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Dodge Durango idling up and down

nettie3nettie3 Posts: 1
edited July 2015 in Dodge
I can not figure out what is wrong with my car I really can not afford to take it to the shop so I'm trying to see if I can fix it on my own. The car idles on its own with out me doing anything to the car sometimes the service engine light goes on which makes the car jerk. I took it to a shop and was told it was the idle speed control motor. So I bought the part and put it in myself, but the problem still continues. The shop also said it might be the TPS. Can someone help me?

See Also
Edmunds Answers: Dodge Durango Idle Question



  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    If the codes are still stored from the service engine light, you could get the codes pulled for free at many auto parts stores. The last shop may have cleared them, so you may have to wait until the light comes on again.

    Check the Dodge Durango: Problems & Solutions discussion for any related posts over there (try a Search This Discussion for idle).

    Steve, Host
  • My wife's 05 Durango surged forward at a stop sign causing a fender bender even with the brake engaged. The dealership claimed a sticking solenoid and fixed it. The surging just happened again with no accident thankfully. The revs. took off to 3000 at a stop sign. Both cases were with a cold engine. This stirikes me as a major safety issue. The wife won't drive the car until we are sure the problem is fixed. Anyone out there with the same issue (with the Durango that is!).
  • It started with this last tank of gas I put in. Week previously filled up and ran a bottle of Lucas through. I have a 1999 Durango 5.2L 2wheel drive. It has 129,000 miles on it and runs like a top. Now this tank of gas has caused problems. It will start but as soon as you push on the gas to go it will die. I have changed out the TPS and the IAC also new plugs, wires cap/rotar. The fuel filter/pump is one assembly and in the gas tank. Hope it is not that. $225.00. Could it be my Map sensor? Please advise.

  • mojo01mojo01 Posts: 2
    I had problem replaced TPS (throttle position sensor) took care of it- it can be going out with out setting any codes
  • mojo01mojo01 Posts: 2
    I have 2001 dodge durango have a extended crank when cold does not happen on immediate restarts any ideas
  • I have a 2006 Durango that is in the shop now and they have not been able to find the problem. Same as you, it surged at a light up to max revs, dropped off and then rev'd again for about 15 seconds. Luckily I was firmly on the brake and even though it moved forward a bit, it did not hit anything.
  • I have just started having the problem. Fuel pump was replaced and did not solve it. Have you had any luck?? Dealership shop is baffled.
  • dscurr01dscurr01 Posts: 1
    recently i have been having a problem with the idle also, i have changed the plugs air filter and put in fuel injection cleaner and its still an on going problem. anyone been able to get the problem solved?
  • jjans43jjans43 Posts: 2
    I am having the same problem with my "00" 4.7. At idle or while driving you can see the rpm's go up and down (3-400) at a time. This does not happen all the time but it is unusual? I have been told to do several tings, 1) clean the throttle body at the butterfly with carb cleaner(sticking)? 2) replace the idle speed control module? Haven't done anything yet though.
  • ron68ron68 Posts: 1
    1999 4.7.
    Was/is idling high. Cleaned throttle body luck.

    In the past i had heard what i assumed to be the fan switch click on and off. However because of/while doing the above with car running, I noticed the switching was from the air conditioning unit switching on and off.

    Checked nob on console, air was off, blower set to blow from upper and lower (arrows). Moved the knob to another position to the right, and, the air stopped switching on and off and the car idled down! Stands to reason that the idle would be high with air conditioning on. Now to find the solution.

    The fix? maybe someone can share their knowledge. All i know is the hight idle was getting bad and i have to now change brade pads, and, what sounds like front u-joint.

    Escanaba, Michigan
  • dankcdankc Posts: 2
    My 99 v8 starts acting a bit strange lately. Anytime after I
    downshift to speed up by hitting the gas pedal, the rpm fail to return
    to normal even when I stopped the car, the ideal speed will stay at
    around 1000-1100rpm instead of the 700rpm idle, I have to stop the
    truck and momentarily tap on the gas pedal to correct it. Will happen
    again from the next stop and go.

    Also another issue is when it is picking up speed from stop, it has a
    hard time upshifting to second gear not until it went up to around
    2000rpm in
    about 2s.

    Not sure if relating to the IAC unit and if these two issues are
    related. Appreciste if anyone can give some advise.
  • We've also had the surge problem especially on the highway and in cruise control. The dealer could not fix it. They have a great assistant service manager who also has an '03 Durango and he suggested the TPS-Throttle position sensor. He had the same problem in his Durango and Ram truck. Its a cheap part and easy to replace. IT worked for us. We have not had a surge since.
  • w0unxw0unx Posts: 1
    Dodge Durango 2000
    4.7L (V8)
    94,000 Miles

    Guys, I am a little stump as well as some other mechanics; Maybe someone has had the same issue or something close to it. The vehicle was running fine and then the check engine light came on and there was erratic idling (500RPM to 1500RPM at a stand still), one of the spark plugs was mis-firing, so the wife told the mechanic to go ahead and do a tune up, Now that the erratic idling is gone (idles at roughly 700RPM or so), now when driving I notice a vibration (not too rough, but enough to now something is wrong) and what I believe is a sound of airy and/or fluttering (I do not know how to describe it) between 2000 and 3000 RPMS, and appears to go away once I am at about 45+MPH. It does not do this on a cold start, only after about 5 minutes or so of drive from 25 - 35MPH (2000-3000RPM). I just assume after the mechanic did a tune up he had not cleared the computer, so I reset it by disconnecting the Negative cable from the battery, but still no dice. The dealership says to come in and they will hook it up to the computer, but that will cost another 100 bucks for a diagnostic that will not tell them very much from what another dealer knows (No error code). I have the Haynes repair manual and pretty good with a toolset, but by far not a mechanic. So if there is anything I could be checking, any help would be appreciated.

  • i have a 1999 durango and everything was ok until last week, my engine started to stall so i took it to my mechanic and he had the motor running all morning and nothing happened so i took it home and the very next it stalled again but turned on quick, today it did the same thing and i realized that it stalls when i'm in a traffic jam.

    the motor just turns off no choking no nothing just turns off, but the weird part about this is when the engine tuns off all my gages remain the same with the engine then all my gages shut off.

    ANY IDEAS ???

  • I am having the same problem as well. I have a 2000 Dodge Durango with 5.2 liter engine. In the morning when it is cold, the RPMs go higher than normal to shift out of first. Between 35 and 40 mph, it has a slight annoying vibration. After speed is leveled off, or the cruise is set, it has a slight hesitation. It finally made the check engine light come on, but the OBD said no trouble codes present. I have had the injectors cleaned, and replaced the throttle position sensor, coolant temperature sensor, spark plugs and wires, distributor cap, and rotor. The problem is still there. If anyone has any idea what my problem is, a point in the right direction would be very appreciated. Thanks!
  • I have a 2000 durango that just stalls. No engine light comming on. Have had a complete tune up. As soon as I take my foot off the gas she dies. Thought it was ok then it just stalls again. Have had it back to the mechanic 3 times can't figure out what the problem is nothing registers on the scope??? Have to warm it up for at least 10 minutes then it will run but when I stop idles really low like she is going to stall again Help anybody have a solution.
  • Have your battery checked at your local autoparts store for free. I had the exact same problem and nobody could figure it out. turns out i had a bad cell in the battery. If your battery does not have a full charge your computer that tells the car how to idle will not work properly. I put a new battery in and the idle went back to normal.
  • I'm having a similar issue with my 02 Durango. While it was having the issue I had it on a scope reading the throttle position. The results showed the throttle position sensor was giving a false reading to the computer. This also affected the transmission (irratic shifting between 2nd 3rd & overdrive @ a steady 35 MPH)Tomorrow I am having the Throttle Position Sensor replaced and the fuel injectors cleaned. I will let you know the results.
    My durango did throw a check engine code, but it did not reveal the problem with the TPS.
  • My heater stopped working last night. The fan will not turn on, I checked the fuse in the dash and it is fine. Any suggestions?
  • I had the same issue, had the TPS replaced and that did the trick.
  • The blower motor is relatively easy to remove (under / behind the glove compartment) I think it has just 3 screws (8mm?) (the rear screw is a little difficult to get to) If you remove the screws the motor comes straight down. It may have something stuck in the blades or while you have it out get it tested at any local auto parts store or auto-electric supplier. Hope this helps!

    By the way, my TPS was the problem and has been perfect since replacement. The fuel injector service did not help fuel milage :-(
  • Hello,
    I'm having the same problem with idling up and down, was told by dealership TPS needs to be replaced--for about $180, is this a complex issue or can i have any shop replace this? From what i have read it doesn't seem like it's a big problem....

    2000 durango v8 4.9 engine

  • josh30josh30 Posts: 20
    ur battery is dying. it will have 12.6 volts but cca will be down. ur batt. cant hold its reserve capacity charge.
  • josh30josh30 Posts: 20
    check the transmission fluid level, ur torque converter may not be locking.
  • Not a big deal to replace the TBS. I prefer going to private shops you trust (ask friends who they use) rather than the dealerships. Then you can talk with the person actually doing the work rather than a service manager.
  • poopsiegapoopsiega Posts: 2
    I am having this same issue with my 2002 Durango. I doesn't seem to be as bad when the engine heats up. But the Check Engine light is constantly on. When I put the car in park it idles up and down like I'm pressing the excelerator. Sometimes I can quickly press the excelerator and let off and it will come back down to a normal idle. has anyone answered on how to fix this yet? I am very mechanically challenged but would like to repair this myself. Since gas is $4 a gallon I would like to save money on repairs if possible.
  • I drive a 2000 Durango 5.9L with 92,000 miles on it. Best vehicle I've ever owned.
    Recently I took a trip to the mountains in Colorado. As soon as I got up to about 6,000 ft, the engine started surging and it wanted to downshift. The check engine lite came on. When I returned to a lower altitude, after a while the lite went out and the performance improved somewhat. It still surged somewhat and continued to do so occasionally even after returning home to Illinois.
    Any thoughts please.
  • johnny84johnny84 Posts: 1
    hey i am having the same trouble with my durango.. so did the TPS fixed the problem when you change it on yours??? pls rel at [email protected]

  • :blush: Hello all fellow Durango owners that are having the same idling problem. I have been having a problem for nearly a year also....I think I have found the fix....My vehicle has been in the shop 4 times now...they have cleaned the IAC valve, changed some hoses, hooked it up to diagnostics time and time again...I would drive away and all seem well for about 2 days...then the same idling problem would start all over again. Last week, it not only was idling irratically, but it started to surge forward while I was stopped at a stop light. It kept lunging forward and I had the brake down to the floor...I finally put it in park. I called the auto shop again (furious)..they told me to bring it in. I did a half day's worth of research. Took it back to them and told them that I wanted them to change my TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). They almost laughed at me (I am a female of course) and they told me it was not tripping any codes...I told them I didn't care...I wanted them to change it for me. About noon that day, they called me and told me that I was 100% correct...I had a bad TPS!!!!!! They changed that for me (free of charge) and I have been driving it around for 5 days now and it has given me NO Problem in idling. I did also have a bad thermal fan clutch (which I have let my boyfriend replace). So far so good....It seems like my 01 Durango 4.7L 4x4 hit 100,000 miles and started falling apart!!!! I have additional a/c problems now in that it is not blowing really cold air. the mechanic said my freon is full, etc, so I don't know what the problem is. I get some cool air, but it never really gets cold! Oh yeah, and I also have a power steering pressure switch going leaks, etc. But if I can save you some time and money with the Idling problem, then I will be happy! Good Luck with it!!!!
  • atvmax99atvmax99 Posts: 3
    Hello! I just read your post on the idle surge and was hoping for a follow up on your idle condition. Your last post on this issue was over 2 weeks ago so I was curious if your Durango is still behaving. Ours is a 2001 4.7L 4x4 SLT, we bought it new and up until 105K miles it's been a decent vehicle however it seems to be making up for it now. Among many problems the biggest now is the surging idle which from searching many forums is quite common to this particuliar vehicle. We've had it back to the dealer several times to correct this annoying/dangerous condition. They've replaced the TPS, the IAC, cleaned the throttle body and fuel delivery system, it was fine for a couple weeks and went back to doing it again. The engine light is on but it's been on a year prior to this condition and the code for the light is a General Computer Fault. So far this problem has cost over $500 to correct and no avail and I can't keep bringing it back to them because they claim every part they replace is "defective" which gets them out of giving me a refund for the work since it still does it! For awhile it seemed to behave when outside temps were above 80 degrees so I replaced the Ambient Air Charge Sensor which still didn't fix it and now it will surge to 2000rpm's regardless of outside temps!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    If it's showing a general computer fault, then by what criteria isn't the computer (I'm thinking PCM here) a suspect? I have the same model but a 2000. The IAC valve has been the problem on mine, but I've never replaced it, just removed and cleaned it.
  • atvmax99atvmax99 Posts: 3
    The vehicle has had this fault code well over a year prior to it developing this problem, that fact doesn't give me lots of confidence it's the cause of it's woes. Plus the ECM or PCM whatever term one uses to describe the car's computer is an expensive "lets see if THIS fixes it" proposition. It's obvious from everything thats going wrong with this thing from, no rear heat, recently replaced front drive shaft, once in a while working fuel guage, the idle problem and now I discovered the AC compressor is constantly running, my Durango is at it's end of life point where it morphed from a descent family vehicle to a "can't trust it to get back home money pit"! We'll deal with it until we can get it's replacement. :(
  • I have had this same problem for 2 YEARS NOW and no fix on my 2001 Dodge Durango. I have replaced the TPS, IAC valve, cleaned the throttle body, tune up, new air filter, various mechanics driving it and "it runs great!". Sometimes it will either just out right cut off or just idle really low until it corrects itself. When this happens while i am actually driving i get no juice to the engine and it will barely crawls until i can get to the shoulder and put it in park. I know its a simple fix but because no codes come up and the problem never seems to duplicate for any of the mechanics it is still not fixed. HELP! Any answers or solutions PLEASE email me at [email protected]
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Please don't include your email address in postings to the Forums. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • hagronhagron Posts: 7
    My 1999 Durango is hard to start when it is cold or warm. When the engine is hot, it starts fine. It runs well, just hard to start cold or when you let it sit for more than 40 minutes. I have replaced the Water Temp Sensor, Intake Air Sensor, Throttle Position Sensor, Idle Air Control Sensor, PCV Valve, Distributor Cap and Rotor. Nothing has helped. Any suggestions as to what I have missed?
  • gjshadgjshad Posts: 1
    what and how did u clean the iac valve?
  • chrissyvchrissyv Posts: 5
    It seems a bunch of us are having problems with these trucks with no fixes available or found. I have been having my same problem for close to three years now and still no fix. Mine will be running fine and then start idling really low and sometimes it will actually cut off whether i am driving or sitting at idle at a light. It mostly happens while sitting at idle. Only once did it surge really high to the point where i had to cut it off thinking it might blow up. I have replaced the iac valve, throttle position sensor, had the throttle body cleaned (supposedly), just recently had the fuel injection cleaned. None have made a difference. Im at the point where i may go to the junk yard and start buying cheap sensors and see if any of thise are the problem. Cant afford a new vehixle right now.
  • atvmax99atvmax99 Posts: 3
    Is the engine light on and if so what code comes up when you pull it?

    I was in the same predicamant with my Durango thinking my only option is a new car but fortunately replacing the PCM solved all of it's woes. It now idles perfectly in all temp conditions and even fixed another issue I had which was the AC compressor clutch staying on all the time. The engine code for PCM was P0601 which was a GENERAL FAULT CODE PCM. This part is $800 if bought through a dealer, I found a refurbed one on Ebay for $200 and free shipping!
  • chrissyvchrissyv Posts: 5
    No engine code ever comes up...thats what stinks about the whole thing! I did have someone else metion the pcm. So your did the same idling issue???
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    edited April 2011
    I used a contact cleaner to somewhat dissolve the gummy build up on the plunger, then let it drain out good. Then I put in a few drops of gun oil and worked the plunger in and out a little to distribute the oil. It's been good now for about a year (I don't use it as a daily driver anymore). I suspect it will eventually gum up again and I'll probably just replace it next time.
  • rnshaernshae Posts: 2
    Mine did the same thing. It was the power steering pressure sensor. This sensor controls the idle when ac is on or when idling in stopped traffic. Hope this helps.
  • rnshaernshae Posts: 2
    Mine also had a crazy idle. Wanted to die unless the ac was on, but surged all the time. I had to replace my bad PCM in order to find the trouble code on my 01 Durango. Bought a remanufactured one off the Internet from some place in FL for under $200. Just had to swap it out and drive.

    Anyway, trouble code showed the power steering pressure sensor was bad. It controls the idle speed during stops and starts and when the ac is on. Haven't had a problem with the idle since. Of course this is a dealer fix. Local garages wouldn't do it. Hope this helps.
  • flmikeflmike Posts: 3
    I had same Problem, mine was a throttle position sensor
  • flmikeflmike Posts: 3
    I have an 01 Durango. It seems to happen sooner when it is very hot outside or once the truck warms up. The wipers, horn, door dinger, and security light on dash all flicker. The door locks lock and unlock, and if the headlights are on they flicker also. I have figured out this much, if I take the fuse out that is labeled over H/D console purge it all stops, but my A/C stops working with that fuse out I think it is something in alam but unsure. If anybody has any Ideas please let me know
  • chrissyvchrissyv Posts: 5
    Hey thanks for the info but I already replaced that and unfortunately it didnt fix my problem. :(
  • Similar issues with other posts, had the TPS replaced and it now runs and idles like new! Thanks to all who posted.
  • First of all I want to thank everybody who has posted regarding the idling issues they have experienced with their Dodge Durangos. My husband and I purchased a Durango a month ago and almost immediately we started experiencing the same idling issues other people have mentioned in this forum. When we first started the vehicle, before even taking it out of park, the vehicle would start idling erratically and surging. Then while driving at continuous speeds the engine would surge and the RPM's would jump around all over the place which caused jerky movement. I had no idea what was going on but I knew it was not right. We ended up taking it back to the Dealership where we bought it 4 times before they even acknowledged there was a problem. They kept telling us that no codes were registering and that when they drove it they were not experiencing the same idling surging issues that I was. That is when I started my research. This forum and all the stories and suggestions were a lifesaver. It made me feel like I was not crazy and also helped me understand better what was going on. Armed with my information I started directing the Dealership on what they needed to check. They finally agreed with me and replaced the TPS, cleaned the IAC and the entire throttle system. I have only been driving it for a couple days since the repairs have been made but so far it is driving like a dream. It almost scared me the first time I drove it after the repairs were made because it was driving so smoothly and I kept anticipating the idling to start jumping and the surging to start. But so far nothing. It seems like we fixed the problem. I will definitely be keeping my eye on it because other people have stated that they made these repairs and after a couple of weeks the problem started again. I have my fingers crossed and will keep you updated.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I have a 2000 with 104K miles, but it's pretty much the same design. Cleaning the IAC valve sometimes will only work for a little while since it will tend to gum back up quickly in many cases. The air passing through it will still have contaminants even though it passes through the air filter. The TPS is just a variable resistor that changes resistance as the throttle is opened/closed. It's easy to test with an ohmeter. I think a lot of TPS' get changed when they don't really need to be, but it's not an expensive part relative to other things.
    I've cleaned the IAC a couple of times but the next time I'll probably just replace it.
  • audia88audia88 Posts: 2
    I also have a 99 durango and this happened to me would just shut off while driving very dangerous. I changed the pcm and have not had the issue since.
  • What does pcm stand for? Is this the engine computer (ECU) or another control modual? My durango had been having a problem like this a year ago & has just started doing it again. It also idles rough sometimes when stopped.
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