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Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi Engine Failure



  • Please file a complaint at (888)327-4236 You will need your vin#. I feel like if enough of us complain they will have to do something.
  • Wow, Todd's documentation is impressive.

    I was sure where you filed your complaint. Dodge told me I had to file @ (888)327-4236 This is the gov agency in charge of recalls. I also filed a complaint with dodge.
  • rickraffrickraff Posts: 3
    edited February 2013
    My original post is # 184 back in Nov. 2011. After about 2 months I had a mechanic rebuild my 5.7 Hemi and it is doing fine now. It was a broken rod and it did go through the block. After the $500.00 core charge for the block and the remove and replace cost I paid about $ 4,200.00 for a newly rebuilt engine with a 3 year unlimited milage warrenty. Otherwise I would have had a beautiful flower planter in my driveway.
    Like every on else I called Chrylser and they knew nothing about this problem.
    Today I filed a complaint with Safecar (888) 327-4236
    I asked and was told as of today there are 41 complaints filed about broken rods.
    The more complaints the get filed the more of a chance we have to get compensated.
  • After letting mine set for 6 months I had another mechanic ask to look at it. After doing all the tests he told me my number 3 cylinder is shot but it is repairable without replacing the entire engine. Has anyone else had these problems? I am half afraid to drop the $1,000 into it and have it break down on me again!
  • hey all, been reading about the problems with the 5.7 hemi. i too am having basically the same problems. i went to start my durango and it acted like it came up on compression but kicked back. then it acted like a dead battery. the stater had no power. so got out my battery charger and charged battery. when it started it made a scrapping noise. it still runs and is smooth running but this scrapping noise is still there. i was having problems with the starter like it was having a weak bendix and it would crash into the flexplate and not engage.but it would always start after a couple of trys. so figured i'd fix it when the weather got better. i sent a email to chrysler and they told me this is the first they have heard of the connecting rod problem. they really don't want us as loyal customers. so i went out and bought a kia. to heck with dodge. i have my durango in the paper for 3500.00 bucks. it still runs but i'm trying to get rid of it before it dies completely. there is no chance for me to get anything from them at chrysler. mine has 143,000 miles. my kia has 100,000 mile warranty. as far as i'm concerned dodge sucks. i'll never buy another newer dodge. i'll stick with my old 71 dart swinger. i know what it will do. good luck to the rest of you
  • This is exactly what happened to me today. Torrential rainstorm last night. Tried to start my 2004 Durango hemi. Acted like a dead battery. Jumped the car with my wife's car. Took a while to turn over then rattling very badly.

    Dodge you should be ashamed of yourself! This will be my last dodge product.
  • I can almost guarantee that the cause of both engines failing was the known cowl panel flaw in combination with worn intake gaskets allowing water to fill up one or more of the rear cylinders. This obviously causes a severe hydrolocking condition which either bends or snaps connecting rods. Fixed two of these last year by putting reman engines in. However I was not satisfied until I could find a reason for an otherwise good engine design to suddenly fail. Whenever I tested to see if the intake gasket was water tight, both Durangos leaked allowing water into the cylinders. This is a terribly simple problem that can be avoided by getting the $133.00 updated cowl panel which diverts water better. Along with a fresh set of intake gaskets that are not dried out and smashed flat. My sympathy to all of those out there with these 04-05 Durangos. They are just waiting to fail after a hard rain storm.
  • I would also like to offer anyone in the central Pennsylvania area my services. If I get my hands on another one of these I will be making a YouTube video on where and why these fail, allowing water into the engine. Would love to document hard evidence of a design flaw to help show that a recall needs to be done to make things right.
  • I'm planning to take this issue to small claims court here in British Columbia. I could use some evidence of others who experienced the same issue to prove the design flaw. I would really appreciate anyone willing to tell their story to email me at

    I'll be talking to Chrysler tomorrow.

    Thanks everyone,
  • twin2ctwin2c Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 5.7L HEMI Durango. Before the engine fail,i notice it was cutting back whenever it rained. Only in a hard rain will it do this.My wife drove Durango,parked it and tried to start it a few hours later and BOOOOM.That's it .
    What do you that would be a good use replacement engine?
  • I personally have had luck with the Spartan remanufactured engines through Advance Auto Parts. However, I'm sure any reputable rebuilder or a quality recycled engine would do just as well. In my experience the connecting rods breaking or bending was not due to an internal engine problem or bad metallurgy. It was from water entering the cylinders via the cowl panel and then through worn intake gaskets. If possible, open the hood and pour water around the base of the windshield. If it leaks through and sits around the intake plenum you know the cowl is a problem. Next have a mechanic (or yourself depending on your abilities), remove the spark plugs and use a borescope to see if the water is leaking through the intake into the damaged cylinders. If anyone else does this test please respond with results.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,999
    edited March 2013
    You may want to touch base with thecardoc3 in the "A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood" discussion. He's a tech out in PA too.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • If you decide to repair have your mechanic check the cowl panel to see if it is leaking water ontop of the engine. Also have him check to see if the intake gaskets are allowing water to enter the cylinders. Would highly recommend replacing it with the updated cowl panel.
  • lacy00lacy00 Posts: 4
    Thank you for the info. Unfortunately I got it back almost 2 weeks ago. He replaced all the valve springs as one of them broke. And I believe the number 3 cylinder. I will have to see if I can get someone to look at the cowl panel for me.
  • mizmo23mizmo23 Posts: 2
    When I realize that I can place a weather strip on the Cowl Panel, I did. Took me no more than 10 min. It has been 2 years since I did. Haven't had a problem since. Many laugh when they saw a little lady working on that big truck.
  • Chrysler Canada pretty much told me to take a hike. I swear to never buy another Dodge/Chrysler again. It will be their loss in the long run.

    Dear Mr. ,

    Your e-mail of March 2, 2013, addressed to Reid Bigland, has been referred to the Executive Review Committee for response and we are very sorry to learn of the engine condition currently affecting your 2004 Dodge Durango and of the pending repair expense.

    Further to our telephone conversation, at this time, your vehicle has passed the limits of the warranty by more than 5 years and 125,000kms. Unfortunately, Chrysler Canada is unable to provide unlimited coverage on our products and must respectfully decline your request for assistance with the cost any required repairs.

    Warranty limitations are not unusual with most consumer products. We sympathize with your inconvenience and we are sorry that we cannot honour your request.

    While we regret that we cannot provide a more favourable reply, we hope you can appreciate our position.

    Yours very truly,

    J. Mingay (Mr.)

    Top Care Manager

    Chrysler Canada Inc.
  • lacy00lacy00 Posts: 4
    Mizmo23, care to share where the cowl panel is and what type of weather strip you used? I am sure I can do this myself if I know where to place it and what type of strip you used. Thanks!
  • There is an -improved- version of the plastic cowl piece that is suppose to solve the water problem.
    I don't have the part number though. I looked it up a few years ago an it was around $100 then.
  • Wow, this is exactly what happened to my 2004 Durango this past Wednesday 3/6/13. It always ran great, no prior probelms, drove it to work and then got in to leave and bang. Dodge gave me the old "its out of warranty" so there is nothing they can do. I spoke to two different reps and got the same response. They are well aware of the problem with this 5.7 Hemi but they will not do anything. I have an 99 Honda Accord with 220,000 on the motor and it runs as strong as the day I bought it.

    I will never buy a Dodge again.
  • Sorry to hear about your problem sjerseyjim. Mine failed just a little over a week ago. Hydrolock in the problem with these 2004 Durango hemi's. Water runs right onto the intake manifold and after the gasket dries out water gets into the cylinders. I've been talking to Chrysler and they refuse to admit the problem. Since this issue doesn't show up until the engine has a few miles on it and the gasket dries it's usually out of warranty when it fails.

    The #@$%!'s from Chrysler Canada offered me employee pricing on a new vehicle. The nerve of them. I've already filed a Better Business Bureau complaint. You can also raise a complaint with the US DOT NHTSA.


    I've done the same here in Canada with transport Canada

    If eventually enough of us complain government has to step in and force Chryslers hand to fix their problem.
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