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Should I just get rid of this stratus 04

I’ve posted a few question on here already. I got this car last year. It was a good car and it was running fine but this year it has given me loads of problems. First it started to overheat. So I had to take to a mechanic and get a thermostat and sensor replaced. It was ok for about 2-3 weeks and then it overheated again and it was leaking coolant so I had to keep adding coolant to everyday. So I had went to another mechanic and they quoted me $1,6000 for a radiator and water pump replacement and he said he thought it could be a blown head gasket also.

I was ready to just get what I can and get a new car until my dads cousin looked at it and said it was only a bad radiator and he did the job for just $100. This was about a month ago.

And now today, I went to a dealership to get my oil changed and the guy said I have a oil leak. And plus water keeps getting in under my carpets and I still haven’t figured The exact leak. So now I’m just about done. I didn’t want to pay a car note but I’m tired of all of these problems, I didn’t dodge stratus were this bad. Would you just give it up after all
Of this? It has 64000 miles on it.

One million Six Thousand Dollars is a lot of money for that work .
And Yes , just replace this 15 year old vehicle . The water in your vehicle will cause mold and that is a health problem . Also just because this Dodge Stratus has problems does not mean they all have the same problems .
Now about the replacement. Look at a Carfax if you can ( Not always correct but a good idea ) test drive and check every thing on the vehicle . Pay a shop to inspect the vehicle.

How much oil do you have to add? Where is the oil leaking? This may not be an expensive repair. If you are only having to add a quart of oil every 1000 miles, you may be able to live with this problem.
As far as the rain leaks, a body shop may give you some idea of where the water is getting in. If the floor is rusted out, it is time to consider a better car. If the windshield needs to be resealed, this isn’t a high cost repair. If the drain line for the condensate from the air conditioning is plugged, this is a simple fix. Your car is almost 16 years old, so it may have some aging problems.

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Never take an old car to a dealership. Even the slightest trace of oil seepage will be declared a leak that needs to be fixed.

Taking an old car to random various mechanics will result in varying opinions about what has to be fixed.

I could probably take your car and have it serve me well, but someone who doesn’t know much about cars , has to pay a mechanic to get everything fixed, this can be a money pit.

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Slow oil leaks are not a big issue, depending where they are. Pull the oil fill cap off the engine just after you have driven the car. If the inside of the cap looks like a chocolate milkshake, there is a head gasket leak, and you should sell the car. Otherwise, just keep filling the oil when it gets a quart low.

You can use a hose to simulate rainfall. Run the hose water onto a spot and give it time to leak into the car. Check the carpets to see if that area is wet. If not, then move the hose and repeat the inspection. Keep repeating until you find the spot. Run water on all the glass, a sunroof if you have it, and around the doors.

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What’s their definition of an oil leak ? and what’s leaking ?

I honestly should have asked them more questions about the leak. But I already waited 2 hours just for an oil change and was ready to go. He just said it was a small leak and to bring it back to them to see why it was leaking.

I never added any oil because I didn’t know it was a leak until yesterday when I got my oil change. My car was sounding a bit funny when I drove someone suggested an oil change and it was around 6-7 months so I got my oil change and this is when he said that.

Here’s pics of how my oil cap, and dipstick and coolant reservoir looks. If you guys can tell if anything looks odd let me know, it looks ok to me but I’m not 100% sure.

That’s not the cap. It’s the top end of the engine, viewed through the valve cover. I think it’s enough to see that you do not have a leak between the oil and coolant in the engine.

The technician must note that if vehicle has leaks so that the customer doesn’t return 3 days later and blame the shop for the leaks.

If the oil leaks didn’t bother you before why should they now? 16 year old cars tend to leak a little.

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The 1st pic was the picture of the inside after I removed the oil cap.

Ok maybe it’s not a big deal and you guys are right. I didn’t see any oil on the floor or anything. Just a little water but not oil.

Let the car idle in your driveway with the ac on for several minutes

Go drink a cup of coffee or something

Now look underneath the car

Is there some water pooling under the car . . . ?

If not, the air conditioning condensation drain tube may be plugged up, which would explain why your carpet is wet

Well . . . ?

Does the car sound normal now, right after that oil and filter change?

If it does, you know why it sounded funny. And it means you’ll have to check and top off the engine oil level regularly. Every weekend would be a good idea

If it still sounds funny, your engine may already be damaged, which means it’s time to start setting money aside for the next car

@oldtimer_11 is right . . . with proper care, this car could last several years. But you’re going to have to be proactive, when it comes to maintenance

you may want to buy a chilton or haynes service manual for your car. Using just that, you could do pretty much all the basic maintenance, plus a few simple repairs

Yes it does sound normal now but I only drove it to work after the oil change. So I don’t know if that’s long enough to really say that was the issue because it could start back a few days later.

It could be a blown head gasket also i guess . My car did overheat and I known that could cause a blow head gasket now. but I don’t really have Any symptoms. I looked up the symptoms The pics of the oil and coolant looks good, right? don’t have a lot of white smoke coming exhaust coming. A little when the car starts up but it goes away when I drive. And is an oil leak a head gasket symptom because I didn’t see that as a symptom?

And I think the issue with my carpet being wet has to do with the rain because that’s when it gets wet. And when I used the hose to pour water on the front doors the front driver floor did wet. But I’ll try your method too tomorrow or Sunday and see what’s happens. It could be an A/C issue also.

I remember the previous discussion . . . the engine’s not been running hot since the radiator got replaced, correct?

Looks okay, based on those pictures . . .

The next oil change, you might want to request that the old oil be drained into a plastic tub, for inspection purposes. If it looks like moccha frappuccino, you’ve got problems, possibly coolant getting into the crankcase. If it doesn’t look like that, well, that’s a good thing

Sounds like a door seal isn’t doing its job . . . ?

Say, this car wasn’t wrecked or anything like that, was it? Possibly a shoddy body repair could be contributing . . .

Yes. After the radiator got replaced the car is doing great. The temp gauge slowly goes up to the middle like it’s supposed to and never had overheated anymore. And I’ve checked everyday and I’m not losing any coolant at all either. so I don’t understand how it could be a blown head gasket? I thought the symptoms were: 1. Overheating (my car doesn’t do at all anymore after radiator and temp switch replacement). 2. Losing coolant (I don’t have to add coolant the coolant isn’t leaving) 3. Light brown oil/coolant looks brown.( my oil is dark as shown In the pics and my coolant looks green) 4. White smoke from exhaust. ( now I did see some white smoke last night from my exhaust pipe when I got home which kind of worried me but it wasn’t a lot and it went away quickly) I didn’t see any smoke from exhaust pipe when I got home tonight. Maybe it was just colder last night idk, it is cold outside now. So are there any other symptoms of a blown head gasket?

Now about the water issue… door seals that is my dad and I think. But a lot of guys on here from that discussion, didn’t think door seals could be the problem. They were saying the problem is drain holes, but i cleaned them all 4 on the doors. I took the cowl off and the drain holes by the windshield wipers weren’t clogged. And I’m really confused about why the back left side gets wet because That side didn’t get wet by pouring water on the doors just the driver side did. But after it rained one day it was wet again. And The right sides aren’t getting wet at all anymore though.

The car is 15 years old. If you want to keep it, replace the door seals. If you do it yourself, it won’t be all that expensive.

Does this have the 2.4L 4 cylinder or the 2.7L V6 engine? The 2.7L was known as about the worst of the worst on Chrysler products and engines in general for that matter. Odds are it is the 2.4L since it is still running!

If this is the 2.7L, I would start planning to replace it ASAP. Start saving money while continuing to drive the car and making sure the oil, etc. is kept up. The 2.7L seems to be a ticking time bomb although they were a tad better in later years such as your 2004. This engine was the perfect storm of design defects if you ask me.

Be sure the PCV valve is working no matter what. This can cause an oil leak and helps lead to the demise of the dreaded 2.7L. This is a cheap part you can replace yourself.

I don’t seem to recall the 2.4L having any glaring problems. It is now an older car and a Chrysler product so you can expect a few problems. If you can deal with them and want to save money, then keep the car. You still need to be prepared for the day it needs to be replaced.

You might check out and see if this helps you with the decision. Keep in mind most of the horrible engine problems are related to the 2.7L that was an option in this car. Most do not apply to the 2.4L which you hopefully have.