1988 Chrysler LeBaron 2.5 liter
Worst buy ever - JUNK!
Between 101k and 112k this is what went wrong.
- Oil sensor went bad.
- Flip up light covers died.
- Digital dash went on the fritz.
- Started leaking oil and antifreeze.
- All the power windows died.
- Battery issues.
- A/C died.
- Windshield wiper motor and linkage went.
- Check gage light never went off.
- Rear view mirror fell off.
- Top started leaking bad.
- Valves started ticking.
- Car wouldn't idle; had to drop it into neutral and rev it.
- Tranny finally went at 112k.
I bought this car after moving out of the city in Puerto Rico; the little mountain roads were too much for my 77 Lincoln Town Car.
The car looked like it just rolled off the show room floor clean inside and out, so I figured with only 101k, great buy right? Wrong. After 2 months of owning this car it was just little things like the headlight motor dying, the check gauge and engine light started flashing, so I took it to my mechanic and had all the fluids flushed, and had him check everything out. Get the car back; he says he can't get the check gauge to go off because my oil sensor is bad, but the car is running fine.
2 months later the car started having battery issues; it would randomly die and I would have to jump it. It went through 3 batteries - I had to drive the car everyday to keep it from dying.
Then the rear power windows died then a week later. The passenger side went, then the drivers side. My electrical guy said that the rear motors were shot and the master control switch needed to be replaced.
So I started using the AC - that died shortly after a months worth of use. So then I just started putting the top down and that worked for the most part.
I drove it for a while like that, then the windshield wiper motor died and the linkage. Went to my mechanic; had a junked motor and only the linkage for the drivers side so I drove around with only one working wiper for the rest of this car's life.
One day coming home from work, the car started ticking; that was the valves so I was using oil treatment to remedy the problem.
Then one day I was pulling out of my garage and after I went from reverse to drive, the car died so I started it up again, drove to the light and it chugged and died again. So off to my mechanic; he said the fuel sensor in the carb was bad and of course I looked everywhere on the island for the part; nowhere, so I just had to throw the car in neutral, rev it, then pop it back into drive to keep it running at a stop.
By this point I was hating this car. On my way to work the car had trouble starting, and half way there it would shift into 3rd gear, it would just jerk and grind, so I pulled into a gas station; they said my tranny was going. I turned around, went back home, got the paper work on the car and took it to the junk yard.
I do have to say the car was very comfy when it was running.
Good trunk size for all the fluids and parts you had to keep with you.
Got decent gas mileage when it was running.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 7th February, 2009
8th Feb 2009, 15:58
It's a myth that only the mileage on a car matters for reliability. Age is also a big factor. We are talking about a 20 year old car here in a warm climate. My friends that are automotive engineers say age is a bigger factor than mileage because there is so much plastic and rubber in cars and that decays faster when warm.. Some things can be replaced like motor mounts, but wires are covered with plastic insulation and that is prone to decay too. I am sorry you have had so much trouble though.
28th Apr 2009, 19:21
Hello all, I drive a 1988 Chrysler LeBARON 4 door every day with no problems other than head lamps which never seem to burn out, but turn into fish tanks instead. (The so called sealed beam headlamps from a major supplier fill with water).
I have the car serviced every 3,000 miles, and took it in for a tune up. They told me I didn't need a tune up, and was shown all the plugs were burning clean. Those plugs, wires, rotor and distributor cap were in service for just shy of 5 years in a suburban Chicago town. This car has an automatic transmission and it gives me 20 to 21 miles per gallon with mostly city driving. Everything works including the AC, which I had hoses changed out 7 or 8 years ago. I'm happy.