Last post on Oct 08, 2012 at 4:35 PM
You are in the Dodge Intrepid
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Intrepid, Sedan
#2797 of 3457 Well if I had it all to do over again...
May 11, 2005 (2:56 pm)
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! 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.
#2798 of 3457 Re: 2.7 liter v/s 3.2 liter engine reliability .. [coupedncal]
May 12, 2005 (9:40 pm)
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.
May 21, 2005 (11:03 am)
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 .
May 22, 2005 (7:23 pm)
what did you do to resolve your battery situation???
May 23, 2005 (6:26 am)
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.
#2802 of 3457 '97 Town & Country Vs. '99 Intrepid
May 23, 2005 (10:27 am)
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.
May 24, 2005 (10:22 am)
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...
May 24, 2005 (11:51 am)
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! Just kidding about that one!
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!
#2805 of 3457 Re: Dangit Bob... [andre1969]
May 24, 2005 (11:53 am)
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.
#2806 of 3457 hmmmm.....
May 24, 2005 (3:28 pm)
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.