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:
111,931 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. replace oil sensor connector (2 reports)
  3. replaced oil pressure switch (2 reports)
  4. rebuild engine (1 reports)
2000 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2000 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 152012

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,900 miles


click to see larger images

oil light blinks especially when idling oil light blinks especially when idling oil light blinks especially when idling

I just bought a Dodge Intrepid Base 2000 2.7L V6 Engine that has a mileage of 127,900. My mechanic said that the car is running in good condition and no problems. The car runs smoothly and very quiet.

After a couple of days, I noticed that the oil lights always flickers every time I got off from the freeway and went to stop/idle in a traffic light (RPM:500).

I changed my synthetic oil twice and changed the oil filter. Also, flushed my transmission fluid. My mechanic also cleaned the engine oil pan for possible oil sludge and changed the oil gasket. My mechanic said that the oil pressure drops when my car is on idle. Still the problems occurs and so I went back and they changed the seal of the engine oil pan. My mechanic also changed the sensor. Now, the problem is still there and it still flickers (blinks) every time I got off from the FREEWAY and stop. When I drive in a CITY ROAD and stop, the problem does occur.

Problem solved! After all the drama and non stop replacements. *1. Cleaning Oil Pan. *2. Changing the Sensor. *3. Changing the Oil Sender. *4. Oil Cap and the Camshaft. *5. Changing Synthetic Oil and Oil Filter. *6. Checking the Oil Pressure: Normal. *7. Changing the Radiator cap. (Seal was broken). *8. Changing Oil Pan Gasket. (It was leaking after my mechanic cleaned the oil pan). *9. Changing the Coolant Air Bleeder. (It was leaking).

The problem was the OIL SWITCH. My mechanic replaced an Autozone best of best quality (As he said) oil switch but it got worst. And so, he replaced it with original parts and the flickering is gone. If oil switch was not the issue, my last resort was changing the OIL PUMP. Fortunately, it did not end that way.

I was kinda depressed after all the marathon repairs that I have done that that was only the problem. It was not a mechanical issue instead it was electrical. Nevertheless, I am less worried since my mechanic cleaned my engine for possible oil sludge and did a lot of stuff.

I am going to take care of my car by doing this: 1. Using Chevron Gas with 87 octane rating. - Chevron is currently the best quality of gas in the Market. - 87 Octane Rating because it says on the manual not to use premium. 2. I will be using Pennzoil Ultra (Ultra Class Full Synthetic). - This will prevent fast build up of oil sludge. - I heard AMSoil is the best oil in the market but I heard controversies that it could also kill your engine that's why they don't mass production in the market. - Pennzoil is the recommended oil of Chrysler. - They use Pennzoil in 2.7 engine that they are currently have in new cars. (Lame Chrysler still makes 2.7L engine until now for newer cars). - Never use non-synthetic oil. 3. Changing my oil every 2500-3000 miles. - I prefer to spend money in oil rather than spending money on engine repairs. 4. Driving my car for an average of 65 miles per hour. (70 is max). - Less chance to overheat the engine and cause problems to other parts. 5. When my car is on stop/idle and I step on my gas pedal, I gently push it very slowly to prevent stressing the engine. -If the gas pedal is stepped on gently to accelerate rather than slammed to the floor to beat out the car in the next lane at a red light, better gas mileage is achieved. - When the gas pedal is depressed hard, the gas engine burns fuel and stresses the car. 6. I always warm up the engine before running until the oil temperature gauge goes up a little. - It prevents the engine from burning oil. 7. Monitor for engine sound changes every time I ran the car. - My car is running smooth for now. 8. Check all fluids before driving. 9. Monitor my millage, check the status of my timing chain, oil color for possible sludge, and water pump.

- , NA, NA, NA

problem #11

Mar 052012

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,500 miles

Everytime that the car is on stop/idle, oil lights turns on especially when I just got out the freeway. When I press gas, there is huge smoke that comes out that back of my car after idling.

- , Gardena, CA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012010

Intrepid ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 227,000 miles

oil light on panel of control dont go off and i dont know how to fix

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #9

Sep 072008

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles


As annoying as a flichering oil light is and the possibility of and oil pump failure I lucked out. The part was cheap and only took a little time to replace. There is a god.

- , Mercedes, TX, USA

problem #8

Jun 272009

Intrepid L 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

This issue is making me really mad. The oil light only comes on at stops when the engine is warm. I have had tests done and none of them seem to come up with anything. Just changed the oil and filter, also I've replaced the oil sensor and it still does it. Anyone have any idea on how to fix this problem?

- , Asheboro, NC, USA

problem #7

Feb 012009

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I also have the flickering oil light at idle problem. Always happens at a stop sign or light, and after the engine is thoroughly hot, especially after highway speeds. A slight increase in rpm makes the light stop, either by giving it a touch of gas or putting it in neutral. My last oil change cured the problem for a couple of months. After a long internet search through various Dodge forums, I've learned that the problem is caused by a faulty oil sensor connector. Apparently some sort of "vented" replacement connector is needed to fix the issue. Dodge dealers should know about it by now, and have the part number for the new connector. Now that winter's here, it doesn't seem to get warm enough to do it. I haven't fixed it yet.

Update from Apr 25, 2010: I installed the "wire terminal/vent" in the connector for the oil pressure sending unit. $23 at the dealer, part # 05017800AA, from Dodge Bulletin # 08-36-99. The purchased part itself is about 18" of wire, inside a protective split plastic conduit, with a small female connector on the end, a lil' smaller than the one you stick in your cell phone to charge it. On the car's original wiring harness, the turquoise-colored plastic electrical connector for the oil sender is physically designed to hold two female connectors for two different wires (because that kind of plug is used in more applications than just oil sending units, and some of them are connecting two wires), but the oil sender only has one male pin, so the harness connector has an unused "extra" wire path (sort of like how a three-wire extension cord has an extra unused third wire path when you only plug a two-prong appliance into it). On the original Dodge wiring harness, there is a plastic dummy plug inserted instead of a second wire (to continue the extension cord analogy, think of plugging the third hole on the extension cord with a plastic golf tee). Apparently this dummy plug causes some sort of venting problem when the engine gets hot (although why pressure from a sending unit would get outside the unit itself is beyond me, the mechanical oil pressure ought to have been converted into electrical energy by the time it gets to the plug, right?), and makes the oil light come on at idle (shrug ok, whatever you say, Dodge engineer geeks).

The repair procedure is to unlock and remove the harness connector from the oil sender, clean the oily connector inside and out, and the sensor, with spray electrical contact cleaner, gently pull a dark green, plastic wire-locking sleeve off the center hub inside the connector with some needlenose pliers, remove the dummy plug (golf tee) from the back (wire) side of the connector with the same needlenose pliers, insert the new part where the dummy plug was (adding a second, "dummy" wire and conductor to the connector in place of the dummy plug, which is unused for anything electrical and exists solely to replace the plastic dummy plug you took out, so don't look for anything to hook the other end of the new wire to), and replace the locking sleeve inside the connector. Reattach the connector to the sending unit and lock it, run and tape the 18" of dummy wire alongside the real wire to keep it from flapping around, and you're done.

The whole job would have taken 'bout 15 minutes if I'd known how the locking connector worked, lol. The hardest part was being able to get my hand on the connector at the same time as my eyes, to get the connector off the sender (didn't know there was a lock on it until I could see it clearly from below, after jacking the car up). The sending unit is on the right side of the block, under the exhaust manifold. You can just barely see its turquoise color with a flashlight through the front of the passenger-side wheel well. You gotta jack the car up far enough to really crawl under it, so you can remove the connector from below and feed it up, above the exhaust manifold, so you can then crawl back out and do the surgery on the plug standing up, on top of the exhaust manifold where you can work better. Now that I've done it once and learned how the sliding bright red latch on the connector unlocks it, I could unhook it by feel through the wheel well, but I think I'd still need to jack it up and crawl under in order to pass the wire up to where you can see it to take it apart, since there's no way to reach it from above when it's hooked to the sending unit. I only did it yesterday, but I haven't seen a flicker in the oil light since.

- , Portland, ME, USA

problem #6

Feb 032009

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,171 miles


This issue is making me mad. The oil light only comes on at stops when the engine is warm. I have had tests done and none of them seem to come up with anything. Just changed the oil and filter, and it still does it. Anyone have any idea on how to fix this problem?

In the mean time should I slightly rev the engine to keep oil light off or what?

- , Sabina, OH, USA

problem #5

May 242006

(reported on)


  • 64,000 miles

The oil light comes on when at idle. Don't know what it is. The car runs good so far. I have had it for 3 years bought it used. Then i read all this sh*t about oil sludge. Its ashame Chrysler wont admit to the problem. I will never buy a dodge again. I change my oil every 3,000 miles. I wonder what it means about the light coming on. Does anyone know?

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 012008

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

After getting my oil changed 2 years ago on my 2000 dodge intrepid, the oil light started to come on and flicker when I am idling, but would always go off when I pushed on the gas again. After having several things checked out, everyone kept saying they didn't know why it was doing that. I did get a new oil sending unit but I don't know if that fixed it or not yet because the car is broken down...that's just one of the things that was fixed on it so far but that didn't have anything to do with it breaking down.

- , Muskegon, MI, US

problem #3

Jun 062002

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I bought the car used because it was very roomy for my growing family. A couple months later the oil light flickered, but the dealership could not find a problem. Then the car started running odd at high speeds. It felt like it was misfiring or something. Once the warranty expired the timing chain broke! It damaged the engine and was very expensive to repair. Among the other problems that I have had with this, I would not buy a Chrysler vehicle again :(

- , Shelby Twp., MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 182008

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,600 miles

The other day when I stopped at a redlight and the RPMs went to around15 the oil light started flickering and if I revved it up past 15 or 16 the light would go out. Its doesn't do it all the time. I called my mechanic and he said that is usually because of low oil pressure but everything looks good with the oil and the last oil change I had I had the system flushed out. So I don't know if I want to waste anymore money on this car or not. For 1 its hard to find anyone to work on the 2.7L alot of mechanics refuse to work on this engine because the cant guarantee anything because the engine is such a piece of crap.

- , Ypsilanti, MI, US

problem #1

Sep 192007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 4 Door 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Oil light has been blinking since 2001, but no problem yet! Light blinks almost all the time, especially when engine is idling.

- , Toccoa, GA, USA

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