Last post on Oct 08, 2012 at 4:35 PM
You are in the Dodge Intrepid
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Dodge Intrepid, Sedan
#3112 of 3457 2000 R/T - engine is wonderful, body not so much
Jan 19, 2007 (5:16 am)
Good morning. I am new to these boards, but I find them very interesting. I have a 2000 R/T that I have owned from new and taken immaculate care of -- except of course for the fact that it has been outside in the northeast, a factor over which I have had no control. The car just turned over 60,000 miles (yes I am blessed with a short commute) and the engine sounds as good as the day I drove it off the lot. I've never had a true "engine" problem, though the local Dodge dealer did find lines into the transmission leaking when I had it in for other repairs in December.
I know that I have a semi-rare car, especially one with this low of miles, and I love the car, so I am loathe to part with it. BUT ---- the past six months it's like a switch flipped labeled "time to fall apart around the engine." I've had to replace numerous and sundry dumb little things such as ignition switches, door lock mechanisms, wheel bearing assemblies, etc, etc. I'm a non-mechanically inclined single lady, so I'm not even attempting to fix any of this myself. It's like being nibbled to death by ducks, and I keep wondering where (if ever) it's going to end. And by the same token, how much $$$ do I want to keep putting into a seven year old car?
I'm just wondering what anyone else's experiences are with Intrepids of this age that have had to spend their life outside in northeast winters. Is my experience typical? Do they just start to fall apart at a point? Would I be dumb to part with it?
Many thanks for your opinions!
#3113 of 3457 Re: 2000 R/T - engine is wonderful, body not so much [kmauss]
Jan 20, 2007 (3:57 pm)
I'm just wondering what anyone else's experiences are with Intrepids of this age that have had to spend their life outside in northeast winters. Is my experience typical? Do they just start to fall apart at a point?
Well, I hate to say it but that whole thing about the body falling apart around a bulletproof engine has been a bit of a Mopar trademark since 1957! There was an old joke going around that the Dodge Dart was the worst car ever inflicted upon humanity, because they tended to leak water around the base of the windshield and fresh air intake, and get the front seat passengers' feet wet. But since the drivetrains were so indestructible, people would drive around in these cars, suffering with the water torture, long after most "mortal" cars had had long since blown an engine or transmission.
As for the Intrepid, well I bought a base model in 2000, and now have about 127,000 miles on it. It started having some minor issues when it was about a year and a half old. Stupid stuff, like the window seals shrinking, power adjust to the passenger mirror failing, the little cover to what would normally be the ashtray in the center console getting loose, etc. Now that I think about it, the power lock actuator in the driver's door went bad, and had to be replaced around 35,000 miles, when the car was only about 13 months old. I used to deliver pizzas part time, so I racked up the miles pretty quick early on.
Other than that though, I've been pretty lucky I guess. The car now has about 127,000 miles on it, and the closest thing to an engine problem I've ever had was a leaky thermostat housing, which was replaced around 51,000 miles.
I have heard of the leaky transmission lines running to the radiator being a common problem on the models with the 3.2 and 3.5 engine. I've also heard that power window failures can be somewhat common, although I've been lucky there, too.
I had to replace the front brake rotors around 99,000 miles, but was able to do it myself. Have you had your battery replaced yet? If not, when that time comes it's going to be a pain in the butt, because it's buried down low in the front passenger fender, between the wheel and the headlight assembly. It took me about 2 hours to replace mine, and it was a big enough pain that I swore I'd either trade in the car before it needed another battery, or just pay the mechanic to do it!
I'd say overall though, my car has aged fairly well. Most of the irritating stuff popped up between when it was about 1 1/2 to 3 years old, but nothing significant since then. Oh, around 87,000 miles (just shy of 4 years), the oil light came on. Luckily it was a problem with a sensor getting too hot and was fixed for free under a TSB.
Unfortunately, I can't answer your question as to whether you should get rid of it or not. While the R/T is a fairly rare car (I wish I could've afforded one when I bought mine! And I did come close to trading mine in back in late 2003 for a used '02 R/T the dealer had on their lot), I don't think it's considered a very valuable car. The Intrepid's resale is pretty bad, regardless of the trim level or how well maintained it was. So on the plus side, the car has probably depreciated about all it's going to, so it's not like you have to ditch it immediately to keep from losing any more value.
But if the car is getting to the point that you just don't trust it anymore, it might be time to sell it and get something newer. It's really hard to put a dollar value on peace of mind. But at the same time, don't fool yourself into thinking that a Honda, Toyota, or whatever is automatically going to be bulletproof after 7 years, either. Often, things just start to go on a car once it gets older, no matter how low mileage it is.
Anyway, good luck, whatever you decide!
#3114 of 3457 A few other odds and ends...
Jan 24, 2007 (6:08 am)
I just noticed with my Intrepid. I don't drive the car regularly anymore, so I probably don't keep up on this stuff like I should. Anyway, the low washer fluid light comes on every time I start the car, with a ding, although it has plenty of fluid. The power steering pump seems to make a high-pitched grumble for a moment or two in the morning, the first couple times you turn the wheel. And every once in awhile, whenever the power locks lock/unlock, the one in the driver's side back-door makes kind of a sick sound, like a dying Teddy Ruxpin doll.
#3115 of 3457 Headlight problem
Jan 29, 2007 (5:25 pm)
Has parking lights, no road lights, no head lights, can hold high beam switch up and will have high beams. Release switch and have no head lights. Replaced muti-function switch did not solve problem.
Jan 30, 2007 (9:27 pm)
Could be both low beam bulbs are burned out?
#3117 of 3457 Re: 2000 R/T - engine is wonderful, body not so much [andre1969]
Feb 01, 2007 (6:52 am)
Thanks Andre! I haven't been back on the forums much in the past week or two, so I didn't see your reply until just now. At this point, I'm hanging onto it, but it's "on probation." (In other words, it if keeps costing me several hundred dollars per month, it's getting traded.) I still like the car and so far (knock on wood) it hasn't done anything bad engine-wise at all yet, so for now I'm continuing to fix the little stuff and see where we are in another few months. Karen
#3118 of 3457 Re: Fbandy [hayneldan]
Feb 01, 2007 (4:13 pm)
I've changed the bulbs. The bright lights will not stay on either unless you hold it up on flash to pass.
#3119 of 3457 Re: Howdy group.... [Jason5]
Feb 05, 2007 (7:33 am)
I heard the evaporators go bad very quickly. especially in trucks. sounds like poor material.
Feb 05, 2007 (10:50 am)
From my 99 shop manual
Headlamps do not illuminate
1 No voltage at headlamps-------Repair open headlamp circuit
2 No ground at headlights-------Repair circuit ground
3 Faulty Headlamp switch--------Replace headlamp switch
4 Faulty dimmer switch----------Replace headlamp switch
5 Broken connection between
BCM & headlight lamp relay----Repair broken connection
6 Faulty parking/headlamp relay-Replace relay
7 Faulty body control module----Replace body control module
The ground is the black lead from the headlights.
The relays are located in the fuse box accessed by opening the driver door and opening the cover on the side of the dash.
#3121 of 3457 Re: Howdy group.... [dodgeram2]
Feb 06, 2007 (6:22 pm)
Thanks for the response dodgeram2...albeit three months later. I suspect if the evaps were that poor it would have surfaced long before 140,000 plus miles. The only thing I've seen in particular was that certain evaporators on earlier minivans were placed in a way that road debris could bounce up and hit them......sounds strange but apparently true. I was prepared for some repairs after 100,000 miles. In any event, I'm in a 07" Pacifica now and enjoying the extra room...