Dodge Durango



  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    For those of you who might be waiting for my post on towing my 6000-lb travel trailer, sorry for the wait. My wife had knee surgery and I underestimated the amount of work I had to make up for around the house!! Hope to do it soon. I did however pull a utility trailer with about 2000-2500 pounds and with the exception of a slightly slower takeoff (for obvious reasons, I didn't try to snatch it off of the line), it didn't even know it was there. Ater 10 mph, I was able to accelerate the same as always.
    CAUTION: Even in Tow/Haul mode, you have to watch your speed, it wanted to run and I got up to 75 without even feeling like it, so I lowered speed and engaged Cruise Control. The California Speed Limit with a trailer is 55, so I won't make that mistake again. The thing has so much power and is so quiet, it is amazing.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Member Posts: 109
    hey at last a problem, im having the same problem you had with the ac blowing hot air it happened today, went to the store came back turned on the ac and it was blowing hot air. Just took it to the post office and its working fine now, what do you think it is the fuse? like i said its working fine now and i know if i bring it to the dealership with the ac working there not going to be able to fix the problem, what do you think i should do?
  • raiders63raiders63 Member Posts: 8
    I've installed a Yakima rack on my 2004 Durango to haul my kayaks around on. I had a Yakima rack on my 1998 Durango, liked it, and decided to keep with the same product line.

    Anyway, I now get a whistling noise when I go over 60mph. I'm wondering if this is caused by air going through the U-shaped roof rails and under the Yakima tower.

    I've moved the front tower as far forward as I can in the hopes of eliminating the noise. While it didn't do that, it did change the pitch of the whistle. I'm thinking of running black electrical tape over the rail opening between the tower and rail pillar to see if that helps.

    Has anyone else experienced and overcome this? My local dealer tells me I should go with the Mopar bars to resolve this....
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Ah, the infamous periodic vortex shedding issue!

    You can usually fix the whistling by wrapping cord around the bars with, say, a one inch gap between the wraps. Lots of car antennas have a "wire" that wraps around the antenna in similar fashion to prevent the antenna from singing in the wind.

    Alternatively, you could try a fairing or keep experimenting with moving the racks forward or back to try to minimize the noise.

    I bolted some 1x4's on my round Yak bars and that did the trick for me.

    Steve, Host
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Member Posts: 109
    found out what the problem is with the ac blowing hot air, went to the dealership today because i had the problem again today and they said its a software issue and dodge is aware of the problem, the new program should be out in a couple of weeks, whats happening from what they told me is that the computer is telling the clutch not to engage at certain times hence is why the compressor isn't turning on, when they pull the fuse or clear the codes it will work, but you will still have the issues until the new program is installed in the pcm
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    Thanks for the update and sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. That is kind of what they said with mine. They had to pull the fuse and put it back in, then clear the error codes from the memory. After they did that, it hasn't done it yet. Working great, but thanks for the heads up. Next time it goes down, I will just call service and ask if the fix is out. But again, working like a champ once they cleared the codes. It has been a week and I have been using the vehicle quite a bit, not one miscue.
    Still love it!
  • milt721milt721 Member Posts: 83
    always complains about the Chrysler two-step radio preset process. It's MUCH better that way. With most cars, after you set the presets, you have to constantly hit the "band" button to access all preset stations. With Chrysler radios, you just hit the same button twice (2 presets per button without having to switch bands). I can see the 2-step process being a pain if you constantly switch preset stations, but most people set them and forget them. I've written to them on several occasions with this concern, but they always ignore me. What do you guys think? Do you like to always hit the band button, or would you rather hit the preset button?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Full Test: 2004 Dodge Durango

    Yep, they don't like the buttons :-)

    Steve, Host
  • peter_in_atlpeter_in_atl Member Posts: 42
    I agree with you. For most people, it's set and forget. When I travel, I'm usually playing CDs instead of finding new radio stations. It's nice to just press the button on the back of the steering wheel to access all 12 stations. On my Maxima, I have to hit the "mode" button in order to get to the second set of stations.
  • mark_325imark_325i Member Posts: 29
    look like a DCX minivan?
  • 300eguy05300eguy05 Member Posts: 39
    HAHAHA well, I will agree with you, from some views it does look like a mini-van. A friend of mine told me it looks like a mini-van on steroids. ;)
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    It took some getting use to on my '03 Dakota. There are two problems with the duplex single button; 1) it's different from the vast majority of radios, 2) depending if a person is right or left hemisphere it may not be intuitive. I personally have found that it is more convenient.

    If Chrysler would like to make just one ergonomic change my vote would be to utilize the push-away, pull-in control type for high-beam switching.

    Bst regards,
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    It took about 12 days, but you were right, I have the same issues again. It is not blowing hot, it is just not blowing cold. Just ambient outside air. Sending it in again tomorrow. Let's hope it will hold until the software fix comes in. Could you do me a small favor? When your dealer gets it, let me know so I can get it done right?

  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Member Posts: 109
    all you have to do if its blowing hot air is to turn the ignition off and on again that resets the pcm and should kick the clutch on, and yes as soon as the service manager calls me when the download is available ill let you know, another thing to i was told when you turning the ignition on turn it kinda fast dont turn the key slow, for some reason turning it slow can cause that pcm fault to occur more often
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    I appreciate the info. I have it in the shop and I am sure they will find nothing wrong with it!
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    Well, I finally did it. I towed my travel trailer this weekend. I did a twenty mile test on a combination of flat land and hills through the Vineyards of Temecula, California and Lake Skinner just to figure everything out. I have an '04 Limited Hemi with a 3.92 axle. I pulled an '04 Jayco JayFlight 27BH. The trailer is 29 1/2 feet overall and weighs 5026 pounds dry. I towed it with a full watertank (336 pounds) and about 300 pounds of miscellaneous gear inside. I have a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch, Prodigy Digital Brake controller, and a trickle charger for the trailer battery. Here is the run down:

    - Power: Not a problem, engine wise. Pretty darn good on takeoff and enough power to sustain the pull. That's the engine. As far as the tranny, I was a little disappointed. The shifter allows you to put it in 1st, 2nd and then Drive (it's a five-speed automatic). Even though I put it in Tow/Haul mode, it did a lot of shifting from 3rd to 4th to third going uphills. I was really wishing for a selector on the transmission to lock it into 3rd gear. Here is the problem - it races up third gear to get to speed, then drops into fourth gear and bogs down, now it has to drop to 3rd and start all over again. Kind of troubling. 2nd gear isn't tall enough to maintain a decent rate of speed as it is turning pretty high at 45 mph.

    - Fuel economy: the tranny's excessive shifting hurts here. With the A/C, 6.5 mpg, without the A/C 9.5 - 10 mpg. Without the A/C, it obviously shifted less, minus the pull of the compressor. Next time I take it out, I will not use the A/C at all. Therefore, I will mostly travel at night.

    - Ride quality: Fair. The vehicle moved around quite a bit since it was a windy day, especiallly through the Temecula Valley. Bottom line, I NEED A SWAY BAR! I felt it moving quite a bit. The sway bar should eliminate most to all of that. The manual says to get a sway bar for load above 2000 pounds. The guy at the trailer dealership said I shouldn't need one. I will go with the manual on this one! It also kind of lurched forward and backwards. Again, the sway bar will help there significantly.

    - Brakes: (not totally Durango-related) The Prodigy is awesome, I highly recommend it. After I got it tuned in, which is remarkably easy to do, stopping was non-eventful and easy to adjust to.

    Overall, not too bad for the first outing. Really impressed with the engine, less so with the tranny. I think that over time, I will REALLY hate not being able to lock into third. Third gear can easily maintain freeway speeds, even going uphill. With no way to keep it there, I will have to deal with the "see-saw" or "accordion" like feel of racing and bogging.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Travel at night and GET A SWAY BAR. I will let you all know how much of a difference the sway bar makes when I get it. Any questions, send them!
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Member Posts: 109
    thanks for your input, i think you can buy a power programer whereas you can change the shift points to your liking, i think hyper tech is a place where you can get some information, i did notice on bumpy roads the dodge side to side motion is a little excesive, would putting a beefier sway bar solve that problem? dont get me wrong the ride is untouched IMO just wish they put a better swaybar on the dodge from the factory
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    I was talking about the type of swaybar for towing. It goes with a weight distribution hitch. It is a bar that connects from the ball receiver assembly to the side of the tongue on larger trailers. But now that you mention it, it does jump a little on big bumps during turns. Not enough to bug me, but yes, it probably could use a beefier sway bar underneath the chassis.
    By the way, I got it back from the shop and they said the best way to avoid the A/C problem is to shut down the A/C before you shut down the vehicle until they get the fix in place. When you shut down the compressor with the engine, the computer thinks it is still on when you start the engine and therefore will not engage. Turning it off and restarting it clears this, but it is still a small nuisance until the fix comes out. Apparently it will take a little longer to come through in California because it has to go through some emissions board for approval. A short hurdle, but a hurdle nonetheless.

    Happy motoring!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
  • mark_325imark_325i Member Posts: 29
    Alas, how true. A pudgy vehicle for the super-sized family. The ads for these things always put them in rugged settings with fit people getting their climbing gear out of the back. The reality is that these things are bought by the Klumps and the only "gear" taken out of the back are cases of chips from Costco. Crank up the DVD and pass the Big Gulp!
  • durango04durango04 Member Posts: 3
    I have an 04 Durango, HEMI, SLT. Anyone else with the HEMI notice a ticking sound at idle, akin to excessive lifter noise. I have listened to 3 other HEMI's at the dealer and they all have the same ticking sound, so it might be normal but annoying. Any ideas on what it is and if it can be made quieter. Note that you can't hear it from inside the vehicle.

    Also, intermittenly at start up the fan makes a loud whooshing sound before settling at idle..any ideas.

    Third, the brake pedal creaks when depressed. Have had the brake switch replaced twice..same creak..any suggestions....thanks.
  • peter_in_atlpeter_in_atl Member Posts: 42
    Essentially calling Durango owners big, fat slobs does little to contradict the perception of BMW owners.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    If you read the article linked, while the Durango grew in size, muscle was mentioned - in fact, the editor specifically said it didn't feel flabby. They also said the seats weren't all that good for tall people, interestingly enough. Guess it still has room to grow.

    Steve, Host
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    Have you driven the '04 Durango yet? Once you do, you wouldn't care if it looks like a late 80's-early 90's Nissan Sentra. Oh, wait, that is the 325i!
    Pick a different forum.
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    It is just fine for tall people. My son is 6'1 1/2", 215 pounds and sits happily anywhere in the vehicle, including the third row. If you check the specs in the Motor Trend article, the third seat has more leg room and headroom than all but the Expedition (it is within an inch). The Sequoia, Expedition and Armada claim three can fit in theirs, but I would not want to be one of the three! Also, with the adjustable pedals, there isn't a great need to jam the front seat all the way back, so the middle seat is just fine. All you have to do is be considerate and everyone will be happy. If you are alone, jack the seat all the way back!
  • jcmartinjcmartin Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2001 Durango SLT+ 4x4 with the 5.9L engine, 3.92 axle, leather interior, and pretty well loaded. We ordered it without the third seat to get the extra legroom in the second row. It has performed well, and we still are quite happy with it 3 years and 72,000 miles later. Unfortunately, my wife had to go "offroad" to avoid an oncoming truck that was straddling the center line. She veered off into a ditch, went through a garden, and stopped the Durango with a large tree at about 30 mph. Thankfully, other than seat belt bruises, she is fine, as is our 7mo old daughter who was in her car seat in back. The Durango passenger compartment remained intact with the engine compartment absorbing all of the impact. It looks ugly, but the insurance company wants to repair it. We are going to replace it though and are looking at the 04 Durango.

    We are looking at the Limited 4x4 with the Hemi and 3.92 axle. Took a demonstrator home for the weekend (with the 3.55 axle) and pounded on it for a while. It definitely has a nice ride and a lot more space. It hesitated a bit when I would punch it, but then accelerated well. Anyone know if this is the same with the 3.92 axle in place? The seats don't seem as comfortable as the ones in our 01 Durango, a bit hard. Do they get better as they break in? Other than the recent posts about A/C issues with the pcm program, sounds like there aren't any nagging issues with the new design.

    I don't think the dealer we are talking to is giving us a good price (41,490 SP - 5,000 in rebates and then 14,900 in trade on the 01 Durango (oh, and then add tax)). They are the ones we ordered the 01 durango from, and it is in their body shop right now. The trade is probably overvalued, but I'm not sure how much. They are giving 14,900 on the final repaired Durango which is about 1000 more than the wholesale book value, but it is a loaded car and the interior is still in super shape (plus the tires and brakes on it only have about 2,000 mi on them). Finding what we want seems to be an issue also - they did locate one though. I am trying to decide whether to work on getting a better price from them on this one, or just waiting until we can order an 05 model.
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    Glad all is well. I watched an '01 Durango go through a brick wall at around 50 mph right in front of my house and both of the passenger came out fine. One had a seatbelt burn because he wasn't wearing a shirt. They are seriously tough.
    As for the hesitation in takeoff, there is a significant difference to the 3.92 (which I have), but the intake system is still going to have a slight delay. Once it kicks in though, your head goes back!! I am thinking of getting a cold-air intake to get rid of this. A good friend of mine also has a Hemi and the difference in throttle response is night and day with the cold-air intake. As for the seats, yes, they will break in.
    As for the pricing. Go to my Post #1198 and find out how I got a Fleet deal. This will allow you to custom order yours. They build it especially for you and you will get it in about 4-6 weeks. If you are willing to wait for an '05, than this should at least be an option for you.
  • etze_etze_ Member Posts: 27
    I am looking at buying a 2001 Durango SLT with the third seat. I test drove one and really love the feel of it and the exhaust note is really nice. The best thing for me though is the huge amount of head and legroom for the drive.

     Since we will be using three child car seats in it we will need to put two of them in way back seat. I could not find any latch system for either back rows and the salesman suggested using the cargo tie downs for the top teather.Is this what everyone else uses or do you just use the seat belts ? Also do you have any problems fitting the car seat in the small third seat ? I measured the seat bottom and it is only 12" wide while my child seat are 16" wide , does anyone have a problem fitting these seats in the back ?

     I know this is alot of questions, but I was looking for real world advice on how the older Durangos function with kid.

     I have always loved the Durangos, and with the price of gas rising and the new body style out this seams to be a good time to get a good by on the Durango classics.

     Thanks for any advice.
  • pepsigirlpepsigirl Member Posts: 1
    I am interested in purchasing a 1999 used durango. It's car fax report came out wonderful and has had only one previous owner. We are a young couple with one child and one very big dog. We do some traveling but mostly stay local- country. Do any of you have any advice-positive or negative? Please respond soon our other car is on it's way out! Thanks
  • durango04durango04 Member Posts: 3
    The rear cargo tie downs are not designed for a tether and could be dangerous if you use them in this manner. I have only two car seats, in the middle row, one on each side and there definitely is no room for a third one in between. I would put one in the middle row either behind the passenger or driver and two in the back...however the ones in the back would have to be secured the old fashioned way...with the seat belt, using a locking clip.
  • etze_etze_ Member Posts: 27
    Thanks for the help. That what I was thinking, one in row two and two in the way back seat .I sent Dodge an e-mail to see if they have a retrofit kit for the latch system. I did notice on the '04 Durango that they have a symbol next to the cargo tie downs that they are not to be used with child seats. Salesmen will tell you anything.
  • momof2girlsmomof2girls Member Posts: 1
    The durango only has the side rail roof racks and the only carrier I have found to meet my needs is one that says only use with a 4 way roof rack.It is a soft type not a hard one so I am hoping that by using the straps that are on the carrier attached to the side rails and heavy duty utility straps made for cartop carriers this will not be a problem.does anyone have any suggestions or imput?
     thanks momof2girls
  • raiders63raiders63 Member Posts: 8
    I have one of the softsided carriers as well. For support and stability I would follow the manufacturers recommendations and use a roof rack with cross bars. To do that on the Durango, you have a few options. First, you can buy the Mopar crossbars from your Dodge dealer. You can also purchase 3rd party products by Yakima or Thule. Most sporting goods and cycling shops will carry the Yakima and/or Thule racks.

    I can speak from experience on the Yakima product, it takes the low rider towers and 58 inch cross bars. It looks nice, but at highway speeds I sometimes hear a whistling noise from the wind going over/around the crossbars.

    Hope this helps.
  • durangovadurangova Member Posts: 4
    I purchased the Mopar crossbars. Easy to adjust, works well and no noise issues.
  • daven357daven357 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 04 Durango with a 5.7L Hemi. I can't seem to get better than 14 mpg. Has anyone gotten 14 city/18 highway like the sticker claimed? Second, the factory DVD screen does not automatically come on after you stop and turn on the key again. Only the sound comes on the stereo. To get the screen to display, I have to hit the play button on the remote to get the screen to come on. Is that normal? Third, I can't open the rear passenger door from the inside, even with the child lock disengaged. Is there a trick to this?
  • mldmltmldmlt Member Posts: 2
    Is anyone experiencing air conditioning problems with 04 Hemi Durango? Blows hot air intermitently. Have complained to dealership however they have been unable to resolve. Tell me there is a "fix" coming from Dodge. Any suggestions on resolving?
  • mldmltmldmlt Member Posts: 2
    I too am having the same problem with my new 04 Hemi which is less than a month old. Have you found a resolution? The dealership tells me it is a problem with Dodge & they are working on a "fix". Since you have had your Durango a few months, have your been able to resolve?
  • denimo1denimo1 Member Posts: 13
    I,m getting 18-20mpg on highways with my Durango which has 11000k's on it. This is medium loaded with one passenger, but I'm impressed. Its never in town for very long but I'd guess 12mpg at best.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Member Posts: 109
    its a software issue, tell your dealership to look at the tsb dodge came out with, go back to pages 63 and 64 we talk about this very issue
  • daven357daven357 Member Posts: 2
    Costco auto program should help. Don't forget to mention Costco to the dealer.
  • colsohcolsoh Member Posts: 1
    Responding to Posting #1256, all Hemis I have heard have this ticking sound. Most likely valve lifters - I searched the internet and found one potential solution, replacing the aluminum valve covers with steel. Don't know, but may be worth a shot.

    The other, and more annoying sound, is what sounds like a squeaking serpentine belt, however, the noise is coming from the transmission housing underneath the vehicle. I only notice this when the vehicle is idling. There is a some discussion on both of these topics at

    Anyone else notice these noises? If so, it may be worthwhile to contact Chrysler. If this problem is widespread and persistent, it will force them to issue a Technical Service Bulletin.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Member Posts: 109
    that ticking sound is the fuel injectors, on some cars there loud, at least that's what the tech told me when i ask about it, even on my camaro it's loud too
  • prelecprelec Member Posts: 15
    I have owned a 2000 slt since 12-99. There have been no problems with this car. I just got a new boat and it feels a bit overworked?? - overheated?? My extended warranty expires in december, so i'm going to buy a 2004 limited w/ hemi. I can get it for about $27k. I hope that the new one is as trouble free as the old one. From all I read here and elsewhere, I'm going to be pleasantly surprised.
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    In the meantime, until you can get the reps to fix it. Try turning off your Climate Control before you shut down, then turn on after you start it. It works great like that, although a slight pain. If it starts blowing hot air, kill the power to the A/C, shut the engine off and remove the key, then start up and turn the power back on. It resets the memory and the A/C clutch will engage. Like I said, slight pain, but worth it until you can take it in to get fixed.
    By the way, I towed my travel trailer again. It weighs 6000 pounds. Did much better this time. I very happy with my Hemi Limited Durango!!!
  • loneriderlonerider Member Posts: 1
    I really like the 2004 durango, but being this late in the year I really dont know if i should wait longer for the price to go down when the 2005 comes out. It seems stupid to pay that much for a car that will be a year old very shortly? Should i buy now or wait a little longer?
  • mshellebean27mshellebean27 Member Posts: 1
    I love my new Durango... It is an awesome smooth ride.. I have had a few small minor problems with it. Air not getting hot enough and back door weather stripping coming loose. Oh yea one more thing, I have the some problem with the back doors they don't want to open, even when the safety function is off. The dealer is great about fixing everything so far.. If this is the worst I will be happy.. I have only owned it for 3 months.. I will keep ya posted.. As for post #1283 I don't think you should wait... :) your missing out...
  • dammitjim1dammitjim1 Member Posts: 95
    Has anybody heard whether Dodge intends to introduce a navigation system for the Durango?
  • crichtoncrichton Member Posts: 5
    Hi! I will be replacing my 2000 Odyssey in December. Any info on when the '05 Durango will come out? And will there be any improvements/new features that anyone has heard about? Thanks for the info.
  • keeferbkeeferb Member Posts: 81

    We are shopping around for a new 3-row SUV and the new Durango is on our list(along with the Pilot, Explorer, and Trailblazer). I put on 50 miles/day (about 45 of them on the highway), so gas mileage is somewhat of a concern. I don't do much towing so I think the 4.7 engine would be fine(I've read the V6 is barely adequate). I was wondering if I could get some mileage feedback from people who have the 4.7 so I can see what the 'real world' mpg is.

    Thanks a bunch!
  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    I have an '03 Durango with the 4.7L. I commute 60 miles a day with mine in mixed driving (some 55mph roads, others 35-45mph). I average 15 miles per gallon. I have never taken the truck on an extended highway trip, but I would imagine seeing 17 maybe 18 mpg if I were lucky.

    I knew when I bought the truck that it had a reputation for having lower gas mileage than other vehicles in its class. Therefore, I wasn't disappointed when I started seeing the average mileage.

    In comparison, I had a 4.0L V6 Explorer a few years ago. It would average 17-18mpg around town, and I did see 20mpg on a extended highway trip. The Pilot, Explorer, and Trailblazer would probably give you better overall fuel mileage, but the overall driving experience is not going to be as well rounded as the Durango.

    I cross shopped the Trailblazer and Durango last year when I bought my '03, and did not care for the Trailblazer. The Trailblazer was very quiet and rode very soft, but the handling and braking were not as solid as the Durango. If my '03 Durango was better than the Trailblazer last year, I can about imagine how much better the '04 Durango would be!
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