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  1. #1

    Default Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    I'm currently shopping for 2003-2005 Vipers and I've got a question about reliability... Any issues driving these cars and putting miles on them? I'm driving a 2004 Dodge Ram Cummins, and just sold a modified C5 Corvette that was my daily driver... When I buy a car, I drive it, ALOT. I want to make sure this car would fit my needs, because it looks amazing, and is one of the most unique cars on the market today. Unlike the vette, you don't see one of these at every corner...

    Mike

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    my '03 has 22,000+ miles since jan, '03 and i'm still loving it

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    My 98 RT/10 has 102,000 miles.
    My 97 GTS has 40,000 track miles.

    I don't see why the SRT would be any different. But if you're coming from the Vette world keep in mind the Viper doesn't have many amenities. And it doesn't have any nanny aids except for ABS.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    They are pretty reliable daily drivers. Have not heard of any mileage related failures from SRT's. Most common failure seems to be the diffs.

    I noticed you did not inquire about (daily) driving comforts. That might be a better question to ask about.

  5. #5
    Viper Owner
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    No issues as a daily driver. It will probably last at least as long as any other American car you can buy.

    If you plan on taking it to the track, you will need to do some upgrades to the oiling system.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    Reliability? Not an issue compared to a Corvette. Many use the Viper as a daily driver. However, what are your specific, individual needs? see below.

    From Allpar (probably written before the new Z vette came out):

    "Let us begin by saying that Allpar is in an odd position when it comes to comparing the Viper and Vette, because we've only driven one of them. That said, we can make some observations.

    The current generation Corvette is fresh from a 2001 redesign, which provided extra torque to the engines (and a little more horsepower), a new top-of-the-line Z06, and upgrades to the active suspension and traction control system. All together, the result is a car that's a lot easier to live with than the Viper - from what we know.

    The top end Z06 moves from zero to sixty in a Viper-status four seconds flat, according to Chevrolet. Even the base automatic can get there in five seconds, which, given the heavy clutch and stick, is an argument for buying the automatic.

    Both Viper and Vette have appropriate sounds for high-performance muscle cars. Both have excellent handling, the Corvette's aided by an active suspension. But only the Vette has a dry weather traction control that makes extreme acceleration easy even for the novice driver. The active handling also makes the car much easier to handle, an important consideration for drivers not trained to handle racing cars.

    The Corvette provides spacious accommodations for two, but there's not much space for doodads and gizmos, and the hard-to-open center console is very shallow. Passengers can reach back into the trunk, since there's no partition, but nothing will stay in place just behind the seats for very long.

    While the traction control and active suspension make some aspects of driving the Corvette easy, shifting is not one of them. It takes time to get the feel of the heavy shifter and clutch, not to mention the six-gear pattern. A first-to-fourth feature can sometimes get in the way, on both cars.

    Both interiors are sporty and unique. The Corvette's instrument panel features a well-programmed and easily operated trip computer, alphanumeric readout, and easy to read gauges. The speedometer switches between mph and kph at the press of a button, swinging the needle around as needed (because of this, the speedometer goes up to 200). Pressing an options button allows the driver to set preferences for car locking, seat movement, and other features.

    The Corvette's main control drawback is the cruise control stalk, which, in GM tradition, is hard to use, and on the same stalk as the windshield washer, wipers, and headlights. However, when activated - or when the speed is changed - the alphanumeric message area tells what speed it's set for, a nice feature.

    Unlike the Viper, the Corvette comes in two flavors - base and Z06. The base model can get from zero to sixty in five seconds with an automatic, 4.5 with a manual, making it almost the equal of the Z06. (The Z06 also handles better). However, the base model has a smoother ride, and an automatic transmission for those who want it - in this car, not a major drawback.

    So which is the king of the hill? In terms of being a daily driver, rather than a racing car, we'd say probably the Corvette. Its dry-weather traction control and active suspension make it much more forgiving for most drivers. It's also a lot less expensive than the limited-production Viper. On the track, though, we suspect the Viper will continue to take top honors for the foreseeable future."


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    I have had a 2003 and put 25,000 miles on it in a year no problems at all
    I now have a 2004 and will drive it as my daily driver
    Tires are expensive do not last very long but otherwise no iisues

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    We have Vipers pass through our facility on a daily basis - All model years with high ~ low miles.

    I'm amazed how well these cars holdup; mechanically outstanding! Just maintain all your fluids routinely and perform the service as advised by your service tech. You should have no problem supplementing your snake as a daily commuter.

    As per the interior; the premature wear has been the dash & driver side seat bolster. The dashboards split from UV and the driver side of the left seat bolster wears significantly. I would suggest to utilize some type of sun block on the dash and use conditioner on the seat bolster. If you wear 'blue-jeans' they are harsh on the interior, suffice to say, don't drag your rump across the seat

    Best of Luck and welcome to the club!

    Doug

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    10,000 miles in 4 months on my '05... with no problems.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    That is no problem. It just depends where you live. If you have snow, then of course you are going to have some problems but other than that, you will be fine. I drove my GEN II for a while as a daily driver and the GEN III are a lot more comfortable with many "daily driver" friendly features. Good luck with your choice.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    Having logged 40K miles on a 97 GTS, and 30K on an 01 GTS, I can say that mechanically, the Gen II cars were basically trouble-free. On both cars I had one of the wiper motors crap out, and the 97 also had a failed 02 sensor, a broken driver's door hinge, and a broken driver's door weatherstripping -- all piddly sh*t and all covered under warranty. When I moved to the Gen III SRT-10, I was impressed by how much more the Gen III felt like a "real" car -- none of the kit-car feel of the Gen II's. With the possible exception of less aggressive styling, the Gen III is a far superior car to its predecessors. Lots of improvements make the Gen III's better daily drivers: Gen III engines run cooler (the Gen II's I had -- especially the 01 -- wanted to run hot, esspecially in the summer), the front-end clearance is better (while you still need to be wary of driveway entrances, it was almost impossible to drive a Gen II around town without scraping the underside of the fascia at some time), the A/C is adjustable (the Gen II's were either on full or off), and you can actually carry on a conversation in the car without shouting.

    My cars were all basically stock; if you're thinking of supercharging or otherwise heavily modifying, remember that modifications and reliability are inversely proportional. In general, these cars, regardless of generation, are very reliable and do not need constant service. As someone else said before, if you do the fluid maintenance regularly and follow the maintenance schedule, you should find the car very dependable. The good thing about the Viper not having all the electronics is that there are fewer things to go wrong.

    The only other point worth mentioning is that -- as you've already noticed -- seeing a Viper on the road is a rare occurrance. These cars attract a lot of attention. This is both good and bad. You can park out in the far reaches of a parking lot, and invariably when you come back out to your car, someone will have parked next to it. And unfortunately, the car is a target for vandalism by jealous (usually drunk) pricks. Be prepared to carry on a conversation about your Viper at any time, especially when buying gas or parking. Introverts probably shouldn't own Vipers. Oh yeah, every punk kid in a rice mobile or Mustang will want you to race.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    Once you see the quality in these Vipers, you'll probable always own one.





    2005 Silver SRT/10
    2000 Steel Gray GTS (sold)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    Thanks for the comments and replys...

    A bit about me and where I'm coming from... The 99C5 I had was modified from it's purchase, and I did quite a few track days in it. I'm more familier with TCS turned off than on... I also have had Datsun 240-280Z cars with small block chevy V8s installed in them for many years, one of which is my current track day car, making over 400WHP.

    I do all my own work, and have a lift in house, and I get to the track as often as possible. Although I really just want the Viper as a daily driver when the weather permits. When it's raining or snowing, I'd drive my Dodge Cummins quad cab.

    As for the amenities, As long as it has AC, and a radio of some kind, I'm good. The rest, I don't need... The vette was nice, but I want something that won't be seen at every corner or stop light...

    Mike

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    Unless your thinking a Ferrari then the Viper will definitely satisfy your needs! It's a lot of fun in so many ways!

  15. #15

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    I'm another member of the 10K+ miles on an '04 no issues at all! You're going to love the car. Good luck on your search.

  17. #17
    Viper Owner
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    The problems that DO occur after the OE warranty expires can be very expensive, and probably makes it worthwhile to buy an extended warranty on any ELIGIBLE Viper you buy and INTEND TO KEEP. And you can get MOST of your money back on an unused, extended warranty. That said, I have put over 150,000 miles on several Vipers and have a high-level of confidence in the beasts...

  18. #18
    Viper Owner
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    Default Re: Potential new Owner w/ questions...

    You can get your money back?

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