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My dad is considering trading in his 2004 Freestar minivan for a 2003 intrepid. This particular intrepid has the 2.7 engine and just a hair over 100,000 miles. Being that it's a 2.7 engine, certain reliability questions arise. I know from reading this particular website that the sledging problems was fixed around 2002 or 2003, so I guess my dad should be safe from that I think. Where the timing chain and water pump problems also fixed in the same time period? The car does run nice and drives nice and the transmission shifts really smoothly. However, there seems to be a little bit of coolant leaking from right around the neck of the coolant bottle. It doesn't seem like it's being over pressurized or anything, maybe it's just too full or the pressure cap doesn't hold pressure? In a slightly related question, how hot do these things run on the highway? I had my Ultragauge hooked up and it showed the engine was running about 195 to 200 fahrenheit on the highway just cruisin on flat ground. Is that normal? One last question for now, what do these cars get for fuel mileage?
 

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Here's a short cellphone video of the car idling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqwIvFbqe2M&list=UU6vubBTju44HYDDTTrWfrjg&index=1&feature=plcp
 

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....anyone?
 

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It is hard to assess or predict a used car's worth without actually being there to go over it and drive it.
The 2.7L was much improved by 2003. As long as the cooling system isn't over-pressurizing and the cap isn't sealing would be a good thing to diagnose first.
Check the engine dipstick and under the oil fill cap for any rust or sludge. Some varnish is normal.
As with any used car, without knowing the car's past history is a concern. Does the car look like somebody cared for it? Are you buying it from the original owner? Is there a written warranty? Do you trust the guy?
Remember that it is still a 10 year old car with a 100K and will need work. Just as long as it doesn't turn into a big headache.
 

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I just completed a 2002 Sebring with a 2.7L engine. With my hands on and the amount of research I have done I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on this engine.
There are some things you must accept about these. The water pump and the timing chain MUST be replaced at 100K miles. That is the maintenance interval. This is a very labor intensive maintenance so it isn't cheap. Most would consider it a deal breaker.
The sludge issue isn't a major one on later models but I will say this. This engine is -incompatible- with mineral based motor oils.
All Chrysler can do is highly recommend a quality synthetic oil. They can't mandate it. But from my findings these small, powerful aluminum engines run very hot and tend to "cook" the oil much more than an engine that is mostly cast iron. The difference is cast iron holds heat in, aluminum wicks it away. When you cook mineral oils, they break down to their base elements which in most is waxes. This is where the sludge comes from.
Synthetic oils do not break down in this manner. When they are "worn out" it is really due to contamination from engine blowby.
This engine is very sensitive to poor fuel quality. At most gas pumps you have 10% ethanol. That is a poor quality fuel. The engine does have a knock sensor so it can back out the ignition timing if it detects any knocking. But it cannot eliminate it.
Rod bearing failures baring oil starvation is usually caused by prolonged spark knock. Running a higher octane fuel is probably a good idea.
There is a big picture to we need to focus on when it comes to issues with these small, high output engine. And this concern is for all makes, not just Chrysler. Toyota, VW and GM has had similar problems. This 2.7L engine make 200HP at the tires. All that with 165 cubic inches of engine. That itself is amazing. But has this come with the use of high technology and superior metals and better oil? No, there is a cost.
These engines are sensitive and because of this neglect will kill them much sooner than an old fashion cast iron V8 powered vehicle that dad drove.
In the old days engines were "detuned" to make them last for decades. Now they are pushed to their limit to make more power. This calls for a different mindset in care and feeding of them.
 

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Where do you get your "Chrysler" information from? The factory owners manual and factory service manual literature say no such thing.
2004 Dodge Intrepid owners manual: https://www.box.com/shared/8rrxqg61ao
Page 175 for 2.7L engine oil selection recommends an API certified 5W-30 motor oil meeting MS-6395.
Page 215 for scheduled maintenance 'B' (for the harshest duty) has no maintenance interval for the 2.7L timing chain.
 

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More information at good ole Allpar:

http://www.allpar.com/mopar/V6/27.html

Not the following:

The 2.7 liter engine originally had a tendency to generate sludge which caused engine failure. Similar problems have been appearing on Toyota and Volkswagen engines. We were told that, shortly after the first reported cases, Chrysler isolated the problem to the crankcase ventilation system; hydrocarbons were entering the oil and breaking down the additives. This problem was solved (around 2002-2004), and the number of engine failures appears to be small.
Synthetic oil not required. Just make sure whatever motor oil you use is the proper SAE grade that meets API and MS-6395 specifications.
 

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ImperialCrown said:
Where do you get your "Chrysler" information from? The factory owners manual and factory service manual literature say no such thing.
2004 Dodge Intrepid owners manual: https://www.box.com/shared/8rrxqg61ao
Page 175 for 2.7L engine oil selection recommends an API certified 5W-30 motor oil meeting MS-6395.
Page 215 for scheduled maintenance 'B' (for the harshest duty) has no maintenance interval for the 2.7L timing chain.
Yeah....let's believe the guys that want to sell us cars (Chrysler) about what is best for our cars servicing needs....lol .....and blow off hands on information from years or people owning and working on these cars.

There is information all over the WEB that the 2.7 has issues with chain and pump failures and they can be avoided with proper maintenance as suggested above every 100K
 
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