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Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi Engine Failure



  • I personally have had luck with the Spartan remanufactured engines through Advance Auto Parts. However, I'm sure any reputable rebuilder or a quality recycled engine would do just as well. In my experience the connecting rods breaking or bending was not due to an internal engine problem or bad metallurgy. It was from water entering the cylinders via the cowl panel and then through worn intake gaskets. If possible, open the hood and pour water around the base of the windshield. If it leaks through and sits around the intake plenum you know the cowl is a problem. Next have a mechanic (or yourself depending on your abilities), remove the spark plugs and use a borescope to see if the water is leaking through the intake into the damaged cylinders. If anyone else does this test please respond with results.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited March 2013
    You may want to touch base with thecardoc3 in the "A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood" discussion. He's a tech out in PA too.
  • If you decide to repair have your mechanic check the cowl panel to see if it is leaking water ontop of the engine. Also have him check to see if the intake gaskets are allowing water to enter the cylinders. Would highly recommend replacing it with the updated cowl panel.
  • lacy00lacy00 Posts: 4
    Thank you for the info. Unfortunately I got it back almost 2 weeks ago. He replaced all the valve springs as one of them broke. And I believe the number 3 cylinder. I will have to see if I can get someone to look at the cowl panel for me.
  • mizmo23mizmo23 Posts: 2
    When I realize that I can place a weather strip on the Cowl Panel, I did. Took me no more than 10 min. It has been 2 years since I did. Haven't had a problem since. Many laugh when they saw a little lady working on that big truck.
  • Chrysler Canada pretty much told me to take a hike. I swear to never buy another Dodge/Chrysler again. It will be their loss in the long run.

    Dear Mr. ,

    Your e-mail of March 2, 2013, addressed to Reid Bigland, has been referred to the Executive Review Committee for response and we are very sorry to learn of the engine condition currently affecting your 2004 Dodge Durango and of the pending repair expense.

    Further to our telephone conversation, at this time, your vehicle has passed the limits of the warranty by more than 5 years and 125,000kms. Unfortunately, Chrysler Canada is unable to provide unlimited coverage on our products and must respectfully decline your request for assistance with the cost any required repairs.

    Warranty limitations are not unusual with most consumer products. We sympathize with your inconvenience and we are sorry that we cannot honour your request.

    While we regret that we cannot provide a more favourable reply, we hope you can appreciate our position.

    Yours very truly,

    J. Mingay (Mr.)

    Top Care Manager

    Chrysler Canada Inc.
  • lacy00lacy00 Posts: 4
    Mizmo23, care to share where the cowl panel is and what type of weather strip you used? I am sure I can do this myself if I know where to place it and what type of strip you used. Thanks!
  • There is an -improved- version of the plastic cowl piece that is suppose to solve the water problem.
    I don't have the part number though. I looked it up a few years ago an it was around $100 then.
  • Wow, this is exactly what happened to my 2004 Durango this past Wednesday 3/6/13. It always ran great, no prior probelms, drove it to work and then got in to leave and bang. Dodge gave me the old "its out of warranty" so there is nothing they can do. I spoke to two different reps and got the same response. They are well aware of the problem with this 5.7 Hemi but they will not do anything. I have an 99 Honda Accord with 220,000 on the motor and it runs as strong as the day I bought it.

    I will never buy a Dodge again.
  • Sorry to hear about your problem sjerseyjim. Mine failed just a little over a week ago. Hydrolock in the problem with these 2004 Durango hemi's. Water runs right onto the intake manifold and after the gasket dries out water gets into the cylinders. I've been talking to Chrysler and they refuse to admit the problem. Since this issue doesn't show up until the engine has a few miles on it and the gasket dries it's usually out of warranty when it fails.

    The #@$%!'s from Chrysler Canada offered me employee pricing on a new vehicle. The nerve of them. I've already filed a Better Business Bureau complaint. You can also raise a complaint with the US DOT NHTSA.


    I've done the same here in Canada with transport Canada

    If eventually enough of us complain government has to step in and force Chryslers hand to fix their problem.
  • 2004 Durango 5.7 L Hemi 3/11/13

    My Durango has had all on time oil changes and I have babied this vehicle. It always bogged down and stalled in the car wash or the rain but never died on me. I was not aware of the problems with water until yesterday when researching the net after starting my durango after it sat a couple of days in the rain out of the garage. It just sounded like it ran a cat thru the fan belt and then KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK I'm sure it has a broken rod. It is still holding oil but I'm pretty sure it is done for. 130,000 miles. I will have it looked at today by a local mechanic but Ive worked on cars enough to know what that dreaded knock is. I was in the process of getting ready to sell as I just picked up a nice used truck and had no need for the durango.....and yes you guessed it the new truck is a 05 DODGE RAM with the 5.7L HEMI :mad: I have been a MOPAR/DODGE owner since my first vehicle ( DART) 30 years ago. If Dodge doesn't make this right I'm done with them.
  • lavy1lavy1 Posts: 1
    Have experienced the stalling feeling for at least two years, particularly in heavy rain. It actually stalled in a car wash. Based on advice from this forum I had the cowl replaced about a month ago. Dealer had no #%!? clue what I was talking about with stalling sensation. Stalling sensation seemed to go away after new cowl installed. Last week NY-tri state area had heavy rain. Rough idle was back along with check engine light. Drove it around for a day or two and check engine light went off. This past weekend left Durango outside for one night, attempted to start on Sunday and a loud metal clanking noise came from under the hood. Based on the feedback from this forum, sounds like the Durango is toast.
  • I see several 2nd gen Durango on Craigslist with a dead hemi.
    If I had the money I would buy these up and fix them myself. But the problem is for what you would have to invest I could only pay $1500 for the vehicle. People are trying to get what they owe which is $4, 5 and 6K out of them and it with a blown engine. Ain't gonna happen.
  • I have an 04 Ram 2500, 5.7 Hemi (118,000 miles)with the same issue. It developed a misfire in #7 and when I pulled the plugs they appeared to have been hit and the gap was completely closed on both the main spark and the waste spark. Took it to a dealer they performed a compression test and a leak down test and said it was within acceptable parameters. The leak down test showed a 22% leak down. How is this acceptable? They did a fuel system cleaning and sent the vehicle home with me after paying almost $800.00. Engine light came back on within a half block of the dealership. I called and was told to drive it for awhile due to the chemicals used for the injector cleaning. I put it in to another shop yesterday since this problem has gotten worse. I now have sever oil blow by issues in the #7 cylinder and have been told that it looks like there is a chunk missing from the top edge of the piston. and of course all kinds of build up from the oil that is burning. Blow by is so bad now that it has saturated my air filter. The battle with Chrysler will begin in the morning. The shop said they have seen similar issues with the 5.7's in other models. I am now looking at having to replace the engine at a cost of almost $6500.00.
  • We can also be added to this list. Our Durango would run rough in the rain just like many of yours and then a few weeks ago it would not start. We thought we were having trouble with the starter. Had the starter checked and told it was fine. Once we put the starter back on the Durango started and ran for a few days with no problems. After a rain storm, it wouldn't start again. After a little tinkering we got it started to it to the shop. Had a little work done thought we had the problem fixed. After a couple of rainy days went out to start and it was making a horrible sound. The engine is blown.
    Please go to and file a complaint if this is happening to you!! From what I have gathered, it is a government site that if enough people complain on a certain issue they will investigate and hopefully force Dodge/Chrysler to do a recall. There are a lot of us and some of us are now left owing on a vehicle (and paying Full Coverage insurance) that is useless. The estimates to have them fixed it outrageous. It would be one thing if it was just a couple of us................but by the looks of things there are unfortunately many more than that. :sick:
  • Please post to let us know if you had any luck with Chrysler. I got the sap story that my vehicle is too old with too many miles and there is nothing that can be done by them. Did you file a complaint by chance on It really only takes a few min. and hopefully if enough of us complain Chrysler will be forced to do something.
  • joeybagajoeybaga Posts: 2
    add me to the fn$$$$$ list of 2004 dodge durango engine blowups 100.200 miles and syn oil every change and now it gone!!!!
  • joeybagajoeybaga Posts: 2
    theres has to be someone who can take all of these cases of the 2004 dodge durango f ups i only have 100.200 miles on mine syn/ moble 1 oil every 4000 what a joke come on lemon lawyers help us out please!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I had a similar problem with rough idle after rain and car washes last year. Dealer replaced plugs and inspected wires which did not fix the problem. In Oct '12 the engine had a catastrophic failure on all cylinders while driving in clear weather. Dealer took 2 days to find the problem. A valve spring broke which the dealer thinks caused a small crack at the rear of the intake manifold. I don't know if this is common, but the manifold is PLASTIC! The small crack was at a seam in the manifold. The crack caused temporary stalling every time the cowl let water leak onto the manifold. In Oct the crack gave way and caused a full system shutdown. Fortunately I didn't lock up the engine. Dealer replaced the manifold and spring and it's been good since. 136,000 so far.
  • jimtryonjimtryon Posts: 1
    Another sucker here. It started with what I thought was just an EGR problem about two years ago, and I replaced it. It kept dying, especially when it was raining pretty good, and I thought something was getting wet. I thought it was the starter or battery, and replaced the battery. The other day, it didn't want to start again, so I thought I guessed wrong and was going to replace the starter. Today, on the way to work, it started running real rough, and the check engine light started flashing. I pulled over, and smelled burned oil, and then saw a multicolored sheen on the wet, rainy pavement. The engine died before I got the hood up. I can start it, but it sounds like someone is inside with a hammer. The guy that towed it said it threw a rod out the driver side of the engine, by the motor mount. Two different guys said it is time for a new engine, and confirm that these 5.7's are junk. I had to finance another car, which may or may not mess up our house loan we just asked for. No choice in the matter, since I have to be able to get to work. Thanks Dodge, you lost a customer for life. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • drrighteousdrrighteous Posts: 49
    Quality control with Chrysler when owned by Daimler was pathetic. This same era many of their small engines didn't last beyond 100K and they would throw a rod. The 2.7L v6 is well known for this. The 4.7L is also known for giving up at 100K miles.
    Both of these engines are OHC and you can blame some of on it on lack of maintenance. The timing chain has to be changed at 100K miles. That is very expensive maintenance.
    This is the main advantage to old fashion push rod engines; they are hands down more reliable because they use a very short timing chain. But the 5.7L suffer from the same poor quality control and die frequently.
  • 2talltexan2talltexan Posts: 1
    Drove my 2004 hemi durango through the car wash yesterday ... when I got to the heavy rinse cycle, the engine started running rough and the check engine light came on. I gunned it a little to keep it running. When I exited the wash, the engine had smoothed out and I continued on to my destination. About a mile down the road, I heard a warning bell for high temps, I immediately pulled over. The coolant was boiling. I let it cool down and drove over to an auto parts store across the street. I had lost coolant, so I added more. I started the engine, with the temp gauge at norm temp and continued on my way ... a mile down the road or so, the engine temp again soared and I pulled over. Had the truck towed in ... blown head gasket. Engine replacement $5K.
  • these hemis are junk, we took a trip to fl and to Disney, the engine had a small ticking noise befor we left. I changed oil added lucas and still ticked, I knew what it was and what was about to happen to the hemi from reading all the posts but we drove the Durango anyway. it done well with zero problems, we arrived back home and 2 weeks later it slung a rod!...THANK YOU DODGE!.. FORD FAN FOR LIFE.....NEVER ANOTHER DODGE IN MY DRIVEWAY! :lemon:
  • After 87,000 miles this engine experienced catastrophic failure. I was 600 miles away from home and at the mercy of an unreliable Dodge dealership. After one month and two core engine replacements I got home and took the Durango to the dealership I bought it from. These engines have a plastic uniform air intake manifold with a foam insert. Mopar Service Bulletin #S1209000016 clearly states, "The intake manifold construction prohibits complete cleaning of debris from and engine failure, especially valve train and piston debris." If you have one of these generation two Durango's you have a ticking bomb. This engine is unreliable and Chrysler won't own up to it.
  • richhollrichholl Posts: 1
    So, if I understand that correctly, even if you replace the engine and install new cowl it will still suck debris into the engine?
  • Yes, it takes time, usually warranties expire and and consumer protection in Pennsylvania on this issue is four years, states vary. Once the mileage is 80,000 plus trade it in. Early signs will be engine lights with cylinder code failures.
  • guinnyguinny Posts: 1
    Sound all too familiar, finally realized after my car died in a downpour yesterday on a major chicago highway. Luckily I was able to pull to shoulder, than started up again and was able to go the fifteen miles to home with it dying once again at a stop light. I finally figured out this happens when rain is involved. Happened two times prior since I bought it used in Oct 2012 but never on highway. Very scary and car at mechanic now getting checked out. They've had it since 8:00 am and haven't figured out the issue yet.

    Only reason I purchased was to transport dad as he doesn't drive anymore and had to be sure and make it through winter to his house, my rear wheel drive doesn't cut it so went out and bought this. Looks like a BIG mistake and most likely will have to dump for parts or at least tires I just purchased in Dec. Car drove great aside from the few stalls due to the issue, but no way am i going to put my life or anyone elses in danger. Has anyone had any luck in figuring this out , doesn't seem fair that Chysler can get away with indangering so many as i've read hundreds of same issue.
  • :mad: My durango has started the ticking noise. Checked and looking at a new intake. Won't go with a stock one. Bought this durango april 16 2012 for my wife. Factory certified 2nd owner had 54,320 when I bought it. Now I see there tail light warranty!
  • evw1959evw1959 Posts: 11
    quinny - open up your fuse box on the driver's side right next to where your knee would be. Look/feel around in there and it's very likely that you have moisture in there. Check the carpet in the bottom of the fuse box to see if its wet or damp. The reason that your car may be dieing is that when water gets in the fuse box it short circuits all of the electrical systems. The short may take a long time to develop as the box and its components start to rust out. This happened twice to me before my mechanic figured it out. On my 04 Durango somehow when there was a heavy rain or run thru a car wash, water was coming in thru the closed sunroof. Water is supposed to get in the sunroof even when closed but there are 4 drains up there running down to the front and back of the vehicle. If you pull your headliner above the drivers seat, and especially on the left roof support, you may see moisture or old water stains. That all being said, my mechanic sprayed water from a hose on my roof for an hour and could never see how the water was getting into the fuse box. But we did see some stains in the headliner where water had previously pooled. I finally "fixed" the problem by sealing the sunroof with matching color duct tape. It's not the preferable solution but at $650 per pop to replace the fuse box, I can live with it. Hope that helps you out.
  • lisap48lisap48 Posts: 1
    I wondered why everytime it rained or i washed my truck that it would sound and drive bad. I drove my 04 durango on Friday,all day long.That night it rained.I got into it to go the next day it wouldnt hubby who is a machanic found water on the lifters. the next day,it cranked but drove badly.days after it cleared up and I drove it out of town.What a mistake,the motor blew. NOw I have to get a new motor,thank you Dodge.
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