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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
97,400 miles
Total Complaints:
24 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. new engine (6 reports)
  3. engine flush (4 reports)
  4. mechanic removed as much sludge as possible (3 reports)
  5. change grade of oil (2 reports)
  6. dodge to own up to defect and repair (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Sep 292009

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,626 miles


I purchased this car used on 08/31/06 from Cronic Dealership.with 72618 miles. Paid 8,000.oo.Took it to Landmark Dodge when engine light stayed on and was told NVLD had internal leak and purge solenoid was sticking I also requested complete 6 cyl. tuneup. Cost 677.80. I got 6000 miles out of it and the knocking began..I am on Disability and spent the last of my money buying the car.It has sat in my driveway since because it won.t pass inspection.Can't afford to get another car. Can't sell it for all the knocking..Dodge should take ownership of the oil sludge defect,

- carleen59ga, Morrow, GA, US

problem #23

Oct 132010

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,122 miles

Third time car has plugged oil screen pulled pan again and replaced screen.

Ran engine flush again and after flushing pulled pan again. This 2.7 Liter engine SUCKS NEVER BUY A CAR WITH IT!

- Walt B., Pinckney, MI, US

problem #22

Oct 012010

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

Car has had oil changed and the engine has been flushed twice since owning. Oil screen plugged solid and removed a soft ball size glob of crap out of oil pan. Ran another engine treatment (desludging) and plugged up again within 100 miles of driving. Pull the pan off again and a base ball size glob of sludge removed from car.

After talking to several Mechanics finding out that this is a common problem with this engine. The one told me that He has had 7 come through his doors that nothing could be done to fix them other than a new engine, but not the 2.7 Liter one. Why toss good money after bad money at this problem.

- Walt B., Pinckney, MI, US

problem #21

Jun 282011

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles


I was happy with my intrepid till it needed a new water pump ...found out it was in the engine and cost a ton to repair...well when they opened the engine...they found sludge and do not recommend repair...just junk it.the body is in good shape...I am mad dodge never warned us about this..when I found it is a recurring problem...I know I should be glad with 114,000 miles...but that is not the point, car was taken care of...and cripes you can not replace it for what they would give you in a trade..and now I cannot you stink

- Mariann M., Greensburg, PA, US

problem #20

Mar 162010

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 169,000 miles

Chyrsler replaced the 2.7 engine in my 2002 Dodge Intrepid while under warranty in January of 2007. On March 16, 2010 the car died in middle of a busy intersection while carrying 4 passengers. After being towed to a garage, the Mechanic said that there was water in the oil and the engine was blown. The dead car is sitting in my driveway. I am on a disability retirement annuity and cannot afford a replacement engine. Unfortunately, I still owe 15 car loan payments (after having made 45) and the blue book value is less than my remaining payments, let alone the thousands of dollars to repalace the engine. The loan organization intend to recoup their payments no matter what.

- Johanna R., Joshua Tree, CA, US

problem #19

Feb 142009

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

One day I was driving down I-5, (the main highway) and my car started to over heat right away to the red and was blowing cold air. I was by myself and pulled over as far as I could. I pulled over as far as I could but my car was still in the lane. I waited a little while til my car cooled down, about 1 hour. I tried to drive it to the gas station to use a phone to call my dad. I finally got a hold of someone to come tow me home. The next day my dad had fixed the thermostat thinking this would help. um..... NO! My car started to blow cold air again. I was driving then all of a sudden my car just stopped on the freeway. I was not even able to pull over AT ALL!!! My car just started to slow down and I couldn't even turn my wheel. I had to call the police department and let them know that I was in the freeway and was scared to cause an accident. They came and blocked the road and pushed me to the side of the freeway. This is the worst experience that has EVER happened to me in my life!!!!! My dad looked at the car and checked the oil and all he could see was sludge everywhere. I am still making payments on my car and I still have it in my yard. This is a waste of money and do not feel that this is something I should be paying for. Its just been sitting there and after reading all these complaints I cannot believe that dodge is still selling these cars and putting peoples lives in danger daily! I looked online for ways to stop people from buying these cars and found this site. I really hope something happens with these cars. At least STOP SELLING THEM!!! If anyone has any advice as to what to do or how to fix my car without spending more than my car costs PLEASE HELP ME! Thank you

- Rachel L., Buckley, WA, US

problem #18

Apr 222010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


Took the car in to have transmission replaced and the mechanic called to tell me that he took the car for a test drive and the engine locked up. He explained to me that it was a result of sludge build up in the engine and that this was an on going problem with this particular car. He agreed to take his transmission out of my car without charge. Now I have a car with a locked up engine and no transmission. The most I can get is between 250-350.00 for my car.

- Tammy H., Coden, AL, US

problem #17

Sep 072009

Intrepid LX 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Replaced my cam shaft in July because my engine light kept coming on. This was determined to be the problem. A few weeks later I was on my way to work and the car wouldn't shift. Found someone to rebuild it for about a $1000. I was then told to " Sell it while it is still running because these engines are crap!". I can't afford a new car so I continued to drive it until I was on the way to work this morning and it died. Guess what?? Sludge on the engine. I am a single mother with two kids. I just started a new job and this car has made me be late for and on some occasions miss work. Don't buy this car. The whole thing is done! I hate Dodge and will never buy one again!

- mnessel, Eau Claire, WI, US

problem #16

Jun 152005

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 248,000 miles

My Intrepid was owned by my father, who gave it to me for my birthday last year. The car is a mechanical prodigy. You never see these Intrepids make it past 150,000 or even that far. Anyway, my dad used this car as his company car that he traveled in. Many issues came up in the last 7 years of it's life. I think first, to my surprise, the transmission went bad, it was pretty much rebuilt, and that's happened twice. Then, like most of the others the timing belt was a big issue. We had that replaced. Then, the big one, the engine sludge, my dad started out using the synthetic oil for a while, i think about up to 150,00, but then we had the leaking issue. We started used 5w-40, a relativity thicker oil. It stopped whatever leaking there was before that. One major thing you do not need to do with this car, is to never lay out on the gas. This car is defiantly just not made for high stress situations. My father's previous car's have made it past 300,000 and this one most likely will, too. It's all in your driving habit's and that you really on this car just need to change the oil every 3,00 miles, or even less than that. I can definitely say this car is a total piece of crap, but you just need to baby it like it has 500,000 miles on it.

- Ben H., Greenville, SC, US

problem #15

Dec 172008

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,100 miles

I have a 2002 dodge intrepid with an engine full of oil sludge...........i haven't even driven the car in 3 or 4 years due to me being in the was in storage.......first it used to run hot, so i had a new water pump and timing belt put in it.....(about $600) then the oil light started to flicker......then it started missing....the cam sensor went out....put that one in the heat doesn't work it is running at a high rpm and just found out that it has an oil leak somewhere.....this car is a piece of crap....and i just finished paying it off last February for way more than it was worth......

- lilgde90, Jacksonville, AR, US

problem #14

Nov 212008

Intrepid ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


I'll NEVER buy a dodge again !

I've always changed oil regularly and also did engine flush. The oil light came on, along with a knocking sound from the engine. The dealer now says the engine has to be replaced !

- adinakar, Pine Brook, NJ, US

problem #13

Oct 012007

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

my complaint is you you guys i have a 2002 dodge intrepid and its fine yes my water pump went out yes the oil light came but you know what i fixed it my trep runs good better then any Chevy and passing up stock gt mustangs keep up with you oil changes you wont have these problems ok you say you change it every 3 months or 3000 miles but are you using the right oil your probably not they say use a 5/30 or 5/20 because the pick up tubes are to small wrong use a Mobil 1full 5/30 in the winter and 10/30 in the summer oh and don't be afraid here and there that's why you have carbon build up because you baby it you grandma driver who ever said its bab to get on you car here and there well their wrong mines running fine and will keep going for another 100,000 miles and probably more so stop your crying its not the car its you get off your dead lazy butt and do some work to your car take care of it yes im an american Irish and Indian im sorry to say yes when you buy an american car your going to have to do work to it ounce and a while so get up put the hoho down and take care of your car it could be worse it could be like my p o s Chevy with the dex cool and a 30,000 mile replacing the top end of the motor because Chevy cant do anything write they still are putting dex-cool in their cars today

- bfrisch, Arnold, MO, US

problem #12

Aug 012008

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

After in depth checking, I found out that the EPA required US automakers to reduce the oil galley drains in the heads from 1/4" in diameter to 1/8" inch in diameter. The purpose was to keep the oil warmer. One thing Dodge failed to recognize was that a 10W30 oil is way to thick for the reduction in drain hole size. When I found hints of sludge, I switched to a 5W20 oil all year round, and continued to change at 2500-3000 mile intervals and have put 40,000 miles and the engine has ZERO sludge in it. So when you change your oil, use a 5W20 or 0W20 Mobil 1 if you like using synthetic oil.

- Timothy L., Knoxville, TN, US

problem #11

Apr 152007

Intrepid ES 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

First of all let me say we bought the car in April of 2002 and within two months the engine had blown in it. We took it in and they wanted to put a short block in it we told them no we wanted a new engine or car. Finally after arguing with them for several weeks they installed the engine, my husband was there to make sure the new engine was put in. Then last year the engine light came on and the oil light. We took it in to the Dodge place and he put it on the machine and said it had a bunch of sludge and the engine was no good. So I asked did the warranty cover it and he said show me all your slips where you have changed the oil. Well my husband changed the oil and I wrote it down in our book but I did not save the receipts. So we took it home and ran some solution through it for sludge and after doing this twice the sludge was all gone and the car is running fine. Now it is overheating, we are hoping that its just the water pump. Seems these Intrepids are having a lot of problems with SLUDGE. Need to do something about it.

- Raelynn P., Monticello, AR, US

problem #10

Feb 072008

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Do you have a check oil light on your 2.7L engine?

Are you hearing lifters starting to tap?

If your car mileage is reaching about 80 or 90 k miles, it is sludge! If you start to notice the light staying on and any tapping in the lifter's, stop driving it. The best repair for this is to remove the oil pan and clean the sludge from the pick up tube screen for the oil pump. I have tried using engine flush, don't bother it doesn't help, this stuff is sticky, but hard and solid chunks about 1/8 to 1/4" this sludge builds up in parts of the engine then starts dropping into your oil pan. Any way it's about a 2 hour job, not bad at all. reuse the oil pan gasket, you will most likely need to do it again, once this is done and your oil pressure is normal, even more sludge comes dropping into the pan. After I did this the first time I drove 7 miles, the light came on again and lifters started tapping, this time it was completely plugged. I removed the filter ( which had been sucked dry) and did the whole procedure over again. Heres the trick, get some steel mesh screen like for a security screen door about 12" x 12" and mechanics wire, bring the edges up around the pick up tube and twist wire it to secure it. you will have a baseball size screening area at the pick up tube to catch the chunks of sludge before it clogs the tube screen. So far this is working well on my 2002.

Tools you will need: ratchet, extension, 10mm., 13mm., 15mm., sockets, 10mm. wrench.

- ford lover, Tucson, AZ, US

problem #9

Nov 082007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

My husband and I have a 2002 Dodge Intrepid that was purchased in 2003 with 13,000 miles on it. We have only averaged about 6,000 per year on this piece of junk and have done oil changes every 2500 - 3000 miles. Just last month the engine began knocking so we brought it to our mechanic who informed us that he heard of nothing but problems with this engine and that he thought there was a class action lawsuit against Chrysler but I have found no such thing. He said that we needed a new engine @ about $5,000 - $7,000. Well considering that we still owe $3,000 on this car and financed it for $15,000. I will not put anymore into this Lemon. He suggested we take it to the dealer and see if maybe Chrysler would maybe fix it knowing that they put a bad engine in this car. Nope! The dealer was very hopeful and said that Chrysler is very aware of this problem and would probably help considering that it is a manufacturing defect (quoted by the service manager). Chrysler came back saying that the cost would be $6000.00 for the new engine but we would have to pay a $2500.00 co-pay. It is almost Christmas, and I for sure don't have any extra money hand out. What should I do? Please help!

- sloakley1970, Dearborn Heights, MI, US

problem #8

Nov 042007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,800 miles

The car was in the shop 11/02/07 having the water pump replaced. The mechanic found the sludge under the valve covers. He said he has seen it several times with the Chrysler 2.7L engine. The only thing he could do was try cleaning it with solvent and rags. He had to remove the valve covers twice and change the oil three times. I didn't have an engine failure, but one was probably close.

- Charles L., North Royalton, OH, US

problem #7

Aug 212007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

In 2003 I purchased a 2002 Dodge Intrepid, a dealership demo. I have had no problems with it until last summer when I had to replace the oil sending unit. Everything seemed to be ok until late July 2007 when the car overheated. I got it to a repair shop and was told that the water pump had gone out and the thermostat and thermostat housing were also bad. This repair shop would not touch it because of the level of difficulty and cost of these repairs. I had it towed to the dealership where I thought I could trust the repairs being done. After a week and a half my car was finally ready. I barely made it home with it. About two thirds of the way home the car started knocking and felt loose. The closer I got to home the louder it got. Just as I turned into my drive the car shut off. I had it towed back to the dealer the next morning. On the forth day of it being in the shop for the second time I get a call telling me that it needs a new engine because of sludge in the oil. The cost of a rebuilt engine $8500 and 6 months worth of payments still due on it. I have recently learned that this is a problem with this car and has been for many years. Why are they still making them? Are we going to have the same problem with our Dodge Ram? This is sickening. How can a company this large care so little about the products they put on the market. They should have their butts sued into the ground. I was considering replacing it with another Dodge - maybe not if this is what can be expected. If you own an Intrepid get rid of it while you still can.

- Lynn O., Murrells Inlet, SC, US

problem #6

Jun 082007

(reported on)

Intrepid 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,029 miles

i had the car less then a year. bought it a year old. had to put new engine in less then a year from purchase. they would not cover warranty because i did not keep receipts from oil changes but half of the time my husband was the one to change oil. less than a year later engine blew again from oil sludge under warranty but had to pay for a rental for one month. cost $5000.00 first time, $1000.00 the next year. crappy service from a 4 star dodge dealer. adrian dodge in michigan. so not happy!!!

- Heidi L., Osseo, MI, US

problem #5

Mar 012007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7 DOHC V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I have a extended warranty on the car and I wish i didn't get it. You just about have to pull teeth to get them to do anything. I noticed the oil light coming on for about a month now and took it to the dealer and they told me that the oil sensor had to be replaced. Fine, $61 later it was ok for about a month and the oil light came on again. Just like the other complaints I've seen on here, I bought the car thinking it would be a reliable car and my old car was better than this and it was a Ford Taurus. One day while I was at work a customer told me the problems he was having about a Dodge Intrepid, I asked him what year his car was and he said it was a 1995 with a 2.7. He had all the same problems, luckily he was a mechanic, he said the oil light coming on was the oil pump going out, but when he replaced it the engine went out anyways. He then told me that the Intrepid was Chryslers throw away car just like the Ford Taurus.

For the Warranty company to step up to the place and pay for something, I had to authorize a mechanic to strip down the engine and identify the problem. This would cost me $1700 up to this point. Of course then they would send out an inspector to come and look at the car. And no matter what the mechanic said to the claim adjuster, they wouldn't do it any other way. So I told the mechanic to hold off because it would mean I'm out of a car for about two weeks or longer. He told me to power brake the car at lights to keep the oil pressure up so it wouldn't blow... Yeah right!!! I took the car to the dealership I bought it from and the service manager said to take it somewhere and have an engine oil flush done because the oil screen would cloud up and cause the oil light to come on. I found a place and it cost me a total of $135.00, the oil light hasn't come on yet but now the water light is coming on now. Another dealership told me that the sensor is going out on that!! And I CAN'T TRADE IT IN BECAUSE I OWE OVER $9000 ON THE CAR LOAN. You know I had over $3000 in repair costs on the Taurus and somebody out there hates me I know it!! I bought this car because the Ford was dying and after I bought the Dodge died completely, won't start or anything.

- Bryan H., Homedale, ID, US

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