1998 Chrysler Sebring Convertible JXI 2.6 from North America


Good car until 100,000 miles


I had very few problems until I reached 115,000 miles. Since then I had breakdown after breakdown: Car was misfiring, motor fan died causing overheating, now the car is stuck in low gear.

General Comments:

I did a lot of fast travel (weekly commute from San Diego to San Francisco ~500 miles each way) and the car was great (although a little noisy) for that until it reached 115,000 miles. After that made me regret to keep it that long.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2007

1998 Chrysler Sebring Convertible JXi 2.5L V6 from North America


A decent undervalued American convertible


Purchased the car used from a local dealership with 52,250 miles on 9/12/2006. The vehicle had previously been a one-owner car since purchased brand-new from a Chrysler dealer in Maryland with 88 miles on the odometer. I pulled a report from Daimler-Chrysler during the time that I worked as a service advisor, showing that all relevant recalls had been done, as well as what had been done under warranty to the vehicle.

Repairs done previous to my ownership, but under the original factory warranty included: Driver's side front seat cover, front grille assembly, and a replacement of the Transmission Control Module. These were all done in roughly the first 400-1000 miles of ownership.

One month after I purchased the car, at 55,278 miles, on 10/12/2006, it began blowing a fuse in the ignition system and left me sitting at a Chick-Fil-A Restaurant. I had my parents pick me up and take me home, where I got my F-150 and tow dolly and towed the vehicle home. The problem was the starter, which I replaced at a cost of roughly $175 for the parts.

The oil pressure light began to illuminate at odd times, which I traced to a defective sending unit. For the time being, I have disconnected it. There is a TSB on these oil pressure sending units, and a dealership has the kit to install a new connector which allows them to ground properly, instead of the old single-wire connector. I plan on having this done eventually.

At 57,876 miles, on 12/17/2006, I checked the battery as part of preventative maintenance. It is located inside the front fender which required removal of some panels. It was at least 8 years old (original?) Mopar issue, and leaking from the terminals, so I replaced it.

The tachometer assembly on the dash began operating intermittently, sometimes in reverse of what it should, and sometimes not at all. I tracked this problem to the tach/speedo assembly and waited to find one for a reasonable price.

In July of 2007, at approximately 71,000 miles, I replaced both the power steering belt and the serpentine belt as part of preventative maintenance.

In August of 2007, at approximately 72,000 miles, I located a dash cluster for $40 on Ebay, and replaced the Tachometer/speedometer assembly in mine, which cured the problem of intermittent tachometer operation. I also replaced the spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, and rotor as preventative maintenance, all of which were original to the vehicle as best I could tell.

On August 13, 2007, at approximately 72,258 miles, I had the transmission flushed by the dealership where I worked. The fluid was not burnt, but was definitely well-used.

The tires, which were on the car when I bought it, will eventually need to be replaced due to sidewall dry-rotting. They are Michelins and still have a lot of tread left, but they are developing small cracks in the sidewalls.

I have front brake pads and rotors in the trunk and will eventually do a front brake job. The front pads have started to screech quite regularly, and although I have inspected them and they still have more than enough pad material left, they have likely become glazed. The rotors are also slightly pitted and cause a slight pulsation when braking.

One of the defroster tabs has come loose from the convertible top glass, and the original cloth top is starting to show signs of stitching coming loose.

General Comments:

The vehicle is peppy, but not overpowered, and it is obvious that even with the 6-cylinder engine, it does strain a bit to move the heavy convertible down the road. However, once you reach speeds of 55-65 mph, the car handles fine, and accelerates to pass with ease.

Interior has held up well despite heavy use. The leather seats clean up nicely and the carpet is acceptably washable as well.

The convertible top mechanism works well, and it is fun to put the top down and feel the heat of a summer's day dissipating from inside the vehicle as you do so.

I read all of the reviews on this site before purchasing this car, and I must say, I was almost dissuaded from doing so. However, maybe I got lucky, and got the one good Sebring Convertible ever made, but this car has been decent and has provided me with few problems in the time that I have owned it.

I get roughly 25-26 mpg in combination city/highway driving.

The resale value on these is horrific, so you may be able to pick one up cheaply if you search around, especially on Ebay. I just saw one there a few weeks ago with 43k miles go for $5400.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2007

16th Sep 2008, 09:54

Thanks for an excellently written review!

2nd Oct 2009, 20:28

Bought a 1998 Sebring with 130,000 miles. It refuses to run without missfiring until 2000 rpms, then runs great. Gets 25 mpg despite this problem, but is a nightmare in stop/go traffic. Idles smooth at 600 rpm, but just won't run right between 600 and 2000 rpms. New distributor, no help. No codes. Love the car, hate the problem.

13th Oct 2010, 12:46

Great review! I'm seriously close to buying a Sebring or a BMW and this review helped a lot!

23rd Jan 2012, 15:00

Possible intake manifold gasket or EGR valve issue on your Sebring that stumbles between 600-2000?