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:
110,380 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new motor (6 reports)
  2. repair tensioner,valves and head gasket (4 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Intrepid engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #11

Apr 192010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles


I recently purchased a 2002 Intrepid with my income tax refund. I paid $3,000 for this car in February. This is April and I just got a call from the shop saying something happened with the timing chain and I would have to replace the engine and that would be about $4,000. I probably will not pay this and will probably look around for another vehicle. I have two kids and two jobs and need a reliable vehicle. Thought I had one. What a day. I hope this does not happen to anyone else.

- , Westland, MI, USA

problem #10

Feb 072010

Intrepid SE 2.7L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,182 miles

I had absolutely no problems at all with this car and all of a suddent the timing chain tensioner broke. I work at minimum wage and i don't have the money to fix or replace it. I was told that the 2002 Inrepid's came with Defective 2.7s. If I knew that i wouldn't have bought the car. I believe the manufacturers should replace the engine's at their own expenses for putting people in such inconveniences. This is my only car and now i have to catch rides or walk to work every day. I can't get a loan to fix it because i'm already in debt.

- , Clay, NY, USA

problem #9

Mar 032009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,000 miles

The timing chain went. It bent the rods and the valves. We had another engine put in and we are still having problems.

- , Port Allegany, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 032009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,000 miles


the timing chain went it bent the rods and the valves and we had another engine put in and we are still having problems

- , Port Allegany, PA, USA

problem #7

Jun 172009

Intrepid 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

OIL SLUDGE IN ENGINE build up turned out to be truly awful. Turns out this is a known defect in Dodge Intrepid for several years running and Dodge/Chrysler has chosen to DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT but cover it up. From this site and others now I learn that this is a systemic problem, and that I could have taken precautionary steps if Dodge had simply mentioned it, but of course they did not to save the cost of standing by defective design. This is why Americans have been turning away from American cars. Duh. I paid the cost of the repairs, but I have no faith the engine will last even to 120,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.

Owners, do yourselves a favor and read advise on this and other forums regarding oil sludge build up in the 2.7L engine of the Dodge Intrepid and take extra precautions NOW. I will be changing the oil far more often than advised by Dodge, using a light weight oil.

- , Boise, ID, USA

problem #6

Apr 172009

Intrepid SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

This car is the biggest piece of s** I have ever owned! I bought the car for $6,000 a year ago, and what do you know, everyone was right! The engine is now f!! Now it is sitting in a parking lot and I'm not sure what to do with it. Is it worth it to pay $3,000-$4,000 to have it fixed? Or do I take the loss and go without a car with 3 kids??

Not only am I out the $6,000, I just spent another $400 on brand new tires, $100 on a water outlet, $40 on an oil change, and $20 on an air filter the SAME DAY it broke down!! Thanks a lot Dodge!! You really screwed me over! Cheaters never prosper and Karma's a b!!

- , Kalispell, MT, USA

problem #5

Jan 052009

Intrepid LX 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Well here i Go with my story..........every thing is all jacked up on my car it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me and my family, well first my transmission blew out and my dad paid for that cuz it was his car at the time (know wonder he passed it down) its in my hands and it sucks (water pump had to be he fixed also the timing chain the valves oil gasket ummmmm battery, back lights,im just so tired of everything i work so hard for this junk and i always think "okay maybe this will be the last time that my car has to be in the shop, its going to cost more mony if i just go buy another car" but never does it fail every 2-6 months something goes wrong with the car.... i really am going to buy another car it will save me so much money...the sad thing is i love my car so much

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #4

Nov 152008

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

My wife's 2002 Dodge intrepid recently broke its timing chain, and nearly destroyed the entire engine. I have disassembled it down to the water pump and oil pump (I haven't looked inside the cylinders yet). The primary timing chain, the primary timing chain tensioner and all the associated guides (upper and lower) were destroyed. The oil pump seems structurally whole, but I know that the damn thing is weak, and that was part of the problem to begin with. I have a hypothesis: the poorly designed oil ports allowed the oil to turn to sludge which forced the poorly manufactured oil pump to labor harder than it was designed to. This, along with its own congealed oil prevented the primary timing chain tensioner from doing its job, and this lead to excess friction then excess heat then a compromised primary timing chain. What it boils down to is: poorly designed engines that are comprised of poorly manufactured low quality parts that cost a damn fortune to replace. I usually love Dodge, but this motor has really caused me to see how one of the big three wants hand outs from the government and extortion money from its customers. I truly do admire the quality of the Chrysler products made 1975 and earlier, but it seems that things started downhill after that year. Is there a way that we (the owners) can fix this ourselves? Is there an aftermarket parts manufacturer that makes a heavier duty oil pump that pumps at a higher average pressure? I've read about Accurate Engines, and their claim to use parts that are higher quality than OEM. Where do they get their parts? Can we buy those parts too? I agree that synthetic oils should be used in the engines exclusively. They simply don't congeal as easily as natural oils. Are there any after market manufacturers that make a heavier duty engine block (perhaps with better designed oil passages)? I am tired of dealing with this matter, and I am sick of Chrysler all together.

- , Alexander City, AL, USA

problem #3

Jul 182008

Intrepid 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

After having transmission trouble and radiator trouble to the tune of about $2000 last summer, I thought my problems were through with my 2002 Dodge Intrepid. With 91000 miles on the car and on vacation my tension gear broke. I was approximately 80 miles from my home when I called my regular mechanic and described the problem and he said that would be a whole new engine. I cost over $200 to have my car towed back home. I checked the bluebook price to weigh the options of getting it fixed vs. getting rid of it. Well, it was a no brainer, because it was only worth $3200. I called a few junkyards to see how much they would give me for it after I called the Dodge dealer to see if there had been a recall on this problem. I was told no too bad and they are out of warranty as well. I have never had a car that didn't last to at least 100,000! This is unacceptable. Even my 1992 Dodge Caravan lasted until 160,000 with regular maintenance. What happened with the Intrepid?! There ought to be a Congressional Investigation. That makes more sense than some of the things Congress does. I will never buy a Dodge again and will tell everyone I know the same!!!

- , San Antonio, TX, US

problem #2

Jan 222008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

Had my car in for the annual oil change 49000 kil. 4 days later I heard a clicking noise from the engine, Guess WHat the timing chain broke and I need a new motor. I am still in shock!!!!!!Never purchase from them again

- , Yellowknife, N T, Canada

problem #1

Jul 082007

(reported on)

Intrepid SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Purchased used Intrepid from a dealer. Had vehicle for four days, and the Timing tensioner blew, causing the valves and head gasket to blow as well. NO ONE had a tensioner in stock, and it took me over a month to find one. Still haven't finished fixing the vehicle yet, still waiting for the tensioner to arrive. How the heck am I supposed to fix something that goes wrong if I can't even find a part at the DODGE DEALERS???? What ridiculous crap. My new car, and I only drove it 24 miles.

- , Aurora, CO, USA

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