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 1 of 9)

problem #161

Dec 172011

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 111,142 miles


2001 Dodge Intrepid R/T 3.5L with 111,422 miles. While driving on the tollway, the heater began to blow out cool air. Later there was no acceleration and the car just died. Got the car to the side of the road while in traffic. Had to be towed. Engine is locked up. New engine estimate $5000-$7500. No check engine lights or warnings. Prior to this event we had a new radiator, thermostat, etc. Put in along with fixing oil leakage problem. That was July 28, 2011 with 107,809 miles on it. We always changed our oil regularly and took care of it. We bought this 2001 R/T Intrepid new. The only other real problem was @ 106,939 miles it wouldn't go back into drive once you put it in reverse so we put in a used control module to fix that problem. I have read about a lot of complaints with the 2.7L engine but can't find much information on the 3.5 R/T model. So scary to think how many 2001 Intrepids are just dying on the road with no advance notice. Very dangerous. I am so glad that my son was driving it and knew what to do instead of my newly-licensed daughter. It was her car for only 4 1/2 months. Dodge should be ashamed. We got more mileage out of a Chevy cavalier. Are there any class action law suits out there?

- Round Lake Beach, IL, USA

problem #160

Oct 102011

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 6,700 miles
I was told my motor 2.7 was totaled because of sludge.

- Parkforest, IL, USA

problem #159

Feb 202010


  • 120,000 miles
My car has very low mileage and it just suddenly started coughing and choking and revving up and slowing down - it was completely out-of-control! I had to pull over on a major freeway (interstate 5 in Oregon) and waited on the side for a tow. When I got it home I was told to drive it a couple of blocks to get the engine analyzer on it, but it sounded horrible, the valves were knocking fiercely and it sounded like it was out of oil, which I check frequently. The guy that checked it really didn't have much of an answer except a relay switch. We replaced it but to no avail. I took it to a local mechanic and he wanted about $4500 to replace the engine - where they found metal shavings and some sort of bolt that they couldn't get to down in the valve. I cannot afford to replace anything on this car and I am amazed and disgusted that Chrysler would put this kind of engine out to the public. I have read hundreds of complaints now about the 2.7 L engine - with people in the same predicament. And it's not just online - I have a neighbor with one that has the alternative engine and he's heard the same thing. His car runs great because he doesn't have the 2.7L....Chrysler should pick up the pieces for all these poor people who have faulty cars and at least replace the value of their car as it stands today. Please help.

- Brownsville, OR, USA

problem #158

Jun 172010


  • 12,400 miles


I have a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. 2.7L engine. The oil light came on and stayed on and now the engine is ticking. I was driving and then the car just cut off. The oil dip stick was at the right level.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #157

Feb 222010


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. The driver stated that she was at a traffic light attempting to make a turn when the vehicle made a clicking noise. The driver shifted the gear in park, then drive but the vehicle shut off completely. The vehicle has not restarted since the failure occurred. Smoke was visible on both sides of the hood. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #156

Jan 052010


  • 79,000 miles
My car stalled out. Took it to a repair shop. The diagnosing mechanic said there was a failure of the water pump which allowed antifreeze to become mixed in with the motor oil which caused this to destroy my entire engine.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #155

Nov 032009


  • 91,000 miles


I was just driving my 2001 Dodge Intrepid to work on the highway. No indication what so ever of engine problems. Cold air started to run through the heater vents inside the car, then I had no acceleration. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw white grayish coming out the rear and front of car. I pulled over immediately, but it was too late. I had the car towed to my mechanic and he told me the engine had blown and failed a compression test. I never had a problem with this engine before and always changed the appropriate fluids. I bought a used car and my Intrepid is still sitting broken in my driveway.

- Haverhill, MA, USA

problem #154

Nov 262009


  • 56,000 miles
I was driving my 2001 Dodge Intrepid SE and with no warning the heat went out and the car began to smoke and cut off and I had to coast over to the side of the road on a dark road and wait till the engine cooled down. It took about fifteen minutes before the car started again. I just purchased this car in July and it died on me in November. The engine is a 2.7 and is known for these issues. I took the car to a mechanic and they told me that the antifreeze is mixing with the oil, the headgasket is gone and he gives it a month before the motor goes. I googled the 2.7 and read similar stories.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #153

Nov 062009


  • 91,000 miles
Engine shut down.....the oil light came on, followed by loud noise in off to the side of the road....shut off and "died" on the spot !! luckily it was late at night with no other cars on the road !! had the car towed, looked at by a mechanic..who found the engine coated with oil sludge on the inside. Needs a new engine.

- Tyrone, PA, USA

problem #152

May 012009


  • 87,575 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. The contact stated that intermittently while driving 30 mph, the vehicle will stalled without any prior warnings. This condition increases the risk for vehicle crash. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The technician speculated that cam shaft or crank shaft sensor was the cause of the failure. No repairs were made. The failure mileage was 87,575. The current mileage was 87,634.

- Marion, VA, USA

problem #151

Oct 082004


  • 50,069 miles


I purchased this car in April of 2002 from a Dodge dealer. It was a program car and had about 16,000 miles on it. The car was never run hard while I drove it and oil was changed approximately every 5,000 miles. This car was great and ran like a top for 2 1/2 years. In that time, the only corrective maintenance required on the car was minor brake work in September 2004. October 8, 2004: Noticed a slight knocking from engine, so I decided to take it to jiffy lube for an oil change. They told me there was some oil deposit build-up and they would flush the engine before replacing the oil. Car still knocked after the oil change, so I called a local Dodge dealership in danville in to inquire about service. I was told to bring the car in on the following Monday (Oct. 11) for tests. I did not drive the car that weekend. Monday morning, I started the car, and it sounded awful, belching smoke. I was unable to move the car out of the driveway, so I called a wrecker service and had the car towed to the dealership. The next day, the service department called and informed me that there was excessive oil-sludge buildup in the engine "due to not changing the oil every 3,000 miles." I was quoted a cost of $4,560 to repair the engine, or $7,700 to replace it. I don\'t claim to have religiously changed my oil; like I said, about every 5,000 miles. But this is no different than every other car (13) I have owned and they all lasted well over 100,000 miles or at least up to the time that I sold them. I still have 30 months left to pay on my 60-month loan, and owe $8,100. Dealers will only give me $500 in trade. I've decided to refinance the car over 72 months, which has cut my payments in half, and just yesterday purchased another car that I will also be paying for the next six years. I find it ironic that I had never heard of the problems with this engine, but now everyone I talk to in the automotive industry has long known about just what junk Chrysler has put out.

- Brownsburg, IN, USA

problem #150

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 #149

Dec 012008


  • 71,489 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. The contact noticed that the vehicle was leaking oil. On December 14, 2008, the contact heard a noise when the vehicle was accelerated. He took the vehicle to his mechanic and was informed that the motor failed. He took the vehicle to another garage and the mechanic stated that the motor was failing and needed to be replaced. A new motor would cost $6,200. A report was filed with the manufacturer and they stated that they would not assist with the repair. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 71,489.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #148

Nov 052008


  • 64,500 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle shuddered and then repeatedly stalled. The vehicle then completely shut off and lost all power. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle and had it towed to a repair shop. The mechanic could not find any failures and their computer system showed no issues. However, the service manager test drove the vehicle and experienced the stalling. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled again on the freeway after much jerking and lunging. The dealer was able to duplicate failure, but could not determine the cause of the failure. The manufacturer has not been notified. The VIN was unknown. The current mileage was approximately 65,000 and failure mileage was approximately 64,500.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #147

Oct 252008


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 75 mph on the freeway, the contact heard a clicking noise. There were no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. She pulled over and had the vehicle towed as a precautionary measure. A mechanic found sludge build in the engine, which caused it to begin smoking under the hood. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 110,000.

- Woodburn, IA, USA

problem #146

Oct 092008

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle shut down without warning. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop. The mechanic discovered fluid leaking from the radiator. As a result, the engine oil thickened and caused the engine to fail. The manufacturer took a report and stated that the vehicle was out of warranty and would not assist. A new engine would cost $9,000. The vehicle will not be repaired. The current and failure mileages were 112,000. Updated 11/07/08.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #145

Mar 042008


  • miles
I have 2001 Dodge Intrepid. I have been experiencing a oil loss..I have to add oil once a month for last 4 months. I have no ideal where the oil is going, neither does any mechanic that looks at my car know...

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #144

Aug 092008


  • 150,000 miles
Engine seized up and needs to be replaced.

- Adrian, MI, USA

problem #143

Jul 212008


  • 67,277 miles
I was shocked that my vehicle needed a new engine (long block and all parts associated) at 67,227 miles due to oil sludge/bearings broke down in engine and caused oil to look metallic resulting in engine failure. The check oil light suddenly appeared and a ticking noise started so I had my car towed immediately to the nearest Dodge dealership. This happened just 2,277 miles after my warranty expired? we had two dealerships look at my Intrepid and both agreed it needed a new engine. We even contacted a trusted family mechanic shop and was advised that this was a known issue with the 2.7 liter engines and advised to get rid of the car immediately (they would not touch it). Robert at autowest Dodge in roseville, California, also admitted that this was a known issue with the Dodge 2.7 liter engines and that it just happens no matter how your vehicle is maintained but, offered no recourse with Dodge. The total for repairs was $8,175. Now I have another 2.7 liter engine (rebuilt) from the manufacturer (Dodge) which is only guaranteed for 36 months. The cost of repairing my car really created a hardship for me. I am a senior citizen on a fixed income, drive my vehicle less than average miles per year and take pride in maintaining my car. Your help in investigating the Dodge 2.7 liter engine is greatly appreciated.

- North Highlands, CA, USA

problem #142

Jul 142008


  • 137,000 miles
2001 Dodge Intrepid. The motor started to knock at start up for a couple of seconds then after about two weeks the engine dies two blocks from home. Got home and it started with a very loud squealing coming from the bottom of the motor. It has 137,000 miles and I am pretty sure it is a crank bearing. I use synthetic and change the oil every 3,000 miles.

- Tinley Park, IL, USA

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