really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
82,550 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. trade for a non-american car (4 reports)
2003 Dodge Stratus engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 142012

Stratus 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


Worst car I've EVER owned!!! Every single month I was repairing one thing or another. In the year and a half I owned it I replaced the wheel bearing on the passenger side 3 times. 3 months after repairing the motor there was a problem in the timing chain area that could not be repaired, the only fix was to replace the motor. Getting rid of that car was the best thing I've ever done.

- Jessica K., Reynoldsville, PA, US

problem #9

Dec 222010

Stratus LS 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,879 miles

I would see so many dodge stratus cars everywhere and I would say to myself I have to get a car like that. Well in 2007 I did. I bought a 2003 V2.7 at about $2300. I thought wow it was a good deal considering the book value was like 5000. The car drove very well and I thought what a great buy. I used my car for work only and my job is like 10 min. away so I did not use my car that much. I bought it with 67000 miles on it and in three years I put in about 30000 since. Well like clock work as soon as I hit 100000 mark I started to hear noises and my heater stopped working. I took it to the shop and was told that the engine had coolant mixed in with oil and that it was not worth the money since it was going to need a new engine.

- Jorge R., Aurora, IL, US

problem #8

Oct 132009

Stratus ES 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

All I have to say is how do I join the law suit? I hear there's a class action in the works and would like to have the manufacturer pay to replace my engine. Other rants really don't matter. Just make the situation right.

- Torben E., Maple Valley, WA, US

problem #7

Jan 082010

Stratus RT 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


when it rains, it pours. laid-off, pregnant wife, and a blown motor i can't afford to replace. i really liked that car too. this is a dirty trick, dodge. i took very good care of that car, and any other would have had a lot of life left in it.

- kallyk, Maryville, IL, US

problem #6

Nov 072008

Stratus SE 2.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

I heard that the sludge problem was corrected for cars built after 2002. I found out the hard way that is not true. My car needs a new oil pump, but I have read enough complaints to understand that the new part is only the tip of the iceberg. I will try and sell this car as soon I get it running again. I started getting a warning oil light that went off when the car was above 1200 rpms. I checked oil for level, it was fine. I kept driving, after about two weeks, the warning light stayed on non stop after the car warmed up. On the last day, it started making noised under the hood, I have parked it, until I am able to take the timing chain and water pump off to inspect the oil pump. I am hoping to have it running again in a few weeks. Then it goes up for sale.

- tampamac2002, Port Richey, FL, US

problem #5

Apr 092007

(reported on)

Stratus R/T 3.0 L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Started hearing a loud knocking noise so took the car in to the dealership. Was told that engine sludge was the case and was told that I caught the problem in the nick of time. Engine head was cleaned and oil was replaced. Soon after the noise started again and I took the car back in only to hear that due to lack of maintenance I was unable to receive a new engine under warranty, even though they just replaced my oil and cleaned the engine... Just in the nick of time they said? So I got the engine replaced by a friend at a small mechanic shop up North, same model engine with about 33,000 miles. Again the engine began to knock and was told that it too was ruined. Now I will be getting my third engine in hopes that I can get it to the dealership in time to trade it before it starts knocking too.

- Steven D., Myrtle Beach, SC, US

problem #4

Feb 122007

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,425 miles


This is my second Dodge. My first was used(30,000 miles), so I figured the problems were related to the previous owner. Nope!!!!!! I bought a "NEW" 2003 Stratus 2.7L V6 in October of 2002. I have had every oil change at under 3300 miles, all documented by Jiffy-Lube, and all other services done at the Jack Caruso Regency Dodge here in Jacksonville. Cooling-system replaced @ 98848 miles = $1760. Engine headed to the shop this afternoon for estimate @ 99642 miles = (proposed estimate) $ARM & LEG.

Any Advice???

- David S., Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #3

Oct 302006

(reported on)

Stratus SE 2.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,810 miles

Replace 2.7L V6 with used engine, $4200.00 no warranty, use rebuilt engine with warranty add $ 6200.00, Sound like a credit card commercial. But, its the cost estimate that the dealership just gave me. Hell, this car is not worth it. It was a nice car and ran great day before yesterday, but not any more. The oil looks like sludge and the mechanic says the pan is full of brass. Says its not worth fixing, replace with a used engine.

I don't know what to do. Should I replace the engine myself, find a shade tree mechanic to replace it, buy a rebuilt engine or used engine, try to fix this one ???? Turns out this is a rare engine and hard to find, at least in this area. It is also one of the most expensive engines from the rebuilt car engine site. Can I expect that a used engine is in any better shape than mine was a few thousand miles ago?

I do know -

- I owe more than the car was worth running. (bankers and insurance agents take notice)

- This is the third and, last new or used Dodge I'll ever own.

- I'll tell all my friends about my Dodge experience (I don't have many enemies)

- Bruce L., Marlow, OK, US

problem #2

Mar 062006

(reported on)

Stratus 2.7L V6

  • 44,000 miles

I love my 2003 Dodge Stratus R/T from the very day I bought the car. Shortly after 30,000 miles it started blowing fuses. The dame car would not start and the Dodge dealership was no help. They said to leave it with them and they would try to figure the problem out. Yea right! They didn't. Well now the piece of sh*t is at the Dodge place and f*cked up because of engine sludge. They told me that there is nothing wrong with the 2.7 engine. My husband has read in magazines that the 2.7 engine causes engine sludge, so he changed the engine oil every 4,000 miles. Well it's f*cked up now and with out any documents to prove that the engine oil was changed I'm out of luck. Yes I have extended coverage, but it's no dame good. Well the dame car will get fixed, but I do promise that the car will be traded before the month is out. My husband owns a 94 Dodge pickup and it will be traded Asap.

I wonder why these Dodge people are looking for jobs? Well it because the dame dealerships doesn't stand behind their cars. Well I'm buying two Honda's and will never own another Dodge and I will pass the word. I promise!

- Teresa S., Winston-Salem, NC, US

problem #1

Feb 132005

(reported on)

Stratus 2.7L V6

  • 31,000 miles

purchased 2003 stratus in july 2003 had approx 4400 miles I had extended warranty 7yr/70,000m. nov. 23, 2004 heard knocking noise. called dealer and told my problem was told to bring car in on friday because they were closed on thursday for thanksgiving. I asked if they wanted me to drive the car with knocking noise until friday she said yea if it breaks down we'll have it towed. next day the noise was worse I drove the car to Arrigo Dodge (just barely) I couldn't drive it into the service lane it was that bad. I was given a rental. to make a long story short after 1 week with my my car and several messages later. I was told that my extended warranty was not honored because sludge was found and that was due to lack of maintenance. produced reciepts and I was told they have to have oil tested at their lab. almost 2 weeks later and several phone calls later i was told the test came back contaminated and this was due to lack of maintanece. the car is presently at Arrigo Dodge and has been since 11/24/04. I still owe $20,000+ on the car the car will be repossessed because I cant't afford to pay for something that is not doing me any good. I am very fustrated and aggrivated I have been stressed out for the past 3 months, this has been one of the worst car buying experices I have ever encountered. I will never purchased anything from chrysler again. CHRYSLER SUCKS!!!!!!!!

- qtpie05, West Palm Beach, FL, US

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