Notes: The Dodge Stratus, Intrepid & 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:
121,162 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replaced distributor and cap (2 reports)
1999 Dodge Stratus engine problems

engine problem

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1999 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 032014

Stratus ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 198,002 miles


1999 Dodge Stratus ES 3.2L V6 Automatic trans, Engine will start when cold. Start driving and engine just quits. I've been right in the middle of a intersection and it would die. Very embarrassing and very dangerous, This problem HAS TO BE FIXED!

I've taken the car to various garages and I don't think they know what the problem is either because I still have a car that quits running. It looks like it is the distributor. I recently had a garage give my car a tune up. What a bitch that is! Have to take the intake manifold off just to get to the three cylinders that is basically under my dash board. I had new cap and rotor, spark plugs, plug wires, air cleaner. It ran shittier after the tune up!

Need to know how much a new or used distributor would cost and how much for labor to get installed. I'll start with that and if it still continues to die on me then I guess I will have look at the next possible problem. Maybe fuel pump or filter (if there is one) I've already spent quite a bit of money making this 1999 Sratus run and drive correct and I don't really want to get rid of it. I get attached to my Mopars and they have never let me down but I am getting really pissed at this Stratus because I don't know what is going on and it makes it hard to even drive anywhere knowing that it could stop running anytime and anywhere. It really sucks! Need help or any suggestions, Thank you. Mopar4me.

- , Tooele, UT, USA

problem #3

Nov 282011

Stratus ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

car will run for a few minutes and stop,after 10 or15 minutes it will start and run a few more minutes

- , Springfield, TN, USA

problem #2

Mar 202009

Stratus ES 2.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

This problem occurred approximately 7 months before I purchased the car and was reported to me by previous owner. I had to have the distributor replaced again March 2010 and am adding a complaint on a separate order. I am reporting this one to benefit others researching this car.

- , Hernando, MS, USA

problem #1

Mar 092010

Stratus ES 2.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,645 miles

Car sputtered and stopped and would not restart. At first I thought it was the fuel pump going out that had just been replaced the month before. Once towed to the shop they discovered the catalytic converter had come apart and gone out. They fixed it - but that did not fix the problem.

After more troubleshooting they discovered the distributor was bad. The replaced the distributor and cap which cost me $477 just for that replacement. The Distributor had been replaced only a year prior in March, 2009 by the person I purchased the car from. When he had it replaced they discovered it was cracked. So let's see 2 Distributors in one year! What a joke and crock of junk!!! The car still runs awful - although for now it's at least running... However, if I would have known when I purchased this car approx 5 months ago at only approx. 82,000 miles I would have to put another $1,400 in the car within about a 3-4 month period I would have never bought this piece of junk car.

I've had numerous used cars, but never one that has given me this much problem and the part prices are terriblly high in my opinion.

- , Hernando, MS, USA

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