Crude little car, but fast and reliable
Head Gasket was bad when I purchased the car. (for $800) It leaked about a quart every month or so, and was detected by using a glycol test on the oil because there was no other signs of coolant leakage.
Pass. side drive-shaft replaced at 120,000 miles.
Busted a motor mount at 110,000 miles, which might explain the drive shaft problem. Busted mount was probably due to my "spirited" driving habits.
Timing belt was replaced at the same time head gasket was replaced, and again at about 140,000 miles. (didn't break, just maintenance)
Oxygen sensor replaced at 150,000 miles to turn off "power loss" light.
3 speed transmission would "flare" shifting from 1st to 2nd in subzero weather, so I would need to warm her up a few minutes when it was bitter cold. This behavior started at about 160,000 miles.
Water would leak into the trunk from the tail lights. I couldn't pin down the leak, so I drilled a drain hole in the spare tire well instead. :D
Paint was peeling off the body when I got it. I was turned away at the local car wash because my car would contaminate his rollers with bits 'O paint. I just wanted to rinse the winter salt of the chassis...
Engine developed a slight knock (wrist pin?) after 120,000 miles. The knock was most audible at idle when cold. My mechanic said not to worry about it because all 2.2's develop this noise. So I didn't worry about it, and it kept going and going......
Overall, a fun little car because of the turbo engine.
Acceleration was awesome, even with the slushbox tranny. On many occasions, the local "ricers" would rev their Hondas and Toyotas at stop lights - only to be shut down by a POS Plymouth with peeling paint and missing hubcaps. I removed the "turbo" badges from the car when this got too annoying.
The ride quality was harsh and noisy, but the handling was pretty good. The auto transmission really needed an overdrive gear to quiet things down. The engine would turn approx 4000 RPM at 70mph. The low gearing was probably why the thing was so fast from 0-60 though...
Notch back design and split folding seats were good for hauling larger objects that wouldn't fit in a sedan.
Air conditioning was ice cold, and trouble free.
I think this car was the 80's equivalant of a "muscle car", because Chrysler stuffed their premium turbo engine in an otherwise boring little econobox.
I still see lots of old Chryslers around with that familiar "Turbo" badge on the side. I guess they either made zillions of them, or they are pretty reliable engines.
Sold the car (running great) to a new teenage driver who drove it into a telephone pole within a month. Luckily he was not hurt, so my old Plymouth might have saved the life of a Camaro or Mustang for this kid to learn a lesson. New drivers should never have anything with more than 80hp IMHO.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th June, 2003