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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,794 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Dodge Intrepid Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 012003

Intrepid 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,178 miles


Vehicle: 2002 Dodge Intrepid SE in: [xxx] odometer: 35,100 mi N-service date: 1/1/2002 ate class: D - used. My 2002 Dodge Intrepid was purchased from byers dublin Chevrolet in dublin, Ohio I.e. (columbus, Ohio) in March of 2003 with 31,000 miles. In June 2003, I began experiencing engine ticking. In July of 2003, I began experiencing rough idling during start up. The manufacturers warranty expires at 36,000 miles. Current mileage is 35,148. I do not want to be stuck with a 5,000 + engine repair bill for a vehicle sold to me with known problems or total engine failure. There are many like complaints on the internet. This vehicle was taken in for mechanical inspection on the front end due to frequent thumping noises during full right and full left turns. Service manager advised that this was only the steering stops working properly. It sounded and felt as if balljoints or struts were failing. [xxx] home [xxx] cell. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 272002

(reported on)


  • miles
Yesterday I had a 4 wheel computerized alignment performed. It was difficult and sometimes almost impossible to tell the car was out of alignment because it would drift to the left or right. That night when pulling out away from friends house, having wheel turned sharp and waiting at idle something in the front end was vibrating and it would change when wheel was moved. Later that night steering wheel tightened up as it had before all of a sudden when driving. Wheel was really difficult to turn all of a sudden, steering became much more sensitive all of a sudden where it previously was not. When braking or accelerating wheel would feel even move difficult to turn and almost stuck. I tried to get a friend to drive the car. She started to drive it in a parking lot, I asked her to manuver with the car and after driving for a minute she didn't want to because she felt the car was not handling well and didn't feel right. I manuvered in the parking lot and at 15 mile low speed manuvering and sharp turns tires were squealing as if performing high speed manuvers. At one time I was able to send the vehicle into a controlled skid although it has ABS. I could not get car to skid again and ABS seemed to be working fine. I noticed a clunk felt in the steering assembly when braking hard at lower speeds. The steering attitude and characteristics should not intermittently change. The car still wonders on the freeway and wheel needs constant attention. This car does not feel safe to drive and I don't know why I'm continually being told it's normal. I have driven 3 Dodge Intrepids and know how they should drive. I even had someone who has driven 3 second generation rental car Intrepids and he didn't like the way my Intrepid drove at times either. The steering assembly seems to be deteriorating quickly over time and sometimes fails to perform as it should. The vehicle also came out of the factory out of alignment and with two tires that needed to be balanced and since corrected. Nlm

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 202002


  • miles
Steering sometimes squeals/squeaks at end of U-turn when steering wheel is turned all the way (lock to lock condition) at about 10mph. Steering began to sometimes slightly drift to the left even on flat roads where previous vehicle did not. This first occured at about 200 miles. The condition was unfortuantely not noticed on vehicle test drive. At about 3000 miles issue persists and now sometimes clunk is felt in steering at times when wheel is turned and stopping. This usually occurs when steering is turned sharp then vehicle is stopped. Steering once felt loose and floppy suddenly then seemed to correct itself after driving for about 20 miles. Brought vehicle in for service at dealer due to issue. Shop foreman called and stated that he could not duplicate any of the issues. Went on road test with shop foreman and was able to get steering to squeek at the end of sharp turns several times. He thought this was caused by the paint on the road with the tires. I told him this has also occured otherwise. I was able to get steering to clunk several times and he acknowledged this and stated that not much could be done since steering assembly seemed fine. He offered to check and tighten steering related bolts and did this. Steering currently has better feel and seems to perform better, not sure yet if these issues are completely corrected. I am still concerned because I had countless steering problems with my previous Intrepid, which resulted in an accident. I assumed this issue was only with that Intrepid since it seemed to be a lemon. I assumed that a new 2002 Dodge Intrepid would not have these kinds of issues.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 162002

(reported on)


  • miles
I have made a previous comment in regard to my new 2002 Dodge Intrepid's steering (sometimes squeaking in lock to lock condition (end of U-turn at about 10mph), clunking, steering once feeling loose and drifting to the left). I had also mentioned that the shop foreman didn't really know what he could do about it since the steering was visually inspected and seemed fine. The shop foreman offered to put the vehicle on the lift and tighten up steering related bolts. The steering now feels more solid and has a better feel to it however I would like to inform you that the squeaking/squealing when wheel is turned all the way on U-turns at about 10mph still persists. The clunking that occurs when the wheel is turned nearly all the way and the vehicle is stopped still persits. I felt the clunking in the front end twice today in a parking lot. The clunking feels like it is the steering assembly. I am extremely unhappy having to be concerned with a car that is so new with such low mileage and has been taken care of. I would like to know why I am having these issues and what is causing them.

- Fremont, CA, USA

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