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Dodge Stealth: All Common Problems You Should Know

  • Shares a lot of parts with the ford fiesta so you can have the fords parts on it as well including suspension components.

Transmission problems

Fluid Leak In Transfer Case

This problem is more common than it was before. If there is a fluid leak in the transfer case, then it means that it has a faulty OEM breather design or the fluid is filled to the brim. Due to the faulty OEM breather, the transfer case could fail and the rear wheels would just lock and the car will be out of control and can cause injuries.

Then comes the cost. The ongoing price for a new transfer case for the Dodge stealth is around 800-1700$.

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1st And 2nd Gear Synchro

This happens in almost all the “Dodge stealth” cars. If you are experiencing crunch noises or grinding after you shift the gear or the gear is not shifting in time then it means that your car’s gears are either not synchronized(not working in time) or It’s just a balk ring. Because of this problem, it takes the fun out of driving a manual transmission car.

Sometimes the problem isn’t the whole gearbox itself,   but it doesn’t mean that there is no problem at all. If you have a budget issue, then you can just try removing and reinstalling the whole gearbox system to see if the synchronization is fixed. If it’s fixed then “Yay”. Otherwise, you’ll just have to buy a new gearbox. 

Nowadays the “Dodge stealth” parts are a bit pricey but you can get them imported from Japan for a little less rate. The new 1st and 2nd transmission kits come in a price range of 600-1500$ depending on how big the problem is.

Emergency Brake

This is a problem that doesn’t occur normally, But it cannot be avoided.

When the emergency brake is released and there are grinding noises, then you should raise the rear part of the car, remove the rear calipers and rotors, and lastly inspect the e-brake pads.

If those pads are busted then that’s the problem. It should cost around 150-205$.

Overdrive Problem

Every dodge stealth car that you will buy or rebuild nowadays will have this problem sooner or later. The way you can check if your car’s overdrive is not working is that, if the gear is shifting to 1, 2, 3. And the moment you turn on overdrive, the car eventually revs as if it’s in neutral.

So, this occurs due to the “End clutch”. This happens mostly in automatic “Dodge stealth” rather than manual ones. The solution is to get a better end clutch(costs about 50$), if it works, then it’s great. Otherwise, the problem is either the tranny computer or the transmission itself.

If you have an automatic one, and the problem is not being fixed then you should switch to manual gear. This should be a last resort solution because it costs a lot to change from automatic to manual.

Engine problems

Vacuum Leaks

If this is the problem, No worries. It’s common and cheap. There is a method of finding if your car has a vacuum leak. First, by using a carb cleaner, spray around the vacuum line connections and when one makes your engine stall and stutter, then it means that point has a vacuum leak. The alternative is to use an “UNLIT” propane torch with the same above method, it is more accurate

This is easy to find and cheaper to get fixed. Just take the car to the mechanic and he’ll get it fixed in a jiffy. But if the mechanic can’t fix it then the dealership can, and they will charge around 100-150$. Take or give 50$ or more.

Blown Off Y-Pipe

 If this has happened to your car then there are only two reasons:

  • Destroyed rubber gasket.
  • Cheap clamp.

It happens to all “Dodge stealth” cars. So, no worries. The solution for this is to get a TBolt clamp. This costs about 150$(Labor costs included).


The electrical problems in this car are so common that they can lead to you pulling your hair out in frustration….until you’re bald;). The engine and gearbox ECU are known to break down in this car but can be fixed or replaced at a cost.

The repair cost for the ECU is 45-175$ depending on how bad the situation is. The repair takes about 2 to 3 days depending on the mechanic. Now either you could take the ECU out yourself or you could just give the car to the mechanic and pay the labor costs.

Con-Rods And Valves

All the parts used in making this Dodge Stealth engine are completely reliable. But the con-rods and valves are a problem, and they can suffer if the boost is increased too much.

So, for a situation like this, you just have to try to keep the boost at a medium-range and your car would be just fine. But if the problem has already occurred then you should just consult with a mechanic and he or she would explain everything.

Coolant Problems

These problems are the worst of them all, they are almost never-ending.

Nowadays, Dodge stealth is rarely found in the markets. The Mitsubishi company has stopped making these models. But if you find the car, you will find it with a different coolant system installed. Not the original one.

The original ones work perfectly fine for a long time, and I mean really long time. So to fix the problem try to purchase the original. It costs almost about $183-$213 on average.

Idle Problems

Almost all Dodge Stealth owners experience idle problems in their cars.

Strangely, most people think that the adjustment screw is the source of this problem. It used to, in its production days. But now it’s not. There is a complex method of removing the IAC(Idle Air Control) to inspect it, clean it, and fix it.

So, In the engine, remove the intake hose and you will find a large electrical connector just under the mouth of the TB(Throttle Body). Press the latch and remove the connector. Under that will be either a brown or black device bolted to the TB by two 5mm bolts.

After you have done this, ¼ screwdriver set and select an 8mm socket and extension to remove the bolts. “BE VERY CAREFUL” while doing this. These can be easily broken and will also catch rust and corrosion.

Now, gently tap on the housing to get the IAC loose from the TB. It may be stuck due to corrosion. The pointy end of the ICA will be fluffy black due to deposits and is called a pintle. Give it some gentle movement to check if it’s got slop in it. If there are lots, then it has worn out and needs to be cleaned with a good carburetor cleaner.

Then, remove the screws around the connector side and separate the two halves. You need to confirm that the body has stayed sealed and the inside is not full of rust and water. If it is, then you should clean it thoroughly.

When the ICA is out, then the first step is to check if it’s shorted out or not. To do this use a multimeter(These costs about 20-30$). For this, you are testing the coils of continuity. Set your meter to measure OHMs at a lower scale. Touch your leads together to check if your meters are working and displaying “-0-”. You are testing the contacts in “Rows”.

Early IAC’s were of ~30 OHM’s, and nowadays IAC’s with ~40 OHM’s are used. The exact number of the readings isn’t important other than these readings: “-0-, infinite”.

If any of the readings show “-0-”, then the IAC is damaged. If the readings show “Infinite”, then it is dangerous to use that one, ditch it and buy the new one. Now that all of the readings are checked and nothing is wrong then comes the important part: “Cleaning”.

If the insides are rusted and in worse shape then it’s another collection for the trash can. Low corrosion can be cleaned but if it’s rusted beyond cleaning, better throw it out than trying to clean it for days. Now, just to be safe, Clean the TB of corrosion just for good measure. And then you can insert everything back the way it was taken out.

These methods will show if the IAC is working correctly. Now, If you have to check the IAC then, turn on your AC. Then the idle will be raised to 1000 RPM to allow for AC loads. Also, you can check by turning the wheels to lock, similarly, the IAC will raise the idle to keep the power steering pump from stalling the engine. If all of this works then your a master mechanic. Good for you.

BOV Leak During The Pressure Test

The stock BOV’s have a tendency to always leak. It happens to all of the cars with stock BOV. The pressure test shows where the leaks are in the engine, and if the BOV keeps shooting out air then there’s a leak in it.

The BOV cannot be tightened to fix the leak. It doesn’t work anymore. The only way to fix it is to change the BOV. I would recommend getting the BOV part that is in the “Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution”. It’s inexpensive and works perfectly fine for a long time.

Interior problems

Dashboard Lights

The original dashboard which came with the Dodge stealth had a major issue. It started displaying the “Check Engine” light, even when you don’t have to.

This is the result of the company using cheap parts. There is a solution to fix it but it is a little complex(But not too complex). The car comes with a self diagnose check connector. It is located on the left side of the driver’s footwell on the side of the fusebox. This can be removed from the fusebox and can be used to check electrical problems.

It has a different array of pins and their functions. All of these are given below:

#1ECM and MPI functions
#2    Unused(to check an extra component)
#3 ECS control unit
#4 ABS control unit
#5Auto-Cruise control unit
#6ELC-4 A/T unit
#7Air-Conditioning control unit
#8SRS diagnose unit
#9 ETACS unit
#10   Query-ECS, ABS, ECM, A/T, and AC
#11 Speed sensor
#12 Ground

You can check the problem of your current situation according to the

“self-diagnose check connector”. Either you can do this or you can just replace the engine control computer, Which costs about 158-370$.

Window Weatherstrip

This was really poorly made. The weatherstrip had the tendency to come out when the window was moved up and down. This was pretty annoying.

But fear not, A revised weatherstrip was made to replace these. So whenever you are going to buy used dodge stealth or build one yourself, make sure to check for a better weatherstrip. It costs about 100$ total on both sides.


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