1997 Dodge Intrepid Base 3.5L 24 Valve V6 from North America
It had its problems, but for an American car, you couldn't expect much more
Transmission replaced at 85,000 miles.
Shocks/ struts needed to be replaced (130,000 miles), but I ignored it cause I was gonna get rid of it soon.
Air conditioner broke at 135,000 miles - not fixed.
Water pump failed at 150,000 miles; I thought the water temp gauge was broken, so I continued to drive it. Caused it to overheat and blow a head gasket, and warp an engine block. Still drove it home though.
I loved my 1997 Intrepid when I had it, and I am considering buying another one. I first got it when I was 17, and I drove this thing hard. Great acceleration and handling with a smooth ride. I got lots of compliments on the passenger comfort and power.
The first thing that went wrong was the transmission failed (I think 2nd or 3rd gear broke) when I was about a half hour away from my house, but I still managed to make it home in "Limp-Home Mode".
Next to go were the shocks/struts in the front. I didn't replace because I felt like getting a new car, and didn't want to spend any money on fixing the Intrepid.
A/C condenser broke at around 135K, and it was going to be expensive ($800) to fix, so I didn't bother.
While on the way to pick up my friend at the airport, my water temp gauge started to go crazy. It would be maxed, then down to half way, then maxed and so on. I figured the gauge was malfunctioning or something, so I ignored it. Big mistake. Apparently, the water pump had failed and the engine was overheating. The engine stalled when I got to the airport.
From there, I kept filling the radiator with water, cause the coolant was bubbling out the top of the coolant fill tube. It took about an hour and a half to make a 30 minute trip back to my house. We kept stopping under overpasses to let the engine cool down. Made it home, successfully. Then drove it to the repair shop where the mechanic informed me that the head gasket was blown, and the engine block had warped and would need to be machined flat again. Therefore increasing compression, making this problem more likely to happen again. His opinion was that it was not worth it, cause the car was pretty much junk. So I took that opinion, drove the car home (leaking coolant all the way) and then called a junk yard to come take her away :(
I will say that I drove this car very hard, and near the end of its life, I just ignored maintenance all together cause I knew she was near the end of her life.
This car may have had its problems here and there, but not once did it leave me stranded. It always got me back home, and I had two front end collisions on the passenger side of the front end (hit a deer, and hit a car @ 25mph). Thanks, Intrepid. I couldn't expect much more from an American made vehicle...
R.I.P 1997 Intrepid - 150,000 miles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 19th June, 2007
24th Nov 2006, 13:19
When the engine seizes due to sludge, remember those 2 1/2 years without an oil change!