasing either a Concord or an Intrepid. I have heard quite a bit of problems with the 2.7 liter engine. Are there similar issues with the 3.2 in the LXI Concord or higher Intrepid model ? Are there other issues i should watch out for ? I will be going from a Japanese import to a Chrysler product. Can I remotely get the same reliability ? What is the most these engines go ?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I'd go with a 3.2 or a 3.5, instead of a 2.7. While the 2.7 in my Intrepid has been reliable, in some situations, such as long mountain grades, putting 3-4 additional passenger in it, etc, it tends to start straining. The 3.2 has 25 more hp and 35 more ft-lb of torque, which makes a big difference. And the 3.5 is better still, putting out anywhere from 234-250 hp, and around 240-250 ft-lb of torque. FWIW, the 3.2 was discontinued after 2001, and replaced with a slightly tuned-down 3.5.

    The 3.2/3.5 are a completely different engine from the 2.7, and are good, solid engines. They're also cheaper to replace when they DO go bad! These engines actually have their roots in the old 3.3 pushrod V-6 that surfaced back around 1990 or so, in cars like the Dodge Dynasty, Chrysler New Yorker, etc. This engine replaced the Mitsubishi 3.0 V-6, and was carried over into the LH cars for 1993. A 3.5 variant that was converted to OHC was constructed, and put out 214 hp, very impressive for the time. Normally, when you take an engine that was designed as a pushrod and then converted to OHC, you get a mess. Just ask Chevy about that 3.4 DOHC V-6 they offered for a few years back in the 90's! :surprise: However, in the case of Chrysler's 3.5, this was one rare instance where the conversion was done right. Now, IIRC, early models did tend to have problems with the timing belt, and a/c problems were also common, but these were corrected after a few years. The 3.2 was a slightly smaller version of the 3.5, offered from 1998-2001. Same basic design, though.

    If it's a '98-04 model you're looking at, basically just make sure it's been maintained well and not abused. Chrysler's 4-speed overdrive automatic has always been a week spot, although they improved them drastically around 1996 or so. And they've improved them, little by little, ever since. The 2.7 doesn't put as much strain on the tranny as the 3.2 or 3.5, so one consolation of having a 2.7 is that the tranny will probably last longer. However, if you maintain it and change the fluid regularly, you shouldn't have a problem with either engine.

    The 2.7 does have a bit of a reputation for sludging, so if you find a model you like that happens to have one, make sure you have accurate maintenance records to go with it. The main reason these engines sludge up is because they're built to tighter tolerances than the 3.2/3.5, and have to work harder and run hotter to move a 3400-3500 lb car around. Keep up on the oil changes, and don't let it overheat, and you'll be fine. But DON'T let it go 10,000 miles between oil changes! Actually, don't let ANY engine do that!

    But, I'd still try to hold out for a model with the 3.2 or 3.5. If nothing else, you'll get better performance, little, if any, penalty in fuel economy (the 2.7 has to rev harder, which offsets the advantage of its smaller displacement), and usually, a better-equipped vehicle, as the 3.2/3.5 were offered in higher trim levels like the R/T, SXT, and ES, whereas the base/SE just had the 2.7. ES models from '98-01 used a 2.7 standard with a variable intake manifold. It only boosted hp by 2, and torque by 5, but the torque curve was consistently higher across the whole RPM band, so it did give a pretty good boost to performance. Most ES's in '98-01 probably had the 3.2 though, which cost around $500 extra. For '02, they just bit the bullet and made a 234 hp version of the 3.5 standard.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    I've got the 3.2 in my 1999 Intrepid ES. I've always said that this engine's power is ADEQUATE for moving the car. It's not a Corvette by any means, but it certainly does the job it was designed for. I use Mobil One Oil and I change it every 4000-5000 miles. I get as much of the tranny fluid changed as I can every 15,000 - 20,000 miles.The car is now approaching 149,000 miles and I still have trouble hearing the engine running at a red light. In the 5 1/2 years I have owned the car it has seen a towing hook ONCE - back in December 2000 - for a malfunctioning ignition switch. See my earlier posts...I can't recommend this car enough. I'm only sorry Dodge stopped making them - as such My next car (sometime in the summer of 2006) will either be a 2007 Dodge Charger (AWD or FWD) or a 2006 Impala SS (FWD). If I can get a SUPER deal on a 2005 Bonneville GXP (They stop making them this year) then I would consider taking a leftover off of a dealer's hands.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    My 3.2 in the '99 ES is just about to reach 100,000 miles and there have been no engine or transmission problems (Those components have been well taken care of). The 3.2 has enough power for the car, but it is no rocket ship. But for cruising at 80 mph on the interstate (which it has done a lot of), it has been great. Problems have been with A/C, radiator fans, and window motors. Oh, and a speed sensor went out once (the only time it needed a tow). I plan to keep the car a good bit longer. One thing I really have liked about the car is the size of the trunk--very spacious and the ES has fold down rear seats to get at the front of the trunk from the back seat. I looked at a new Charger on Thursday, and the trunk (while adequate) isn't near what the Intrepid's is. The same can be said for the 300 :shades: .
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    what did you do to resolve your battery situation??? :)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    I gotta confess, I've been procrastinating on the battery situation. I kept putting it off, and the car is still starting just fine. However, I'm going to Florida next week, and taking the Trep, so watch that be the time that it acts up and finally dies! It's still starting right up, with no problems, though. I'm hoping that it'll be fine through the summer, and then maybe I'll change it out before the cold season sets in.

    I'm holding around 104,700 miles right now. I'm guessing the trip to Florida, once you factor in driving around while we're down there, will get me up over 107,000.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    It almost irritates me to say this, but a 1997 Town & Country I bought used (with 104,000 miles on it) seems to outperform my 1999 Intrepid (149,000 Miles) in just about every category. The T&C is quicker and has a much more stable ride. The T&C is much quieter and it even seems to handle corners better. The only area where the Intrepid is a clear winner appears to be gas mileage (maybe by 3 or 4 miles per gallon combined). The Trep has the 3.2 and the T&C has a 3.8 with AWD. I had no intention of comparing the two vehicles but it does bear mentioning.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    andre, forgive me for being overbearing, but if your battery seems shaky, taking a trip is the best reason NOT to try and stretch the old battery, but the BEST reason to get a new one...unless the wallet is a little light this month, why risk the battery when a new HD batt can be had for under $75, whereas the time lost and inconvenience factor will be worth much more than $75 if you break down in FL...what do you gain by waiting til fall, and what do you lose by having the knowledge that the car will start/run more reliably with a new 5 year batt under the hood???...just thinking out loud, friend... :) :) :) :D :D

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    next you're going to tell me that I need to go see the doctor about this golf ball-sized fatty lump I have growing on my back! :surprise: Just kidding about that one! :P

    When batteries start to get weak though, don't they usually exhibit a sign of it first? For instance, the car being harder to start? My car starts up just as fine as it did when it was brand-new. Maybe I will resist the urge to tempt fate though, and do it on Saturday before leaving.

    Thanks for the gentle prod, Dad! :)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The last battery that failed on me operated absolutely perfectly up until the day it refused to do a dadgummed thing about starting the engine. ;)
  • tkfitztkfitz Posts: 95
    Air box or wheel well?
    Which way is the easiest?
    Let everyone know.
    Not the best design for checking/cleaning or tightening the terminals.
    Or swapping the battery out.
    My battery is five years old too.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    on trying to tackle this job tonite, but this morning I had a back spasm. So I may or may not get to it. When I do though, I'll let you guys know which way I went in to get to the battery, and how many things I broke along the way. :P
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    Dude Don't break your back on this. The guy in the garage can change the battery for you faster and cheaper. In my Intrepid the batter is in front of the left front tire. PLEASE!! We've all got better things to do with our time.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    Read my post of May 5, and the one I just posted tonight. You can probably get away with another 4-5 months, but do you REALLY want an almost 6-year old battery trying to start your car in December? If so, then I hope you 've kept up your AAA membership :P
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Son, you have received the back spasm as a message from above that you can't go to FL until you change the battery... :D :D ...once you change the battery with a HD batt for the 3.2L engine (I have jumped to the conclusion that there is an HD batt and it will fit in your 2.7L)...BTW, as Pat Host just stated, in an oxymoronic type of way, that a marginal batt will work until it no longer works...quite suddenly at that...if it was a 1 or 2 year old batt, we would not have this discussion...but it is a 5/6 year batt, when you know most batts rarely last over 4 years, and you want us to support your decision to be reckless and travel to FL on a batt you know is dying...what kind of father do you think I am???... :D :D ...your logic, son, is impeccably, impeccably, uh, POOR!!!... ;) ...just some "fatherly advice"...and my words are the words of prudence!!!

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    it's got 800 CCA, 1000 at 32 degrees. So that's more than the stock battery, which I believe is just a 500 CCA. I'll probably put the sucker in sometime tomorrow. Woulda done it today, but I let one of my buddies borrow the car. It was either that or the Silverado with the leaking gas tank! :surprise:

    I'll let you guys know how it goes, after I put it in tomorrow.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    We await your triplicate!!!
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