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. Also the 2.4L engine doesn't have the oil sludge problem.

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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,181 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.

2001 Dodge Stratus engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Nov 202004

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving 65 mph vehicle stalled. Driver was not able to restart vehicle and it was towed to a garage for inspection. The mechanic determined that the engine needed to be replaced.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #7

May 312004

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
While driving on the highway suddenly there was a pop and then a banging noise. Consumer immediately pulled off the highway, lifted the hood, and saw flames coming from the engine compartment. Consumer extinguished the fire with a gallon of water. Vehicle was towed to a mechanic, who determined that engine rod bearing dropped, and blew a hole in the side of the engine block, the size of a man's fist. An oil change was done on the car a week prior to the failure.

- Perry, IA, USA

problem #6

Jan 312004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Six months ago, we purchased a used 2001 Dodge Stratus with a 2.7 engine and loved it - - - until the engine failed at 80,000 miles! we were driving down a rural highway in freezing temperatures when the engine suddenly died and would not restart. We were an hour from home and had to have the vehicle towed back to our hometown. He Dodge service department in our area seemed to know that it would need a new engine before ever looking at it! (they also tried to say that lack of oil changes caused the problem.) after hearing that Dodge no longer offers the extended warranty on the 2.7 engine and that they "upgraded" the timing chain in rebuilt engines, we knew there was a problem. We contacted the Dodge-Chrysler customer service department and after being treated very poorly, we were told that there were no recalls on this engine. It just isn't fair to the unsuspecting consumer that Dodge-Chrysler isn't taking responsibility for this problem. The engine replacement cost us $3,605. However, we replaced the engine with a used 2001 sebring because a rebuilt one was twice as much. Which means the potential for the same problem still exists!

- Olney, IL, USA

problem #5

Oct 142002

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,816 miles


Engine failure 10/02 @ 22,816 miles. Foster motors (daimler/Chrysler dealer) claimed owner neglect. Second engine failure 5 miles from dealership after used engine installed. Third engine now at 39K may fail as goss Dodge said that there might be a head gasket problem. Car is no longer on warranty. But that doesn't matter anyways, because they didn't cover it when it was under warranty. Catalytic converter went in first month of owning car. Not to mention other little things. The service manager even said that if we were thinking of trading it now would be a good time before the head gasket went.

- New Haven, VT, USA

problem #4

Jan 092004

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds vehicle stalled.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #3

Nov 222003

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2001 Stratus 2.7 liter V-6 engine. Driving down the road, car cuts off. Start car up again and there is a knocking noise. Take it to the Dodge dealership, they say that I need a new engine. Call about my warranty, they say that all oil change receipts have to be given to them for the past 15 months. Now keep in mind car was purchased brand new. They say that it will not be covered unless those documents are given to them. But looking at some of the other complaints documentation of proper maintenance will not make them cover the cost. And according to some of the problems reported with these cars, there are a lot of the so called oil sludge build-up that is found that has caused the engine to shut down. They say that they will not cover this 6,000.00+ bill and I am not either.

- Statesville, NC, USA

problem #2

Nov 072003

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2001 Dodge Stratus with a 2.7 magnum engine. We have been told by the local Dodge dealership that the rod bearings are bad. We had purchased the extended warranty when we purchased the car which covers all engine components. The dealership told us that this is not covered under warranty as oil changes were not done every three thousand miles. However, the maintenance schedule in the owners guide states that oil changes are only required every seven thousand five hundred miles. This problem can only be fixed by a new engine, which is $7,000.

- Rutherford College, NC, USA

problem #1

Apr 212003

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,583 miles
I am not sure if this site pertains to this type of complaint. I had my car towed to zeiser Dodge on 04-19-03 with a loud knocking noise. On 04-21-2003 they called to tell me they were not going to fix it due to oil sludge and that the car had not had proper oil changes. I provided all oil change receipts and they are still refusing to fix the vehicle. Its still under the 36,000 mile-3 yr warranty. I have done research and have found that the 2.7 liter in these cars are faulty for oil sludge. I feel my car should be repaired.

- St.Charles, MO, USA

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