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Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi Engine Failure



  • drrighteousdrrighteous Posts: 49
    edited December 2011
    I want to REMIND everyone that a "class action lawsuit" will NOT get you compensation for your bad engine. It will only enrich lawyers and maybe get you a check for $15; you share of a settlement. The only way this will see the light of day is for the government involved. FILE A COMPLAINT with the NHTSA. When there are enough people complain about this issue they will take action.
    I'm not a fan of our government but i really distrust lawyers for the scheming thieves they are.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Do you really think the NHTSA will do anything though? They are mostly only concerned with safety issues. I don't know if they would think a blown engine is a safety issue.
  • Its absolutely a safety concern ours happened while traveling on the highway at 70 mph. Thank god my husband was driving and not me as I would of probably freaked out. Bottom line something needs to be done, we paid 5300 for new motor because we still owed money and had to fix it.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I understand you feel it's a safety issue, but they may not.
  • i had the same problem! i was driving it down the road and CLANK, rod through the motor! bought another motor (used) and 6 months later...CLANK! same thing happened! do you know if there is any recalls on the 5.7 hemis? where should we call or what should we do? does chrysler have any idea of this problem? any help or suggestions would be great!
  • and i forgot to add that our 04 durango actually caught fire from where the rod went through the block and oil got on the exhaust while we were driving down the road (me, my husband and my 1yr old son)! Thank god we caught it in time! we arent rich...but hopefully this problem can get fixed! but will we be safe?
  • My Duango had a broken crank and seized engine, I called and filed a complaint with dodge, they actually sent it to a case worker..he as well as all the mechanics around here have NEVER seen this problem before... i asked them about the oil sludge problems that their vehicles have their comment was that if the owner doesnt get a "proper" oil change which consists of flushing out the system.... I called his bluff ( says NOTHING in owners manual) and he changed that story to using oil that doesnt burn well in their engines like for instance Pennzoil! I of course mentioned all the cases that were online and he said that you only get one side to the story.... All he kept saying was I understand where you are coming from! They dont want to admit that their product it absolute GARBAGE!
  • Yes the Dodge Dealership in Olando told me the same thing about my transmission problems that I had my car in for 7 times. They changed all kinds of part and charged lots of money. I finally took mine to a transmission place and got the transmission oil changed and it was fine. As all this was going on, my boyfriends 2004 Dodge Ram (74,000 Miles) the fluid from the radiator leaked into the engine oil. This is after they had cleaned the fuel injectors.
    They gave me a case number and manager as well...he must have been about 18 years old. Nothing was ever solved, just said the hemi's are notorious from transmission problems. Good luck with Dodge.
  • drrighteousdrrighteous Posts: 49
    edited December 2011
    I'm very familiar with the different generation of Chrysler transmissions. The "hemi" automatic transmission, the 545RFE auto transmission is actually an excellent transmission, and much better in design than earlier iterations which were based on the ancient TorqueFlight 727 3 speed (designed in the 50s) with the addition of a overdrive module stuck on the rear. This is a A518.
    The A518 4speed auto (and the hydraulic and electronic controlled version) were good, but outside issues killed many of these prematurely.
    #1. INCORRECT TRANSMISSION FLUID. Even mechanics believed the myth that Dexron II was "the same" as ATF 3+ or 4+. And since Dexron was less than half the price; why pay more? They are totally different, and running Dexron of any kind drastically shortens the life of a Chrysler 4 speed automatic.
    If ANYONE suggests you run anything than AFT 4+ transmission fluid in your hemi powered vehicles, IGNORE THEM COMPLETELY; no matter what expertise they pretend to have.
    #2. Poorly designed fluid cooling circuits in some vehicles.
    Some vehicles (Jeeps for one) had a "non drain back" check valve in the cooler line. This was a good idea but poorly executed. The valve would clog and negate the purpose of the cooler circuit thus running the transmission too hot, and shortening it life.

    The 545RFE was a all new design and had has a few quirks. But I very rarely hear of complete catastrophic failures of these which was much more common in previous generations. The problem is dealership service departments SUCKS at many dealerships. They hire shade-tree mechanics that are NOT certified on these transmissions. They don't read the service bulletins (or service manuals), so they throw parts at them that don't solve the problem.
    Like I said in an earlier post; most dealership owners are NOT interested in providing good service. They are interested in MONEY and they make that by moving a large volume of easy fixes through the service bays. Hard problems they blame on the customers. If you are getting bad service at a dealership, FIND ANOTHER. This is a reality in the car business now a days.
  • I have a 2004 dodge druango with a 5.7 hemi with 78,500 miles on it... Went to start it for a nice long drive with my family and heard a god awful noise coming from the engine, it almost sounded like a tree branch got sucked into the fan. Went to try to start it again and would not turn over! Had it towed to my mechanic thinking it was just the starter.... they replaced it and it would still not turn over, they looked into it a little more and determined that my engine seized.... they said that I had a broken crank, and that the crankshaft position sensor was loose from the mount and behind the starter.... Guess I know why my starter needed to be replaced... needless to say they told me that I needed to replace my engine! Wonderful... right before christmas.... I am a stay at home mother with 3 children under 5 and we are down to 1 vehicle..... I figured that I would call the company and see if they would cover anything, and if they had ongoing problems with this engine (of corse NOT!). The first call I made i got a woman that just blew me off, the second time I called my case got passed higher up.... They basically told me that I needed to take it in to the dealership to figure out the "Cause" of the seizure.... Now my sister had the vehicle before me and she was very good at maintenance but bad a keeping obviously it wasnt neglect... This Diagnosis is going to cost anywhere from $500-$3000 just to find out what the cause was.... Then MAYBE they would cover some of the new engine.... The kicker is the mechanic I spoke to at the dealership told me that if the engine was seized then they would not be able to determine the cause and that dodge would not cover the cost of the diagnosis..... So basically I would be out the$500-$3000 AND would still have to buy the engine!!!!!!!!!!! I REFUSE to pay for the diagnosis so there is NOTHING that dodge will do for me, not even offer a discount! I am going to complain to the NHTSA and hopefully everyone else thats having problems with this POS engine does too, then maybe Dodge will do a recall on this engine!!!!!!
  • Can anyone tell me what engines are compatible with a 2004 durango... Or what years of durango hemi engines I can use... I have to replace mine at 78,500 miles and DO NOT want the same'04 POS hemi back in it!
  • Dont waist your time.... I had the same problems and they wanted me to pay for a diagnosis and IF they cover anything that charge will be included, but my theory, they will find any loophole possible NOT to cover anything! Even with receipts they find some reason not to pay!
  • drrighteousdrrighteous Posts: 49
    edited December 2011
    Before you start wondering about what else you can put in your defunct durango, lets look at the big picture.
    The older "LA" type engines are obsolete because they cannot meet the more strict EPA emissions. This is why the new 4.7 and 5.7(hemi) were developed. The older (and very reliable) engines WILL NOT work in the 2nd gen durango ('04 and up) because the electronics systems are not compatible.
    The cruel reality is you cannot get away from this cheap. My BEST advise is to located a direct replacement engine, and pay a local honest mechanic to install it; then SELL YOUR DURANGO and try to recoup the some of your investment.
    An easier route would be just trade it in as is on something else. If you can escalate this with Chrysler customer care you might get a concession on a trade in. Some have suggested contacting the media on this; I say go for it.
    It is a cover up and the issue is well known but they are forbidden to acknowledge that it is a real problem.

    Prices very greatly from area to area but I purchased another '04 5.7L hemi with only 60K miles from a wrecked Durango. Engine was $1600. I paid a mechanic that was a family friend to install it. Labor, oil, plugs, etc totaled $1600.
    So we got away much cheaper than the $5500 dealer estimate for the same job with a re-manufactured engine.
    Over all I'm not endeared to Chrysler products anymore. The old "Ma MoPar" would have NEVER put an engine in a vehicle that has such poor quality internal parts. And that company was an AMERICAN one. Ma MoPar is dead. After being raped by the Germans, and now the Italians are pimping her out just to sell crappy Fiat cars in the US.
    What is this? The return of the Axis powers? Sheesh.
  • I had purchased a 2004 Dodge Durango Limited all wheel drive V-8 Hemi 5.7 liter in 2008-09. It ran fine. I had oil changes done transmission done when it was required every 3000 miles. I did not have a problem with it until this year in October-November 2011. I had notice that when I had my radio running it, the whole panel would get so hot it would just turn off, then when it cooled off you could turn it back on, but it was so hot you could smell a light scent of a wire smell burnning. So i didn't turn that on for about two months and I had called the Dodge place and ask if there maybe some kind of recall on to fix this problem and they said No. The next thing that went wrong was my truck would just stall out in the middle of the road, I could restart it and it ran rough, and tried stalling at stop signs or red lights, so I again Called the Dodge place and ask if they had a recall on the durangos for stalling out problems again they said no. so i went to 89 octaine and it seemed to work a little better but would stall out if it was rainning.In either Oct. or Nov. of this I had all of my oil changes and everything that was up for maintence done so I had them all done. Well after I drove out of the lube place my truck started dying out again so I called them up and ask why it was doing that, they didn't know, but they looked at it again and said all of the fluids were fine and they didn't miss anything. The last time I drove my truck was the day before Christmas and it was fine. Today I got into my truck and cranked it up and all I heard was this very loud knocking noise, which I thought maybe it might be the fan belt that might have been broke or another belt or my fan hitting the ratator, but No that is not the problem , I think I have 93,000 miles now ,when i bought it the mileage was 57-59000. What is this knocking noise as I have not driven it since I heard that noise when I cranked it up . Can someone help me or give me a number to the dodge manufacturing place so I can call them
  • My daughter and grandson made a 4 hour trip to her dads. The Dodge run fine going down but when they got in it 2 days later to come home it made this awful noise. We got them back home and her father took it apart and the same problem as everyone else and rod went through the block. I went online to check out if anyone had the same problem and there 100's of you. There has to be some way of getting Chrysler to help with issue. I wonder if getting a hold of your local TV station and see if they will check it out. I sent an email message to our local station. We need to let people know. I got online when she had the problem and had know ideal. This isn't safe. Good Luck everyone.
  • My engine overheats. Top radiator hose swells, and the coolant is not circulating. Of course this not my first issue. It's past time for an engine recall.
  • so how many miles do you have on your durango?
  • hello,

    there is nothing you can do that i know of. i just bought the neighbors 04 hemi durango (136,000mi) across the street with a shattered rod. i found an engine from an 05 ram with 36,000 miles in a bone yard in wisconsin. put it in and now were running fine. i was beyond disappointed when i seen the internals of this 04 engine and i understand that if they were to make a recall, every engine would have to come back. they are ticking time bombs. good luck, my neighbor was quoted 9000.00 at the dealer and 5800.00 at the corner garage by my house. i found an engine for 2100.00 and put it in myself, took about 4 days.

    again, good luck
    hope all goes well for ya.
  • It sounds like your thermostat is not working. Mechanically, the thermostat regulates the coolant that circulates through the engine. When the motor is cold the thermostat restricts the flow of coolant allowing the engine to reach normal operating temperature faster. As the engine and coolant warms up the bi-metal in the thermostat relaxes and allows the coolant to flow unrestricted. The thermostat is located between the radiator and the engine coolant return port, which is located at the end of the top radiator hose. I would replace the hose and thermostat. The cost of the repair shouldn't be over $100.00. I hope this helps!
  • I agree Jeff. Luckily, I purchased a warranty along with my 04' Durango. The Warranty Company located a used low mileage (35,000 miles) 08' motor which was installed. The truck has run great since the exchange. I will add, now that I know this is such an issue and class action probably won't work, we all should take Chrysler to Small Claims Court. File for the maximum claim limit and see what happens. It's been two years for me at this point(since I purchased vehicle) so I am concerned with the statue of limitations. Each state is different so I would check your local jurisdiction. Small Claims courts have a lower burden of proof as to allow the general public to pursuit legal remedy without baring the cost of legal representation. I am currently looking into this remedy and I am interested with any input from our forum members.
  • I’m the original owner of a 04’ Durango 5.7 Hemi. With less than 80K miles driving 35 MPH.... BAAM, a rod puts a hole through the engine block. Oil that looks like liquid gold is weeping to the ground.

    I paid over 35K for this car, never towed anything, just drove it like a normal car. And yes, I changed the oil!! I wanted this vehicle to last another 75K being a V-8 and all, is that asking too much?????? My dad’s 1981 K-Car with a 2.2 engine lasted longer than my HEMI!!!

    Why is Chrysler in denial? I’m still waiting for my agent at Chrysler to call me but based on what I read, it looks very depressing. Didn’t Toyota give 15K for vehicles with over 200K miles due to rust on the frame?

    Do I keep the car for a year or two in hopes there is a forced recall? SHAME SHAME SHAME on Chrysler. Why is not Motor Trend or the Attorney Generals of all the states doing something/ How about using facebook? I feel like crying now, no family car, tough economy, no help from Chrysler as I type.....
  • There are so many of of with the same story of our $35- 40K vechicles becoming lawn ornaments just out of warranty. Please file a complaint on web site, Hopefully they will take notice. I sold mine to a junkyard....I will NEVER buy and American vechicle again.
  • My brother has a 2003 Saturn, 4 cylinder that has over 200K miles. My sister got 23OK out of her 93 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Not all are bad but I understand your point. Will NHTSA really do something? Thank goodness I was not on a highway when the engine blew.
  • Why don't we all load facebook or twitter with complaints like people did when verizon tried to charge $2.00 to pay their bill online? There has got to be something we can do about these lemon hemis.
  • I have submitted two to the NHTSA, but they said that they will look into it I paid 15K for a used hemi which is not good. I have had it maintenced and just placed new tires and I even had a tire that was rubber half off before the indicater light didnt even come on until after it was to late. I am refusing to pay anymore on this truck as they can have it back I am going to file bankruptcy.
  • Ok, so i think i figured out why we are all having or will have problems with the Hemi breaking rods in our Durangos and i think Dodge should admit its a manufacturers defect!. Have you noticed the engine wants to stall when its raining or when in a car wash? How many of us are saying, hey my Durango was fine till i cranked it up in the morning.. well do you remember if it rained that nite? Hmmmmm...... The durango does not have to be in motion for water to get into the engine bay, you will see in this video that tons of water is making its way into and on top of the motor/ intake causing it to get sucked in or simply work its way into the intake and into the cylinder causing the hydrolocking and eventually a broken rod! Hmmm... come on Dodge!

    By the way the water is seeping in via the cowl cover that rests on top of the lower part of the front winshield. Dont believe me? open your hood and spray your windshield.. =)
  • My Case Manager said I need to bring the Durango to a Dodge Dealer and pay them to conduct a diagnosis, to see if the engine was abused or neglected. What are they, social services? I abused a 76,000 mile engine???? What is abuse and how is it determined?

    So even if I pay for a new motor, the water is still going to weep into the engine compartment and ruin the motor? My engine failed when it was sunny and dry, if that matters anything.
  • There is a technical service bulletin out for that. Funny though that Dodge says they are not related when my He I blew a year ago.
  • The 2 are unrelated.
    The water problem is a poor design of the plastic cowl cover. There is a service bulletin on it and there is an updated replacement cover. Normally the stalling and rough running issue is simply the ignition getting wet. Sometimes it is accompanied with a check engine light because of a cylinder misfire code.
    Getting water INTO the engine (not on) would have to be a severe breech in the air cleaner assembly or a severe leak in the intake manifold and a huge volume of water, more than the cowl leak will produce. In either one of these events there would be a check engine light. The factory air box/air cleaner system is designed to be water proof under normal circumstances. If someone is driving the vehicle with NONE of the air intake parts installed there would be a risk of hydro-lock because there would be nothing protecting the engines air intake tract. To hydro-lock an engine it has to ingest a significant amount of water all at once.

    For an engine to hydro-lock it has to ingest a lot of water equivalent to the air box or air filter being partially submerged.
    I have seen this a few times when someone drives a 4x4 across a deep water hole or stream and enough water splashed up the engine gets a "big gulp".
    What happens is there is standing water in the cylinder and when the rod moves up for the compression stroke it can't compress it; the weak link is the rod and piston.
  • Well said dr.righteous! My wires get really wet during a rainstorm or car wash. The plastic cowl cover leaks around the wiper shafts and there is a plastic gromet in the middle that allows water through to engine wires. I installed the K&N cold intake on my vehicle which meant removing the OEM intake box. The box offered some protection but now the wires are fully exposed. So, thank you for infomation on the service bulletin!
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