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:
Average Mileage:
92,250 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. engine replacement (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Stratus engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 202010

Stratus 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles


This started out as a simple timing chain repair. While not cheap a fairly common issue to deal with. Then in the process of doing research for the repair to find all the information about Class Action lawsuits against Chrysler over this engine in several different vehicles came up. To learn that is is a design issue that causes catastrophic engine failure, sometimes with as few as 20,000 miles on the engine, and Chrysler is claiming it is owner maintenance errors was really anger inducing. In this economy hard working people like myself and my wife, with kids, who both work away from home and rely on two cars to maintain our jobs and lives when we can't afford a new car payment, shelling out THOUSANDS of dollars for car repair that should have been corrected by the company to begin with is outrageous and disheartening.

- , Baldwin City, KS, US

problem #3

Feb 112008

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

2/11/2008 My wife and kids are driving to the grocery store and car suddenly dies. My dad and I tore into the engine finding that the oil is contaminated with water. We drained the oil and found two ball bearings. Dodge tells us that there are no bearings in the engine. Further investigation reveals the water pump to be loose causing the timing chain to jump several teeth. After several phone calls of being handed back and forth to progressively higher ranking employees of the above stated company, which is still ongoing, the car is apparently covered under the 70,000mile powertrain warranty. The only mechanic shop in Valdez, Alaska will not touch the car. That means its got to be shipped to Anchorage, which is 350miles away. Shipping is terribly expensive here and who is going to pay is still a big question. I still owe over $5,000 and pay $200 monthly for insurance. Also, this is my only vehicle. So here I am with a wife, two kids, well over $2000 a month in bills and no transportation. I live 15 miles from work. I am really #!@$ed here.

- , Valdez, AK, USA

problem #2

Nov 142007

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Well i am a freak about my car any, or sound it makes i get it checked...i hear everything...well this time i was leaving meijer and all of sudden i turned my car on and it was making this really loud sound like a semi sounded like a car that would be next to you that would be like a 64 Honda....i didn't know what to do but then it seemed to quiet down and my work is literally 2 minutes from where i was so i drove it there and went it to get my mom to listen to the sound and wouldn't i get the car towed to our mechanic right down the street he tries to start it to see what the sound was he says...."oh my this doesn't sound good" so the next day he looks and of course my timing belt broke and bent or broke the valve and bent a rod...and on top of that i bought it for 6 thousand almost a year ago and i still owe 5 thousand on it....thanks alot dodge...i am hoping to get some money somehow to pay this off faster...and i am on my way to call the attorney general....

- , Indpls, IN, USA

problem #1

Feb 212007

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Well, I bought the car form a used auto lot as is, it had been in an accident, with 43,000 miles on it. It had been sitting for awhile, so I pieced it back together, and drove it away off into the sunset. I drove it from Michigan to California and back, total of 5,000 miles and a whole lot of shorter distance road trips in between. Now it has 90,000 miles on it, and just cuts off in the middle of traffic on the way to the store. Luckily not to far from home, paid 50 bucks for a tow job. Got an estimate on the spot, 65 bucks to open the engine to give me exact specification and 45 minutes later what do you know, timing belt came off, which in turn cause bent valves and shot brackets, now my job requires me to have transportation; now I can't commute everyday anymore so Im in jeopardy of losing my job, and having no vehicle, its a cold world, time to look into a honda, nissan, or audi.

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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