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rec.autos.makers.chrysler FAQ, Part 1/6

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 )
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Archive-name: autos/chrysler-faq/general/part1
Posting-Frequency: 15 days
Last-modified: 2009/1/24
Version: 6.1

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
This section is generally revised every 300 days.
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 IMPORTANT. Do not attempt to respond to faq@allpar.com.
  Due to spam this address DOES NOT GO ANYWHERE.
  Instead, go to allpar.com and provide feedback from there.
  Thank you.
  - - - - - - - - - - - -
* Important Note * Chrysler generally refers to the full Chrysler
Corporation (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth, DeSoto, Eagle, Simca, Rootes
Group, Sunbeam, Singer, Hillman, Humber, and AMC).

DISCLAIMER:
  The author and contributors assume no responsibility for errors or
  omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information
  or opinions contained herein.
  Some of the information is presented as opinion rather than fact.
  The maintainer does not claim to be an authority.
  Information below may be reproduced in any way IF credit is
  given to the writers and maintainer; and it is not published in
  book or magazine form without the prior written permission of the
  maintainer; that the maintainer receives, without asking, a FREE
  copy of the final material; and that no changes are made (except for
  formatting) without the express permission of the maintainer
  (David Zatz - contact me via allpar.com).
  - - - - - - - - - - - -
 The latest copy may be obtained from
 http://www.allpar.com/faq.html which links to rtfm.mit.edu
- - - - - - - - - - - -

CONTENTS

Part 1 -
     Related Resources (groups, Web sites, recall/TSB info)
     Before You Post, Read This!
     Frequently Asked Chrysler/Mopar Questions
     Up and Coming
     The Newsgroup: charter, notes, rationale

Part 2
     What should I do...
          1. ... before I post?
          2. ... if I have problems with Chrysler?
          3. ... if I own this car? (list of models and what to look for)
     Oil Filter Discussion
     List of All Engines Since 1966
          1. Guide to V-8s
     List of All Body Styles Since 1966

Part 3
     Engine Codes
     Classic Car Troubleshooting
     Reading codes without a scan tool
     (computer controlled, carbureted engines)
     Crankcase inlet air filter, 2.2/2.5 engines.

Part 4
     Driveability: engine idling, power, mileage, stalling
     Transmissions
     This part will be discontinued

Part 5
     Funny noises
     Oil leaks
     Temperature stuff
    This part will be discontinued

Part 6
     Troubleshooting (except what is covered by parts 3, 4, and 5)
     This part will be discontinued

Related FAQs:
     Neon - maintained by the Neon mailing list.


************************************************************************
BEFORE POSTING WITH COMPLAINTS/QUESTIONS

1. Check the FAQ.

2. Paranoia, overposting, and thoughtless posts are common.
   Show off your intelligence and maturity.

3. Do not confuse Chrysler with your dealership,
    the zone office, or the guy who picks up the phone.

4. If you are having problems with Chrysler or your dealer, read
   the relevant parts of the FAQ (1, 2) and the Web site.

5. The natural inclination of people who have been mistreated is
   to respond to many posts. However, all companies sometimes make
   lemons or fail to treat customers well. Try to restrain anger.

************************************************************************
- Related Resources:

        http://allpar.com/  - major owner/enthusiast site
        * Models, history, repair, performance info

         Phone Numbers
        1-800-992-1997  Chrysler Customer Service - USA
        1-800-465-2001  Chrysler Canada
        1-800-255-9877  adapting new vehicles for people w/disabilities.
        1-800-626-1523  Mopar catalog of manuals, videos, books (free)
        1-800-677-5782  local 5-Star Dealer locator
        Mopar Performance Tech Line: 1-888-528-HEMI.
               Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM ET.

    Other Resources

        Plymouth Owners Club (Plymouth & Fargo 25+ years old)
        203 Main St., Cavalier, North Dakota 58220
        Great magazine! http://www.plymouthbulletin.com/

        WPC Restorers' Club (Walter P Chrysler Club)
        Also a good magazine!
        http://www.chryslerclub.org/

        Chrysler Canada Customer Service:
        Chrysler Center, P.O. Box 1621
        Windsor, Ontario N9A 4H6

        Chrysler Europe NV
        Woluwedal 106-108, 1200 Brussels, Belgium - Europe

       The Chrysler Historical Foundation, at 12501 Chrysler
       Freeway, CIMS 410-11-21, Highland Park, MI 48288,
       can supply you with service manuals, build records,
       and stock photos for a reasonable fee (1967 or older cars).

       Other cars, http://www.acarplace.com/
       Valiant series, http://www.valiant.org/
       PT Cruiser, http://www.ptcruizer.com/

Newsgroups
        rec.autos.makers.chrysler
        rec.autos.makers.jeep+willys
        alt.hi-po.mopars
        alt.hi-po.mopars.neon
        alt.autos.dodge.trucks
        others in rec.autos.*
.       wiz.mopar

Chrysler was the first make in the rec.autos.makers.* hierarchy, but
Volkswagen was the first make to have a Big Seven newsgroup.
Chrysler beat both GM and Ford to having a Big Seven newsgroup!
The first request for discussion was filed by David Zatz on
July 28, 1994.

************************************************************************
Thanks to Gene Fusco for the Mopar Mailing List's FAQ; thanks also to
Lloyd R. Parker, Wayne Toy, Bohdan Bodnar, and Dan Stern.

*************************CONTENTS*****************************

This is divided into corporate and car sections.

I. CORPORATE

1. What does DCX mean?   DaimlerChrysler
     DCX is/was DaimlerChrysler's stock symbol. The company will
     be / was renamed Daimler in summer 2007. The former Chrysler
     Group became Chrylser, LLC, part of Chrysler
     Holdings, LLC, a privately owned company 80% owned by Cerberus
     and 20% by Daimler.

     A current deal has Fiat exchanging access to all of its
     small car technologies and designs, in exchange for a 35%
     share of Chrysler, LLC. Cerberus will also give equity to the UAW
     for the health care fund, retaining only equity in Chrysler Financial.

     The Fiat deal will once again push a majority ownership outside
     the United States, but will also give Chrysler access to technologies
     and an infrastructure that it no longer has thanks to nine years of
     Daimler ownership.

2. What is Chrysler's US customer service number?  800-992-1997

3. What is Chrysler's e-mail address?

   Contact Chrysler via a Web form - see "contact us" on their
   brand web sites (e.g. dodge.com, chrysler.com, jeep.com).

4. What about the merger / takeover?

   Chrysler execs got about $60 million in personal profit.
   Daimler bought Chrysler, doubling their profits, then
   reportedly siphoned off Chrysler profits via accounting
   tricks to make Mercedes look more profitable.
   Daimler spent Chrysler's $8-10 billion war chest.
   Only one Chrysler rep on the board left from original four.
   Many plants were sold. Others are being sold.
   Decontenting to fix Mercedes' losses became noticeable.

   Chrysler was transferred to Cerberus, a private equity firm,
   in summer 2007, with Daimler retaining about 20% of the new
   Chrysler Holding, LLC. Chrylser, LLC was part
   of Chrysler Holding with the other part being Chrysler Financial.

5. What about building cars in China?
    See http://www.allpar.com/cars/concepts/dodge/china-car.html
    for the current status. At this point Chrysler appears to be
     readying itself to build cars in the US.based on Fiat designs.

7. What's the deal with Chrysler and Mitsubishi?

    The Avenger/Sebring and Caliber were
    jointly developed - Chrylser was leading
    both, though they used newer Mitsubishi basic platforms.
    (MMC has now decided not to use the mid-sized sedans.)
    Partnerships with Mitsubishi appear to have ended.

    You can read about Chrysler's future
    vehicles at http://www.allpar.com/model/upcoming.html

9. How reliable are Consumer Reports' ratings?

   See the discussion at http://www.allpar.com/cr.html

10. How can I get help for problems Chrysler won't fix?

   See the discussion at http://www.allpar.com/trouble.html.
   Keep trying the Chrysler Customer Center. Know the TSBs.
   Visit http://www.nhtsa.gov ... keep trying and keep your cool.

11. What's the deal with Chrysler Europe, Simca, and Talbot?

  Chrysler owned Simca and Rootes until the late 70s, but
  sales kept going up and down (usually down). Peugeot bought them
  and sold the Omni as the Talbot.  They had Simca/Sunbeam engines
  (Lloyd Parker). The Centura sold in Australia was a Simca (Dan Stern).
  See http://www.allpar.com/world/ for many details.
  These cars and the former Rootes Group brands, such as Singer,
  Sunbeam, Hillman, and Humber, are covered by
  http://www.rootes-chrysler.co.uk/

********

14. Should I use high octane gas?

    Only if your car was designed for it (see your owner's manual) or if
    you've advanced the timing or your engine is knocking. According to
    Chrysler and others, many high-octane gasolines have a low
    driveability index, which can cause long cold start times,
    warm-up sags, hesitations, and driveway die outs.  Under the law,
    ALL gasolines sold in the US must meet certain standards for
    detergent; if you really need to "drive your engine clean" get a
    bottle of Techron or Mopar engine cleaner.

    Chrysler turbo engines are all designed to use premium. The 3.5
    V6 and 5.7 Hemi use midgrade. SRT engines use premium.

20. Is X good for my engine? (includes Slick50)

   The Toyota FAQ (Todd Haverstock) sez: "Independent labs as well
   as engine manufacturer Briggs and Stratton have rendered a
   verdict that Slick 50 and similar oil treatments are useless."
   The Gasoline FAQ says most gasoline additives are useless.
   Others have weighed in on that score, and DuPont sued to prevent
   Slick 50 from using Teflon (unsuccessfully).

22. Did the first-gen Mini really use a modified Neon engine?

    Yes, it's a smaller version of the Neon engine designed for European
    Neons and a small Chrysler that never materialized (due to Daimler-Benz).
    The factory was a joint venture with Rover.

23. What does SOHC, SMPI, etc mean? What do I have?

 Note: No current Chrysler has a distributor or throttle body injection.

 * DIS means distributorless ignition system. No rotor!
 * SOHC and DOHC refer to the number of camshafts; one or two.
 * EFI means electronic fuel injection, such as the following:
    * TBI - throttle body injection; one or two injectors
      spray fuel into the air as it heads to the cylinders.
    * MPI uses one fuel injector for each cylinder. It sprays fuel in
      the intake manifold, firing at the intake valves. Smoother than
      TBI, with more power *and* better mileage.
 * SMPI is sequential multiple-point injection; the injector only
   fires when the fuel can go straight through the valve and into
   the cylinder instead of splashing onto a closed valve.
 * Direct injection sprays fuel directly into each cylinder.
   This is mainly used in diesel engines (thanks, Michael Turley!)
  -- Note: all current Chrysler products use DIS and returnless
     SMPI. Mitsubishi is pioneering direct injection for gas engines.
The current system is coil on plug ignition which provides a separate coil
for each spark plug, located right on top of the plug, for the best control
and spark power.

25. What kind of oil should I use in my four cylinder engine?

   On February 7, 1995, a Chrysler engineer said 5W30 was best for
   all four-cylinder non-turbo engines, for winter or
   year-round in climates such as that of New Jersey.
   All dealers I surveyed incorrectly recommended and used 10W30!
   - In 1993 and 1998 Chrysler said 5W30 was best for all its cars.
   - Dan Stern says synthetic 10W30 is better than natural 5W30.
   - The benefits of 5W30 or synthetics seem greatest in cold
     weather when oil is most viscous (before the engine warms).
   - Even GM recommends 5W30 on their Vortec V8s.
   - 5W30 was recommended for all years of the 2.0 in most climates.
   **** - Hemi uses a different weight than most engines

   CHECK YOUR MANUAL.

   For my car, recommended oil changes are at 6 months / 7,500
   miles. I change it at 6 months or 6,000 miles. GM says many owners
    do not need to change oil until 10,000 miles! If you are concerned,
    use synthetic and change at 6,000.

** CHECK YOUR MANUAL **. Dealers often suggest things like changing
   your antifreeze every three months to get easy money. If
   you exceed Chrysler's recommendations, do the easy work yourself.

   PS> Overheating after a an antifreeze change/radiator flushing
       means your mechanic didn't purge the system correctly.
       Be careful to thoroughly purge the system of air bubbles -
       or invest in head gaskets. This is VERY important.

   AGAIN -
     Check your owner's manual and don't rely on mechanics, who often
     rely on out of date memories for their information. If you have a
     turbo, we recommend synthetic oil. Follow the recommended
     oil change intervals.  GM says many owners do not need to change
     oil until 10,000 miles! But follow the book, not the 3/3,000
     mentality. Most people do not need to follow the severe service
     schedule, according to GM and others.

26. What kind of engine do I have ???

   Raise the hood and check the emissions sticker. You can decode your
   vehicle ID number (VIN) using most car manuals. The emissions sticker
   will tell you the displacement of the engine.

27. What is a Mopar? Do I have one?

   Mopar is slang for a Chrysler-produced car. Some extend it to AMCs
   and to MMC products (e.g. Colt) sold by Chrysler; some restrict it to
   high performance only. It is the name of Chrysler's parts division.
   Mopar stands for MOtor PARts. MoPar is a registered trademark.

28. Which are the Diamond Star models?

   Diamond Star models are those built by the Diamond Star (DSM)
   plant in Illinois. This was a joint venture but is now 100%
   MMC. The Stealth, Colt, Sapparo, Ram 50, and FWD Challenger
   were re-badged Mitsubishis made in Japan.

29. What are the K-cars?

  Herb DaSilva:
    ... Chrysler used the components on the Aries/Reliant (K) in many of
   its other platforms. These platforms... share similar distance
   between the wheels on the same axle, and have the same suspension
   design. Most K variants can swap struts (H is an exception).
   K derivates include:  Laser (pre-88)/Daytona (G), Shadow/Sundance
   (P), LeBaron/New Yorker (J), LeBaron sedan (pre-90)/Lancer
   (H), Dynasty/New Yorker/Imperial (C), Acclaim/Spirit/LeBaron sedan
   (AA). Each derivative has a different wheelbase and floor pan.
   First-generation minivans are also loosely based on the K.

  These cars are collectively referred to as EEKs.
  There is a mailing list for them at http://www.eekcars.com/

30. How do I find the fault codes stored in my engine computer?

    See Part 3 of this FAQ.

32. How often should I change my trans fluid?

   Check your service manual. The severe service definition means that
   the vehicle is operated *primarily* in one of those conditions.

   MODERN TRANSMISSIONS WILL BE DESTROYED
   IF YOU USE THE WRONG FLUID.
    See http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html

   Even some 3-speed transmissions are NOT compatible
   with Dexron - read your manual !!!

34. What kind of gas should I use?

   Use the octane level your owner's manual recommends and the brand
   you have had good luck with. If your engine knocks adjust the timing.

35. No longer relevant; deleted.

36. What about lemons?

  To quote the rec.autos FAQ --
  every auto manufacturer has manufactured a lemon or two; even Honda
  admits to this. Please don't waste everyone's time by announcing to
  the world that your `brand x' automobile is terrible, so
  all brand x automobiles are terrible, so no one should ever buy a
  car from the brand x company. Such articles are worse than
  useless, because they cause wasted bandwidth while carrying little
  or no useful information.

37. Are K&N filters worth it?

  David Cooley reported on a magazine test of aftermarket air filters.
  The paper filters were respectable, but the K&N and Accell filters
  flowed almost 3 times as much air when dirty as clean paper filters
  of the same size. The K&N passed less particulate matter than the
  paper filter; as it got dirtier outside, they sprayed on a new coat
  of oil (without cleaning) and found it filtered even better.

   K&N filters change your engine sound, rarely need replacement,
  and flow better when dirty. Other than that, you may not notice much
  difference unless you have a high-efficiency exhaust and performance
  engine. There has been debate over the actual filtering ability of
  these filters; the power boost on TBI cars is negligible.
  So. . .probably not.

38. Is there anything special I should do if I have ABS?

   Marv Miller suggests replacing brake fluid every 2-4 years
   regardless of car make.
   Use only the brake fluid the car maker recommends!!! Fully
   depressurize the system before adding or changing brake fluids.
   Note - ABS is now far more reliable than it used to be.
   The primary source of failure is dirt in the sensors, which can
   easily be cleaned.

39. What kind of transmission fluid should I use? Is Dexron OK?

    Use ONLY what it says in your owner's manual to use. Many Chrysler
    transmissions are NOT compatible with standard fluid! ATF+3
    is usually the best one to use with automatic transmissions before
    2001, ATF+4 after.

    THIS IS AN IMPORTANT and very misunderstood issue.

    You should really visit http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html if you have
    a four-speed or five-speed Chrysler automatic. Even most three-speed
    automatics are required to use ATF+4.

40. Are Chrysler transmissions still junk?

    Not if you use the right transmission fluid. By the way,
    the 545 is actually based on the old, reliable 727.
    See #39 and Part 2 of the FAQ.

42. Aren't Chryslers junk? / Has Mercedes improved Chrysler quality?

    Chrysler was working on quality before the takeover, yielding the
    PT Cruiser - which is beating the Honda Civic on quality
    surveys - and the Jeep Liberty, which is also doing very well. Chrysler
    has been making great strides in quality. Mercedes, if anything,
    damaged those efforts by emphasizing an "expert" approach rather than a
    Toyota-style inclusive/participatory approach to quality.

    Look at Mercedes' quality reports, then at Chrysler's. Generally,
    Chrysler quality TROUNCES Mercedes. So how did Mercedes help?

43. Engine sludge - what's the deal?

    Early 2.7 liter engines in some models had a more than normal
    occurence of oil degredation resulting in a thick substance
    called "sludge" which can cause major engine damage. This problem
    also afflected some Toyotas, Hondas, and other makes. If you have a
    2.7 made before 2004, you may want to use synthetic oil (which can
    also lengthen your oil change intervals). This is rare but nasty.
    The problem appears to have been resolved as of 2005.


86. All other questions.

   Check the computer codes or replace the ballast resistor (if you have one!).

******************* UP AND COMING ******************

This section has been replaced by http://www.allpar.com/news/
and http://www.allpar.com/model/upcoming.html

Dual-clutch, automatically shifted manual transmission to
increase acceleration AND gas mileage:
http://www.allpar.com/corporate/auto-manual-transmission.html

Brand new line of V6 engines with state of the art gadgets:
http://www.allpar.com/mopar/phoenix-engines.html

Hemi upgrades:
http://www.allpar.com/mopar/new-mopar-hemi.html

Big changes to the Ram?
http://www.allpar.com/model/ram/2009-ram.html

And of course the new minivans!
http://www.allpar.com/model/m/2008-minivans.html

*********************** AUTOMATIC TRANS FLUID **********************

Many people have destroyed their transmissions by using the wrong fluid.
Some people have had bad transmission problems go away when they changed
the fluid. Follow Chrysler's recommendations. Ignore the alternative fluid
(as in "if Mopar is unavailable, use...").

See http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html for details.

Note that this is also true of Toyotas (as per http://www.toyoland.com )

*********************** NEWSGROUP CHARTER ***********
(This section never changes. The newsgroup was created around 1994.)

- The Newsgroup Rec.Autos.Makers.Chrysler  -- CHARTER

COVERAGE. Rec.autos.makers.chrysler was set up to cover issues related
to cars and trucks made by Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler, Fargo, DeSoto,
Jeep, Eagle, and all other makes sold or marketed by Chrysler Corp.

BEHAVIOR. Political comments and commercial advertising will be
discouraged. However, *short* product announcements, preferably
restricted to the name, availability, and a very brief description of
the product's function (where applicable) are acceptable.

Discussion of whether Chrysler products are of good or bad quality,
lengthy comparisons to Hondas or other cars, and similar arguments and
flamewars with no foreseeable conclusion are heavily discouraged.
Participants are asked to be kind, considerate, and supportive, and to
generally keep an open, warm atmosphere so that the function of this
newsgroup may be maintained.

RATIONALE. This group is proposed to help Chrysler (CC) vehicle owners
to support each other, save money, and maximize enjoyment of their autos.

As in rec.autos.vw, Chrysler owners need a forum where they feel
unreservedly welcomed, and where they can obtain esoteric information
from involved people with similar experiences and vehicles.

This newsgroup should be general enough for those who know little about
cars to get a broad range of information and advise from, while allowing
those more into the products to exchange their views and advice.

In a world dominated by GM, Ford, and VW (Europe) products, Chrysler
owners often find discussions difficult. Most aftermarket parts and
advice are for GM and Ford owners; knowledge about Chrysler is hard to
find. The press don't cover CC as well as they could -- and CC's
dissemination of information to the press and the public is poor.

Chrysler products have quirks which most mechanics don't seem to be
aware of, leading them to replace transmissions when the fault is in a
20 cent vacuum hose, or to replace the engine computer instead of
plugging in a hose or changing a sensor. Chryslers are often seen as
ordinary American cars (unlike makes which many mechanics will admit
they are not familiar with) -- but what will work on a GM or Ford will
often not work on a Dodge. There is a vast ocean of experience in
Chrysler products out on the Internet which may help owners to save
time, money, and trouble.

CC vehicles are common enough, yet idiosyncratic enough, to deserve
their own place in the Net hierarchy -- just as Volkswagens are. In
addition, it is important for CC vehicle owners to have a place to
discuss the problems and benefits of ownership, to exchange detailed
information and personal experiences, in a supportive and positive
atmosphere. In short, I hope to develop a group as vibrant and helpful
as the Mopar mailing list or the rec.autos.VW group have been, while
making this group accessible to all Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Eagle, and
Chrysler owners, even those who don't know what a Mopar is.

FAQ maintained by David Zatz who works at http://www.toolpack.com/

(end of FAQ part 1)


 rec.autos.vw, Chrysler owners need a forum where they feel
unreservedly welcomed, and where they can obtain esoteric information
from involved people with similar experiences and vehicles.

This newsgroup should be general enough for those who know little about
cars to get a broad range of information and advise from, while allowing
those more into the products to exchange their views and advice.

In a world dominated by GM, Ford, and VW (Europe) products, Chrysler
owners often find discussions difficult. Most aftermarket parts and
advice are for GM and Ford owners; knowledge about Chrysler is hard to
find. The press don't cover CC as well as they could -- and CC's
dissemination of information to the press and the public is poor.

Chrysler products have quirks which most mechanics don't seem to be
aware of, leading them to replace transmissions when the fault is in a
20 cent vacuum hose, or to replace the engine computer instead of
plugging in a hose or changing a sensor. Chryslers are often seen as
ordinary American cars (unlike makes which many mechanics will admit
they are not familiar with) -- but what will work on a GM or Ford will
often not work on a Dodge. There is a vast ocean of experience in
Chrysler products out on the Internet which may help owners to save
time, money, and trouble.

CC vehicles are common enough, yet idiosyncratic enough, to deserve
their own place in the Net hierarchy -- just as Volkswagens are. In
addition, it is important for CC vehicle owners to have a place to
discuss the problems and benefits of ownership, to exchange detailed
information and personal experiences, in a supportive and positive
atmosphere. In short, I hope to develop a group as vibrant and helpful
as the Mopar mailing list or the rec.autos.VW group have been, while
making this group accessible to all Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Eagle, and
Chrysler owners, even those who don't know what a Mopar is.

FAQ maintained by David Zatz who works at http://www.toolpack.com/

(end of FAQ part 1)


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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM