And the Cirrus Lives on…

About 4 years ago we purchased this 1999 Chrysler Cirrus:


It had roughly 40k miles on it. It was a direct replacement for the Honda Wagon that we had, which was stolen. For some reason we didn’t want another wagon, which, in hind sight was a bad idea.

We were a tad hesitant to buy a Dodge/Chrysler product, especially after coming from Honda’s, but it was newer than what was stolen, had far fewer miles, and was in some ways an upgrade, leather seats, CD player, v6, cute gauges, etc, etc. It also fit nicely with-in the budget from the insurance check.

It now has 117k miles and still runs pretty good for what it is.

The only real repairs it’s needed to date were brakes, and tires (both consumables).

We did go through one episode where the speed sensor died (apparently common on these). The speedo quit, and it shifted down into first and stayed there. This repair was $20 and about an hour and a half of my time. Locating the dang thing was the hardest part, this sensor isn’t easy to get too.

We had the regular transmission flush and fill around 75k because it wasn’t shifting as smooth as it should. Shortly there after it started acting as though the transmission was going to die. Really rough shifting, etc. But that simply passed and, well, it’s chugged along for another 30k miles.

The check engine light came on around 100k miles. But the car still ran perfectly fine, so no rush to fix that.

Last week however, it hiccupped and went into limp mode. It would start up, shift up through the gears one time then back down into 2nd gear when you came to a stop and then stayed there. Ugh…

Transmission problems just suck. The fluid was still red and clean, not burnt. So I was fairly certain it was something electronic. Of course the Chiltons manual in this regard was no help.

After a trip to the dealer, the results are in. $180 for a different speed sensor (apparently there are two). $250 for the EVG valve replacement, and it’s as good as new. Or as good as it was 60k miles ago.

It needs a tune up. No doubt about that, but the dealer cost for that is a whopping $450 dollars. I think we’ll wait a bit. It can’t be _that_ hard, or can it.

We’ll see if we get through this summer with this car and a young driver before we put another $450 in it.

The bottom line though is that this car has been very, very good for us. Will we rush out and buy another Chrysler? Probably not, but it has served us well.