ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,917 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 #3

May 062015


  • 185,750 miles


My car has a bad noise and popping sound in the front end. I was turning out of my moms driveway when my front passenger tire collapsed in.. my upper ball joint broke. After my car was jacked up my lower a arm and ball joint was broke.. I replaced everything. A week later the driver side ball joint had to be replaced. My car still makes a aweful sound like something is about to brake. Should I replace every part in the front. Cause it dangerous for myself and my child.

- Solsberry, IN, USA

problem #2

Aug 212014


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Stratus. The contact stated that while making a turn, there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. In addition, the contact stated that upon starting the vehicle, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Stony Point, NC, USA

problem #1

Oct 082005

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 35mph on a winding road, curving right, the steering wheel jerked and the vehicle turned left. The brakes seemed stiff when applied. The vehicle hit a fence and the driver sustained severe injuries. The airbags did not deploy, although seat belts were worn. A police report was filed. The vehicle was deemed totaled by the insurance Agency, but no determination was made as to why the airbags failed to deploy. However, the insurance Agency did determine the accident may have been cause by a steering or brake problem.

- Oak View, CA, USA

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