1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible JXI from North America - Comments

17th Jun 2004, 09:51

I have a 1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible JXI, and have some of the problems as noted in this forum. I also do most work on my vehicle myself, as I don't trust dealers or others to do the work properly. I have nearly 100k on it, and have had the rotor problems, and most recently the odometer and tachometer going dead, only to come back to life a few minutes down the road. Has anybody determined what component replacement is needed to correct this problem? Email me at chagee@swbell.net.

I have also had the rear window defroster right tab fall off. You can go to www.frostfighter.com and order new tabs and/or the proper electrical adhesive to make the repair yourself. Don't waste your money on getting a kit from Auto Zone; it won't last.

I have never had the water flooding problem, and sure hope I never do, so I have no advice there. I have had the mysterious 20 amp ignition fuse problem, and this was remedied by replacing the starter. Too much amperage was being pulled by the starter, and was blowing the fuse. If you do this yourself, you will have to remove the oil filter to change out the starter.

My most recent problem is I am hearing a thud coming from what sounds like the suspension system, specifically the driver's front side. I thought maybe I had a broken strut and had those replaced, but it did not alleviate the problem. Now, I am also experiencing some drift with this as well. Could this be a bad ball joint causing this? Has anyone experienced this problem? Email me at chagee@swbell.net if you have an answer.

There is also a common problem with odor in the evaporator coil with the A/C (seems to be a problem with a lot of vehicles, not just Sebrings). Since these fins run horizontal and not vertical, the moisture accumulates and does not properly drain into the pan for displacement out the condensation tube AFTER the car is turned off. There are expensive ways to fix this, but the most practical is just before you shut the engine off, turn the A/C off, but leave the blower on high and switch the temperature dial to HOT and run it for about 30 to 60 seconds. This should dissipate most of the moisture in the evaporator cavity compartment. At least this works for me (when I remember to do it).

One last thing, yes, one of my horns went out. Seems the horns have a tendency to accumulate rainwater, because of the way they are positioned under the front spoiler. If you replace them from an auto shop, you will have to make modifications to the wiring harness at the spoiler (horn costs about $15.00 at Auto Zone). Otherwise, buy it from the dealer.

I enjoy reading the forum, and thanks to everyone for input. My email: chagee@swbell.net

9th Jul 2004, 20:34

The problem with the disappearing displays for the gauges is caused by the electronics going bad on the board. This board runs all the gauges,speedometer and odometer. This is an expensive item to have replaced (about $600.00 at the dealership unless you can find a speedometer repair shop that can do it.) The problem will only get worse and affect more items as time goes on.

17th Jul 2004, 16:57

I too have a 97 JXI. Bought it at 36,000 and have 90,000 now. Love it. Had the speedo-tack cutting out problem and just went to local wrecking yard for the circuit board. It really is an easy repair. The dash comes apart in about 10 minutes when you do it a couple of times. I just replaced the back oxygen sensor. I used a universal one from NAPA. The hardest part was getting all of the center consul out of the way to get to the wiring. I could do it pretty quickly now that I have done it once. My factory repair manual was no help on this at all.

Repairs that I have to do soon include changing the spark plugs. Some of the intake manifold parts have to come off as I understand it. Everything is running great now.

I had trouble with the sensor that stops the seat belts from moving when you make a quick stop. That sensor is at the bottom of the center shift consul. Easy to change and again about $25. at the auto wrecker.

I hope this information is valuable to someone.

Jay

Aurora, Oregon.

30th Jul 2004, 08:49

I own a '96 Sebring jx. Like most in here I have a lot of problems. I found that some of the problems I have had were a result of the battery and bad battery wires. My car was stalling after I would drive for a while. This seemed to fix it. My biggest peeve (besides the water leaking in from the body) is the way the engine is designed. I had a tune up on my car recently and it cost me $400. This price includes replaced spark plug wires. The way the engine is designed I could not replace the plugs myself. I have also owned a '95 Dodge Stratus. For the guy above, you might have a bad ball joint. On this car my ball joint fell apart and dug a groove in the wheel. Overall I would say I am disappointed in the quality of these cars. They get an A for aesthetics, but a D for quality.

17th Aug 2004, 15:01

I bought a 1997 Sebring convertible from a wholesaler about 2 years ago. The car so far performed to my expectations, I do not have any leaks... Knock on wood... But maintenance wise she has had a lot of problems. The car has a 151,000 miles and just had the biggest service bill I have ever seen. Fuel pump was replaced along with all new wiring harnesses, O2 sensor, brakes all the way around, new computer and programming, new gaskets in and out, new alternator, and we found out not to get after market parts at Auto Zone, they will work for a little while, but wear out quickly on Chrysler products. Would have saved a lot of money if I had put Mopar parts back on the car. Total bill by the time they were done was 2964.00, trust me always think about the quality of the parts before you put the on. I found new leathers seats and motors in a junk yard for 100.00 good deal replaced and installed myself. All in all I am very happy with my car and there are good and bad in every vehicle someone owns. I plan on buying a new Sebring this year.

27th Aug 2004, 11:04

I recently purchased a ’97 Sebring JXI Convert (80,000 miles) that had been in storage for the past 2 years. I too am having a problem with the tack and odometer not working or working when it wants to. It works more often when it sits in the sun all day.

I also had the problem of the rattle/clunking noise in the front drivers side wheel/suspension area. Thanks goes out to chagee@swbell.net for the heads up and at his expense that it wasn’t his struts. I passed this information on to my boyfriend who then dug in further and found out that in my situation, it was the Sway Bar/Rod End. The part cost $40.00. As of yesterday, I no longer have the noise that drove me ‘nuts’!

The way to test this to see if you have the same problem is to place a pry bar between the frame and sway bar near the rod end. Place one hand on pry bar, the other on then rod end feeling for any play/looseness’ or noise. In my case there was a 1/16th of an inch play that caused the knock/rattle.