You'd think after reading my storybook of problems that I'd hate this car. The truth of the matter is, I'm fairly pleased with it overall and madly in love with it. Ever since my Mom bought a 1992 Plymouth Acclaim back in '94 and handed it down to me in 2001, I have LOVED this era of 4cyl. Chryslers! I bought a '90 Sundance after the Acclaim was totalled.
My current Lebaron is an OLD car, so I expected from the beginning it might have some issues here and there, even given the low original mileage. Problems are going to happen with any old car, even if it's got low mileage. Not only does mileage wear on a car, but year-age does as well. So some of the problems I've been experiencing are just a little annoying at worst, like the rough idle and non-locking seatbacks.
Some of the problems, however, seem like potentially huge problems that really unnerve me. Like the problem I've been having with it bucking and sometimes stalling. I don't care what kind of car it is or how old or new, low or high mileage it is, it shouldn't be bucking and stalling! It makes the vehicle unsafe and undriveable, besides seriously unnerving to operate in city traffic. This really eats at me because I love the car for it's positive aspects, as well as for its nostalgic and and sentimental values to me. The way the transmission acts up as described also eats at me. My first Chrysler, the Acclaim with the same transmission, lasted about 200k miles. It was a fantastic unit! So I'm puzzled why the same model tranny is acting so oddly in my current Lebaron, considering how much less mileage it has.
I don't have much time or money to get all these issues fixed, but I'm working at them one by one. Once I get them all taken care of, I will be very content with the car. I still think there are worse cars out there I could have purchased for the same money. Need I mention the Ford Taurus or Contour? I count my blessings.
I LOVE the car for many, many reasons. It is very attractive and luxurious for a vehicle hailing from 1989. It's sleeker and rounder outside than any other car I can think of off the top of my head from 1989. It has very attractive seats, fauw woodgrain trim, a lot of chrome trim throughout the car, cruise control, and even 4-wheel disc brakes and a digital trip computer. Any car that still looks sleek two decades later deserves a round of applause. It still turns a lot of heads on the road. I've had so many compliments from people about the car. I absolutely love when someone asks me what year it is, I tell them it's an '89, and they say something like "That's an '89? I wouldn't have guessed that!" That puts such a huge smile on my face. If they truly understood how wonderful of an engine and transmission it has, and the very low cost of ownership, they'd be begging to buy it from me. OK, maybe that's going a bit far, but these Lebarons (and any K-car based Chrysler with 4cyl. power) is incredibly underrated and underappricated. My Acclaim was a terribly bland and boring car, like a lot of K-cars. It had very few features. Most people didn't even know what kind of car it was. Yet it was rated one of the most reliable cars in it's class in 1991. It too was a very affodable car in every respect. Go figure.
I have a feeling that my car is having a lot of the issues it's having, not because it was abused, but because it spent so much time sitting. It was originally from Florida and only spent 1 year up north. The previous owner obivously loved the car as much as me. They had a new, quality paint job performed and added high-end alloys and a Chrysler CD stereo. The interior is spotless. Definitely not an abused or neglected car by far! I believe it simply sat around too much, as indicated by the very low mileage.