1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible JXI from North America
It is still a great car
I bought a 1997 Chrysler Sebring convertible new and am looking forward to celebrating its 10th anniversary. It has 121,000 miles on it (the odometer display just came on tonight on my way home…it’s off most of the time). I, too, have had issues with the odometer and tachometer working intermittently. I was also told it was the printed circuit board as a previous reviewer had said. My mechanic at the time (about 1 year ago) said it might cost over $500 to fix. So, I decided I could live with it this way. Its kind of like Christmas when the lights come on…it is a good feeling!! So if the odometer is on, great. If it’s off, I just wait until it comes on again to check my mileage. It’s been doing this for about 30-40,000 miles.
Overall, I still love the car. I have taken excellent care of it and it serves me well. I just had the gas cap replaced this week because of the check engine light coming on. Several months ago I heard a noise in my steering…and had to replace the steering column. I choose to replace it with a used one. I replace the roof two summers ago because I knew the time would come, so I wanted it to look good and replace it ahead of time rather than after it leaked. Although, it is a convertible, and it has always leaked a little. There are some annoying electrical problems with interior lights and now the volume on my radio…but once again…it has over 100,000 miles. Up until the last year or so, I put almost no money other than maintenance into the car. And it still gets as good or better gas mileage (22 city; 28 highway) than most cars being sold today in its class.
I am shopping for a new car, however I am keeping my ’97 Sebring!!! It has served me well. It looks great, runs great and is fun to drive with the top up or down.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th January, 2007
I have a 1997 too with 130k miles. I just replaced the timing belt and water pump for $850 - but the dealer said the car is in great condition and I should be able cruise over 200k without many problems.
For your interior lights, change out the switch in the driver door, part costs ~ $25 at the dealer.
For my speedometer lights flickering I removed the speedometer, got a soldering iron and re-soldered the copper tab to the speedometer. Works fine now.
I have the 1997 JXI (purchased in 2006 with 140k). It has been a great car, it currently has 170k (as of 7/19/08) and runs strong, original engine & transmission.
I keep it maintained, change the trans fluid every year.
I find you have to shop around for repairs, I have quoted from $700 to $100 for a tuneup, truth is if you buy good parts, wires run $70, platinum plugs $6 each, good cap is $50, the parts will cost about $150 total and about $50-$60 labor.
Tune ups are only good on any car for 50K or so... no matter what anybody tells you (if you wait to 100k, you will be sorry).
I have ceramic brake pads.. they last a long time.
You also have to keep an eye on the top, and repair the seams as they get loose (I have glued a spot and sewed a spot, but it is still working and holding up good)
You should clean the drain holes once a year (easy to do with a screw driver, but a little hard to find :)
Anybody who is having an AC problem where it doesn't cool as it should, I found that Chrysler put a serpentine condenser in some models, if you replace the serpentine with a parallel flow condenser, it will work great.
Keep the door checks well greased, you won't have a problem. Do watch the driver's side floor mat; it will get stuck in the steering (Chrysler does have a fix for this but you have to pay for it) I just velcro to the floor.
Sometimes on my way home from work, I just keep driving around 'cause I'm having so much fun :)