When I first bought the car, I thought I had purchased a lemon. Within 5,000 kilometers, the timing belt had been replaced twice (the first time while on vacation). The second dealership (which I had purchased the vehicle from) discovered that although the first dealership had fixed the timing belt itself, it hadn't fixed the problem which caused the timing belt to go.
Minor problems include:
Peeling of rear panels between doors and windows (dealer replaced).
Rear passenger over-shoulder seatbelt molding detaches from seat (not an issue worth fixing).
Cup holder refused to open (dealer suggested replacing entire console for approximately $500, I dismantled and fixed the spring which had unwound... at no cost).
Glove box will not open.
Wipers don't want to stick to windshield in high speeds (purchased an inexpensive attachment to fix the problem), and.
Front passenger window needed replacing (at 172,000 kilometers) due to slipping off track.
More major problems include:
The air conditioning unit needed to be recharged within 4 years.
Remote door and trunk opener lasted about 2 years.
Control arms have been replaced a few times.
Stereo needed to be replaced within 4 years.
Some heating problems... working, but not at full capacity. Within the last 2,000 kilometres a loud clicking noise has developed when the heater is turned off (I just leave it on low and cool).
Lately, I have been having a problem with running out of gas. Appears that the sensors are not working correctly, as my fuel gauge reads 1/3 full and my digital display says I can still go about 150 kilometers until empty. I now gas up when the tank is half empty, keep a Jerry can in the trunk and my CAA card membership current!
Major positive notes!!!
The exhaust system is original, the transmission is great, never have had oil leak problems, road noise is minimal, seats have maintained their firmness, car looks great, and what can you say about the trunk space!
This may seem to be a lousy review, but I have to admit I like my Intrepid. Fortunately, it has been paid off for quite a while now. Perhaps if I had still been making car payments when the problems started, I would be a little more negative. I'm at the point where, considering that the car is almost 10 years old, a $1000 repair bill once a year is better than $500/month car payments!
The car has had some rough miles on it, as I used to frequently travel a 450 kilometer trip riddled with frost heaves, seal coating and dirt road. And I'm also a bit of a speed demon, so most of the driving has not been at 80 km/hour.
For the most part, the car has been very reliable. As a single mother, I felt extremely confident taking my young children on long distance road trips by myself. And the trips were comfortable ones.
I love my old car! It is only recently that I have considered replacing it, and if Dodge hadn't changed the body style (poor rear visibility) I would consider buying another Intrepid. I feel very safe in my car... during one of the timing belt repair jobs, I rented a Toyota Camry and felt like I was going to blow right off the road!
I would like to point out though, that a good service dealership is hard to find. At one point I was driving 3 hours to get my car serviced at the place where I bought it, rather than take it to the dealership in town. And even at the good ones, you seem to pay through the nose and often have to wait for parts.
And as far as the automatic spell check goes, the thingy that tells you how much gas is in the tank is referred to as a gauge here in Canada, I don't know what y'all call it.