Dodge Stratus

Compare Car Models

Research top Car Models recommendations on ConsumerAffairs

Compare Companies

Consumer Complaints and Reviews

on
Satisfaction Rating

I bought my 1999 Stratus at a govt auction. It's a 4 cyl base and had about 67,000 miles on it. A massive maintenance/repair record was turned over showing many repairs already. Not long after having it I had to replace the blower, the driver rear window quit working, the pass front window works part-time. I've had replaced the bearings all around except driver front (told it would be next), the brakes have been gone through 3x and I'm getting a grinding noise like metal to metal contact and a squeal as though the brakes are going again! The air has quit blowing cold from last summer when it was great. Now I have to get the sys leak checked, evacuated and if good recharged. I wouldn't recommend this line of car to anybody!

on
Satisfaction Rating

This car has sucked from the moment I bought it. I am talking about a 2003 Dodge Stratus. I am convinced this car was constructed in Hell. First off who the hell puts a battery behind the wheel of the driver side. You have the put the car on a lift just to change the goddamn battery. Second, I have already replaced the water pump, ignition switch, and now a belt on the alternator. Third, Dodge blows ** and I will never buy from you again you communist.

on
Satisfaction Rating

I got my 2003 Dodge Stratus for a graduation gift in 2008. Within 4 days the engine blew because of engine sludge, and it sat in the shop for one month while they rebuilt the engine. One day while dropping a friend off I hit a pothole and it cracked my exhaust manifold and as a result, sometime that Summer, the heat from that melted my radiator fan. A few years later my back shocks started rattling (no big deal just very annoying). On my way home one day my brakes stopped working due to a faulty master cylinder. About 4 months later I changed my drivers side brake rotor because it was ground to a pulp.

So a few years went by and it stayed out of the shop. Then the engine started leaking oil, so much oil that I had to stop at Walmart one day and put a whole jug of oil in it while leaving a steady stream of smoke behind me on an hour long drive home. About two days later driving home from work my engine got really hot and almost burst into flames. Took it to the shop and they told me that I didn't have a drop of oil in the engine because the gaskets had all rotted. $1200. Two months after that my A/C compressor seized up and snapped my serpentine belt. Another $1200.

So far, so good (or so I thought). Replaced my battery 3 times and alternator twice since then. Now, I had just replaced both my tie rods because one snapped as I was straightening out while parking at home. Now just this past weekend I drive out to the junk yard to get a replacement window motor for my passenger window. I turn my wheel to go home and I hear a grinding noise. So I jack my car up a few inches and see that my passenger front strut has fallen into my wheel well and is grinding on it. At that point, I decide to just sell it at the junk yard I was at instead of putting more money into it.

No harm, no foul. I'm ready to drive the car onto the scale at the junk yard and as I'm backing out my ball joint snaps and brake fluid starts leaking all over the ground. I'm glad the junkyard had an understanding manager because he said he'd buy it. I'm so relieved that I can just unload it onto them and be done with it once and for all. I'm kind of sad since I've had that car for 7 years, but I'm also glad that I don't have to deal with it being in and out of the shop every year. Now I'm actively looking for the cheapest (in good condition) car I can find on pay here - buy here lot because my credit is shot and I don't have any money saved up for a new car.

on
Satisfaction Rating

We are buying this vehicle from my sister who bought it at a government auction, she was impressed at the amount of mileage that is on the 2004 vehicle and thought it would make for an excellent car. We can't get it to pass emissions though that is not our complaint. The trunk of this car is so heavy and almost too heavy for me to lift, the worst thing is it comes down so hard when you try to close it. I am 100 percent sure that if I'm putting groceries in the car it can slam down on my head and do serious damage. If someone’s hands are there the trunk door will literally break it, if our kids just happen to be standing with us while putting groceries in the car it will literally snap their hands or heads off. And this is no exaggeration. We cannot park on a hill and access the trunk, not for any reason because it is so, so heavy and doesn't hold up at all. It falls down hard slamming the trunk really hard.

on
Satisfaction Rating

We have an 01 Dodge Stratus ES 2.4L DOHC that we got used. Its manufacturing date reads Jan. 1, 2001, so it is a refit 2000 model, still having some parts from the 2000 model such as the. The engine is still very solid as indicated by compression tests, but I believe the previous owners did a very poor job maintaining the car so I am omitting problems that were purely caused by neglect. The biggest problem we had was a sudden breakage of the timing belt, which with this car usually means you have to replace the water pump. It's a tricky job, because you have to remove the passenger side engine mount and raise and lower the engine as needed. You also have to be very careful with the AC lines that are directly in your way because it is easy to break the seals on the expansion valve.

The other major issue I had was with the suspension. Perhaps the greatest flaw with this particular model is the crude design on the front suspension which relies on a stationary strut assembly and an upper control arm with a built-in ball joint to allow up and down movement as well as steering. Since the ball joint is not that well built and there is plenty of salt on the roads here in the winter, they inevitably go bad eventually. The only problem is it is built into the upper control arm, so the price is a bit higher than you would expect for the part and the replacement is a pain since you have to remove the upper strut mount from the strut assembly.

Installation is also a little tricky as you have to line everything up just right and of course, have your front-end alignment checked. Once I got past the problems caused by the previous owners and realizing I need to keep a close watch over the front suspension, the car performs well. We are up to 235K miles and it is still running very well. We are going to keep driving it for awhile. In summary, I would say avoid the Dodge Stratus models with the ball joints and make sure you keep up on the general maintenance as this car is not very forgiving if for instance you don't keep the coolant system clean.

How do I know I can trust these reviews about Dodge?

  • 633,951 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.

on
Satisfaction Rating

I love my 2000 dodge stratus V-6 2.5 L, I have 218,300 miles on it, it runs great haven't had to replace much, just the starter and the water pump, and had the timing belt changed and one tune up, this car is amazing and a lot better than some of my friends newer cars.

on
Consumer Increased Rating!
1

Well guess what? After I sold my car for junk the guy who bought it changed the timing belt on it and sold it! Therefore I must update my review. Yes, it has been the car I have had the most problems with and I will never buy a Dodge anything but as it turns out my issue was more of a mechanic problem than a car problem. I won't recommend a Dodge because in my experience this car always seemed to have an issue. In retrospect, sometimes you buy a lemon, it can happen with any car. Good luck no matter what you buy. :)

Jen of Brandon, FL on

Original Review

This vehicle is notorious for having the signal light and sound come up on your dash that there is a problem and within 5 minutes or less you are shut down. It is the worst car I have ever had. It has left me stranded so many times that I have used up all of my towing allowances with AAA - two years in a row! I just had it checked out for summer driving, spent a ton to fix the a/c and the very next week while driving down a busy main road the tone of an alert came on and I barely had time to pull to the side of the road before everything locked up and I was stranded - again. I had it towed to my mechanic and they said that the engine locked up. When I asked why they said that these cars are notorious for engine problems. I only have 105,500 miles on it.

Now a junk dealer will pay me $300 bucks for this thorn in my side. Bye bye new tires, new alternator and new compressor for a/c. Dodge sucks - just thinking of them makes me want to throw up. I just used my little bit of savings to buy a used car - it's not a Dodge. My advice is for you to dodge the Dodge. You won't regret it, it will be the best move you will make.

on
Satisfaction Rating

Bought this 2001 Dodge Stratus RT brand new in 2000. It's now 2015 - regular service when scheduled and now 178000 miles later no issues whatsoever. Great car.

on
Satisfaction Rating

This was my very first car, it was also my brother's. The miles that were on it originally were 96,000. This was a good car from the start and it now has 270,000 miles and the car has had nothing wrong. I just want people to be aware I'm not a know-it-all mechanic, I'm just a high school student with a job. This car is rough and tough and my brother and I have hit and banged the ** out of this thing. People need to understand that Dodge isn't a bad company nor is Chrysler, Jeep, or Ram. If you just do simple maintenance on the damn thing, it won't let you down. I will admit the tranny is skipping, but what do you expect at 270,000? It still idles and drives great!

on
Satisfaction Rating

I bought a 2001 Dodge Stratus Coupe SE, loved the body and style. And figured that because the car idled ruffly, it needed a tune up since I had already replaced every fuse, the air filter, power steering line, coolant line, battery, headlights, inner and outer tie rod ends, and the EGR Valve - plus 6 trips to the muffler shop due to the car always making the muffler explode. I contacted Chrysler about the recalls on the engine for my car and the power steering, they even recalled the transmission. All they could say was, "sorry you're dissatisfied. Contact us if there's anything else you would like us to do." I've replaced every steering component and its all broke within a month, and the car still idles rough and dies while driving.

on
Satisfaction Rating

I purchased a 2003 Stratus R/T Coupe about a year ago for my oldest daughter. We just loved the car from the moment we saw it on the lot. After test driving it for the weekend we decided to purchase it with cash paid in full. Loved the car! Then we had a good rain! Ok a leak in the seal of the windshield sucks, but fixable. Yeah Right! I start doing a little research online just to find out how common it really was for this vehicle to have this problem. The quick fix turned into puddles of water in the passenger floorboard first, then through the dash to the driver’s floorboard and now it has ruined all the wiring to the radio. It plummets from this point to all the other identical complaints of fellow Stratus owners.

We have replaced the front lower passenger control arm and ball joints. Now this week we change the spark plugs, which mind you is ridiculous to have to tear the top of the engine apart to get to three of the plugs. As soon as we started the car it started making a knocking noise, so we were afraid something was wrong with the way it was put back together or something had accidentally dropped in the motor. After going back through the process all over again we found that the top spark plug that we just changed was completely bent! Now the service engine light is on and the car is sputtering and doesn't want to stay running while stopped or idle. We hooked it up to get the code for the service engine light and it comes back that cylinder 6 is misfiring.

After going online to do some research I am finding out that I am actually lucking to only have 1/3 of the exact same problems that fellow stratus owners have had. I think it is absolutely wrong of Dodge to allow this to be overlooked when there are so many complaints of identical problems. It has hurt a lot of people financially and the stress is a whole other factor. It is sad that what was supposed to such a great first car for my daughter has turned into a nightmare that can only end if we get a money tree.

I will be trading the car in before the motor is beyond repair of my means, but with Dodge having the knowledge of how bad this vehicle can be I'm sure I will get lucky if they give me a $1000.00 towards the new car. SHAME ON YOU DODGE! For the amount of money we pay to own a vehicle they should be able to last longer than 10 years when upkeep is done regularly. I mean I have a 1998 Chevy Silverado that we use as an old work truck that has double the miles and has been through 3 times the wear and tear and it still runs like a dream. Get it together Dodge...and to think I wanted to purchase a new Challenger!

on
Satisfaction Rating

I have a dodge stratus and I’ve had it for almost a year because I had wrecked my first one. I bought it off a dealership, with the engine locked up. But in my first Stratus, it ran perfectly fine, never needed a new transmission or anything of that sort. I then changed the motors and the one I have now, also runs perfectly fine. I’ve no trouble out of it and I love it. But the only problem is that it’s a long car, I’m looking for something smaller.

on
Satisfaction Rating

I own a 2004 Dodge Stratus R/T. I bought it back in 2013 and now I've had it for a year. I knew it was gonna need maintenance. But it was a one owner and I bought it off of an old lady. It turns out the car’s engine and trans was solid! However, the car needed new struts, bearings, sway bar, and bushings. I mean that suspension was toast!! But after I fixed it, which was $800 for just parts, the car worked just fine. The only thing I hate about the car is the dog on paint peeling on the rims.

It’s crazy this car can still hit its top speed of 120 mph. I do regular maintenance on the car. Instead of every 3000 miles, I do 2500 miles for an oil change. I wish they did more with the Stratus back in the old days. It was a good car, but just wasn't enough to catch on to people. If they offered a Stratus SRT, I'm sure it would have sold. The only thing I wish I could find is original parts for this car. I want the original side skirts for the car but can't find them. I was also looking for the 17 inch rims and can't find anything. It’s extremely hard to find OEM parts for this thing. Other than that, it’s a very satisfying car.

on
Satisfaction Rating

2003 Dodge Stratus Sxt 2.4 - I drove to store - car was fine. Came back out from store, try to start car - just click from starter. New battery, new starter, new crankshaft sensor, new camshaft sensor, & checked timing - all aligned corrected. Click, Click, Click...

on
Satisfaction Rating

I bought my 2001 Dodge Stratus in 2009 with only 19,000 miles on it. The first few years of owning it, I was thrilled. I did the regular maintenance like oil changes, new belts, etc. Starting around 60,000 miles (now at 80,000), I have had nothing but problems. In order of repairs have been new brakes (not a big deal), new fuel pump, new battery, new wheel bearings, upper ball joints for the front, ball joints for the back, new back struts, new cam and crank shaft sensors and a few other things. Now my major problem is I believe my transmission is going out and my car is running horrible. It is leaking a ton of oil which they say is coming from my oil pan gasket and cam shaft seal. My car gets stuck in gear and now is doing a "jumping/skipping" thing when it's trying to switch gears. Also - my oil light is coming on only when I stop. I have taken it in and they just shake their heads and say it's a guessing game. My engine light is on but it has no codes. The car runs great one day, won't even start the next. This car has turned into a daily nightmare and I cannot wait until the day I can get a new car. I will NEVER own a Dodge again!

on
Satisfaction Rating

I just wanna say I have had nothing but problems with my 2000 Dodge Stratus. First the water pump, then the coil, now the pcm. What's next? Not to mention the rack sway links struts ticking in the motor and other various problems. Let's put it this way, in the last 2 years I have replaced almost everything except the motor and trans and there was a previous owner that handed me a stack of records for stuff she replaced.

on
Satisfaction Rating

2000 Dodge Stratus 2.4L DOHC - This car is all I have and I was so happy when I bought it 3 years ago. When I purchased the vehicle.. the 3rd day I had it the fuel pump went out on it. Then camshaft/crankshaft sensors (3 times), knock sensors, oil in spark plugs (2 times), coil pack, gaskets replaced, radio went out, only one headlight seems to go out all the time and now the latest... surging and sputtering... I have no clue what to do next.. The car that I really loved turned into my worst nightmare.

I need Dodge to buy this car back! Why, knowing all the failures, would Dodge still continue to let these death traps still ride on the roads? Where is the protection of the consumer? When I bought the car why wasn't I notified by Dodge of all the problems this car had, so that I could take it in and have all the things fixed? I had to do the research myself but by this time I was in debt trying to fix the Stratus. Dodge is failing. GRADE: F

on
Satisfaction Rating

I have a 2000 Dodge Stratus ES and I love it! It’s been in my family for about five years and it given us no problems! Why? Because I do the maintenance on time and I take my time and do it the right way! Most mechanics are lazy lying sacks of ** and don't care about your car, and being that this is one of the hardest and most time consuming Cars to work on that makes it worse because most mechanics will be lazy and charge you bank and do a temporary fix. That's happened to us. We used to have this lowlife mechanic who "fixed" the tranny leak on my dad’s at the time and charged him $800! Shortly after it started leaking again, so since I've got out of high school I've been going to my local college and I rebuilt the front pump of the tranny. It turns out that this ** just used a lot of silicone to try to fix the pump leaking. Also used it on the pan instead of a gasket T.T ghetto ** mechanic. But it is what it is. I fixed it myself with the help of my teacher, a service director at the Chrysler dealerships here where I live, and the tranny’s still strong at 125,000 miles. Same clutch disks that it had since the factory.

I beat on my car every day. I've hit the rev limiter countless times. Never blown the head gasket. My tranny is strong and shifts hard when I need it to. Once I even got wheel spin while shifting to second, hahaha. This car is a beast. So in conclusion to this very long and annoying letter this is a great car if it has a great owner. It’s just like a human. It’s only as good as its owner. Fill that human with McDonalds and you'll get a fat lazy slow unhealthy human. Take time to make it a home cooked meal, exercise and always make sure it’s healthy, you'll get a strong fast reliable human. MOPAR!!!!! Also if you want to see my car, go on YouTube and type in mine's R32 Skyline rapes Audi R8 race car and go to my channel!

on
Satisfaction Rating

In 2009 I bought a 2001 Dodge Stratus R/T. I must say that this car is amazing. One whole summer my car ran hot due to bad thermostat and no blown head gasket or cracked block. I finally got the thermostat and sometime later I was running low of oil. For several months I would have to keep putting oil because I was told I needed a valve cover gasket. No blown pistons and no blown engine. In short, this car takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. I know that I am pretty rough on cars and I feel sure that if it was any other car, I would have blown the engine a long time ago. Thanks Dodge for making good of your word, "Ram Tough". By the way I still haven't got the valve cover gasket fixed and my car still runs quite and I still get compliments on it.

on
Satisfaction Rating

I bought my dark, green Stratus brand new in Feb 1996. Within 3 weeks and under 500 miles, it was towed to the dealer 3 times. They put a computer on it. The speedometer at idle would jump all around, the car would surge in park and the car would just die. Well, I worked with the dealership for 2 months while they gave me a loaner. Finally, they asked if I wanted another Stratus. I did if it worked. They ordered me a new one and it took 2 months to get it. I haven't had many problems with the 2nd car at all. I did have to rebuild my transmission 4 years ago (2009) and it is running great.

I have lived in all sorts of weather - Indiana, Arizona and Minnesota and it has come through just fine except for the paint starting to oxidize. I currently have 132k miles on it and hopefully, I will be able to go further on it. It really looks great for its age. I keep my fingers crossed that it will keep going and I continue to keep it maintained under the hood. (When I first bought it, I had an old Audi 5000s. The Stratus handled and felt just like the Audi. The lines of the Stratus are still current. I am tall and have to fit in cars and this one fit the bill.)

on
Satisfaction Rating

2003 Dodge Stratus SXT was purchased (slightly used) in 2003. Even though the car is almost 10 years old, I drive mostly to and from work and the car has less than 85K on it. I have replaced the cam-position sensor 3 times. The fuel sensor quit working properly about 40K ago (so I use the mileage meter to tell me when I need fuel) and I've replaced the O2 sensor. Recently, the lights started flickering (dashboard and exterior) and the voltage light would regularly come on. I had to replace the battery as it had shorted out and I had been told the regulator was bad and I would need to replace the PCM. I had the PCM replaced 2 days ago and am now I'm having the same problem (with lights/radio, etc.). Oh, I also have the bad paint, peeling, etc. reported by others.

on
Satisfaction Rating

The ball joints of my 2001 Dodge Stratus keep falling out. I almost got killed. They have fallen out twice, and I researched this. I'm not the only one. What's it gonna take? Death?

on
Satisfaction Rating

My husband and I bought a 2004 Dodge Stratus for our daughter. This car has been trouble ever since. First, the transmission went out. Then, we have had rear axle replaced. It has overheated. Now we have replaced the battery, the alternator 6 times. It still won't run at night because now it has a short somewhere and mechanics want 50 dollars an hour to find it. We still owe on the car about 3000 dollars and it is not running. This car has been a nightmare and we would never purchase a Dodge ever again.

on
Satisfaction Rating

I have a 2003 Dodge Stratus RT. I bought it brand new in 2002. I have not had any mechanical problems with this car. My only two complaints are that the dashboard has warped and it looks horrible. My other complaint is that the topcoat of my paint has started to peel off. These two complaints make my car look horrible and the resale has plummeted.

on

The dashboard of 2004 Dodge Stratus has warped and came loose around the vents. I am not the only person with this problem, but there's no recall or company assistance with fixing it. It has cost me in the resale value of my car. I cannot sell it without fixing it, which means replacing the dash.

on

I bought a 2006 Dodge Stratus XT. After 50,000 miles, it started leaking oil real bad. The garage said gaskets were pretty much shot, and would cost hundreds to repair. Well, they did the best they could to patch it up since I couldn't not afford a new one But the mechanic said it may run 75,000 miles, or may not. He didn't know. He recommended I trade or sell it when I can. Dodge knew of this ** but said if the vehicle had more then 35K mileage, they would not repair it.

on

Never buy a Dodge Stratus from the dealership from any where. The Dodge Stratus is the worst car I have ever had. I bought my car in 2002 from the Nissan place. Ever since then, I have been replacing parts. The transmission is terrible. I have had it replaced twice. The Dodge cars are truly lemons.

on

On 2-19-10, my '01 Dodge Stratus R/T went up in smoke. I parked the car at my mother-in-law's home in order to accompany my father to purchase tires. The parked, off vehicle began billowing smoke from under the hood shortly after I left. My mother-in-law called the fire department and my husband who managed to get there and put the fire out before the fire dept. showed up. The department stated an initial belief that the fire was electrical.

A quick Google of "Stratus engine fire" turned up a whole host of sites that listed countless similar complaints. There was no indication that anything was wrong on the ride to my mother-in-law's home. I have had the general problems with my Stratus that many owners have had: the dashboard cracking from the compass to the defrost vent, insufficiently sized air conditioner drain holes that caused significant driver floorboard flooding, high idling not fixable by replacing related parts and having several adjustments, overly excessive fading of paint, oil sludge and leaking, seat sliding while driving. This, however, is above and beyond.

This was the only means of transportation for my family of 5 (including children ranging in ages from 5 to 10). The emotional impact of being a low income family in this position is staggering, as is the implication of no longer having a vehicle. This vehicle got my husband to and from work and job bids--it used to anyway. Poor manufacturing and the limits of depreciation mean that I will likely have the loan balance paid off, but I will not be able to replace the vehicle. That said, my children will ultimately be the ones paying the price for the abhorrent construction of the Dodge Stratus.

on

I have a 2006 Dodge Stratus, has 57,000 miles on it. It has blown the front seal 4 times, I have a 100,000 mile warranty. This was the only problem with the car, they put a new crank and bearing in it. Now the locks, radio and inside lights do not work, and the engine is misfiring. They say this is my problem, that this is not under warranty. The car did not have these problems when it was taken in.

Now my family and I are borrowing others' vehicles to get to and from places, such as work. We are also still making $391.53 payments on a car that has been in the dealership's shop for over a month, this has put a hardship on our entire family and daily life experiences, since we are without that car. They told us we could make a trade-in but only with a high dollar car, so the rebate will pay off this car. We are trying our best, but we truely do need this car back in working order.

on

I have a 2006 Dodge Stratus, have 57,000 miles on it. It blowed the front seal 4 times, I have the 100,000 miles warranty. This was the only problem with the car, they put a new crank and bearing in it. Now the radio don't work, and the back doors won't unlock, and the engine is misfiring. They say this my problem, yet it didn't have these problems when it was taken in.

Now I'm making payments on a car sitting in their shop. Having to borrow others' cars to get around.

Dodge Stratus Company Profile

Company Name:
Dodge
Website:
http://www.dodge.com/en/