1988 Dodge Dynasty Review

1988 Dodge Dynasty LE 3.0L V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 3.0L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired44600 miles
Most recent distance54700 miles
Previous carCadillac Fleetwood

Summary:

Outdated, ugly, and low-rent, but comfortable for highway trips

Faults:

The ABS system has been malfunctioning since purchase. The pedal is spongy, and the system engages with every pedal application, regardless of how hard (or soft) the brakes are applied, and regardless of whether the wheels have locked up or not. Many repairs have been performed, but nothing has solved the problem.

The thermostat required replacement at 44,700 miles.

The shocks blew out at 45,000 miles, and were replaced with new units. They began leaking again at 52,000 miles.

The valve cover gaskets developed leaks at 45,200 miles. They were replaced. They began leaking again at 47,400 miles.

The A/C relay required replacement at 46,100 miles.

The A/C compressor required replacement at 46,400 miles.

The left rear speaker blew out at 46,600 miles.

The water pump failed at 46,800 miles.

The timing belt required replacement at 46,800 miles.

The window and lock switches in the driver's door required new contacts at 47,000 miles.

The springs required replacement at 48,300 miles.

The driver's window belt broke at 51,700 miles, causing the window to fall inside the door.

The left CV boot required replacement at 53,100 miles.

The driver's seat adjustment motor has barely functioned since purchase.

The transmission "bangs" during light-throttle up-shifts.

Fuel consumption is excessive, approximately 15mpg in the city, and 18mpg on the highway.

General Comments:

The reliability, structural integrity, and fit/finish is poor. It is never more than a month before something else goes wrong with this vehicle. This car has many squeaks and rattles. For such a softly sprung vehicle, it is unusually harsh and noisy over bumps.

Fuel economy is poor; this vehicle consistently gets 2-4mpg below factory ratings, despite driving gently to increase fuel economy, meticulous tune-ups and maintenance, etc.

Handling and braking are poor. The vehicle leans heavily in turns. The steering has no on-center responsiveness and is too light, but road feel is at least present. The brakes' response and performance are amazingly bad. Again, all of this is in spite of meticulous maintenance.

Power is decent. Off the line, it is rather sluggish, due to an exceptionally tall 1st gear (it up-shifts to 2nd gear at 50mph). However, power above 3,000rpm is adequate, so merging and passing are relatively worry-free.

The Chrysler/Infiniti II stereo system is excellent. The rear headphone jacks are a nice touch.

Comfort is above-average, aside from harshness over bumps, expansion strips, etc. The seats are comfortable, despite having no lateral support. Front and rear seat passenger room is more than adequate for four passengers, and just enough for five. Ignore the fact that this car has seat belts for six; cram six people in a Dynasty and they will not be happy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th January, 2002

27th Jan 2002, 15:03

Hey man, I feel your pain. I had two 1991 Dodge Dynasties, both with the 3.0 V6 Mitsubishi motor (the root of your problems). The first one broke a starter after two months of ownership. The second problem was the computer in the motor thought someone was trying to steal the car and refused to start. The last problem was the Reverse gear would miss and kick at about 120,000 miles.

My suggestion is that you try some Chrysler motors instead of the 3.0 Mitsubishi. The 2.5 base has a reasonable amount of power and gets 30+MPG. My 70 year old parents have a 1991 Plymouth Acclaim with the 2.5 and have over 201,000 miles on it, and they only replaced the head gaskets twice and the thermostat once which I don't think is that bad.

I have had a 2.5 I4 in my 1991 Dodge Caravan and the only things that I had trouble with were two thermostats (the second one was my fault for the way I drove it). Either the head gaskets or the oil pump (also my fault) at 126,444 miles. The 3.3 V6 Chrysler motor in there was also a good motor. I know many people who have gone way past 200,000 without any real problems in cars that were not babied.

On the newer cars, avoid the 2.5 24v V6 Mitsubishi (also a lemon motor). My point is give Chrysler another chance with one of their own products.

Average review marks: 5.5 / 10, based on 1 review