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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,700 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced the engine, always use synthetic oil (6 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
  3. junked the car (1 reports)
2001 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #12

Sep 152011

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


never buy Dodge or Chrysler products ever again!!! Alot of the vehicles they have put out in the last few years have resulted in engine failure. My 2001 Intrepid failed, my neighbors 2000 intrepid failed and 2 other of my friends had Chrysler Sebrings which also failed. I can't figure out how Chrysler gets away with not recalling all of these bad engines. No other car company gets away with this. They must be paying somebody off. AGAIN----NEVER BUY CHRYSLER OR DODGE CARS EVER!!!!!! Amy S

- Amy S., Fort Mitchell, KY, US

problem #11

Apr 032009

Intrepid LX 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles

The coolant system appears to have exploded; loss of power steering and power breaks and there's water/coolant in the oil pan. From reading about other owners similar engine failures, I feel lucky to have gotten so many miles out of it. The fix this problem would cost much more than this car is worth.

Are they worth anything for spare parts?

- Gary W., Woodland, WA, US

problem #10

Mar 192009

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

One day with no warning the engine just shut down. Coolant in the lower engine case.To our surprise this is a common problem. We were given a price of 6,000 dollars to replace the engine. Kelly blue book for this car is 3,500. Needless to say we're not fixing it. . With only 75,000 mile we were hoping for two more years from this car. This is the first car I owned that didn't make it over 125,000 miles. The oil was changed at every 3000 miles and I have receipts for that. So if any one is planning a class act suit I'm in. My e-mai is I will never buy another Dodge product.

- weberaz, Tucson, AZ, US

problem #9

Oct 122008

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


Our first mistake was buying the car from a third-hand used car dealer. He assured us that the car was in good mechanical condition. Before we signed the purchase papers he had it smogged and it passed smog. How that happened is a mystery. I think he had some kind of shady deal going with the smog shop. We didn't detect any problems before we bought it, but the day after we drove it off the lot, I noticed blue smoke coming out of the exhaust whenever we accelerated from a stop. The dealer recommended synthetic oil, which we knew would only mask the problem. He refused to fix it and my husband didn't feel like fighting about it. We spent $75.00 of our own money to replace the PCV valve. A few weeks later, the cooling system went out. We had to take out a title loan to fix the problem, which the mechanic (same one who replaced the PCV valve) said was a "bad" cooling pipe and was typical of 2001 Intrepids. He recommended a few other repairs, but none of those recommendations included checking up on the head gasket!!!

We drove the car for five more months and since I drove it the most, I noticed occasional hesitation in the engine, and smelled coolant from time to time, but thought the coolant smell was from the hot weather we were having. The engine had a lot of miles, so the hesitation didn't seem like an issue. My husband didn't think so either. Then one day, we were a block from home and the engine completely died. We thought it had overheated. My husband checked the radiator and it was completely DRY.

We had it towed to the mechanic (same mechanic) who told us that "somehow" the coolant had leaked into the engine block and caused everything to seize up! First he said it was the head gasket, but after we asked what the problem REALLY was, and how we'd noticed that the radiator was completely dry. THEN the mechanic said he was baffled at how coolant could have leaked into the engine. We thought he'd fixed the problem! If we had known that the mechanic had improperly fixed the coolant leak, or that the engine had a fatal design flaw, we would have told the mechanic to keep the car until he'd fixed EVERYTHING, and not just the cooling pipe.

Now we're looking at $5,000 to replace the engine, and the car isn't even worth that! We're hoping to find a cheaper replacement engine, but it looks like we're going to have to go with a cheaper replacement car. I've always liked Dodge but they can go stick this car up their butts.

- Sira H., Reno, NV, US

problem #8

Oct 272008

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Just finding out about the problems with the 2.7 Dodge Intrepid. Have had excellent maintenance record, no warning by the mechanics, no red warning light came on. By the time I knew anything was wrong, the engine was "blown". Dodge claims no responsibility if I can't show the oil was change every 3,000 miles, and not a mile over that; think that is a nasty way to repay consumers for buying their car that they know is going to "blow up", and then not notifying the owners and/or mechanics who service those cars. I don't have the $6,000 to put in a new engine and why would I on a car with 93,000 miles on it. Really, really upset witht he Dodge Company. Will never buy another one.

- Kaye R., Muscatine, IA, US

problem #7

Oct 142008

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

if you have one of these cars and you haven't had any problems yet ???(ITS GOING TO HAPPEN )so i would advise get rid of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- matwell, Bluefield, VA, US

problem #6

Jul 032008

Intrepid V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


I just paid $100. for a diagnostic check that can't be fixed at Firestone. They stated that I needed to have major working on the car and also suggested to trade it in that Intrepids are not worth the money to repair =( I have had other problems with the car so not sure what to do?

- jcedwards, Modesto, CA, US

problem #5

Feb 282008

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Purchased the 2001 dodge intrepid in 6/07 with approx. 100,000 miles on it. Car seemed like a dream. Had it checked and checked again and only the most minor problems were found. Fixed those right up and car drove like a dream. A few months ago (Dec?) had a minor electrical problem. Fixed and forgotten about.

I drive 100 miles a day 3 days a week. about 60 miles into one of those drives I see white smoke from the tailpipe. Thought to myself it was from an oil change I had the previous day and that it would clear up. Smoke got worse so I pulled over.. After a few minutes I took off again. No indication of overheating. After about 5 minutes the temperature gauge begins to drop so exited highway. Just as I pulled over the car died. Barely made it off the highway even though car indicated no problems. Towed 25 miles to my mechanic who told me my cooling system had exploded. After checking the vehicle delivered the awful news. Engine had three blown cylinders. I cared for this car like a mom cares for a newborn. Still didn't save me from the 2.7L engine curse.

- intrepidssuck, Bronx, NY, US

problem #4

Sep 212007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

The car was responsibly driven, well cared for. Even the Mopar mechanics call the engine junk - not worth repair (not mine in particuliar all 2.7')s. No replacements from salvage yard because they all have failed. Replacement new have disclaimers on available warranty and are more that the value of the car and much more expensive than comp. replacements by other makes. Thanks to the engineers and marketing I cannot interchange the better 3.3 Mopar engine to fit. My last Chrysler product.

- Jamie D., Promise City, IA, US

problem #3

Sep 242007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

I got my Intrepid new as a company car, and subsequently bought it when the division had layoffs (less than 10K miles, I was the original owner). It has been a dependable car, until it 'stalled out' last week. Turns out there's water in the oil, so the suspicion is a blown head gasket. The temperature gauge was 'normal' (not overheated) and there was a trail of oil that had come out the oil filler tube (dip stick 'popped' due to pressure). The car is driven about 5 miles each way to work and back each day, and for occasional errands in the evenings/weekend. I took it to a local mechanic to get a further diagnosis and estimate for repair, and came upon this website. Has anyone gotten any resolution for Chrysler? Class action suit? What do they say about it...? Any additional advice?

Thx. in advance...

- David T., Oro Valley, AZ, US

problem #2

Jul 192007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Engine failed on Interstate 70 in Kansas City, Kansas. Fortunately, it occurred as we were approaching an exit ramp and I was able to steer (without power steering) onto ramp and get stopped (without power brakes) before entering a signal-controlled intersection.




Engine smoked but did not catch fire. We waited in 90-degree heat for tow services. So far, the mechanic has discovered a destroyed thermostat, melted thermostat housing, damaged intake, bent cam shaft, warped cylinder heads, and engine replacement is recommended because warpage of heads and cam shaft is so severe.

Engine failure is an apparent known liability of this engine, a 2001 Chrysler 2.7 liter V6. The engine will be replaced to correct the failure due to concerns about damage to lower parts of OEM engine as a result of extreme heat.

- Eve B., Lenexa, KS, US

problem #1

Mar 312006

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • 70,000 miles

We bought our intrepid in 2003, with 39000 miles on it. About a month ago it started making a ticking noise, so we took it to the mechanic. He took down the engine and said your engine needs to be replaced, do to sludge and lack of oil to the cam bearings. I have always serviced my own vehicles so I know the engine oil has been changed every 3-5000 miles. We have extended warranty on the car and the adjuster said he needs to see all reciepts to prove we have changed the oil, so as of now I do not know if they will repair it, but what I have heard about these 2.7 liter engines and how customers of dodge are being treated, I feel that I have a very slim chance that my car will be repaired. Something really needs to be done for all the owners of these cars.

UPDATE: we spent almost a year getting this car up and running again--the whole time we were making a payment every month on it and watching it collect dust. We had a extended warranty on this vehicle and continued to fight this problem. The only saving grace for us was that we actually had been using Mobil 1 synthetic oil since the time we bought the car at 39,000 miles. When the motor was tore down (which by the way we had to agree to pay to have it done twice since the warranty company didn't like what the first adjuster had to say) the motor was clean as a whistle --however it apparently had been hot and antifreeze had gotten in the heads and pitted the motor and that was what finally got this motor replaced. We did get a motor that has a unlimited mileage--3 year warranty--(yes 2.7L) replacement. This whole situation did however cost us several thousand dollars, not necessary on the motor cost but on the loss of the vehicle for a year and the added expense of getting to and from work /extra gas- and payments on a vehicle that was just sitting. Now the car is up and running again we are scared to death to take it anywhere for fear of what else will happen. I really liked this car and now I would like to get rid of it- here comes the rest of the story--trade in with the new motor is about $5500 and we still owe $6000--AIN'T IT GREAT. If anyone does manage to get motor replaced be sure and run synthetic oil, we have seen this proven-- we had absolutely NO sludge in this motor.

- Sharon G., Williston, ND, US

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