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Dodge Durango



  • jbordova
    You are not alone. Look under the chat subject "My Durango is a Lemon"
  • steve234steve234 Posts: 460
    I am not disputing that there is a probablity that the dealer is making it difficult for something that is a mechanical failure. But as a judge's son, you should also be aware that vague answers is a quick way to be slaughtered in court. If the dealer is convinced that the problem was caused by improper maintenance, then you will have to prove what you will not tell us; What were the oil change/oil check intervals?
    Nobody refered to your sister as a bimbo. I said that many women can be unreliable when it comes to cars. It is usually the more intelligent women that take cars for granted most. Trying driving in a collge town, the gals will scare the hell out of you with trying to change clothes, talk on cell phones and applying makeup while driving. That being said, if you cannot prove the mileage and dates of the past two oil changes, and the dealer insists that the engine was abused, you will have a difficult case.
  • We understand how dealerships work. But I will say, unless they have a good reason to tell you what they did and expect you to buy it, something is up.
  • On April '99 we parted with our extremely trusty and reliable Volvo 940 Wagon for a '99 4x2 as we needed the extra seating space and Volvo does not make a decent SUV yet.

    At 8,000 miles my wife was hearing a "thumping" noise coming from the front of her truck. At a scheduled service stop, we were told that we needed to replace both front tires as they had developed "cupping". We took some responsibility for never having rotated the tires, but they should not wear out so soon. By the way, they're Goodyear Wranglers.

    We went to Goodyear (to buy two tires) and we were told that the suspension on the 4x2 caused the problem and not the tires (they checked alignment - OK). Goodyear suggested upgrading our shocks.

    At 12,000 miles, the front tires developed the "cupping/noise" once again! We went back to Dodge and they told us nothing wrong with the suspension, we were "unlucky" yet once again!. Goodyear told us nothing wrong with the tires, we should upgrade shocks - which we did. Purchased 4 Edelbrock IAS performance shocks (boy what a difference in ride and handling), at the same time came across 4 new Rims/Tires on ebay (Nicer/wider rims that the cheeze originals and Michelin tires). So, installed tires and with the new shocks I thought we were done.

    At 18,000 miles, guess what? front tires "cupping". Back to Dodge, they checked alignment -OK and told us to go to Michelin as we had bad tires. We're currently negotiating a buy-back from Dodge and we've found some 30+ 4x2's in our area - all with the same "cupping" (some worse than others) and spoke to 6 owners who also experience premature tire wear. So, If you had to replace your tires prematurely, make sure you contact Chrysler's customer car and your dealer about this; don't let them give you the run-around we got!

    PS: On December 8, 2000 I bought my wife a used Volvo and parked the Durango in the back yard awaiting Dodge to tow the thing out of our basketball court - the kids are really getting tired of not being able to play back there.

    That was the only "repeat" problem we had, but can not afford replacing tires every 4-8,000 miles!
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    Town Hall Maintenance & Repair My 2000 Dodge Durango IS A LEMON!
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    My 2000 Dodge Durango IS A LEMON!
    93 messages,Last post on Jan 30, 2001 at 06:30 PM


    [beginning of discussion][scroll up 20 messages] (79 previous messages)

    #80 of 93 Wind Noise by silverzurfer Dec 13, 2000 (06:05 am)
    Wind noise is an inherent design of the Durango.
    Several of the Road Tests have mentioned it. I don't think there'll be much done to remedy that problem.If you think that's noisy...try having you front windows rolled up and your back windows rolled down about 5 inches.

    #81 of 93 1998 Durango w/ Oil Sludge by tmartino1 Dec 13, 2000 (08:53 pm)
    I own a 98 Durango that has 52,000 miles on it and I have had oil sludge since I own the vehicle. I talked to the dealership and they wanted my records of oil changes, but told me I had to pay to have the engine torn down because it had sludge in the oil which is cause from lack of oil changes. I change the oil and filter every 3000 miles with a good oil and knew filter. I know that the sludge is not good for the engine so I am hoping that it doesn't give me any problems until I can get trade it off. I love the Durango but I wish I didn't have to worry about the oil sludge. I had a 93 Ram Charger with a 318 engine and never had this problem with oil sludge even if I missed the 3000 mile intervals.

    #82 of 93 To tallensr (#53) - by silverzurfer Jan 02, 2001 (06:17 pm)
    My Durango 318 also needs a new engine because of sludge. Just under 40k miles (about 20 months old). Most people that I have told about my situation smirk at me with the similar quote "It's your own fault. What are you doing using Quaker State".
    Something I've learned for the future. When I called the Chrysler dealership ,w/ the Quaker State Quick Oil change bay, for a printout of receipts...they had it on the computer that I had taken my truck in for oil changes for the 2 consecutive months after I bought my truck (not including the 1'st free one I had done at the Dodge dealership. Meaning I had 3 oil changes within the first 3 months. At one instance, (2) oil changes 12 days apart. They claim that a computer reads your license plate when the vehicle is driven into the "bay". Check your receipt for correctness on the day you have the oil even if you misplace least you'll know that you will get a correct breakdown from the computer.

    #83 of 93 Oil Sludge by cajndave Jan 03, 2001 (08:55 am)
    Most of the time oil sludge can be traced to an oil temp problem. Other causes can be bad piston ring seating, bad valve guide seals and crankcase ventalation or any combination of the above.

    #84 of 93 I have problems with my 2000 durango too by 00durangoblues Jan 05, 2001 (08:02 pm)
    I have a 2000 Durango top of the line leather 5.9 and all. I took it to the dealer numerous times for the front brakes locking up when the roads are wet and snow covered just trying to slow down they immediately lock up. The dealer says there's nothing wrong it works just fine. I also showed the right front rotor has a grove in it. The mechanic couldn't see it I guess Your damned if you do damned if you don't. Then I went back this time with different tires on the dealer now says they can't evens look at it cause it does not have the factory tires on it. I said I figured what's the next excuse. My oil pressure drops when at idle is this normal. I am concerned about the sludge problems that I have been reading in here. I use Mobil 1 in my Durango and change apron. every 3000 miles give or take but if over its only 100 miles or so. I complained about my air conditioning too not cooling the inside down Dealer says works fine for them. I have it under a lease and my understanding its difficult to prove a lemon. The gas mileage that doesn't bother me as the mileage increases and these intimidating problems that I think Dodge should look into are still hanging around. Any Suggestions Comments ???

    #85 of 93 oil sludge by pugs71 Jan 09, 2001 (08:44 am)
    I have a 98 durango with 21,000 miles it is in the shop and i was told there is sludge in the engine and they will not cover it under warranty because lack of oil changes i have changed my oil at least 7 times i only had a recipt for the last one though since my boyfriend has changed it before that i gave them oil reciptds from him buying oil not good enough. I knew they were wrong so I contacted Chrysler they came down to have oil sample taken meanwhile I have no vehicle for a week. while I was there there was another durango there same problem 40,000 miles neede new engine got suspicious after investing i see there is lots of problems with oil sludge I would like to know about them please email me I am contacting a news station Thanks

    #86 of 93 Every car manufacture has a lemon once in a while by mike_542 Jan 11, 2001 (07:45 pm)
    Every car manufacture has a lemon once in a while

    #87 of 93 2000 Durango Transmission Lemon by durangobob Jan 13, 2001 (01:22 pm)
    Bought this vehicle just after Thanksgiving and took back to the dealer within a few days because the engine would stall, more often than not, upon coming to a stop. I could see the IRPM's drop to below 500...the engine would shudder and stop. In addition when the vehicle was put in gear nothing happened for a few seconds (a few seconds can be a long time when you're pressing on the accellerater and expect to be backing out of the garage). The nothingness would also happen if you sat with the engine running while you wait for the kids to get in the car after dancing lessons. The dealer adjusted the AIM (automatic idle motor) and sent me home. The problem continued and the tech wizards in detroit were brought in. Changed the transmission selonoid package and sent me home. The problems were still there. To make a long story a little shorter, the techs wanted to do everything short of installing a new trans. They changed filters in the trans, ran a lot of tests and made verious adjustments. Finally they decided on reprog
  • Town Hall Maintenance & Repair My 2000 Dodge Durango IS A LEMON!
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    My 2000 Dodge Durango IS A LEMON!
    93 messages,Last post on Jan 30, 2001 at 06:30 PM


    [beginning of discussion][scroll up 20 messages] (91 previous messages)

    deutsch3 - 07:33pm Jan 29, 2001 ST (#92 of 93)

    Oil Sludge
    Add me to your list. 98 Durango, 65,000 miles. Driving back to Charleston, SC from Atlanta on Saturday morning, New Years Eve weekend. 20 miles out of Atlanta my "check gauge" light came on and then suddenly off. This happened several times within the next few minutes. When the light came on I noticed that the oil pressure gauge would go down and then just as suddenly back up and light would go off. I felt confident my oil was fine since it had been changed recently and I had checked it that morning before beginning my trip.

    However, I quickly used my cell phone to call my local dealer. The response was that it could be a faulty gauge and that if I was not hearing any engine noise I was probably k. He added that they would be open the Tuesday after new years and that I should bring it in then (if I was lucky enough to make it back).

    Less than a minute after hanging up the phone I heard some pining. Believe it or not as I was approaching the next exit to get off of I-20 out of Atlanta I saw a Dodge dealer. As I was exiting and reducing speed the noise became louder and louder. I pulled into the dealers service lot 10 minutes before they closed. Bad news, he immediately said I probably would need a new engine. Good news, they had one rental so I could get my family home. Bad news, with the rebuilt engine and rental car (for almost a month), it set me back $6,800.

    I have had many vehicles, and most of them I have put a lot of mileage on. I had them serviced and I have never had this kind of a major problem. I felt a bit held hostage since I was out of town and out of warranty. I just thought my luck had run out, and it was my turn to pay out. However, after doing some research and reading I think there may be more to this.

    A business associate that had been in the auto parts manufacturing business told me to find out who the regional Dodge factory re is and contact him/her. The point being is that most people (including me) do not have $5,000. to $7,000. sitting around to fix a vehicle that failed way before its time. So if hell is raised with the right people, many times they might meet you half way on the cost. Don't know if it will work but my fight begins tomorrow.

    Any other suggestions would be helpful.
    P.S.and FYI Before returning the rental car I had it washed in and out. In return, after spending $6,800 at the dealer I received my red Durango back with a months worth of dust and dirt on it. Now that is customer service
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
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  • greg116greg116 Posts: 116
    Yeah, the R/T looks great, but out of what i'm willing to spend for a SUV. I like Sport models in general, and I like the looks of the grey bumpers on these things. My father has a '98 SLT and I always thought it looked a little bland. Plus I don't trust full-time 4WD, and I dont need a dragster.
  • You might not need a dragster but that is not to say you wouldn't have a blast with one. The manly snort from the exhaust doesn't hurt either. Your right about the price though. Seems like many vehicles are getting out of reach.
  • If it is a mechanical failure and not ignoring your maintenance, then bring it up to chrysler. The dealer makes money when they do warranty repairs so the ONLY reason that it is not being replaced is because they do not think that Chrysler will pay for it. How long was it between the last 2 oil changes? Were you checking the oil level regularly???
  • greg116greg116 Posts: 116
    Well if I want a "manly snort" from the exhaust, I can always get an aftermarket kit and have the same performance/sound for much less money. The 4.7 and 5.9 have pretty much the same performance numbers, and the R/T probably being ahead, but with a K&N/Borla set of pipes, I'll get plenty of jump out of the 4.7. Besides, I like that multispeed tranny and I prefer cloth seats over leather/vinyl. If I want an R/T, I'll go for the Dakota.
  • The Dakota R/T is a great truck as well. I with they offered it in an extended cab model. I don't know what torque ratings the 4.7 have but it has to be a good bit less than the 350lbs. the R/T has.
  • NEED SOME ADVICE Very interested in buying a DD in the next week or so. With all these neg. messages I have been a little wiry. The DD has everything I want except a headache. What should I do?????
  • My company vehicle is a 2000 DD SLT. I have 35,000 miles on it and the check engine light came on shortly after stalling at an intersection about a month ago. After taking it into the dealership they informed me that I would need a new wiring harness and what I believe was a central power unit. Fortunately it is covered under warranty, but the dealership has had my vehicle for 3 weeks and refuses to return my calls. I have been able to find out the part is on back order and should be in this week. However, I have been paying for a rental this entire time and the dealer feels no obligation for reimbursement although they originally told me I'd have my truck back in 3 days. Does anyone have a name or person that I should direct a letter of disappointment to for this "5-star" dealer?

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • greg116greg116 Posts: 116
    They DO have the Dakota R/T in extended cab! has a test in their archives. Or were you talking about Quad Cab? They come with 5.9s too.

    Youre right, the R/T 5.9 has 350lb-ft, the stock version has 335lb-ft (like the one in our 98 Durango SLT) and the 4.7 is rated at 295lb-ft and 235 horses, but people swear it's underrated. It must be, because every major mag reports similar/identical 0-60 numbers between 5.9s and 4.7s. Maybe it's that dual-ratio second gear.

    joseph34: You can pray you don't get a lemon, which are rare anyways.

    Actually most people have great experiences with their Durangos, they just have such good vehicles, they have nothing to complain or ask about, so they don't bother coming here.
  • Had a 98 Durango SLT Plus, loaded with everything except leather & rear air, at trade in it had 61,000 mi.. What I got was a 2001 SLT Plus Dk Tor. Red, Listed MSPR was 36,096, since it was a demo with 3200 mi. they had it marked down to 30,995. A long with the $1000 rebate and 5.9% interest and a 5/100,000 warranty 0 deductable. I walked out of there financing around $15,500. This Durango had everything except 4WD(allwheeldrive) 4 wheel ABS, & the skid plates, no R/T package. I think I got a good deal. Heck I was looking at new tires, brakes a tune up and shocks on my old one. (p.s. the 98 was paid off) Sure I had a few problems with the 98, but no more then I have with any other vehicle. The dealer has been good to me.......if your looking for a good deal, talk to Jim Haas at 5 Corners Dodge in Cedarburg Wisconsin, He's a straight forward salesman, no bs like alot of them.
  • The D finally had its appoint for the windshield noise. The service manager heard it and arranged for the repair. I decided to stay and "watch". Good thing because the repair man said there was nothing wrong and was about to put it all together again. Stopped him and had the service manager come out and speak with him. They put an adhesive sealant on each side of the windshield and the noise has been cut in 1/2. There was a hugh gap between the body of the D and the "molding" for the windshield.
  • I have a 99 SLT 5.2 4x4. I would really appreciate any responses. My 1999 Forest Green "D" was hurt yesterday morning at 3:40 am on my way to work. I was going down a steep dry hill (one hill I travel everyday), the road was dry and when I went to turn right on the street close near the bottom of it...STEERING WHEEL WOULDN'T BUDGE! And sickening to say, my Beautiful Durango ends up in a ditch hitting a very large boulder. Bye Bye to my nerf safari bar and hella black magic fog lights, not to mention the front end. This Durango is my baby...gots the graphics, sidebars etc. If it were a child, this child would be considered spoiled rotten. Since I was going down a hill, I guess I panicked alittle bit and stepped on the brakes to avoid the ditch. The brakes locked and took me straight into the ditch. Heck, we took pictures and everything....the skid marks are long and straight. I had my AAA tow her into the Dodge Dealer from the scene. When I called the dealer to let them know what happened, I got the feeling they are not going to take blame for this accident.
    Unfortunately, my "D" has had many, many problems. Engine kept overheating and on the 4th visit to the dealer; had the head, cylinder and gasket replaced from an internal leak, also has spark plugs rewired, power window motor replaced, fog lamp replaced d/t moisture inside the lens, and annoying and continuing rattle in the upper right corner of the dashboard, she shifts hard, runs high rpms and has loose seats. But I was a die heart for my "D". Well, now i'm scared....big time of her! Don't know what happened to the steering as to why she wouldn't turn so I am asking the Durango owners today for help. And I hope to God this does not happen to someone else. One thing more to add is that I have been having trouble with the steering since last march. When I first start her up in the morning or after she sits for a few hours the steering is "hard" to turn...kinda have to force it (feels like manual steering instead of power steering) and it will turn but with alot of effort on my part. After a few miles she steers just fine. Noticed it getting worse lately and taking longer to "warm" up. Took her into the dealer back in March last yr and they were unable to "duplicate the problem". I have continued complaining about the steering and the "rattle" but they can't seem to find anything wrong. The steering does not do this in warm weather and also is unpredictable when it does descide to go stiff".
    I have had more things go wrong with my durango its unbeliveable. I know the repair guys by their first name. I did attempt to "lemon" my Durnago, but lost is arbitration last august. My problem then was, she kept overheating. On the 4th visit to the dealer on that problem, she was fixed! Major engine repair....and i payed how much for this durango??? I service my durango every 3000 miles and i have the 75,000 mile extended postive note! My durango sure has been in the repair shop more than the average. Have to admit that the service department has been very kind and patient with me, but i think things are about to change now that i could have been killed with this last complaint.
    Anyone out there have problems with their steering?????
    I'll let you know what Dodge says.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    I recommend you keep all documentation of ever having the thing in the shop for this trouble. On the work orders it should clearly state "high steering effort" etc.

    A steering system consists of pumps, hoses, steering boxes, valves, you name it. Have you ever heard squealing from the belts trying to turn the pump? I doubt it... if so, then you might just have loose belts. If not, then the pump could have problems with insufficient "pumping" going on, or an internal valve in the steering box that doesn't control the steering fluid flow adequately. Your steering should NEVER have to "warm up" to work. Some systems get gradually less sensitive at hwy speeds so you don't sneeze and put yourself in a ditch... but at a constant speed the steering should always ALWAYS feel exactly the same. If this has been a documented problem then you have recourse to have the dealer fix it.

    If it was up to me, the moment I found my steering was "hard" or "soft"... same with my brakes... then I'd be out of the truck and on the phone. If I was lucky enought to have it rolling into my garage as it happened, then I'd haul out the tools and find the problem (if I didn't have the wonderful 75k mile warranty!!!!)

    Good luck. Don't be afraid of it... but MAKE them replace all those parts and fix your baby.

    Regards, -Bob
  • You can still go lemon on it - most states require either 4 visits for the same problem, or a considerable risk to safety. One of those two items seems to be available to you now. I would try again.
  • Greg116, I guess I meant club cab. Now that you mentioned it, I have seen the extra cab version. I wonder if they will offer a 4WD version?
  • On 98 - 01 are fixed mirrors, this is nothing new, if you want folding you need the tow package, I have an 2001 Slt Plus with the tow package and the folding mirrors, always thought the standard mirrors were too small anyhow, but that is just my opinion. If your paying $35,000 for a Durango, then you probably deserve to be stuck with the fixed mirrors. I paid $29,995 for an 01 that listed out at $36,000 after my $1000 rebate. From a guy thats still driving an 89 Lebaron
    and complaining that it's unreliable to the point he's borrowing a 91 Saturn I can see why you think this way...........Have a good day.........hopefully your starving artist days are numbered, so you can buy a reliable car........does the saturn have folding mirrors?
  • Sorry. Excuse me. They should be standard, then.
    BTW, no, my Saturn has fixed mirrors and someone
    broke the right side off. Good luck with your new Dodge. What happened to your Ford?
  • I still have it, I use it for hunting & fishing & wife drives the Durango.......but if Dodge's 2002 full-size Crew is anything, I might take a look at that, who knows..............
  • Bought a used 99 D SLT+ 4X4, Recently has oil light come on when slowing to a stop and breaking. As soon as accelerating from stop light went off. At next corner same scenario. Only 300 meters from home, so I drove it home. Had my hubby Check the oil, 3 QTS Low. Oil had been changed within 2 weeks. One week of hubby driving vehicle checked again (no lights) 2 qts low. No, None, Nada, Zip oil to be found in driveway or on or around oil filter/pan. Next day noticed exhaust was very rich. Anyone else with this or similar problem? Possible someone could be messing with my vehicle? Or is there a way for this oil to be going out the exhaust? Currently stationed in Germany, dealing with German Speaking Techs any info would be helpful. Only 6,000 miles left on warranty.
  • The 5.2/5.9 liter engines have a tendency to leak oil through the bottom of the intake manifold. Here is a TSB on the problem:

    It is covered under warranty.
  • We have a 99 SLT with the positrack 4wd. WE are now putting in our 2nd transfer case, as it won't shift into 4wd 'on the fly' as it should. any one with similar complaints and how they handled the problem would be great. We are having service problems due to this. thanks
  • Bridgets

    I am not sure if the Durango has a rack-a-pinion steering. But my old Buick had the same problem with the rack-a-pinion where it had to warm up before I could began driving. It got progressively worse. Hopefully this helps..I am not sure if this case is similar..
  • I have a 2000 Durango 4.7l with the full towing package. I have the standard 3.55 gearing NOT the 3.92.

    Does anyone have some information on what size/weight of trailer I should consider towing? Any references to information web sites would be great.
  • that it wouldn't come out of 4wd, even though the light and Dodge said it was. It still hopped at turning like it does in 4wd. All started when they replaced the upper & lower control arms under warranty. Never drove right after that. Drove an 01, a 300% improvement, guess which one was left at the Dodge Dealer. If they thought it was fine, then I decided they could keep it. I walked off their lot with a 01 SLT PLUS, loaded down with goodies (list price- aprox. $36,000), a 100,000 mi, no deductable warranty including tax for under 15,000. I was very happy with the trade off and still am. The 98 had the fulltime 4wd & Ls, problems started with the control arms. Might want to have a look at them to, while your replacing your transfer case. Durango interest rates & rebates are attractive right, might also want to check them out. Reason for buying another, I wanted the 3rd seat without going to a larger vehicle. With the warranty, if I have problems, my freindly Dodge dealer will fix them. You can say what you want about any Dealer, but the Dodge Dealer at 5 Corners Dodge, Cedarburg, Wisc. has earned their 5 Star rating the right way with excellant customer service. (btw the dealer that told me my 98 was fine was not 5 Corners Dodge and would not deal on a new one.... Schmitt Bros. Dodge in Port Washington)
This discussion has been closed.