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Dodge Spirit Guides

Fun Facts about the Dodge Spirit

  • According to Car & Driver, the Dodge Spirit R/T was the fastest four-door sedan in North America back in 1991. Reaching 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds, the Dodge Spirit R/T was even able to beat the 6.4 seconds it took the 1991 BMW M5, one of the leading high-performance cars, to reach 60 miles per hour. Since the Spirit R/T was not really marketed as a big performance vehicle, these figures show that the 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T is actually one of the little-known sleeper cars.

  • When the Dodge Spirit was introduced in 1989, it received a warm reception as the replacement for the smaller Dodge Aries and the Dodge Lancer hatchback. With around 60,000 units sold in its first model year, the Dodge Spirit successfully replaced both the Aries and the Lancer in the Dodge lineup.

  • The Dodge Spirit was also sold in Mexico but it was rebadged as the Chrysler Spirit, since Mexico mainly associated the Dodge name with trucks back then.

  • From 'True Blood' to 'Spiderman 2', the Dodge Spirit has already appeared in over 60 movies and television series. From being a mere background vehicle in popular films like 'Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles' and 'Basic instinct', to being the main character's vehicle of choice in 'Kuffs' and 'Frozen River', the Dodge Spirit has proven to be a very well-liked vehicle in the movie and TV industry.

  • The Dodge Spirit, with its Chrysler AA platform, was a derivative of the famous K-platform from Chrysler. The then-popular K-cars, namely the Plymouth Reliant, Chrysler LeBaron, Dodge 400, and Dodge Aries, were front-wheel drive American cars that were able to carry up to six passengers. The six-passenger seating was made possible by the use of a three-seat-per-row bench setup.

  • Bolstered in part by its title as America's fastest car of 1991, the Dodge Spirit was named as the "Domestic Sport Sedan of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine. Although it looked more like a typical unassuming sedan compared to the flashier Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output), it was able to beat the Taurus SHO for both 1991 and 1992.

Dodge Spirit Problems

The mid-sized Dodge Spirit sedan was well loved during its seven-year run because of its affordability and seating capacity. Marketed as a reliable family sedan, the Dodge Spirit was able to capture quite a nice chunk of its segment market. Still, the Dodge Spirit, like any other car, had a couple of problems along the way.


Engine problems

Engine oil leaks in Dodge Spirits that are equipped with 2.5 liter four-cylinder engines are one of the most common problems with these mid-size sedans. Many drivers have complained about engine oil leaking from the camshaft seal, valve cover gasket, ignition distributor, and the cylinder head gasket.

Apart from engine oil leaks, some 2.5 liter four-cylinder engines together with a couple 2.5 liter four-cylinder turbo engines and 3.0 liter V6 engines have had problems with stalling and starting due to failed distributor plates on the Dodge Spirit. Some Dodge Spirit users have also heard knocking noises from the pistons and other engine noises caused by broken motor mounts.


Transmission system

Throughout the history of the Dodge Spirit, several service bulletins have been posted regarding the vehicle's transmission system. The most common issues on the Spirit's automatic transmission involved the automatic transaxles that had trouble with starting up, leaks in the transmission pump that resulted to a shuddering in the shifter, and fast wear and tear of several components of the transmission system caused by faulty seals.


Safety issues

Dodge has issued two safety recalls for the seat belts on Dodge Spirits. The first recall was issued in 1991 for seat belts that had faulty latches. Some drivers have reported that these latches can open up during sudden stops resulting to increased injury risks. The next recall was issued in 1994 for seat belt latches that did not satisfy the minimum load requirements.


Other problems

Some Dodge Spirit drivers may also experience problems with the car's air conditioning. There have been a few reports about air conditioners in the Dodge Spirit that gradually lost their cooling power. There were also a few cases of serpentine belts or alternator belts that have been removed from their pulleys when the Dodge Spirit went through deep snow.

Maintenance Checklist for Your Dodge Spirit

The Dodge Spirit proved to be a reliable transportation in a traditionally styled four-door sedan. With a firm ride but great handling, you might feel the uneven pavement, bumps, and dips, but you can trust this car to give smooth feedback when steering, easily change direction, and have a perfect chassis balance. Not to mention that it is also fun to drive. Because of its popularity as a family car, a fleet car, and even as an upscale economy car, the Dodge Spirit sometimes tend to go by with little maintenance from its owners.

  • Inspect your windshield wipers.

It is common knowledge that having clear visibility of where you're driving is crucial, and the first step to maintaining this is by caring for your windshield wipers. On the first day of each month, inspect them for any signs of wear or damage. You might need new wipers if you notice them producing an uneven wipe or if they leave unwiped areas or streaks. You should also have a professional check them whenever you have your Dodge Spirit serviced. Then, whether the blades look worn or not, replace them every six months. You might want to put this in your calendar so you won't forget.

  • Make sure your lights are working.

Another way to ensure you have clear visibility of the road is to have working lights. From the driver's seat, you may not be able to notice if a light has stopped working, so it's important to inspect all of your Dodge Spirit's lights before you go out on a drive. You should also keep the headlights, tail lights, and signal lights clean. Then, make sure that the headlights are properly aimed, so you won't blind other drivers and lessen your visibility on the road.

  • Look after your engine.

Your Dodge Spirit won't be able to demonstrate its firm handling if it refuses to work because of a broken engine, which is why you need to care for the most important component in your car. Fortunately, engine maintenance is easier than one might think. One of its most important aspects is keeping the engine fluids clean and fresh. Think of the engine as the heart of your car, and its fluid as its blood. While our own bodies have kidneys and a liver to keep our blood clean, the engine only has an oil filter, which also needs to be replaced regularly. This is why it's important to change the oil and filter regularly to keep dirt out, which may damage the engine.

  • Do not forget routine maintenance.

Just because you take proper care of your Dodge Spirit's engine doesn't automatically mean the other components will work just as fine. Just like the engine, you still need to maintain each and every part of your car. On a regular basis, inspect the tire condition and pressure level, the dashboard indicator lights, and the windshield washer fluid. Every 3,000 miles or 3 months, inspect the battery and cables, power steering fluid, hoses, and belts. A complete maintenance schedule should be found in your owner's manual.

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