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.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The Dodge Stratus, Intrepid & 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. Also the 2.4L engine doesn't have the oil sludge problem.

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.

9.6

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$4,254.00
Average Mileage:
97,744 miles
Total Complaints:
37 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (23 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. undisclosed warranty (2 reports)
  4. teardown and clean (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Stratus engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

May 232008

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving to the river for another enjoyable holiday weekend. Traveling at 80 MPH, traffic heavy, vehicle shuts down. No power steering, no gas, gives new meaning to braking. The amount of cars on the highway behind me was ridiculous. Pulled over and coolant is pouring out everywhere. Found mechanic to fix car (yeah right). The water pump blew causing coolant to get into the oil. Then found out there was sludge. Then found out that I was 2 hours from home in a city of 700 people and I was screwed. His solution to the problem: new engine. Hmmmm. Stratus with 125,000 miles. Still owe $3000 on car note. Now needs new motor. I'm doing my research trying to find a way out of this one, but from the look of the other complaints I'm F***ed. I can't believe all the problems Dodge is having with this engine and there is no recall.

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #16

Mar 182008

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have a 2002 Dodge stratus and I'm having that same problems that most of you have. I have had the engine light come on and stay on for a month, but there was no problem. Heard knocking turned car off and did complete tune up on car and went to start car and would not start and still hasn't started till this day. Took front top part of motor covering off and found caked up oil and sludge all on the motor inside. I'm still paying on this car and have had no transportation for months and I believe dodge should do something about this. Not to say that when I first bought my car, a month after I got it I was driving and stopped to put gas in it and when I started my car back up the engine revved itself for at least 1 min and I took it back to the dealer and they said that it had just reset its self and that that was normal, but it continued and I took it back 3 times before they fixed and still till this day I'm not sure as to exactly what the problem was.

DODGE SUCKS AND I WILL NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE OWN ANOTHER ONE, AND NEITHER SHOULD ANYONE ELSE

- , New Castle, DE, USA

problem #15

Nov 012007

Stratus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Although this car is in my name, my daughter actually purchased it new (she was seventeen and couldn't get a loan for herself) in August of 2002. She paid 25,000 dollars for the floor model with nice rims and leather interior, of which she put down 5,000 and paid 353.23 for FIVE years. She was a full time student and working to pay for this car as well as a steep insurance bill. She paid 900 dollars for an extra warranty of 5 years or 80,000 miles(whichever came first). SOOO my story is very upsetting. She finished college with school bills, thinking her car would be paid off and then would give her a few years more of service. NOT SO. November 2007 the car engine died due to sludge problems(as per two separate mechanic analysis'). It had been serviced and had the oil changed regularly. This all happened THREE MONTHS after the warranty was up. Also, many of the other things she had previously fixed were not covered under this EXTENDED warranty that she paid an extra 900 dollars to avoid car repair hassles. HA! Chrysler's answer?! Because we hadn't had all the oil changes done at their dealers we were ineligible for any compensation. We dealt with Thomas Dodge in Port Jefferson NY. The car sits in the driveway with no plates and she has been without a car since November 2007 until now (April 2008), which has been a strain on us all. She is continuing her education full time so there is no money to fix anything now or in the near future. We've been quoted the price (from Chrysler and from local mechanics) of a new engine and it is more than the car is worth. The whole story is so VERY upsetting and has left a bad taste in our mouth in dealing with Chrysler Dodge. We've had many Dodge's in our family over the years, but this incident was a HUGE/EXPENSIVE letdown. We want financial compensation for AT LEAST the retail value of the car, so she can get something to replace it or fix it. The look of the car is nice and it is a shame to not be able to fix it.

- , Riverhead, NY, USA

problem #14

Dec 232007

Stratus 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Just, like all the other complaints about this engine. Always changed the oil and filter every 3,000 miles. Driving it and it seized one mile from home. I don't have the money to replace the engine. I still owe the bank for this car. I and can't drive it. It's a real nightmare. Knowing they made a flawed motor and sold it to tens of thousands people.

- , Acushnet, MA, USA

problem #13

Feb 202008

Stratus 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

The water pump went out and dumped all the water and antifreeze into motor. Which caused sludge to build up in the oil. Turned oil to sludge.

- , Independence, MO, USA

problem #12

Dec 032007

Stratus 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I know 140,000 miles is a lot but I have always taken very good care of my car. I was driving 55mph on a two-lane highway when the oil light came on and the engine just died. I had no steering or brakes. Luckily, I was on the one straight section of the highway on my 25 mile trip home. I wasn't able to get the car out of the road. I flagged down a pickup truck and the two elderly couples in the truck helped me push it out of the road. I then had to have it towed back to my hometown. I was very lucky that this happened on my trip home from work because when I travel to work, it's dark and as I said the road is very curvy. Does anyone know if there is any way to recover any of the costs related to the repair of this problem? I guess I am one of the lucky ones because I got 140,000 out of this engine. I am still making paymens on this car and it is just making me sick that it is going to cost me more to fix the car that I owe on it. My mechanic has had the car since and we are still looking for a engine that I can afford.

- , Creola, OH, USA

problem #11

Dec 062007

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My wife has used this car for a few years in her Real Estate job. She commutes about 10 miles per day. She is a very safe driver and rarely exceeds the speed limit, and is gentle with her car.

She's driving home and the engine starts acting distressed; stalling, hesitating, acting like is going to quit. She pulls over, does a visual inspection finding nothing wrong, and attempts to restart the car since she is only a couple of miles from home. THE CAR WON'T START. She calls me and I tell her to have it towed to the mechanic.

The mechanic make several attempts to restart the car - all failing - and calls me to tell me that the engines is SEIZED UP. This vehicle has a pretty gentle 58,000 miles on it and there is NO WAY the car should have seized. It had plenty of oil though it was due for a change of MOBIL 1. I see the commercial on them driving around the planet on A SINGLE CHANGE of Mobil1. I use modil1 in all my vehicles and the engine is NEVER the first thing to go. There has to be a defect here. I am all for a class action suit, because they MUST know something is seriously wrong with this engine.

- , Grand Blanc, MI, USA

problem #10

Oct 212007

(reported on)

Stratus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I maintained my car. My check engine light came on one day(about 3months after having an oil change) and I added some oil. About 3months after that my car started making a really loud noise one day, after about a couple days, the car started to smoke pretty bad. I became stationary and the car wouldn't start ever since. Got it towed to a shop, without even officially diagnosing the problem they told me what it was. I still owe on the car and this whole thing is just awful.

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #9

Oct 022007

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

MY DAUGHTER HAS A 2002 DODGE STRATUS.WITHOUT ANY WARNING HER ENGINE JUST QUIT WHILE SHE WAS DRIVING IN HEAVY TRAFFIC ALMOST CAUSING AN ACCIDENT WITH HER TWO CHILDREN WITH HER.WE HAD THE CAR TOWED TO A GARAGE FOR ABOUT $100 AND THE VERY FIRST THING THE MECHANIC SAID WAS "THESE ARE BAD ENGINES AND THAT THEY ARE REPLACING THEM LEFT AND RIGHT DUE TO OIL SLUDGE BUILDUP.MY DAUGHTER CHANGED HER OIL RELIGIOUSLY BUT HER OIL LIGHT WOULD KEEP COMING ON.ALTHOUGH SHE WOULD ADD OIL, THERE WAS NEVER ANY LEAKING OUT ONTO THE DRIVEWAY.THE CAR WAS COOKING THE OIL AND TURNING IT TO SLUDGE.WE CALLED CHRYLSER TO SEE IF THEY WOULD HELP US WITH THE COST OF THE REPAIR AND THEY ABSOLUTELY REFUSED.THEY REFUSED US TO ANOTHER COMPANY WHO WAS TAKING THE COMPLAINTS AND THEY ALSO REFUSED TO HELP US.SO NOW WE HAVE A WORTHLESS CAR THAT SHE STILL OWES MONEY ON.WE FOUND A LAW FIRM IN COLORADO NAMED IRWIN & BOESEN WHO ARE FIELDING COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS OIL SLUDGE PROBLEM OF CHRYLSERS AND ARE GOING TO FILE A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST THEM THAT WE ARE NOW PART OF.IF ANYONE OUT THERE HAS THE SAME PROBLEM AND HAS NOT HIRED AN ATTORNEY YET, I WOULD SUGGEST GIVING THEM A CALL TO SEE IF THEY CAN ADD YOU TO THE LIST.THEIR TELEPHONE NUMBER IS 303-320-1911 IF ANYONE HAS ANOTHER SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM I WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL TO HEAR IT.I ABSOLUTELY HATE CHRYLSER AND WILL NEVER EVER BUY ONE OF THEIR CARS OR TRUCKS AGAIN!! GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF US WHO NEED CHRYSLER TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP US.THANK YOU

- , Columbia Heights, MN, USA

problem #8

Aug 312007

(reported on)

Stratus R/T 2.7L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I am joining ranks with the piece of crap 2.7 Liter engine owners. I have a 2002 Dodge Stratus R/T that has been very well maintained and as my wife was driving 55 mph in the middle of the freeway with 3 small kids this piece of crap just died. Thankfully everyone got out ok. I had it towed to dealer and was told the engine is shot. After getting a quote from them of nearly 8 grand with labor, I lost my mind. The car is not even worth that and the sad thing is i still owe a little on it. I have found out that I am one of many that have this problem with this 2.7 L engine and plan on voicing my concerns to Chrysler and everyone else. Do NOT buy a dodge or chrysler with a 2.7 L engine!

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 112007

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

well we picked up the car about 1 1/2 years ago. it was my wife's car until we just got a 2006 pt and not even a month after we traded my old car in, a 2000 grand am, the engine went in my 2002 dodge stratus. I had no idea that the 2.7 was a bad motor. well after I found out that the cost to fix the car was about what I payed for the car I decide I am fixing it. that way I only pay about 1500 bucks out but at the same time if I had not had an old volvo 240dl wagon with 214,000 miles on it that still runs and drives everyday and I have never had any trouble with I would be with out a car I think chrysler need to do something or someone needs to happen with the government to stop them from making bad motors. now I have to figure how the hell to unload this rolling junk pile. best of luck to all with the same problems.

- , Westville, IN, USA

problem #6

Jul 202007

(reported on)

Stratus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

there should be a recall on this vehicle period... its sucks.

- , Virginia BEACH, VA, USA

problem #5

Apr 302007

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

This is the worst engine ever made! I have had nothing but trouble with this car! I think the manufacturer should be responsible!

- , Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #4

Nov 022006

(reported on)

Stratus Se Plus 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

They continue to use the 2.7L V6, and not matter how well you take care of this car. The engine will build up sludge! LAST DODGE FOR ME!

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #3

Sep 192006

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • 90,000 miles

This is the worst engine ever built by dodge. 2.7L. I've heard all of these engines have exactly the same problem, check engine like comes on and then say goodbye. Even the dealer knows about this. Why is the goverment not doing any thiing about it? You know why they cost so much?? There are none of them in the junk yard. They are all bad. That is why they charge $2000 to $2500 for each engine. Somebody needs to do something. I don't have a car now. Are there any rules or law for this type of lemons? Go to a junk yard, they are full of this engine and none of them work. What is that telling you? Anybody out there lol. If you have this engine run away now. NOW! Sell it, trade it, do something, it's going to blow. If your oil light is coming on be ready to say good bye to it. IT'S TOO LATE.

- , Apopka, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 192006

(reported on)

Stratus RT 2.7L V6

  • 80,000 miles

What can I say I am being rip off by dodge I have a 100,000 mile extended warranty on my 2002 stratus that blew motor at 82000. That dodge will not honor due to sludge. When I look at the car with the oil pan off I notice that their was water in the oil too. I found it interesting that the service person first words out of his mouth was that "they would have to check for sludge in motor". They also charge me $383.00 to pull the oil pan and valve covers in order to check the motor out. Hemet dodge in Hemet California. What a bunch of rip off artist!!!!!

- , San Jacinto, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 162005

(reported on)

Stratus LE 2.7L V6

  • 70,000 miles

My car was the most maintained vehicle ever. It was down at the dodge dealership all the time for routine maintaince. The oil was changed every three thousand miles it had the tranny flush the coolant flush, and then I had the drive belts replaced before going a a long trip. The dealership checked out the car knowing I was traveling. The next day, less than four hundred miles later, I lost all power, then the engine light started flashing and the motor started knocking. This all happened faster than I could pull the car over to the side of the interstate. This is a very fustrating problem, I thought my car would be reliable and instead it left me stranded 400 miles from home. I loved the car, but I don't think I will be buying another dodge vehicle.

- , BUtte, MT, USA

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