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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,410 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

problem #7

Oct 022006

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,748 miles


: the contact stated four times since purchase, the vehicle revved out of control while stopped. The brake pedal was depressed and the vehicle was shifted into neutral. The vehicle restarted and was taken to the dealership, who was unable to determine a problem. Updated 10/18/2006 - the irs time this happened the dealer noticed that the intake was very black and that the throttle was possibly sticking, causing the iac motor to overcompensate.

- Rhinebeck, NY, USA

problem #6

May 012004


  • miles
Odometer will not register, it was inoperable, could not get the vehicle inspected.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #5

Aug 012003

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have had a problem with my speedometer. I have found that when I start my Stratus the speedometer looks like it is racing to 90 or so and then back again. I have had the car in the Dodge dealer about five times for this but they don't see a problem. This has been going on for about a year or so and happens a couple of times a week.

- Richboro, PA, USA

problem #4

Oct 252002

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 120 miles


While driving and when accelerating vehicle starts to jerk/hesitate. While at a light the rpms surge between 1000 and 3000 rpms or while sitting in park.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #3

Jan 072003

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am so dissatisfied with my 2002 Dodge Stratus SE. Ever since I bought my car in Jan 2003, I have had more problems with this car than any other. My car leaks fluids constantly, my breaks don't work when applied, my car hesitates in all weather circumstances, my windshield makes a crackling noise, my doors squeak along with my trunk lid. Not to mention that I get anywhere from 10-15 miles per gallon for gas. I drive for about 40 min and half of my gas is gone!!! this vehicle is a hazard to the road and anyone or thing it comes in contact with :-( I never recommend my car to anyone and am ashamed to say it's mine. Dodge is definately one dealer that I wil never ever ever buy another car from!!!!!

- Massena, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 282002


  • miles
While driving and when accelerating vehicle starts to jerk/hesitate and accelerate which may cause an accident.

- Bethelem, PA, USA

problem #1

May 132002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brakes failed while applyed at 55 mph, brake pedal went to the floor, and caused a vehicle crash. Dealer notified. The vehicle flipped over three times ejecting the passenger and injuring the driver critically. The air bag failed to deploy during the accident. The vehicle had cruise control and seat belt problem and experienced a tire blew out.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

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