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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
85,905 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (11 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. filed complaint with national highway and transportation com (2 reports)
2001 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #17

Dec 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


I have a 2001 Dodge Intrepid with less than 50,000 miles that has been sitting in my garage for over 6 years. Sludge????? The timing chain broke....$3,000 later and it still didn't run, every time we put it in reverse it would stall! So I had a car that I couldn't trade in, couldn't drive and still had to make payments on! I never got the title when I paid off the car 4 years ago! So, I have a beautiful useless car taking up space in my garage!!!! Stupid, Stupid, Stupid DODGE .....I will NEVER buy Dodge, Chrys. or Jeep EVER again!!!!!!!!!

- , Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #16

Oct 152008

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Dodge!!! Dodge your phone, Dodge your Email,Dodge your complaints,Dodge accountability, Dodge your losses, Dodge your pain! Why do think they call it a Ram. PROFITS before PRIDE It's called a global economy.

- , Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #15

May 012009

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I bought this car from a family member and it was taken care of and had the tune ups done on time every time. I was just driving the car and it quit working!!!!!! Come to find out it is the timing chain and it apparently is VERY COMMON and will most definitely happen in every Intrepid with the 2.7L V6 engine. The cost is outrageous to be fixed and the best way to get it fixed is by replacing the engine which will cost around $6,000. The blue book value on these cars are not even that much. So I basically bought a worthless car that I wasted my money on. I don't understand why Chrysler had this put in these cars and if so many people are having this problem then why was there a recall. I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE BUY THIS CAR. I am stuck with a broken down vehicle and no way to fix it. Thank You Chrysler.

- , Wabash, IN, USA

problem #14

May 132009

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles


I need to know if there is a way you can sue the Dodge Manufacture for putting out these cars that quit on you after so many mile. Of course my engine failed and I don't know what to do with the piece a sh*t. I have new rims on the piece of crap, just go the windows tinted and put in a new fuel pump to where the mechanic said this is the problem. still didn't start, took it to another Mechanic and he shouldn't get a read on it said it is the engine or timing chain. I don't want to put any money into it just want the Dodge Manufactor to give me my money back.

- , Pico Rivera, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 272009

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

Up until this issue my intrepid has been a rock. No other major issues with this car and I've always said how happy I was with this car. Now that my engine is kaput, and I've been doing a little research it appears I've been one of the lucky ones.. at least it lasted this long. Not sure if I'm going to bother getting it fixed... depends on how cheaply I can do it.

- , Blaine, MN, USA

problem #12

Jun 272006

Intrepid ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

My husband was driving car to meeting and it just stopped short-NEVER TO GO AGAIN. When we found out that replacing an engine would cost over $6,000 and might still result in a repeat of the same problem due to engine defects, we just told Daimler Chrysler where to come to pick it up. It sold at auction for $2,000 (that's a pricey paperweight). We are still paying on the balance of our financing- $5,000 at 13%. I filed a complaint with the Federal Highway and Traffic Commission so that they would start to investigate this and perhaps if everyone starts to file there as well as here- we won't be the ones paying for the mistakes auto manufacturers are forcing down our throats. I switched to an older model Volvo and don't really know if I will ever by Dodge or Chrysler products ever again. I do know whatever VEHICLE I am even thinking about I will CHECK IT OUT HERE FIRST!

- , Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #11

Aug 102005

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


i was one of the lucky ones to hit 125,000 mostly highway miles but is this really lucky when you spend almost $25k for a new 2001 dodge intrepid you hoped would make it through 10 years?

i too as most have engine clogged with sludge due to too small of veins in the engine meaning a lemon built defect and almost every dodge intrepid that makes it to 40k miles will be heading right into this same problem.

many times like i did you will experience the timing chain snap and the car will stop. most always the heads in your engine need to be redone and all parts inside destroyed.

dont worry, you most likely did nothing wrong, these engines were built terrible and should have been a major recall, lemon law matter or more.

i too thought my car was still pretty so i gave some shop $2,500 to clean out the engine and overall the the heads with new parts and surfacing to try and fix it.

the alternative was a new engine and ic ouldnt afford that at the time

my storry got worse, my mechanic stiffed me for 8 months and then died so i really was in a rock an a hard place not knowing who to go after at that point so i let it go with no other solutions at hand.

a new owner took over the shop keeping the same business name and he did nothing for me, my car was still on the lot waiting for repair and it was stripped down, i beleive by friends of the new owner . the police turned their backs and i lost the car and contents inside. my insurance was liability only so i lost it all.

lesson #1 never ever buy the 2000 to 2004 dodge intrepids with these lemon engines, well over 50% of owners of these cars have this problem and the others usually get ruled out by having another problem more on the normal end of thingsbefore the engine goes. example: transmission going at 75 to 100k .

many people have the engine problem as early as 40k miles so i think we should complain to make a lemon law firce dodge to pay all owners who experienced this problem get a free car !!

lesson #2 dont ever leave your car at a shop more than 2 to 4 weeks even if the repair is not done, have it towed to another shop and sue the first shop who failed you quickly for all loses and any money spent, ex: rental cars , loss of time of work, etc...and any direct repair expenses paid and legal , dont wait !

lesson #3 overhauling and rebuilding engines i now will never try to do again, thisproblem and i had a buick i tried to rebuild the engine on 2 times over and it failed a 3rd time. i actually had a rebuilt engine put in and on the 3rd time warranty had expired. i suggest getting a brand new engine put in or a new car, do not overhaul or rebuild engines, he cost is expensive and better spent toward new engines or new cars.

if you had a dodge intrepid with their lemon type engines, write complaints here or email me at im collecting complaints and may try to directly sue chrysler since all i see out there is class action suits where no one but the lawwyers get money. i want a lemon law enforced so we all get new cars or money to buy a new car.

that sounds fair to me or at least half the money since half the life of the cars is estimated before this problem usually arrises.

do not hesitate to write me your story and ad one here, thus far they have gotten away with these bad lemon engines and i dont think they should.

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #10

Dec 162006

Intrepid SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I am actually not sure what is wrong with my Intrepid. My husband and I were stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA at the time. The belt for the power steering went out while I was driving down a huge hill. I got it back to my work and we had to tow it to a mechanic on base who fixed that problem-took them about three weeks. Then two days before we were supposed to make the long cross country trip back to Tennessee, we were on our way to Sea World with our son and brother-in-law in the car and the car just wouldn't go. My husband said it was like accelerator was dead then all of a sudden we saw a puff of smoke from under the hood. We knew something was badly wrong. My brother-in-law who was a mechanic in the Marines said that it looked like we had blown a head gasket. There was oil leaking from under the hood-it was a mess. We had just sold my husband's Ford F150 truck to pay off the car-that now didn't work! We had the car towed back to our house on base and ended up having to tow it behind my brother in law's bronco back to Tennessee. After reading other complaints on here, I'm not sure if it is the head gasket. My dad plans on fixing it (he rebuilds motors and stuff) but every where we have checked a new engine will be about $4000 or more and a used one will cost about $3000. And the tools you need to work on this car are about $300 to rent! I don't understand why Chrysler won't just do a recall and fix the problem for us. I LOVE my car, but hate seeing it just sitting in the driveway. It still looks brand new-it just won't run. I now drive a Ford Explorer Sport Trac and while I like it, I would LOVE to have my car back. It is so spacious and drove great. Chrysler needs to get their heads out of their asses and do something about this. It's insane!!!

- , Pleasant View, TN, USA

problem #9

May 082008

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,448 miles

Oil sludged up engine. I changed the oil BELOW 3000miles EACH time. The timing chain went, bent the exhaust valves, the mechanic said this was of the stinkin' 2.7 problems. He said he could rebuild it at about $3000.00 or replace it for $5200.00. If he rebuilt it, it wouldn't last. it already had some problems from the "oil sludge inherent in the 2.7's ". Chrysler will do nothing and mechanics DO NOT want to work on them!!

- , Windsor, MO, USA

problem #8

Oct 012006

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

From what the mechanic at the Dodge dealer told me....Chrysler has been aware of the problem with the 2.7 engine from the beginning and that it was supposed to be such a small problem, they weren't willing to do a recall.

I had purchased this car with the expectation that it would be the last car I ever purchased. I put less that 5,000 miles a year on my cars. At the time of the engine failure, I had only put a little of 28,00 miles on the car.It had all the oil changes it needed and a few extra due to one out of state trip. The car was under extended warranty at the time of the engine failure, but the warranty company didn't cover sludge damage.

Basically, I was left with an undrivable car, a car payment and insurance premium that had to be kept in place. The car has been in the garage since it happened....with me hoping Chrysler would step up and make good on their product. So much for staying true and only buying American made products !!!

- , Hamilton, OH, US

problem #7

Apr 192008

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


Well we took very good care of the car, changing the oil often. It is a comfortable car with lots of room and a large trunk.

The bad news was after owning the car for 6 years and reaching 45,000 miles, the engine died. The mechanic said the timing belt broke and the engine would need to be replaced. The cost to repair is around $3300. This is poor excuse for an American car.

So now we have a great looking car sitting in front of the house that won't start.

Thank you Dodge!

- , Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 242008

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

Even though my 01 Intrepid should not have been paid for until this year Oct. '08 I was able to pay it off a few years ago due to the sale of my house. I became a single mom who thought I had a beautiful, comfy car paid off and would be able to have a reliable car for a quit a few years while trying to get back on my feet after a divorce. I recently put on new tires $500.00, brakes rotors, calipers $ 500.00, did oil changes regularly, thought if I took care of it I would have it forever. Got it out of the shop Thursday night, after replacing the water outlet housing connector and replacing the battery $550.00. Only for it to stall in an underground parking lot coasting 5 km the next day. There was coolant in the oil. Oh no. Pulled it out of the underground parking lot towed it to dealer $100, Paid dealer $555.00 for them to tell me Timing chain sprocket wore out and wrecked motor, would cost $7300 to replace. I am borrowing a 91 Ford Taurus wagon to try to get back on my feet again, cause there is no way I could afford $7300. I even tried to see if the Chrysler dealer it was at for repairs would help me use it as a down payment for a used car of their lot, they do not even want it. My sister has a Charger and parents have a PT cruiser and are now dieing to get rid of if because they are Dodge-Chrysler products. I called some wreckers in town to see it I could get at least some of my money back, one would give me $275.00, one $100.00 and one asked if it had the 2.7L, said yes, they said they don't want it. Now I do not know what to do with it and have to get it off the Chrysler dealer lot another towing charge of $100. Now when ever I see someone driving an Intrepid like mine I feel sorry for them if they only knew what was in store, and they probably feel bad for me driving this old beat up 91 Ford Taurus wagon, but at least it is getting me where I need to go.

- , Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #5

Mar 232008

Intrepid ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Y didn i read this page before i bought this F@#$%G car. The mechanic says Its a garbage now. How can a car be garbage when just belt is broken....!!! this was my first car. I bought it 6 months ago. I loved it more than anything. All my money that i saved and bought this car is gone. Dont have anything left to buy next car. I am lost...don know what to do...!! its cold and raining out...nd I have to walk to reach bus stop 30 mins away..!! All my best wishes for those who still have this car on road. Dodge...u brok my heart..!!

- , Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #4

Feb 212008

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

I am a single parent and I had some oil leaks fixed on 2/20/08 got my car back and heard the clicking noise the guy said it should be ok to drive for a bit well 1 week later timing chain broke and now i am screwed i drive to work 23 miles 1 way and can't even get there. Why did they not recall these engines. Or the car. I am very upset. I just can not get a head. Now i am probably going to have to get a second job and keep getting rides to work. They need to take care of the people.

- , South Colby, WA, USA

problem #3

Jan 142008

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,526 miles


- , Sherbrooke, Quebec J1k2p6, Canada

problem #2

Feb 022008

Intrepid SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Oh Nooooooooo! I started my car on Friday evening to drive home from work and it had a small tapping sound. I had an appointment to go to on Sat. so my husband called the Dodge dealer and made an appointment to bring the car in. I was about 30 miles from home when my car started to smoke. By the time I got off the interstate my car was engulfed with thick white smoke. I was almost asphyxiated. I turned the car off and called my husband. By the time he arrived the engine had cooled. He popped the hood and much to our surprise there was a hole in plastic valve cover, so big that you could see the metal timing chain. We had it towed to the dealer and the mechanic was not surprised at this. We are waiting for an estimate, and I'm stating here and now I will not let this go without some compensation from Dodge. I will bomb them with emails. How dare they not recall these cars. If it caught on fire I might not have been here to type this.

I am so infuriated, and I can't afford to replace a engine that only has 52,000 miles. I should have at least another 100,000 miles left on th is car. My next car will not be a Dodge/Chrysler product - no wonder Japanese cars are so popular. I wish I knew about this website before I bought an Intrepid.

- , Blackwood, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 022007

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I purchased this car used from South Hills Chrysler in PA. I was never warned about potential problems with this car. Never warned to use Full synthetic oil until I had had the car for two years and then only by other unhappy intrepid owners.

I am a widow and am on a very low income. This repair is cosing money O don't have and I am very disappointed that a company much loved by my late husband would put me in such a situation.Because of this happening I have endured sevral weeks of anxiety as I attempt to find a way to pay for the repair to this piece of junk while still making the payments as it did not even have the decency to last long enough for me to pay it off.

I am making it a priority in my life to spread this story around the web as widely as I can. To warn everyone to stay far away from products of company that does not stand up for i's products.

I am applying for but fully doubt I will receive any relief from Chrysler from the huge debt I will have to find some way to pay. After all I change my own oil. People like me don't get any help as far as I have learned.

- , Hendersonville, PA, USA

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