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Dodge Durango idling up and down



  • 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
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Please don't include your email address in postings to the Forums. :)

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    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.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Powertrain control module.
  • papaespypapaespy Posts: 1

    2000 Dodge Durango 5.7L V8

    Had the same issue where the idle would surge while at a stop light or in park. Died a few times while idling. Replaced both the Idle Air Control Valve (or motor its called both) and Throttle Position Sensor and now she idles perfectly at 600 RPM. In my case, I believe the IAC motor was the culprit. Upon removing the part, I noticed it the plunger was extended more than the new part (It was stuck in the out position) and dirty as hell. Replaced both anyway since I was in there. Parts are available for approx $100 for both from Advance Auto. Make sure when you call you get somebody that knows what they are doing. Yes, they carry the parts they are NOT dealer only items!

    See attached image for location of parts!

    tps.gif 18.1K
  • patrick0099patrick0099 Posts: 1
    edited May 2015
    I have seen a lot of people with this problem so I wanted to take the time to reply. First off, Thank you all for your input, it helped me solve my idle problems with my 2000 Dodge Durango 4.7l 4x4. My Durango was having many of the same issues listed in many posts. Erratic idle, it would rev up to 2k RPMs when I first started it the immediately settle back down to around 800 and start going up and down randomly, and while sitting at a light and driving down the road it would increase and decrease my throttle setting randomly. This also only happened in the summer and vanished during the winter.

    I took the first step by replacing the TPS, this didn't help. So I took out the IAC Motor and noticed that it was caked with carbon. I used a carb cleaner and sprayed it off, using a rag to clean it. I also pulled out the piston a bit and sprayed inside it good. I then sprayed out the hole it sit in and then reinstalled the IAC and started the truck. At first it reved to 2k RPMs and sat there for a good 15 seconds. I reved the engine a few times and when it continued to stay at 2k RPMs I thought to myself, Well I guess I'll just be replacing it.

    I turned off the truck waited a few seconds and recranked it, it cranked fine and started idling exactly at 600 RPM, I took it for a long test drive and it drove like it was brand new. I hope this helps someone else, and keep up the great posts. Its posts like this one that have helped me handle all the little quirks our beloved Durango's can get. I love mine dearly and it has been a loyal member of our family now for almost 15 years.

    Best of luck to the rest of you having this issue!

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