Chrysler / Dodge 2.7L Engine Website
Complete Information Regarding Dodge, Chrysler Engine Problems. More specifically Dodge / Chrysler 2.7L Engine found in Dodge Intrepid, Dodge Stratus, Chrysler Sebring, Magnum, Charger and Chrysler 300. Find out what causes these problems, who is really to blame for the excessive number of premature catastrophic failures with these engines and how to fight it. Also find out what you should do first before bringing your Dodge, Chrysler Vehicle into the dealer for diagnosis and/or service. The Dodge / Chrysler 2.7L is a popular engine found in Intrepid, Stratus, Sebring, Magnum Charger and 300. This engine has made Chrysler, Dealers, Engine Rebuilders and Independent Repair Shops quite a bit of money due to its tendency to fail prematurely.
Dodge 2.7L / Chrysler Engine Design Changes
Chrysler is aware of problems and vulnerabilities the 2.7L Engine is prone to have and has quietly made various design changes over the years such as redesigning the Timing Chain Tensioner that was prone to premature failure in 2000, to making changes to try and prevent internal coolant leakage over time into the crankcase. For 2005, changes included improvements to the PCV system and for oil circulation, to even later increasing oil capacity by an extra quart in an attempt to make the Chrysler, Dodge Engine more robust. Unfortunately, even with all of these modifications we have been informed of premature Dodge / Chrysler 2.7L Engine failures continuing in even 2008 Dodge, Chrysler vehicles.
Chrysler / Dodge 2.7L Engine Problems
From 1998-2000 2.7L Engines are prone to premature catastrophic engine failure due to a defectively designed Timing Chain Tensioner that Chrysler quietly redesigned. Unfortunately, many consumers have had to pay out of their own pockets for this while Chrysler avoids responsibility.
From 1998-2004 Dodge / Chrysler 2.7L Engines are prone to Oil Sludge often caused by internal coolant leakage that has to do with the design of the Water Pump that allows coolant to enter the Engine over time and cause oil sludge, experts at a well known remanufacturing company say. The second common cause of engine sludge is from poor oil circulation caused by oil passages that are too narrow causing the oil to wear down more rapidly unlike normal engines. Another contributing oil sludge factor is possibly due to an inadequately designed PCV system that can also accelerate engine oil breakdown, which Chrysler later made improvements to for the 2005 model year along with other changes knowledgeable sources state. Although Chrysler is aware and there is nothing consumers could have done to cause this, Chrysler still regularly blames consumers for 2.7L Engine Oil Sludge.
Below is a photo taken of a prematurely failed Dodge 2.7L Engine's oil pan. Motor oil has been "cooked" onto the oil pan regardless of regular on schedule oil changes likely due to poor oil circulation in this Dodge 2.7L Engine. On the right side is a Chrysler 2.7L engine failed with thick black oil sludge caused by internal coolant leakage and contamination that caused oil to become thick and mucky leading to catastrophic failure.
Will Chrysler Cover Defective 2.7L Engines?
Chrysler regularly refuses to cover prematurely failed engines even when under its own 3 Year / 36,000 mile factory warranty while blaming consumers for these problems. These problems are so common and so well known that extended warranty companies also decline to cover Chrysler 2.7L engines. In many cases Dodge, Chrysler vehicle owners have changed or had their oil changed every 3,000 miles with name brand motor oil. Many consumers have even been able to provide proof while Chrysler still refuses to cover failed 2.7L engines under warranty. It is a common misconception that sludge is caused by brand or type of motor oil since all motor oil sold must meet the same basic standards. However, if the oil was changed regularly then Chrysler might say "it must be the brand or type of oil you used then". If you can prove that you used a leading motor oil, "where did you have it changed?". Chrysler might then tell you they are not going to be able to cover it then because you changed your oil yourself or had it changed somewhere else. In fact Federal Law (Magnuson-Moss Act) prohibits an automobile manufacturer to void a warranty or deny warranty claim based on using aftermarket tune up or maintenance parts, such as spark plugs or motor oil for example or 3rd party service, unless provided free of charge. There are other consumers who have followed the intervals recommended by Chrysler in their vehicle's owners manual that state oil changes up to every 6,000-7,500 miles are acceptable in normal conditions (depending on which the owners manual states) where they've changed their oil every 5,000-6,000 miles only to be told "you didn't change your motor oil enough and your engine failed due to neglect". In fact, Chrysler even currently recommends oil change intervals of every 6,000 miles for normal conditions in current owners manuals. When vehicles are purchased used from dealers and used car lots where consumers often believe they have no proof of regular oil changes prior to their ownership, Chrysler typically automatically refuses warranty claims blaming the previous owner. When a consumer has proof or regular 3,000 mile oil changes performed by a dealer we've heard of Chrysler going as far as to blame the dealer's lube technician!
How Dodge Chrysler Owners Can Fight This
First, ONLY have your oil changed by the dealer if possible. Unfortunately if you change the oil yourself or have it changed somewhere else it only makes Chrysler more likely to deny your warranty claim, even though this is actually against Federal Law (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act). If you changed the oil yourself, be prepared that Chrysler will likely blame you. If you have it changed somewhere else, know that Chrysler will likely blame them. However, if you have already experienced a failure and have already done so, be prepared if Chrysler and/or the dealer blames you for changing your own motor oil, a 3rd party that changed your motor oil or the brand of motor oil you used and direct your dealer and Chrysler to the federal law quoted below.
Change your oil every 3,000 miles if possible. Absolutely no more than 4,000 miles if you use and have been using synthetic motor oil. KEEP ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS! If you lost receipts, simply contact the lube shop, independent repair shop or dealer that changed your oil and have them print them out. If you purchased the vehicle used and do not have proof of oil changes prior to your ownership we recommend purchasing a CARFAX Vehicle History Report which will often reflect when previous Engine Lube Services were performed. You may also be able to have a dealer print out prior service records or summary of your vehicle's service history from their system. Reputable dealers also typically change the oil prior to selling a used vehicle where they should have a record of this being done at their service department. Make sure you have the PCV Valve replaced, even before recommended in the owners manual to be able to prove proper maintenance. Spark Plugs and Coolant in these engines are recommended at 100,000 mile intervals by Chrysler where in most cases this should not be of concern. If your engine fails, BEFORE YOU BRING IT IN TO THE DEALER, check the coolant level to see if it the coolant is low indicating coolant has entered the crankcase and caused your problem. Sample some of the oil and send it to an oil analysis lab such as http://www.blackstone-labs.com where they can test your oil for causes of sludge such as coolant/water contamination and excess fuel vapors, which might be able to help you prove your case beforehand. If your engine is making any kind of abnormal noise or there is excessive smoke from the exhaust, immediately bring it in to a Chrysler dealer for a diagnosis, only after performing your own inspection as described above. We also recommend persistently complaining to Chrysler using the contact information below, call, send certified letters or FedEx your letter and reference this website. Be sure that the contact name you provide matches your vehicle registration. Additionally, we recommend making NHTSA complaints using the following link http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq
Update: Although Chrysler claims the above mentioned problems and catastrophic 2.7L Chrysler Engine failures are not widespread, DaimlerChrysler has hired a 3rd party company to handle defective 2.7L Engine warranty claims, which would seem to prove otherwise. However, to get any kind of consideration, consumers will usually still need to have had oil changes performed every 3,000 miles by a Dodge, Chrysler dealership it seems in most cases. This is regardless of the intervals recommended in the owners manual and Federal Warranty Law (Magnuson Moss Warranty Act) as mentioned here. Consumers who have had oil changes performed every 3,000 miles by a Dodge, Chrysler dealership have told us that although typically costs $6,000-$8,000 to have a 2.7L Engine replaced, they have been insulted by low ball offers which pays less than half of the actual replacement cost to get them back on the road.
Chrysler and Dealers Have Violated Federal Law
The rules and regulations adopted by the FTC, to govern the interpretation and enforcement of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, are set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16 - Commercial Practices, Chapter I - Federal Trade Commission, Subchapter G - Rules, Regulations, Statements and Interpretations Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Part 700 - Interpretations Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Contained within these rules and regulations is Section 700.10, which states, in relevant part (with specific language highlighted), as follows:
“(c) No warrantor may condition the continued validity of a warranty on the use of only authorized repair service and/or authorized replacement parts for non-warranty service and maintenance. For example, provisions such as, "This warranty is void if service is performed by anyone other than an authorized 'ABC' dealer and all replacement parts must be genuine 'ABC' parts," and the like, are prohibited where the service or parts are not covered by the warranty. These provisions violate the Act in two ways. First, they violate the section 102(c) ban against tying arrangements. Second, such provisions are deceptive under section 110 of the Act, because a warrantor cannot, as a matter of law, avoid liability under a written warranty where a defect is unrelated to the use by a consumer of "unauthorized" articles or service. This does not preclude a warrantor from expressly excluding liability for defects or damage caused by such "unauthorized" articles or service; nor does it preclude the warrantor from denying liability where the warrantor can demonstrate that the defect or damage was so caused.” We think this FTC rule is pretty clear and unambiguous. Please note that the FTC requires the “warrantor” (this would, generally, be your motor vehicle manufacturer) to “demonstrate” that the defect in or damage to your vehicle was caused by your installation, 3rd party installation or use of a non dealer items such as Motor Oil for example, or an other “unauthorized” part, before a warranty claim can be denied. We contend that this requires credible proof as to the cause of a failure and not merely your dealer’s guess, speculation or unfounded opinion as to the cause.
Therefore, we consider any threat to void your factory warranty, or the actual voiding of your factory warranty, solely for changing your own motor oil, having your oil changed by a 3rd party or using certain brands of motor oil to be a violation of federal law, which is what Chrysler has done. If you have encountered this problem with Chrysler or a Chrysler motor vehicle dealer, who has failed and refused to “demonstrate” or prove, as federal law requires, that this has necessitated a repair for which warranty coverage has been denied, or a manufacturer, who refuses to perform warranty repairs on your vehicle, merely because of this or based on inaccurate information from the manufacturer or you dealer, then we recommend that you request that the dealer or manufacturer set forth, in writing, the warranty denial, together with a written statement as to the specific reasons for the denial of warranty repairs, and that you save a copy of this written statement. We also ask that you direct your dealer and manufacturer to the federal law quoted above.
Why Don't These Failures Affect Every Dodge, Chrysler Vehicle Owner?
Each vehicle is driven differently, in different environments under different conditions. Driving styles where most consumers drive under severe driving conditions under which more contaminants are produced, however some consumers might not. Stop and go traffic, excessive idling at times, short trips, dusty conditions, environment such as cold or humid climates all has an affect and can accelerate and/or contribute to these failures. Replacing the PCV Valve before the recommended service interval can help in some cases. Some consumers might have always ran fully synthetic oil which will circulate better at all times through narrow oil passages and in cold climates while also changing it more diligently. Other consumers may regularly change their oil far before the 7,500 mile oil change intervals recommended by Chrysler for normal conditions in the owners manual, for example every 3,000 miles. Regardless, there are even many consumers who "have" changed their oil every 3,000 miles only to have their 2.7L Engine warranty claim denied by Chrysler.
What Is acceptable Oil Consumption For An Engine Under Chrysler's 3 Year / 36,000 Mile Warranty?
Honestly, you probably don't want to know. Several years ago Chrysler issued a memo to all dealers stating that acceptable oil consumption for all Chrysler engines is 1 quart per 1,000 miles driven for all Dodge / Chrysler engines under 50,000 miles. Many Chrysler 3.8L Engines found mainly in the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country as well as the PT Cruiser 2.4L Engines and other Dodge / Chrysler engines have suffered premature, excessive oil consumption under warranty. We believe that Chrysler issued this memo in an attempt to avoid having to replace these defective engines under warranty. Consumers should also know that oil being low even by 1 quart can also sometimes contribute to or accelerate oil sludge!
Here is an example of what a Dodge / Chrysler Engine with excessive oil consumption might look like internally. Normally the Cylinder Walls should be smooth and shiny, rather than scored. This is a 2.7L Engine that suffered from excessive oil consumption under 70,000 miles.
Do Other Automakers Have The Same Problem As Chrysler and Dodge Vehicles?
The truth is yes while the sludge issues other automobile manufacturers have seem to be on a smaller scale. Toyota, Saab, VW / Audi have had reported sludge failures in a small percentage of some vehicles sold while each manufacturer has stepped up to the plate offering reimbursement for consumers who may have paid to have engines replaced and offering to cover sludge related engine failure for anyone that can prove oil changes have been performed. Additionally, these automobile manufacturers have also extended warranties on potentially affected engines. We praise these companies for doing the right thing, stepping up to the plate, covering premature engine failures and taking care of consumers. It's one thing to have problems where all automobiles have problems, which is understandable. However, it's another when consumers who have done nothing wrong are blamed, while the company profits like Chrysler.
Dodge, Chrysler Dealership Employees Speak Out About Common 2.7L Engine Problems
From a Chrysler Dealership Employee - Dodge / Chrysler dealers are making huge amounts of money replacing 2.7L Engines, so dealers have no interest in the truth coming out about the motors and if enough people accept their patent denials then no recall will ever come about unless enough people complain and a lawsuit is filed will DCX have to release the figures concerning these motors. I worked at a Dodge Dealership as a Service Advisor and have heard the higher ranking Dodge insiders believe that these motors actually have an internal coolant leak where the coolant somehow leaks into the oil inside the motor causing the sludging problem and subsequent motor failure. From the dealer's perspective and Chrysler's these problems only occur normally in vehicles with over 36000 miles on them which is out of the factory warranty Chrysler provides. How many people have believed they're every word and replaced their engines out of their own pocket? Someone does need to pursue this, attorneys if you read this, keep pushing this because I was just a Service Advisor and God knows how much Chrysler has engaged in a massive cover-up to keep this quiet, every parts person, technician, service advisor, district manager, service manager nationwide knows of these widespread problems with this 2.7 Liter motor but its such a huge cash cow for them they are conspiring as we speak to cover it up.
From a Chrysler Dealership Technician - The problems this website shows are all true, us technicians are seeing this every day, and yet are told to keep our mouths shut. For example, this happened at my own dealership about a year ago. A long time customer of ours, who bought her car from us, had it towed in because it would not run. Her car had the Chrysler 2.7 liter engine, and had approx. 63,000 miles on it. Later we found out the engine was dead due to oil sludge build up and our warranty claims adjuster blamed her for not maintaining the car. She then produced receipts to show that she had all oil changes done either on time or early at our own dealership. So what does this company do, blame the lube technician at our dealership and throw the engine cost at him. Yes, a 21 year old, barely making a living changing oil all day is now told by DaimlerChrysler that he must pay the repair costs for this lady. This company would rather blame things on its technicians then to admit its own problems.
Email Comment From One Expert: Just wanted to let you and your readers know that my company has rebuilt 2.7L Chrysler Engines available at $2995.00 + core + approx. $300 shipping to anywhere in the continental U.S. I AM A REPAIR SHOP OWNER AND CAN'T BELIEVE THIS EXCUSE FOR AN ENGINE THAT KEEPS US VERY BUSY. I believe it will end up in a class action lawsuit against Chrysler before long but in the meantime, we will provide Engines for those who need to get back on the road. And if they are near Grand Rapids MI, we can also install. Jerry Wineland, Integrity Auto Service
Register For Potential Class Action Suit Against Chrysler For Premature Dodge, Chrysler 2.7L Engine Failures
Above photo of Chrysler 2.7L Timing Chain defect in a Dodge Intrepid that typically occurs around 60,000 miles (1998-2000) - Chrysler quietly redesigns part (new part number while consumers are left to pay thousands for new engines after this breaks causing Engine damage while Chrysler accepts no responsibility.
Consumer Warning: The new Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Magnum based on Chrysler's new LX Platform comes standard with the 2.7L Engine. The same 2.7L Engine with a history of ridiculous, premature catastrophic failure due to sludge and other issues.
Chrysler's Own Top Engineer Acknowledges Chrysler 2.7L Engine Vulnerability and discusses problem, w/excuses and blame.
Alton, Va.- "Chrysler's 2.7-liter V-6 is more vulnerable to sludge damage if oil changes are not done at the proper time because the automaker decided to use less oil in the engine", said a top Chrysler engineer who helped develop it. Chrysler has denied any defect and blamed problems on poor maintenance. When the engine was being developed, Chrysler wanted to lower the cost for consumers and chose a smaller oil pan that would require owners to buy less oil, claims Burke Brown, who is now the chief engineer for the automaker's large, rear-wheel-drive vehicles including the Magnum, 300 and 2006 Dodge Charger. (when considering extra quart vs. consumers having to replace engines prematurely, Chrysler chose replacing the Engine as an alternative to an extra quart of oil?). But having less oil means it deteriorates more quickly, which makes proper oil changes crucial. "In retrospect, that took away the margin. More oil means it [the oil] deteriorates slower," Brown said during an interview here at a media preview for the Charger. "If you don't change the oil on schedule, they [the 2.7-liter V-6s] don't tolerate a lot of abuse in that regard." Burke Brown, who is now the chief engineer for the automaker's large, rear-wheel-drive vehicles including the 2006 Dodge Charger. Chrysler responded that it is helping consumers on a case-by-case basis (although requirements usually include dealership only service, which is actually illegal under federal law, that you are the original owner or had before schedule oil changes performed). Some of the failed engines were on resale vehicles, and current owners couldn't prove that the previous ones had changed the oil as recommended, leaving them with huge repair bills. In a telephone interview, Clarence Ditlow from Center for Auto Safety said the extra quart of oil could have helped some consumers. "A quart will give you a little more robust system," he said. Chrysler is not alone in having a sludge problem. Other manufactures have offered extended warranties while only Chrysler has declined to offer that.
Chrysler Ignores Letter From Center For Auto Safety
Just as with many other common problems and defects, same as ever, Chrysler hides behind its corporate doors - Chrysler’s faulty 2.7L engines have not only inconvenienced consumers, their finances have been stretched and their lives put in danger. Luisa Shah of Miami, Florida is an exemplary consumer who did everything right to take care of her 2000 Dodge Intrepid. She bought an extended warranty. She changed her oil every 3,000 miles. She drove cautiously. Yet in the middle of US 1 in South Miami "at a red light . . . without ANY warning lights, noises, or anything the car stopped running. It died in the middle lane. We had to push it to the side. It was rush hour and this highway is filled with very aggressive drivers. They were all cursing, beeping, signaling, and driving so close to us as to almost touch us. I was petrified. I thought a car was going to hit us." Despite the documented oil changes, despite the extended warranty, no one took responsibility for repairing the engine. DaimlerChrysler and the extended warranty company all sang from the same page – "we don’t cover oil sludge damage." The dealer said it wasn’t right because oil sludge was normal for 2.7L engines in Dodge and Chrysler cars. Yet Mrs. Shah wrote at the end of the day: "I still owe $8,000.00 on the car and every day I sit in it to drive I pray to God that it takes me to where I need to go and then breaks down, but that it does not break down in the middle of the road. I live in physical (due to it leaving stranded in the middle of the road), mental (worrying about it breaking down) and financial stress (how am I going to pay for another breakdown). I am 33 years old and I am pregnant with our first baby." In sharp contrast, VW and Toyota, which have experienced problems with oil sludge and premature engine failure in their vehicles, have extended the warranty to cover engine oil sludge damage. Although, the recommended oil change schedule is every 7,500 miles or 6 months for normal driving cycles under which most consumers fall, many Dodge and Chrysler owners report they change the oil more frequently and often meet the 3,000 mile heavy duty recommended oil change maintenance schedule. Even then, they have 2.7L engine failures due to oil sludge.
Center For Auto Safety Letter To Chrysler President - Dieter Zetsche Regarding 2.7L Engine Problems, August 26, 2004
Second Letter To Chrysler President - Dieter Zetsche Regarding 2.7L Engine Problems, October 12th, 2004
Complain To Chrysler, Call, Send Your Letter Certified
Chrysler LLC President: Sergio Marchione
1000 Chrysler Drive
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Phone: 1-800-992-1997 (Monday - Friday)
Chrysler Canada President: Reid Bigland
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