Oil Sludge Resulting In Engine Failure

2001 Dodge Stratus (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Dodge dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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:
85,100 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 1 of 2)

problem #39

Nov 152012

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


I'm so pissed off that Dodge will not replace there defected 2.7 Dodge Stratus motors !!! we the people of this great country get ripped off from our own automotive corporations that's the last time our government should bail out Dodge because they will not stand behind there own product which is bull sh*t . I was going to give the stratus to my kid for school , But as soon as i paid it off it blew up due to oil sludge. Thanks Dodge Corp. for standing behind your product I will make sure the rest of my friends and family know to never buy a Dodge product this is the third Dodge that i have had nothing but problems with. Next time i will buy a ford or a import, Dodge has left a BAD taste in my mouth.

- jenningswa, Portorchard, WA, US

problem #38

Jan 072012

Stratus SW 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

What a crock. We put low miles on the car, so at 10 years old we only just got to the magic mile number range for it to fail. Bought it new. Oil changed at 3k or less personally without fail. Over half of that life is synthetic, which apparently makes no difference.

- mschweig, Waterloo, IL, US

problem #37

Jan 012009

Stratus 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I am an 18 year old college student that needs my car in order to drive two hours to college and go to class. I bought a dodge stratus thinking it was a cute car and would be a reliable car i could count on to get me to and from school. My boyfriend is a mechanic so he always made sure that all the maintence was done and done properly on my car including oil changes and adding oil because he said that the status looses a quart of oil every 1000 mile so to ensure the life of the engine we made sure it had enough oil at all times. One day it started making an awful knocking noise on the top of the engine then the check engine light came on and it started to misfire. When i made my boyfriend check it out he was astonished to find oil sludge to be the problem because we had taken such good care of it. Dodge is a piece of crap and I will never buy another. I loved my car and now it is sitting in the driveway not able to be driven and I can not afford to replace it because I am working in order to pay for college.

- testerman, la Plata, MD, canada

problem #36

Jul 152009

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


I bought my 2001 Dodge Stratus 2.7 L V6 about 2 years ago. The car ran great and had 50.000 Miles on engine. I changed the oil every 3000 miles. Coming home from work in Goleta to Santa Maria, Engine started overheating, pulled off the freway and opened hood. Smoke was pooring out and oil was all oner the engine, almost a fire. Ford Dealer said moter is blown due to oil sludge build up. Cost $5000 for remanufactured engine. Covered under warenty. 1 month later raditior went out $500, out of my pocket. 6 Months later fuel pump went out $700 out of pocket. Month ago timeing chain in moter came apart $2000 out of pocket. Now the Transmission is slipping and the car is having electrical problems.

Still owe $6000 in car payments. This car was built compleatly defective and Dodge should have recalled all 2001 dodge stratus 2.7 v6. Will never buy a nother Dodge or Dodge related product. Will soon be paying car payments and insurance on a dead car parked in front of my house.

- samhendry25, Orcutt, CA, US

problem #35

Jan 102011

Stratus ES 2-7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,675 miles

Totally pissed me off. bought this car, my first, what i considered brand new to me, being a single parent and all. Beautiful black and chrome driving down the very DARK road heading to my house first issue transmission blew within 1mo of owning...of course they had to pay for under warranty, several little issues in between. then ball joint snapped while driving bent my car also Chrysler didn't want to cover that. under warranty they had to pay for ball joints and roll bar underneath that they did NOT fix. had to take back to them and explain to the mechanic what they didn't fix while he explained to me that could of happened last night, yea right. Made them fix it...then oh of course the SLUDGE...my car has now basically blown up...and yes oil changes on the regular. This is not an isolated incident so they need to admit the error of their ways. and yes i also am a determined person i LOVED my car it was AND STILL LOOKS BEAUTIFUL but doesn't run...had to sell it for PARTS. THIS SH*T SUCKS and they should be held ACCOUNTABLE.

- Dee M., Urbana, IL, US

problem #34

Aug 202010

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,900 miles

I downsized from a 2005 Chevy Equinox to my 2001 Dodge Stratus to get out of my 300.00 monthly payment and plus I have two small children. I just had this car for 3 months and in the first week I had to replace brake pads and on 08-20-2010 on my way home from work my car made this horrible loud noise coming from the engine. It made it home but died in the driveway had my mechanic come and look at it and he tells me that the engine is shot because of oil sludge. This was my family's only means of transportation now we have to come up with 3 to 4K dollars to get this fixed or buy a bew vehicle. I will never own another Dodge again!

- acaudill, Hamilton, OH, US

problem #33

Jul 302010

Stratus SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,300 miles


engine failure at 69300mi. and there was no sign of a problem

- Erika D., New Kensington, PA, US

problem #32

Feb 022009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I purchased this car from the Used Car Motor Mall of Grand Rapids. What a major ripoff. I had the car for less than six months and the air conditioning failed during the dead of winter. I took it in to get it fixed, paid more than $300 for a fix job on the air conditioning and get an oil change, only to have the motor blow up less than 40 miles later. Mechanic refused to continue working on the car when he opened the motor up to find oil sludge caked on like someone dumped a bucket of tar in the motor. I cannot afford another motor and if I could I would have to have it shipped from Texas (closest I was able to locate). And I have to continue paying for this car until October 2011. WTF.

- Scott M., Constantine, MI, US

problem #31

Jan 122010

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,100 miles

the car was running great till red oil lamp went on the dash board, i stop to check oil it was ok , so i go ahead and start it up and about 3 miles from where i stop to check it stops when i tried to start it again wont start don't even make a noise to try to start

- leonel, Miami, FL, US

problem #30

May 012009

Stratus ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

I have had to take this car to be repaired many times First the car would not start I had to buy a starter fuel from the dealer after I had the car towed their. Then the car stop working again they changed the starter alternator. I had to have the car towed again then they change the battery. I had to pay for all of this. Then the radio stop playing in the car. Last of all the car had oil coming out of it on the engine and the was smoking and getting hot. I have not been able to get this car fix.

- Sherry J., Augusta, GA, US

problem #29

Dec 172008

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Ive owned used cars but when i decided to buy a 2001 dodge stratus in 2004 it was almost new and i was excited to have a car that could grow with me. I was on the highway driving by myself in the middle of the night when the car got loud and slowed down to a stop. After having it towed, stored, and looked at they said I needed a new engine due to sludge. I didnt think that was possible due to the fact we always used synthetic oil and kept on the oil changes. Ive sence paid over 3,000 for storage and fees. We have 3 shops looking for a replacement engine and everyone is telling me to junk the car. Thats bull sh*t! I paid a lot of money and took good care of this car and im now wandering if i really need to junk it and walk away with less than 200.00 is scrap money.

I really just want my car fixed, im expecting a child and have no way to get around.

- Stacie K., Michigan City, IN, US

problem #28

Aug 072009

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,533 miles

Bought my 2001 Dodge Stratus SE. Car seemed to be great for a short period of time. After a short while it became nothing but problems. Cam-shaft sensor went out twice, cars computer went out, oil sending unit went out and eventually oil sludge cause the engine to fail. Mechanic says it will cost over $5,000 to get it fixed. Then he tells me about the oil sludge and how hundreds of people with this very same engine are having the exact same problem. Its BS that these scumbags can get away with making such a piece of junk.

- Dustin T., Atchison, KS, US

problem #27

Aug 032009

Stratus SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

The engine was replaced under warranty in 2006 at 67,000 miles. 37,000 miles later the engine fails again due to the same design defect. Chrysler says the warranty on the new engine is 80,000 and 3 years. They want me to pay $3000.00 to replace the engine on an 8 year old car whose engine failure is due to a known engine defect.

- Mike K., Glen Ellyn, IL, US

problem #26

Jul 152009

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,273 miles

I think its a bunch of bull that DCX KNOWS of the problem with the sludge problem and the oiling system being poorly designed and REFUSES to do anything about it. My Stratus is in GREAT shape....loaded.....just had new tires and new brakes put on it so it can SIT in my driveway and NOT BE DRIVEN!!!!!!! C'mon guys @ Chrysler.......could ya help the common person just this once. It would go a long way to promoting good faith back into the new DCX.

- Dave P., Salem, OH, US

problem #25

Mar 012009

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

My Dodge was a great car! It worked well until one day on my way home, it started clunking. And it started to stall. I made it home, thank god, but my engine was done for!! I got it towed to my mechanic and he said the engine failure was due to oil sludge. Obviously, I am not the only person who has had this problem!! I wrote Chrysler Dodge an email explaining everything that had happened, but I am still waiting to see what they say. I have no doubt in my mind they will say that there is nothing that they can do. But ther are Civil Action Lawsuits out for them right now on these very same issues, so I will most definitely be pursuing a suit with the other innocent victims of the Chrysler Dodge name!!!

- jesi, Lakemoor, IL, US

problem #24

Dec 172008

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I was driving home from work right before Christmas when my engine shut down on me in the middle of the freeway during rush hour. Mechanic informed me it was engine failure due to sludge and would cost just over $6000.00 to fix. Instead of buying Christmas presents I was forced to buy a new car!

- mahamilton, Denver, CO, US

problem #23

Sep 012008

Stratus 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

The 100,000 mile warranty ran out and by 114,000 miles the engine failed - the car cost more than a small house - it should last at least 200,000 miles

- maryks, Fredonia, KS, US

problem #22

Dec 232008

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

I too have a 2001 Stratus and my car stalled while driving, with my two young children in the car right before Christmas and the weather was 10' outside and no kidding my cell phone had enough charge for one phone call to my husband to come out and help me. I had it towed to the dealer were he could find nothing wrong. So all they did was change the oil and tell me that the car is drivable for someone that wouldn't be tough on it. I took it out the next day and it made the worst noise ever. No after reading all these complaints I feel very strong that it was also the Sludge. I don't want to let this go either. It makes me sick to my stomach, my husband kept up with the oil changes to prevent this from happening.I don't want to take this situation lightly, but yet unsure what can be done.

K Gagnon

Melrose, NY

- Kim G., Melrose, NY, US

problem #21

Nov 072008

Stratus ES 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I bought 2001 dodge stratus from brainerd area used cars a few months ago.Engine sounded fine when i test drove it.The very first time i got the oil changed it started knocking.I'm guessing they put som heavy oil in it to keep the engine quiet.After it started knocking i figured the engine was gonna go just didn't think so soon.I just had the second oil change.I bought it at 64000 this is at 68000 engine is toast. Same problem as everyone else.Oil light flickered at low rpm Knocking and oil light went away at higher rpms.First and last dodge I'll ever buy.its not even worth replacing if its just gonna do the same thing in 60000 miles.

- phummel, Ironton, MN, US

problem #20

Jun 162008

Stratus 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

The only complaint I have with Chrysler is that they put an engine MADE IN JAPAN...Mitsubishi, in this car!

- Charles D., Jackson, MS, US

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