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Dodge Durango



  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    Any reputable body shop should be able to properly prepare and paint the black door handles for you.

    I have the black ones on my '03 Durango and actually prefer them. They are more durable and less prone to abuse over time. Painted handles tend to scratch and show more abuse than the black ones.

    You could always get a black Durango and they wouldn't be as noticeable :)
  • Car and Driver Feb 2004 edition gave the Durango a road test. The results were quite favorable.
  • Picked up my new 4x4 SLT Durango Dec. 31. I ordered it from the factory - it took a little over a month to get it done, but most of that was waiting for them to get it in line. Can you say "Hemi"!!!! Extremely smooth handling and ride. I live in rural Arkansas and I can say that it is far smoother than any other ride I tried. Plenty of power of course. By the way, I bought black so the door handle thing is not an issue. I will let you know how it goes as I put on the miles.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    i agree with you guys...i've always thought that unpainted door handles and mirrors cheapen the vehicle's look. especially since that has been a well known cost the unpainted ones on the lower priced models. well, putting unpainted door handles on the 40k bucks worth limited durango is silly!!
  • I just bought a 2001 SLT 4.7 and drove it in snow (4")for the first time. I don't have my owners manual with me so what's the difference between 4W High and 4W Low? I had it in low and the rear was still slipping pretty good around corners.
  • jc58jc58 Posts: 48
    I talked with a shop that does customer exhausts and they indicated that their experience indicates there is not room to do a cat back dual exhuast system on the D. What is everyone's experience regarding this. They said they could add a customer muffler to the current set-up, or add the new muffler and add a 3" tail pipe. I looked at the current tail pipe and thought that was what the size was, but maybe it is only 2.5 inches?

    I am looking to add a new muffler that will add a nice low sound, but not one that resonates into the interior. Can anyone suggest what muffler gives that nice idle note as well as a good low sound on acceleration, but does not become irritating inside the D?
  • serranoserrano Posts: 107
    golions7 - 4wd Hi is 4wd with the same gear ratios as 2wd. It should be used for normal street driving. 4Lo has lower gearing for extra torque for off-roading and the like. It will not improve your traction and should normally not be used for street driving. Snow tires will do a lot more for you.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    If sales are halted, I guess we won't be getting many posts in this new discussion:

    KarenS "Dodge Durango: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" Jan 12, 2004 2:58pm

    Steve, Host
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Also keep in mind that you should not drive faster than 25-30mph in isn't good for the drivetrain. 4WDLow is great for really deep snow. Several years ago, a '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee we once owned made it through 2+ feet of snow with no problem with 4WDLow engaged.

    4WDHigh is good for driving in light to moderate snow and can be used at any legal speed. I usually engage 4WDHigh when driving on completely snow covered roads. As soon as I reach main roads that have been treated I switch back into 2WD. If roads are dry or just wet, the 4WD can bind which would be a bad thing (unless you have a full-time 4WD system which doesn't "care" if the roads are slippery or not). If part-time 4WD systems do not have the chance to do at least some slipping they can bind.

    Keep in mind, I tend to be more conservative with the 4WD system and use it only when absolutely necessary. I do not want to do anything that could cause undo wear or damage. You should use the system however you feel comfortable.
  • valli2valli2 Posts: 10
    Just after buying my new "03 Dodge I noticed that the air conditioning was not as strong as I thought it should be and was coming mostly out of the two vents nearest the center. The two side vents nearest the doors on the driver and passenger sides were very weak no matter how high I turned it. Of course the higher I turned it on the more it came on the sides but definitely not as strong as the center ones or as it should be. I brought it in and after they brought in the "top guns" they said it was just the way it was made and nothing could to be done about it. Period. I even made them sit in another Dodge of the exact same model and year and sure enough the air BLASTED us away! But they claim they found nothing wrong. They kept the car for over 8 hours in order to take off the whole dash and look inside.I would love to know if anyone has had the same problem and what did you do about it? Also, is there somewhere else I can turn to get results before Summer comes around again and it is too late. Funny, but I do not SEEM to have the same problem with the heat. OH, and it is still under warranty. Thanks
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    You could always try another dealer. Dodge products can usually be serviced at any Dodge or Chrysler dealership. We used to have our old Dodge Stratus serviced at a Chrysler dealership and they would always honor any warranty work with no questions asked. Just an idea and you should always confirm with the dealer that they will perform warranty work on your vehicle. GM and Ford dealers will not do warranty work on cross brands (Chevy dealers will not do warranty works on Pontiacs, for example), but Chrysler is usually pretty good about allowing it.

    What do you have the directional setting on when this occurs? I have noticed in my '03 Durango that when I have the directional setting on panel and floor together the flow from the panel vents is much less than when I have it on panel only. Most cars work this way.
  • Thanks for the replies on the 4WD question.
    2001 Durango 4.7 SLT
    I had my truck serviced at the dealer today and upon bringing it home I noticed a whining noise when I had it in park. It seemed to be coming from the rear driver wheel area.

    I brought it back to the dealer and the service manager indicated it might be the fuel pump. He brought out a tech and he confirmed it. They said when the weather gets really cold (9 degrees today)the fuel pump makes more noise. It's common and nothing to worry about.

    Is this right? I'm still under warranty if something goes wrong, so that's some comfort.
    Thanks in advance
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Reporter Brett Clanton is looking to interview a few people who have bought or are planning to buy a Chrysler or Dodge vehicle because of the Hemi. Please call him at 313-222-2612 or e-mail him at by Wednesday, January 28. Please feel free to contact me at with any questions.
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    My '03 Durango 4.7L V8 is much louder in the colder weather. It was -2 degrees here about a week and a half ago and the truck was extremely noisy. However, after warming up the engine and mechanical pieces were not excessively loud.

    Does your whining noise go away after the truck has warmed up to normal operating temperature? If it does, I wouldn't worry about it. Are you having starting problems, particularly while the engine is warm, or have you had any stalling issues? Those are usually better signs of fuel pump failure...
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    if you guys wanna hear noisy fuel pumps just listen to any 96-00 chrysler minivan...constant hummm/whine. it's just the nature of the beast and nothing to worry about unless you are having driveability problems...
  • just bought an 03 slt, and love it all but the gas mileage. the on board system reads 11.0mpg. i was hoping to find out if anyone has installed any special filters or has tried that tornado thing i see advertised. also my daily drive has many long hills, should i have the od on or off?
  • denimo1denimo1 Posts: 13
    I just took delivery on a new Hemi D Ltd. Ordered Aug 25, delivered Jan17 04! General impressions are good although I haven't done much highway driving yet,certainly lots of power around town. Room inside seems impressive when you look at the outside of the vehicle, but is still a little tight up front after my '00 Yukon ("The D has more space inside than an Expedition?" I dont know.) The front interior lights are really cheap-looking and feel like something from an eighties Hyundai.
    Pity Chrysler cancelled the U connect system (for Canada) I wish they'd told me before the vehicle arrived as I was ready to buy the $500 phone the system needs to operate. The option of a retractable cargo cover in back would have been nice, once you've used one they make good sense.
    It takes a 21 and 24 inch snow blade in front if anyone is planning to fit them. The rear wiper works great. Both the swept area and variable timing are superior to the Yukon. A rear mounted central locking switch in side the cargo area would be good, was this left off for safety reasons? The rear is definitely configured for people first, with cargo as an option, but its still a flatter floor than the Envoy. I have 275/55/17 Pirelli Scorpion Ice all round which were 200k's old off a Mercedes ML55.

    Happy motoring!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Gchristy19, if the Tornado worked, why wouldn't all the manufacturers factory install them? I think they are rip-offs - save your money.

    Gas Mileage Tips

    Steve, Host
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    I have an '03 SXT 4x4 with the 4.7L V8. I average 14-15mpg (my truck has 4,000 miles on it now). I would recommend keeping your overdrive on all the time (unless you are towing something).

    Most of those tornado devices are useless. The only "special filter" that may help is an aftermarket air filter for the engine (like a K&N or Accell KoolBlue). Those are less restrictive than the standard air filters and allow the engine to breathe a little easier.

    However, the fuel savings with a less restrictive air filter may not be worth the cost of the filter (usually around $50). Some people report better mileage with these type of filters while others say there was no appreciable change. I personally wouldn't spend the money on one unless it was a crucial component of a significant performance upgrade for the engine.

    Have you been using 4WD a lot? That can bring mileage down. Also, a higher concentration of around town driving versus highway only or city/highway mix will drag the mileage down. Driving up hill a majority of the time can have an adverse effect on mileage, too. There are so many factors. Cold/winter weather drops mileage as well.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    K&N doesn't tout gas mileage for air filters on their web site I don't think (not counting testimonials). Air box replacements may be a different can of worms.

    K&N Air Filters, bolt-on power?

    The easiest way to get 10% better mileage is to check the air pressure in your tires.

    Steve, Host
  • thanks for the info, ill definatly check the pressure and look into the air box you mentioned. as far as the tornado your opinion seems to be the majority, guess ill stay away from that.
  • hi ryster the options i have are awd, 4hi and 4 low and for the most part its in awd. i am in a cold and wintery area so i guess that doesnt help. i wish i could be getting 14-15mpg. thanks for the info
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    On the FAQ page of K&N's site there is a discussion of the mileage benefits, if any, of installing a K&N filter. It is FAQ question 1.

    gchristy - the awd system will bring mileage down a little as it is always engaged. I would say, based on the awd system, driving hilly areas, and the cold weather that 11mpg would seem normal for your vehicle. My 14-15mpg figure is basically mixed driving in 2WD. When I use 4WD in the snowy weather, my mileage drops significantly (goes down to around 12mpg).
  • Looking at 04 durango. Also explorer, envoy, ranier and 4runnerand endeavour. If you have an 04, durango,what was deciding factor in your purchase over other makes. I know it hasn't been out long, but are you satisfied with the purchase?
  • tvishtvish Posts: 6
    I would be interested in knowing if this feature will be available on the Durango Hemi, as it will be for the same motor in the '05 Dodge Magnum.

    For those wondering what I mean by Multi Displacement System:

    Quote from website

    "The 2005 Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum RT will be the first high-volume, modern production vehicles in North America to feature fully-functioning cylinder deactivation when they go on sale in the spring of 2004. The Multi-Displacement System (MDS) will be standard equipment on the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum RT.

    The Chrysler Group MDS seamlessly alternates between smooth, high fuel economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed, and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. In short, owners of the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum RT will receive the powerful benefit of the Hemi engine with the fuel economy that they would only expect from a smaller, less powerful engine.

    "The MDS was part of the engine's original design," said Bob Lee, Vice President Powertrain Product Team, Chrysler Group. "This resulted in a cylinder-deactivation system that is elegantly simple and completely integrated into the engine design. The benefits are fewer parts, maximum reliability and lower cost."

    This system should triumph where the Cadillac 4-6-8 failed because of the speed of modern electronic controls, the sophistication of the algorithms controlling the systems, and the use of electronic throttle control. The HEMI will be able to transition from eight cylinders to four in 40 milliseconds (0.04 seconds).

    The HEMI engine with MDS has completed over 6.5 million customer-equivalent miles through Chrysler Group’s development and durability testing.

    The system deactivates the valve lifters. This keeps the valves in four cylinders closed, and there is no combustion. In addition to stopping combustion, energy is not lost by pumping air through these cylinders.

    Customers will experience estimated fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent under various driving conditions, and a projected 10 percent aggregate improvement. Improved fuel economy is realized without any change in customer experience—drivers will receive the benefit without changing their driving habits and without compromising style, comfort or convenience."
  • I have now had my 04 Durango, 4x4 Hemi SLT since late December. I now have about 2000 miles on it, mostly driving in rural areas -- I live in Arkansas. I looked at other options, even considered buying an 03 of something to take advantage of rebates, etc. I made my choice on the basis of features for the cost and power of Hemi. For the price of the Durango, I believe you cannot find comparably equipped truck/SUV for the money. It is priced at the level of a mid-size and yet in many ways has the size of the larger vehicles.

    I have found the steering to be extremely responsive, plenty of power and smooth riding. Some have criticized the interior as less than appealing or even cheaply done. I have not found this to be so. While I may look at it differently, as I am driving this in rural areas and I do not want something that is so fancy that I am afraid to get it dirty. I owned a Chevy 1500 4x4 four door extended cab truck before. The Durango rides with the smoothness of a car and yet the strength of a truck. Rough roads are no problem for this vehicle.

    I recently picked up three five shelf (6 foot tall) bookshelves, in boxes, from Staples and was able to slide them into the back with no problem. In the next few months I will make my annual trip to Nebraska to pick up meat from a rancher -- I will haul 6 - 7 head of butchered and frozen meat back here to Arkansas for members of my church and friends in the community. Total weight of meat will be in excess of 3000 pounds, in a trailer, and would expect no problems with the load.

    Some have complained about the gas mileage for the Durango. I am averaging about 15 - 16 overall and getting 19 or slightly more when it is all highway driving.

    If I had to do over again, I would buy a Durango -- the 04 addition as the older models were too small.
  • Sounds good. My problem is a don't know how easily this vehicle will drive in nyc. My dealer also has jeep, chrysler and mitsubishi models. Don't care for cherokee, but I've foung the endeavor quite compelling. Its smaller with all wheel drive. Here in the city, they're considering taking suvs over 6,000 lbs and making them trucks. Durangos, expiditions, yukons , humvees etc. Would be banned from certain streets. So I might have other factors to consider. I've never had an suv. Does the durango handle like a clumsy truck, or can some one like me handle it without much difficulty. Have you driven on snow? Hemi? Have you noticed ball joint problems that have hampered earlier models?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    While you cannot rewrite history, you will have 30 minutes to make any changes or fixes after you post a message. Just click on the Edit button that follows your message after you post it.
  • CR just rated large SUV's, and while they say the new Durango is much improved over the last model, it still only managed 13th place, according to them. As I recall, they really hated the last Durango. But they are biased against truck like vehicles in this class, and prefer car based ones.
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