Chrysler Sebring 2002- Time to get a new car?


90K miles. Little things are going wrong…electrical windows needed to be worked on, rear brakelight needed replacement in 2005, now headlights need replacing. And the “check engine light” has been on since 2005. Help?


Most of these items are maintenance items, and inexpensive ones. Just get the work done. All cars need new lights. I replaced all 4 power window regulators between 100,000 and 115,000 miles on one of my cars for less than $300 (I did it myself). Get the OBD-II code read for the check engine light and let us know what it is. We can help you figure out what needs to be done.


It isn’t uncommon for “little things” to go wrong on a 7 year old car. Why didn’t you address the check engine light in 2005 ? I wouldn’t consider a new car at this time, have the big $$$ repairs been performed yet (i.e. timing belt + water pump) ?


90K miles is nothing for a modern car if it is properly maintained. Sorry to be harsh, but ignoring the “Check Engine” light since 2005 idicates that you HAVEN’T properly maintained the car. Have you at least kept up with oil changes?


If you’ve managed to ignore that golden yellow CEL lamp for 3 years this speaks volumes about how the car’s maintenance; or lack thereof.

If I were going to purchase a used car from someone and found out the CEL had been on for almost a third of a decade my feet would be hitting the ground hard running away from it.


That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Regarding warning lights:

  1. if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  2. if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  3. if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

    ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.

But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.

Ignoring at CEL that long is criminal. Not only do you know something is wrong with your car and you don’t know what it is and it could be causing additional damage or leave you stranded, but you will not know of other problems develop.

My opinion for you is to buy a new car every year and ignore all other advice. Add gas and do no other maintenance.


“My opinion for you is to buy a new car every year and ignore all other advice. Add gas and do no other maintenance.”

LOL, my grandfather used to do that in the 60s. He wasn’t a “car guy,” so he just bought new Cadillacs every year or two and beat them into the ground (those were the only cars that ever made me car sick, real boats).


As has been suggested by others, your approach to maintenance is in need of a reality check. Yes, light bulbs do burn out–whether in your car or in your home. Just as you replace them at home, it is not unusual to have to replace them in your car after a few years. And, the cost is so minimal (with the exception of some headlights) that I just can’t see why you would even mention having to replace light bulbs.

And, power equipment–like power windows–sometimes does need to be repaired after a few years. This is not something that is really unusual.

However, the CEL is another story altogether. Ignoring this signal for at least 3 years is certainly not something to be proud of. By not taking this warning light seriously, you may have been using more gas than is necessary, or you may be putting excess pollutants into the air, or… Unless you take the time to find out what the CEL is warning you of, then you are essentially ignoring vital maintenance or repair of your car, and this inevitably leads to higher repair costs in the long run.

If you are really interested in avoiding the need to buy another car, you need to take a more proactive approach to car maintenance. On the other hand, perhaps Mr. Meehan’s advice, “buy a new car every year and ignore all other advice. Add gas and do no other maintenance”, really would be the best approach for you.