97 Intrepid (Many problems)

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I'm a college student on Winter break. My parents recently let me know that they're letting me drive the car to college (400 miles) due to me having an internship. I'm absolutely estatic! The thing is that I know near to nothing about cars, and I'm not exactly sure that they know anything either. So I'm basically here to ask a couple of questions about a 97 Dodge Intrepid.

1. The brakes squeek every time they're used. Does that mean they need to be replaced? If that's the case, how much do you think that would cost?

2. I'm almost positive the shocks need to be changed as the car isn't a smooth ride at all. How much would that cost to do?

3. When the engine is on, and the car isn't moving, the car shakes. I'm assuming the engine is the only thing that can cause such a thing. The "Check Engine" Light is always on too, adding to my suspicions. Does anybody know how to stop this from happenning?

4. This is fairly minor, the hood won't stay up when you open it. I don't exactly know what to call it, but the pressurized thing which I think keeps it up isn't working any more. I was wondering how I would get that fixed.

I would take the car to a mechanic, but I just feel that they'll try to cheat me when I really know nothing about cars. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

posted by  AshiRyugin

Dude for youre #'s 1,2,3 list go to a shop ask for a free estiamte
go to another shop get an estimate
go to anymany shops as u want get an estimate then pick the lowes one...
for #4 go to an auto parts store tell them u need a gas lift shock for youre model car tell them its the one under the hood and it shouldn't be more than 40-50 bucks

posted by  99hatch

All Intrepid hood shocks lose their strength after a few years. Save yourself the money and just prop the hood up with something. Broomstick, for instance.

posted by  KNTRDR

Well, I realize I could go to a shop and get an estimate. The thing is that I live in Brooklyn and finding an honest mechanic isn't exactly the easiest thing to do in the world. That's why I'm asking if all of this is really necessary.

Like does the constant squeeking of the brakes mean they need to be changed?

What might be causing the car to shake if it might not be the engine?

posted by  AshiRyugin

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