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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
74,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. pay to have it fixed (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Stratus cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 012009

Stratus SE 3.2L 4c

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


First I noticed the engine temp gauge was jumping all over. I checked out the engine myself each time it peaked and said it was over heating and everything was fine. I was resigned to dealing with the light, until we had a cold snap and I couldn't start my car. It would just crank and crank and would take up to a few minutes to start. I took it to the shop and after a day and a half of troubleshooting (I lucked out and they only charged me for the the part and the labor to actually change the part, not the troubleshooting) they found that the temp sensor was physically broken and there was a dead shorting through the fluid. He said on this model the computer uses the info from that sensor to determine how much fuel to give the engine to cold start. the computer thought the engine was warm (actually over heating) so it wasn't getting enough fuel to start during the cold weather.

- , Richland, WA, USA

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