Not so sunny sunroof

My husband picked out a 2005 Dodge Stratus 2 door car for me almost a year ago. We looked it over pretty thoroughly and did our research but we missed one important thing. It was winter time so we forgot to check the sunroof! We signed the papers and the next day I discovered the sunroof did not work! All it did was growl at me! We called the dealership but they lead us around all over, telling us to take it here and there, and all we got was many dealerships saying they couldn’t fix/replace it because it was not a factory sunroof. I am still angry about it and I have always wondered, was I the buyer, or the dealer responsible for fixing it? It is probably too late now but I need to know! Does “As Is” mean things can be non-functioning when it is sold?

Yes, a car can be sold “as is” with any number of non-functional things. “As is” means exactly that. If you bought the car as is, then you bought it the way it was, and if the sunroof didn’t work that’s too bad.

Please describe “not a factory sunroof.” Is this an electrically operated sunroof?

Has a Dodge dealer looked at the sunroof?

If the car was sold “as is”, that means that you accept the car in its current condition with no recourse if it has any problems.

When buying something “as is”, with no warranty protection whatsoever, it is incumbent upon the buyer to check everything thoroughly, and–hopefully–to have the car vetted by the buyer’s own mechanic. You admit that you did not test the sunroof, and that was a very major mistake on your part.

I’m sorry, but you have no recourse.

In NH all used car sales are by law “as-is” unless otherwise specified in writing.

Try a shop that installs aftermarket sunroofs. I’ll bet they’ll be able to help. And it may ont cost as much as you fear.

I pretty much figured that…Yes, we drove to their cooperating Dodge dealer 45 min away, and they informed us an after market sunroof had been installed. I thought something like that would have been on the carfax but I was wrong on that as well! I researched the brand on the sunroof and the nearest installer for that brand is 3 hours away. I talked to a friend that is a mechanic and he figured it needed a new motor and quoted me at least $1,000 to fix it. Currently, the car at 52,000 miles is only worth $3,900 so replacing the sunroof just isn’t worth it to me.

Anyone who relies on CarFax to inform them of the maintenance record or any problems in a car’s history is likely to be very disappointed. Unfortunately, it seems that the bulk of the public has been taken in by CarFax’s advertising. It is one tool that can help a car buyer, but their reports usually omit more than they include.

Thanks for all your responses, I got what I needed, closure on the topic!

So an expert like yourself must be a mechanic? Dealer?

Let it go and hope it never leaks. As-is means that, no recourse unfortunately.

Thanks, yeah I am looking forward to getting rid of the car when the snow melts! It’s just kind of sad I never got to enjoy a sunroof, it would have been nice…It’s the first vehicle I’ve ever had that gave me trouble…I shouldn’t have let my husband pick out the vehicle! I pick next time! Thanks to everyone for making me a better buyer the next time around!

You can count me as a very experienced car owner who used to do his own repair work until physical problems interfered with that pursuit. If you doubt my opinion of CarFax, simply use the “search” function at the top of the page and you will should see several threads that discuss the limitations and inaccuracies of CarFax.

If the sunroof is the only fault I sure could not see getting upset and wanting to dump the car over that little glitch.

You might check around in the yellow pages for some automotive accessory shops. These are the types of businesses that do sunroof installs, striping, and whatnot. They often perform the installation of aftermarket sunroofs for car dealers and there’s at least a decent chance the shop could repair yours quickly and reasonably.

If it growls then it may be nothing more than a sticking sunroof that is hanging up on a track or seal.

That’s not the only problem, the air conditioning went out this summer, tried filling it but it must have a leak, it has recently started exuding a smell a lot like anti-freeze when we’ve started it, so I’m just going to go with my gut on this one and dump it before we have to start putting money into it. A two door car just doesn’t work when you’re about to start a family. A car seat just doesn’t fit too well when you’re trying to get it in and out the backseat, trust me, I’ve tried it!

It sounds like this car just wasn’t right for you anyway and is going to need some bucks dumped into it real soon. I think you’re making a wise decision getting rid of it.

Let me suggest that when you go to replace it you get a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore. You’ll be able to see everything available plus a history of reliability data by system. It improves the odds of avoiding problems.

Sincere best.

If you don’t like the car, get rid of it. We bought a new Ford Tempo back in January of 1985. The car had no problems and ran fine. However, my wife didn’t like the car–it was noisy on the highway. This was the only car I’ve owned that I didn’t drive past 100,000 miles. We traded it in 1988 for a Ford Taurus which was much more satisfactory. Dump this car and buy something you like that fits your needs.

I know the car seat problem well. We went through that back in the 1970’s when my son was little. We had a 2 door car and it was hard to put him in the back seat. My son went through it with our grand daughter. I don’t know how little kids stand those car seats today. The car seat my parents had for me back in the early 1940’s had an ashtray–I haven’t seen a modern car seat with one.

Thanks for the advice, I think I shall purchase that!

FYI, I think the two door Stratus is based on the Mitsubishi Eclipse, and has very little in common with the four door Stratus.

I think you are right. We rented a 2 door Stratus once while on vacation. We had reserved a Ford Taurus, but the rental agency didn’t have the car we reserved. The car ran o.k., but I didn’t find it very comfortable and certainly wouldn’t want to own one. I’m certain is was based on the Mitsubishi. The following fall, our institution rented us a 4 door Stratus when we went on a recruiting trip. This was an entirely different car. It was a 4 cylinder and was rather noisy and I don’t think I would want to own the 4 door either.

I would not put a lot of faith into any publication or outfit like Carfax about which is the best car to buy; especially when it involves a used car. When a car is designated “Used” all bets are off and it’s a coin flip as to how good it is.

Agree that you should consider trading the car off due to the A/C and coolant smell you mention as these problems could possibly be expensive to repair, depending.

I would also not blame hubby too much for this at all. Even if you have a very thorough inspection of a used car done by the best of mechanics there is no guarantee that a used car will be trouble-free.
A car is a huge collection of used parts; any of which can fail at any time and for which there is no test to determine their longevity. A thorough inspection only increases the odds in your favor.

“I would also not blame hubby too much for this at all”. I’ve learned through many years of marriage not to pick out a car for my wife. We had a 1988 Ford Taurus that my wife really liked. We inherited a 1989 Sable, so we let our son take the Taurus. My wife hated the Sable, even though the Sable had more features–power locks, power seat, nicer trim, etc. The reason–the Sable had a 3.0 liter V-6 while the Taurus had a 3.8 liter V-6 and ran quieter on the highway. The last car my wife chose for herself was a Toyota 4Runner. Her mother was in a nursing home 50 miles away and my wife wanted the 4Runner for bad roads. She tested other SUV’s, but this is the one she liked the best. I’m not certain that the OP would have liked the Stratus even if there were no problems.