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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #81

Jul 312006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


: the contact stated the engine stalled suddenly while stopped at a traffic light. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop who determined that the engine needed to be replaced due to water and oil in the engine. There were no problems with the vehicle prior to the incident. The oil light illuminated on the dash. Due to oil consumption problem, oil was not reaching the heads of the vehicle which caused which caused coolant to mix with the oil. Updated 08/24/06.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #80

Jul 242006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
: the contact stated the engine stalled in the middle of traffic while driving 45 mph. The vehicle would not restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where the dealership determined the vehicle's engine had blown and needed to be replaced. There were no warning signals with the vehicle prior to this incident.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #79

Jun 022006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles
The engine blew...never got a warning that it was having problems. Always got the oil change at oil changing wal-mart. Have records.....please help...don't have 3.500 dollars for a new or use engine.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #78

Apr 192006


  • miles


2001 Dodge Intrepid engine caught on fire. The consumer had the cruise control on and soon saw smoke, then the coolant light illuminated.

- Ligonier, PA, USA

problem #77

May 152005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles
With no warning the engine failed. The consequences of this failure was a catastrophic engine loss due to timing chain failure engine sludge buildup. There was nothing done to correct this problem, and the cost of a new engine was in excess of the value of the vehicle.

- Grand Rivers, KY, USA

problem #76

Apr 052006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 35mph the engine stalled and operated at a reduced speed. A banging noise came from the engine followed by white smoke. There was no evidence of a fire. No warning lights illuminated to indicate a failure. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealership for inspection. The service department removed the oil pan and determined the engine needed to be replaced.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #75

Mar 022006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


In May 2005, my 2001 Intrepid with the 2.7L engine left us stranded in the middle of the road due to overheating. The heater also would blow hot air only half the time. I was unaware of the 2.7L engine problem. The car also had an oil leak. Towed the car to an authorized Chrysler dealer. This dealer performed a diagnostic check on the car and found quite a few things wrong. Contacted the 'extended' warranty company and they advised I needed to take the car to 'their' authorized dealer. Had the car towed there also. The 'warranty' dealer also ran a diagnostics on the car and only found about half of the things wrong with the car. After fighting with the extended warranty for 10 days without a vehicle, they agreed to authorize the work. The dealer fixed the heating problem and replaced the water pump. They also fixed the oil leak and replaced a couple of gaskets. The dealer called us and informed us that the engine had sludge buildup and that a de-sludging was recommended. This of course not covered by the warranty. We decided to do the de-sludging at a $300 cost. We received the vehicle back on June 14th. Well, on aprox. March 2nd, 2006 I was driving back from night school on interstate 10 when my engine started knocking. I was doing 60 mph. I stopped and checked the oil and it was normal. So I went on home. The next day, the car would not even start so I had the car towed to the same dealer as before. They ran a diagnostics check and said I need a new engine. Aprox cost $6400. I owe 7K on this car still. The extended warranty will not authorize this work since they claim that the de-sludging voided the warranty. The dealer recommended it and the warranty had said they wouldn't pay for it but nothing ever came up about voiding the warranty. I'm stuck without a vehicle again, in a rental car of my own expense and no $$ to fix it at this time!!!

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #74

Mar 102006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 15 mph the engine stalled and made a clunking noise. The engine would not restart and was towed to an independent repair shop. The mechanic determined the timing chain broke and the engine needed to be replaced, but no repairs were made. Updated 10/11/07.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #73

Jan 262006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
I own a 2001 Dodge Intrepid SE with the 2.7 liter engine and 88,000 miles on it. I took it to the shop yesterday because it suddenly started sounding like a diesel engine. The shop called me later that morning to inform me that engine had sludge in it, and the sound I was hearing was damage to the timing chain, and the engine will eventually blow. The only thing he can do is replace the engine at a cost of over $6200. At 42,000 miles I took car to the dealer for service because heater was blowing cold air when I came to a stop light but would blow hot air when I was driving. They said that I had a blown head gasket and replaced it because it was under the extended warranty. Now this happens. I called Chrysler and strongly voiced my displeasure about their product. They took my information and provided me with a case number and said that I can bring it to an authorized Dodge dealership for them to inspect. If they determine that this was not due to neglect then they "might" participate in the cost of repair. I would need to provide them with all of my receipts for oil changes (which I only have the last one from 3 weeks ago). Also, I would be responsible for the cost of them taking the engine apart ($700). Only after they take it apart and have an inspector look at it will they determine if they will participate in any of the costs. I came across your web site from several forums where it appears that many individuals have experienced the same problem. My question had to do if I had any recourse in this matter?

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #72

Jan 162006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,999 miles
Engine failed while traveling on freeway with no warning. Apparently same problem as other 2001 Dodge Intrepids - oil sludge causing engine failure due to poor design. Currently with dealer in hopes of repair. Still owe $4,400 dollars on worthless car as engine is gone.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #71

Jan 062006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I was driving my 2201 Dodge Intrepid and the engine failed. I had my vehicle towed to the dealership where I purchased it, and was told it was due to sludge build up. My extended warranty won't cover the damage and the dealership is asking for $4,084 to put a re-built engine in it. My car has approximately 70,000 miles on it. I also produced receipts/printouts for maintenance (oil changes) performed on my vehicle. Prior to the car stopping, there was no warning of any type ~ no oil or engine light to warn of a potential problem.

- Broussard, LA, USA

problem #70

Jan 052006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,600 miles
8/13/02-we took our 2001 Dodge Intrepid 2.7L in to the dealer for warranty repair. The headlamps were change because of fogging lens covers. The power steering pump was whining so that was also replaced. The vehicle had 31,207 miles. 1/14/03-with 36,354 miles on it we had the rear glass replaced because the defroster was not working. No cost for this. Also had them check a knocking noise in the front end but they could not diagnose the problem. 12/16/03-47,658 miles. Engine light on for a problem in the evap system. Dealer fixed it for $248.69. We had them check for the front end knock but they could not find a problem. They also recommended that we have the timing chain tensioner looked at. I did not ask them to check that at all since everything seemed fine at the time. Looking back I can see that they were trying to prevent something they knew was going to happen in the future! 06/07/04-54,932 miles. The A/C stopped working. Had the dealer diagnose the problem for $70.51. They said the condenser was leaking. I repaired it myself for about $200. 01/05/06-74,600 miles. Vehicle started knocking louder and louder while driving one day so I decided to drive my other car. The next day I tried to start the Intrepid but it would not fire. A mechanic diagnosed it as a timing chain problem. Fix would cost around $1,500. Oil changes were made every 3000-5000 miles and sludged with a oil flush because oil would evaporate.

- Gregory, MI, USA

problem #69

Dec 222005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles
2001 Dodge Intrepid 2.7 engine died while driving for no apparent reason. The vehicle was driven 400 miles the day before and performed flawlessly. This engine failure was not a condition of poor maintenance and estimated repair costs are $5300 and exceed the resale value of the vehicle. This engine failure could have been a severe safety factor if it had failed 24 hours sooner on the toll road at high speed.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #68

Nov 072005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contacts stated smoke emanated from the engine, the vehicle shut off. She contacted the dealer, who stated S there was oil slug built up in the motor. The dealer insisted that the contact did not change the oil often enough. The vehicle needed a new engine. There was no prior warning. The dealer offered no free remedy.

- Holbrook , MA, USA

problem #67

Oct 062005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. On 10-06-05 the contact's grandson was driving the vehicle when it completely stopped. The contact reportsed of having no problems with car prior to this incident. There were no lights that came on prior to the incident. She had it towed to a repair shop, where they told her the motor blew out. The car had less than 40,000 miles on it. The mechanic at the repair shop told her he had never seen anything like it. The mechanic advised her to call the NHTSA. Her daughter found the number on the website. The contact talked to a Dodge manufacturer in detroit. They gave her a claim number: 14143722. They told her to show proof of all of the oil changes she had done on the car, and they would take it up from there. The mechanic told her the oil was very clean. He had just changed it about six weeks ago.

- Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #66

Apr 202005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,900 miles
Engine began making a tapping noise. Took vehicle to dealer and was told that motor was full of sludge and would have to be replaced and that Chrysler extended warranty would not cover the repair. Had vehicle repaired by an independent auto repair shop - replaced timing chain, tensioner, oil pump. Cost of repair approx. $2450. Old parts are not available.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #65

Oct 032005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The motor stalled while the vehicle was in motion which caused a loss of power steering and brakes. The dealer stated that the motor needed to be replaced. This was due to sludge build up in the motor. The dealer stated that this was due to poor maintenance. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was no longer under warranty and they will not repair the vehicle. The oil was changed every 4,000 miles. The vehicle restarted after it cooled down. The vehicle was driven to a local mechanic and towed to a different mechanic.

- Roselle, IL, USA

problem #64

Sep 182005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,105 miles
Engine failure while driving vehicle. Engine stalled while driving at 35 mph on public highway. Vehicle was towed to an automotive repair shop. Vehicle was diagnosed as having engine bearing failure. Was told that an engine replacement was recommended. Cost of new engine at $6900 dollars.

- Mililani Town, HI, USA

problem #63

Sep 142005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
Purchased vehicle in February 2005. Approximately one month after purchase, check engine light came on. Return to dealership for repair, was told it was emissions leak. In September 2005, heard rattling noise while driving, then vehicle systems shut down (power steering, etc.), vehicle shut off. Could not restart the vehicle. Vehicle was towed and mechanic said the engine was locked up.

- Fulton, NY, USA

problem #62

Aug 212005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Aug 21 engine began making noise, I took it to dealer on Aug 22, told engine was sludge up need to be rebuilt.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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