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 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,135 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 1 of 16)

problem #301

Nov 012009


  • 150,000 miles


I bought this car from my brother-in-law about 5 months ago. I changed the oil less then 3,000 miles ago. I began noticing some weird engine noise over the last week. The sound got alot worse today on a 30 mile trip to pick up my 3 year old daughter from her grandma's house. The car began making a loud banging or knocking sound when you let off of the gas while driving. The car then just died while driving down the road. Luckily, I was able to pull the car over without any problems, but who knows what would have happened if I was driving on the highway. I had the car towed to my house. I tried to start it at home and it would turn over and start, but it sounds like the engine has rocks or something in it and only idles for a second or two before dieing again. I hope that this problem has some way of getting fixed and that the ways you described really do help. I am now left with only one car to share with my wife and try to find a way to get to my full time job and my classes (I am also attending classes 4 days a week). I have always heard about the problems with the 2.7 liter engine, but I thought they were just horror stories that were always told as "I know this guy who had problems with that engine" or "those engines are junk, and its only a matter of time before mine will blow". I really didn't expect this to happen because not even 3000 miles earlier I changed the oil and it was clean. I also drove the car up North which was a 3hr drive each way. No problems and the bang, knock, crunch its all over.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #300

Jun 182009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler Intrepid with a 2.7 liter engine. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph the engine backfired without any prior warnings. As a consequence, the risk of a vehicle crash and a fire were increased. The vehicle was towed his place of residence for inspection and a mechanic concluded that the engine was a manufacturers defect. The vehicle identification number was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage and current mileages were 60,000.

- Lackawanna, NY, USA

problem #299

Jul 142009


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler Intrepid. While driving 70 mph, the engine began to knock loudly. The contact had the vehicle towed to a mechanic and was informed that the engine failed. The engine had never been serviced prior to the failure and there were no warning lights illuminated. The engine oil and fluids were checked and replaced three weeks prior to the failure. The dealer and manufacturer have not been notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Schererville, IN, USA

problem #298

Jun 012009


  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. The contact stated that the check engine warning light constantly illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for an oil change and they discovered several oil leaks. The necessary repairs were performed and several seals and other components were replaced at the cost of $1,000. The contact paid for the repairs; however, the check engine oil light continued to flicker on and off on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, but they could not duplicate the failure. On a separate occasion, the contact heard a loud banging noise while driving less than 65 mph, followed by the vehicle stalling. An independent mechanic stated that the rod inside of the engine failed. It could not be determined how the failure occurred. The contact paid $5,900 to repair the failure. The failure and current mileages were less than 85,000.

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #297

Jun 202009


  • 124,114 miles
On June 4, 2009 I paid my 2001 Dodge Intrepid off. On June 20, 2009 while traveling on the interstate I heard my car making a knocking sound. As I pulled over to get off on the exit the car died and I almost lost control of the vehicle as I came off the exit. I had to put the car in park to get it to stop. This is scary being that my young children were in the vehicle with me. On yesterday the mechanic has advised me the engine is gone. I've had the oil sending unit replaced, the timing, the cam and crankshaft sensor, the water pump, the serpentine belt, not to mention the $600 just spent about 2 weeks ago to have the ac fixed. When the oil light first began to flicker the mechanic advised me that this would be the outcome. Something needs to be done about this!

- Eight Mile, AL, USA

problem #296

Jun 222009


  • 110,000 miles
Our 2001 Dodge Intrepid seized up on us while driving on Sunday. It was fine, then it wasn't, we did everything to maintain the vehicle, oil changes and repairs when needed.

- Lebanon, MO, USA

problem #295

Jun 112009

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


2001 Dodge Intrepid 2.7 V6 had oil light flicker on and off at stop signs. Checked oil, it was fine. Took in for an oil change. I did oil changes regularly as suggested by Dodge. Car started making knocking noise. Took car to mechanic. He ran compression tests and said timing chain was bad and valves were bent. It needs a new engine.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #294

Apr 242009

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler Intrepid. The contact purchased the vehicle in February of 2008. Three days later, the shifter cable failed without warning. The dealer replaced the component. In approximately April of 2008, the ignition switch failed and was also covered by the dealer. In addition, the driver's side window would not roll back up properly. A month ago, the vehicle shut off and was taken to the dealer. The contact was informed that the vehicle's computer system had completely failed. The computer system was replaced at the contact's expense. The connector rod in the engine snapped, which caused the engine to fail. Currently, the vehicle is inoperable. The contact feels that the failures were due to manufacturer defects. The failure mileage was 98,000. Updated 07/01/09 the PCM was replaced. Updated 07/02/09.

- Neenah, WI, USA

problem #293

Apr 192009


  • 88,600 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While at a red light, the engine failed. The vehicle was very difficult to restart. The dealer stated that there were three faulty coils and three faulty spark plugs. The contact believes the valve train is faulty. The check engine light was illuminated on the instrument panel and bluish-gray smoke appeared from the tail pipe, which was an indication of engine failure. In addition, the fuel consumption increased. The current and failure mileages were 88,600.

- Lewistown, MT, USA

problem #292

Jan 012009


  • 103,839 miles
2001 Dodge Intrepid SE - 2.7L, lost power on the way to work. Oil light began flickering (had scheduled oil change couple of days before) and coasted off the roadway. Had car towed in to the local repair shop. Diagnosed "catastrophic internal engine failure." Motor needed to be replaced. All past repair work had been completed by the local Dodge dealer. They have replaced two of the main brains in the car (@ 40K & 55K - both cost $850 ea.), oil pan gaskets (@ 35K, 45K, & 60K), generator (@ 60K), radiator (@ 65K), transmission radiator (@ 65K), rebuilt transmission (@ 98K), and now the motor has been replaced with a jasper rebuild.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #291

Mar 112009


  • 124,691 miles


#2 cylinder, right side, rod bearing failure. Piston hitting head.

- Herrin, IL, USA

problem #290

Feb 262009

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 60 mph, the contact heard a popping noise in the engine. The vehicle lost complete power and had to be placed into neutral as it coasted to the side of the road. The vehicle was unable to be controlled. The engine failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic and then to the dealer, who stated that a piston rod blew a hole in the engine block. The repair would cost $5,750. The manufacturer stated that they would pay $1,000 towards the repair cost. The contact stated that she does not have the money for the repairs. The failure mileage was 73,000. Updated 04/16/09.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #289

Jun 162006


  • miles
I was driving on the highway when my engine started making a clanking noise. As I proceeded to get over into the far lane to exit the highway I lost speed and the car turned of. I barely made it across the last two lanes of highway safely coasting onto the exit ramp. Long story short, I had the car towed to the dealership they informed me that my engine had died do to sludge and the repair would be, for me, very costly. So now my beautiful red Dodge Intrepid sets in my driveway with a $4,000 balance that I can not afford to pay or repair.

- Efland, NC, USA

problem #288

Jan 092009


  • 99,867 miles
This is about a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. I change my oil on a regular basis and at about 99,000 miles my 2.7 engine blew up due to oil sludge. I heard of hundreds maybe thousands of the same engine blowing up without warning.

- Broken Bow, NE, USA

problem #287

Jan 272009


  • 80,000 miles
While idling at a stop light an officer of the law was behind me as the light change I made my way to my destination only to be stopped by said officer. He stated that when I pulled away at the light there was a big smoke trail leaving my exhaust. I informed him of the many troubles with the 2.7L Chrysler engine he informed me that if I continue to drive I would be cited for epa violations. The car has 80,432 miles and has been burning oil at a constant rate. Now the oil pressure sending unit is leaking also which by reading some complaints is what happens just before total breakdown. Something has to be done about this will cost aprx. $2600 to rebuild engine.

- N. Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #286

Dec 152008


  • 150,836 miles
I purchased my 2001 Intrepid with the hopes of finally buying a quality family car. In 2005 I spent $2800 to fix the cooling system, it drove well for three years until finally I had a leak; took it to a shop which then noticed a lack of oil pressure and finally discovered the sludge build up in the engine. I've been using synthetic for a while and this appears not to be the panacea for this contraption. My question is why no recall on this vehicle, how about a bail-out for those of us who demonstrated good faith for U.S. owned and built products only to be taken for a bad ride. The 2.7L engine is poorly designed and someone should be held accountable for this monstrosity. At some point in the design and testing phase poor performance or some other data should have been identified and appropriately addressed. The people who own and purchase these vehicles are not rich, else we wouldn't bother complaining and demanding a recall. We are typical americans who want and deserve value for our hard earned money. I don't have $8,000 to fix this car. My kids have health conditions and I'm down to one car, and my wife and I commute to work. Who's going to bail us out...nevermind that who's going to help us! the fair and right thing to do is recall this vehicle.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #285

Oct 222007


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle completely stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop and the mechanic stated that the engine failed and caused the vehicle to stall. The engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer referred her to an authorized dealer. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The failure mileage was 54,000 and current mileage was 95,000.

- Greenville, RI, USA

problem #284

Feb 022007


  • 94,000 miles
I own a 2001 Dodge Intrepid, and used it for my commute. I was driving 35 mph and began to hear a loud knocking sound and believe it to be related to the oil sludge problem in Chrysler's 2.7 engines.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #283

Feb 232005


  • 143,611 miles
Driving home from work, speed approx. 65 M.P.H. on interstate. Engine made a sharp "bang", no warning lights, bells, nothing to indicate a problem. Appeared to lose power, but never stalled out. Managed to "limp" home (less than 2 miles). Parked vehicle and the engine shut down, on its own. Raised the hood, found nothing to be unusual. Tried to restart the vehicle, it would not restart, only a loud clunking as the engine turned over. Had the car towed to the dealer I had purchased the vehicle from. Was informed that the timing chain had "jumped" and that all of the valves were bent. Was given a "verbal" estimate of $7000-$7500 to repair/replace engine and associated components. I declined. This vehicle had been maintained as required by the manufacturer. All required fluid change intervals had been performed and documented. At no time was I ever informed that this particular engine had issues associated with it. I still have this vehicle, sitting in storage. It has not been touched since being brought back home from the repair facility. I have, and still maintain that this engine failure was not something I could have foreseen and or been responsible for. Now I have been made aware that this is an issue that Chrysler, has been aware of and has denied any liabilities. I was informed by the dealership that offered the costly repair, that Chrysler would not assume any responsibility to repair my car. Now I have been informed by a local repair shop, that Chrysler has been making "selective reparations".

- Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #282

Jun 242008


  • 124,000 miles
2001 Dodge Intrepid 2.7 ltr I was driving along and the car made a hissing noise and clunked and then shut off. I had to pay for a tow. I was told that because of engine sludge I would have to pay around $2500 to have a new engine put in my car. This was an out of pocket expense that we incurred.

- Coopersville, MI, USA

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