Timming chain check engine light

i have a 2004 dodge intrepid 2.7 with 80,000 miles just bought it in august of this year…for 5,000. im having problems and found out the timming chain needs replacing is this expensive?

What kind of problems are you having with it? Unfortunately, you got a very nice car with a very troubled engine. The 2.7L in those cars have had a lot of problems relating to the timing chain and water pump ever since they came out. They have a tendency to sludge up, even with regular oil changes, resulting in oil circulation problems, which I suspect you are experiencing. If you do a web search for “timing chain chrysler 2.7L”, that will pretty much tell the tale. Repairs will be very expensive, and you may still have to replace the engine later on. Hopefully the rebuilders have found a solution for these troubled engines.

Yes And No, Mostly Yes.

Did you know you had a timing chain before being told you need one ?

Some cars have timing chains and many others have timing belts, intead. Many engines can suffer hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage if either breaks.

Belts need replacement at intervals usually ranging from 60,000 to 120,000 miles. Chains generally go beyond 200,000 miles.

Both require about the same labor to replace and the parts for a chain replacement are more expensive than that of a belt.

Call a dealer and a couple of independent shops for guesstimates.

Don’t wait for it to skip time or break. Get a second opinion that the car needs a timing chain. Don’t be surprised if you’re told to replace guides as well and many folks go ahead with a new water pump as preventive maintenance.

Be sitting down when you get the guesstimates and be prepared for something in the $700 to $1,000 range.


The 04’s Didn’t Have A Sludge Problem Like Earlier Editions, Unless It Was Abused And Any Car That Is Abused Can Sludge.

Intrepid owner/operator

actually this is the only problem ive had with it and when it made this noise i parked it called a mobile mechanic he came took it apart and gave me the broken piece i had heard like metal rattling around and parked it when this happened the check engine light came on…i bought it in san jose from a independent dealer…the guy that looked at it sid he could tell it had been worked on before…it doesnt heat up shimmy or cut out or anything goes down the road fine until this problem…i should sell it hu? geeze i cant beleive this and consumer reports said this is an excellent car???omg

no i didnt i didnt know what the noise was then saw check engine light on and parked it…how can i sell this car for close to what i bought it for if this is a huge problem? i feel i got taken being a female and all im in a new area, byself,and really cant afford all kinds of car repairs…im sick over this

yes i just talked to the mobile mechanic its a timming chain…he said it doesnt have a timming belt?hope hes right im scared of being taken for beings i am not a mechanic

How many miles have you driven since buying the car? August is 4 months ago. It is very possible you weren’t “taken” and the seller was not aware of any problems with the car and/or the motor. Unfortunately with used cars, stuff just happens. It’s not your fault as long as had the oil changed since you had the car and have kept up with maintenance.

Facts of life are cars are expensive. Cars can break. Sometimes it is just bad luck. None of this makes you feel any better, but what you are experiencing is not uncommon with car ownership.

Debbie, Pay Attention. This Is Important.
Was The Car Running (Was Going To Keep On Running) When You Shut It Off Or Did It Shut Itself Off ?
Besides The Awful Noise, Was It Running Fairly Normally Or Was It Shaking Unbelievably ?

You did the right thing shutting it off. You may not have any choice, but to fix it. It actually may be way cheaper than other options.

If the engine bent valves (suicidal self destruction) as it was yelling for help, this would almost total the car. Either way, You won’t get diddly for it the way it sits.

Do you have any idea what the guy handed you ? OMG, was it a piece of timing chain guide ?


"consumer reports said this is an excellent car’

Are you sure about that? Did the seller provide that bogus information?

If you take a look at the April, 2010 issue of CR, you will see the 2004 Dodge Intrepid listed as one of the “Worst of the Worst”–i.e., cars with an unusually high incidence of mechanical and/or electronic problems.

Unfortunately, I think that you bought a model whose repair record is…not good to begin with…and if the previous owner(s) did not change the oil often enough, that could have exacerbated the latent problems of this model.

For a timing chain to produce problems at only 80k miles, you are probably looking at a situation where the previous owner(s) abused the car either through lax maintenance or by doing a lot of full-throttle acceleration runs.

yes i had it taken care of since i got it and have driven back and forth to livermore and san francisco several times i think it was 77,000 miles id have to check for sure and i understand about buyer be ware but this is not right for anyone us as consumers to hae to deal with i contacted the congressman not that it will do any good but i feel like this is fraud for everyone who has experienced this…i did not do anything but maintain and change oil and it was running fine except for that noise and i parked it and havent drove it since it drove fine i did spend 600 getting some thing with the bracket that holds on the tire i am getting my records out right now to see the mileage and repairs ive done on it…thanks for listening

it still starts, doesnt run hot, shake or anything except for that noise and check engine light came on i did have brake lights fixed when i first got the car they were out…it lookes like a flat plastic piece he said goes round the timing belt…at least he did not charge me a penny and had his friend from another shop here in lodi contact me by then i had read all this stuff and am just so upset they were honest…if i had the money it wouldnt bother as much but i cant sell it knowing someone else is going to have to go thru this crap…

i looked it up online and was postive thats that is what it said or i wouldnt of bought it…i did try and return the car because of the brake lights and wouldnt pass smog and he took it for a day and low and behold it passed smog…now im begining to wonder if this guy i bought it from well i know he took advantage of me i paid cash for it and then realized the brake lights didnt work…i should of got my money back at that time but thought he wouldnt lie hu? knowing my situation and all so really bad me but it just seems like someone should not get away with this kind of thing to honest kind hard working people…i know theres nothing anyone can say or do except you bought it as is and thats that i do thank you for your time and information

How Long Did The Mobile Mechanic Work On Your Car In Order To Remove The Broken Part ?

I think there will have to be some more diagnosis and probably disassembly to give a more accurate assessment and estimate. I’m thinking that altough it may be more than you’re budgeted for, repairing the car could very well be the least expensive route to take.

The reason I discussed timing belt and timing chain replacement intervals earlier is that I was trying to illustrate that some cost goes with maintaining a car for everybody.