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:
89,741 miles
Total Complaints:
149 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. never buy a Chrysler again (63 reports)
  2. replaced with a used/rebuilt engine (30 reports)
  3. not sure (20 reports)
  4. bought a new car that's not a Dodge (13 reports)
  5. replace engine (9 reports)
  6. replace with a 3.2L or 3.5L engine (6 reports)
2001 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments (Page 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #89

Nov 062007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


I purchased the car it had 65,000 miles. It now has 106,000.00 I change the oil on a regular bases. The car started to overheat about a month ago but when I turned on the heater it would cool off so I am thinking I need someone to check the air condishing. I was told that Dodge had a problem with the cooling system and sometimes air pockets got in the engine. I had the oil changed and the air pocket was fixed. 3 weeks later a hear a tick. 3 days after the tick the engine freezes up. Come to find out I have sludge in the engine cause from a problem with the cooling system. I know have a car that is not paid for I owe $800.00 plus $275.00 to tow it and find out it will take a rebuilt motor $3800.00 or a new motor$5800.00 to fix. I do not have that money. My Mechanic told me that when he went to price a new engine he was asked a lot of questions about what was wrong with the engine almost as if Dodge knows something is wrong and want to cover them selfs.

We all deserve help with this problem

- , Aurora, IL, US

problem #88

Oct 182007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I've been a MOPAR lover and buyer ever since I was legal to drive. My first car was a 72 Cuda, then 73 Road Runner, 75 Cornet, 78 charger, 80 Horizon, 82 Omni, 88 Caravan, 1995 Intrepid and the last one I'll own a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. All of them new except for the 95 Intrepid which was a beautiful loaded car. I traded it for a Ford conversion van but never heard the end of it from my wife who loved the car even though it had 196,000 miles on it. One day she came home and said she bought another intrepid all by herself to drive to work. The car was very nice and I thought it should be just as good as the last one. It ran great up to 96000 miles then one day she came home and said the oil light flickered when the car idled. I took it to my mechanic and he said he could not find any thing wrong and it would not flicker for him. Same thing happened 2 more times so he changed the sending unit. A month later a light ticking noise started. Took it in again and it would not do it for him. Took it home and it did it again. Then it stopped for a week. Then it started and would not stop. I took it to the mechanic who ended up tearing the motor down. It was full of sludge. He said it looks like you let the oil go to long between changes. I pulled out the oil change record and showed him every oil change was less than 2900 miles. Any long trip, oil was changed before the trip and after.

We both did a little research and found the problem is the oil return ports in the block castings. They are too small. The high heat of these new engines cook the oil to a sludge and then it starts to block off these return ports. The cam chain tensioners are hydraulic and need oil pressure to keep them tight. These are the first to starve. Then the timing chain gets loose and lets the valve hit the zero tolerance pistons or the crank bearings run out of oil and seize up. My local Dodge dealer said they would not repair because it was way out of warranty and he would not acknowledge they knew it was a problem. I told him I would never be back to buy another car. He didn't seem to care. I toyed with fixing it but instead put it beside the highway with a sign that says Dodge is a Crook. Stop and read why. I put the sad story taped inside the window. Two or three people a week stop to read it. Some want more details- usually because they are driving an Intrepid. My wife wants me to move it because it brings too many strangers around the place but I think its good advertisement. The place I work used to have , about 60 Dodge vehicles in the parking lot. On the private message board at work I've been posting the saddest letters I see here each week. Now there is less than 20 Dodge vehicles out of 165 people that drive there every day. And we were bought by a bigger company so I'm transferring to a bigger plant where I hope they have a message board too. If Dodge is listening. Hear this. I'm making it my goal in life to let everyone I meet know how you treated your customers who put the bread on your table. I've talked three people out of buy new Dodge trucks, not because they're bad vehicles but bad customer service. Just admit you made a bad motor and make it right. People can't trust you with their hard earned money. It's really to bad. It was a great car otherwise. To announce that you would fix all those engines would be the best PR you could ever get.

- , Anthon, IA, USA

problem #87

Oct 042007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Loved the car at first. Drove it for about 4 months, it had 63000 miles on it when I got it. I had to replace the Transmission Control Module, that was over $100. Two weeks later engine started knocking (light at first), but being in the military it's not like I make alot of money to get it fixed. Since it was still running good what was the problem.

Well driving to see my son, the engine decided to take a dump on me, while driving down the interstate at 80mph. Didn't seize up but for all the noise it was making it might as well have. Needless to say trying to get off the road as quickly as possible on I-75 is never a fun or safe thing to do.

Needless to say I had to get the car towed. First $100 aout of pocket cost. My mechanic told me it needed a bottom engine rebuild. Also known as a $3500 minimum repair job. If it had to be bored out it would cost another $2000 on top of that. Was told the best to fix the problem form ever happening again was to get a Jasper rebuild, $7000 repair bill.

OK! So got the car towed from the garage to my home (another $100 tow bill), and there it sits. I still owe $4500 on the boat anchor and nobody will take it as a trade. Push, pull or drag sales laugh at me when I tell them what I have. Junkyards won't take it without the title. I am so lucky to have bought this car. I never would have found out just how much money you can throw at car for it to not work. $7000 for car. $200 for new alternator. $1000 for new TCM. $600 a year for insurance. All for a car that would work better as an artificial reef.


- , St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #86

Sep 302007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,772 miles


2001 Dodge Intrepid, which was purchased 2006, was well maintained and never abused. it was making a knocking noise in the engine. The mechanic who look at the car said you have an oil pump problem. I never got it fix because i am a college student and dont have the time or money to get it fix, But if anyone find a way to fix this problem for under $1000 or put together a lawsuit, contact me using the Send Commend link below. Thanks

- , Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #85

Sep 242007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 191,000 miles

I purchased the 2001 Intrepid in March of 2002. It had 19,000 miles on it. At 94,000 the car just died. Left me stranded making a right hand turn onto the onramp. No warning, no lights, no noise ever came from the engine. Thankfully I had purchased the extended warranty and the engine was replaced. NO ONE at the Dodge dealership told me anything about a faulty oil pump. Then when the 2nd engine hit 93,000 it did it again. This time the temp gauge went all the way to C and the car lost power and as I pulled it off to the side, it began to smoke and just died. Again leaving me stranded only this time I was 200 miles away from home. Yah, nice tow bill that was. I no longer had a warranty on the car so knowing I didn't have the $5,000 to fix it I parked it in the driveway and went and purchased a foreign car. Vowing NEVER again to own another American Car. ESPECIALLY A DODGE!!!!

A few months later I decided to put a used engine in the engine. Why continue to pay for something that didn't run and at that time I still owed on it for another 2 years. The mechanic who put the used engine in the car became aware of the oil pump problem and called Chrysler. Their response? Part was never recalled so it wasn't their problem. Well guess what.. the car didn't make it another 2000 miles before dying once again. 3 engines have ben in this car and I have only had it for 5 years. I have keep it very well maintained with the routine oil changes and a new gas pump and whatever else the car needed. It is in excellent condition body and interior wise. By looking at it you were never know that there were so many miles on it. Before the car went for the 3rd time I had just purchased 4 new tires for it and replaced the battery. Now, because the car has been sitting for 2 years the tires are sun rotted and the battery is no longer any good. I am still paying the monthly payments on it and because there is a loan I have to carry full coverage on the car even though it is not driveable.

I have written to dodge complaining about the situation and how I feel that they should be responsible for their mistakes. I am out thousands of dollars! I hope a lawyer reads this and takes all of these complaints and pursues Dodge. I feel that they should not be allowed to get away with this and something must be done. If a class action suit isn't worth it then everyone needs to go after Dodge individually. I am. I am looking for a lawyer who will go after them and fix the car. I'm tired of looking at it.

- , Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #84

Sep 192007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

How is it that car manufacturers can remain immune to lawsuits? With all these complaints, how can they say it's not their fault? I had my oil changed regularly AT THE DEALERSHIP. If this is so obvious a problem, why is nothing being done? My lawyer friend says there's no advantage to participating in a class action law suit because the lawyers get all the money. Does everyone need to sue them individually? Has anyone been successful? My 2001 Intrepid is sitting dead in a pizza parking lot! Can't even find an engine because so many other people have had to replace theirs!

- , Warren, OH, US

problem #83

Sep 122007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


Our 2001 Dodge Intrepid, which was purchased new in 2001, was well maintained and never abused. A week ago, my daughter said that the car was making a knocking noise in the engine. we told her to see a mechanic and drive it only to the mechanic. He told us the sound was the "Knock of Death" and that the engine would not last a month. It barely made it back home.

We have had several estimates for replacing the engine with a rebuilt or used engine and none have come in under $4500. The car resale value is only $5500 so it is probably not worth fixing at this point. Now after seeing this site and all of the complaints against this engine, it appears that this has been a known issue with this engine for years (check out intrepids going back to '97) and dodge/chrysler needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility for this. I am seriously considering starting a class action lawsuit against the company and will certainly repost if I decide to go forward with it. Also, anyone looking at this site needs to also look at the year's surrounding their own make and model to see if this is a recurring issue or not. This engine sludge issue has been a problem for years and Dodge has somehow avoided ownership of it.

- , Matawan, NJ, USA

problem #82

Jun 032007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,500 miles

so Here is my beef.. June of 2006 I noticed my oil light was staying on while the car was in idle at stop lights, signs, etc. I have my oil changed regularly. but took it to a mechanic who there informed me about the problem with these sh*tty engines. At that point he did a fix to it and I haven't had any problems with the light again, so I figured so far so good, just hold out till Nov of 2007 so I can pay it off and trade it. HAHAHA RIGGGGHHHT last night i get a call from my husband 11:30pm at night on his way home from work stating the car took a flying sh*t. Oil light came on for 15-30 seconds and then the car just died. The valve cover gasket kinda exploded and exposed the timing chain... which still looks intact at this point. But I am smart enough to know that I am gonna need to replace this sh*tty engine, and the dodge folks know this problem exists from all the complaints I have read on this site. I have no warranty on the car, will be paid off this November and I am due to have a baby in July... PERFECT DAMN TIMING EH? I wonder if i can go after them if this causes me pre-term labor from stress of their sh*tty engine? Just waiting to see what a mechanic says come monday so I can flip out at that point. I won't buy another dodge EVER if i replace the engine i will go with another kind of engine, I like the car for its size etc.. but damn the engine these bastards put in it. Crooks

- , Gray Court, SC, USA

problem #81

Aug 212007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My husband is serving in the US Army and purchased this car early in 2006. We are currently stationed over in Germany and we brought the car with us. In early February (not even a year of having the car) the engine suddenly blew. We have always taken good care of our cars, changing the oil even 3000miles and just keeping it clean. It caught us very much off guard. We have been trying to save up for 6 months to fix it but its so expensive to do, especially over here. One place quoted us 15,000 euro to fix it! With the exchange rate currently being $1.70 to each euro and the dollar value dropping that is insane! We still owe on the car otherwise we would just junk it and never look back. We have to finish paying it off to get the title and we can't ship it back to the states without it running. My husband has just been deployed to Iraq so I am left to figure out what to do with the piece of you know what. Its really quite sad because the body is almost in perfect condition.

- , Apo, AE, USA

problem #80

Jun 092007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

We bought the Intrepid in July 2004. we were expecting our first child and the car was an awesome size and had plenty of room for baby stuff in the trunk. It is now june 2007 and the car only has about 63000 miles on it and it is now junk. The first of May the engine started making a knocking noise so we took it back to the dealership where we bought it and an extended warranty. We were told that the estimate was $7000 for a new engine and it was not covered by the warranty due to lack of maintenance (which is crap because even though this is my husbands car I took it in for oil changes) so we took it to a local mechanic that my brother knows who could replace the engine for $2500 but told us if we fix it get rid of it immediately. As of April we owed about $8000 but thanks to a tax refund, some money in savings and overtime that my husband we will pay it off this week. Now our concern is saving for a new car since we can't trade this one in. Luckily my brother has loaned us a car for now.

- , Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #79

Aug 042007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


A year ago they told us about the oil sludge. They made us feel like we could make a quick fix for $800 or replace the engine for $5000 or more. They even tried to make the "Time to Trade" speech. We decided to good the cheapest. One year later we have the same problem but worse. No choice except to park it or put in a new or used engine. We don't have the money for a new car and need this car for work. We had no idea that there were website designated to the exact problem we are experiencing. We appealed to Chrysler and they said since we did not follow the advise of the May 06 problem (Replace the engine) they could not help us. We asked if there were others who had complained of this problem and they said "We deal in a case by case method... we won't be able to compare you with others". Basically we are being treated as if we are the only ones to ever make a complaint on these engines. I feel that we have been taken advantage of by Chrysler and our local Chrysler dealer who just wants to collect the money. If we replace with a used engine we will only have the same problem it seems. Chrysler needs to recall the engine.

- , Morris, MN, USA

problem #78

Jul 292007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

Another engine failure resulting from oil sludge.... Car was very well maintained with regular oil changes (3,00 miles) and only had 69,000 miles on it. The body is in excellent shape but it is now useless. I will never buy another Chrysler again!A local car service garage said they have seen 3 Intrepids with this engine failure in the last 6 months.

- , Vicksburg, MI, USA

problem #77

Jul 232007

(reported on)

Intrepid SC 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I changed the oil regularly. Now I was told by 3 different auto shops that the 2001 Dodge Intrepid se wasn't worth fixing . It is a 2.7L motor. I was told that it was a default oil pump that came from the manafactory. I think that the people that made my car should be the one that pays for my car. I still owe the bank on it.

I will never buy a Dodge again. I have a nice car body with a screwed motor. Who do I talk to that might help me get the Dodge company to pay for my car?

- , Henderson, TX, USA

problem #76

Apr 302007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I owned a 99 Dodge Intrepid and felt it saved my life when I hit a deer (Nov of 2005) and rolled the car four times. I walked away and unfortunately went and purchased a nice looking 2001 Intrepid with less than 80,000 miles. Ten thousand miles later, the 2001 ES sits in my dads front yard with another one marked up for the history books - sludge engine failure. The car's previous owner had furnished all maintenance records at the time of purchase and I thought I was getting a well maintained car. I guess we really know why they stopped making the Dodge Intrepid car line. Needless to say this is the last Dodge product I'll ever purchase. I'll have it paid for in another year or so. The best price I've been offered for it at the scrap yard is $300. Most of them will not even make me an offer. It does not make sense to purchase another engine that has design defect(s) from a company that doesn't care about my safety.

- , Rector, AR, USA

problem #75

Apr 142007

(reported on)

Intrepid LX 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

As many of the other complaints, I purchased this used car in 2004 (even had it checked out before I signed on the dotted line). Had no problems initially, applied regular oil changes, tune-ups. Noticed a loud noise coming from the enging in 2006, had it checked out. Mechanics initially thought I was not changing my oil on a regular basis, but proof showed them that was not the issue. One place I took the car to was DODGE. The head mechanic mentioned he had FIVE OTHER INTREPIDS WITH THEIR ENGINES SCREWED UP AS WELL. The issue is CHYRSLER/DODGE manufacturing bad engines, banking off of hardworking folks, and enjoying it. I am a single parent, two children and a grandchild. I DIDN'T NEED ISSUES LIKE THIS, I have enough on my own. I WILL "NEVER" BUY ANOTHER CHRYSLER/DODGE VEHICLE. I WILL DEFINITELY PASS THE WORD AROUND TO THOSE I KNOW WHO HAVE NOT SEE THIS SITE TO TAKE NOTICE. The car was paid off in 2006 and now for the past 4-5 months, I have been catching rides through family and friends, even riding the city bus. This is a drastic change for me and will cost at least $3,000 to fix. I HOPE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WILL SOON TAKE OFF WITH THIS AND FILE A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST THEM. THIS IS JUST WRONG, JUST WRONG.

- , Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #74

Sep 252006

(reported on)

Intrepid LE

  • 50,000 miles

I have regularly maintained the vehicle, which we bought from the local Dodge dealer as a "program car" in 2002. In 2003 after having the oil changed, I heard a tapping noise and checked the oil and it was full and clean. I checked with several people who told me it was carbon on a valve or a bent valve and to try an oil additive. I used an oil additive and it lessened the noise but it was still there. It ran for a day or two, but trying to start it one day I heard a loud bang and then nothing. I had it towed to a shop and found out my timing chain had broke (the Bang noise) and I had black oil sludge build-up due to a faulty oil pump had resulted in a lack of lubrication. It cost me $3,500 to rebuild the engine. I never got an oil light or check engine light or even an overheating of the car, so I did not think it was as big a problem as it turned out. When we get enough complaints for a class action suit, count me in I kept the sludge oil and all my paperwork from what I had to pay (minus interest fees for the loan).

- , Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #73

Apr 062007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I paid off my 2001 Dodge Intrepid SE in Sept. 06 after buying it brand new 5 years ago. My mileage is only 64,000 and aside from constantly having to change the brake pads, (almost every 8 months) I never had any problems with it. In late Nov. 06 I began hearing knocking and got it checked out by my uncle who is a mechanic. To my surprise the engine was filled with sludgy oil. I know that this shouldn't have been the case because I faithfully have my oil changed EVERY 3,000 mile at Jiffy Lube. They maintain a history of every time you take your car there and I had just had it done a month earlier. I'm sure they would have told me that something was wrong with the oil that they removed if they saw something. There was NO indication that this was going to happen. No dash lights, nothing! My uncle and a few mechanics who work with him then told me about the Chrysler 2.7L engine and what a piece of crap it is. THEY told me to get rid of the car. Imagine that. Just paid it off and can't drive it. I sure wish that I would have seen this site sooner. I'd have traded it in. I have a car that's been sitting for 5 months with a blown engine. I see all of these posted complaints but are any of you trying to organize a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against these thieves? You can call the U. S. National Highway Traffic and Safety Institute at 1-888-327-4237 or visit their web site at and file a complaint and hopefully if enough people complain there will be a recall or Chrysler will have to show some accountability! Anything is better than them getting away with millions/billions of our hard earned dollars and no responsibility for their DEFECTIVE ENGINE! Needless to say, I won't be buying a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep ever again!!!!!

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #72

Mar 282007

(reported on)

Intrepid ES 2.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


- , Chester, SC, USA

problem #71

Mar 202007

(reported on)

Intrepid 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I too am a victim of Dodge-Chrysler greed and know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will never own another one. Be sure that I will tell everyone to stay clear of their products.

The fair and decent thing would have been for them to acknowledge the problem and take steps to correct. How many of us who trusted them have been abused by their greed?

Does anyone know of any legal recourse? I would like to see them pay for their duplicity!

- , Charleston, SC, USA

problem #70

Mar 182007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Problem started about 6 months ago. Regular oil changes, and the service tech always told me about the sludge problem. Engine tappet noises that would come and go. Took car out on the highway for a regular run and as I came into a curve, the engine light came on, and the engine died. After towing back home, I had a mechanic look at it. He showed me how the timing chains had cut through the valve covers and also no movement when engaging the starter. Minimum 4000.00 to repair or replace engine. I will never buy another Chrysler product and will always warn friends and family about how Chrysler knew about this problem, but did not tell the customers who put faith and money into this Company. Buyer beware, stay away from this Company.

- , Howell, MI, USA

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