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Intrepidation

Life Sucks

15 posts in this topic

This is mainly about my car, but also how much my life sucks in general right now.

For those who may not remember or care (then don't bother reading the rest of this post), Wednesday was the day I bought my very first car, my Dodge Intrepid (Friday I took delivery of it). To celebrate, I planned to give it a thorough cleaning inside and out, especially since we were going to take it to my cousin's for Thanksgiving. However, since it was cold, raw, and kind of rainy out, I just couldn't get up the energy to go do it. So instead I got up early Thursday morning, and after baking my famous (in the family circle) Pumpkin Pie, I took it to the car wash and cleaned it inside and out until it was basically spotless. As I cleaned out the interior, I reflected on what we've been through together. When I got the car it had 173,xxx miles on it, and that morning it was just shy of turning to 190,000 miles. That's 17,000 miles, one road trip halfway across the country, and many fond memories with it. It's been the car that's saved my ass when our other cars had problems, it goes on all of our outings, and it's just a really enjoyable car to drive and spend time in.

Anyway, after cleaning it I drove back home and we went to my cousin's house for his annual Thanksgiving dinner. As usual, it was a lot of fun, with excellent food that left everyone stuffed. We got there at about 1pm and left at 6:30 or so. The drive home was uneventful on the highway, besides there being a lot of traffic. However when I got off of the highway I heard loud humming noise coming from the car. Whenever the rpms increased the noise got louder. I had no idea what the noise could be but it scared the hell out of me. We drove the last mile home, where I parked it in the driveway and left it there overnight. Next morning I got up early to check the fluids. They were all fine (of particular note was the tranny fluid, which is completely full and looks like it just came out of the bottle). Reluctantly, I turned the car on to move it in front of the house. To my surprise the noise was gone. I decided to drive it around to see if it would come back. I took it on the highway to the next exit and drove it around a bit. Nothing. By now the car was almost warmed up to normal operating temperature. When I got back in, my mom asked me to go get my brother from his friend's house, because his birthday present had arrived (his birthday was the 21st, but the gift hadn't arrived from Amazon till Friday). So I got in the car and drove it the short distance to his friend's house, picked him up and started heading home. When I got to the bottom of our hill, I heard the noise again. Same as before, a loud humming (that's the best way I can describe it) that gets louder as the rmps increase. Dejected, I parked it and it hasn't moved since then. I'm not sure what's wrong. I wonder if its related to that other noise I mentioned, which when I talked to my dad about it, suggested it was from the Timing Chain being worn. So I wonder if the two noises are related since the both behave similarly. I'm going to have him look at it tomorrow, but I'm sure the news won't be good. If it is indeed teh Timing Chain, I'm screwed, but then again anything that costs money to repair has me screwed, because to put it bluntly, I have none. Timing Chain replacement I'm sure will run me around a grand to do, and I have no experience doing such a massively daunting task, so I know I couldn't do it myself.

Which bring us to the next major problem in my life, money. Most of have had money problems at some point or another, and some of us still do, so we all knowhow much it sucks. Basically, my girlfriend has had no luck finding a job. She got close to getting one that paid $10 an hour and even worked 3 days, but the job fell through without any real explanation. She's been out of work since July, which has left me as the sole bringer of income. I make about $150 a week (I can only work weekends because of school). That averages to $600 a month. Now, our monthly bills (car insurance for 2, loan payments, and payments for a bill she owes) total $800. That's before factoring fuel in. So We've been behind the ball for four and a half months. Couple that with the hole car accident mess and it's been tough. This issue with the Intrepid kills, because now we're a car short (again), and who knows how long it will be before we'll have the money to fix it.

Which leads me to heartbreaking news. XP, I'm very, very sorry, but I don't think we can keep the Cadillac. You guys may be aware of this already, my girlfriend and I wanted whole-heartedly to buy the `71 Sedan Deville from XP, and have our own RWD, BOF land yaught to proudly drive around in. We even cleaned up the interior (it cleans up pretty damn well). The plan had been to start paying him for it as soon as she got her job, which at the time, prospects looked good, and upon full payment we would get the registration paperwork for it. I just don't see it happening, because as much as I love the car, I love mine more, and I don't have the money for either one. It sucks so bad.

The only shred of good news is that we've had the Prizm back for about a month now (sorry I never posted photos), and it's been trouble free.. However it still needs brakes as the front rotors are badly warped.

To further add to the situation, we lost heat last week, right when it got cold, for 3 days. We only got it back because of some home heating program that applies to us because I am a college student. I remember the actual bill being over a grand.

So that's where my life is right now. I know it could be worse, but it sucks like holy hell.

My poor car :(

Edited by Dodgefan
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DF, I can only wish you the best of luck, and hope some good things come your way.

Things should get better....I know it's hard-but keep your head up.

I'm going though a rough patch myself (which involves money too), as things are totally rough in my state. Heck, I'm not even sure I might have a job after X-mas....

But I refuse to let myself get down.

Think of some of the positives in your life -your girlfriend, family, even your favorite car that is coming out.....and focus on those-while doing what you can.

Hopefully it's just something simple on the car (if it's not effecting performance), and the GF picks up a job soon....

My best wishes and heart go out to you, my friend. :yes::thumbsup:

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DF, I can only wish you the best of luck, and hope some good things come your way.

Things should get better....I know it's hard-but keep your head up.

I'm going though a rough patch myself (which involves money too), as things are totally rough in my state. Heck, I'm not even sure I might have a job after X-mas....

But I refuse to let myself get down.

Think of some of the positives in your life -your girlfriend, family, even your favorite car that is coming out.....and focus on those-while doing what you can.

Hopefully it's just something simple on the car (if it's not effecting performance), and the GF picks up a job soon....

My best wishes and heart go out to you, my friend. :yes::thumbsup:

Thanks, I try my best not to let it get me down, because no good comes out of being depressed, sometimes it just gets hard when it piles up one thing after another. I'm doing my best to keep an eye on the big picture, that is, one semester left until I graduate with a BFA, and hopefully get a real job in my field that make good money. Just gotta, y'know, get there.

We're hopefully going to go to Wal-Mart tomorrow and she can apply there, at least it's something for now, and I hear they pay pretty good.

As for my car, I'm really bummed out about it because it happens right as it's been mine for a year..timing and all. As for performance, it doesn't effect it any (it drives fine and doesn't loose power) but the noise itself scares me...that and I hate any noise that exists that shouldn't on any car.. Hopefully tomorrow I'll at least get an idea of what the problem is.

Good luck with your mess too!

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I'm not one for givin up so easy!

:AH-HA_wink:

I feel bad you feel down and have car troubles, just try your best to fix the trouble!

Are you sure it's the timing chain? The 2.7 (I think that's what your is..?) is an interference engine, which means should the timing chain snap the valve heads WILL contact the pistons if the engine is rotated.

NOT good.

It would be best to try to pinpoint the trouble and fix it. If it's the timing chain I would think it would be an adjuster not able to take up the slack, and the timing chain is actually contacting something- inside of the cover etc.... it's the only thing I can think of off the top of my head that would make the kind of noise you are talking about if it is the timing chain making the noise...

If that IS the case it needs immediate attention, and no driving.

If it is something else, it needs to be found what the trouble is.

2.7 engines are known for their timing chain failures, the last time the sludge issue was brought up (remember I said I had NO experience with them) I went and read up about them. Timing chains breaking and the aftermath is a common problem....

Post symptoms, try your best to combat the problem!

:thumbsup:

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I'm not one for givin up so easy!

:AH-HA_wink:

I feel bad you feel down and have car troubles, just try your best to fix the trouble!

Are you sure it's the timing chain? The 2.7 (I think that's what your is..?) is an interference engine, which means should the timing chain snap the valve heads WILL contact the pistons if the engine is rotated.

NOT good.

It would be best to try to pinpoint the trouble and fix it. If it's the timing chain I would think it would be an adjuster not able to take up the slack, and the timing chain is actually contacting something- inside of the cover etc.... it's the only thing I can think of off the top of my head that would make the kind of noise you are talking about if it is the timing chain making the noise...

If that IS the case it needs immediate attention, and no driving.

If it is something else, it needs to be found what the trouble is.

2.7 engines are known for their timing chain failures, the last time the sludge issue was brought up (remember I said I had NO experience with them) I went and read up about them. Timing chains breaking and the aftermath is a common problem....

Post symptoms, try your best to combat the problem!

:thumbsup:

It's a 2.7L, 190,007 mileage engine, yes it's got 3 timing chains. I've done some of research in reference to the 2.7L and there's a myriad of factors that can lead to failure. Basically, at it's mileage it's probably due for new chains/tensioners/water pump anyway...so it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case, however I simply don't know for sure, and I'm not good at diagnosing noises and things I can't see.

My plan is to take it to my dad's tomorrow, which is only a mile or 2 from the house and have him listen, since he's pretty good at diagnosing problems. When I had him listen to that other noise I posted about, he suspected it might be worn tensioners/chains, and as they heat up the parts loose tolerance and move around slightly more than they should, causing the noise. Since the new noise, like the old one, only occurs after the engine has fully warmed up, like with the other noise, it leads me to suspect the problems are related.

After it's looked at I don't plan to drive it until I can fix it, but if it's an expensive (timing chain) problem, I have no idea how I'll be able to come up with the sort of money to fix it...and that's the real killer.

Despite all this, I have no regrets whatsoever buying this car, it's been great to me up until this point, and one way or another it will be fixed.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Are you mechanically inclined, if not is your Pop mechanically inclined?

Do you have gearhead buddies if not?

If the job is 9 hours by the book it will most likely take a mechanic LESS time and you (with help) MORE time, but it CAN be done.....

Find out the problem as best you can and report back!

:thumbsup:

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I'm fairly mechanically inclined but I've never gone that deep into an engine before. The deepest I went was replacing the valve cover gasket on the Shadow, oh and replacing a motor mount on the Shadow. My dad is very good (he dropped a 2.5 from an `86 Aries into a `91 Spirit for example), so I'm sure he could do it, the problem is he lives at an apartment place, which doesn't allow you to work on cars, and he can't come here (mom and him do not get along). I can help if someone with experience leads the way. Beyond that there's Sixty8 and XP, but I dunno if they can or would want to help.

First thing's first I guess and that's to diagnose the problem, then move on from there...

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Is the timing chain really that expensive? I just had the timing belt (nothing as fancy as a chain for a Civic) and water pump done for about $300.

Of course when you're broke that might as well be $3000. Perhaps you could ask your Mom to do a fast fade for a few hours while your Dad is there? Or even (k, going out on a limb here) they could be civil to each other for an afternoon in the interest of helping out thier kid?

Or perhapsif it's not importuning on Sixty8 or XP, maybe the work could be done at someplace they know of?

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Is the timing chain really that expensive? I just had the timing belt (nothing as fancy as a chain for a Civic) and water pump done for about $300.

Of course when you're broke that might as well be $3000. Perhaps you could ask your Mom to do a fast fade for a few hours while your Dad is there? Or even (k, going out on a limb here) they could be civil to each other for an afternoon in the interest of helping out thier kid?

Or perhapsif it's not importuning on Sixty8 or XP, maybe the work could be done at someplace they know of?

There's 3 chains, and from what I've heard, having a mechanic fix it is very expensive...after I get a better idea what the problem is I'll start making calls to get estimates and see if there's a way to do it with someone and myself for much cheater...who knows.

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Sorry to hear that DF... You're not giving enough info for us to helf you much.

Does the noise stop when the car stops or is it constant while it's running.

Here's a few things I'd check...

- inner wheel well & tires (something rubbing)

- make sure the serpentine belts are not rubbing up against something

- CV joints

- something rubbing up against the cooling fans (they'd only come on once it's warmed up)

- rotors, pads and suspension components

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Sorry to hear that DF... You're not giving enough info for us to helf you much.

Does the noise stop when the car stops or is it constant while it's running.

Here's a few things I'd check...

- inner wheel well & tires (something rubbing)

- make sure the serpentine belts are not rubbing up against something

- CV joints

- something rubbing up against the cooling fans (they'd only come on once it's warmed up)

- rotors, pads and suspension components

You can't hear the noise when the car is at idle, it only makes itself known when you give it gas. It will make the noise whether the car is moving or not, it's definitely not suspension/tire related.

As for belts and other internals I haven't looked closely at, beside checking all of the fluids, closer inspection will happen today.

Thanks for the help man.

Also, that stuff is insane regarding the complexity of replacing the chain, it's a full 2 pages in the Haynes manual I have...I know it's not something I could do myself...just far too complex.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Well, we tried to diagnose the problem today but were unable. Despite driving 26 miles which included back roads and the highway, the noise wouldn't show itself...so I'm drawing a blank.

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Maybe it is just starting to go...?

(which means you should have time to replace it)

It is hard to tell with a noise like that...

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Maybe it is just starting to go...?

(which means you should have time to replace it)

It is hard to tell with a noise like that...

No idea...but I drove it to school today and he noise never showed up...ran fine and everything...

It's hard to diagnose a problem hat won't show up again.

On thing though, I was mistaken about all of the fluids being fine. The night I parked it in the driveway (our driveway is uphill mind you). The oil level did read as low. Now, I realize that checking it on a hill is not exactly accurate, however I do know it burns some oil (It's is a high mileage engine after all). So I added a quart into it and then moved the car. When I checked the oil again it was closer to 3/4th full. I do check the oil fairly regularly, but I stupidly forgot to before we went to my cousin's (about 45 minute drive, 1.5 hours both ways).

So I don't know if low-ish oil was the cause of the sound, but the thing is that it made the sound again when I test drove it that day. However it hasn't made the noise the last 2 times I've driven it..so I dunno.

Edited by Dodgefan
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