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Dodge Durango



  • Can anyone tell me the pros and cons between the 5.2L and the 5.9L 1998 Durango. What kind of gas mileage can I expect from both of these engines?
  • blg61497 - I understand your frustration. I had to take my truck into the dealer where they had it for 6 weeks as they replaced a wiring harness (which was covered under warranty). In the mean time I'm out $1200 in rental car costs(insurance did pick up part of it). This wasn't covered under any type of warranty and both the dealer and manufacturer felt no obligation. I've also had problems with the power windows, cruise control and I can hear the power lock on the hatch starting to fail. I love the looks and utility of this vehicle but I will not own another one. There are far better and more reliable vehicles currently on the market and coming to market soon.

    paulypooh - I'll try to help you on your decision by telling you my experience. I've got a 2000 with the 5.9 and my mileage typically is 13. I've gone as low as 10.7 (winter driving) and as high as 17 (once). The truck is maticulously maintained and I don't drive hard. My driving is probably 60/40 highway and city. I use the vehicle as my main type of transportation and do haul 4-5 passengers (and all of their goodies)at least once a week. I hope this helps.

    I ask questions on this board and keep getting sent to a durango club web site. In my opinion the sites forum is difficult to follow and rarely has the information I'm looking for.
    I would appreciate it if I asked a question that someone would give me an answer. If you take the time to send me to another site why not use that same time to give me my answer.
    I follow several boards on Edmunds and they have healthy exchanges of information. I hope that this board can become the same.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059

    I noticed that ywilson was kind enough to answer your previous query about OEM tires quite specifically and also suggested another source where you might get additional information.

    Your most recent query seemed to ask for a divination which, perhaps, no one here feels qualified to address.

  • Point taken. What I'm trying to do is get an active discussion going by all people who may use or pass thru this discussion board. I've seen it on several other boards here at Edmunds and was attempting to spark some activity. My apologies to a poor approach to make this happen. I know that there are many with answers to questions I have posted who choose to not answer and I wish they would. Yes, I do understand it is there choice not to answer and have taken that route myself on many occasions.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    What I'm trying to do is get an active discussion going by all people who may use or pass thru this discussion board.

    Fair enough! Anyone? Can we accomodate him?

  • kblesskbless Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 SLT Plus 4wd Durango and really enjoy this vehicle. I am wondering if anyone has purchased a rear window air deflector as the rear window seems to get dirty very easily.
    Also, has anyone tried to upgrade their infinity sound system with either a new amplifier,speakers
    or changed the head unit.
  • Front Anti-lock brakes are not standard,but an option.Rear anti-lock brakes are standard. Why would anyone not want to have front ABS? I realize you could stop quicker on gravel or snow without front ABS, but I would think you could stop quicker with them on wet pavement. Most vehicles these days have standard front and rear ABS. Does anyone know the logic behind the Durango's design or has anyone had a problem with this?
  • Planning to buy the Durango and dead scared. I have owned Japanese cars for as long as I can remember, and yes, I've heard horror stories about domestics. I owned ONE domestic, a Ford Granada, which turned out to be a total piece of @#$%&;.

    I've heard that Chrysler has the worst reliability record for a domestic. Is this true?

    Does anyone have a Durago over 2+ years that wants to share any problems that came up with the Durango?

    Sure this question has come up already, but does gas mileage improve over time?

    Can anyone tell me a story about Durango's resale value? I only keep my cars for around 1-2 years (not lease) and am dead scared.

    I just love the Durango, but there's just little things that block me from buying it immediately.

    Thanks in advance.
  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    I have had my Durango for 19 months now. Not quite the 2 years you are looking for but I can say that I have had no problems whatsoever. I have the 4.7 engine and 4x4. Not alot of fancy stuff. I just got the base SLT. No leather, etc,etc. I am about to turn 50,000 miles. I have taken long driving vacations and it is a daily driver. I had it totally synthed out after about 300 miles. I am a stickler for synthetic fluids for any vehicle. Just my choice. I traded a SAAB 900 for it. It is my first truck and after having and enjoying it, I am sure it will not be my last. All vehicles have something go wrong with them today it seems. People that are posting the problems here are doing so for info. The majority I know of have no problems. Some have had thiers longer than me. Hope this helps. By the way, you can't compare anything with a Granada. Least of all a Dodge truck. If there is one thing that America builds good it is trucks!!
  • nab00nab00 Posts: 6
    I have had my Durango for almost 2 and a half years. It has been a great truck.

    To be honest with you, if you don't need the shift-on-the-fly 4WD and the truck frame for off-roading and such, look for something else. The ride is not exactly the greatest, but it fills all my needs.

    Reliability has been OK but not spectacular. I have had 2 minor problems and a third that left me stranded. The two minor problems were a faulty trunk lock and crossed wires for the reverse lights. My major problem was my power steering pump failed in a parking lot and I had to have it towed. Even though that happened, I still love my truck and haven't had a problem in a little over 2 years.

    Gas mileage is terrible when the engine is breaking in, but now I get 16 in the city and 18.5 on the highway and I am a serious leadfoot.

    The last time I checked, Durangos were worth about $18,000 or so after 2 years. You can always check or for prices.

    Overall, I have no doubts with my truck. Yes, I have had problems and the ride can get bad on some highways, but it is well worth it. If you have anymore questions, fell free to e-mail me.

    Hope I've helped and good luck on your decision.
  • nab00nab00 Posts: 6
    I forgot to mention I have a little over 55,000 miles on my truck.
  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    Just hit 50,000 this morning coming into work and I am happy to say no problems with my D. This has been a great vehicle to own. My previous vehicles that were supposed to be the "best" do not compare. They were SAAB's. I do alot of driving and my D is only 1.5 years old. Most is highway driving to and from work. I guess that a little extra care goes a long way. I have used synthetics in her since new. (300 miles). I really enjoy it and look forward to the next 50,000. Anyone else with higher mileage please give a shout about your experiences.
  • I've got a 2000 D with 60000 miles on it. Maintained, washed and cared for better than most. My experiences have not been as glowing but not the worst either from what I've heard. I've had 2 electrical glitches, a wiring harness and a central power unit that had to be replaced. The last two had the truck in the dealers garage for 6 weeks. All have been fixed but now I've got a power lock going out on the rear hatch. I love the size, the third row seat, the exterior and the power from the 5.9, but I wish it had 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • bstreetbstreet Posts: 37
    Hi, I'm looking into buying a new Durango. I was wondering if anyone knows much on the SXT model? It's the new one for the year, and is priced nicely, but i don't know much about it and wonder if i shouldn't just stick to the SLT since i know it well.
  • bgfflbgffl Posts: 2
    If anyone is considering buying a new Durango, NOW is the time. The rebate incentive on Durangos increased to $2500 today. I was already to call my dealer this morning to accept his prior offer when the phone rang and it was him informing me of the additional $500 rebate. I traded in a 2000 Durango SLT+ with 34,000 no problem miles on it. I hated to trade so early but just couldn't pass up the existing incentives. With available bank financing at 5.13%, $2500 rebate, 7year/100,000 powertrain warranty, only $250 to extend the 3 year/36,000 mile to 6year/60,000 bumper-to-bumper. I got all that and ended up lowering my payment by $10 a month. (plus I got heated seats)
    For me the Durango has been a great vehicle which meets my needs and comfort level. Good luck to anyone that takes the plunge!
  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    I have looked at one I saw recently. Nice truck and a great price. The only diff I see is the dark gray accents around it. Otherwise it seems like a SLT with different color bottom. You may probably have to pay for more options since as I recall it is one level below the SLT. Is this Doctor Rod?
  • Thanks for the input. Doctor Rod? Nope, sorry. The only thing i fear with the SXT is that, in order to lower the cost, some things have been made more cheaply (the seats, etc). I'm keeping this truck for a good long time, so i want to be sure. Also, i don't like the gray accents. Thanks again!
  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    Sorry about that. I have a buddy at work and we just started talking about the SXT's. He is also going to buy one. I think the seats are the same as in all the non-leather Durangos. As for worse quality I think that it is probably just building a Durango that more people can afford. Yes, there are less options but I think that if you are looking for a good truck without all the flair then this would be the one.
  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375

    Actually the seat material used in the sxt is different than the other non leather models. Its looks like some polyester hybrid. Just a guess, but it sure doesn't look like it will hold up well under normal wear.
  • While comparing vehilces, I read on another board that the Durango owners manual says that it is not intended for off-road. Other people have told me that too. Is this true? Just asking.
  • that's Ok. i actually think i am going with the SXT with the appearance package and fog lights added (the appearance pkg comes with the graphite metallic wheel flares and grille - and i'm getting graphite metallic color for the truck, so it'll all match). Anyway. The seats are not bad. I drove it for a few hours today and they were just fine. No, not leather, but i dont' want leather. Anyway, the clencher was that the 02 SLT only comes with the chrome grille, which i do not want. So the only other option is either an RT (which i can't afford!) or the SXT. In all, it's the same truck, with some minor internal differences which i can live with.
  • osunaosuna Posts: 1
    I got a great deal in December on a 2001 SLT Plus but I was wondering if I should buy an extended warranty either on the Internet, thru a dealer, or thru the Auto Broker that I bought if from. Also, whats a good price for an extended warranty?
  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    I don't know about the rest but I have not seen that. Also, I know many with Durangos in the club that go off road frequently. I have done some 4x4in and let me say the truck is an awsome off road machine. It won't go rock crawling but it can handle some tough trails and ford some nice streams. It is especially fun in the winter with snow on the ground. But, you can find this out for yourself if you try it sometimes. If you deflate the tires it also goes great on the beach. Did this at Martha's Vineyard.

    I have an extended warranty and even though I have not had to use it I am glad for the extra protection. You never know when you will need it.

    Enjoy the SXT. I think it is a nice vehicle and I am sure you are going to love it. Find some trails where you live and give it a try off road. Make sure you have room on both sides so as not to get any after market pinstripes. >8^)>

    NOTE: Get rid of the OEM Goodyear tires. They are the worst!! I replaced them with Yoko Geolander II's. Much better tire and much more fun in the rough.
  • I have the Geolandar II's on another suv that I own and they are awesome tires for trucks/suvs.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181

    A Light off-road event in Southern New Jersey! Come enjoy the trails!


  • vt86vt86 Posts: 1
    I've been agonizing over a purchase of a Durango SLT Plus vs a GMC Envoy. Each has it's own advantages. Has anyone compared the two vehicles and can share their thoughts? I have been in an Explorer or Mountaineer since '91, with no real complaints. Just looking for a change. Love the room, storage capacity and warranty on the Durango; love the ride, comfort and looks of the Envoy. Hope it doesn't come down to a coin flip!
  • 2/22/2002
    1998 Durango; 69,000 miles.

    As much as I love my 98 4wd Durango, which I bought used a year ago, the love affair may be coming to an end. The other day, on crowded freeway, the check gauge light came on when the oil pressure gauge dropped to zero momentarily. It then returned to normal. Then it dropped again and there was a pop and a loss of power. I pulled over and the engine quit before I could get off the road.
    I took it to the nearest dealer, confident that the engine and power train warranty would cover whatever had happened. The shop said that I'd thrown a rod and needed a new engine. I told them to contact the warranty company, Fidelity Warranty Services Inc. in Deerfield Beach Fla. They immediately tried to deny the claim and demanded to see all of my oil change receipts. Too bad for them, cause I have all of them. I also have an attorney already on retainer that would be happy to take the case. I haven't heard what their response is after they inspected my vehicle and received copies of my receipts today. But, I just got done reading lots of articles just like this one on I may be in for a long ride on this one. I'll post more later.

    Geoff Kracoe
    Atlanta, GA
  • Hey Geoff Kracoe,

    We had the exact sae thing happen to our durango. The 5.2 threw a rod and we needed a new engine. Cost about 5,000 and the dealership would not help at all even though the owners aunt works at our law firm. They even changed the oil then a few days later said it needed the oil changed and we told them they had just changed it! That dealer is terrible. We weill never buy another chrysler product and got rid of the peice of crap they call a durango. By the way the dealership is Sam Lehman in Peoria Illinios, they now own the bmw place to, but STAYYYY AWAYYYYY!!!
  • taasstaass Posts: 40
    Well, my Durango is 4 years and a month old with 56,000 miles on it. The emmissions test (TX inspection) showed like-new numbers. I've had a few problems with the Durango, but nothing I wouldn't expect or that has left me stranded. Here's the list:

    1. Ball joints. The front right ball joint was bad enough to warrant replacement at 39,000 miles. Miffed, I had both sides replaced and judiciously greas'em up at every oil change (3Kmi) regardless of driving conditions. Cost - $530 dealer replacement.

    2. Thermostat gasket leak. I smelled this for over a year and had to keep adding coolant every 5000 miles or so but could never find the leak. Then, when adjusting the throttle valve cable to the transmission I happened to peer down at the intake manifold and noticed encrusted coolant residue. It took less than 45 minutes to replace WITHOUT having to remove the alternator bracket as the svc manual described. Just some dexterous fingers and a little diligence. Cost - $6 for coolant and gasket.

    3. RWAL (Rear wheel anti-lock sensor). This checked out at 49,000 miles. Besides the ABS and BRAKE MILs, the speedometer would not register a reading below 20 mph. Above 20 mph the speedo would shoot up to the correct reading. It was a simple diagnosis with the factory service manual and the part was only 30 bucks. Installation was a cinch. Cost - $33 for RWAL sensor.

    I just developed a small ATF drip at the transmission/transfer case mating surface. There is a cast notch below one of the mounting bolts to the transmission where the fluid is coming from. I may have overfilled the tranny, but, I plan on having the fluid changed soon anyway and will see if the leak goes away with proper fluid level. I'm pretty sure it's not the transfer case.

    There was ONE other unscheduled service, but it was my fault. I cross threaded the caliper slid pin into the steering knuckle last summer when I changed the front brake pads. I'll never make that mistake again. Fortunately DC addressed that problem with a Steering Knuckle repair kit. It consists of 25 helicoils, drill bit, tap. . everything needed for the repair in a slick black case. UNfortunately it cost me $137 at the dealership and I couldn't find this odd metric size helicoil kit ANYWHERE. Hard lesson to learn, and the Durango sat on jackstands in the driveway for 3 days before I found the solution. I went in looking for a new steering knuckle (after exhausting the salvage yards) and came out with this fix. Now, it sits in my toolbox never to be used again, hopefully. Anyone interested?

    So, besides the ball joints, the Durango has been a great vehicle to own. In my foolish youth I had thought about adding a nitrous system to turn my 5.9 into a wicked "sleeper," but after such a clean history I'd hate to sacrifice any reliability by subjecting the drivetrain to uneeded stresses. I still may drop in some headers, but am pleased with every aspect of my Durango.

    If I would change anything, it would probably be the primitive torsion bar front suspension. I drove a Toyota 4 Runner and really like the way it is sprung/damped. Some may disagree with me, I wish my Durango rode like that.

    OK, I've rambled enough, but I felt like sharing a mostly happy story instead of a horror flick. Laters.
  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    I am at 53,000 miles on my D and decided to have the 60,000 mile service done. I called my dealer and he told me they wanted $600.00 to do it!! After I regained my composure, I asked what it entailed to justify such a price. It involves:

    changing spark plugs
    changing the PCV valve
    changing the air filter
    changing oil and filter
    changing tranny fluid and filters



    Now I decided, most of the stuff I can do myself. I changed the plugs, and PCV valve. I have an Intense Performance Stage II air filter so I cleaned and replaced it. I went to my oil guy and had the oil changed but I will let the dealer service the tranny. All in all I spent about $240.00 total. I hate to slam the dealers but GEEEEZZZ. What a difference in cost. My D run's like new and I am going to keep the maintanence done myself.
This discussion has been closed.