1995 Dodge Intrepid Standard 3.3L from North America
Nice looking, professional comfortable car, starting to fall apart around 80,000 miles
I purchased a used 1995 Dodge Intrepid powered by the 3.3L engine with about 70,000 miles. I was impressed with how roomy and good looking it was.
Shortly after purchasing the vehicle I smelt a burning oil type smell. With this mileage I figured these things could happen and it was no big deal. I traced the smell to engine oil leakage, replaced the valve cover gaskets and oil fill cap. I performed a tune up and replaced the oil, oil filter, vacuum hoses, spark plugs, PCV valve, fuel filter and air filter. I thoroughly checked everything and all fluids. I also had all four tires replaced because they had excessive inner wear.
The problem was corrected, the engine seemed to run strong. I did notice that the transmission did not seem to kickdown consistently. A squeal did develop in the steering and the brakes usually squeaked loudly, which was not a big problem for me, only annoying. I had the brakes sanded down, cleaned, adjusted and inspected, but the squeaking would just return. I was told by a five star Chrysler dealer that they had a memo from Chryseler stating that the brake noise is normal and that nothing could be done.
The vehicle was stalling out at idle and when reversing sometimes, then would not start due to what I found to be a defective cheap OEM negative battery terminal, which I replaced.
I had a feeling that the transmission mounts were broken because of a hard clunk in the front end after acceleration at times, also not a big deal.
At nearly 80,000 miles I noticed transmission fluid leakage evidence and smelt the strong odor inside the vehicle at times. I decided to take it in to a Chrysler dealership, which notified me that the transmission cooling lines needed to be replaced along with the transmission mounts.
I was told that the power steering pump needed to be replaced.
I was told that the brake squeaking was normal and that nothing could be done. Unfortunately, I was also told that the transmission seals also needed to be replaced, which would require the transmission to be rebuilt resulting in expensive labor. I was quoted $2700.00 and besides, the OEM snap on wheel covers were falling off, which DaimlerChrysler sells for $100.00 each as a rip off.
C-Pillar plastic was sun damaged and needed replacement.
The Paint was starting to wear and the interior plastics and paneling were faded and worn.
Basically, the vehicle was starting to fall apart pretty quickly.
Although I liked the vehicle otherwise, I decided that it was more cost efficient and time to move on to something newer and better figuring these things were mainly due to the vehicle mileage or overall usage.
I think that the only really good part of this vehicle was its 3.3L engine that was still running strong, had nice power on the freeway, burned no oil and had good fuel ecomomy. The only thing I can really praise Chrysler on is the 3.3L engine in this Intrepid. After experiences with other Chrysler (DaimlerChrysler) manufactured vehicles, I would not purchase another Dodge, Chrysler vehicle. Many of the newer ones are far worse and are even more likely to start falling apart. I didn't know it at the time, but this was actually considered a very good Chrysler manufactured vehicle compared to many others.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 25th June, 2001
The 1995 Intrepid with the 3.3L engine has been a lot of trouble to me. The car, I learned later, had been through six owners before, including an auto-auction after it had just over 12,000 miles. When I purchased it there were about 55,000 miles.
After 4 months I had to have the transmission rebuilt, all the seals were gone. There's been trouble with tie-rods and I have gone through two sets. Yesterday the third and fourth gear went out of the transmission and so I'm looking at over 2 grand for a rebuilt one. It has a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty and is supposed to be much improved over the OEM, but the car now has 124,000 miles.
In the past I owned a 1968 Newport Custom and a 1972 Newport. The transmissions never wore out and both cars had over 150,000 on them. Even after driving at 70 mph with practically no transmission fluid in the 1968 car, the transmission was as good as new, once I had the leak repaired and filled it up with fluid. It was the motor of each that wore out on these.
My 1988 Toyota had 197,000 miles and it was the transmission that started slipping and then suddenly locked up.
The motor on the Intrepid still runs great, and the mileage is still excellent. The car can really scream when I have to pass someone in a short distance or if the space is tight trying to get onto the freeway. It's just a shame Chrysler had to make such a wimpy transmission.
Oh yes, the blue paint is peeling off the roof.