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Dodge Intrepid



  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    You are looking at the last year of the original body style of Intrepid. 93-97. You also did not say the mileage of the car?? . Yes there are some problems with these power trains if they were not serviced regularly or abused by previous owners. Do you know the former owner? or is this car just sitting on the dealers lot??. Also a problem that some LH cars have is the A/C , when it works its cold but often the evaporators on these cars fail.Your best bet would be to have it checked over by someone familiar with the LH models. Then you can avoid buying someone else's problem. The auto stick feature does not really improve performance , but it does give you better selection of gears when you pulling a trailer or passing . Also say your driving in snow , well you can start out in second gear , this will help in getting better traction on slippery surfaces. Hope this helps
  • dhughes3dhughes3 Posts: 56
    Thanks for the info on the 354 being a polyhead. Thought I remembered everything, didn't I. Remember, I was only 17 at the time!!
    PS: An easy conversion from cubic inches to liters is: cu in X 0.01638
    To convert from L to cu in (the answer will be approximate, since the quoted L value is usually rounded): L X 1000 divided by 16.38
    To the guy who wants to know whether an Intrepid will do 120--"This test performed by professional drivers, please don't try this at home"!
  • darviandarvian Posts: 1
    Is there anyway to have the rear doors open automatically when you turn the vehicle off? We have a 1998 Intrepid with auto-door locks.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,044
    My 2000 unlocks all the door automatically when I turn it off, but it's not a standard feature. Mine got broken into at 6 Flags America last summer, and after I got it fixed I had a Viper alarm installed. The alarm also had the remote lock/unlock, and when they installed it, some of the characteristics of the car changed a bit.

    For example, you know how the locks automatically engage when you get up to about 15 mph? Well, now mine lock as soon as I turn the key to the "on" position. They also unlock automatically when I turn the car off...all 4 of 'em, front and back. I think my alarm system was about $350.00 or so. The remote unlock has really gotten me spoiled, and I don't think I'd buy another new car without one, now!
  • warzonectxwarzonectx Posts: 26
    does anyone have 4 wheel disk brakes. and do i really need abs. if you guys have abs or 4 wheel disk brakes. tell me which one is better. my name is matt. you can post it or email me at
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,044
    ...across the board for the Intrepid. I know they are for the 1998-2001 generation, but I'm not sure about the '93-97. I'm pretty sure they were though. As for ABS, my 2000 base model doesn't have it. I've never had a car with ABS, so I'm not really qualified to recommend either way.

    I did rear-end a Grand Am rental car back in early 2000, though. Everything happened so fast though, that I don't think ABS would've saved me.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    The 93- 97 cars had drum brakes on the low line cars ,and 4 disks were an option .all 98 -02 cars have disks. ABS is a great safety device , if you drive in lots of rain or snow get this option.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    I never had much use for ABS (like to do my own brake work) until I got my R/T. I had it for about 6 weeks when I tried to stop for a stop sign in the neighborhood with a car coming around the same corner. If it was not for the ABS, I would have slid right into that Bonneville, as turning the wheel just had the car keep sliding forward until the ABS kicked in and gave me the ability to stop and regain traction.

    If you get very little snow or freezing rain, may not be worth it, but avoiding one accident pays for it. Just don't pump the brakes on them.
  • warzonectxwarzonectx Posts: 26
    do all 4 wheel disk brakes go on win you stop. all
    4 wheels stop or 2. do the back and frunt brakes go on at the saem time like abs.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,044 functioning properly, all 4 brakes get pressure at the same time, whether it's 4-wheel drum, 4-wheel disk, or front disk/rear drum.

    I do know that cars with the disk/drum setup had a proportioning valve to vary the pressure between the front and the back. It takes a lot more effort to stop a disk brake, and if they were pressured equally, you'd be locking up the rear drums by the time adequate pressure was applied to the front disks.

    I'm not sure if modern 4-wheel disks need to vary the front/back pressure. However, I think with ABS, the computer can sense which wheels are actually losing traction, and corrects them.
  • davidudavidu Posts: 40
    Well, I haven't been around much since the board format changed awhile back, but it's nice to see that I recognize some of the names still posting here.

    I've still got my 99 Intrepid ES, now with about 27K on it, and still completely love it. The only problem I've had with it was a failed transmission control module that left my wife and I stranded in Cheyenne, Wyoming for two days. The day the TCM failed, we had driven 500 comfortable and uneventful highway miles, but on the way to dinner, the car suddenly shifted into second gear and the check engine light came on. Although we were still able to limp around town, 40 mph/3200 rpm was about all the torture I could stand to give her.

    Anyway, got the car to the dealer the next day and had the problem diagnosed very quickly, but had to wait until the next day for a new TCM to arrive, which was delayed by a huge spring blizzard. Cowboy Dodge in Cheyenne is a great dealership, and went out of their way to get us back underway as quick as possible despite what looked to me to be an overwhelmed shop.

    Although I am disappointed that we've suffered a major problem so early, I still love the vehicle, especially on marathon road trips. The car is still very solid, with no rattles, and 80 mph highway mileage is always at least 30 mpg. We'll wait and see how the rest of the warranty period goes before deciding if this is a long term car or not.
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    Yes even cars with ABS have prop valves. Also unless the wheels start to slip your not actually using ABS.If you are braking and all wheel speeds are the same your just using conventional braking , only when a speed difference is noticed does the ABS pump turn on. Yes even modern systems need to have different front and rear brake pressure. When braking the weight is always transferred to the front of the car ,and having the engine and trans up front means that the majority of the weight is at the front of the car already. So the front usually needs more power for braking
  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    I have a '96 Intrepid ES with 3.5 liter but no autostick. These cars do not have a great reliability history. Here is what I have had repaired in the 27k miles I've owned (I bought the car with 55k miles).

    1.) Transmission failure at 60k miles. Very expensive repair

    2.) Steering bushings replaced due to extremely loose steering. Inexpensive repair

    3.) Head gaskets replaced due to oil leak. Moderately expensive repair.

    4.)O2 sensor replaced. Check engine light was coming on. Inexpensive repair.

    5.) Radiator cap replaced. Engine severely overheated. Inexpensive repair.

    However, this is anecdotal evidence and may not be indicative of all LH vehicles.

    These are great cars when they're running properly. I have not had any problems with the air conditioner condensor and I have also not had any problems with the water pump (yet?) which was a common problem with the first generation LH vehicles. You might want to click on this link:

    The vehicle checks out okay for 1997. My 1996 has had most of the problems indicated by carpoint.

    If you're buying the vehicle because you think you will fit in it better than a Taurus, you may want to reconsider as Andre and I have noted a distinct lack of driver's seat legroom. The back seat is enormous, but the front seat does not leave much room to get comfortable. However, only you can determine this. I just know that I'm 6'1" and don't have particularly long legs and I wish I had much more leg room.

    Good luck.

  • dhughes3dhughes3 Posts: 56
    I don't know if anyone else has had this experience with brakes, but my '96 has never had enough braking power to lock the wheels on dry pavement. Dealer says nothing's wrong. This is a disc front/drum rear setup.
    The situation was greatly helped at 70K when I put Bendix' best pads on the front; now at least the tires will protest under hard pressure.
  • lee1nyclee1nyc Posts: 60
    I own a '98 Intrepid ES, and noticed a hissing coming from behind the center air conditioning vent. It was determined that they need to replace the Throttle Body. Can anyone tell me what this involves, is it a complicated repair? Also, do any computer settings need to be relearned after the new part is installed. It is being done under warranty repair, but I would like to know more about what they're actually doing.

    Thank you all.

    ((this same post by me appears on the 300M board))
  • hitek1hitek1 Posts: 8
    I'm new to the message board, however I was wondering does anyone have any info on the 2002 300M. I hear that it will include a 300HP V6, 18-inch tires and other exterior upgrade appearances. I was also looking at the Dodge Intrepid, however it these changes are true for the 300M then it's a no-brainer. I would also like to know if anyone is in the same situation that I'm in determining whether to purchase a 300M or an Intrepid. Both have great body styles, engine. Yes the 300M is more luxury, however the Intrepid is more of a better value(IMO) So basically it's a toss up!
  • ottowrkrottowrkr Posts: 778
    Yes there will be a 2002.5 300 called the "special" it will have 18 inch rims, 245-45-18 rubber ,lower body cladding , dual exhaust and projector style headlights ,have heard the words 300 H.P but nothing official on that. As for the regular 300, it pretty much the same as the 2001 . The Dodge and the 300 are both nice cars , but what one you buy is up to you . If you can afford the 300 go for it ,you wont be disappointed, but if your on a budget the Dodge can be a pretty good low price 4 door sedan.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,044
    Duane, if you're interested in seeing some pics, here's a '57 Saratoga for sale online, that has a lot of good pics...

    I was actually starting to question myself as to whether the '57-58 354 was a poly or a hemi, because I'd seen it referred to as a hemi in a couple of books. Well, I guess the pics in this ad pretty much cinch it (unless the engine was transplanted from something else!)

  • mitchshinmitchshin Posts: 4
    A cosmetic question. Suddenly the leather shift knob in my '98 ES is beginning to wear on top. It appears that the leather is wearing off. Has anyone experienced this or know of a product to repair it? It looks terrible and I want to avoid buying a new knob. Thanks.
  • homer61388homer61388 Posts: 54
    After looking at a used 1997 Eagle Vision TSi at my local Dodge dealer for my wife I finally have decided to pass on it. It seemed nice and all but I wasn't sure about reliability and resale value after driving it for 3 years or so. So I decided to look at something else. I saw a 2001 Intrepid with Steel Blue pearl coat and the nice looking alloy sixteen inch wheels. It came with everything including a power seat and sunroof. I liked it and my wife liked it. But I heard that Chrysler has had problems with transmissions. Which is stopping me from purchasing it. We take long trips and I don't want the car to crap out on us halfway through. I'm just curious about the transmission and the engine. My question about the engine is that will it have the power to haul my family and I up inclines and allow us to pass and merge with traffic or will I be required to floor the throttle. I like the engine because of it being easy on the gas. I have a Durango with a 5.9 and it slurps gas. So instead of using the "gas pig" on trips I am thinking about taking the intrepid and these questions are the only ones stopping me from purchasing it. Are there better vehicles with similar dimensions to the intrepid but maybe offer better reliability? If you have a good choice for a family hauler or answers to my questions then write back. Thank you!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,044
    Well, I bought a 2000 Intrepid base model (same essential car as the '01 SE) back in November '99. I now have about 48,000 miles on it, and no tranny problems yet. I did have the transmission serviced at 30K miles (October '00), because I'm kind of rough on cars...short work commute, delivering pizzas, etc.

    But overall, it's been pretty good. Here's a list of what's happened to it so far...
    30,000 miles: new tires, tranny service
    35,000 miles: power lock actuator in driver's door fixed under warranty
    39,000 miles: new front brake pads (installed by myself)
    45,000 miles: passenger side mirror broken, rubber seal on rear door came loose.

    As for fuel mileage, I've gotten anywhere from 20 mpg (wintertime, delivering pizzas, oxygenated gas) to just over 30 (highway, not pushing it too hard).

    There are a few things that I don't like about the car though, mainly that legroom is a bit tight up front (but I'm 6'3") with the non-power seat, and if you load up the car and take it on a vacation through the mountains, you might be in for a surprise! The 2.7 is fine with 1-2 people on board, but if you frequently travel with more, I'd suggest test-driving one with the entire family on board to make sure it's got enough power for you.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I have been following this forum, the last generation Intrepid does not have any transmission problem. These animals are pretty nice and reliable, if I were you I go for it with extended warranty.
  • thewaldothewaldo Posts: 3
    I saw a trailer for a movie in the theater the other day of Whoopi Goldberg and someone else driving an Intrepid off a cliff. I thought, "Gee, what a great idea for a movie".
    I've had numerous issues over the 2.5 years I owned it including (but not limited to): Transmsission Control Sensor, Body Control Module replaced twice, replaced all window motors, replaced all door seals (came unglued), air conditioner worked on, blown fuses for the horn/speakers, one day the alarm went off and would NOT shut off, a door lock replaced, actuator replaced, and a very sneaky electrical issue that my dealer couldn't seem to find or fix. I had almost 20 service visits by the time I sold it at 41,000 miles. Some days it would be in a few hours (usually because parts weren't in stock), sometimes a week. It was one thing after another and no lemon rules applied. So I took my problems to the corporate level.
    It would've been one thing if they were responsive to my needs and seemed genuinely concerned. Instead all they ever did was call the dealer who told them it was resolved. Corporate said they were still working on it and were assigning it to an "area manager" who finally called me 2 weeks after I told corporate I sold the car. None of them have returned my calls over the last week and a half about recouping the cost of a replacement part that didn't solve any of the problems.
    The car didn't hold it's value worth a darn, and when you combine that with a 6 year finance and trying to trade it in I ended up not getting what I owed on it. I got a deal that was good enough for me.
    I understand that not all Dodge products should be driven off a cliff and that things like this happen from time to time. But the dealers ineptitude, and corporate customer services' laid back approach turned me off to Dodge. No offers to cover the costs incurred by me, the time I wasted missing work, to pay off the car or at least get a good deal on another one, and I got ONE rental the last time I took it in- a Neon. They know how I feel from the constant contact and they didn't have the decency to at least pretend to take me seriously. I always thought the adage about catching more flies with honey was true and maybe I was too nice to them. Maybe I should've whined and complained more and could've caught more flies with shi*.
    For those that still own them, good luck to you. My mom liked mine so much she went and bought one. She's getting the window motors replaced as I write this. Despite my problems, I loved the car. It did everything my family needed it to do except the one thing that I demanded- reliability. It was roomy, great looking body style, drove and handled superbly, but it was too much of a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to keep and worry about constantly.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,044
    ...are caused by lousy dealerships and service centers? I used to have a co-worker with a '97 Sebring that she had no end of troubles with. It seemed like it was in the shop more often than on the street. She kept all her receipts, which is a good thing, because the dealership started denying that some of the problems had existed. She ended up threatening to sue, and it got really nasty, but they finally fixed the car right, and she hasn't had a bit of trouble.

    My roommate has a '98 Tracker. Diffrerent company, but still an excellent example. Today, after work, I'm meeting him at the Chevy dealership because he has to drop his Tracker off to get it fixed. It was just in last week, because of the transmission acting up, but now the problem is coming back. That thing has needed serious transmission work around 25K, 50K, and 75K miles. Now it's around the 80K mark, and still acting up.

    A few months ago, it had to go in for repairs because of a fuel leak. He got it back, and it proceeded to leak fuel all over the place! He bought it at a dealership that I'd always believed to be unreputable. If I'd known him before he bought it, I would've warned him!

    Thewaldo, I agree with you. I think if I had the problems that you've had, that it would turn me off to Dodge forever! The main reason I bought a new car was because of the reliability and peace-of-mind that supposedly comes with owning a newer car. But if it's going to break down all the time, what's the point? You'd think that when they DO break, the dealership would at least try to make the ordeal as painless as possible. After all, if you're not happy, you're not going to be dealing with them for long. I guess, though, that for every person they burn, someone else will come along.

    Just curious, what did you trade your Intrepid in on?
  • thewaldothewaldo Posts: 3
    I traded it in for a Toyota Sienna. We have 2 kids and the wife is pestering me for a third. I told her if she could guarantee me a boy I'd be willing to work on it.
    We spent a lot of time looking at Mini-vans and the one category we were obviously concerned about was reliability given our experiences with the Intrepid. Toyota gets great ratings and has great word of mouth. Needless to say we didn't bother looking at the Caravans.
    We also have a 94 Honda with almost 100K on it, and we've certainly gotten our money's worth out of that car. I just hope our luck holds up with it. With a Toyota and a Honda in the garage, I would like to think we'll be ok in the car department for awhile.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    You know with the mini-van, you are guaranteed the third child - resign yourself to the fact now. She has a vehicle she has to fill up! Actually, children are always a blessing, at least until they hit 13 or so.

    Don't blame you based upon your bad history with the car. I've got a 00 R/T, and had a tranny repair at about 2,400 miles, looking back I recall it shifted funny during the test drive. Now has almost 11,000 miles, no other problems (unless you count the urge to go 80-90 mph everywhere to get the engine in it's "sweet" range) My sister in law had a 94 that other than the air conditioner condenser replacment and a few cosmetic issues that never needed repair, served well, she sold it last month for $4,800.

    It is one of the few family cars out there with any individual styling - most the rest are cookie-cutters. Complements my Miata well, though thinking of getting a collector big American convertible or sedan to replace that, I love those tail fins and a big v-8!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,044
    a couple years ago, my co-worker's mom was going to trade in her '94 Intrepid 3.3 on a brand-new '99 base model. It only had about 30,000 miles on it. The dealer was going to give her $7500 trade-in on it.

    I was tempted, but decided to drive my old car a while longer, and then finally bought my '00 a few months later. As for my co-worker, his mom never really liked the '99. Even though the base engine went from 161 to 200 hp, torque, which is what you feel at the low-end, actually went down. And you had to stomp it to really get the advantage of the added hp. This woman is in her 70's, so it would be pretty hard to change her driving habits after all these years! She ended up selling it about a month ago (only had about 11,000 miles on it), and bought a new, fully-loaded 300M.
  • dhughes3dhughes3 Posts: 56
    Cool pics. I'd say that pretty much proves it had a Polyhead. MoPar did that a lot with Dodges, DeSotos, and Chryslers in the late 50's. Lower level cars got the Poly and the higher lines got the Hemi. Hey, ever hear of anyone owning a '55 Plymouth with a 241 cu in Poly? They listed it as an option, but I've never seen a test or live car with anything other than a 260. I'd better quit this. I'll turn the Intrepid site into a fifties nostalgia site!
  • mmeolammeola Posts: 2
    We are a poor newly-married couple moving to the Colorado Mountains and need a car! Still mourning the loss of our '88 Toronado...we want/need only one thing out of a car RELIABILITY, as this will be our only car to last through the mountain winter and mechanics in the area are notoriously s-l-o-w. Hubby picked '97 Intrepid, 50k, $9400. I am leaning towards spending the extra $$ for a new(er) Camry or Accord. Is the extra money for a newer car going to pay off in the long run? Please help! I've read all discussions and want advice from you experts!!!
  • I know I am going to get flamed. I don't care.
    Do yourself a favor. Get a Honda, Toyota, Subaru or maybe a Mazda. A manual transmission might be a good idea. You will save money in the beginning buying a used Intrepid. Before you know it you will be spending hundreds to thousands replacing failing components. Read the posts.

    Good Luck with whatever decision you make.
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