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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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College Student Thinking of Buying

I am a college student and I was thinking of buying a Dodge Intrepid because there cheap and some have decent mileage. But anyway, what is the reliability of say a 1999 ES, with 84k miles for 5k. I heard some bad stories of people with the 2.7l engine. Is all it true?

Are the 2.7l engines really bad, and do they break often?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Its hard to say. If the original owners been careful, taken care of the car, and used synthetic the life of the car you should be fine. That said the 2.7L has a bad history of developing severe oil sludge problems causing the motor to seize. My dad (who is a car dealer) recently purchase a 2000 2.7L SE with only 80K from the St.Louis auto auction. The car's motor seized wile being loaded onto the transport. The cause, oil sludge.

That being said i'll leave you with this. The 2.7L oil sludge problem was correcected after 2002. The 2.7L motor has been an excellent motor for some people who own cars previous to that year. It has lasted them a long time and will continue to run good. However, too many people have experienced this issue that I would not spend 5K on a car that could quite possibly quit running the day you bought it. That is my two cents however and im sure someone on here will disagree.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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I'm also college student , with a 2000 2.7l that just hit over 110k. I love my car, take good care of her, and have never had a single problem with it. But I'd have to agree with x_00trepes_X35.

The 2.7 can be a good engine, but at 5k and 84k, you could do better. Unless you know for a fact that it got regular maintenance, and the all important synthetic oil, it's just too big of a risk. You could probably find a Trep with a 3.2 or even 3.5 at that price, and have the peace of mind knowing that it would be less susceptible to sludge. But that's just me, the deciding factor is up to you and what you think. They are great cars if you let them be.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 07:59 PM
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Get a 3.2 or 3.5 if you are looking for a second generation intrepid, or if you want super reliability get a first gen with a 3.3. There is not a lot of power with the 3.3 but it will just keep going and going....there is a post on here from a few years ago with someone who had reached 500,000 miles with there 3.3, and I would assume it is still running with a few more miles on it than that.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x_00trepes_X35
That being said i'll leave you with this. The 2.7L oil sludge problem was correcected after 2002.
Not entirely, but there was some great improvements made in 2002, and they are lasting much longer. Still plenty of failures 02-04, but nothing close to 98-01.

Its hit or miss really, there are some that keep running and running, and some that blow at 40K. Meticulous maintenance definitely contributes to extending the life of a 2.7. Also, adding external oil coolers, etc, help keep the sludge down.

I would shy away from the 2.7 if I were you. Go for a 3.2 or 3.5 engine. Keep the maintenance up, like with anything, and you should be fine.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 08:40 PM
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I'd say go witht he 3.2 or 3.5. They tend to be more relaible and the increase in power is worth the small (1 mpg) hit in mileage.

Most Concorde LXI or Intrepid ES models are equipped with a 3.2L (225HP) or in 2002-2004, a slightly lower output version of the 3.5 (234 hp vs 250 or 242)

A nice Concorde LXi or Intrepid ES will last a long time. My friend had his 1996 go to 200000 miles.

The only hidden bit of maintenance you need to worry about is a timing belt, this needs to be changed at 100,000 miles. If it breaks, you will be stranded and you could damage the engine. Dont let that freak you out, the belts are VERY reliable if changed at 100K. There are many cars that have the same belt driven cam system, so dont worry. Many Toyotas and Hondas have timing belts, it's no big deal.

I had a check list on here somewhere.... let me see if I can find that old post of mine....

2004 300M Special...257K miles. Original powertrain!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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In mid-2004, I bought a '99 with the 2.7L engine at 92k miles for $5,000. Today at that price you should be able to get a 2000-2001 ES with the 3.2L and 70-80k miles. Heck, I bought a 2000 LHS with 72k miles and the 3.5 H.O. for $6500, so at your budget, you have plenty of options. I would also advise to stay away from the 2.7L as you can clearly afford getting something better.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 09:06 PM
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I found it!

OK, here is the unofficial LH buyers checklist!

Looking back on it, check the tranny fluid! Make sure it is nice and pink, not brown or black! Mine had to have a solenoid changed after 900 miles of me owning it due to dirty fluid. That mistake cost me 420 bucks!

Make sure the tranny feels OK. Be on the lookout for confused or just plain dumb shifts and very mushy shifts or the opposite, shifts that jerk the car.

Almost all the 3.2/3.5 engines tick shortly after startup but this loud tick should quiet down quickly. After it warms up, it should purr. A slightly lumpy idle is normal.

Make sure the coolant is the orange kind (2nd gen only) and that it is clean. Make sure there is no oil in it! (duh!) Check for smoke on the exhaust (duh!) and check the oil quality. Be on the lookout for funky looking oil that reembles a milkshake, this means the engine is damaged, usually the headgasket is shot. The oil should be fairly clean when the car is on the lot brown is ok, but jet black oil would be a BAD sign that the car has been neglected.

Check for fluid leaks.

Check to make sure it really had ABS if it is advertised! It is NOT standard! The presense of ABS can be verified by looking in the fusebox under the hood and seeing if the ABS fuses are in place.

Check the brakes! Mine had worn pads when I bought it. I got a discount for that.

Check the steering alignment.

Check the tire condition.

Check the struts. If the car bounces more than 1.5 times after you push on it hard, the struts are worn.

Check the stereo. Make sure the CD player works and that all the speakers operate.

Turn the steering wheel a bit, there should be no loud clunks! Clunks indicate a tierod failure. The system shouldn't make too much noise when operating. There should be very little play, if any in the steering wheel.

Check the headlights, brake lights and turn signals.

Maks sure the cruise and horn work! You don't want to buy a car with a bad clockspring.

Check the A/C. This is important. If the car has ATC (auto temp control), do the ATC diags procedure found somewhere on these forums. It should NOT smell like mold.

Check for excessive rust. This could indicate a flood car.

Check for funky interior smells like mold or dead animals. Mold is an indicaton of flooding, dead animals are an indication of GROSS (pun intended) neglect.

Check for PCM codes using the key trick found on the forums, there should be no codes except maybe a "battery has been disconnected" code. Bring the code lookup sheets with you to the lot.

If you can, get a carfax report!

Make the used car dealer SCARED! Know your stuff, don't let him BS you. If you don't feel comfortable checking all this stuff out, bring a friend who knows cars with you or let a mechanic look it over.

2004 300M Special...257K miles. Original powertrain!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harkkam
I am a college student and I was thinking of buying a Dodge Intrepid because there cheap and some have decent mileage. But anyway, what is the reliability of say a 1999 ES, with 84k miles for 5k. I heard some bad stories of people with the 2.7l engine. Is all it true?

Are the 2.7l engines really bad, and do they break often?
You sure that thing has a 2.7L? Most ES models had the 3.2, only a few 2.7 ES models were made.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 10:51 PM
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i bought my 2000 2.7 trep new and at 63000 and $4100 for a jasper engine found out about the sludge problem. i took the same care of that engine as i still do for my 95 escort with 285000 miles that i drive 100 miles a day to and from work. so in my opinion the 2.7 is a piece of ****, stay away, run far far away and go with the 3.2 or 3.5.
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