1996 Dodge Stratus 2.4L, 4 cylinder. from North America


It's a reliable beast!


- Since I bought the Stratus, the left front "sway bar linkage" (a $40 part) has been "knocking/clunking" over every bump in the road. (I've chosen to deal with it -- not so much to save money as to force myself to be less irritable.)

- The power locks are a broke joke. Keys work just fine. The power windows are somewhat quirky too, but you can always get them closed without any manual intervention.

- As the miles have added up, some of the computer-powered on-dash readouts (tachometer, odometer, and gear readout) have become progressively less apt to show themselves. They usually "kick in" after about 10-15 minutes of driving. Apparently this problem can be remedied for around $100. Oh, well.

- For about four months (beginning around 135,000 miles), it started leaking oil like a sieve. Did you know that the Dollar Store sells oil? =^) I put in some Advance Auto Parts brand "engine stop-leak" -- just for the heck of it. About a month or two later of rigorous use (delivering pizza), the leak mysteriously ceased! I have my doubts that it was the stop-leak that actually did the job; but what was it then??? Weird.

- At about 143,000 miles, a soft plug in the engine "rotted out" and allowed the anti-freeze to drain out of the car and cause the car to rapidly overheat. It was a cheap fix (less than $60, including labor). This sort of thing is to be expected from a car "rescued" from a farm and driven as heartily as this one has been.

- At around 145,000 miles, the horn started honking every time I turned the steering wheel! I actually thought it was pretty funny! It made me laugh while I was driving. Eventually, it just honked continuously, so I simply pulled the fuse that controlled the horn and the cigarette lighter. The local Dodge dealership couldn't find the parts for the job, so I paid a visit to Lowe's and bought some rubber washers. It works just fine now (and I probably saved myself $20).

- The car leaks... something... to this day (about 148,000 miles). Everywhere I park, it leaves it's "mark." (And that's bad for nice driveways, of course.) I really can't tell what it is, other than that it's some sort of oil. Why don't I know what it is? Because all my fluid levels check out just fine every time! Yet again: weird. I've heard horror stories about these Mitsubishi engines and their blown head gaskets, but no problems here... that I know of, anyway. (^=

- Other than that, my "beast" (the Stratus, that is) has only needed basic maintenance (i.e., alignments, tires, tie rods, brakes, fuel filter, etc.). However, I honestly have no idea what repairs the previous owner had to put into it (pre-115,000 miles).

General Comments:

Despite the bad reputation that haunts the Stratus, I must say that Will Ferrell *should* have been very proud to "drive a Dodge Stratus!" I drove it as a pizza-delivery car for two years straight -- up in northeast Pennsylvania (hills, snow, ice, and salt; putting about 50-100 miles on it per 5-hour shift... three to five times per week)!!! It's a "point A to point B" rock (as far as economy cars are concerned)! It's certainly no Toyota, Volvo, or VW, but she's still kickin' to this day! I have no doubt that, when I get in my car in two hours, I will turn the key and it will start -- on the first try!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2007

1996 Dodge Stratus es 2.5L V6 from North America


Good for putting around town


Rack and pinion went when the cold weather came check engine light has been on for the last week or so due to the O2 sensor being bad, and the dodge mechanics can't even tell me where the sensor is and which sensor type I need. passenger side window in the front will not go down and I have changed the fuse more than once. gas mileage is not bad for a V6 but not the best either. there has been a constant knocking sound in the front end since I bought the car and NO mechanic can tell me what it is.

General Comments:

Good gas mileage for a V6, pretty smooth ride with good tires, comfy seats with the low lumbar support.

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

Review Date: 7th June, 2006

7th Jun 2006, 21:32

Perhaps the knocking is the engine trying to tell you that it's time to let it give up the ghost. It has a lot of miles on the old sled.

8th Jun 2006, 01:35

Our 2000 Dodge Stratus with 150,000 km had problems with the valves tapping the heads. This may be the knocking.

Also, I think that the Stratus has a 2.7 liter V6. not a 2.5. But, yours may be different than ours.