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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
85,072 miles
Total Complaints:
39 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (20 reports)
  2. I want DCX to buy back my car and refund my money (12 reports)
  3. nothing, can't afford the repairs (4 reports)
  4. not sure (3 reports)
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 #19

Apr 212006

(reported on)


  • 58,000 miles


Engine failed with within 10 seconds without ever having any problem

- , Flowery Branch, GA, USA

problem #18

Jul 162007

Stratus SES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,214 miles

First water pump went bad, not long after this was replaced, the oil light started flickering at lower rpms. Had it looked at - Oil level was good. Had oil changed, was told then that it had metal shavings in the oil filter had motor flushed and was told the motor was going to go soon. Get rid of car or replace motor. Shortly after the car started knocking bad and idling very rough and missing. Had it towed to Mechanic who said the motor was shot. Can't find replacement easily because it's too hard a find a good one. The car has been sitting now for almost a year since i have no money, and can not pay dodge dealer 4,000 to replace motor. Has been brought to my attention the the chrysler 2.7 motor has very bad oil problems and that this is common and not my fault. I kept up regular maintainence on this car and need my car.

- , Newark, DE, US

problem #17

Mar 222007

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

ran car for several months from initials symptoms (heavier oil worked), thinking it was was bad valve lifters (noise, miss-fires)... could afford $600 min. to replace timing kit; finally went completely 2/2008.

- , Galloway, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jan 032008

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


2001 Dodge Stratus Se bought new. Engine timing chain tensioner design defect restricted oil flow and the chain jumps. It makes no difference if the oil was changed religiously. So much for supporting the American automobile industry. No wonder they are hurting.

- , Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #15

Jan 142008

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

My husband bought our 01 Dodge Stratus in 2002 with the first owner being his mother. We never had any major problems with the car. Although high mileage, we've replaced a starter and a hub which warranty covered. We live in Iowa and the winters are cold. Winter of '07-'08 there began a strange tapping noise from atop the engine which would go away when RPMs were over 1500.The car finally just stopped running. Was told was probably the water pump or timing belt. While calling around to repair shops, I began searching the internet for answers. I came upon this website and realized this was a major problem! I was distracting reading the complaints on these other cars same year make model and engine size as our car, but also made me realize something, something needs to change! This is ridiculous! Daimler- Chrysler is a multi-million dollar cooperation who is making ther $$$ on screwing hard working people who trusted them.

I applaud those who are taking this situation to higher levels. I am not one of those people. We are a family of four with a income of under $20,000/year and only starting our 2nd year of paying on our home. So to all thee other people with this problem, I feel your pain and anger. And I hope that for this problem you've experienced something good or at least notable as ok comes out of it for you!

- , Iowa Falls, IA, USA

problem #14

May 292007

(reported on)

Stratus ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Stratus SE 2.7L V6, 90,000 miles

My engine died due to the sludge!!! Oil change every 3000 miles, kept up on all maintenance! I still owe on the car, and it is going to cost over 2000- 3000 to fix it... Sure enough, I am not the only one with problem, as you can see... How is Chrysler allowed to get away with this??? I need a car, that works and I expected that when buying this car that it would.. I will never ever buy another car from this company as well as tell any one I know to either.

- , Canton, MI, US

problem #13

Aug 292007

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles


OKAY my car had round 60,000 miles on my stratus and the engine went. i simply started driving another car and when i went to start my stratus one day it was knocking all inside the engine. isn't that great that i spend 7,500 on the car and months later the damn engine goes and they want me to pay another 4 grand to get it fixed im good on that im only a teenager and i shouldn't have these problems DUCK DODGE

- , Howell, MI, USA

problem #12

Sep 262007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

This car is a piece of s**t and I will NEVER EVER buy another Dodge again(or any other American car for that matter...) I have had nothing but problems for the 2 years I have had the thing. It's been one thing after another.

- , Omaha, NE, USA

problem #11

Aug 102007

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

this motherf*ckin car is a piece of sh*t because i bought it from kia.... KIA sucks don't buy a car from there!!!!

- , Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 032006

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I brought my car 9/2000, right off the truck as it was pulling into the dealership. My cars a lot of miles on it b/c I was in the military when I purchased it and traveled quite frequently. Needless to say, b/c I did travel so much, I was always on top of the maintenance for the car. I had regular oil changes, and tuneups. My tuneup were always done by the dealership, not just some Joe Blow. My oil light started to come on and I heard this knocking suddenly. I had it towed to my mechanic, who told me my engine was shot! This happened in 9/2006. I had just had an oil change in 7/2006 with no observed problems. I see the Intrepid has a very similar problem and it has the same engine in it. I plan to write Chrysler's regional VP, Mr. Thomas LaSorda (or whatever his name is), and their PR department. If I don't get a response, the next letter I write will be to the Washington Post. I just finished paying that damn car off in Jan. 2006. Oh, and did I mention, I financed it through Daimler Chrysler. I'm with the other guy, its way too many people for this too be a coincidence. One mechanic suggested Jasper Engine to fix it (which is really expensive), b/c they redesigned the motor to fix whatever it is causing the problem. Dodge needs to buy Jasper Engine's model and recall these cars and fix them.

- , Temple Hills, MD, US

problem #9

Feb 162007

(reported on)

Stratus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


Well, I want to use so many words! The damn car's engine died. Oil Slugs was the diagnosis. By the way, I did change my oil. I cannot afford to get it fixed. I am so angry.

- , Atlanta, GA, US

problem #8

Oct 292006

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

I purchased this car, took good care of it, and for my loyalty to Chrysler I get a worthless engine at 67000 miles. It will cost me a boatload to fix it and I also still owe on the car. They made a piece of sh*t car and then made the repair cost so much, you are screwed. I have heard of replacing an engine costing $2000 or so, maybe 3, but the price they are suggesting it will cost to repair THEIR mistake is absurd! I will never buy another Chrysler vehicle and I will encourage everyone I know to do the same.

- , Livonia, MI, USA

problem #7

Sep 072006

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • 44,500 miles

Been a loyal Chrysler/Dodge customer for 25 years. My husband and I finally take a trip after having the car 5 years and it breaks down 600 miles from home. Got ripped off by the tow truck driver and the dealership he took us too said it would cost $7400 to fix. Chrysler did nothing. Had the car in for maintenance before we left - checked all the belts and fluids (Chrysler dealership). We had to go back down to South Carolina a week later and personally tow it back to Ohio. Fortunately, I only owed about $900 on it or we'd be hurting. I was looking forward to driving that car for many years to come. Really sharp.

- , Orrville, OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 252006

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • 90,354 miles

I had problems with the 2.7 liter, 24 valve engine that was in my 2001 dodge stratus. i was driving my car and i began to make a loud tapping noise and then the motor just cut off. i took it to one of the dodge companies repair shop and they told me i need a new engine, but most of all they told me it wasn't my fault. so please don't buy a dodge car or truck with a 2.7 liter engine.

- , Port Gibson, MS, USA

problem #5

Jul 102006

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • 75,800 miles

Car stopped running. No problem let it sit for a few moments while I checked under the hood. Oil seemed really runny. Had car towed to repair shop. Timing chain caused water pump to fail and filled the engine with coolant. Virtually ruining the engine.

Was told to dial a 800 number which was word for word what they say about this problem.

- , Waupun, WI, USA

problem #4

Apr 172006

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • 78,000 miles

I went to have my oil change and an engine flush was suggested. I said okay and after that I keep hearing this weird noise coming from the engine. A little at first, then a lot. Now I have had no vehicle for 2 weeks. The mechanic said my engine is gone and I need a new one. I am very upset because I can't afford an engine now and I need transportation!! Can someone please give me an alternate solution besides buying another vehicle.

- , Taylorsville, NC, USA

problem #3

Jul 142005

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • 102,152 miles

first thing i have to say is if you have a chrysler 2.7 liter and you are concerned about oil sludge, don't do what i did and and use an engine flush. my car ran just fine before i did it, but everything i have read and heard about the 2.7 i thought maybe that might keep it from failing, long story short it breaks the sludge off in chunks and i guess some it took out the chain tensioner. but for the record the mechanic said it was the cleanest 2.7 with 100,000 miles that he has seen. the company that makes the flush might cover it not sure but if you have a 2.7 probably not a good idea to use an engine flush. i heard the best cheap way to clean an engine is frequent oil changes, and to prevent sludge use full synthetic

- , Ada, MI, USA

problem #2

Jul 282004

(reported on)

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • 38,000 miles

2001 2.7L Dodge Stratus. Sludge in the motor due to what the dealership says is lack of oil changes (which is TOTALLY UNTRUE). I am having this motor replaced with my own money. Chrysler service line is utterly worthless. I have appealed this and lost with the Chrysler district rep. I have seen this complaint throughout my search on the web. Something is being covered up here!!!.

- , Ft. Wayne, IN, USA

problem #1

Apr 232004

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • 22,000 miles

Dear Prof. Schrempp,

I am writing to notify you of the problems I have experienced with my 2001 Dodge Stratus and that I expect you to BUY BACK the vehicle and refund all costs/damages I have incurred. The issues with my vehicle substantially impairs the use and value of my vehicle. Not to mention it's a safety issue as the 2nd time the engine failed I was in the middle of busy intersection and could have been seriously injured or killed. I am not comfortable taking this car on long trips, as I am afraid that the engine will fail on the interstate or strand me. Below are the stated facts regarding this vehicle.

4/14/01- I leased a 2001 Dodge Stratus SE from Berlin City Dealerships, Inc. in Gorham, NH.

4/30/01- 1,091 check engine light comes on - take to Foster Motors in Middlebury, VT for service, they say nothing wrong, touchy gas cap.

5/22/01- 2,135 miles Engine Light back on- take to Foster Motors for service- catalytic converter failure- replaced.

8/27/02- 20,708 miles- No air/heat- loud noise coming from vents when turning on air or heat- serviced at Foster Motors- Resistor replaced.

10/15/02- 22,816 – Engine failure while driving down road- have car towed to Foster Motors. Service Manager calls and says they found sludge when they pulled oil pan cap. Nothing else checked on car (ie: head gaskets). Claims owner neglect- states that car looks like the oil was never changed. We disagree. Meeting w/ District Manager. She never touches the engine and lets Service Manager do all the talking. Given an oil sample and we have an independent company (NOCO) analyze the oil. Test comes back stating SEVERE LEVELS OF WATER w/ antifreeze contamination.

Reported to Chrysler- still no warranty- decision stands. We have the car towed to Goss Dodge. They install a used 2001 Dodge Stratus engine (we later learn that Goss tells DaimlerChrysler that it is a NON Chrysler engine). Cost- $4563.48

12/14/02- Pick up car from Goss (at this point I don't want to use this dealerships name) - drive 5 miles from dealership and engine fails in the middle of traffic. Car towed back to Goss. Given a rental car free of charge.

12/16/04- Call from Goss Dodge- they need to replace the block and want us to pay another $1200 for labor. Agree to pay $25 p/day rental fee on rental car. We talk to Atty. James Dumont who in turn talks to their attorney. It is agreed based on Vermont Law that we will not be responsible for repair or replacement of this engine. Call from Goss Dodge to return rental car immediately. Goss Dodge attempts to have an APB put out for a stolen rental car.

12/ /04- We return rental car and pay for 2 days rental on car ($52).

1/7/04- We pick up our car from Goss Dodge.

2/6/03 – VT Lemon Law Arbitration. We lose 3-2. Grinding noise heard from under hood- we have Goss Dodge Service-we weren't given a receipt- no charge. Engine not bolted down tight enough.

1/18/04- Heater quit- called Goss Dodge- they said most likely a computer/sensor problem and okay to drive until they could see us on 2/5/04.

2/5/04- Appointment at Goss Dodge. Service manager states that the car is very low on coolant (we had filled it 3 weeks prior- when checking fluids). Service Manager adds 3 containers of coolant. Tells us if we were thinking about trading, now would be a good time as a head gasket may be getting ready to go if it's using up that much coolant.

At no time were we verbally told or did we have written notice that the engine put into our car was a NON Chrysler engine. We were led to believe the opposite.

Unfortunately your product has not performed well and your customer service has left much to be desired. I have made a report to the Better Business Bureau and I was quite concerned that a company as big as Daimler Chrysler opted NOT to participate in the program. I have written to you before and of course I have not received a response. I was willing to let it go until the Service Manager at Goss Dodge told us about how now would be a good time to trade. Funny how when we went to talk to a salesman at Goss Dodge he wouldn't even consider helping us get into a different car with a different size motor (this was of last resort, because I will never own a Daimler Chrysler vehicle again. Which includes the Mitsubishi and Hyundai line as well.)

To top things off, the Service Manager at Foster Motors (5 star dealership) in Middlebury, Vermont recently had a prospective buyer in the dealership. This buyer asked the Service Mgr if there were any good used cars on the lot. The Service Mgr. told him that they had quite a few Dodge Stratus'. This buyer told him he was not interested in a Stratus as he had a couple of friends who had a lot of problems with their Stratus. The Service Mgr asked who-and the buyer replied that he would rather not mention names. Mr. LaFave took it upon himself to ask the buyer if it was “our names” that was having the problems. The buyer didn't reply but the Service Mgr stated that yes he knew that we had some problems with the Stratus but that our FIRST mistake was buying it in New Hampshire and not from them.

So, I can only assume that we were being “punished” that first time our engine died and The Service Mgr. claimed “owner neglect” because we didn't buy our car at THEIR dealership? One more reason why we will NEVER purchase another DaimlerChrysler vehicle. One thing I would like to mention- somehow when we went for arbitration- they had a Mopar oil filter with them- as I have stated before our oil was changed at a Speedi-Lube and they use AFTER MARKET FILTERS. I would love an explanation for this! Oh, I forgot they accused Speedi-Lube of never changing the filter. I believe that would be slander towards Speedi-Lube.

I have read thousands of stories on the internet and they are all JUST like mine- engine fails, dealer refuses warranty because of “owner neglect” and car owner is either forced into paying for a new engine, a 2nd hand engine, letting the car sit in their driveway or letting the car get repossessed. I am currently getting in touch with everyone with an e-mail address so that I can get a signed statement from them.

As you can see from the list below I am quite determined to see this through until the end. I do not want to hear back from customer service saying “I'm sorry there is nothing we can do for you”, I don't want to hear from some low man on the totem pole…I want to hear from someone that is in charge. It is time that you step up to the plate and take responsibility. Call me, let's talk and see if we can work something out. I am tired of being ignored, insulted and humiliated by your company. I am prepared to seek legal action, for which I will hold the Daimler Chrysler Corp. 100% responsible for any and all fees.

- , New Haven, VT, USA

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