Cars are meant to give people a convenient and reliable means of transportation. A good family car must be able to serve the needs of its passengers excellently. Dodge Stratus is one of the better family-size sedans to grace the automotive market. Sleek, spacious and muscular, the Dodge stratus offered an attractive and fucntional family car that retains excitement and efficiency. The Dodge Stratus boasts of being one of the top choices in the sedan segment ever since it was introduced in 1995.
The Stratus features a distinctive and attractive design that attracted buyers in the highly competitive midsize sedan market. It also featured generous interior room that attracted families. The Stratus had something for everyone. People who crave for the excitement of sporty cars found it in the sporty nature of the Stratus coupe. Families who wanted space and versatility without losing the edge also found the Stratus appealing. The Stratus was indeed aimed originally at a very wide range of buyers, although it is now positioned as a sporty coupe and sedan.
Dodge Stratus owners may enjoy excellent performance and smooth handling. However, like all cars, the Dodge Stratus also has its share of drawbacks. Also, the Startus will eventually get worn down over years of constant use. Repairs and part replacements will become necessary as the car ages. Accidents and other untoward incidents can also necessitate replacements and repairs.
When you need replacement parts for the Dodge Stratus, you can easily find the best, high quality replacement parts at the leading online auto part stores. Shopping for Dodge Stratus parts is a breeze. From A/C condensers to spoilers, you can find them all at the leading auto stores at discount prices.
Fun Facts About the Dodge Stratus
While the general trend in most international automobile manufacturing sees vehicles sourced out to Asia, the Dodge Stratus is one of the few that is sourced out to Russia. The production facilities-located in Nizhny Novgorod-are owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. If you went to Russia, you'd have a hard time finding a "Stratus", though-they're rebranded as the "Siber".
The Dodge Stratus is one among three of the so-called "cloud cars". These were automobiles bearing the name of different cloud formations. The name choice isn't purely accidental or coincidental. Dodge purposely chose the name because stratus clouds are very consistent and uniform in appearance-there's a bit of fun in there too. Stratus clouds are clouds that promise rain-harkening at the car's great potential.
If you go to Europe, you'll find another Stratus being driven about-but this one is made by Chrysler. Now, before you cry foul, that's because Dodge has long been a subsidiary of Chrysler. What's the reason for the different names? The answer is brand recognition. Dodge is simply more widely accepted in the American market; Chrysler in the European market.
If you're a big fan of police procedurals, then the Dodge Stratus is for you. In the first few seasons of NCIS the Dodge Stratus was Gibb's ride of choice up until it was replaced by the Charger, also from Dodge. The Stratus figured in a little goof where it "magically" morphs into a Charger in between shots-clearly, the producers simply reused some old footage!
The Dodge Stratus was the last in the line of Dodge-branded cars to sell a coupe version. When it's successor-the mid-sized Dodge Avenger-was announced and released in 2005, it no longer carried a coupe-version. This trend would continue on into Dodge's future-the focus ultimately shifting to sedans.
A quick way to differentiate later-model Dodge Stratuses was to look at the doors. The 2002 models and up ultimately dropped the "Dodge" badge that used to prominently feature on the doors. While on the topic of badges, the R/T versions of the Stratus carried a prominent "Turbo" badge in the rear.
Top Two Common Gripes with the Dodge Stratus
The Dodge Stratus was a very impressive mid-sized 4-door sedan that came out in 1995. It almost immediately made an impression by placing on Car and Driver's "Ten Best" list in the two years after its release. Looks and performance-wise, it was well received by critics and consumers alike. In a way, one could confidently say that America had finally come up with a car that could at least stand up to the dominance of Japanese-made counterparts. Over its nearly decade-long run, the Stratus sold well, and truly pleased lucky owners all over the country. Every car-however great-is rarely ever perfect, and the Dodge Stratus is no exception. These are the most common problems that drivers have encountered with the Stratus over the years-it pays to be informed:
Engine oil leaks all over the place
Leaks are not too rare an occurrence when it comes to cars-there's bound to be one or a few across the lifetime of your ride. The 1996 Dodge Stratus takes it one further with a leak that begins almost as immediately as it comes out-giving drivers an old-car feel with what's supposed to be a brand new release. Worse, in some instances, this leak from the engine has ignited and caused a fire within the engine compartment.
A recall order was issued for over 40,000 units of the Dodge Stratus in the same year that it was released. Drivers are advised to check if their unit is affected by the recall order as the problem is very serious. Failing that, it would be wise to have the dealer check out the leak, its source, and do a replacement before something more serious or life-threatening happens.
Total transmission failure
This problem was observed in the 2002 model of the Dodge Stratus. It normally begins with an irritatingly loud noise-particularly when the car is in gear. When left unattended, it reaches a point where the gears absolutely refuse to engage, stranding drivers wherever the failure occurs-normally along the road. Commonly, the problem is tied to the transmission pump failing. So far, no accidents have been caused by the failure.
No recall orders were issued. Once drivers start to notice the loud noise coming from the transmission box, they should immediately bring it to the dealer or a repair shop to have it checked out before the entire transmission simply fails altogether.
Keeping Your Dodge Stratus Flying High
In 1995, Dodge introduced a mid-sized, 4-door sedan called The Dodge Stratus that was based on the Chrysler JA platform. At the same time, Chrysler and Plymouth launched twin versions of the Stratus - the Chrysler Cirrus and Plymouth Breeze respectively (appropriately nicknamed the "Cloud Cars"). The triplets made the Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 1996 and 1997.
- The Dodge Stratus was aimed at the middle class market.
The Cirrus was positioned as the higher-end model, the Stratus as the mid-level, and the Breeze as the lower-end model. Although each was targeted at a different price market, the three vehicles were so identical, they had many parts that were interchangeable between them. The exteriors of the three cars appeared very similar, with only slight differences in the front fascia, rear bumper, taillights, and wheels.
- Regular maintenance can prevent oil sludge accumulating in the engine of the Dodge Stratus (except for the 2.7L V6).
Only the 2.7L V6 has the oil sludge problem. Avoid this engine at all cost (all other available engines are very reliable with no major problems).Even with regular maintenance at around 80,000-100,000 miles, the oil sludge defect will eventually overcome the 2.7L engine. One other symptom of oil sludge damage is the"Check Oil"; indicator lighting up despite oil levels being adequate.
The only real fix that can be recommended is to replace it with the larger, more reliable 3.2L or 2.4L engine.
- Observe your A/C's temperature to see if it needs fixing.
When you turn on your car's A/C, warm or hot air pours from the vents. This isn't something you want your system to be doing.
First, measure your car's temperature with an automotive thermometer. The ideal range for the air flowing from your vehicle's vents when the A/C system is functioning properly is approximately 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Recharging the A/C system and sealing any leaks by adding refrigerant and sealer may resolve the issue. Whether you seek help or try it yourself, this step will recharge the system with more refrigerant to restore colder, drier airflow; seal leaks on o-rings, gaskets and hoses. Afterwards, it is best to use anti-wear additives to enhance its performance and prolong its system life.
- Be aware of any warning signs from your car to address potential problems.
A car's behavior is its way of telling its owner that it's time for a tune up. Car owners just need to know how to interpret these signs.
When warning lights on your dashboard light up when starting the car and sometimes stay illuminated, it means there's a problem or potential problem with a vehicle system or component. These are warning signs for something that might be as simple as a burned-out signal light or a possibly more serious case, like a transmission failure.
A vehicle that has trouble starting could be a sign of a weak battery, a defective starter, or a host of other problems.
A vehicle losing power, accelerating sluggishly, or vibrating without any obvious cause are more signs that there could be issues with the engine, transmission, or suspension.
Before you push the panic button, try looking for any kind of advice or solution in your vehicle owner's manual. Refer to the manual regularly, stick to its recommendations, listen to your vehicle's warning signs and act on them.
Dodge Stratus: Two Generations of Sporty Elegance and Excellent Engine Performance
The Dodge Stratus is a four-door family sedan released in 1995, which was meant to replace the ancient Dodge Spirit. The Stratus is also part of the triplets who bore Chrysler’s JA “cloud” platform. The Plymouth Breeze, Chrysler Cirrus, and the Dodge Stratus each bagged a spot in Car and Driver’s "Ten Best List" for the years 1996 and 1997. With a mid-size built and a sporty look, the Dodge Stratus managed to impress a significant number of supporters, which allowed it to produce two successful generations and a coupe version.
First generation (1995-2000)
The first batch of Dodge Stratus has two models. The first one is the base model called the SE, which featured a 2-liter straight-4 engine and an optional 2.4-liter SOHC engine. The second model, known as the ES, originally had a standard 2-liter engine with an option for a DOHC 2.4-liter engine and a 2.5-liter V6 engine. When 1998 came, the 2.4-liter became the standard engine while the 2.5-liter V6 was offered as an option for the ES models. By the year 2000, the 2.5-liter V6 engine became the only available type for the ES variant of Dodge Stratus.
Aesthetically, the original Dodge Stratus models shared most of its interior and exterior designs with the other JA platform cars. The Stratus, Breeze, and Cirrus had nearly identical interiors with only the design of the steering wheel setting them apart. All three are also equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission and optional features like the Auto-Stick, anti-brake lock system, cruise control, power windows, six CD changer, remote keyless entry, and many others.
Second generation (2001-2005)
When the second generation of Dodge Stratus debuted in the automobile market, the Cirrus and Breeze were already phased out. The Cirrus was given a new name as the Sebring but the Breeze was completely discontinued. Being the last survivor in the “cloud car” ensemble, the new Stratus models ditched the old JA platform and got the revamped and definitely more high-technology, Chrysler JR platform.
This particular version of the Dodge Stratus was no longer sold in other parts of North America, particularly in Canada. In 2002, the models that were released no longer have the Dodge logo on their doors. The 2004 edition of the Stratus was redesigned with the goal of increasing customer ratings and sales. The production of the Dodge Stratus in the Sterling Heights Plant of the Dodge Company in Michigan officially ended in 2006.