8th Jan 2003, 16:49

Well y'all just scared me. I have a '97 Stratus ES - no problems so far except for a squeak in the front right tire that just started. (57k miles) It's in for service now. I realize I should do a pre-emptive replacement of the timing belt right about now, and will shortly.

My extended warranty is in place (comprehensive coverage) through this May. I'm thinking I should be checking the head gasket with a microscope before the warranty runs out. I appreciate all of your comments as it gives me things to check before my warranty does run out.

Has anyone posted their comments at www.thesqueakywheel.com? I just ran across it and it's a consumer complaint website for bad service and crummy products. No guarantees on what they do, as I really don't know anything about them; it was just a thought for another avenue for complaints.

Debbie (Colorado)

16th Feb 2003, 22:48

I have owned a 97 Dodge Stratus for 3 years (150000 km). I believe the head gasket was replaced before I bought it. I did experience the popping noise that sounded like it was coming from the steering column. But it did stop after I replaced the engine mounts. I experienced an intermittent check engine light that would come on at a full tank of gas and go off a few days later. Once I had my transmission flushed it only happened occasionally when I changed where I purchased my fuel from. I am now experiencing the oil light coming on when idling; as soon as I press the accelerator it goes off. I am worried this is going to be a major problem. I like the car; it's great on gas, but I have been dreading problems ever since I bought it because I did not check reviews about it first.

Monique (Canada)

27th Mar 2003, 11:36

I have a 97' Stratus that I just finished replacing the head gasket on (99,700miles). I took the head to O'reilly to have it machined because there was a tremendous amount of pitting around the water jackets. He said that this was a common problem that he sees with the 2.0L & 2.4L engines in both the neons and cirrus, breeze, stratus cars. He said it must be poor materials in the aluminum head reacting with the engine block and antifreeze/water combination and that as long as it lasted through the warranty period, that Dodge wouldn't do anything about it. Sounds like a case of the domestics trying to compete with imports by using inferior materials to stay within buyer costs. I am a BIG fan of Dodge and have owned a 1500 Ram and now a Dakota, but this really puts a sore spot on my opinion of Dodge. The mechanic was able to machine it down within spec and it turned out pretty clean. Only small amounts of pitting were noticeable. I have since put the engine back together according to the Chilton manual, but I'm getting some rough idling. I don't think the cams are aligned properly, although I followed the manual to a T. Has any do-it-yourselfer experienced the same problem with the timing? If so, please send me any comments or advice that could help.



20th Feb 2004, 16:01

2000 Dodge Stratus 2.4L 4 Cylinder.

My big headache. In April '03 the water pump went on my Stratus with 85,000 miles. I had the pump and timing chain replaced and two months later the pump was leaking again. The mechanic who fixed the car the first time replaced the pump in June '03.

Four days before Christmas '03 I had a bumping sound coming from my transmission. The local Dodge dealer said that differential pin had broken off and I had a blown head gasket and the bill would be $4000 to fix it all. I told them to park it and I would shop around. I found a used transmission with 5,000 miles on it from a wreck 2000 Stratus and I had the head gasket replaced by a local mechanic. The mechanic let me know that the exhaust manifold had a 6 inch crack in it and welding it was not an option. Secondly, the water pump was leaking again.

I just got the car back from the mechanic and it ran great for one day. Now I have to gradually accelerate because if I accelerate too quickly it feels like the transmission is slipping and then the check engine light flashes 6 times.

2nd Nov 2004, 09:54

I have a 97' dodge stratus and the brakes are squeeking. so I took it to the mechanics and they fixed them for like 30 bucks.

16th Feb 2005, 02:14

I have a 2000 Dodge Stratus So far I've only had problems with the Front a back Motor mounts, Brakes, and check Engine light which went away when I changed the intake into a full air intake kit. I have a K&N oil filter with Mobil 1 Oil and platinum +4 Spark plugs. I need to get the alignment done to my car cause I got rear ended a few months ago.

11th Apr 2005, 15:16

My stratus makes a popping noise when I am steering at low speeds. Two mechanics I took it to say that the steering gear needs to be replaced. I wonder if it is just the engine mounts as some of the comments suggest. Could someone tell me when the popping noise occurs?

2nd Oct 2005, 09:40

I bought my care in 2002 and Its given me problems from the beginning. Till this moment my care has an oil leak. Oil Leaks right into the Antifreeze gallon and right Now I'm having problems with my Head Gasket. Oil is going in to my spark plugs and is causing my Car to loose strength when driving. I also have a problem with my battery... it seems that I bought a battery in April 05 and already by battery is drained. I've taken the car to various mechanics and they can't find the reason why my battery is draining so quickly. My problem right NOW is the Head Gasket leaking oil all 0ver the Place.