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:
206,576 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 212006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles


The front tie rod ends are both defective on my 2002 Dodge Stratus. The car has only 53000 miles on the odometer, all of which were normal driving miles. I do not feel that this part should fail after such a short amount of time.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #1

Nov 072004

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 360,152 miles
I was driving along the road and the rear drivers side upper ball joint separated and the car started swaying. Luckily I was on a side road where the speed limit was 30 mph and nothing serious happened, but if I had been traveling down the interstate or other major highway my family and I could have been seriously hurt or even killed. I had the car repaired at darlings auto sales in ellsworth Maine they have the exact date it happened and repair info if you need it. They contacted Chrysler to see if it was covered or not. I am not sure if they did or not as I purchased extended warranty when I purchased the car ( it is a 2002 Dodge Stratus) the car had just over 36000 miles when this happened. I wouldn't have thought much about it but I was watching tv and they was showing the Dodge durango and Dakota having the same thing happening.

- Sullivan, ME, USA

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