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 1 of 2)

problem #28

Oct 082009

Stratus 6-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


We have a 2001 Dodge Stratus with a 2.7 V6 engine fist problem the water outlet started leaking then the water pump went out an then the lifters started knocking now the motor just died we did regular oil changes an matn.really spent a lot of money on the car to have it dead in the yard.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #27

Aug 072009


  • 106,500 miles
Was heading North the 805 freeway from chula vista to camp pendleton ca, car began making a knocking noise and the knocking continued to get worse as I drove down the road. Suddenly car lost all power and engine shut off. Was hardly able to get it off to the side of the freeway. Got it towed to a repair shop the next day. Was told problem was engine failure due to oil sludge and that this was a very common complaint for the engine and car. Was not repaired simply towed back home because cost was over 5,000 dollars. The car is not even worth 5,000 dollars.

- Camp Pendleton, CA, USA

problem #26

Aug 032009

Stratus 6-cyl

  • 37,500 miles
I am the owner of a 2001 Dodge Stratus SE with the 2.7L V6 engine. On February 9, 2006 I took the car to park plaza Dodge in forrest park, il. Because the engine making a loud tapping sound. At the time the car had 67,441 miles on it and was covered under a Chrysler 5 year/75,000 mile warranty. I was told that the engine had a lot of sludge in it and I was asked to produce maintenance receipts on the vehicle. I change my own oil and I told them that I didn't have the receipts for the oil. I did some research and pointed out to Chrysler and the dealership that this is a known engine problem and the car was still under warranty. After more than a week of stalling Chrysler agreed to replace the engine at their expense less my $100 deductible. It took Chrysler more then two weeks to deliver the new engine to the dealership. The Chrysler extended warranty only included a maximum of two weeks rental for covered repairs. I pointed out to both Chrysler and the dealership that it was not my fault that Chrysler hadn't delivered the engine and they should pay for the additional rental. They refused. The car was returned to me on February 24, 2006. When putting in the new engine the dealership moved all of the extra parts (alternator, fuel injection system, air conditioner compressor, etc.) to the new engine. I was told that the new engine had a 50,000 mile warranty on it. The new engine has failed with 37,500 miles on it. I can provide addition information but it wouldn't fit in this box.

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #25

Aug 032009


  • 37,500 miles


Chrysler 2.7L V6 engine failure.

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #24

Sep 162008


  • 120,800 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. While driving approximately 60 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic shop and, upon further inspection, the contact noticed that the push rod punctured a hole through the oil pan. The engine size was 2.7L with six cylinders. The cause of the failure was unknown. The failure mileage was 120,800 and current mileage was 121,000.

- Jewett City, CT, USA

problem #23

Aug 012006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
I own a 2004 Dodge Stratus that I changed the oil in every 3500 - 4000 miles even though the manufacturer recommends changes at 7500 mile intervals. The car had roughly 37000 miles on it back in 2006 when the 2.7L V6 engine seized due to excessive oil sludging causing an oil flow failure. At the time I just thought it was bad luck, but now after two years I read of countless thousands of cases where persons with the same 2.7L engine in there Dodge or Chrysler vehicles had engines seize, and yet the company does nothing for us. I still have the vehicle in my driveway but frankly cannot afford to put a new motor in it as the price for those is sky high because there is such a demand to replace them. Something needs to be done about this as a consumer we deserve retribution for these expensive engineering failures.

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #22

Apr 012008

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


My husband was driving home from work one morning when 2001 2.7L V-6 started to chug, engine light came on and the car died immediately. My husband had to push to side of road. We had it towed later that morning to my parents' house. Engine is blown out. I've done some research and these engines are expensive to fix we have always done our maintenance and never had any warnings signs before hand. Chrysler needs to step up because we pay money for their product and nothing is holding. Is that all we get out of our cars is 75,000- 100,000 then nobody should by cars. This is a serious situation and Chrysler needs to recall or make it right by owner. We did do our repairs and maintenance and now we should have to basically throw the car out. It is expensive to fix. Help us because someone may get injured with these kind of mishaps.

- South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #21

Mar 052007

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Original owner of a 2001 Dodge status with a 2.7 liter engine, want to register my complaint of an engine oil light going on at idle. From web posting I see this is a common problem with the vehicle. It has about 72,000 miles on it.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #20

Oct 122006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
Oil changes every 3,000 miles. Suddenly one day the oil light came on and the head gaskets blew. Spent over $1700 in repairs, the following week the engine blew a rod. Engine is irreparable! car has only 86,000 miles. Have all receipts for repairs and diagnosis that were made by licensed mechanics.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #19

Nov 252006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,781 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle lost engine power while traveling 45 mph on the interstate. The vehicle was pulled over and there was a clicking noise from the engine compartment prior to the stalling. The vehicle was jump started, providing enough power to drive the vehicle to the contact's residence. The next day, the engine was difficult to start and the clicking noise continued, but the vehicle was driven to the service dealer for a diagnostic. The problem was identified as a rod bearing failure and would require replacement of the motor. The manufacturer was notified.

- Burlington, NC, USA

problem #18

Sep 132006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Drove the vehicle the night before there were no signs, warnings of anything wrong. Went to drive the vehicle the next afternoon and upon start up vehicle was making a rattling, clicking noise, turned it off immediately. Had car towed, was told oil was sludgy, engine needed to be replace, at a cost of minimum end of $5700. Mechanic stated he had two more vehicles of exact year, make, model and 2.7L engine on his lot with the same problems. He stated further, he was sorry, but would have to decline his service to repair/replace the engine as he was already fed up with dealing with manufacturer with the other two vehicles. He went on to state that the manufacturer is claiming owner fault, of not maintaining 3000 mile oil changes, even though one of the owners had every receipt proving otherwise. Here I sit without a vehicle now, have no financial means to repair or replace this vehicle as I became disabled in April of 2005 and have a very limited budget. I bought a brand new vehicle so I didn't have to worry about any major expense or problems and it would last me 15-20 yrs, not 5. I also didn't expect to pay over $20,000 for a vehicle that would only last 70,000 miles. This wasn't the only items I had to have fixed, in 2003 I had to have the fan fixed for the ac/heating as it only worked on one speed, thank goodness it was covered by warranty. Which I never did receive any recall letter or any notification of this problem. In 2005 the front wheel bearings went out and had to have them replaced. The front drivers side get water in when it rains, have taken it in to dealer, they have no clue as to what and why this is happening. This is the first brand new vehicle I have ever purchased and was so proud of it, took meticulous care of it and now I feel and look like a complete fool, as the manufacturer is laughing all the way to the bank, plus has a vehicle that runs! their old slogan Dodge tuff, the new is your Dodge doesn't run, that's tough.

- Deerfield, WI, USA

problem #17

Nov 162003

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,400 miles
2.7 engine timing chain failure, Chrysler mechanic says they have had many, and are waiting on a recall, have not driven car in a few years can not afford repair!

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #16

Feb 162006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,300 miles
: the contact stated without warning the vehicle stopped while driving 45 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealership. The dealership determined there was sludge in the oil causing the engine to seize. The engine was replaced.

- Almont, MI, USA

problem #15

Feb 082006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 30 mph the engine started making a loud rattling noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealership for inspection. Upon inspection, the dealership determined the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #14

Feb 092006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
Oil sludge failure of a Dodge/Chrysler 2.7L engine.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Nov 162005

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
: the contact stated after starting the vehicle there was a ticking noise coming from the engine. The vehicle was driven to the dealership. The dealership found sludge build up in the engine due to improper maintenance. The dealership determined the engine needs to be replaced.

- Thibodaux, LA, USA

problem #12

Apr 182005

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Subsequent to having a recent oil change and engine flush my engine started making a loud clicking sound, while I was driving to work. I pulled over at the nearest gas station and shut the engine off so I could check under the hood. Upon visually inspecting the engine compartment, there was not obvious sign of anything wrong, no leaks etc, I then checked the oil and it was full and clean. I then tried restarting my vehicle and it would not start, just click once then nothing. Subsequently I called a towing company and had my vehicle to the nearest Dodge dealership in my town. I waited four days to hear from them and they never called so finally I had my wife call the dealership and she was told that the engine was blown but before they could do anything I had to authorize them to let someone from Chrysler warranty inspect my vehicle and this would be a $400 fee, which I had to pay. After the alleged inspection the dealership confirmed that the engine was blown due to sludge and that Chrysler warranty would not repair my car, even though I had a 7yr-100,000 mile extended warranty. The mileage on my vehicle at the time the engine was 50,000 miles and any and all attempts to get copies of the alleged inspection were denied not only from the dealership but also from Chrysler warranty. Numerous times I called Chrysler warranty in hopes of getting some results but the reps were rude and had the attitude that ( oh well ) it's your problem. Now it has been six months my car still is not fixed, I still have to make payments on it in addition to extended medical bills for my wife as a direct result of the actions or lack there of by Dodge/Chrysler. In regard to the medical my wife was diagnosed in extreme depression and on the verge of a nervous break down and our family"S emotional life has been in disarray and a financial strain by paying for a vehicle that can't be driven.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #11

Oct 112005

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,535 miles
Engine starting knocking. Took to repair shop. Was told that the timing gear had gone causing metal to be distributed through engine. This was due to engine sludge a known problem with the 2.7L engine. No warning lights just failure.

- New Haven, IN, USA

problem #10

Jan 102005

(reported on)


  • miles
2001 Dodge Stratus oil pump was replaced and sludge was found inside.** answer required***.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #9

Dec 172004

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,355 miles
Check engine ligh came on 12/15/04 @ 36,355 miles. Took to local Chevrolet dealer about engine noise. They said they can see sludge buildup on oil cap. Technician said he heard a Chrysler 2.7 liter engine was having a sludge problem. They changed oil and continued to drive. 1/13/05 36,626 miles, check engine light came on again. This time took to local Dodge dealer feeny who informed me that they found sludge buildup on oil cap. It would cost $600--$1000 just to pull engine a do further investigation because engine is hard to work on. Service manager said Chrysler not admitting defective engine design. Nothing they can do even though it is barely of 36,000 mile warranty period. Suggested I change oil every 1000 miles or monthly until condition lessens. Had them change oil. 2/15/05 36,874 miles, changed oil again. 4/4/04 37,345 miles, changed oil again. 4/28/05 engine made knocking type sound when started. Going to have vehicle towed to feeny Chrysler for evaluation.

- Midland, MI, USA

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