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Old 11-01-2009, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Wellsville, Glurt County
2,845 posts, read 8,506,462 times
Reputation: 1365

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Hi guys, I know usually I am good for giving advice on stuff like this but suspension work is DEFINITELY not my forte so I thought I'd run it past the experts on here...

This is my father's car, a 2000 Dodge Intrepid ES with the 3.2l V6. Nice car, especially since it was free, has about 145k miles on it. Ever since he got it over a year ago it's had several different steering & suspension issues...they are as follows:

1) More play in the steering wheel than I have ever experienced on any vehicle. There is a good 4" dead spot from center. A local shop explained this as the tie-rod ends and charged him several hundred dollars to fix them right after he got the car but it made no difference whatsoever.

2) When making tight left hand turns, there is a very loud THUD just before full lock. This should honestly be fairly easy to diagnose but I hate working on this car, or anything on the Chrysler LH platform so I've never even checked it out.

3) It bottoms out like crazy, worse on the left (driver) side. Even on minor road deformations at speed on the highway. This is bad enough that an oil hose has been knocked loose several times and needs to be reattached every so often.

He has only had it for about a year and 10k miles. These problems are minor enough to live with for the kind of driving he does (mostly all local), but I worry that they might eventually evolve into something very unsafe. The previous (original) owner took terrible care of this car, but aside from the problems listed it has been reliable, safe and comfortable. My dad is also known for taking awful care of his cars, and I've got off from work for the next few days so I'd like to go over it.

Any suggestions??
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Acres
1,777 posts, read 3,861,913 times
Reputation: 878
well, it probably needs a steering gear, and the gear and labor will be outlandish, because of the location of the steering rack (behind the engine)
it also probably needs new struts, possibly springs
the thud, is probably the steering stops, or a tie rod or ball joint popping, even an upper strut bearing...

really needs to be on a lift to be looked at, you could have a serious safety issue
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:59 AM
 
6,368 posts, read 12,498,857 times
Reputation: 5819
These cars eat inner tie rod ends and cradle bushings. Bad cradle bushings will cause all sorts of (safety) problems. If you feel like checking it yourself, this will tell you how:

Suspension Check [Archive] - Dodge Talk Community Forum

Otherwise, take it to a trusted independent shop and have it diagnosed.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,105 posts, read 39,465,141 times
Reputation: 9308
The more I learn about these cars the more I *don't* want to own one.

When that stupid "cab forward" ad of theirs first came out, I thought immediately: "OK, yeah, you made the people tank bigger at the expense of the size of the engine room. I bet these will be a real peach to work on..."

Sometimes I hate it when I am right.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:23 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,075 times
Reputation: 10
Hello guys!!! I am having problems now with my steering and suspension when I am driving on the freeway at about 70mph it runs smooth but when ever I slow down to exit I get this shake that sounds like the wheels are about to fall off and this lady behind me signaled for me to pull over and she said I was like wobbling and shaking....and it bottoms out when going over a speed bump.....my previously problems consisted of a small fire under hood then it started overheating the a/c wouldn't work and my signals just up and stopped working I mean I was traveling and went to exit the highway and no signal and really it is just one thing after another but in the beginning the car ran smoothly I have only had it for about 8mos....I like it when it is running correctly but that is like far and in between.. the last problem I am encountering is my doors will not unlock it only started with the front passenger seat and now the driver door is the only one that will open and when I hit the keypad to unlock it makes this really loud sound like a grinding..so if anyone has any suggestions for me other than sell the damn car please advise me......thanks
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