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
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,049 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #9

Apr 092016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator illuminated and remained on. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #8

Aug 082014


  • 217,000 miles
I have had this car for 2 years now with little problems. Had a few oil changes and some brake work done to it. But in the last year I have changed all the calipers in this car 2 to 3 times the break pads many times the ball joints the roaders the swing arm and the cluster dash. This was a great car till it stopped going over 30 without a terrible shake.

- Weare, NH, USA

problem #7

Feb 172013

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 53,641 miles
I was driving our 2001 Dodge Stratus to park at the movie theater, going only 5 mph maybe less and I went to turn into the parking spot, I heard a click in the steering wheel, a pop, the airbag light came on and the horn does not work at all and the airbag light is still on. Everytime the steering wheel is turned, there is a clicking noise.

- Dorr, MI, USA

problem #6

Apr 152009

Stratus 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


I have had my car for a little over 3 years now. First it was the passenger side ball joint. Then a year later it was the ball joint on the driver side plus the control arm. Then it was the brakes and rotors. Then right after that I find out the ball joint I had just replaced on the passenger side needs replaced again! now my oil light comes on at idle after the engine has warmed up. Had the oil changed as always between 2000 and 3000 miles as I should. Had the oil sending unit replaced and still have a oil light on with a full engine of oil. Now my steering column just today made a cracking sound as I was backing up with the wheel turning to the left. Then the airbag light came on and wont go off. Now my steering is stiff. Talked to a mechanic and it is a safety issue.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #5

Nov 282011


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. The contact was driving 30 mph when the steering wheel became loose, causing the contact to lose control of the vehicle and crashed into a fence. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed of the incident. The dealer and the manufacturer were notified and advised that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 00V225002 (steering:gear box -other than rack and pinion). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 130,000.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #4

Feb 152010


  • 212 miles
I have a Dodge Stratus SE sedan, 2001 model.. while turning left into a parking lot the steering wheel almost locked up, then something snapped and broke inside. I regain steering but my airbag light was on and remains on. The other controls on the steering wheel such as cruise control and the horn do not work.. I feel the cruise control not working, the wheel freezing up momentarily until you break the ribbon wire inside the clockspring both are safety hazards. The part that is defective is the clockspring.. it is available from the dealer only at a cost over $129.. it is very cheaply made and is essentially a ribbon wire wrapped around a plastic spool. It is capable of binding up and preventing the steering wheel to turn. One should be inspected and any engineer will agree it is very poorly designed. As much as airbag costs and as much is it is engineered, to have a cheaply made part prevent it's functioning make no sense at all. Dodge and Jeep Chrysler im sure.. need to take responsibility and recall these vehicles and replace this part with a much better engineered replacement. I almost crashed and now if I do crash I have no airbag and I have no horn to warn other drivers if they're about to crash into me.

- Lake City, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 032009


  • 78,000 miles


2001 Dodge Stratus. Loss of control. Resulting in 2 separate crashes. I did sustain injury in the last incident. I was trying to turn left into a parking lot, wheel turned only partially. I could not get it to move the correct direction, and I ran into a tall (15in.) curb. Sustained whiplash and a large knot on my head. The 1st incident was while trying to turn left and my car would not go that way. I ended up hitting yet another tall curb, due to loss of control. It may be worthy to note I have replaced the lower control arm on the drivers side, but am still getting periods of having a hard time turning my wheel. This occurs whether in motion or just starting my car and turning the wheel to leave. I also had to replace right side due to failure of the wheel to turn right as well. I actually was going about 30mph and barely made my turn, almost broadsiding a sitting vehicle. When I checked it, my tire was "bent inward' at the top. The whole tire was, well, like this, / (but actually bent the other way, inward. My steering wheel works randomly. Please advise, as this is my only mode of transportation. I don't know what else to have fixed on it! I've already dipped almost $2000 "fixing" it. Thank you. The incident date below is just the latest. The one where I hit my head. As of today, my steering has a mind of its own.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 012006

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,086 miles
: the contact stated the air bag light illuminated constantly, the cruise control was inoperable and there was a clicking in the steering column when the wheel is turned left or right. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined a spring in the steering wheel needed to be replaced. Also, the contact stated there was a clicking noise in the front underside of the vehicle that has not yet been inspected by the dealer.

- Petersburg, WV, USA

problem #1

Jan 092005

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,500 miles
The contact stated in December 2005 the air bag light illuminated. Afterwards, the steering wheel became extremely hard to turn left or right, and a there was a crackling noise in the driver's side steering column. Also, the horn and the cruise control were inoperative. There is a technical service bulletin 0801001 on the clock spring.

- Leominster, MA, USA

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