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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,182 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.

2001 Dodge Intrepid cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #11

Oct 152010


  • 100,000 miles


I was on my way to aldi's and before I pulled up into the parking lot the car shut off and did not start again fluids were running from underneath I had it towed and they told me it was the water pump and the result of that made anti freeze mix with the oil in the engine and I took it to a second mechanic and they said pretty much the same thing except they added that they did a compression test and it failed so it needed to be rebuilt at some point of time.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #10

Jul 192007


  • 112,124 miles
My car initially started overheated got that fixed which was the water pump then the engine blown and I kept regular maintanance on this vehicle got the head gasket fixed then 3 days later the bottom blew and the timing chain tensor.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 142008


  • 78,000 miles
I was driving down the street when the engine stopped working. My brakes went out on me and I ended up in the middle of someone's yard, much better then the back end of the car in front of me, but still very scary. I was able to restart the car and get onto the side street before it died for the last time.

- Brecksville , OH, USA

problem #8

Feb 222008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles


The engine failed to turnover during a start. The timing chain is not working and has caused major damage to fuel injectors and the basic functioning of the car. Many things have been changed or repaired on the car but, I always get a check engine light that comes on constantly within minutes or days of a repair. The car sounds like a diesel truck engine when it idles, or is stopped at traffic lights. The belts make lots of whining noises. The car in this respect has cost me lots of $$ and is just sitting in a parking lot undriveable.

- Westtown, PA, USA

problem #7

Oct 092007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,875 miles
I had my car oil changed regularly, while driving 55 mph, I heard a loud knocking sound. I took it to an independent shop, who informed me that the timing chain tensioners broke, after they got the engine apart, it was so sludged up and impossible to fix. Said this was the reason, there was no other warning that something was wrong. My warranty had expired 6 mos. Previously, when I called Chrysler they said it was not their problem. I was lucky to be able to borrow funds to pay $6,000 for a new engine, as I have a physical handicap I require a vehicle, and had this happened in the country, it would have been worse because I cannot walk any distance. The mechanic told me these were a faulty engine and should have maybe had a recall.

- Langley, 00, USA

problem #6

Dec 152006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
Timing chain and oil pump failed in car oil sludge build up had to replace motor at 140,000 miles maintenance on vehicle done regularly thermostat housing and intake manifold had to be replaced at 160,000 miles vehicle is now leaking antifreeze.

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #5

Jun 162007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2001 Dodge Intrepid, I was driving on the freeway when all of a sudden the steering wheel got hard and the car stopped running...L had my children with me...luckily when that occurred the freeway was curving and I pulled a side because as I looked left... of course panicked... a huge semi truck had just passed me....the freeway merging... I just thanked god for that curve. I turned on the car and I heard loud klacking noise. Now the motor is messed up and is costing me an arm and a leg so the car is just sitting there collecting dust.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 132005

Intrepid 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 50 mph, the vehicle lost speed, and stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a private repair shop, who determined that the water pump had failed, causing water and antifreeze to leak into the engine.

- Delta, OH, USA

problem #3

Jul 052005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
Driving uphill in indio, ca at 113 degree heat, the engine falied. The cap came off and I lost all coolant and my engine seized. I had my 3 year old daughter in the car and I barely was able to get it pulled over.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Jun 012005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles
Contact states while his wife was driving vehicle stalled, there was smoke coming from under the hood. There were no power steering or power brakes. There were no warning lights before this happened. The service dealer said the motor needed to be replaced. Upon inspection, it was found that a plastic part of the water pump broke off. The vehicle has been regularly maintained.

- Rockhill, SC, USA

problem #1

Sep 222003


  • miles
While driving owner noticed the heater stopped working. Consumer pulled into a parking lot, and pulled out the dip stick from the engine. Owner said that the dip stick was full of coolant. Consumer took the vehicle to the dealership.

- Oakfield, NY, USA

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