Last post on May 29, 2009 at 10:00 AM
You are in the Dodge Intrepid
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Intrepid, Engine, Sedan
#1 of 23 Are these disposable Cars?
Oct 06, 2007 (11:46 am)
I have recently bid on a 2002 Dodge Intrepid at Auction and am currently the high bidder on one with the 2.7 V6 engine and 85,000 Miles. Now, I find all these horror tales about the engine sludge and the whole engine having to be replaced at the cost of around $3500-4000. Also other problems with them. Right now, I am praying that I will be outbid, because I can't find anything good on these cars. I can't believe that Dodge would have put out a car for so many years with problems like this one has, steering, transmission, but mostly engine. But now, I find out too late, that they did discontinue them in 2004. Any comments?
#2 of 23 Re: Are these disposable Cars? [bettyjohn]
Oct 07, 2007 (1:00 pm)
I have a 2000 Intrepid with the 2.7 V-6. It has about 136,500 miles on it and I've never had any engine or transmission problems. I've had other, more minor issues, such as the thermostat housing leaking, power lock actuator in the driver's door going bad, (and more recently, the one in the back door is making a horrible noise when it locks), oil pressure light coming on due to a bad sensor (oil itself was fine), and about 3 months ago, the a/c started to fail.
I asked my mechanic about the sludge issue, and he said that the only 2.7's he's ever known about that have been sludged are when people let the oil run too low, let the car overheat, push out oil changes to 10,000 miles, etc. Some cars can actually tolerate abuse like that (mainly older, simpler cars that were built to sloppy tolerances). But the Intrepid 2.7 won't necessarily tolerate that kind of abuse.
Is there any way you can get access to the service records of this '02 Intrepid? If you can, and find that the oil has been changed fairly regularly, you should be fine.
Now the car IS disposeable in the sense that if the 2.7 does fail, it's going to cost more to replace than the car is worth. If you can find one for $3500-4000, count yourself lucky. I've heard more like $5,000 just for a used engine, plus whatever it costs to put it in!
I'd say, seriously, that the biggest trouble spot on the Intrepid is the transmission. I think the more powerful 3.2/3.5 V-6 models are more prone to failure because they stress the transmission more, but the Chrysler 4-speed automatic isn't as durable as, say, the GM 4-speed automatic.
As long as you keep up on maintenance though, the 2.7 should be a fine car. I'd say change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles (make sure they use the Type +4...Type +3 can cause rough shifting and is supposedly a culprit in the early failures). My mechanic told me to change the coolant at 86,000 miles. It has long-life coolant, but he said that if you change it early, you can get by without changing the hoses until the next time around. I had the coolant and hoses changed, just to be safe, back in April. At the time, the car had around 132,000 miles, and was about 7 1/2 years old.
Also, think about it...if the Intrepid really WAS that bad, word would have gotten out quicker, and it would have been pulled from the market much quicker than it was. As it stands, it had a fairly long run (1993-97 and then 1998-2004 for the redesign) before giving way to the Charger. And if the 2.7 really WAS that bad, they wouldn't be using them today in Chargers, 300's, Avengers, and Sebrings. If the engine really was that bad, the negative publicity would have caused Chrysler to discontinue it.
#3 of 23 Re: Are these disposable Cars? [andre1969]
Oct 08, 2007 (11:06 am)
In reply to Andre who said: "I'd say, seriously, that the biggest trouble spot on the Intrepid is the transmission. I think the more powerful 3.2/3.5 V-6 models are more prone to failure because they stress the transmission more, but the Chrysler 4-speed automatic isn't as durable as, say, the GM 4-speed automatic."
I have a 1999 3.2 Liter Intrepid with 120,000 miles and no transmission (4 speed Autostick) troubles, but have had routine fluid and filter changes done every 25,000 to 30,000 miles. I would believe what Andre says about the 2.7. Indeed, some of the early (98-00 years) did have some problems that were caused by a combination of poor maintenance and some oil passages that were too small (from what I've read). These problems were resolved. Yes, they still make these 2.7 liter engines, and they are the base engine in the 300 and Magnum (not the Charger) and the optional engine in the midsize Avengers and Sebrings. These are good engines. Toyota had their own problems with V6 engines sludging and it was worse than the 2.7 Chryslers, but since it was a Toyota, everyone seemed to accept that.
#4 of 23 Re: Are these disposable Cars? [smithed]
Oct 09, 2007 (5:00 am)
Indeed, some of the early (98-00 years) did have some problems that were caused by a combination of poor maintenance and some oil passages that were too small (from what I've read). These problems were resolved.
Oh, really? I didn't realized that they actually did go through the trouble to revise the engine. That's cool. Also makes me feel a bit better about the Trep in general, although if I were to go out and get a newer used one, I think I'd just splurge on a 3.5 model.
I don't know if this is true or not, but I heard that the 2.7 was actually more troublesome in the "cloud cars"...the Stratus/Sebring sedans and convertible. From what I read, they had to redesign part of the engine, basically cutting off a corner of the block or head or something, to make it fit. And in redesigning that, it restricted some passage, either oil or coolant, and led to a higher incidence of problems in those cars. Now this is just going on memory, which is not always spot-on, so I may have gotten some of the details wrong.
The biggest achilles heel in the 2.7, I think, is simply the cost to replace when it does fail. Even if the engine is as reliable as a 3.2/3.5, it's still a lot more expensive to replace, and will make it more likely that the car simply gets totaled out rather than fixed. I've heard that there are some companies that will swap a 3.2/3.5 into an Intrepid with the 2.7, and supposedly it's a little cheaper than simply replacing the 2.7. A couple years back I saw a '99 Intrepid at the Carlisle PA Mopar show, and it had a 3.2 swapped in. I remember looking at the car and doing a double-take. It was a base model, but when I looked under the hood and saw the 3.2, I noticed something wasn't right!
Oh, as for the Charger, there was a cheap, rental fleet-only model that had the 2.7, but the rest of them either had the 3.5 or the Hemi. For 2007, they made the 2.7 standard, but if you specified option 27E, for $1000 more it got you the 3.5 and the 5-speed automatic. Or you could get the SXT package for it (I guess it was "technically" a package for the base model, and not a model in its own right) for about $4500, which also got you that engine. And for 2008, the 2.7 is standard again.
I guess one reason the 2.7 stays around is that it gets a fairly good EPA rating, and probably boosts their average. Now I know they just lowered all the EPA estimates in 2007, but under the "old" system, I think the 2.7 got 21/28, versus 19/27 for the 3.5. Otherwise, I really can't think of a reason for them to keep the 2.7 around. If it's more expensive for them to produce than the 3.5, wouldn't it just make sense for them to make the 3.5 standard? Or offer a reduced-displacement version, as they did with the 3.2? Or maybe there's something else I'm overlooking?
#5 of 23 from Allpar.com
Oct 09, 2007 (7:07 am)
This passage comes from a box in the Allpar.com site about the 2.7 liter V6:
"The 2.7 liter engine had a tendency to generate sludge which caused engine failure. Similar problems have been appearing on Toyota and Volkswagen engines. We were told that, shortly after the first reported cases, Chrysler isolated the problem to the crankcase ventilation system; hydrocarbons were entering the oil and breaking down the additives. This problem has been solved (around 2002-2004), and the number of engine failures appears to be small. However, if you have an engine that might have this problem, frequent (4,000 mile) oil changes, vigilance, and crankcase ventilation system maintenance (or replacement with newer parts?) may be an answer."
So, as with most engines, maintenance is the key to longevity.
#6 of 23 Crankcase ventillation...
Oct 09, 2007 (8:20 am)
would that be the pcv valve that mainly controls that? I forget what the service interval is for the pcv valve, but I always changed mine roughly every 15,000 miles. I'd do it at the same time that I changed the air filter.
#7 of 23 Re: Crankcase ventillation... [andre1969]
Oct 11, 2007 (6:54 am)
Yes, I think they meant the PCV. Sounds like your engine should be like a new one.
#8 of 23 Faulty charging system
Oct 11, 2007 (2:52 pm)
2000 Intrepid ES, 3.2 liter V-6, 47K miles
Door/and or dome lights go on at night when car is parked. Sentry system is off and there is still a drain on battery. Car is only driven 2 or 3 times a week and sits for 3 days at a time without being started. Florida temps are in 90's...could heat effect the battery? Battery has been replaced within the last year. Alternator checked out fine. Anyone had problems with recharging system, any clues to what my problem could be?
#9 of 23 Re: Faulty charging system [softbaljack]
Oct 12, 2007 (11:58 am)
It must be the battery if the alternator is putting out 12.5 to 14 volts. Just because a battery is less than a year old, doesn't mean it doesn't have a bad cell. Heat can affect batteries, as can cold. I live in SC, where it is just as hot and the original battery in my 1999 ES lasted 7+ years. If the 2 to 3 times per week drives are short, you may not have enough time to fully charge the battery. Take a long drive to charge things up and see what happens before you go to the trouble of changing the battery. They are in a bad place in our cars.
#10 of 23 engine noise 2.7 Ltr intrepid
Jan 29, 2008 (6:09 pm)
Have a 2000 intrepid with a tapping noise on drivers side of engine near oil cap ,any ideas