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FIRST! I have lost all of my coolant and I have no idea why, scared to death to take it to the dealership (was bought used) for any repairs - I have a friend who thinks it may be a cracked engine block - YIKES - will give an update SOON on what I find out
*ALSO BE ADVISED, I WAS TOLD THAT THE SEBRING, 4 DOOR HARD TOP WAS ACTUALLY MANUFACTURED BY MITSUBISHI - just a little nugget I will try to investigate myself.
- Michelle C.,
Kansas City, MO, USA
Originally, in Dec. of 2001 my parents purchased an almost new 2001 Silver Chrysler Sebring Lx-i Sedan with the 2.7 L V6 (Little did I know!?) This would turn out to be one of the poorest designs of the 21st century. The vehicle was purchase for my mother to commute to work and the car lasted all of 5 hyrs. Of course my dad and I had wear items replaced as needed, but nothing drastic or super cost intensive. Well, In Nov of 2006 The vehicle took on a major gasket bretch, resulting in coolant flooding the crank case. Needless to say, at Interstate speeds of 60+ it wasn't long before the oil broke down and lost lubricating properties resulting in bottom end damage. I believe most of the rod main cap bearing fell out. I was told it sounded like monkeys with hammers. So, knowing that an engine replacement was the fastest and most ideal way to go, my dad and I purchased a re-manufactured 2.7 L from Accurate Engines of Grandville, MI. I drove to the factory personally and purchased the motor. Brought the motor back to the local mechanic. Mind you, my dad has spend 2600 dollars with taxes and warrentees and the motor has yet to be installed. We'll, just so you know, we didn't buy absolutely everything, just the vital moving components that make the engine work. (block, heads, and everything that goes inside) so every other part, component was from the original motor. The local mechanic has the the motor and the car for roughly 2 weeks and now they say they have it finished. We were charged a little over 1200 for all the labor and additional taxes. Let's pause right here and take a look at what we have in a nut shell. We have the following 2001 Chrysler Sebring at 103k, a freshly installed remanuf. motor, and close to 3800 dollars invested, with a 3yr. 30k mile warranty on the re-manuf. motor. Moving Forward, most car people know that with a new motor you want to change the oil much more frequently then you do after you've had it a while. The new motor ran fine for a while, for the first 3000miles, the oil was changed @ 500, 1000, 1500, 3000. following the installment of the new motor. So, I made sure that I covered my basis as the customer, but how about covering your basis a repair facility or as a motor re-rebuilder. We will dive into that in a minute. The sebring manage to carry on for a while longer before issues started to arrive. My mother being the one of drove it, the majority of the time, unfortunately, passed away in April of this year. So thats when I began my quest to sell the vehicle. There were a few minjor problems like wheel bearings and windshield wipers, but that I found out was the smallest of my worries. I check all fluids and made sure all was secured, but the motor was over heating. The car now only has 123,00 miles on the odometer. However, if you look at the mileage on the car when the new motor was put in, you would see that it had 103k, leaving approx 20 miles on the re-man. "The car is overheating!!" So, we check in with the local mechanic and he I later found out, "SHOULDN'T be in business!" How could this be? 20k on a rebuilt and the fluid level is with in spec. I took the car to another shop "Car-X" for anyone living in Central Indiana, knows all about CAR-X I'm sure. They say, the water pump, has failed and that water is coming through the weeping holes. So, the warranty company decides to contribute $45 dollars an hour based on what they said is the FLAT SHOP RATE for that vehicle. LOL! What repair shop does work for $45 an hour these days!? Well, we take the car to a cheaper repair facility so the out of pocket expense of fixing the heating issues would be less. $740 dollars later we have a new water pump on the car. I drive the vehicle on the interstate, and sure enough the temp needles stalks its way a passed the half marker, which is the 5th tick marker. So, I pull the vehicle over and shut it over and have it towed back to the shop. They came back and said " All fixed " the car isn't over heating anymore. So I tell my buyer the car is ready, that was after I had already lost another buyer on the car. So between time, repair bills, towing, 3 different repair shops, i have no solved the problem. So, I go to one of my friends who is a lead mechanic at a euro auto repair shop. I ask brief him on everything. he says " we'll have you tried a block test" I said, well no i haven't but i'm assuming out of the three shops one may have. So we went ahead and took a block test from his shop and did one anyway. Sure enough the blue chemical turned yellow, meaning hydro carbons from the cylinders is pushing pockets of air into the cooling system. "Looks like I found out what the REAL problem was." To bad three shops over look this! STUPIDS! As a result, I have to think, I have a blown head gasket or a crack in the head or maybe a crack in the block. Whichever the case, much more work needs to be done before the car is fixed the RIGHT way. So, the car has sat for about 3 weeks and I have a rebuilt motor with 20k blowing hydro carbons into the cooling system. This is due to the over heating of the motor, breaking tolerance limits of the motor, but from what I understand, why did it over heat to begin with. WHAT failed that cause the over heating? Was it a part or component that the local mechanics failed to address or over look? Was it a part or component that the engine re builders failed to address or over look? At 20k on a rebuild whose problem is it anyway? I should still be cover by my warranty, but there are so many stipulations on it. Should I be out of pocket anymore? Should I at least pay for the towing? Who should absorb all the cost? Should I get attorneys and sue? I've had a lot of interest in autos since i was young and i've never heard or seen anything like it. Please advice. Share whatever you know, that may help me take on minimal cost while over coming and fixing the car.
- Chris M.,
Fishers, IN, USA
Thermostat changed twice, fluid levels checked and re-checked. Leaks anti-freeze. Cannot find source of leak. Chrysler mechanics cannot find source of leak. Other mechanics cannot find source of leak. Heads NOT warped, no oil in the water, and no water in the oil. Closed cooling system seems to be sucking air somehow into the water jacket (probably through the leak nobody can find). No air or water leek noted around caps, or hoses. Cannot find the source. Have had three mechanic go over the entire system and "claimed" to fix it several times. Fill up the fluids and "burp" the system to make sure all the air is out -- works for about two days then starts to overheat again, and again, and again. Really a nice car if I could get this heating problem worked out. Thinking about trading it for a Japanese car.
Bruceton Mills, WV, USA