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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,804 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.

2002 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Jun 122006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Check engine light came on and dealership stated that it was a sensor and replaced it...that was approximately 1 year ago. Knocking sound started a couple weeks ago and then car engine died in traffic 2 times. Got the engine restarted and then the oil light came on and engine died for good. Took it to one shop who stated that it was a timing belt and would not work on it. Had it towed to dealer and they stated that it needed a new engine to the tune of $6,500. Stated that it was because of sludge build up and not changing oil regularly. Car was serviced every 2 to 3K miles for oil changes. Car was taken care of and yet dies @ 50,000. Miles? the government needs to force Dodge to own up to the failures and buy us consumers new engines that will last longer than 50,000. Miles! I still owe $8,000. On this vehicle!

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #49

Jun 142006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,315 miles
: the contact stated while driving various speeds, the engine made a rattling noise. The vehicle was inspected by an independent repair shop who determined there was excessive sludge build up which caused the engine rod to fracture. The mechanic suggested replacing the engine. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Grass Lake, MI, USA

problem #48

Jun 022006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
While wife was driving car to store on 2 June 2006, Intrepid engine shuttered and check engine light illuminated. Shuttering stopped and engine runs smooth but light is still illuminated. Mar 2006 engine oil change was accomplished along with a engine flush by ed's tire service, fayetteville, North Carolina. July 2005 car failed inspection because of a bad battery, which was difficult to replace. Between 2002-2004 front rotors have been replaced twice, once by the Dodge dealership for $150 then once by me for $60. This sludge buildup problem that Dodge refuses to fix is becoming stupid! they are making the money off of us, they to at least own up to their design flaw and fix the problem. Does anyone know how to get sludge out of the engine other than tearing it down?

- Robins Afb, GA, USA

problem #47

May 172006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


Engine blew a bearing at 92,000 miles, was told by 2 different reputable repair shops to scrap engine that its not worth fixing. Learned that oil flow defects cause this problem on Dodge 2.7L engine.

- Forest, VA, USA

problem #46

May 012006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
2002 Dodge Intrepid SE; timing chain problems, hydraulic tensioner, motor seized up.

- Washington, WV, USA

problem #45

May 042006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,560 miles
My daughter was driving home on May 4, 2006 in her 2002 Dodge Intrepid, as she was driving up a hill thankfully not down a hill her engine began to make a knocking noise like there was no oil in her vehicle, her oil was changed 400 miles previous to this incident her engine seized up and now will not run. It was towed to a nearby garage and the oil was checked and found to be clean and filled to the required capacity. And was also told that this particular engine was known to be defective. I am now currently looking for an engine for this vehicle but am having trouble because these engines are junk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Crescent, PA, USA

problem #44

Mar 042006

Intrepid 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving 50 mph a loud noise was heard coming from the engine. The vehicle slowed and another loud noise was heard. It was pulled off the road without incident. The engine restarted; however the vehicle would not go into reverse and would only operate at 10 mph. It was towed to an independent repair shop where the transmission was replaced. One month later while approaching a stop, the vehicle vibrated and the engine overheated and failed. The vehicle was towed back to the independent repair shop where the engine was rebuilt. The manufacturer has not been alerted.

- Carbondale, IL, USA

problem #43

Mar 302006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 55 mph the engine sputtered and then stalled. The vehicle coasted off the road and restarted for just a few seconds when the engine seized. It was towed to an independent repair shop where it was determined the water from the radiator was in the engine. There was water in the oil, which caused the engine to seize. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Daphne, AL, USA

problem #42

Apr 032006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 65 mph the engine locked up without prior warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The mechanic informed the contact of the oil sludge problem concerning the 2.7 engines. The mechanic determined the engine needed replaced.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #41

Mar 262006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 40 mph the engine failed. The service engine light illuminated and the temperature gauge went to hot. The vehicle was towed to the dealership and they determined the engine needed to be replaced. The timing chain failed which caused complete engine failure. Updated 05/10/06.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #40

Mar 282006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


: the contact stated without warning the vehicle stopped. This occurred while traveling 65 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where the problem has not been determined. Updated 4/17/2006 -

- Menifee, CA, USA

problem #39

Feb 132005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,111 miles
2002 Dodge Intrepid engine stop working. Car will not start.

- Crystal Springs, MS, USA

problem #38

Feb 092006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
My used 2002 Dodge Intrepid with a Chrysler 2.7 engine started knocking like crazy after stopping on me several times while driving. The first expensive "repair" to correct this problem was replacement of a fuel pump and a "fuel pump cont module carter electric fuel ass" which had cracked (345.00 for the part, $600 for the "repair"). two weeks later the engine was knocking even more loudly and I was informed by pep boys that the engine was shot--locked up--and that I should have it towed to a Dodge dealer. $172 later, the Dodge dealer had towed my car and told me the same thing. The warranty company demanded oil change maintenance receipts which we could not produce as we have friends who change the oil for us. We were told by several engine repair companies we contacted (trying to find an affordable option) that the 2.7 engine had a defective timing chain which does not allow oil to pass through and be burned properly, causing sludge to build up and destroy the engine. Of course Dodge and the warranty company "blamed" it on our "poor maintenance"--we still owe 9,000 on the car!!!--the currie motors Dodge dealer wanted to charge $750 to "tear down" the engine, then said they could put in a refurbished engine for $5300!! no apologies for their defective engine. No consideration whatever. They seemed gleeful that they were going to make so much money from our distress! each engine replacement company we called to inquire about the cost of replacing an engine asked, before we even told them, "is it a Chrysler 2.7?" the Dodge Chrysler company should recall all autos with 2.7 engines and replace the engines for free with an improved 2.7 model. I know after this experience that I will never buy another Dodge or Chrysler or any other model marketed by these dealerships. I regret that I had no idea about Dodge inferiority before I purchased the vehicle. I didn't do my "homework, " I guess.

- Oak Park, IL, USA

problem #37

Jan 172006

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle then sputtered, the engine died, and the vehicle coasted to the side of the road. The contact waited a few minutes and tried to restart the vehicle. The vehicle did not start. The next morning there was another attempt to start the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop. Updated 2/7/2006 -

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #36

Nov 152005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
The oil light flickers when I slow down, and when I am at idle at a light, the oil light comes on and only goes away when I accelerate. I am concerned that the bearings and/or oil pump need replacing before any more significant damage starts with the engine. I have called auto shops and no one gives me a straight answer on what it is. All I know is that repairs are very expensive. This is horrible, its only a 2002!

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #35

Dec 212005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Engine sludge oil pump.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #34

Dec 232005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
I was driving home from work on Friday morning. It was cold so I let the car warm up before driving. I turned a corner and the car died. I had to push it home and had it towed to a local mechanic. The engine is gone. No warning or indication at all that something was wrong! it just died while I was driving!

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #33

Nov 152005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,900 miles
I drive a 2002 Dodge Intrepid. I bought this car as a second owner, previous owner a rental Agency. The car blew a rod on Tuesday, November 15th. I took it to a dealership that states the vehicle needs a new engine, pricing the repair at 6700 dollars. The cars blue book is 6000 at this writing. I bought this vehicle two years ago, and it has less than 68,000 miles on it. I am at a loss and looking for recourse.

- Savage, MN, USA

problem #32

Sep 042005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,376 miles
I bought my car (2002 Dodge Intrepid) in Feb 2005. I had an oil change in Apr 05, May 05, Aug 05, and Oct 05. The car broke down in durham nc on a trip that originated in acwoth ga. The car was taken to morgon Dodge/ Jeep of durham nc. The mechanic's diagnosis was engine failure due to sludge build-up in the engine. The mechanic stated that this only happens when a person doesn't have the oil changed. He further stated that the cause of the damage to my car was based on sludge build-up of over a year ago. I've only had the car for 7 months. I also have the oil change receipts for the above mentioned oil changes since I've had my car.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #31

Oct 052005

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2002 Dodge Intrepid. Let me first start by saying that because I am a female that is on the road alone frequently, I am very conscientious about ensuring that my vehicle is properly maintained, and I have always had my oil changed between 3000-4500 miles. Last week while traveling for work, my vehicle started to make a very loud knocking sound while driving down the interstate. I was very near an exit with a service station, so I immediately drove there and check my oil. I was not low on oil. Back on the interstate once again, I continued to try to determine where the noise was coming from. Without warning, my engine light came on and my car would not run. In heavy traffic, surrounded by many interstate trucks on I-77, I attempted to try to get to the right hand side of the road, narrowly being missed by fast moving traffic several times. After getting my vehicle to the shop, I have been told by a mechanic that my engine needs to be replaced. I do not understand how this could be possible as I have been so extraordinarily careful in making sure my vehicle was properly maintained so that it would last and I would have minimal problems. Fortunately, I was not injured and I was able to get off the highway without causing an accident. It certainly could have been worse. The worse that happened is that now I have a $4000-$5000 repair bill on a vehicle that I still owe $9000 on. According to the mechanic, it is impossible to even find a used engine for my car, as all of the engines go bad on this type of vehicle. Since researching my vehicle after this incident, I have seen hundreds of similar situations happening to people all over the country. If there is a defect with this vehicle, I am hoping that the manufacturer takes action and corrects the problem. I only wish I would have been advised of this problem or it could have been corrected before something happened to me on the highway.

- Cornelius, NC, USA

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