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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
83,155 miles
Total Complaints:
22 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
  2. replace the oil sending unit (2 reports)
  3. add more oil (1 reports)
  4. do not use oil additives (1 reports)
  5. get rid of this car (1 reports)
  6. TSB 08-36-99 (1 reports)
1999 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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1999 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Mar 282009

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,477 miles


Basically was driving along.......stopped at a light and then my low oil light came on.

Now this surprised the hell out of me ...because I am particular about changing my oil regular and using good oil , synthetic + Wix Filters. And i know it was not Double gasketed the Oil filter that is. So it was good that way. And I know it wasn't low on oil.

So i pulled into a gas station....of course it was still Winterish & at i had to grab what paper towel they had at the gas station and i must have checked the oil 15 times at least.......and it wasn't low. So then i start it back up ...low oil ........shut it off...check it etc etc. ...get back on the road accelerate and it quit....stop at a light and it came on.

So i was really worried ...cuz i wasn't sure if i was going to harm the engine. So i decided well it sounds fine......when im moving it goes ill just make sure if i have to stop ill rev it up to keep the oil pressure up. .....So i made it home...and it has never happened again. I think it happened in March 2008 or 2009 it is now June 2012.

Although it has a new issue where you fire it up on cold start ...put it in D or R ...and the engine shakes and stalls if u don't quickly turn it off. Turn it back on and it runs completely fine. PCV valve , plugs and everything have just been changed too.

- , London, Ontario, Canada

problem #21

Sep 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

There is a technical service bulletin for this problem. It is an electrical problem and VERY INEXPENSIVE to have fixed. My mechanic fixed mine for just over $100 dollars. You do not have to have any pumps replaced and you do not have to constantly have your oil changed...although with this particular model, it would be in your best interest to switch to Mobil One 5W-30 synthetic oil, or your engine may blow.

- , Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #20

Dec 012009

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Hello I hope you get this Message. I am a woman and I bought my 1999 Dodge Intrepid 2.7 from a friend about 5 mnths ago...for $800.00 it had 96,000 miles. I thought I got a great deal!!!!!! The check engine lite was on when I bought it however. and the guy told me all it needed was a sensor?!!?...Bull Sh*t!!! I took it to Auto Zone to get Diagnostic checked, They told me I needed a Major tune up, Cam shaft sensor, Oxygen sensor. Unlike most post I read on here I have not had any problems with my car jus shutting down in traffic, or I haven't heard any noise coming from the engine....YET Thank goodness. Recently my oil lite has been flickering on and off once the car gets warm. I was told by Auto zone that I need a oil sending unit. Well after changing the oil sending unit, the Oil lite is still flickering on and off. Do you think I need a oil Pump?? if so do you know what the COST to replace 1 would be?? My thought is to get rid of the car Now...But I know that no one will buy a car wit oil lite flickering!!!!! Do you think if all work is done on the car, is this Car worth keeping...Please Help...

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #19

Jul 232009

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


Start with when i bougt the car it ran fine.I changed the oil & serviced the car about a month later the motor would idle down and the oil light would come on . That lasted about a month and a half then went to the store 1 mile from home and the motor started knocking so i havent drove it any more THIS IS A PISS POOR EXCUSE FOR A DESIGN ON A MOTOR THIS IS THE FIRST & LAST DODGE I'LL EVER OWN.

- , Pensacola, FL, US

problem #18

Jul 102009

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

IF YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT CARS PLEASE READ THIS I NEED HELP!!! I bought a 1999 Intrepid from a private seller about 2 months ago and it's been problems ever since. A week after having the car the engine locked up due to the typical oil sludge problem. So the car sat for the next 5 weeks until I could afford to have someone rebuild the engine for me. The car was done so I went to pick it up today. However, when I test drove it, the oil light was coming on when the car was at idle or I breaked. This didn't happen until the car heated up. Can someone please tell me what's wrong with this nightmare of a car?!?!

- , Shelby, MI, USA

problem #17

Sep 261998

Intrepid 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17 miles

I bought my 1999 Dodge Intrepid in Sept. 98 and right off the bat the oil light kept coming on. I took the car back many many times for the same thing to Denny Heckers and they said they kept fixing it, but it kept happening. Finally the warranty ran out

and I took the car to White Bear Dodge which cost me around $300 to fix; however, it's now May of 2008 and my oil light still comes on when I turn the ignition on and goes off the first time I step on the breaks. So apparently it's nothing anyone can fix. It seems it may be an electrical shortage because the light comes on even after I've had my oil changed. So, I guess at this point it's annoying & don't worry about it.

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #16

Aug 042006

(reported on)


  • 98,000 miles


Oil light and engine check light come on. The gas gauge goes up and down when it wants to.

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #15

May 242007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

I am extremely annoyed I have only had this car a month and was pretty much told that the engine is bad.......... This totally sucks I knew it had to be something being that nice and that cheap... This is not the only problem let me add more problems that I have had in less than a month owning this piece of sh*t.

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #14

Sep 092007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Just bought the car second hand - Kinda quirky - Whenever I come to a stop the oil light either flickers or stays on, but immediately turns off when I hit the gas. I figure it is something I will eventually have to deal with, but so far, no evidence the car isn't performing the way it was intended. Guess I'll wait and see...

- , Spring Branch, TX, USA

problem #13

Mar 072007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7l

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,196 miles

Oil light flickers this is on the new rebuilt engine that was replaced at 84,000. It doesn't come on until the car has been running for a few minutes. Usually when I stop and the car is idling. This seems to be a common problem with the 1999 Dodge Intrepid. With this type of complaint why don't they just replace all the 1999's or buy them back. You would think they would like to keep this car. It's big, roomy but lots and lots of problems. I have a 1995 Lumina that will put this one to shame. I'm afraid to trade in my Lumina while I have this intrepid. I'm blessed at least I have a back-up car that works. Unlike many others. This is ashame!

- , Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #12

May 172006

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7l

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


This is the rebuilt engine that is causing this problem. Only had the car 2 months when the original engine threw a rod.

- , Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #11

Jan 222007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

The oil light on my intrepid starting to flicker ...... Should I start to get worried?

- , Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #10

Jan 172007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I just bought this car and after driving the interstate and getting off close to my home and stopping at a red light the first thing the oil light comes on. My son is in the car with me and I say Oh Great! Why would the oil light be coming on? We are real close to home so when we get there I have him pop the hood and check the oil level. It's completely full. I just look at my son and I call my daughter's fiance' who is a certified mechanic and ask him and he tells me it could be the oil pump about to go out or the oil sending unit is bad and would be cheaper and easier to replace. He asked if it was leaking oil. I told him it was full at that time. I couldn't tell as it was dark. I monitored it and as the weeks went on and everything seemed fine and then I noticed the oil light didn't go off immediately when I started driving like it usually did, so I stopped and checked the oil and it was very low. I put oil in and was very concerned. The oil sending unit was bad on my car. That is where the oil was leaking from.

- , Cordova, TN, USA

problem #9

Dec 212006

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

My friend brought the same problem to me. Her oil light comes on at an idle as well as flickering when it wants to. Oil level is fine and is turning up no codes. She has 83000 on it and seems to be running fine.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #8

Nov 152006

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I own a 1999 2.7L Intrepid. My oil light used to flicker and no f*ckin mechanic knew what was wrong. I got very annoyed and i started checkin my oil levels and i noticed every time it flickers was because the oil level was below middle. After adding more oil the light stops flickering. After that solution, the light never came on again. I change my oil ever 2000 miles with 10W-40 oil and over these 2000 miles i add an extra bottle of oil when needed. ONCE A WEEK CHECK YOUR OIL LEVELS AND ADD MORE OIL IF NECESSARY BUT MAKE SURE YOU ADD THE SAME KIND OF OIL AS YOU DID WHEN THE OIL CHANGE OCCURRED.

- , Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #7

Sep 282006

(reported on)

Intrepid ES

  • 94,000 miles

About a week or so after buying my 99' Intrepid my check engine light came on. My fans don't work already. It had 78000 miles on it when I first got it. My oil light keeps flickering on and my car runs hot. My oil runs low from time to time. Hopefully it will last me until i pay it off next march 2007. I hate this engine

- , Warsaw, VA, USA

problem #6

Jul 042006

(reported on)


  • 93,000 miles

went to good ol' Goodyear in Rex, Ga on a good day. Was just for once tired of changing the oil in my Intrepid after 4 long years of do it yourself. Talk to the service manager and he told me that they use some chemical that washes all the old oil from the engine. I had read in the Dodge service manual " DO NOT USE ANY TYPE OF OIL ADDITIVES OR DETERGENTS TO THE ENGINE OIL, AT ALL." Just once I dropped my guard. What a bummer! Got down the road after 1 mile after this remarkable elixir, oil light comes on! "WHAT!" My heart nearly flew out of my chest!!! I returned to Goodyear he told me that "it was probably a flutter or something and not to worry, it'll be ok." Relieved, I comforting left. Today, my oil light flutters like a fog beakon for ships over a reef. Other than this no other problems have erupted. It has been 5years later. Oil light flutters frequently, but not always. I change my oil every 2000 miles.

- , Decatur, GA, USA

problem #5

Apr 202006

(reported on)


  • 77,000 miles

The oil light on my intrepid started to flicker yesterday.... This morning the engine oil light stayed on when I started the vehicle.. I turned the vehicle off and restarted it.. The light did not come back on.... Should I start to get worried?

- , Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 112005

(reported on)


  • 108,000 miles

I just buy this car but the engine go off very often if wont started any more and the oil light came on can some tell me if they have the same problem before.

- , Hayward, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 282005

(reported on)


  • 93,000 miles

I may be having a similiar problem with my intrepid and am trying to get as much life out of it as I can. The oil light comes on once in a while. I am using synthectic oil and trying to keep it from getting to hot.

Someone mentioned something called a motor coat : Can you tell me what that is? Does anyone have any other ideas that will give me a little more life???

Someone mentioned getting an oil flush : I have heard different people say different things on that. Mostly if it is still in good shape it is good but if it is sludged up already some of it could fall into oil pan and block oil intake: Is there anyway to tell how bad it is?

- , Nashville, TN, USA

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