Cleaning 7 Years of Neglect from my 1997 Chrysler Intrepid 3.5L

June 11, 2020

This poor 1997 Chrysler (Dodge) Intrepid has been left sitting for a while, and likely hasn't been washed or vacuumed since the owner before the ones I bought from. That means it's detailing time!

 

This week I bought a very rough and neglected 1997 Chrysler Intrepid 3.5L to use as a runabout, but also because I have a crush on the Intrepid. It was painfully obvious to me that the previous owner bought this car simply to have a set of wheels to get back and forth, without any care about the condition the vehicle was in. We've since learned this was true knowing the car has some steering bushing issues, as well as a potential brake booster failure. Another issue that was brought up on a quick inspection is the gas tank support mount being perished, though the part for that is only $70 CAD.

 

In this episode of TestDrive Garage we give this car a much needed wash both inside and out, likely for the first time in at least 7 years, given the ownership we found in the car was in someone else's name last updated in 2013. We use our pressure washer and foaming spray to coat the Intrepid and begin a deep cleaning with microfibre towels to remove as much dirt build up as possible while being careful around the few trouble spots where the paint has been damaged and rust as started.

 

After cleaning the exterior, including the severely brake dust damaged rims, we go over the improved exterior look of our Spruce Pearl paint job. We then take a look at the disgusting state of the interior of the vehicle, including empty liquor bottles, eye glasses, toenails, money, and dental floss. We clean out around the bottoms of the front seats, the ash trays, and the centre console to begin a thorough vacuuming of the entire interior.

 

We then use interior car cleaning wipes to clean every hard surface on the car, including years of cigarette ash damage to the transmission tunnel, caked on dirt on the dashboard, and years worth of coffee spilled all over the plastics. We talk about the next steps for this Intrepid, including the mechanical work we've determined needs to be done, along with the next few restoration steps we plan on taking.

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