15th Oct 2002, 18:37

I have had my 97 dodge stratus since 96, and I have no problems at all. Maybe everyone else just got a lemon?? my car is great on gas, and other than normal oil changes, I have not had to bring it in to the shop!

30th Oct 2002, 15:15

I have a 1997 Dodge Stratus. I LOVE IT! I have not had to put any money into it besides the regular maintance that you must do with all cars.

It is very good on gas. It does very well going on long trips. Considering we drive 2,743 miles to go home once a year to see family.

I highly recommend a Dodge Stratus to anyone that is looking to buy a dependable. Low cost maintance car.

25th Nov 2002, 11:25


We now have 156,000 kms on this 97. The clunking sound on the drivers side front-end was the tie rod end and I replaced it myself for $147.00 CAN. and 1 hour my time. The engine light did come on again, but no big deal, had it reset at the dealership. Went for a 5000km. trip this summer and got between 37 and 41 mp CAN. gallon which was higher than the car was rated for. The car still feels as tight as new and still goes like a bandit. As far tune-ups the only things that have to be replaced are the spark plugs and air filter (there is no distributor cap or rotor to replace) We usually trade every two years, but my wife loves this car.

24th Dec 2002, 09:24

Bought 1996 Stratus ES with 2.5 6 cylinder Mitsubishi engine, used in 1998 with 55000 miles. Replaced rear wheel bearings at 60000 miles. had to replace tie rod ends at 60000 miles - the originals have no grease fittings. the new ones cost about $55 each with grease fittings - MOOG. The car ran well until about 90000 miles with normal maintenence, then developed an annoying and dangerous dead spot where the car would barely run when trying to accelerate. Changed fuel pump (remove fuel tank), plugs, wires distributor cap, idle air valve. still has the same problem. the only thing left is the coil which only comes in a new distributor which is very expensive. To change any of these engine tune up parts the intake manifold has to be removed. Pain in the neck!!. The car is roomy, zippy and has good gas mileage, but I worry about my son driving this car long distances to college. I would not recommend this car with this engine.

5th Apr 2003, 07:31

I bought my 1997 Dodge Stratus 2.4L Auto 2 years ago, and up until a few months ago had no problems. It has only 85,050km on it, and now the head gasket is leaking oil from one of the sides. Needless to say I'm not impressed, with such low KM this type of problem shouldn't be happening. Of course you ask Chrysler/Dodge for help, yeah right. I'm gonna let it pollute the environment for a few years until I get rid of the car, oil is cheap, head gaskets aren't!

I love my car, but I hate Chrysler, they just copy and pasted some Joe blow response when I questioned them on the gasket. It seems like other people have had the same problem, and I know even the Neons have had leaky gaskets.

I can say I am happy with my car, except for the oil leak. I just had a tensioner pulley go, but it was only $190 CDN to replace including a new timing belt, which was needed aways. I figure I drive my car fast so it's probably my own fault for the timing belt. I don't bag on my car, but like other posts say, the car does purr nicely at 120km, no doubt about that :-)

I have noticed from a lot of boards that people have hit or misses with the Stratus, but overall it's a nice car, lots of room, and it goes pretty damn fast for a family car! If it wasn't for the governor in it, I could easily hit 240km/h and still be under the red.

I doubt I would buy a Dodge again given from the lack of support they showed me. A car company should stand by their products, not tell you to piss off once the warranty is up, even if you baby your car like I have (service >5000km, new plugs every 15,000km, high performance parts, etc)


15th Jun 2003, 05:13

UPDATE 2 (original poster)

Car now has 170000 kms. and still very smooth and quiet. 140000 kms. after head gasket replacement and no problems yet. Still on the second set of brakes (front and back) and rotors (still look to be in good shape). Still haven't changed the timing belt, but will do so soon. Only new problem is the steering occasionally is stiff during colder morning start ups, could this be the rack and pinion (power steering belt seems to be tight enough, but does need replacement)? Engine does burn some oil between changes (no visible oil leaks or seepage into coolant). Has the head gasket issue been corrected on the newer cars (2001-2003) sebrings? Thinking of buying a new sebring.

9th Jul 2004, 17:45

July 9, 2004.

We own two 2000 Dodge Stratus and both cars have experienced front end problems.

Both cars have had to have the front wheel bearings replaced, the first at 20,000 miles, and the second at 29,000 miles.

Both cars had to have the tie rods replaced. The first at 37,000 miles, and the second at 39,000.

The second car has had to replace the left upper ball joints at 21,000 miles.

My personal view is that the front end components are not properly engineered to carry the weight of the front end.

Richard Jones,

Rochester, NY.

19th Oct 2004, 10:06

My 1997 Dodge Stratus had a recall on it because of some gasket that was leaking oil into my radiator. Since I went over my mileage I was not eligible for the recall, now my car needs "dialysis" once a month where I have to completely flush the radiator--we have been doing it ourselves to save money, but I cannot wait to get rid of this damn car.

It was awesome on Gas, but this problem is a headache.

Has anyone else had this problem?

A whole new engine is out of the question because that would cost me more than the car is worth.

26th May 2005, 19:32

I am 17 Years old and I have a 96 dodge stratus 2.4l. this car is great considering I drive it like it is a race car.

The only problem I have with it is the gap where the thermostat goes won't seal and antifreeze sprays out. Most of you don't need to worry about this since I am 17 and it only happens when I run the car at 5000 rpm a few corners in a row. other than that it is a great car.

2nd Aug 2005, 09:45

UPDATE (original poster)

We sold the 97 stratus and never replaced the timing belt or exhaust with over 195,000kms. All said and done we only replaced the head gasket (under warranty), one tie rod end and one wheel bearing. Did replace the usual parts such spark plugs, air filter, brakes, serpentine belt, tires, battery and coolant. It was an excellent car and my wife did not want to part with it. We now own a 2004 SEBRING sedan (2.7 v6). Another great car so far.

4th Dec 2005, 16:36

I own a '97 Dodge Stratus ES as well and I must agree with you 1000000% on the gas mileage factor. I tested this car twice on a non-stop trip (except for gas) for 5 hours. 120km/hr is where the car gets the best gas mileage, once you go over 138km/hr it's gets a bit rougher and if you are over 144km/hr you best be stopping in every town for gas.

One thing I've noticed since purchasing this car (2 months ago) the back end is beginning to make a "squishing" noise everytime I go over a pot hole or speed bump. I doesn't affect my driving, but it makes me wonder. Also the braking and accelerating was difficult to get use to, both are so soft that I have to brake very early so that I can come to a nice easy stop, I'm sure it looks like I'm a terrified driver or something with my foot on the brake so early.

Anyway, I LOVE my car, it sure beats what I had before...1984 Subaru GL-10 (I wrote a detailed review on this site about the POS).

10th Jun 2006, 18:00

My 2005 stratus makes squishing noise when I go over a bump and I already have had problems with the battery I wonder if I got a lemon.