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 / 10
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,805 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #141

Jun 252008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 118,534 miles


Oil sludge build up on engine of 2.7L V6 Dodge Intrepid engine, timing chain broke, and water pump quit.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #140

Feb 142008


  • 92,000 miles
My car seized on route 3 in pa on my way to take daughter to see surgeon on her first trip allowed to be sitting in a car to get her staples removed after major back surgery. The oil light came on and within 2 seconds the car shrugged twice and died. With no warning beside the 2 second interval of the oil light I lost all steering and braking abilities to get my car safely off roadway. This was especially scary because it was the first day she was allowed to sit in a car and only to see her surgeon. I am told by my mechanic that my timing chain is bad and it is impossible to replace, they are on back order because so many people have had the same problem. My Dodge dealership told me they are unaware of anyone else having a problem with timing chains at all. My car is undrivable, useless, crushing blow for a single parent of 3 kids.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #139

May 092008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
On three times in the last four years I have had to replace the timing chain tensioner on my 2001 Dodge 2.7L. The first time the local dealer did the repair the car was under warranty. I was told at that time by the dealer that I had engine sludge and that this repair and future repairs would not be covered. The last time the I had a failure on the highway and had to limp 2 miles to get off, this caused major intake valve damage and has is coasting me about $1,200 to fix myself.

- Somersworth , NH, USA

problem #138

May 072008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles


I purchased the car used in December 2007, it had 147,000 miles on it. Since I purchased it I have had the oil changed twice. On the morning of May 7, 2008, I checked the oil prior to a long trip and found it to be 1 quart low. I added additional oil to bring the level to full. About 5 miles into the trip, while driving on the freeway at 70 miles an hour, I began hearing a very loud knocking sound coming from the engine. As I began changing lanes, I found that once I slowed down slightly, I was unable to pick up speed again, and I was slowly loosing speed. As I entered the off ramp the oil light began to flicker. At the end of the off ramp, my car died at the stop sign, and would not start again, leaving me in a very unsafe place. I placed the car in neutral and attempted to push it into a parking lot from the drivers door in order to be able to turn the steering wheel or apply the brakes if needed. I was unable to push from that position, so I was forced to take the risk of pushing from the rear of the vehicle. By sheer luck the car rolled between a street sign and a parked vehicle, and came to a stop when it hit a bush just before rolling into the ditch. I was informed by my mechanic that the rod knock was caused by a severe buildup of oil sludge in the engine. I was offered 2 options to repair the vehicle; 1) have a remanufactured 2.7 L engine installed that had been modified to combat this problem, or 2) have a 3.2 or 3.5 L engine from another Intrepid or concord installed, which would involve no modifications since the transmission and exhaust systems for all three of the engines were identical. To my surprise, the estimate for installing the larger engine was less than installing the same size engine, even considering the peripheral parts such as air conditioning, power steering, etc. That would need to come along with the larger engine! all told, I will have spend $3000 to purchase the car and nearly the same amount to repair it.

- Albany, OR, USA

problem #137

Feb 202007


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 65 mph, the contact heard a very loud clicking noise coming from the engine compartment. Shortly afterwards, the motor stopped running and white smoke appeared from the exhaust. The vehicle would not restart. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. A mechanic advised him to replace the entire motor. The vehicle is still at the contact's home and has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 110,000.

- Fabens, TX, USA

problem #136

Mar 212008


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle overheated. The contact heard a loud noise coming from the engine compartment and had the vehicle towed to a local mechanic. The mechanic stated that the engine failed. The contact could not afford to replace the engine, so he had the vehicle towed to his residence. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 92,000.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #135

Nov 222007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


Without any warning the engine just quit and would not start again while waiting for a stop light. Upon taking it to an auto repair shop it was determined that the engine had failed and required replacement. Cause of failure was oil sludge. A rebuilt engine was purchased and installed at a cost of $5,000.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #134

Mar 182008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle abruptly shut off. The contact had a child seated in a child seat at the time. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the motor was clogged with oil sludge and a new one was needed. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 35,000 and current mileage was 36,000.

- Fineland, NJ, USA

problem #133

Dec 042007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I had set up an appt. To take my 2001 Dodge Intrepid in for an oil change and to have the engine light checked because it had recently come on. Within a few days of making that appt., my oil light started coming on every time on put the brakes on. I was able to bring the car in earlier. We had to rent a vehicle for the weekend which we couldn't afford. By the time this was all said and done, our mechanic told us we had an anti-freeze leak and an oil leak. They refuse to repair either one because the last time they fixed an oil leak on a Dodge Intrepid, the car still broke down and they got sued. They can't get to the anti-freeze leak without taking the engine out which in turn will cause more problems with our engine. We're constantly putting oil in it and anti-freeze. We're still paying on this car. We're not the only people with this same problem. There are a couple of class action law suits out there and Chrysler should give people their money back. We have a child in the latter stages of kidney failure and this is suppose to be our reliable vehicle to get her back and forth to albany.

- South Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #132

Mar 282008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 55 mph, the contact heard a loud bang and noticed smoke under the hood on the passenger side of the vehicle. He pulled off the road and the engine exploded. The dealer stated that it would cost $5,000 to repair the vehicle. The VIN, purchase, date, and engine size were unknown. The current and failure mileages were 95,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #131

Feb 102008


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I purchased my 2001 Dodge Intrepid in October of 2006 and have had no major problems with this vehicle until recently. In the last 30 days I have spent roughly $1200 in repairs for a timing change, the replacement of the crankshaft sensor, camshaft sensor and some other preventive repair measures like a tune up, serpentine belt, etc. The problem that I am most concerned about is the fact that when I am reducing speed the oil light flashes and when at a complete stop and the car is idling the oil light comes on. I took the car to Chrysler and they advised me that the oil sending unit was leaking and needed to be replaced. However, I have had this part replaced in the vehicle is still having this problem. An outside mechanic advised me of related issues with this vehicle and told me to do some research regarding this issue. In my research I have found that this problem usually leads to engine failure and this concern me greatly. For the number of vehicles that has had this same problem something needs to be done!

- Eight Mile, AL, USA

problem #130

Mar 102008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Engine blew with only 70,000 miles on it. 2.7 liter V-6. Dodge Intrepid SE 2001. No indication of any problem then sitting at stop light it blew. Had to get towed to dealership then they say the engine is blown will cost 6500 to repair.

- Granger, IN, USA

problem #129

May 242007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,772 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving approximately 45 mph, the contact heard a loud rattling noise coming from the front end of the vehicle. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle's speed decreased dramatically and the vehicle stalled minutes later. She took the vehicle to a local mechanic and they replaced the timing chain and stated that the entire engine and engine cooling system needed to be replaced. The manufacturer stated that they would only assist if there was sludge in her engine. The powertrain was unknown. The failure mileage was 70,772 and current mileage was 77,000.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #128

Jul 122007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Oil light stays on at idle. Have been informed this is a chronic problem with the 2.7 engine that leads to eventual failure. I have not yet had this issue but am hoping that any information will help me and anyone else.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #127

Dec 302007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles
Sudden engine failure on a 6 year old car that was regularly maintained 2001 Dodge Intrepid (known to be an issue on all 2.7L engines). This vehicle is worth nothing to anyone at this point, only 100,000 miles.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #126

Jan 102008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,960 miles
2.7L engine failure... the the rod bearings shot, do to oil starvtoin from poor engine design.

- Hornell, NY, USA

problem #125

Oct 012007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,680 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. The contact stated that the instrument panel and interior lights illuminated while the vehicle idled then the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the mechanic and he stated that the computer system caused the failure. Approximately three weeks later the engine failed. The mechanic replaced the engine with a rebuilt engine. While driving 15 mph, the engine failed again. As of January 3, 2008, the mechanic had not repaired the vehicle. The failure was 124,680 and current mileage was 124,800. Updated 01/29/08 the consumer was informed by 2 mechanics that it was a known problem that the oil pump hose were too small for the vehicle and was causing engine problems.

- Nashville, NC, USA

problem #124

Dec 022007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
Noticed the oil light flickering on and off at stop lights. Looked for problems but saw none. A few days later noticed a very quiet ticking sound coming from the engine. Unfortunately not being a car knowledgeable person I did not take this seriously enough. A week later driving to a destination I heard a loud knocking in the engine. Arrived at my destination and shut the engine off. Upon attempt to restart the engine some time later there was more knocking and refusal to turn over. Car was towed to a local garage where I learned the tinning chain had broken and damaged a number of the pistons and other components of the engine. Only recourse was either install a new engine or buy a new car. As I am still paying for this car I opted to purchase an engine. Engine has been installed and I have just got my car back tonight after nearly a month without a vehicle. Now I have to find some way to pay for this mess as I had to borrow it short term from a friend. I am in a very bad financial situation because for this. I am attempting to apply to Chrysler for their reimbursement program with little hope of success since I did not keep the oil change records and receipts records they require.

- Hendersonville, PA, USA

problem #123

Dec 142007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
Catastrophic failure of 2.7 liter engine in 2001 Dodge Intrepid. My mechanic explained to me that the engine failed due to poor oil circulation in the engine which was poorly designed. After some research, I found that this problem was known to Chrysler since the late 90's. the dealership I purchased the car from should never have passed off this vehicle as a good used car without addressing this failure. Since they are a Dodge dealership. I have maintained the car very well and there would be no reason for such a failure had the engine been designed with better channels for the oil to flow. I still owe over $2,000 on the car and the repairs would cost over $5,000. This is fraud on the part of Chrysler.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #122

Dec 012005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving approximately 55 mph, the contact heard a ticking sound coming from the vehicle. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the timing chain failed. Almost two years later, the contact heard a loud pop and pulled to the side of the road. The vehicle was towed to a transmission shop and they stated that the vehicle needed a new engine. Currently, the vehicle is unable to be driven. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 73,000 and failure mileage was 45,000.

- Monroe, MI, USA

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