Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Dodge Intrepid, Stratus & other Chrysler sedans are infamous for oil sludge problems with the 2.7L V6 engine. If someone offers to sell you a 2.7L V6 model, it's only worth the price of the scrap metal it's going to shortly turn into.

NOTE: Only the 2.7L V6 has the oil sludge problem. Our "Avoid like the Plague" designation is ONLY for models with the 2.7L V6 engine. All other available engines are very reliable with no major problems.

Even with regular maintenance, the oil sludge defect eventually destroys the 2.7L engine typically around 80,000-100,000 miles. The only true fix we know about is to put in the larger 3.2L engine, which has a great reputation.

This issue was never deemed a safety defect by the Feds, so there was no recall. In the end, Chrysler got away with FOUR YEARS worth of defective 2.7L V6 engines in their sedans.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,602 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Dodge Intrepid cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #15

Jul 062011

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


2002 Dodge Intrepid 2.7 engine car sudenly overheated. Anti freeze went out on ground and into oil. Repalced water pump, tensioner, timimg chain, several sensors, gaskets and more.always maintained oil changes at 300K and oil filters. Bad engine- parts saved.

- Arbor Vitae, WI, USA

problem #14

May 282011

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 71,010 miles
Engine coolant: Car ran hot without warning. Temperature gauge blew off of radiator and coolant exploded all over the engine.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #13

Dec 102009


  • 150,000 miles
Water pump failure caused by oil sludge on a 2002 Intrepid seeped water into crankshaft of motor causing further damage to motor. Poor design for water pump.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #12

Sep 042008


  • 63,706 miles


A/C evaporator, ac receiver dryer, heater core had to be replaced for my 2002 Dodge Intrepid. The car had less than 64,000 miles on it. The repair was extensive as the steering wheel and dash board had to be pulled out. Hours of labor apprx= 8. this was a problem described in the technical service bulletin # 2400204A. Apparently this part has a history of failure. Cost of repair was $897. The main reason for this repair is because the air conditioner stopped working. I really thought we should of been reimbursed by Chrysler for this repair as it was so extensive, and there was so many other complaints pertaining to this part. I researched silent warranties on this problem but could not really turn up anything to help.

- Beaver, PA, USA

problem #11

Oct 012007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Two incidents: October 2007, a 2002 Dodge Intrepid with 2.7L V6 had an engine cooling failure causing immediate overheating problem on Florida highways. The cooling fitting on the top of the engine popped off causing the engine to loose most of it's coolant. Approximate mileage 106,000 this was taken to the dealer for an expensive repair. At the time the dealer did not notify me of the serious problems with this engine, such as sludge oil pump failures. On January 19th, 2009, the engine failed again. At approximately 125,000 miles. The water pump failed, the heads were blown, and probably the sludge oil pump caused this whole sequence of problems that could have been avoided if Dodge made design changes back in 2007. The estimate for replacing the engine is at $6500. Not feasible to repair and I found many complaints about this engine design dating back to 1998 and 1999. Both failures were immediate with little warning to the driver. Thank god no one was injured. Owned by son nick straty

- Green Cove Springs, FL, USA

problem #10

Oct 032008


  • 78,000 miles
My daughter was driving home from college when our 2002 Dodge Intrepid engine failed while crossing trolley tracks in our local town.

- Drexel Hill, PA, USA

problem #9

Mar 012008


  • 15,103 miles


Heat failed in vehicle approx. Feb.7,2007 then in March of 2008 car engine failed on the expressway. I had car towed to the dealer that sold me the car and they ordered a new engine. Engine was back ordered and I had to wait over a month for engine. Now I have to return the car because engine is running rough and black smoke is coming out of exhaust pipe when it is started.

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 092008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,134 miles
I was driving my car and noticed there was not heat. The fan was blowing, but the air was not warm. The day before, the car was running fine. I pulled over and called my husband immediately. I asked me if there were any noises, smoke, strange smells, and if the temperature was fine. I said no to all and that the temperature was fine. He said to drive a little further and see. I drove not even 1/2 mile down the road (myself and my daughter were in the middle of nowhere) and noticed smoke. I pulled over and called my husband again. He asked me if there was any water coming out of the exhaust, no there was not. He asked me to look under the hood and check the water/antifreeze reservoir. The reservoir was empty. He came out immediately and by the time he got there, the motor was all cooled down. He put 2 gallons of water in the reservoir, which seemed to disappear. He checked the oil, and there was water in it. There was not warning! I have maintained my car well and have had 90% of all my work done at the dealership where I bought it. I have done all the recommended work when they have worked on my car. I even had the radiator flushed, transmission flushed, and the serpentine belt replaced because they said it needed it.

- Malta, IL, USA

problem #7

Feb 102007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
I am extremely upset because recently I purchased a Dodge 2002 Intrepid just a little less than a year ago an without any warnings my water pump went out which cause my timing belt to destroy the engine instantly. And I just recently read hundreds of reports of similar incidents. I also was on the freeway at the time in the middle of traffic.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #6

Apr 292006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving with my daughter ( she was driving my car a 2002 Dodge Intrepid with 2.7 liter engine), and with no warning the thermostat began to rise. It was a certified used car and I did not have any problems with the car until this occurred. The car began to steam under the hood and cut off. My daughter steered the car over to the curb of a very narrow street hoping it would start. I called a nearby garage to take the car there if it started, after the engine cooled we crept the car to the garage. My daughter reminded about her Chrysler sebring with the 2.7 liter defective engine and how it stopped dead on she and her husband at night at a green light because of sludge. When we arrived at the garage, the owner looked at the car after it cooled. He said that the engine was about to go and that I need to take it back to the people who I made it to have them fix it or trade it. I asked if the problem was from engine tampering, as I had tried to trade it earlier at another dealer and the tech said that the engine had been tampered with before I bought the car at kernersville Chrysler Dodge. He did not know, but that in his opinion short of them putting in a new engine, this will happen again. Kernersville Chrysler Dodge refused to acknowledge any responsibility and would not trade the car nor offered to repair it. I am a 65 year old woman who has had open heart surgery this year and do not need the aggravation. I am paying for insurance and making car payments on a car that cannot be used and sitting in my driveway. Need the stress. No body wants this car as a trade. If I sell it myself the bank said they would still consider it a repo. Chrysler Dodge can have the car back, but I do not think it is fair or right for me to be penalized for their defective engine. They should take the car and call it even. The Chrysler Dodge company and tim mitchell at kernersville Chrysler Dodge should be ashamed.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #5

Oct 012006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


While driving, the car suddenly stopped. It wasn't until after the car stopped in the middle of the road that any of the gauges seemed to indicate any problems. There was no warning! this was a country road so there wasn't much traffic, but had there been, it would have been disastrous. The water pump suddenly quit working. In order to correct the problem, I am currently spending $1,000 to replace the pump! the car only has 67,000 miles!

- Du Quoin, IL, USA

problem #4

Aug 042005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,070 miles
Vehicle overheated while going down the road. Took the vehicle to the dealer they changed the oil, thermostat and housing. Then a week later was driving the highway and the motor blew out. The vehicle was back at the dealer. The consumer contacted the manufacturer who would not assist in the cost of the repair. This happened on August 4, 2005.

- Holly Hill, FL, USA

problem #3

Aug 042004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Engine check light came on. Vehicle was taken to the dealer, where consumer was informed, that metal was in the engine. Manufacturer hasdnot been contacted.

- Yorktown, IN, USA

problem #2

Nov 212003

(reported on)


  • miles
The dexco anti-freeze that was put in the vehicle bt the manufacturer, is drying out and causing problems with the engine. The engine light has illuminated. Took to mechanic and the radiator needed flushing and the intake gaskets needed replacing.

- Slinger, WI, USA

problem #1

Jul 282003

(reported on)

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle continued to overheat. Vehicle was been taken to the dealer three times in June 2003. The dealer was unable to determine or duplicate the problem. The solenoid pack was replaced. The vehicle hesitated and could not be shifted into the fourth gear.. the consumer also stated the vehicle hesitated while driving.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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