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:
126,762 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 #7

Mar 082004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,435 miles


First thing is that the rack and pinion failed. Got it repaired and then tie rod fell off. Was driving down the road one day, the car started smoking and just cut off. Got it off the road but it would not start after that. The car only has 75,435 miles on it.

- Leitchfield, KY, USA

problem #6

May 202005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,100 miles
Problem began about one month ago, the steering was loose. When moving the steering wheel about 5-10 degrees in either direction, the steering system does not respond. Then, the vehilce was taken to a mechanic, who determined that rack and pinion steering needed to be replaced. The owner was attempting to get help from Chrysler, but they were not offering help. Owner noticed upon investigation that there were others with this concern.

- Huntington, NY, USA

problem #5

Sep 272004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,800 miles
We have a 2001 Dodge Intrepid ES 4 months off warranty that needs a complete rack N pinion replacement. After noticing a lack of mobility on corners, we purchased new tires (hey never thought it could be something as huge a defect as this) after they showed some wear and winter is coming. Manueverability on corners became worse and my husband took it in to our dealer today September 27, 2004 and was told it needed a complete rack N pinion, steering stabilizers, and bushings. This car has 38,000 miles on!!! after doing some research on the web, it seems very blatant that it should be a defect on these automobiles or at a minimum a warranty item. I will never let my teenager drive this vehicle and after getting it repaired will trade it. It is a shame that it will probably take many accidents and god forbid deaths before either NHTSA or Dodge will address this issue.

- Machias, ME, USA

problem #4

Sep 102004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I was turning corner, going approx. 5 mph, when my steering wheel locked up, I couldn't steer the car at all. I ended up 1/2 in the ditch 1/2 in the street. I had to put on the brake to stop, but had no control of the car. We called douglas in clinton, il. They provided me with a loaner car and were going to look at it first thing Monday morning. They notified my husband at work, Monday and told him that the rack & pinion had broke. They had to replace part, remanufactured was $300 new was $800. They finally got part in on Friday and I was able to get my car back that evening. Total repair bill was $640.72. That included part, labor, taxes and realigment.

- Maroa, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 022004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
With less than 85000 miles on the vehicle, the rack and pinion steering is in need of replacement per my local mechanic. The failure of a part this critical this soon is unacceptable.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #2

Feb 282004

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 740,000 miles
3 year old Dodge Intrepid, bought new, with 75,000 miles has a large amount of play in the steering wheel before direction change occurs. Indications are steering rack needs replaced. There is a technical service bulletin on this condition, but no recall. I contacted Chrysler for assistance, but there position is warranty is out. I have never heard of a steering rack going out this quickly, and there are a lot of complaints posted on the internet for failures as low as 38,000 miles. My other vehicle is 11 years old, with 145,000 miles and has never had a problem like this. There is a design flaw in the steering on this vehicle, and other model Chrysler which is leading to the early failure rates, and Chrysler knows it, and should help owners repair.

- Bluefield, VA, USA

problem #1

Apr 282003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When the consumer tried to turn the steering wheel, it became stuck. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who repaired the rack and pinion.

- Waterloo, IA, USA

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