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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,823 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 #9

Jun 012010


  • 186,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Stratus. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. Upon further inspection, the contact noticed that the rear driver side ball joint fractured from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who diagnosed that the ball joint needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred over time with the remaining three ball joints detaching from the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 186,000.

- Wilson , NC, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Feb 182015

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
My daughter pulled out of mcdonald's turning right and the left wheel collapsed under the vehicle. There was no accident and no one was injured. I had it towed to our house. I have read on line and found that it is a common problem.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Jun 162013

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 64,800 miles
I got in my car to drive home and as soon as I started the car and turned the wheel just a little, I hear a popping sound coming from the steering wheel. The light on the dashboard came on stating "air bag". I have already had problems with the ball joints I had to replace myself and other issues with this car. Now I have a faulty air bag that is making noise every time I turn the wheel. I also found out I have no horn. It does not work since the air bag is faulty. I am not protected with an air bag and can not defend myself with my car horn...I need help!

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #4

May 032012

Stratus 6-cyl

  • miles
I have been hearing a terrible noise everytime I turn my 2002 Dodge Stratus. Often times I can't even turn the steering wheel. I have to get my car inspected and I found out that I have to have my front lower control arm/ball joint replaced because it failed. I also found out that this item was recalled.

- Bradford , PA, USA

problem #3

Dec 012008


  • 70,000 miles


I have had to replace control arms on my 2002 Dodge Stratus several times now. There is constant knocking under my car. I believe it is the same problem as all of the recalls that are with the Dodge products; however, no recall has been issued for the Dodge Stratus 2002.

- South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #2

Aug 032006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,560 miles
My daughter was driving the car on a residential street at about 25 mph. She hit a slight pot hole and hear a loud bang in the rear of the car. The car continued to make a sound like something was rolling around (banging) in the trunk. I took the car to the dealer and was told the rear strut plate mount disintegrated and was dangerous to drive without replacement. I was aware of another Dodge Stratus of same type and year with this exact same problem so I felt I should report it to you as did the other party.

- Kenmore, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Ther is a definite noise in the right front coil spring area. It only shows up on uneven or rough surface roads. The dealer keeps insisting there is nothing wrong with the front end. Of course all of the roads they test drive it on are smooth. They won't let me take a tech on a drive in my area.

- New Tripoli,, PA, USA

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