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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,000 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 232008

Stratus 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


On 9/3/08 I had brought my 2002 Dodge Stratus 2.7L V6 in for a coolant system flush. I was charged $129.95. Soon after, I smelled burning coolant, but the dealership had said it was just excess burning off. Two weeks later on 9/23/08, I was on rt 1 to out to my sister-in-laws in lancaster, pa, when my car overheated and had to shut it down on an off ramp. I got out of the car, and all the coolant was leaking out. I had it towed back to miller Dodge, and they had informed me my water pump has failed and has to be replaced, along with the timing tensioner chain. It cost me $628.63. I had argued with the Dodge dealership because they just did maintenance involving the water pump, and now it is dead. They said I would have to fight with Chrysler about it. I found a bulletin on regarding my engine that the water pump appears to fail after a coolant flush is performed. The bulletin id # 0700202, mfg bulletin date: 20020204, and the NHTSA item # 629131. I called Chrysler about it and they said they would not pay for it. I am still fighting that fight now, almost a year later. I feel that if the coolant flush damages the water pump, that it is a defect, and Chrysler should pay for the cost of repairs. I do not feel I am getting any where with Chrysler, and now I am reporting it, hopefully for some kind of solution.

- Norwood, PA, USA

problem #1

Jan 092006

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
My engine light stays on and oil light comes on after the oil has been changed.

- Houston, TX, USA

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