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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
99,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Dodge Stratus engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 242012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


I had the engine light come on and got that fixed,,,but nobody tells you about the timing belt,,it just stops on you in the middle of the road. Well nobody said anything about the timing belt breaking when this car goes over some kind of mileage marker,, but that is just what a happened to my daughter driving home from work. It just stopped on her on an interstate no less. It's a wonder she didn't get hurt over this. Then I had to have it towed and that cost money and when the mechanic looked at it he said it was the timing belt that went. All Dodge Stratus have a timing belts and they break when you go over a certain number of miles. It would cost a 1000.00 just to look at it and they didn't know if it bent the it would have cost even more money and then not even sure if it could be fixed. So I had to junk it,,,and said goodbye to it forever. I need a car that is going to last. At least they could of told you this, but then they couldn't have sold it to anybody. Now I have no car to go to the doctors and store. I'm on disability and need to get to these places. I should get a new car so I can go to the doctors and get to the hospital and the store with no problems,,

- , Deepwater, NJ, USA

problem #1

May 032011

Stratus ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

My timing belt broke last week! We still don't know if it did any other damage to the engine or not. I have had a bit of a squeal going on and I have had a few places look at it and no one was ever able to figure it out and once again....No warning lights until the second that it broke....I HATE MY CAR!!!!!

- , Nine Mile Falls, WA, USA

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