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Discussion Starter #1
I loved this car, when I went to the lot and test drove it. I'm a tall-ish guy, and it just felt great. It fit like a 'glove', I guess I could say. It has 75k miles on it, CD player, very nice air conditioning, and considering how old it is.. The engine was so silent, it was great.

But despite all their pressuring I decided to go home and do at least a bit of research before jumping in, and also got their prices down (we officially settled at 8k out the door, but they were willing to go 7.5k if I was to buy it right then, listing price was like.. 8,995)

My issue with the car is, however.. I did prior-mentioned research, and I come up with.. SO so so many websites dedicated to absolutely nothing but the 2.7L christler engine, and all the death and destruction (and five thousand dollar engine replacements :p) it caused from sludge and chain-whatevers breaking.. Plus some people who's engine's died while they were driving, which doesn't sound too fun..

My question is.. If it sounded so sweetly silent, and ran so nicely.. Would that be a decent indicator that the prior owners may have changed the oil often enough to prevent engine sludge? I haven't asked for a carfax, or any maintenance records yet, which I plan on doing.. And I was wondering if it was possible to try and get the dealership to pay to have a mechanic to open that oilpan for me and let me physically see how the engine looks; has anyone had an experience where they'd do that?.. Or if I have no choice but to put up the 200 dollars and get a mechanic to do it (or if I should pay either way, because the dealership mechanics may be biased?)

I really want this car, it'd be my first car, actually. It will look way better than anything I could have imagined I could afford (without exploding after a few miles of driving, at least : p)
 

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if you really want to know, take it to your own mechanic that you trust to give it a thorough look thru. Might cost you a couple c notes but if its junk then it'll save you thousands. A worthwhile investment.

Just dropping the oil pan may not be enough. Sludge can build up in the valve covers, in the timing cavity, and the worst place is the oil galley and return holes. So, while the pan may look good inside, there could be sludge lurking in other places. A motor flush would not be a bad idea right from the get go if you buy this car.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, a really nicely running engine is not even a remotely reasonable way to tell if sludge is a problem in the engine?

Also, how much does it actually normally cost to get a good technician to check out the engine? What are my options?
 

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On the other paw, if the 'price is right', buy the car and immediately start looking for a 3.5 HO motor, rebuild that one as you see fit, and then drop it into the '00. That project should cost you well under $1000-.

The match up of the 3.5 motor and 2.7 tranny/gears is pretty sweet.....
 

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My 2.7 engine is at 185000 KM thats about 114000 miles and never spent a penny to fix anything on it. Just regular 5000km ( 3000 miles) synthetic oil changes and thats about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
[QUOTE='98-ESer]On the other paw, if the 'price is right', buy the car and immediately start looking for a 3.5 HO motor, rebuild that one as you see fit, and then drop it into the '00. That project should cost you well under $1000-.

The match up of the 3.5 motor and 2.7 tranny/gears is pretty sweet.....[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I'm not much of an engine rebuilder, personally : p

Hrmm, anyone know anything about the specifics of the California Lemon Law? If the engine sludges up sometime during the however many months it is, and I have records of 3k oil changes with good oil, do I have any chance of not losing crazy moneys?

Wait, wait... 1,000? I thought you said 10,000.. A brand new engine.. Would the car feel pretty good? Would it increase the life of it much? (If I see previous owners reports and see they took care of it pretty good).. And I'm assuming that cost is without the cost of the motor itself :p
 

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i think $7k is way too much for that car..
 

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I had a 00 trep,, in fact thats what made me find this place, it was in ok shape when i baught it I paid 5900.00 for it almost 4 years ago, so I agree with imared, on that one,
look around some more ,, dont rush into buying anything till you see what else is out thereI just picked up a sweet 02 300m special, for 6500.00 plus the trep, so theres good deals to be had,


 

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I didnt see what type it was, ES SE etc.....
I got an 04 SE with 36,000 on it in great shape for less than 10,000. 7.5K seems high to me too.
 

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Yeah, That car is priced way wrong!

I just got my 01 ES in oct for $8,500. And it only had 14,500 miles on it.

Oh and it is fully loaded, leather all the goodies.

So I think that car in question is priced too high.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The bluebook on the '00 intrepid standard 4dr is actually at 7200 or so (from a dealer.. it's about a thousand less from a private seller).. But Edmunds appraises it's true value at like.. almost 6k from a dealer.

Wow, funny thing.. Right after I typed that out and hit submit, I read this article.. from edmunds.. Since I can't put stupid URLs, it's under advice, buying, 'What is the "Kelley Blue Book" Price?'

I would have never imagined that KBB meant that.. That's.. WAY different than what I thought it was. And with the Intrepid looking so good, I could imagine the KBB price being way higher than what one could realistically get
 

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I say for $7k that you shouldn't settle for less than an ES. An SE(Base as 2000 wasn't badged SE) just doesn't have all the goodies that come with the ES trim line. Even a Concorde LXi or a 300m(doesn't have to be a Special) will have many more options and be a much nicer car if you can get one for close to the price you're looking at now. Also some of the 1998-1999 ES Intrepids came in a "Base" edition with the 2.7L and few options so I'd avoid them also.(I know about this as I almost bought one new and went with an SE of the same year for $3500 less)
 

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I got the 2004 SXT in my sig pic below for 12K with under 22K miles, and we just got an 03 SXT with 35K for $8000

You can do better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Way, way better. Thank you for opening my eyes, I had no idea that a car they'd dare list at 9k would be like.. worth.. like.. maybe five thousand.. Wow.. I was expecting to go down MAYBE a thousand or two to get a reasonable price, and even one thousand is even more than 10% of the price.. I definitely have some reference to go by, now
 

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Or cars.com that's where I found my 2002 R/T.
 

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This is from the FAQ section of the site, and may help you, knowing what is what in Intrepid models.

What is the Base or SE model?

The base model and SE are really the same car. The SE name was started in 2000 and had SE badging on either the rear door (2000 & 2001) or trunk (2002-up). The easiest way to recognize this model is the front fascia that has no fog light openings. They feature a 2.7 liter DOHC 24 valve V6 engine. Base models 1998-1999 had 15” steel wheels with straight spoke hubcaps, later models upgraded to 16” steel wheels with a new bent spoke hubcap design used.

What is the ES model?

The ES model cars are designed to have all the comfort/luxury options available such as OTIS, leather, 60/40 split folding rear seats, Automatic climate control, traction control, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped shifter, polished exhaust tip and premium radios. All 98-2001 models feature either a 2.7 liter DOHC 24 valve engine or the more common 3.2 liter DOHC 24 valve engine with Autostick, 2002-up models feature a 3.5 motor with a slightly lower power output than the RT or SXT models. All ES models have 16” aluminum wheels, chrome wheels were optional starting in 2002.

What is the R/T model?

The R/T stands for Road and Track. It has the 3.5 liter 24 valve highest output engine. Typically R/Ts do not have all of the luxury items as the ES models, as they are intended for performance, not luxury. They were only made 2000-2002. All RT models have 17” wheels, silver in early years, chrome in 2002.

What is the SXT model?

The SXT was introduced in 2002 and featured the same 3.5 high output motor as the R/T. It was designed to be a lower cost alternative to the R/T in 2002 but became the “performance over luxury” model with the high output 3.5 engine and Autostick in 2003.

What is the Motorsports edition?

The Motorsports edition was made in 2001. The Motorsports trim option was available on all models for between $375-$865. Production numbers are: Intrepid SE - 584, Intrepid ES - 242, Intrepid RT - 383. It is a cosmetic enhancement and feature motorsports decals, floor mats, black wheels, and Goodyear Eagle 1 yellow letter tires. Canadian owners had a very similar trim option called the Daytona.

It's more than just decals though. There was an entire package shipped to the new owner after purchase. Here's is in the "Track Pack"

-Soft-sided beverage cooler
-gift-boxed 1/24th scale model race car
-custom Tasco binoculars
-46-inch by 57-inch three-color Afghan
-insulated water bottle
-vented umbrella
-lapel pin
-professional stopwatch in a commemorative tin
-barrel can cooler
-red twill cap with "Dodge Returns 2001" on it
-an autograph pen
-red adult-sized poncho
-"Different to the 10th" poster
-fabric pit-pass/credential holder
-windshield band decal
-history of Dodge decal
-Dodge NASCAR history videotape
-Dodge Motorsports window decal
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think my problem isn't so much with cars, but my area. I live in an Air Force Base, and the dealerships around here are like.. Really.. REALLY overpriced, and I'm afraid even if I was to go to any of the dealerships near here with reasonable prices, and TMV for the intrepid, they'd blow me off because they know some other moronic airman will come by really soon and pay Blue Book for it, thinking it's a great deal.

And trying to haggle my way into lower prices is hard because they make it take so much time, and the only way to get to the dealership is with a ride from my friend who is quickly getting annoyed at how much time he may have to spend at these places.

The closest city that's out of this 'area' is Sacramento, and it's a pretty long drive on weekends (the only time we can go), plus the time it takes to haggle, buy the car, etc etc, plus the time to drive back here.. I don't know, I'm going to try my best, I guess. Hopefully the dealers will want to raise their numbers so much that even making less than they could, but more easily would be agreeable to them.. Maybe if I came up to them and let them know they WILL have a sale if I can find this good car for this good TMV, or at least close, price.. Thanks for all your help, though, guys, and keep the helpful comments coming.
 
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