View Full Version : Help with Chrysler parts? (long car rant)

10-07-2011, 12:22 AM
I am soo tired...

My car has now been at a repair shop for 3 weeks with electrical problems. It's a Sebring 2002LX with 27,000 miles on it. The error code indicated that I need a new engine computer and a new cam position sensor. My car is literally falling apart, I keep saying that I double its value when I fill the tank, and I am only half joking. But since I may leave the island in May, I decided to have it repaired rather than buy another car.

Chrysler wants to sell me an engine computer for $850 which is ridiculous. So I called the local Chrysler person to ask for the part number and ordered a refurbished computer with a warranty for $200 from ebay, and a cam sensor for $30 from another ebay dealer. When the computer didn't arrive in spite of the express shipping I paid for, I called and it turned out that the part number was wrong. O.k., annoying but that can happen, I lost a week but I just called the Chrysler guy who gave me another part number based on the VIN number of my car and the company shipped the replacement computer really fast. My local car people plugged it in - and the engine light is still on. The computer complains about an error on a valve - which my car does not have. I called the Chrysler guy who said that could happen because they changed the model in that year and I had a wrong part number. Not his mistake, of course, he only told me what is in his list.... He gave me another part number, I ordered a computer for the third time, it came, was put in - and the car doesn't even start. So, the either the Chrysler guy gave me a wrong part number for the third time, or I got a defective replacement computer. While I was talking to my car guy, he mentioned that he also still needed the cam sensor. I told him I gave him one and he replied that that was a crank sensor, not a cam position sensor. But he built it in anyway. When I asked why, if there was nothing wrong with the old one, I was told because I gave it to him. I asked him whether he was really surprised that people don't trust car repair shops all that much, and he told me that things are not as easy anymore, it's a hard job, and that is why he is a heavy drinker. I couldn't think of much to say after that....

Totally frustrated, I picked up a bottle of bourbon and some chocolate on the way and went home where after 5 minutes my toilet clogged and flooded my bathroom.

Did I say I am really tired...

So, I will pick up a rental car again tomorrow. With the cost I paid for rentals, cabs, and express shipping for useless parts I might as well have bought a new computer from Chrysler. In the meantime, work is piling up in the shop where I can't get without a car, I am almost broke, and I think that all car people are either out to get me or they are idiots. Sorry if you are one of them. But if you happen to know a reliable Chrysler place where I can call and verify the part numbers to sort out this mess, please send me a PM. I will now start working on that bottle of Maker's Mark and some chocolate.


Dave Martell
10-07-2011, 12:26 AM
I told you to buy German :happy2:

10-07-2011, 01:28 AM
Option 1. The Chrysler guy is a dick. Any idiot P&S manager can tell you exactly what components to order based on the vin #. He probably figured out you were going aftermarket and decided to fu*k with you, being he ain't making any money.
Option 2. The guys that sold you the "refurbished' unit gave you whatever they had that was close. Caveat Emptor re. eBay. From my experience, solid state components, once fried, can never be 'refurbished'.
Option 3. Your car guy is a self-confessed drunk. 'Nuff said about that. In his defense, you did provide him with a part, so it's understandable that he would install it.

Not gonna ask why the toilet revolted. :tmi:

Beemers & Audis & Benz's....OH MY! You think a Chrysler is expensive to maintain? Better get a paper route.

Got any insurance on the Sebring? Things catch fire or get stolen you know. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Say no more.

Now, finish your bourbon. Then go and buy a Honda.

Sorry to hear about all this bullsh*t happening around the forum. A lot of us are having a run of bad financial luck lately.

10-07-2011, 04:32 AM
ecchef is right, on a couple of points.
Alcohol is not the problem. Get a Honda.
I like German cars, but stopped with VW's. Every friend I've ever had that owned a BMW or Audi eventually bailed out because of maintenance costs.
I have two Civics, one a 2000 and the other a 2003. With the exception of having to replace the battery in the 2000 a couple of years ago, I have never had to have either car repaired. They just keep on ticking. They are not the most exciting vehicles, and I would much rather be driving a Porsche, but they start each and every time, never breaking down. That is my idea of a luxury car.

10-07-2011, 05:01 AM
Being German, of course I have to say that the German cars are the best, and I think some of the older Mercedeses are actually really nice and reliable. The 1996 300CE convertible was always my dream car. But in reality I fully agree with the Japanese cars being great buys. The best car I had was a 1993 Honda/Acura Legend that I bought used in Germany, drove it for 6 years without any major repairs and then sold it for almost what I had paid for it. The thing is, living in Hawaii I really wanted a convertible. And since I am a pretty big guy, most of them are just too small and uncomfortable for me, so that limits the selection. If Honda brought out a convertble based on the Accord, I'd be all over it. Right now, I'd be happy with any car... As soon as I have an idea what will happen on the job side, I'll think about another one. Need to write more job applications over the weekend...


10-07-2011, 07:20 AM
Keep writing those applications. To hijack Bulwer-Lytton: "The pen is mightier than the cow-sword." Knives can wait.

You've got good karma, Stefan. Things will get better.

Forget the convertible. Unless it's a Volvo C-70. :D

Get an Element. Not a chick magnet, but will perform a variety of tasks very well, and run forever. I'm on my second.

l r harner
10-07-2011, 09:53 AM
those years MOPAR had a hell lof a time with alot of things (liek the crap clearcoat on my truck ) ECM went out on my 98 neon with about the same miles on it too

all that said till i see different i ll drive dodge and if not dodge most likly an inport (but i love my dakota and will drive/fix it till the wheels fall off)

also i tell ever one this
doge cars are liek fair goldfish some you jsut cant make live no matter how nice you care for them and others you could not kill if you tried ( once they make it past 75K miles you know if you got a good one)

Dave Martell
10-07-2011, 10:02 AM
doge cars are liek fair goldfish some you jsut cant make live no matter how nice you care for them and others you could not kill if you tried ( once they make it past 75K miles you know if you got a good one)

:happy2: :happy2: :happy2: :happy2: :happy2:

10-07-2011, 12:47 PM
Beemers & Audis & Benz's....OH MY! You think a Chrysler is expensive to maintain? Better get a paper route.

Every friend I've ever had that owned a BMW or Audi eventually bailed out because of maintenance costs.

I'd start a rant on the maintenance costs I used to pay on my '71 Mercedes 300SEL 6.3....but I'd start bawling again. ;-) For the same money of an adjustable rear shock and walnut burl interior trim....I could have had my house reroofed.

mr drinky
10-07-2011, 01:01 PM
So this is the Chrysler you tried to barter for some wood on another thread ;)

And yeah, Mercedes are great cars, but their maintenance is a bit hefty. I bet in Germany it is more reasonable though.


Andrew H
10-07-2011, 01:10 PM
Things catch fire or get stolen you know.

Forgot to pick up your car after leaving it in a bad part of town? Problem solved.

Pensacola Tiger
10-07-2011, 01:15 PM
Back in 2005, when Hurricane Ivan made landfall here, there were a number of cars that "broke down" on Pensacola Beach the day before the storm hit. That was in good economic times. I suspect that there would be a traffic jam there now if a hurricane threatened.

10-07-2011, 04:18 PM
Oh man, I run the mechanic shop for a wholesale auto auction that sells 2,000 units weekly and keeps 5,000+ units in inventory at all times. I can talk all day long about dealerships, the auto industry, mechanic shops, etc.

My experience with Chrysler/Dodge cars is they simply start falling apart. It might not necessarily be large things that go out, but after 75K it seems that the Dodge Cars (Charger, Avenger, Magnum, Chrysler 300, Chrysler Sebring) lots of little things start breaking. I literally order 5-10 shifter assemblies for the cars listed every week, because they start failing internally. I also have to order an upper coolant housing on the Mopar 2.7 all the time (usually 6-7 a week). Put it this way, I call parts vendors, dealerships, etc. all day long; I have to look up phone numbers every time I make a phone call, but I know our local Dodge dealership's phone number off the top of my head. If I call the parts dept. and say I need the coolant housing for a Charger/Magnum/300 they don't even need the VIN to look it up; that part fails so often on the 2.7 they just know immediately that that is the car I'm referring to. No offense to any Dodge lovers out there, but my experience is they are rattle boxes that fall apart.

German cars--my sister bought a new car in 2006. I pushed really hard for her to get a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, so what did she buy? VW Jetta. "It's super cute," she said. It was a nice car--leather, sunroof, power everything... until the trans started going at 92,000 miles. Cost to rebuild? $3500-$5500, depending on what internal parts were necessary. I called my buddy at a local wrecking yard, his "friend price" for a used junkyard trans was $1750, then I had to install it. If this had been a Honda Civic and the tranny had gone out I could have had it back on the road with a low mileage, tested junkyard engine for less than $1000 parts and labor. I ended up doing lots of research on the value of the vehicle and sold it to CarMax for $7000. Considering the repairs that were needed this was a very good deal on our end. I took that money and bought her a 2003 Toyota Corolla with 101,000 miles. I bought the car on Tuesday.

Mechanic shops (especially dealerships)- Pardon the language, but my experience has been the techs and service writers throw sh!t at the wall and see what sticks. If you bring a car in for a specific repair and it's not under warranty, they'll come back to you and tell you it needs everything under the sun. Depending on mileage, they'll tell you it needs a engine flush, transmission service, differential service, plugs, wires, radiator flush, fluid change, belts, etc. My dad took my mom's van to the dealer for a light, and after they gave him the estimate to fix the light they said it also needed plugs, wires, etc. The problem was, I had just changed all those parts a month before. The tech didn't even look to see if the parts were bad, he just saw the mileage and decided it needed plugs and a bunch of other repairs/preventative maintence that it didn't actually need.

Remember, EVERYONE at the dealership makes a cut off of every dollar you spend, and not only the salesmen; the guys at the parts desk make a commission on every part sold, the service writer takes a cut of every job sold and the mechanic makes his entire living off the work he does. It is in their best interest to sell you on a ton of stuff and just hope you bite on some of the stuff, and if you're gullible and have a ton of money to burn and just agree to all repairs carte blanche, well then they've hit the jack pot. Never take your car to the dealer unless it's under warranty or if you have something special (high end German, etc). Otherwise, find a competent, local mechanic you can trust and don't look back.

10-07-2011, 05:43 PM
Bring your ECU to an electronics repair shop and ask them to go through it. ECU's don't 'go bad' -- they have electrical components or soldered joints fail. They are not magical boxes.

Diamond Star (Mitsu/ Jeep/ Chrys) cars had an issue failing ECUs back in the late 90s. Turned out a few capacitors in the ECU would go bad. Was a $20 fix once someone figured out the issue and spread the word. Lots of people who knoew about the problem picked up cars really cheap from frustrated owners who were tired of throwing money at their cars. The ones who bought them paid a few bucks to get them running again, and typically sold the car for a nice profit.

10-14-2011, 08:37 PM
It's a miracle, after a little over 4 weeks I got my car back today. The third replacement computer seems to work, at least I drove for 15 minutes without the engine light coming on or the motor going out while I was driving... It's almost like a car wth 27,000 miles on it again. Of course, the one window still doesn't close completely, the rear shocks are gone, half the paint has come off from sun damage, the convertible roof is getting old, and the starter sounds a bit weak. But it runs. For now. And the service station guys even went reasonably easy on me. It pretty much cost me the trip home to my folks over the holidays, but it could be worse. Thanks for all the detailed info!


Dave Martell
10-14-2011, 09:26 PM