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I need help in buying my intrepid tomorrow

858 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  SPOOK R/T
hey guys I am new here , my name is Robert and I live in Tampa. I am buying my first trep tomorrow.. I have broken it down to 2. I saw 5 today under the $5k range but will decide between these two.. I will give you the breakdown of each and tell me which i should go for.

I have opted for the year 1997 because its the last year of that body i like. Plus i heard there were less problems with that year because dodge "almost" perfected the engine etc..

The first intrepid is black , has alot of scratches , but all scratches are small , I say about 100 scratches in all , lower doors , front plastic grill , and side rearview mirrors etc.. i guess from small flying rocks on highway.. More importantly the car only has two small dings. I guess I can use that stuff they advertise on tv to wipe off all the scratches..Also the 3 of the rims have the paint peeling.. This car only has 53,000 miles.. Engine runs real nice , and interior is perfect.. It has the smaller 3.3 engine.. Also you know that side guard by the back window thats the funny plastic color ? both of those are worn out and peeled like a 11 year old car would ! Needs two front tires.. Carfax shows this car as having 3 previous owners !! price- $4700

Pros -- has 3.3 engine so good on gas. nice interior. low miles which will mean the miles will be ok when i sell it in 3 years.. runs great.

Cons -- needs quite a bit of cosmetic work on the exterior. I will be the 4th owner of this car if i decide to get it. Will cost $400 more than the next car I will explain.

Now, car number two.. This is also a 97 but this one is white.. This one has the 3.5 engine , has 78,000 miles.. Its funny because this car is cosmetically perfect on the outside but has 25,000 more miles than the one that needs cosmetics.

Interior is not as perfect as the black one but very clean nevertheless. This car also just had $800 in front end work done ( saw receipts) so I wont have to worry about that for awhile ( unlike the black one).. The owner said the front end goes out on intrepids alot..

Pros -- already had the "inevitable" front end work done. price is $4300 , so its $400 less than the black one.

cons -- gas mileage not as good as the black one . higher miles , when I have 100,000 on the black one , the white one would have 125,000 on it..

So guys which one is it ? Also wanted to ask you if it is easy to turn back the odometer.. How do I know that the black one's odometer is legit that reads 53,000 miles or so ? I have heard of such fraud..

Thanks , any opinions , comments would be greatly appreciated..

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oh yeah ,, the white one shows as having two previous owners.
Go for the 2002 R/T...

Oh...wait, that wasn't a choice? Hmmm...well, I'm a stickler for scratches. In the long run, the white one will look nicer's white! Plus it has the bigger engine, so it naturally rocks.

But, the lower mileage brings the other one into the light a bit too. I say, go with your gut. I'd probably go with the white one even though it has the higher miles.
Another Question guys.. I have heard that the 3.3 is a more reliable engine than the 3.5 because the 3.5 tends to overheat.. Is this true ? reliablility is important to me.
I had a '97 3.5l , traded it for my '01 R/T.
I loved that car.
I had 3 water pumps go bad, but they were all replaced under warranty. other than that I had no problems at all.

I would have to say the white car, seems a lot of work was done and there may be less worry? hows the rest of the car otherwise? why did it need all that work? accident?
my 3.5 had the waterpump replaced before it went out. you should find out if the waterpump has been replaced yet on that car. that's the only thing that i can think of that causes problems as a rule with the 3.5.

as far as which actual car to get? the 3.3 and 3.5 are both solid engine designs, very few problems. it comes down to what you are gonna use the car for. if you want to burn around town and drive it like you stole it then the 3.5 would be better. if you're just looking for a good, reliable, efficient daily driver the 3.3 maybe better, especially because it has lower miles. either way you go you should be pretty safe though, 97 was a great year for dodge. we have had 2 97s and they are both awesome. good luck with yer car.
IMO, go with the car that has lower mileage.
I wouldn't necessarily consider mileage a major concern. My old car, a 95 Intrepid 3.3L had 118,000 miles on it when I bought it, ran like new, and I had to do very little to it. I had the front stabilizer links replaced (there was a rattle in the front end when going over bumps), I also had the outer tie rod ends replaced. The water pump needed to be replaced at one point during the year I owned it, but that's because the seal was leaking, not a problem with the pump itself.

I traded it in to the dealer with 178,000 miles on it, almost new Goodyear Regatta-2 tires all around, and still in good running condition. I got $1000 for it. The air conditioning didn't work, but there were holes in the condenser (causing freon leaks) so that was no surprise.

If that white one is a 97 and has that many miles on it, they ain't city miles. :)

The bottom line is that it sure seems like the Intrepids and other LH cars (even 93 and 94's) know how to grow old gracefully. My car would have probably started nickel-and-dime-ing me to death very soon, but it was a damn good car.

Either of the Intrepid's you're looking at will be good reliable cars, I'm sure. I guess it comes down to what you think is more important; interior/exterior looks, mileage, engine size, etc.

But please, NEVER take it to one of those oil change places for a transmission fluid and filter change. THEY WON'T USE THE RIGHT STUFF (most likely). :)

[ November 29, 2001: Message edited by: 00ChryslerIntrepid ]
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I got my Intrepid last year. It is a 97 with a 3.5L. The previous owner put a whopping 78,000 miles on it. I didn't hesitate to jump on it when he was only asking $7800.

If you can find two of these cars with the this type of mileage on them for around 5K JUMP ON IT. Go with the 3.5 and you will not regret it. I have put 25K on it this year and have had 0 problems with the engine and transmission. The only thing I have done was replace the stabilizer links, flushed the tranny fluid and replaced the filter along with two cooler lines and put two tires on it. Now it sits at 103K and runs great. GO WITH THE WHITE 3.5L!!!! :)
I would say the 3.5, first off, because it comes with a Tranny cooler. Second, the front end work is needed on every intrepid 97 and previous. if it hasn't been done before, it will NEED to be done, otherwise you burn through tires. But, whatever the case, go with the one you feel best about.
AND REPLACE THE WATER PUMP. mine was showing signs of dying, and I neglected it, and I ended up in alot more trouble that it was worth
Originally posted by Lafrad:
IBut, whatever the case, go with the one you feel best about.
AND REPLACE THE WATER PUMP. mine was showing signs of dying, and I neglected it, and I ended up in alot more trouble that it was worth
What are the signs of this. Mine doesn't leak and my temperature seems to be normal. :confused:
Hey guys , thanks for all your help.. I bought the black one .. reason is , because I just took the white one out for a second test drive .. When you hit the brakes at high speeds , the brake pedal shakes alot ! This scared me . Plus the white 3.5 felt alot heavier when I drove it .. Dont know why that is , maybe because it was harder to steer the steering wheel on the white one .. Also when I drove the white one , you can hear the back left rear .. The guy said it was a bad tire.. But the tire looked new to me ... PLus when sitting at a red light , the white one shook while the black one you wouldnt even know if the car was on or off ! thats how quiet.. So all in all I got the black one because it ran absolutely perfect.. It was just so smooth .

Also , I got the guy with the black one to drop his price down 400 bucks , so i got the black one for only $4300 Cash . Not bad considering 53,000 miles on the car.. After a halfway decent paintjob and some rime caps the car will look like brand new.

Thanks again guys . I am officially a trep owner and am officially a member of this site . :)
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Gas mileage not as good on the 3.5? Probably true, but I averaged almost 30 mpg hwy with my 1995 trep ES w/ 3.5 engine... I'd say thats pretty good, and I doubt the 3.3 would be much better
When i use to work at Roseville Chrysler all of the tech`s i asked said the 3.3 was a much better motor a lot less problems. Than the 3.5 and better mpg.
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