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:
80,232 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
2002 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Dodge Intrepid:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #6

Aug 192009

Intrepid ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


I HATE THIS CAR. I have to refill the coolant at least once a week because the water pump has a huge leak, which causes the engine to overheat. Because the coolant always leaks out, the engine gets filled with air (there's no coolant left to get into the engine), and this causes the heat to not work. I live in Wisconsin. You will freeze to death without heat in your car here. I think the Intrepids with the 2.7L engines are probably one of the worst possible cars you could buy.

- , Oshkosh, WI, USA

problem #5

Jul 082008

Intrepid 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,392 miles

Okay so I decided to get a Dodge Intrepid as my first car. I bought this car on July 3rd, 2008. And on July 8th, I decide to take a road trip to go see my mom in Miami. At the time I was living in Orlando. When I bought it, it was a retired police vehicle with 93,300 miles. I drove the car about 73 miles and the engine just blew up. The heating meter didn't even hit the 3/4 mark, and the engine just shut off and started smoking right in the middle of the highway. So I had to pull to the side and I tried to just let the car cool off. Half an hour later, a highway patrol ranger came to see if I needed assistance. And he did all he could to TRY and get it working. But he couldn't figure it out. And so I had to call a tow truck to take me ALL THE WAY BACK to my dad's. And you guys know how badly they burn a hole in your wallet.

Before my road trip, I replaced all the fluids such as power steering, window washer...etc. The oil level was fine, but when I was driving it, it kept flashing on and off from time to time. Didn't think it was a big deal, but as soon as I looked under my busted car, there was oil EVERYWHERE. Fixing the car would've cost me at least $2,500. Which is more than I paid for the entire car.

The Intrepid was by far my worst investment. Talk about an American piece of sh**. Don't think I'm ever gonna buy another Dodge, let alone an American Car.

- , Clermont, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 242007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

Overheated without warning in 15 degree weather - only drove it about 1.5 miles. Then bleeder valve hose blew off. Now mechanic says I either 1) need new head or 2) need new engine. Warranty Co. is trying to tell me that my warranty expired on 1/1/07 when it is typed right on the front of the contract 7/27/07, (it is now 3/07).

Mechanic says a motor will cost me at least $3,000.00. I still owe $7,000.00 on the car!! WHAT DO I DO? LET THE BANK REPOSSESS IT?

I'm not going to pay $7,000.00 + min. of $4,000 for an engine. What am I going to do? Buy another used Dodge engine so the same thing can just happen AGAIN?


- , Butler, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 212006

(reported on)

Intrepid ES

  • 94,000 miles


My daughter used my car to go to Nashville, TN, thinking my car would be more reliable than hers. What a joke they made it to Nashville but never made it back home. In town on there way to the hotel the temperature gage was reading 3/4's hot. Took it to a shop to get fixed and they replaced the thermostat housing and thermostat. Sent them on their way back to Michigan.. well they only made it to Lexington KY. They stopped to get gas and noticed the car was over heating and antifreeze under the car even though the gauge did not read hot. Had it towed to a shop to get checked out. They said the antifreeze was low but nothing wrong. They explained what happened and asked them to throughly check the engine because it shouldn't over heat for no reason. They said nothing wrong and sent them on there way again. Well they drove 1 1/2 hours to Louiville KY had to pull over engine light came on, over heating again, car jolting. This time had it towed to a dealer well they said the water pump went out, it needed a timing chain kit and the transmission needed to be rebuilt. How is it possible that all these things can go wrong all at once? I had the car checked out supposely throughly before they took it out of town and two other shops checked it out and didn't find these things wrong. Shouldn't there have some indications things were going bad. This car drove very smooth and I always did the general maintenance.

- , Essexville, MI, USA

problem #2

Jul 102006

(reported on)

Intrepid EX

  • 84,000 miles

I bought this car two years ago in 2004, it is was a used 2002 Dodge Intrepid. It had almost 60,000 miles on it.. Last year after a year and only 67,000 miles on it, my starter blew, then the transmission. This year its been overheating, I was told I needed a new water pump and that to replace the whole front engine needs to be taken out. My air conditioner is not working yet I still have freon in the car. I got the bill for over a grand and the car's thermostat again went up to almost h, and when I shut the car off and tried to start it again, It wouldnt start.. I am just about sick of this car.. IT IS THE WORST MISTAKE I HAVE MADE!!

- , Woodbridge, NJ, USA

problem #1

Aug 242005

(reported on)

Intrepid ES

  • 91,000 miles

I've had this car since April 03, its a 3.5 liter, no problems at all until November 04. With no warning on a drive out of town I look at my temperature gauge and its all the way at the H. I pulled off the freeway as soon as I saw it. The dealer said it was the thermostat, but once it get to the H the head is warped. Cost was $175 for the thermostat 2800 for the warped head. They went ahead and changed the water pump, so I wouldn't have anything else to worry about. August 05, again after a trip out of town, it ran hot again. This time it was a leak in the radiator. Dealer charged 500 to fix it. Two weeks later with no warning or really time to exit the freeway it ran hot again. Pulled over smoke was coming from under the hood. I just had it towed for 150 back to the dealer that just put in the new radiator. Still waiting to find out what its going to cost now. I purchased this car so I would have something reliable, its not worth what I'm having to put into it. But I still owe 9000.

- , Houston, TX, USA

Not what you are looking for?