I too have a 2000 Dodge Stratus that is having transmission troubles. Early in the morning when it is cold, the transmission will not engage. When it does engage, it slams into gear. It will run for a little while until I take my foot off the gas. It's really not cool when I have to pull out into a busy road and my transmission decides to stop while I'm in the middle of the road. It is fine once the car warms up. Two years ago my wife took it to a mechanic who said that there is a sensor that gets clogged by road debris and builds up back pressure not allowing the transmission to engage. He blew out the sensor with an air hose and it has worked fine for two years. Well winter came and winter went, and looks like I'll be visiting the air hose again. Good luck with yours, I have gone over the 100,000 mile mark and I'm crossing my fingers!
You know, maintenance is the key. It heads off problems before they start. I keep a spreadsheet to note the cost of repairs and the mileage at which they occurred. I also have columns to remind me when to get certain things done, so I can get fluids, belts, hoses, and brakes checked or replaced on the recommended schedule. There is no such thing as a "no maintenance" car, unless somebody just wants to drive it for three years before trading. There's no reason why you can't drive for another hundred thousand miles if you change oil every 3,000 miles, change the transmission fluid and filter every 30,000 miles, get the engine coolant flushed out every 30,000 miles, and keep the grease points lubed.
This is to the guy above that had a sensor blown out with an air hose: Can you please email me the details of this? I am having similar problems... Thanks!
Please email me @ email@example.com.
"I too have a 2000 Dodge Stratus that is having transmission troubles. Early in the morning when it is cold, the transmission will not engage."
It's because oil in transmission must warm up a bit... Try to keep the engine running some time before you start to drive.
I am the owner of a 2000 Dodge Stratus SE 2.0L and I like my car enough. I suppose my car is an exception to the average, but I am at 119,000 and haven't had any transmission or engine trouble, or for that matter any repair that has cost over $500.
I have, however, replaced almost the entire suspension at one point or another. And I believe my alternator may be going bad.
119,000 and running decently. Of course, I've taken care of all problems with the vehicle almost immediately after they arise and gotten the oil changed quite frequently.
I am heavily dissatisfied with the car's power performance, but I can't say much bad about the reliability.