9th Apr 2001, 14:27

No he's right - I've had tire rods - two that need replacing, problem with belts, brakes, transmission, and both wheel bearings - this all happened between 30 and 55,000 km's. These cars have documented premature wear problems - stay away unless you like spending money on repairs!

9th Apr 2001, 18:21

Hi, I'm looking at all this and I don't know, I think they should have a recall on the trannys. My tranny is out after 40,000 miles and I had it checked, I don't know, but I think we should call the Dodge dealer and bring this up.

13th May 2001, 21:16

This car is real junk!!!

I drove a Suzuki Swift before never had problem. With my Dodge Stratus I'm always at the garage, if you have a lot of money to spend on car repairs 1000.00 $/year Canadian. No general maintenance included in that.

Just to mention a couples of problems that I had.

- Oil leaking

- Timing belt

- 2 power steering belts

- Transmission

- Motor had need to be fix etc..

Dodge Stratus 96. Will never buy or recommend Dodge to my worst enemies.

17th Sep 2002, 16:34

My Dodge stratus 96 is a piece of junk. It has died on me twice now within a week. I recently took it to the mechanic and they said it could be the computer chip. Needless to say 100 dollars for no results, and I'm left without a vehicle again. It's at 90,000 miles; despite I wasn't the first owner of the vechicle. It's air conditioning went out as well! Only the last notch worked. Don't buy this car.

15th Jan 2003, 12:53

I just purchased a 1996 Dodge Stratus. It had 80700 miles when I bought it. So far, it has been a pretty good car (but then again, it has only been a couple of weeks). If I had read these reviews first, I, most likely, would have left this car where I found it.

5th Feb 2003, 14:28

I got a 96 Stratus with 85,000 miles on it a few months ago, and it now has about 92,000 and change. I got the car for exactly $3000 tax, title, out the door, purchased mostly because of the mileage (85K is LOW MILEAGE when you drive 100 miles a day) and the way it drove. In that 7000 miles, I've replaced the tires (which I knew I'd need to do when I got the car), both fan belts, and the starter. That's been it so far... although my turn signals did mysteriously quit working just today.

It has the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine and automatic transmission. Great performance for a little 4-popper, handles & drives great. Transmission is very sluggish when ice cold - let it warm up 5 minutes before driving it in the cold weather and its fine.

Engine has made some noise the entire time I've had it - lifters, piston slap, something... worst when it's cold, nearly absent completely when its warmed up, but still there.

All told - it has been about what I expected. Gas mileage between 20 and 29 mpg depending on how its driven.

6th Apr 2003, 19:40

I purchased 96 Stratus in Jan 2003 it had 85k luckily it came with a 30 day warranty in the first 500 miles it went through 6 quarts of oil. The dealer ate the cost for changing the head gasket, that didn't cure the problem because they the rear main seal was gone. Since that time I've put 1500 miles and now the transmission has blown! To my surprise upon trying to get another trans finding out that this is a one year only for this combination of motor and trans. I have two other Chrysler products that are great vehicles, but they sure missed the boat on this one!

30th May 2003, 08:09

I bought my ES used with 20000 miles on it. I am in the process of replacing the oil pan gasket, already replaced the head gasket. The mechanic at the dealership even told me that these cars have bad gaskets and transmission problems! The air conditioner started blowing hot air at 70000 miles. The rear door weatherstripping has already torn and the drivers door leaks occasionally. An alloy rim cracked at 50000. Overall, I love this car. If you buy one, take good care of it and find a junk yard that can hook you up with cheap parts- you will eventually need them!

15th Jul 2003, 15:02

I bought Dodge Stratus ES new in 1996. Options include 2.5l V-6 and Auto-stick transmission. It now has about 72,000 miles. Overall, it has been a fun car to drive. Pretty low maintenance. With the 2.5l engine, its quite peppy. The Auto-stick was a waste of money, don't ever use it - no point.

My major complaint has been the brakes. Had to replace the front at about 30,000 miles. They constantly make noise, even after being replaced and having assurances from the dealership that they're fine. I think the rotors are warped (both the orig. and replacements) because they always chatter. Now they need replacing again at about 70,000. (BTW, our 2001 Chrysler T&C minivan has had the front rotors turned at 10,000 miles. and then replaced at 20,000 miles.). Makes one wonder about Chrysler brakes.

About a month ago the distributer went out. Cost about $800 at the dealership to fix. I subsequently read that this is a common problem with the '96 Stratus.

I can echo the complaint about the air conditioner smelling like mold. Bummer! The AC is now running out of steam, esp. at low speed, slow traffic.

Some other little things like the auto-door locks don't always actuate. I actually had one replaced at about 40,000.

Other that these problems, its been a good, fun car. I've always told everyone I'd buy another (with the V-6). But I wish Chrysler would do something about their brakes.

12th Aug 2003, 09:55

My son purchased a 1996 Dodge Stratus over a year ago, it had around 90,000 miles on it. It has been in the shop constantly. Head gasket, brakes, wheels the list goes on and on. If I had read any of these posts we would never have purchased it. The only saving grace is that the dealer took our two old, but seldom used, four wheelers as a trade for the car with about $500 to boot. Every time my son had a repair done he kept thinking it would be the last one for awhile and boy was he wrong, now he has so much money tied up in it that it's not feasible to trade just yet. The tranny needs replacing and so he is trying to decide what to do, new, used or rebuilt. I say rebuilt since for the dollars it would seem the best choice. Yet the new one gives 36,000 mile warranty and he needs this vehicle to finish three more years of college. Any ideas? email me at thecid1958@yahoo.com.

16th Aug 2003, 21:41

I have a 96 stratus its been passed down in the family from my dad to me. Right now it has about 235,000 miles on it and there hasn't been any major engine problems, but it is in the shop a lot. If anyone knows what kind of engines that the 96 stratus can take please e-mail me @ parish4@mail.com thanks.

4th Sep 2003, 11:24

I've had my Stratus for 2 years now. When I bought it, it had 77,000 miles on it. As of this weekend it has about 100,700 miles. No problems whatsoever. I was surprised to hear about all the complaints on this car. Maybe you people are too rough on cars as a previous poster mentioned. With basic maintenance, this car should last a long time.

15th Mar 2004, 15:08

I have had my 96 Stratus for almost two years now and I am also shocked to read some of these comments. I have had no major problems at all whatsoever. I bought it with 86000 miles and now there are 106000. Cars do malfunction no matter what make or model. It happens. After driving my car through high school, I can say that I can never imagine selling my Stratus. I can admit that I'm not the easiest driver on my vehicle, but I still have had little problems. Perhaps I'm just lucky, but all I can say is I love driving my Stratus.

23rd Jul 2004, 08:05

I bought my 96' Stratus brand new, it has a 2.0 litre manual transmission.

So far these are the repairs I've had to make.

Brakes, front and rear Head Gasket

Air conditioner

Auto Lock

Wheel bearings

Stereo amplifier and speakers

Valve cover gasket

Head Gasket.

Great gas mileage, 36 mpg. Lots of money spent repairing this car, but not sure if all cars cost just as much. The ride has gotten rough over the years and the noise is almost too loud to have a conversation, of course without the air conditioner which I refuse to spend $800 to fix the windows are always down! Ready for a new car, but won't buy a Stratus again, great look, but expensive for what was supposed to be quality!