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99 Stratus For Temporary



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ijf0

So last weekend (exactly 165 hours ago) some low life crack addict stole my beautiful Corolla. Anyway, to make a long story short it has not been recovered yet and I'm starting to look into replacing it. Typically I'd get online and search the classifieds and dealer sites for good used Toyotas however as you all know ... there arent really any good toyotas for sale right now due to the gas prices. SO ... ive been looking more into new toyotas since i figure I'll have an easier time finding one of these babies that suits my needs. Problem with that however, is there is a waiting list for most gas-sipping toyota models like Prius and Yaris. Corollas are a little easier to find however I'm not too fond of this year's selection of model/engine combos. Seems if I want a 5sp trans I'm just about stuck w/ the larger engine that tends to sip a little more gas. Anyone have any recommendations or comments on the Prius or Yaris?

And here's my next question: While waiting for my new wheels I'm looking at buying a roughed up temp car to get me through the next few months. Right now I'm looking at a 99 Stratus with about 120k miles. It has a few small problems but their only asking 900 OBO. Known problems are broken power steering and a noisy CV joint. I went and looked at it today and also found the following: engine idles a little rough and has a giant "sway" to it. Enough that you feel it rock the entire vehicle. My first guess would be a weak or non-firing cylinder ... ? Second, when you start the car with your foot on the brake ... it usually stalls out. Once its running you can brake all you want and it stays running, OR if you start the car w.o your foot on the brake it runs alright. I thought I heard a slight vacuum leak coming from the area of the master cylinder/brake booster ... could a small vacuum leak in/near the booster cause this? The last thing would be that the engine has a slight knock to it at idle ... Its not loud, and not a bad sound, just a small clunking in rythem with the RPMs ... maybe this could be the weak/dead cylinder too? I guess I'm not really sure what the symptoms of a dead cylinder are ... anyone? Could it be a bearing in the engine? ... eek!

Thanks

-Ian

Bikeman982

Check used cars from http://www.ebay.com/ or http://craigslist.org/.

The 99 Stratus sounds like it has too many problems (engine, CV joint, etc.) to be a good temporary.

I would not buy it.

You are better off buying an older car with less problems (for the same money).

Sorry to hear about your car. Hope they catch the **** and recover your car.

Yeah, I'm with Bike - I would try and find something else. Stratus is not what I would consider a decent daily driver - unless you like to fix something weekly on the car. Dave would probably have better insight on the Mopar vehicles. The higher trim levels tend to be better off - Status ES for example seems to have less issues, or atleast the owners feel bette rabout the cars. Quality seems to be hit or miss - some say it is an affordable, dependable car - others say they will never touch a Dodge make again.

Since the car has known issues - I would walk away from this one. You're just asking from some trouble there. Price is tempting though - if nothing else was wrong with the car, I would be tempted to buy it and fix it up. But like most things, nothing is simple and you could very easily dump in more money than what the thing is worth.

ijf0

Yeah, unfortunatly I agree with both of you. I never wanted to touch a Dodge from the beginning. I've actually become very partial to toyota however w/ the gas prices the way they are its darn near impossible to find a used one around anywhere. And the new ones are on backorder. Lol.

I was really thinking I could get this one for a few months ... its more inspectable right now than my 94 T100. It would get me back and forth to work. I could fix/replace things like the brakes and CV joint(s) and then sell it and probably not loose any money.

The kicker will be that with my luck I'll have it for about 3-5 days and the engine will seize ... I did check the fluids tho ... they are all pretty decent looking (clear and the rightish color). I'm thinking I may offer him like 700 for it and see what goes down.

It would/will just be an interum car until I can find the one I want.

Ugh ... i hate car shopping.

Bitter

honestly, a ford escort of the 93-96ish vintage. solid little cars and the engines are easy to bring back to running in top condition with a little elbow grease. parts are plentiful and cheap at kinkyards, theyre easy to work on, and pretty reliable. my GF has one and had one before it. with new plugs and 2 new motor mounts, it runs great and is actually fine on the expressways/highway.

decent fuel mileage, not as good as my car though default_wink

Bikeman982

If you looked around a little more, you can find a better deal.

Check craigslist and e-Bay, as well as your local papers.

The Stratus may be tempting, but it will cost you more in the long run.