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:
66,220 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #5

May 012014


  • 191,300 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Stratus. The contact stated that while driving and making a turn, there was an abnormal noise coming from the front driver side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the front driver side lower control arm and ball joint needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and two weeks later the clicking noise recurred. The vehicle was taken back to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the control arm was cracked. The control arm and ball joint was replaced for a second time and two weeks later the failure recurred for a third time. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 191,300.

- Bristol, RI, USA

problem #4

Mar 312010


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Stratus. The contact was pulling into a parking lot at approximately 10 mph when he heard a loud noise outside the vehicle. The front control arm lower ball joint had fallen. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop but the vehicle had not been diagnosed when the complaint was filed. The contact called the dealership but was informed that he would have to be pay a diagnostic fee to have the vehicle inspected. The current and failure mileages were approximately 77,000.

- Edenburg, TX, USA

problem #3

Apr 122006

Stratus 4-cyl

  • miles
I drive a 2002 Dodge Stratus, at 40,000 miles transmission completely failed costing me 1300 dollars to replace, at 62,000 the second transmission failed me again, another 1300 dollars, now at 90,000 miles transmission is having problems down shifting on a downward incline,3,000 miles ago I was driving at 35 mph when the lower ball joint completely broke on driver side, wheel came completely off costing me 700 dollars to repair, was just informed the passenger side is going out now.

- Hanna, OK, USA

problem #2

Apr 042005

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,200 miles
Lower ball joint failure (separation) on right front of 2002 Dodge Stratus, pulling in to driveway, under normal driving conditions.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #1

Jun 202003

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,600 miles
My car makes a loud clicking/grinding noise while applying the brakes and turning. I have had the steering rack replaced, the upper and lower control arms replaced twice, the ball joints replaced twice, the control arm bracket replaced, the sway bars replaced. The noise stopped after the bracket was replaced but came back after a month. This car has been in seven times with no resolve.

- Goffstown, NH, USA

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