1st Feb 2001, 16:25

I own a '96 Stratus and it's the best car I ever drove in my life. Never had any problems,h ave 57000 km (live in Canada) and I think I will buy another Stratus later (the new model).

21st Feb 2001, 23:31

Just took my 1997 Stratus in for a head gasket problem at 52,000 miles. Bad oil leak, oil in cooling system. Considering all the problems I have read about, it seems there should be a recall on these. Or does anyone have any idea on how to start a class action suit???

28th Mar 2001, 23:37

Worst car ever. I had to replace the head gasket at 55000 miles.

I now just rolled 97000 miles and I have a really bad transmission leak. I have a strange hissing sound coming out of my air system. My transmission continuously doesn't engage even from idle. It has the shakes in idle. The head gasket leak caused extensive damage to the under carriage, including all motor mounts needing to be replaced.

The driver's side mirror snapped off and the only way to replace it I have found is to get one from the manufacturer, unlike other cars like Honda where you can get after market parts. If someone out there can help me PLEASE contact me. I'm a college student with very little cash and I need to fix this car. CHAOS99666@aol.com.

21st Aug 2001, 20:50

I have a 96 Stratus and didn't have any problems until around 60,000 miles. Your story caught my eye because I also have a mysterious popping noise that no one can diagnose and 3 new wheel bearings in 3 months. I spent $600 to have the noise fixed, and it is worse than before I took it to the garage.

It was out of the garage for 5 days and it let me sit when it shut off going through a toll booth... what an embarrassment. This problem is also a mystery and no one knows the problem. I have to have it towed to somewhere else.

I will never buy a Dodge again. If you own a Stratus and haven't had problems, they're coming!

25th Aug 2001, 09:01

I've got a '97 Stratus Base 2.4L with about 48,000 miles and have had all the same problems everyone else here has mentioned: timing belt, head gasket, brakes, and the latest is a transmission rebuild. I also had the mysterious popping noise--although mine was more of a knocking--a couple people mentioned. They couldn't figure it out even though I kept insisting it was coming from the steering column. Finally on the third try they diagnosed it as a broken gear in the steering column. Thankfully the dealer ate the cost because, though it was out of warranty when they finally diagnosed the problem, I had complained about it several times when it was still under warranty. And I only paid a $200 deductible at the dealer for the head gasket because Chrysler recognizes it as a design flaw. For this problem, and against your better judgment, go to the dealer; a mechanic will charge you the $1000-1200 that it normally costs to replace the head gasket. The latest transmission problem--a $2400 endeavor--makes me wonder why I didn't buy a Honda instead though.

9th Dec 2001, 14:21

I have a 1996 dodge stratus and at 34,000 miles I has to spend out $1900 to repair gaskets, water pump, timing belts, spark plugs and wires. Now my car is at 55,000 miles and my check engine light is on and the dealer is telling me that they don't see anything wrong after performing a diagnostic test. If anyone have any advice on how to help me please email me at siobhan270@aol.com.

27th Jul 2002, 14:31

I also have the same popping noise. Finally at about 85,000 miles it just stopped. I have replaced the head gasket at 60,000 miles., the vent switch is broken and when I called to find out if they had the part they said that I would need another part too. Because when one goes out so does the other (it is interesting that they new so much about the problem, maybe they have done it many other times).

31st Jul 2002, 11:30

My 97 Stratus has given me problems since the day I bought it. I hate that car so much. I swear, within the first month of owning it I had it in 4 or 5 times, my head gasket has also gone, and now it's the transmission... never again will I buy a Dodge, and I urge everyone to never ever ever by a Stratus...

6th Aug 2002, 14:56

I have a 97 Stratus 2.4L with 178,000 miles on it. I have had all of the following replaced during the course of these miles: steering column, head gasket, transmission, evaporator coil, timing belt, 4 pairs of rotors, 2 pairs of drums, left and right front bearings, ball joint (steering), exhaust system, exhaust header (it cracked) and air conditioner compressor.

At around 176,000 miles, the #3 spark plug shot out of the engine and took all the threads with it. Back to the garage I go again.

The "factory" rebuilt transmission that was put in is continuously acting up on hot days. After many, many trips to the dealer to complain about this transmission, the dealer now claims the "transmission computer module" is going bad. I think it is just another bad transmission. Total out of pocket expense for repairs... $6000+


17th Sep 2002, 15:26

I have had similar problems with my 96 Status. My head gasket went out while it was still under warranty, and just last week went out again. Good news though, I called the customer care center at Chrysler and they took care of the cost except for a $100 deductible. Now, my water pump is leaking and I have been quoted $400 to $600 to get that repaired, and nobody will touch it except a dealer. Good luck to you all, maybe I'll see you at a Toyota dealer soon.

20th Nov 2002, 15:29


I also have a 96 Dodge Stratus and I have experience the car shaking really hard or the engine knocking when trying to start it in the morning. My major problem is something is draining my battery, every two days I need it jumped. I have taken it to three different mechanics and they cannot find the problem. I am really becoming frustrated with this car. I thought dodge was suppose to be a good car, I guess I was wrong.

23rd Nov 2002, 15:53

Everyone is talking about head gaskets, thankfully (up to this point) I haven't had to replace anything major on the car other than brakes. I have a 98 Stratus and my problems are the door locks and squeaky brakes. It sounds like the door solenoids are going out, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. I took it to the dealer and they said the squeaking brakes and whining door locks are common problems. I am becoming very frustrated with these minor nuisances. If any else has these problems let me know and tell me what you did to correct them. gdewayne98@lvcm.com.

26th Nov 2002, 09:04

Hello All.

I am a proud owner of a 98 Dodge Stratus and have most of the same problems. Currently the car is in the shop for repairs because it is using more oil now than before. I have 80k plus miles on it and believe the head gasket is shot. I have just let the car run this long because the head gasket went out right after the warranty period. I would like to see what we can do collectively to get all of the repairs needed to the drive train. Chrysler knows it is a design flaw in the engine, but since it is not a safety issue there will not be a recall. The company needs to cover some, if not all, of the cost for repair to the engines. We could start a petition or just e-mail the folks at chrysler with all of our issues and concerns. The more people we have the better results we will get because they know they will loose market share. Let me know what you all thinks. E-mail me at mgkline@yahoo.com, I am willing to join the fight.