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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,968 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

problem #16

Nov 022007

Intrepid 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,567 miles


Timing chain goes out with out notice due to a manufacturer defect had two go out this year then the oil sludge is so bad it makes the engine seize. The deal is that I live in a small town and there are so many with the same problems that repair shops wont fix them any more cause it is a big hassle.

- Madison, SD, USA

problem #15

Oct 132007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
I had been noticing a noise coming from my engine and was about to bring it to my mechanic, but while on the freeway, my car just died. I was able to pull off to the side and then get towed to my auto mechanics. The next day he had me come and look at my engine and showed me the timing chain and how much damage the chain did and how much sludge was built up in the engine. After doing some research, I came to find out that this engine was known for sludge build-up. I have to replace the engine and will not be putting a 2.7 back in. I really like my car and am looking to put in a 3.2 engine in so I can keep my car. This is something that should not have happened. This problem should have been taken care of by Dodge. My car is a 2001 Intrepid and only has 68,000 miles on it.

- St. Anthony, MN, USA

problem #14

Mar 302007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,100 miles
Timing chain failure of 2001 Dodge Intrepid, and ultimate replacement of entire engine for $3400.

- Smithfield, RI, USA

problem #13

Feb 072007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


- the contact called regarding a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. The contact stated that she was traveling at 65 mph when she heard a clicking noise. She pulled over to the side of the road. The contact stated that once she pulled over the check oil light turned on. The vehicle cut off and would not restart. The current and failure mileage were 83,000. The vehicle was towed to a repair shop. The vehicle wa S diagnosed as the timing chain failure. The repair shop advised the contact the engine needed to be replaced.

- Fort Gratiot, MI, USA

problem #12

Sep 152006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,485 miles
: the contact stated while driving 55 mph on the highway, the car vibrated, stalled and suddenly stopped. There were no warning signals prior to the incident and the engine did not start again. The vehicle was taken to the dealership who determined a timing belt had fractured. The dealership did not offer to repair without charges.

- Monroe, OH, USA

problem #11

Sep 102006

Intrepid 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 35 mph, a thumping noise was heard and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was maneuvered off the road and towed to an independent repair shop who determined the timing belt had fractured and the engine needed to be replaced. The dealer was not notified.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #10

Mar 222006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


After purchasing 2001 Intrepid in January of 2006 eight days later engine made loud scary noises while visiting family 250 miles away- I drove home and two days later engine failed- was towed to the used auto dealer where I purchased it. Less than two weeks after purchase, the engine had new chain, tensioner guides, cleaned intake valves, covers etc. Approximately $1100 in repairs. I got the vehicle back in February of 06. On March 22, 2006 the engine blew while I was going to work. The warranty company will not touch it- the first time they refused and the second time is yet to be determined- I am without a vehicle and am pursuing legal options including opting in to a class action, pa attorney general, consumer protection bureau, private attorney since the check engine light was on when I drove the vehicle off the lot in the first place ( a cold winter night, I had two of my children with me and had to get them home, I called the dealer upon my arrival home to inform him of same).

- Montrose , PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 032005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
The contact stated timing chain snapped while driving at 60 mph. The engine I locked, and will have to be rebuilt. The mechanic stated the oil was not getting through the whole engine, resulting in engine failure. She contacted manufacturer, and they offered no free remedy.

- Runnemede, NJ, USA

problem #8

Jun 052005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Dt the motor quit on the highway. No for warning, no noise, no lights. Had it towed the dealers, and they said a couple of sensors went out. They replaced the two sensors, and got it back, then, heard a knock in the motor when starting it. Took it back to dealer, and they said it was the timing chain, and vehicle needed a new motor. This started on June 5, 2005.

- Sedalia , MO, USA

problem #7

May 062005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Consumer states: Engine malfunctioned. Called Chrysler and replaced transmission 9 months ago. The engine just shut down, the timing chain broke. No lights came on when the engine shut down. Acted like it wanted to cut off, it started shaking, and just died and wouldn't start back. It acted like it wanted to turn over, making a noise. Mechanic said internal engine damage caused by timing chain, and fluids got mixed in with the oil. Just had oil changed week prior to this.

- Highland Springs , VA, USA

problem #6

Aug 192004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,204 miles


While driving vehicle suddenly stopped accelerating and came to a complete stop at a traffic light before stalling. Vehicle was towed to a dealership. The dealership replaced the timing belt/oil pump, and 6 rods. The failure recurred four times thereafter, in which the short block, 02 sensors and the distributor were replaced. The failure recurred.

- Rising Sun, MD, USA

problem #5

Aug 132004


  • miles
While consumer was driving at 55 mph vehicle suddenly stopped. Consumer had it towed to the dealer, and after looking at the vehicle, consumer was told that the timing belt broke. She had it repaired, and one month later, the same thing happened. Then, she was told by the mechanic that this problem will continue to happen over and over again because of the engine size oil sludge billed up in the engine, and caused the belt to pop due to pressure. Consumer stated that a lawyer told her that most people that have these types of vehicle usually end up losing it because of the expense. Consumer's vehicle was still in the shop because she could not afford to get it out.

- Brookville, PA, USA

problem #4

Jul 232004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle stopped after being serviced. Consumer pulled over to the side of the road. Then, vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that timing chain was defective.

- Redding, CT, USA

problem #3

Apr 202004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
After owning our 2001 Dodge Intrepid for only a year, the timing chains went out, we repaired it at a cost of $2,700. One week later while driving on the expressway the engine stopped working almost causing an accident, because of loss of power.

- West Chicago, IL, USA

problem #2

Nov 262003

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles
Upon coming off the interstate and making a right turn onto the highway vehicle stalled due to slug build up in the engine. Also, timing chain broke. Police officer had to direct traffic until tow truck arrived. There was no advance warning prior to failure.

- Rensselaer, IN, USA

problem #1

Nov 272003

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,136 miles
While driving home from thanksgiving at my sisters the timing chain broke and caused damamge to my cam bearings causing extensive damage to the engine. My mechanic said it was due to engine sludge...with a properly maintained car...impossible! no one was injured thank god!

- Elkton, MI, USA

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