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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,844 miles
Total Complaints:
19 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (10 reports)
  2. there is a service bulletin for this issue. (2 reports)
  3. change oil (1 reports)
  4. clean up oil sludge (1 reports)
  5. drain oil do not remove old filter add a gallon of diesel (1 reports)
  6. must take to dealer to get smoked to find problem (1 reports)
2001 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #19

Oct 132016

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


oil ilght on or a sludge problem, try this, old school. drain oil do not remove old filter. add one gallon of diesel fuel to the engine and let idle from three to five minutes. reomve old oil and drain fuel. replace oil and filter. do this for every oil change and gradually the sludge will go away. you will notice the oil in the engine will be super clean after several changes removing dirt build up.use hi quility oil filter (Fram) my car is old had several issues like most of you. i bought it used, changed EGR valve common problem with these cars,for idle, performance, stalling. the oil light used to fade off and on and engine light came on. now light is off and oil light never came on again.the oil veins in the engine are too small so the oil dirt builds up. my system loosens up the sludge without the garrage bullshit and costs of hundreds of dollars. garrages are out to make money and try to take advantage of people like me and you, not all but unfortunatelly most, even dealers. i had some people tell me that the knock even stopped in some cases. try it, if you have to already replace the engine, what do you have to lose. today you are on your own very few people will help you for free. what a world we now live in.....good luck!!

- , Saint Lazare, QC, Canada

problem #18

May 012013

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Damn engine light came on and won't go off, can't turn it off nobody will run a smog in it because the light is on, even though the car runs, occasionally I see white smoke from tailpipe, but goes away fast

- , Westminster, CA, USA

problem #17

Jun 022010

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,460 miles

I keep up on all oil changes. Have receipts all the way back to 2002. Oil level is always properly maintained. Just changed to synthetic oil and have had the oil pressure switch not once but twice. Car runs fine, light only comes on at temp and when the car is at normal idle (650-750) rpm.


Can I continue to drive as long as oil level is maintained?

- , Lacey, WA, USA

problem #16

May 122010

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


Engine oil light flickers when engine reaches operating temp. and sitting at idle speed. Read this is a design flaw with oil sludge build-up?

- , Lacey, WA, USA

problem #15

Sep 052010

Intrepid SE Se

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,414 miles

I bought this dodge intrepid from a dodge dealer. I was unaware of the problems chrysler had. But I am sure the dealership did and sold this to me anyway. Just 1 week ago for 3800. I am sick about this oil sludge problem. I looked under oil cap now and saw sludge. But dealership changed oil and all I looked at was dip stick at time of sale. That is how much I knew. I have e-mail them about problem. No call from them. I know they will say you bought it as is. This is last dodge/chrysler and all its associates car I will buy. I will be without a car for a while. Taking the bus.

Update from Dec 18, 2010: I was wrong about engine light it was not sludge it was gas evap code. I do not know if this car has a problem or not i just saw engine light and thought the worst. My friend said old cars oil caps are not perfect.

Update from Dec 19, 2010: engine light problem turned out to be evap code. took it to autozone like this site said do . I was just mad at dealership. I am not sure about anything of this car. I am not a mechanic.

- , Monroe, LA, USA

problem #14

Apr 262010

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Car used mostly for short distance driving with no problems. Took two long trips recently, but after the second trip the engine light came on. Mechanic found sludge in oil pan and clogging screen. Cost me $950 to have oil pump changed, screen and pan cleaned. Before I got home, the engine light came on again, indicating sludge still in system. Will donate car.

- , Mansfield, TX, US

problem #13

Feb 122010

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,972 miles


On February 12, 2010, The oil unit was changed and since the oil light has been on. On February 21,2010 as I arrived to church the car just died on me. I started the car again and it died instantly so I tried it again and it started then I parked it. As arrived to Wal Mart to change the oil that same day after church the car died on me again at the parking lot. During the whole time the oil light was flickering. Wow!! As i was car hunting there were at least five 2001 Dodge Intrepids for sale. This was a big hint but I refused to see it because they are nice looking cars. Anyways, During the month of February I saw the car I have now and the previous owner stated she graduated from school and had a new car and for that reason she was selling it. She had no kids, so the car seemed taken care of. All she stated was that the car needed a speed sensor. Which, now I now it is one of the major common problems to these types of cars. The mechanic I went to conducted a Diagnostic and stated the car needed a oil sending unit. So, he did change it and that same day the oil light went on.

Update from Mar 17, 2010: I have researched all the web sites on 2001 Dodge interpid. I have tried everything but change the engine. Yesterday i had a mechanic clean the pan for sludge and place a sludge cleaner before cleaning it and placed a preventive sludge treatment. All day today I drove the car and the light had not turned on until six pm today. So I tried using a different oil 10w 30, 10w 40. Im giving up! Will drive it until it dies!

- , El Paso, TX, USA

problem #12

Feb 262010

Intrepid SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I purchased a one owner, excellent condition 2001 Intrepid with 160000 mi yesterday I drove the car 20 freeway miles from the dealer to the exit off the interstate on the way home. Stopping at the light...the oil light began to flicker, stay on, flicker while at idle. This morning I looked on the internet for this make/model searching for "complaints" which lead me to this web site. I see there are many others that have had the same issue.

Since I purchased this "as is" can anyone tell me ifI have any recourse with the dealer+

- , Salem, OR, USA

problem #11

May 052009

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Sorry so many had oil sludge problems. I have a 2001 with 101,000 miles with no problems. Change oil every 3000 miles. Did any one hear about Toyota sludge problem? They settled out of court on a million complaints. Buy Jap? Go for it. Not me. Drive down the street and the question is what is it? A Honda, Toyota, etc. Join the look alike club, or just change your damn oil. Just drove my Dodge to NC and back from Ohio,

- , Heath, OH, US

problem #10

Aug 192007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

This is not so much a complaint but more of a curiosity as to what is going on with these engines. I just recently heard of this engine problem. I have also had the rough idling and ticking sound from the engine at cold starts. I also lost all my engine oil once without any evidence of where it went. I purchased my car with 30,000 miles in 2003. It now has 113,000 miles and it actually runs smoother than my 2007 Tahoe. But I have used nothing but full synthetic 5w-30 penzoil in the engine. My question is, what type of oil has everyone, that has had an engine failure, been using? Is the oil pump not strong enough to handle heavier oils?

- , Odessa, TX, USA

problem #9

Mar 042009

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles



However you decide to fix your blown 2.7L V6 engine, do not put in another defective 2.7L engine. Find a mechanic to swap up to a 3.2/3.5L engine instead. Here's why:

* The 3.2/3.5L engine doesn't have the design defect that causes oil sludge to form in the 2.7L V6. * The 3.2/3.5L engines are less expensive than the 2.7L, sometimes by $1,000 or more. * The 2.7L to 3.x swap is fairly straightforward & does not require any custom parts or other major components be replaced.

Here's a thread about a successful 2.7 to 3.2L engine swap & what's involved.

- , Somerworth, NH, USA

problem #8

Aug 082008

Intrepid R-T 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

my intrepid was 1 tooth off on timing. the car run good up to 1600 rpms. then it would miss. it gave 5 codes .

it said the tps was bad. coolant sensor was bad. air temp was bad.evap had a big leak . it was the timing only all codes are gone

- , Sea Side, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 012008

Intrepid ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,852 miles

Engine light on all the time so took it to Oil Can Henry's to run a computer plug in test. Said gas cap loose. They turned off the light but went on 2 days later so returned. They did a test a second time this time it said PO 455 Evap Emission Control System Leak (Large). Anyone know about this???????

- , Arlington, WA, USA

problem #6

May 062008

Intrepid ES ?

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,954 miles

Car seems to run fine but engine light is on. Checked and gas cap is tight, oil is OK.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #5

Jan 092007

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

This engine was failing the whole time. Car took so long to start, the computer diagnostic indicated it was a bad sensor. It was replaced, and the problem kept going, so now the problem are the head gaskets. $2000 at least to repair.

- , Fort Worth, TX, US

problem #4

May 082007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,800 miles

There is a bulletin for this issue and it is a very simple fix. Dodge or Chysler, take your pick, has issued this bulletin which involves a wire. Thats right folks it is a black wire with a corrugated plastic covering taped at one end. This wire is placed on the oil sending unit connector. It seems there are two connecting points on this and from the factory one is left open, over time this seems to affect the signal sent to the EMC. Attach this wire to the remaining open slot run it up to the top of the motor Zip tie it to a wiring bundle. Problem fixed, for 6 months no light no fried motor good times.

- , Huntington, WV, USA

problem #3

Nov 052007

Intrepid SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,098 miles

I have only one or two things to say. Since I'm a widow on a very fixed income and just paid off this "new" Dodge in Sept. 07 and have only 32,098 miles on it -- have always changed oil before it needed it - do not intend to stand still for the engine blowing up - if that turns out to be the problem since my engine light is on constantly now. It doesn't seem to want to always start and engine makes a ticking noise also. It has died a couple of times when slowing down driving in the neighborhood. Have always taken care of the car - only one driving it. I was taken by a mechanic several years ago while my husband was disabled - we had an older Buick Park Ave. bought used with 187,000 miles - expected to have problems now and then - had an engine replacement and was charged 3 times the going rate and laughed at when I complained. Am keeping in touch with all these folks I've read about and should know in a few days if my "low mileage" Dodge has the same problem and if so, I hope we can all get together and do something about this --- there's no excuse for a large company to do this to hard working people. I've had one thing after another happen - losing my mother and husband 4 months apart - and was hoping at least I would have a reliable car since I can't live on social security only and need it for transportation since I need a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm am sick about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Chillicothe, MO, USA

problem #2

Dec 112007

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

It is my grandmothers car, I drive the 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but we often "trade" cars with each other from time to time. (which ever has gas in it), This is just one of the MANY problems that she has had with this car, she was taking my brother to school one morning and the check engine light came on, she always takes our cars right to the dealership if anything ever goes wrong to get it fixed, they said that the torque converter needed to be replaced which would cost around $1100. They said that if we continued to drive the car that pieces of metal would come off of the converter and grind into the transmission. We took it home and parked it for a while until we could call around to other places to see how much it would cost because $1100 was completely crazy! We ended up getting the car fixed for about $650 which is a lot better than $1100.

- , Lenoir, NC, USA

problem #1

Oct 232006

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,484 miles

My 2001 Dodge Intrepid has had its engine light on for awhile now. It has been running okay, with little or no complaint. Basically it does the trick. However - I need someone to tell me ANY magic that may get this piece of to pass inspection now that the light remains on. It is only into one month of being late for inspection (was due in 9), but I have not dared to bring it in to be done because I know that the inspection station will give it a reject (or so I have read and been told by a few auto mechanics), and I will not be able to get the problem fixed in order to get the actual sticker. I realize from all the stories that I have read here and elsewhere - that I am dealing with a terminal money pit of a vehicle. I don't plan on having any pointless work done to it. I just need to keep it going (legally) for another few months until I can get a new vehicle. (Never again buying American!!).

If anyone has a quick fix for this engine light on issue so I may get it inspected properly - PLEASE let me know. I am ever appreciative to those who can hack a vehicle enough to get it through the inspection system. grin

- , Lowell, MA, USA

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