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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,067 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Sep 152005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Water outlet erupted and caused vehicle to run hot. Also, the eruption knocked a slight dent in the hood. The part was ordered from the mfr and replaced the next day.

- Bishopville, SC, USA

problem #5

Sep 242004

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 35 mph consumer heard a noise coming from the engine. Suddenly the engine stalled. Vehicle was towed to an independent repair sho, and mechanic determined engine needed to be replaced. Dealership was notified.

- Country Club Hills, IL, USA

problem #4

Dec 262003

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,750 miles
Engine failed at 54,800 miles on my 2002 Dodge Stratus SE. Car was taken to the dealer for a slight engine knock. Car had no problem starting. We left the car there for them to diagnose the problem. They called and said that I needed to replace the engine (2.7L DOHC 24 valve V-6) at no cost to me that it was under warranty. We agreed and 3 day's later they called and told me that the warranty was canceled and would not tell me why. I gave them all my maintenance records. When we arrived to pick up our car, the service advisor told us that the car may not start because it had been sitting there for 2 weeks. That's bull... he then told us that the car had jumped time and that they would put it back in time for us and split the cost. We agreed yet again and left the car there. He then called us again and said that the car didn't jump time, but that there was so much engine sludge built up that it was starving the car for oil. And that's why it wont start. But the car had no problem starting and running before we dropped it off just a little engine knock at idle. Please help me... thank you.

- Seven Mile, OH, USA

problem #3

Dec 212001

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,136 miles


My 2002 Dodge Stratus SE's 2.7 litre V6 200hp engine completely failed. The mechanic at the first shop said my timing belt was bad, and that my engine, even though maintained was sludged. My vehicle is currently being held at a dealership for possible repair. They said that for $5850 I can have a new engine with a 12,000 mile, or 12 month warranty- I am not shelling out near $6000 for a new engine when it has a 12,000 mile warranty.

- Clinton Twp., MI, USA

problem #2

Aug 262003


  • miles
While driving and accerlerating, car starts to jerk / hesitate - poor gas mileage - tac flutters and engine revs up while car is park or in neutral.

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #1

Oct 032003


  • 64,000 miles
Had parked vehicle. Noticed flames coming from under the hood near the engine compartment. Fire dept called and arrived to put out flames. Cause of fire has not been determined by fire dept.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

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