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Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi Engine Failure



  • My boyfriends Dodge Ram 2004 had the same issue...the motor had water in the oil and was a total loss.
  • ..need a truck for my biz cuz my 1998 Chevy C/K 1500 has 250,000+ miles on it..and truthfully, I'm AMAZED it lasted this long (only reason I've kept it this long is cuz it has a $3000 rail liftgate on back..and come to think of it I think I'll go BACK to Chevy ASAP) I'm looking for good solid used SUV..and came across what seemed to be a real sweet 06 Durango with 87K miles on it..leather moon roof towing package 4x4..even color I dig..BUT the thing that "DID IT" was it had the "LEGENDARY" HEMI engine..price was a li'l more than I had budgeted but hey "it's got a HEMI" ..right? I figured I was making an investment and even treating myself a li'l

    ..bought it from an individual and when I drove it I drove just fine..guy didn't wanna turn it over to me til check cleared and since Thanksgiving Holiday it was almost 2 full weeks before I finally got to take possession of it

    ..on way home it started knocking and check engine light came on and accompanying bong sounded 3-4 times

    ..called the guy to see if he could tell me what that might be and this would be the first attempt (of many) at contacting date he has yet to respond

    ..drove it next day and engine began shaking so bad and lost power that I immediately diverted to my trusted mechanic that was luckily only 3 miles away..he's worked on my fleet vans for years and never steered me wrong..he found oil in the MDS solenoids on #5 & #7 cylinders (OBD2 logged these cylinders as misfires)..he replaced these and felt this should solve problem but that his computer was down and wasn't able to give full diagnostic..when I picked up the Durango I drove it home and started to get knocking and check engine light again

    ..gotta admit I was NOT pleased with "trusted mechanic" (cost me $550..but he did admit upfront his computer was down and he'd have to diagnose and fix it old skool for now..I was in a pinch time wise so I WAS kinda pressing other words I WANTED to believe he could fix it) I did something I swore I would NEVER EVER do again (from my experiences with previous dealerships) and had it towed to nearest DODGE dealership..sure enuf get a call 2 days later telling me that the cam shaft and lifters were worn and that I was looking at $4000..HOWEVER even then he couldn't guarantee this would solve problem (jeez guys REALLY? did I take it to the DODGE DEALERSHIP or GREASE MONKEY GARAGE?)

    ..truthfully, I need this for work so I was half tempted to say fix it but I wanted him to tell me why he felt even this might not solve the problem..and it was his answer that floored me

    ..he said the mechanic was worried that there might be a problem with the #7 cylinder the time it didn't make sense but AFTER reading these posts it did..I asked him if he heard/knew something that would make him say this..and he said no and that he was 90% certain this would fix problem..but after reading these posts..I know why he said that

    ..CUZ THEY KNOW THIS IS A RECURRING PROBLEM!!! many I have a large rolling paperweight

    ..I am in the process of suing the person I bought it from..and after consulting with my "trusted mechanic" he/we feel the only route to go is to drop another good remanny-ed engine in and then see if I can't get a year's worth of driving out of it and then sell..although I'm not a real big fan of just passing my problems onto someone was done to me

    ..truthfully, my biz does well and I can likely afford (altho it stings) the 15K+ this is finally gonna cost me..but for someone on a fixed income..this can be DEVASTATING!

    ..if anyone has any insight I would (also) truly appreciate it..(i.e. lawsuits, dealer assitance, gov't credits etc)
  • So I have have my 04' Durango not even a year and have had several issues with it. First sign was it started idealing high, stalled and the check engine light came on. Had it checked and nothing came up, light shut off and problem seemed to go away I just recently had to replace the starter and then yesterday driving it started to run hard and as I went to take out from a light I heard a pop, grinding and then smoke, well I now have a softball size hole in my engine. Really disgusted so many people seemed to have the same issue and yet no recall. :sick:
  • I havent done anything to it yet. i am in the military and will be gone for a while. when i get back im gonna break it down and try to see whats going on. i wrote a complaint on that website, but i dont think its gonna go anywhere. im just gonna have to buy the parts to fix it myself.
  • Well if it is anything like mine ( which I hope it is not ) you will have to buy a whole new engine. Good luck and thank you for your service to this country.
  • Copy and pated from NHTSA. Results from search for service bulletins.

    Make : DODGE Model : DURANGO Year : 2004
    Manufacturer : Chrysler Group LLC
    Service Bulletin Number : 0422 Date of Bulletin : OCT 01, 2004
    NHTSA Item Number : 10010567

    Check to Request Research. Submit below. Get Summary

    Here is the summary copy and pasted from NHSTA: logo

    Service Bulletins Summary

    Make / Models:

    Model/Build Years:





    DODGE / RAM 3500


    Service Bulletin Number:

    NHTSA Item Number:

  • My motor just blew. My mechanic said he had never seen anything like it before. It was the #8 rod. If this happened to you, you need to file a complaint at (888)327-4236 You will need your vin#.

    I keep reading the same complaint so I'm posting to hopefully get some people calling in to the government. So far they have lodge 32 complaints on this matter. I asked what is the magic number & there is none. When they notice a pattern they will investigate.

    If there are enough complaints the gov will issue a recall & will make them reimburse us.
  • rremusrremus Posts: 1
    I'm in the same boat as you all. 77,000 miles (easy local miles) and I found out today that the engine is shot. Pistons, crank shaft and all. Dodge is worthless. Called them myself and they have no known issues with Durango's and in fact, and in their opinion, they're the best running trucks in the industry. Where's do I file a complaint with the government?

    Rob from Philadelphia
  • Rob,
    Call the 888# in my previous only takes a few minutes. You will need your Vin number.

    This has been financially devastating for us; the truck is a total loss.

    Best of luck,

    I did file a complaint with them. I forwarded the information Todd has after taking his broke motor apart. Here is Todd's link.

    I think the louder people complain and to more agencies then maybe the government will force them to fix the problem. But YOU HAVE TO CALL Dodge as often as possible. I am going to call after this message is. Contact me if you have any questions. Lynn
  • Do a search on NHTSA for Service Bulletin results re: Durango

    Here is the 5th one down:
    Make : DODGE Model : DURANGO Year : 2004
    Manufacturer : Chrysler Group LLC
    Service Bulletin Number : 1802406 Date of Bulletin : JUL 21, 2006
    NHTSA Item Number : 10020194

    Here is the summary!

    Make / Models:
    Model/Build Years:
    Service Bulletin Number:
    NHTSA Item Number:

    Does this sound familiar??
  • I am not sure how I found this but I clicked on the first report: logo

    Recalls Documents

    Search Results:

    Total items: 12



    Size (KB)

    RCDNN-03V528-8749.pdf Defect and Noncompliance Notice(Part 573) 234
    RCFK-03V528-9777.pdf Fax Acknowledgement 16
    RCMN-03V528-8533.pdf Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc) 36
    RCONL-03V528-8349.pdf Owner Notification Letter(Part 577) 20
    RCQPR-03V528-1047.PDF Quarterly Performance Report 67
    RCQPR-03V528-1342.PDF Quarterly Performance Report 74
    RCQPR-03V528-3781.PDF Quarterly Performance Report 64
    RCQPR-03V528-5473.pdf Quarterly Performance Report 13
    RCQPR-03V528-6736.pdf Quarterly Performance Report 23
    RCQPR-03V528-6845.pdf Quarterly Performance Report 14
    RCRIT-03V528-9440.pdf Remedy Instructions and TSB 151
    RCRN-03V528-6963.pdf Renotification Notice 7

    RCDNN-03V528-8749.pdf : open this PDF. There are more names to notifiy.
  • No...Chrysler didn't make good on the motor. But we did do something else. Nothing we expected, but we went to look at a new car. Had no intentions of buying anything, certainly not new, and for sure not to included "trading in" the Durango!!! But low and behold one of the car dealers outside San Antonio got us into a new Galant (2012) and they are paying off the Durango . Still had 3500.00 left to pay. I am sure grateful they could do that for us. And we are still trying to fix our credit reports. So maybe check out new cars with rebates and see if you can find a dealer to take it off your hands. So if anybody out there near San Antonio, Gillman Honda/Mitsubishi in Selma is where we went. Lynn
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Most dealers will do this, but if you look closely I think you'll find they buried the cost of the payoff in the amount you paid for the Galant.
  • I too was just told that the engine on my 2005 Dodge Durango with 110K miles was shot. I had it at 3 local mechanics including a Dodge dealer and no one could tell me exactly what it was. The truck runs but misses at all speeds and the engine light flashes. I racked up mechanic bills to the tune of over $2000 just for them to finally tell me it can't be fixed. This has been financially devastating for our family of 6! We can not afford to go buy a new car and now I have big piece of medal in my driveway that haunts me every time I walk out the door. Dodge has been absolutely no help and I'm so fed up with this. How does a car that is 8 years old just die like that? You better believe I will never own another Dodge vehicle again! Dodge should be ashamed of their business.
  • I'm so sorry. That's how I feel too...I will never buy another Dodge. Please file a report. We sold ours to A-1 salvage (it's a national company) for $1700. I would try giving them a call and seeing if you can just get a little bit of money out of it. Best wishes,
  • evw1959evw1959 Posts: 11
    sorry about your experience atwoods. everyone on this message board has experienced the same pain. I spent 4000 putting a used engine in and I'm semi terrified the few times I drive my Durango now. unfortunately Chrysler Dodge is nothing but a bunch of liars. I too will never buy another dodge; I'd rather buy a Kia. wish I could tell you something helpful. Good luck.
  • We are all in the same boat.... I had to buy an old truck just to get to work. I could just cry when I think of it.... we bought our Durango thinking we would have a nice reliable truck for a few years... boy did we get taken, all of us... and now they are having problems with newer models..... :lemon:

    Dodge needs to step up to the plate. Unfortunately they don't care about what this has done to people who own these lemons... it's all about the mighty dollar, but they have seen the last of mine!
  • OMG. The exact situation just happened to my 2004 dodge durango yesterday . I was driving and there was a loud clunk and my vehicle started smoking. We had it towed to our mechanic who said there was a hole in the engine and couldn't understand because the vehicle was otherwise in very good shape externally and internally. The next day, we had it towed by a towing company, who told us this was his fourth dodge he had to tow with the same problem, blown engine over the starter. In fact, he said his boss had a dodge durango that blew when he went to start it. It is so sad, cause I had a nice looking vehicle with no payments and it is now sitting in my driveway. The cost to repair is not worth it, too run into other mechanical problems later. I plan to write a complaint of dissatisfaction to chrysler.
  • I wish I had read this post two days ago. My situation is completely identical to everything that was written. Although, I would desparately like to keep my durango, i'm afraid of what else my go wrong now that this has happened.
  • Please file a complaint at (888)327-4236 You will need your vin#. I feel like if enough of us complain they will have to do something.
  • Wow, Todd's documentation is impressive.

    I was sure where you filed your complaint. Dodge told me I had to file @ (888)327-4236 This is the gov agency in charge of recalls. I also filed a complaint with dodge.
  • rickraffrickraff Posts: 3
    edited February 2013
    My original post is # 184 back in Nov. 2011. After about 2 months I had a mechanic rebuild my 5.7 Hemi and it is doing fine now. It was a broken rod and it did go through the block. After the $500.00 core charge for the block and the remove and replace cost I paid about $ 4,200.00 for a newly rebuilt engine with a 3 year unlimited milage warrenty. Otherwise I would have had a beautiful flower planter in my driveway.
    Like every on else I called Chrylser and they knew nothing about this problem.
    Today I filed a complaint with Safecar (888) 327-4236
    I asked and was told as of today there are 41 complaints filed about broken rods.
    The more complaints the get filed the more of a chance we have to get compensated.
  • After letting mine set for 6 months I had another mechanic ask to look at it. After doing all the tests he told me my number 3 cylinder is shot but it is repairable without replacing the entire engine. Has anyone else had these problems? I am half afraid to drop the $1,000 into it and have it break down on me again!
  • hey all, been reading about the problems with the 5.7 hemi. i too am having basically the same problems. i went to start my durango and it acted like it came up on compression but kicked back. then it acted like a dead battery. the stater had no power. so got out my battery charger and charged battery. when it started it made a scrapping noise. it still runs and is smooth running but this scrapping noise is still there. i was having problems with the starter like it was having a weak bendix and it would crash into the flexplate and not engage.but it would always start after a couple of trys. so figured i'd fix it when the weather got better. i sent a email to chrysler and they told me this is the first they have heard of the connecting rod problem. they really don't want us as loyal customers. so i went out and bought a kia. to heck with dodge. i have my durango in the paper for 3500.00 bucks. it still runs but i'm trying to get rid of it before it dies completely. there is no chance for me to get anything from them at chrysler. mine has 143,000 miles. my kia has 100,000 mile warranty. as far as i'm concerned dodge sucks. i'll never buy another newer dodge. i'll stick with my old 71 dart swinger. i know what it will do. good luck to the rest of you
  • This is exactly what happened to me today. Torrential rainstorm last night. Tried to start my 2004 Durango hemi. Acted like a dead battery. Jumped the car with my wife's car. Took a while to turn over then rattling very badly.

    Dodge you should be ashamed of yourself! This will be my last dodge product.
  • I can almost guarantee that the cause of both engines failing was the known cowl panel flaw in combination with worn intake gaskets allowing water to fill up one or more of the rear cylinders. This obviously causes a severe hydrolocking condition which either bends or snaps connecting rods. Fixed two of these last year by putting reman engines in. However I was not satisfied until I could find a reason for an otherwise good engine design to suddenly fail. Whenever I tested to see if the intake gasket was water tight, both Durangos leaked allowing water into the cylinders. This is a terribly simple problem that can be avoided by getting the $133.00 updated cowl panel which diverts water better. Along with a fresh set of intake gaskets that are not dried out and smashed flat. My sympathy to all of those out there with these 04-05 Durangos. They are just waiting to fail after a hard rain storm.
  • I would also like to offer anyone in the central Pennsylvania area my services. If I get my hands on another one of these I will be making a YouTube video on where and why these fail, allowing water into the engine. Would love to document hard evidence of a design flaw to help show that a recall needs to be done to make things right.
  • I'm planning to take this issue to small claims court here in British Columbia. I could use some evidence of others who experienced the same issue to prove the design flaw. I would really appreciate anyone willing to tell their story to email me at

    I'll be talking to Chrysler tomorrow.

    Thanks everyone,
  • twin2ctwin2c Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 5.7L HEMI Durango. Before the engine fail,i notice it was cutting back whenever it rained. Only in a hard rain will it do this.My wife drove Durango,parked it and tried to start it a few hours later and BOOOOM.That's it .
    What do you that would be a good use replacement engine?
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