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'08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive #5247533 10/22/19 07:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 54
Fifth87 Offline OP
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Off work this week and bored. Toying with the thought of retiring my trusty but getting very rusty Olds. My Caliber has sunroof leaks that have defied dealer attempts to repair, and despite owning it for 7 years, I never really bonded with it. Probably because I am more of a sedan person.

So, why not look at a car on a similar platform? Pfft. Logic.
This is what I tried today. https://www.maocars.com/details/used-2008-chrysler-sebring/58173503

The price was lower than comparable ones for sale. 2.4L 4/auto. Ex-rental, three owner with 91k, no accidents. Various small dings, a scrape or two, and two pea sized spots of rust on a quarter, a little bubbling on the leading edge of the hood.
Tires were Yokohama Avid's that were dangerously dry rotted and bald. Front brakes are very thin. Just passed a MA Safety/Emissions inspection (!) No warning lights.
Interior needed a bit of a cleaning still, all options worked. Ran and drove pretty well.

What perplexed me was an intermittent knock/rattle. Sounded like it was coming from under the engine cover, then I thought maybe flex plate.
The noise diminished, but increased with engine speed. So I ruled out bearings with that. Didn't hear any timing chain rattle on start-up.
Noted after the drive that when I put it in reverse with wheel full lock to one side to park, the engine speed dropped and idled very roughly.
Mentioned to the salesman that I liked it for what it was, but that noise was a problem. No real flexibility on the price aside from dropping all title and doc fees. Said all cars in that price range need a bit of work.
He claimed that they are getting ready to send it back to auction. Not sure I believe that as it was bought at auction approximately a month ago.
Found the previous owner's registration in the glovebox and made note of the address, a city about 60 miles away.

Not sure if this car is worth following up on. Yeah, it is cheaper, but not sure if I am either missing a huge red flag, or known problems with this model.
I enjoy the challenge of a used car now and again but don't want to be foolish either.
Thoughts, comments or knowledge welcome.


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Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247548 10/22/19 08:05 PM
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Ws6 Offline
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Kill it with fire.

Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247562 10/22/19 08:23 PM
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Fawteen Offline
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So you "test drove" a rusty, decade old former rental car which has had 3 subsequent owners, almost 100,00 miles with garbage tires and bad brakes. To top it off, it was sitting on a ghetto corner lot that specializes in vehicles that a reputable lot would never touch.

What could possibly go wrong with that?


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Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247565 10/22/19 08:25 PM
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pezzy669 Offline
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The lowest low Chrysler had ever seen - I would hard pass on this one. Nothing redeeming about them even when they were brand new on dealer lots and reliability is questionable. Can't even tell you the last one I saw in the flesh on the roads.


2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI - 69k - Castrol Edge Professional LL03 5W30
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Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247579 10/22/19 08:45 PM
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dishdude Offline
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Doesn't sounds bad for a $3k car, the knock would be concerning...but intermittent at least says it isn't a rod knock.

Car sounds like it had a rough life.


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Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: pezzy669] #5247581 10/22/19 08:45 PM
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Skippy722 Offline
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Originally Posted by pezzy669
The lowest low Chrysler had ever seen - I would hard pass on this one. Nothing redeeming about them even when they were brand new on dealer lots and reliability is questionable. Can't even tell you the last one I saw in the flesh on the roads.


I usually defend Chrysler... but I agree with this. Kill it with fire then run. If you really want something built on the JS platform, go look at a v6 200 and avoid the 4 cylinder. Or an Avenger.


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Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247588 10/22/19 08:50 PM
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tomcat27 Offline
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Move on. A 12 year old Sebring is unreliable enough without rental history, 3 owners, and mystery noises. I have one bought new.

Last edited by tomcat27; 10/22/19 08:51 PM.

2019 Cherokee, 2018 Jetta, 2014 Sentra, 2001 Camry, 1995 Escort, 1970 Cougar, 2013 XT250, 2010 Vstar, 2014 CTX1300
Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247602 10/22/19 09:24 PM
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Why avoid the 4 cylinder? The GEMA/World engines are solid. These older/cheaper cars (especially inexpensive sedans) tend to get neglected as they age-- people buy as much car as they can afford and don't have the money to maintain them. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with considering a car of that age, and especially mileage (I don't consider 91k high mileage at all), provided there's no significant rust problems-- but the knock would be a huge concern of mine. I'd want to determine the cause of it before ever making an offer.

A code reader can give good info about the running condition of the engine-- I bring one with me anytime I'm looking at a older used vehicle. If you hadn't mentioned the knock, I'd think this was a pretty fair car for the price.


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Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5247611 10/22/19 09:42 PM
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Skippy722 Offline
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Originally Posted by 92saturnsl2
Why avoid the 4 cylinder? The GEMA/World engines are solid. These older/cheaper cars (especially inexpensive sedans) tend to get neglected as they age-- people buy as much car as they can afford and don't have the money to maintain them. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with considering a car of that age, and especially mileage (I don't consider 91k high mileage at all), provided there's no significant rust problems-- but the knock would be a huge concern of mine. I'd want to determine the cause of it before ever making an offer.

A code reader can give good info about the running condition of the engine-- I bring one with me anytime I'm looking at a older used vehicle. If you hadn't mentioned the knock, I'd think this was a pretty fair car for the price.


I was thinking of the 2.4 Tigershark engine in the 200 and Dart... everyone I know who has one complains that it burns oil. The older WGE’s were pretty rock solid.


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Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247785 10/23/19 06:48 AM
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OVERKILL Online Content
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Run. Those cars were not great when well looked after, a beat-on former rental with a bad noise? Not even worth considering. Have you looked at a similar vintage Charger?


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2016 Grand Cherokee SRT - Ravenol SSL 0w-40, FRAM Ultra
Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247797 10/23/19 07:04 AM
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Remember test driving a GEMA/World Sebring before buying an Optima with the same (more or less) engine. For some reason the Kia engine was much quieter and seemed to drive a lot better. Remember wondering how Chrysler could take the same basic engineering and mess it up. FWIW the Optima gave no trouble. The Chrysler seems overpriced to me for what is probably an abused car. Is the used car market that tight?


2017 Kia Soul Plus-- VWB 5w30 (+ Harvest King Syn) 68,500 miles
Re: '08 Chrysler Sebring Test Drive [Re: Fifth87] #5247888 10/23/19 09:00 AM
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lovcom Offline
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To start with, the Chrysler Sebring is a terrible car regarding reliability, dependability, and ride. With all the many better cars out there, why even consider this junk?

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