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My 2000 Dodge Durango IS A LEMON!



  • I've got a '98 DD with a little over 50K miles on it (5.9 V8, 3.92 axle ratio, HD tow group). I regularly tow a 6,000 lb. trailer and drive it 30 miles to work each day -- no problems with either. Over all, I'm very pleased. However, I had to replace the thermostat and the fuel pump at about 35K miles. My one piece of advice: GET THE 100,000 MILE WARRANTY! Get it when you buy the truck and add it right in to your monthly payment. IT WILL END UP PAYING FOR ITSELF! Mine already has.
  • I am owner of a 1999 Durango still under factory warranty with 25,000 on it, Purchased the car preowned at 12,000 miles. The car is exhibiting worrisome problems: 1) Car is at cruising speed, the engine jerks, all gauges go to "0" speedometer and tachometer included, engine is running, but the car will not run, behaves as if it is in neutral. After shifting into park and back into gear, car resumes to normal. 2, Engine shuts down during cruising and operations..will not restart "NO BUS" message appears on the trip/odometer screen. The problem is intermittent, and the dealership techs were not able to duplicate the problem, nor were they able to fix so far... after the first occurance the car was released to me telling me they could'nt find anything wrong , shortly thereafter I was stranded on the freeway with a dead engine at great peril to my self. Already informed NHTSA. Any comments suggestions or comiseration ?

  • My Durango just did this exact thing, The engine just stopped. Then no bus appeared in the odometer. While I was waiting for roadside assistance approx. 1/2 hour later I tried the engine again it started. Now I don't know what to do. I am loosing my confidence in the car, I have two small kids and only one vehicle, being stranded is not something I want to repeat!
  • Wrote in about my Durango no bus message after it just stopped while driving. Its in the shop today and they are replacing the PCM card, basically the brain of the car. I gather this is not a cheap part, good thing for a warenty and a dealer that isn't giving me the run around! He says he has had 2 others that did the same thing and that the owners had brought them to other dealers that said they couldn't find the problem and sent them on their way. They both had the failure again leaving them stranded. He said if its under warenty he is going to pull the card and replace its not going to get better and thats the only way to fix it.
  • The 'clunk' you hear is probably due to the full time transfer case. Things work a bit differently in them! I also own an R/T and am loving it. I've now got about 4500 miles on it and it is beginning to loosen up. I've gotten a much better 0-60 times than posted by pro drivers. I'm wondering about the gearing - I need to check it because I don't think it's as low as they state. I have no 'scribbing noise' but it has always had a 'clunk' when going from R to D. I is just things are a little looser than when it was made. In full-time drivetrains this is VERY common.
  • I just purchased a new Durango 3.92 gears limmeted slip,and have noticed the scrubbing noise.I seems that it makes the noise as the car is turning espicelly backing out of a parking spot and turning at the same time.I think problem in my Durango seems to be the limeted slip clutchs chattering as the rear wheels turn at different speeds through a slow turn, at high speed it seems to be ok.What needs to be done is the fluid to be changed to synthetic fluid and the main ingredient is the Limmeted Slip addative to be added first this is what helps prevent the clutched from binding.As far as the clunckig I have the same noise to dosen't seem to pose any problems there is more play in the drivetain of a 4wd so a noise here or there may be normal. Hope this helps
  • I wish to add my voice to those who have the truly bad luck of being owners of a Dodge Durango. Not only have I had a front end wheel noise and was stranded because of a electronic problem but now there is a recall on it. They should put a recall on the whole thing and give us our money back. Just to add insult to injury, my Dodge dealer is the absolute pitts!!!Shame on you Dailmer-Chrysler. What the hell was I thinking? Oh Yeah I wanted to buy a cheap 4X4. I got a cheap one allright!!!
  • I was wondering if anyone has a problem similar to the one I'm experiencing. In my 99 Durango, 18,000 miles, when I first start the car or have been standing in traffic for more than 1 minute , when I try to accelerate the truck revs really high before shifting into 2nd gear, after that all is normal. Also I have that annoying clunk when going from drive to reverse, I brought it to the dealer and was told that they couldn't hear anything unusual
  • I too like those before me ended up going with the "cheap" Durango with it's bigger room and better towing capacity (for my future camping trailor now put on hold). I too have heard that "scrubbing" noise on slow turns coming from a stop. I would love to take it to my dealership, but I have lost confidence in the ability to actually fix problems! While I haven't had transmition or other problems mentioned in this site (knock on wood) my batery died at 9 months and I have had 4 electronic window failures, a loose hatch fixed twice, door lock clanking noice (afraid to take it to them) and the door lock jammed as a result of one of the attempted power window repairs (door jam took more than a day to fix!). What frustrates me the most is that when talking with a fried who used to own a Jeep, he mentioned his battery would die every 9 months (sounds familiar) and now I'm approaching 30,000 miles and 18 months of ownership (time for a new battery?). Additionally a friend of my wife used to own a Dodge back in college and had electronic window failures! It sounds like to me that Dodge knows it has quality issues and is not doing anything about it! I only wish I had my home computer before I bought my Durango and had looked up this site... thus my userid Maybe Next Time! I'm strongly considering taking the hit with dumping the Durango and going with a new minivan. At this point I have had big disappointments with my Chevy (college car), Mercury Cougar (get out of college car) and now the Dodge Durango! I hate to sound unpatriotic, but while the Durango is actually my wife's vehicle, my Nissan has almost 100,000 miles and NEVER had a problem. Am I just expecting too much from everyone else?
  • dubes1dubes1 Posts: 7
    I have a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab and the rear end locked up at 40 MPH. I purchased this truck because of the towing ability. I have a 5000 pound boat and I am afraid to pull anything with this truck. My wife and I almost went through the windshield. Dealer replaced the complete rear end and it now howls like a pig waiting to have sex.
  • We currently have around 43,000 miles on our 1998
    Durango. If we replace the front tires again, that will be our 5th set of tires. The dealership
    keeps saying that it is the alignment and that we
    should have it aligned every 3000 miles. Is that BS or what. Has anyone else had the same problem?
    Please respond.
  • hingramhingram Posts: 24
    When I was looking at SUV, I checked out the reputation of the Durango because I thought it was a great looking truck.

    I bought a Bravada.
  • Although I have had problems with my 2000 Durango with 5.8 with 3.92 full time transfer they seem minor compared to what apparently lies ahead. Nevertheless I did want to know if anyone else is having a problem with a loose washer fluid cap that causes rapid evaporation of the washer fluid and if so what fix is suggested. The dealer replaced the filler cap but it has the same issue as the last only less frequently. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Also if anyone knows of a competent Dodge Dealer for service in the Greater Denver, CO area I would sure like to find one.
  • I have a 99' DD 4WD 32K MI. What a "POS"! This vehicle has been in the shop 21 times in 22mths.
    I am currently taking advantage of the SOUTH CAROLINA "LEMON LAW". Please look into it. It will protect you from your "POS" too. My problems consist of: 3, out of round tires, steering shaft assembly broke twice, light switch broke twice.(no lights) wind noise, horn broke,(after it got stuck!) battery exploded, valves knock so bad it sounds like a diesel, back seat came loose,(no passengers) screws came out of finder well, any three attempts to fix problem and you qualify. Crysler must reimburse the sales price of the vehicle plus intrest and taxes. "SWEET"!
  • abaltoabalto Posts: 22
    That questions and technical advice web site...

    I have also looked for a good Dodge web site to ask questions and technical advice, opinions, etc. The best site I have found is This site is clearly the best in quality, with over 60,000 posts! Good luck either way Trevor!
  • Many people will now probably say that I'm a sucker..or a glutton for punishment. Let me tell you what I just did.
    I bought a 1999 Dodge Durango, black as coal and looked very tough. Loved it from the start. Had it loaded, leather, the works. Even installed a high dollar CB and COP radio. Bought it as a program vehicle at 6500 miles. the problems start...and I won't quote mileage. Oh yeah, big mistake, didn't do the 100,000 warranty either. I replaced the power steering pump, the starter, had window failures. The usual squeaks. Revving up the tack to almost six and a half going down the highway pulling my 1500 boat. It was the 5.9 V8 so I heard that it could pull 8,000 pounds. screws coming out of the seat. O/D light coming on for no apparent reason, and then on Tuesday of this week, my service engine soon light came on with no apparent reason and I took it to the dealer. He said a sensor went out in the transmission and it would be a $1600 bill to fix. I told them piss on it and ended up buying a 2000 "bright white" Durango, 5.9, V8 with all the trimmings. I'm going to give it another chance because I love the looks I get when I'm driving and no truck on the road looks tougher at this point. Yes, I'm a typical guy, love the toys and stuff. Money isn't a problem to spending $35 grand on a vehicle but over that could cause a headache. We'll see what misfortunes come with this new one. It has 3500 miles and yes it's another program vehicle. This seems to run much smoother because I traded the '99 on Tuesday and it only had 48,000 miles. I'm sorry all you people are going through this, I am a bit surprised to read all the posts about this vehicle. It's kind of depressing in a way but hopefully "Good guys where bright white" will do the trick, Wish me luck!!!!!

    Signed: On my 2nd Durango
  • paigehpaigeh Posts: 1
    I bought my 1998 Dodge Durango SLT 5.9 in January of this year and everything I am reading is the same. The noise when putting it in reverse, the a/c problems (very inconsistent, blows hot air, but sometimes it is cold and it has a rough drive. I now have it in the shop because it doesn't shift when it gets to 35 miles/hour. They are telling me it needs a new transmission. At 60,000 miles!! This is unbelievable. My Mazda 626 had 140,000 miles on it and my mechanic said it would get another at least 100K out of it! What do you do when you are upside down in your financing but want to trade it in for a car that doesn't have these problems????
  • We bought a 99 Durango loaded, paid way too much. Loved the car until last winter. Moved to where the snow gets deep, and slid across the hwy. My problem is this: 4wd won't engage until you stop, put it in reverse, and then forward again. Kind of hard to do when your frantically trying to get it to engage!!! Once we get it into 4wd, there is a loud clunk (who knows? the dealership can't find it). Often times can't get it back out of 4wd. there are a lot of other small issues I have with this vehicle, paint peeling, squealing shocks, and other misc parts falling off. Does anyone else have a problem with thier 4wd or just us????? Dealership says they can't duplicate the problem til the roads get icy....hmmmmmmm that's when I need it!!!!!!! doh!!!
  • i loved my durango when i first got it. i've had it for four months and now i hate it. i bought it brand new 2000 fully loaded. after two and a half months the auto locks went berserk. the jeep would not lock. the locks kept clicking. i live in n.y. could not take this overpriced so and so anywhere. it took the dealerhip about three to four weeks to find the part and fix it. in the mean time i'm stuck taking public transport or catching whenever i try to lock the damm truck it buzzes like a door i swear the truck is possessed. and not only that now the romote on the keys won't work.this is no longer a love hate relationship, it's now a hate hate relationship.
  • I ordered my loaded 1998 Durango before they ever hit the dealer lot. Received it with 14 miles on it. It is now 30 months old and approaching 88000 miles and I have only had one major complaint, a differential rebuild at 76000 miles. I've had a few of the other people's complaints - three batteries so far and that noise from the rear (solved by changing fluid), but generally I love this truck and am very impressed with it. I wonder if they started to cheapen things after 98 to make more money? I was considering trading this one for a 2000 R/T, but maybe I'll be happy that I got a gem and keep this one.

    I also bought a third party 7 year 150000 mile warranty for $1600 and it has been great - paid for itself with the differential rebuild. I should also mention that I'm religious about scheduled maintenance and my dealer (Rick Hendrick Dodge, Charleston SC) has been consistently great.
  • I too have a 1999 Durango, and am going through the process of the lemon law. after having it a couple of months I noticed that the oil pressure was low. Took it to the dealership and they said it was normal. Lesson one always have them document your complaint, even if they say its nothing. They go by the mileage from the first documentation.Even though we went a few times in and they told us it was nothing, it was not documented. So when it started giving us serious trouble where it had to go in for repairs it was 25,000 miles and about 1yr old. Originally they wanted $7,000 for the mileage charge, but now reduced it to $4,000 plus we have to pay the difference in the sticker price of the two vehicles, we will be upgrading to a 2001. I understand now they are putting in 4.7 V-8 engines and they are suppose to be more reliable. we shall see. I figure it will cost me about 6,500. If anyone has gone through this and can advise, please let me know. thanks.
  • 25,000 miles as well. I have ALL of my oil change receipts, and the longest interval between changes was 6,122 miles (the first oil change). Chrysler says I have "sludge" in my engine and that is the cause of the problem. "Sludge is not a manufacturing defect, so Chrysler will not be participating in the payment for the replacement of the engine."

    I changed the oil every 3000-4000 miles and I have the proof of that. The owner's manual says I only have to to change it every 7,000 to stay in warranty. My first checkup was not due until 30K miles, 5K away. THIS IS NOT MY FAULT!! I DID WHAT I WAS REQUIRED TO DO BY CHRYSLER!

    So what do I now? How do I fight this? I can not afford (nor should I have) to pay $7K for a new motor. Any suggestions?

    Any other way sludge can appear besides not changing the oil? I always used high-quality oil (either QuakerState or Castrol). What could go wrong in the engine that would cause sludge?

  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    No, probably not. The 318 is an ancient design that probably costs more to produce than the newer V8s that started in the Jeep line. Replacing the old engines with the new ones probably also eases meeting emissions standards - and it saves DaimlerChrysler money at a time when it desperately needs to do that.

    The old Jeep 4L engine is reportedly also set to expire soon, to be replaced by a new design DaimlerChrysler engine (that will likely be cheaper to produce as well).
  • I know this is late... I too ordered a 1998 SLT+, every option but leather. I anticipated its arrival for 12+ weeks. When it came in it looked great. When the dealer (Dodgeworld, Des Plaines, IL - also Elmhurst Dodge) prepped it they chipped and dented the driver's door and covered it up with a splotch of grease. This should have been my first clue of the inept abilities of this dealership!

    I firmly believe that all the problems that I have read here and experienced first hand... are direct reflections of were you get service.

    I loved my Durango... ride, comfort ruggedness and its ability to get through snow. My biggest complaint was a howling noise the A/C would make after in use 5 or 10 minutes. This did not seem to impact the use of the vehicle (I would, however, compare it to water torcher) it was very annoying. What was most annoying is that after about nine repair attempts at Dodgeworld and numerous calls to the office of the "National Director of Customer Relations" for Daimler Chrysler North America (his initials are R.J.), they still could not put their heads together and fix this... it was after 5 calls to this man's office (explicitly requesting that HE return my calls) only to get return calls from equally inept managers that I got disgusted. Disgusted that the last manager did not even have the courtesy to return my last three voice messages I decided to trade the vehicle.

    Since '98 was the first year, I paid a higher price... limited models.... the next year... Sports, 6 cyl and 2WD models reduced the resale value.... I traded a 34k, 2yr old truck w/45000 miles for 17k .... I really took it in the tailpipe buying this Dodge!

    I now own a 2001 Chevy Venture LT... not a big mini van fan... I love it. I WILL NOT buy another Daimler Chrysler product again! I also advise anyone who reads this to not purchase one either! Daimler Chrysler DOES NOT care about your satisfaction!
  • Troy, I have an almost identical case as your 25,000 mile 318 V8. Mine is at a dealership over 200 miles from home because it seized after riding on a long highway trip. The service department and Chrysler have been doing their best to try and pin this on me. They plan to make a decision any day now on whether Chrysler will replace my engine.

    My research has come up with some shocking details. Troy (tallensr), Dan Trickel (trickeld) and anyone else with valid information, please contact my e-mail ( I am gathering names and stories for a legal complaint, litigation and possible CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT. If you find anyone else who has run into this problem, please get their information and keep in contact.
  • Usually, sludge is caused by obvious neglect of oil changes. But, your proof of regular changes would go against that. A faulty oil filter could not be filtering the oil and pumping around crap in the engine. Another cause would be abnormally high engine temperatures, which would literally cook the oil and therefore be pumping a substance that used to be oil throughout the passages. It's possible that those engines were experiencing some sort of higher than normal engine temperatures and had developed this "sludge", or had faulty oil filters. I've seen sludge in engines before (most notibly a 4.3 chevy that the owner didn't seem to know that there WAS oil in an engine), although I've never personally experienced it in any of my engines. All I can add is good luck on the lawsuit. You are doing what you need to do and the documentation proof you have should help to prove your points. It's unfortunate that the high-ups don't seem to realize that the consumers buy the damn cars that keep their companies going, so they should take care of who's adding to their paychecks.
  • Is the 2001 4.7 Durango going to have a gang load of problems. Because I like the Durango, and I like to take risks but not as many as every one says. So if anyone has a 2001 let me know what you think before I buy a lemon. I am also in limbo between the 2001 Pathfinder.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    There are lots of Durango topics in our SUVs conference that will be helpful to you. Key Durango into the Topic Search feature on the left side of this page and have a look at them.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • My 2 month old 2000 durango has major rust on the drive shaft and around the calipers. Plus other places underneath. The dealer told me this is normal surface rust.

    Does anyone else have, at freeway speed, extremely loud wind noise? Sounds like it is coming in through the upper part of the door and windshield.
  • We had a pontiac that did the same thing. Did all the oil changes at 5000 miles and kept all the receipts. We had no sludge in the engine at all.Of course we had the extended warranty and the company gave us a hugh fight. We won, but it took alot of phone time and documentation.

    I just had the oil change at the dealer with my 2000 durango, at 3000 miles (their recommendation) and it was free. We always do our own oil changes with high quality filter and oil. Guess we had best keep the same or better records if this turns out to be a problem with others.
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