1991 Dodge Shadow America 2.2L 4 cylinder from North America


Quirky but reliable till the end


Transmission fluid leak (I neglected to check this, leading to a speedier death in the end).

Exhaust leak/muffler.

Constant electrical issues.

Gas tank leak (possibly damaged from rough roads).

Ignition housing (self induced).

Faulty gas gauge (read 3/4 full when filled).

Faulty tachometer (it would either stay at 0 or dance wildly, sometimes working).

Valve cover gaskets leaked (although nothing serious; didn't have to top up the oil often at all).


$1000+ damage on the rear end (rolled down a hill into a mailbox).

Lots of rattles and squeaks (mostly from bad shocks).

Odometer didn't count.

Driver's window off track.

General Comments:

This car was parked in early 2013 when my best friend got a 1989 Camaro. It sat and sat, and she offered to sell it to me for 100 bucks if it ran, sometime in late 2014. Didn't have the money to insure it yet. In April 2015 I got the money together and we went and tried starting it; fired right up! Once I started to drive it though the battery did need to be replaced; which is to be expected when a car sits that long!

Excited about my first car, I neglected to check the fluids, and was hearing a noise that I couldn't quite diagnose. It turned out that was my transmission destroying itself. I discovered this when the check engine light came on after starting it; I had to drive it about 10 km with the light on and the noise worse than it ever was. At this point I checked all the fluids and discovered merely a drop of transmission fluid on the dipstick. From this point on the car suffered from transmission issues; it's quite a testament though that it didn't die in the entire 3 months I was running with virtually no fluid! It ended up lasting 7 more months before never shifting out of first gear again.

One strange thing about this car is there always seemed to be something wrong with the electrical system; fix one thing and something else would go out. It started with the wipers being stuck in on mode no matter where the switch was; then it was signals and 2/3 brake lights (one in center window worked), dash lights, and brake lights when the running lights were on.

I had to replace the ignition switch because I lost the key and pulled out the lock cylinder and just started it with a screwdriver (later found the key). The ignition switch ended up seizing up and it wouldn't budge anymore, so I had to install a whole new ignition!

This car had been so much abuse in its life and kept ticking and ticking; I loved that thing. RIP my lovely little s**tmobile... 1991-2015. I wish you'd been treated better; you'd still be alive today.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2016

5th Feb 2016, 21:36

Should have got yourself a Diplomat; it would have been better in every sense from the word go. Take my advice, get yourself a Dip or a Fifth, or even a Fury and forget about front wheel drive.

7th Feb 2016, 20:54

Nah I'm just an A to B commuter with a budget of maybe $1000 for a vehicle; these things are perfect for me... I'm now driving a well maintained Plymouth Acclaim (which has the same engine/transmission as my last car) and it's absolutely perfect for me... If that Shadow lasted for almost a year with all the abuse it went through, I'm pretty confident in this one.

14th Feb 2016, 21:48

Then at least get yourself a V8 rear wheel drive Chrysler for goodness sake.

1991 Dodge Shadow ES Turbo Convertible 2.5 turbo 4 cylinder from North America


Fantastic to drive and own if you find a well maintained one


Replace rotors because they were warped. The pair cost me $42. Very easy to do. Pads were like new so didn't replace pads.

General Comments:

This is my second ES Turbo Convertible, and I consider my self lucky. This is a rust free, no dings or dent car. My daughter totaled the 1st one, but I had it fixed. It was in too good of shape to throw away & way too much fun. Had to eventually sell it to buy my daughter a car for school.

This car has a great motor (2.5) and the turbo is great. I notice the guys talk a lot about increasing the boost to make it faster. Believe me, it's fast enough. The Chrysler engineers beef up the trans & motor for the turbo. Also, the computer is set for the Turbo. If you boost it up too much, you'll run the risk of overheating and ruining the motor or trans, so be careful with that wish, unless you compensate for it.

Handles great & is comfortable. Comes with the bigger rims & tires than the normal Shadow, so it feels like it's glued to the road. Gas mileage though nothing to brag about is decent for a 2,900 lb car with turbo. I get exact what is listed. (19/23 mpg)

The only bad part is the power windows on these cars are weak, and fail quite often, or maybe it's a window regulator problem.

Otherwise, this car is a blast to drive & cheap to maintain. It will blow the doors off of most cars in it's class, especially the 90 vintage years. (4's & v-6's)

It's the best bang for the buck you can find. Toyota & Honda in the same year category is not even close concerning power & easy of maintenance.

I think I know a little bit about power since I own a 1960 TBIRD with 300 HP & about 390 lbs of torque.

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

Review Date: 25th August, 2008