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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,333 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #3

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 #2

Dec 282002

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 had to replace power steering pipe, manufactured to lean on the interior auto body, in which engine vibration rubbed hole in it. 2002 front right wheel makes continuous loud high pitched whistle noise, still does. Dealership discounted it and didn't know why it sounded like that. 2002-2006 engine dies while driving, odometer goes crazy up and down 2006 clock spring keeps breaking, no power to air bag or horn.

- Knotts Island, NC, USA

problem #1

Jul 202004

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Timing belt failure resulted in engine failure. Bearings on both front wheels were replaced at 30,000 miles, replaced front bearings and replaced engine.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

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