1998 Chrysler Sebring Convertible JXI 2.5 V6 from North America
A great convertible with better than average American longevity
Starter motor short circuited at 70,000 miles; needed to be replaced at a cost of $400+.
Convertible top wore out when car was five years old, wearing through at the creases and all the stitching disintegrating. A routine maintenance - $700.
Driver's side floor floods during heavy rain; not sure where the water is coming from.
A strange electrical problem that causes the door open sensor to register and the power door locks to lock while driving. Started around 100,000 miles. I've seen other reviews mentioning electrical problems with the alarm. Perhaps my electrical problem just manifested itself differently; alarm has always worked perfectly.
Other than that, the engine runs as if it was brand new, with no hesitation starting, no sputtering, no leaks, doesn't burn oil, etc. Still gets almost 30 mpg highway (significantly less city - about 21 mpg),
The worst design feature about this car is its brakes. Chrysler would have benefited so much more by just increasing the rotor size. As it is, the car has trouble stopping its 3500 lb curb weight, and brakes go quickly. Even with ABS, it's a beast to stop.
I went with lower profile tires to get even better handling (the car handles amazingly well for its size already). Unfortunately I tried to save a little money and get a generic brand. The tires caused a vibration in the front end at just about any speed, produced a horrible, loud noise inside the cabin, and wore absolutely terribly. I bought the same size tire (205/50/16) from a more reputable company, and those problems disappeared.
Extremely comfortable interior and wonderful stereo system. The six disc changer right under the radio/vent cluster is excellent design. Could use a little more back seat and trunk room if you're a family person; could be a little smaller and sportier if you're not.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 14th March, 2004
23rd Apr 2004, 01:20
The flooding of the floor is a common problem. What's happening is that the drains for the top get clogged up and for some yahoo reason - overflow ends up under your carpet. For me, it was the passenger side.
If you kneel down in front of your driver door and run your hand along the rail - you'll feel little bumps. Three of them, I think. They'll be little drains at an angle. A straightened-out coat hanger will work, just stick it up there till the water starts pouring out.
If the clog is worse than that, the dealer will use compressed air to clear them all out and charge you a bill and a half.
2nd Aug 2004, 16:00
About your electrical problem with the door sensor. The metal on the door where it pushes the sensor in is probably worn down. It has happened on my 98 convertible. It drove me crazy till I finally found the problem. If you fill in the groove that has worn out you won't have the problem again.
10th Apr 2011, 15:24
I have a Sebring that kept getting flooded too. Underneath the rear and front door, on the undercarriage are holes that get plugged up. You can feel the holes by running your hand under the bottom near the doors. Just when you get an oil change or something, make sure the mechanic blows out these holes, as I had the same problem. You could have swam in my car.