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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,000 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.

2002 Dodge Stratus body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #3

Feb 132014

Stratus 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


Grandaughter was returning home from college. Vehicle suddenly caught fire on highway between marble falls tex and burnet Texas.. her mother was following in another car and barely had time to rescue some of the personal items before entire car was engulfed in flames. Granddaughter barely escaped the vehicle without injury. She was able to get several pictures of the vehicle fire on her cell phone.. the fire begin either under the hood or under the front of the car and was completely engulfed in a matter of minutes.. grandaughter and her mom was very distraught and terribly upset until fire dept from burnet arrived on the scene. They were called (911) by a passing motorist. The burned out vehicle was hauled in to burnet Texas by advantage towing 512-756-7995. We have never received a recall from Dodge about the possible fire hazards on this vehicle.

- Early , TX, USA

problem #2

Apr 012008


  • miles
My 2002 black Dodge Stratus rt has the clear coat coming off the top of it. The top of my car is almost white.

- Coal City , WV, USA

problem #1

Aug 082004

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am submitting a complaint on the paint of my vehicle. I have not checked with my warranty yet. I live in a warm climate the car is 2 years old the paint should not be peeling.

- Austin, TX, USA

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