17th Jun 2002, 13:35
I have a 1997 dodge stratus, at 133,044 miles the head gasket failed, other than that this car has been great, I bought it new in 1996, and the only maintenence I have done to it is change the oil and replace the tires as needed and had the timing belt replaced at 105,000 miles.
16th Sep 2002, 13:49
I own a 96 Stratus which I bought in Dec 95. The car ran great for 66,000 before I had the first tie rod replace. At 75,000 miles I noticed the oil leaks, but ignored it for I only added 1 quart per month to top it off. I experienced my first major problem at 110,000 miles, my thermostat went bad which damaged the water pump and caused my engine to overheat. This also caused my leaky head gaskets to become worse. After getting those items replaced, the car runs great, but the mechanic told me the tie rod was bad. Thinking I could wait awhile before replacing it, I took the car. Five hundred miles later the tie rod completely broke. Luckily I had just stopped in the parking lot of my condo when I heard it "POP". After 7 years and 110,000 miles and are just now making major repairs, I consider myself lucky. I know that no 2 cars on the same assembly line will perform the same, so I do not expect to have the same story as others. But I would like to caution you, if you have a Stratus with over 80,000 mile and haven't done so, replace the water pump, thermostat and timing belt together. This is the recommended life expectancy of these items and replacing them together will reduce maintenance cost. If you are replacing the head gasket have it done then, doing that saved me $1300 in labor charges. Since, it has now been close to 50,000 when the first tie rod was replaced, I'm going to have them both replaced. I will see if anything else breaks on this car.