Not worth trading in, so I'll keep it 'til it dies
Alternator at 40,000 miles.
Clutch at 90,000, although that is a wear item.
Head gasket at 103,000. I just finished changing it myself, since I can't afford to have a dealer do it, and we depend on the car. Researching this online, I've found out this is a common problem apparently.
The car runs great and gets 30-35 MPG. It has a few quirks like the speedometer and guages getting flaky, but we are used to those.
The taillights leak somewhere and the lens actually fills with water. I am contemplating simply drilling a small drain hole to the outside to prevent it corroding the electrical contacts and socket.
The A/C leaks down, but a cheap can of R-134 every few months in the summer keeps it nice and cold.
These cars have negligible retail value and zero trade-in value, so I would recommend doing preventive maintenance and get your money's worth out of it at least.
If your car starts having overheating problems, or you have to keep adding water to the radiator, but it's not leaking out on the ground -- check the head gasket. Have it changed anyway if your car has close to 100,000 miles. Make sure you use the MLS (multi-layered steel) gasket, which is the updated version. I used aftermarket (Fel-Pro) from Autozone, which appears to be a MLS gasket also. Dodge dealers sell a head gasket kit for about the same price, $108.
Change the timing belt at 100,000 miles too, because if that breaks while the engine is running, it will destroy the valves. A rebuilt SOHC head for the 2.0 is available from www.headsonly.com for $350. They will UPS it to your door in 2-5 days.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 11th January, 2003