So, we are tracking down all of the issues with the “new” car. Slowly, it is beginning to run a little better. The person I bought the vehicle from obviously is one of those drivers that do nothing but drive the car.
The engine leaks oil from somewhere in the back of the engine. Added Lucas Oil Stop Leak. This has severely reduced the oil loss. As I was checking the transmission fluid, there was one small puff of smoke that came from behind the engine. Much better than it was before. I think with a bit more driving this may get it to seal.
The vehicle was running pretty rough so I threw a bottle of Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner. “Tune-up in a bottle.” Figured all this could do was help, and it has somewhat.
Next up, the transmission. There was some erratic shifting so, back to Lucas. This time we used some Lucas Transmission Fix. So far so good.
Though these additives have helped a lot, I think I can dial it in better. Next thing on the list is spark plugs, plug wires, cap, and rotor. The vehicle acts like it is misfiring sometimes while driving so this should help with that.
We have also had to fill the cooling system. What we had thought was a bit low on antifreeze has turned out to be more. We would fill it and then check it later, and it would need more. As much as we had put in, it caused us to wonder where in the heck the water was going. It wasn’t showing up in the oil (thank god!!) and there were no puddles under it.
The cooling system in the 1998 Dodge Stratus holds 10.5 quarts of fluid, including the reservoir. After adding about that over a few addings of coolant, this ‘problem’ seems to be taken care of. Fingers crossed on that one still.
The half shafts are going to need to be replaced but that is not an immediate thing. Soon, but not right away. We also need to replace one tire that looks like possibly a wheel bearing had locked up on it, dragging the vehicle to a stop.
With all of these things, we have decided to add a Motor Purr. This is an engine treatment that we learned about when we were over in Idaho with a faulty motor home. The farmers over there swear by this stuff to fix any engine they have. Since this poor vehicle of mine seems to have been severely neglected and with the way it was running, this is being added in case the head gasket is starting to go.
I’m fixing the problem, with the help of my husband. The decision has been made that we only need to get this car to last us about 3 or so months. This will give a chance to save up some money to put toward a different vehicle. If by that time we have gotten the car dialed in and have faith in it to go the distance with us, we will hold on to it. If not, we will sell it, with full disclosure.