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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,960 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #8

Aug 272007

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Intrepid. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle began to veer to the right. The contact turned the steering wheel slightly to the left and then to the right to keep the vehicle driving forward. The vehicle was taken to the mechanic and they stated that either the rack and pinion or an unknown component could be the cause of failure. The contact believes that the manufacturer should take some corrective action. The current and failure mileages were 80,000.

- Clearwater , FL, USA

problem #7

Aug 122006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles
Steering became very problematic starting in July 2006. When turning the car, there were catches when turning in either direction and the problem has grown worse. The car was serviced in early August when the shop diagnosed it and replaced the tie rods. That did not fix it and was then told that the steering gear rack also needed to be replaced. There have been several near-misses as the steering locks when making turns in parking lots or tight spaces.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #6

Jun 052006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles
I noticed a play in the steering wheel when I bought the car at 42,000 miles. At about 45,000 miles I noticed that steering wheel would "get caught" on something while trying to bring it back to its normal position after turning, and clicking while getting over whatever was catching it. At the same time rattling in the front end came along while driving on uneven surfaces - like a dirt road, bumps, holes on the road. At 46,000 miles I was told I had to replace the whole steering rack asap before I loose the ability to steer my car on the road and hurt me/somebody else.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #5

Mar 282006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,700 miles


: the contact stated while making a turn the steering wheel locked. The vehicle was driven to an independent repair shop where the steering rack was replaced. Updated 4/14/2006 - the steering problem began on 1/05 and fluctuated between being stiff when making turn to being very loose when making turn. Eventually the steering locked up on 3/28/05.

- River Vale, NJ, USA

problem #4

Nov 022005

(reported on)


  • 50,000 miles
Ltr seeking status of complaint filed w/ODI re defects of the steering rack on his 2001 Dodge Intrepid, reply to constituent/copy john leitch/wash. DC, ref ES05-006486 /S/ harrington 8/11/05.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #3

Jan 172005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Faxed copy of email fm john brzostowski (md) seek status of complaint filed w/ODI re defects of the steering rack on his 2001 Dodge Intrepid.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #2

Oct 122004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
I have a steering problem with my 2001 Dodge Intrepid. A mechanic says it needs a new steering rack. It "sticks and binds up on left turns". for a fairly new car with not that many miles on it I believe it is a manufacturers defect. The mechanics name is fern lachance and his number is (207) 724-7208.

- Lisbon, ME, USA

problem #1

Jul 112004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,984 miles
July, 2004, I was driving my 2001 Dodge Intrepid when I made a left turn and the steering locked up, the wheel would not turn back to the right. It happened twice as I turned into intersections same day. Had there been a vehicle in the opposite lane, I would have had no recourse but to crash in to it. Luckily, there was no car in the inside lane! this was a Sunday..took car to Dodge repair shop early Monday morning and was told it was the bushings. 4 days later, was told after the bushings were put in, it did not correct the problem...that it was needing a new rack! the bushing repair was $426.46. The repairman told me that in his opinion, a rack should not have to be replaced in a vehicle with less than 50,000 miles as was the case in my vehicle. I called Chrysler and they refused to do anything. The Dodge repair man even called them and they refused him, because in my frustration after they declined my request I had used the word "damn" and "a***holes" in the conversation. Which is beside the point, as this is a safety issue...which could have caused me a serious or fatal accident! my car was finally repaired after being in the shop 3 weeks (this is my only vehicle as I am a single parent household) and I was charged a total of $823.48 for the bushings and a rebuilt rack! shields motors in chanute may still have the old part, I am unsure. However, I feel that Chrysler should be recalling their vehicles after researching and finding several other situations where the steering has caused accidents, etc.

- Chanute, KS, USA

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