That your Dodge Durango has such a huge bumper up front is a really good thing. After all, bumpers are invaluable partners in the overall safety of your SUV-absorbing a lot of the impact in an accident so you don't have to. Equally important, however, are the bumper brackets that hold them in place. Though small, non-descript, and barely noticed, these brackets play the all important role of making sure that the bumper is there when it's needed. Because they're recessed behind the bumper, it's easy to ignore the fact that they're there. There are a couple of symptoms that you can look out for to determine that you need to fix them up real quick.
When bumper brackets are worn out, their hold on the bolts that secure the bumper in place weaken. When this happens, you'll start to notice that-at any speed-there is a small rattling sound up front. This is normally caused by the bolt-or whatever is used to secure the bumper-continuously slamming into the bracket. It is dangerous to allow this to continue because, given enough force, your bumper might simply tear itself off. A simple fix is actually to re-secure the bolt if possible-that is, if the bracket is still in good shape. Failing that, you could bolster the damaged area with a copious amount of industrial-grade putty that will harden to secure the attachment. Note, however, that this quick-fix might make it difficult to access the bumper bracket later!
When damage to the bracket is sufficient, you skip over the rattle noise because the bumper is likely sagging up front, barely holding on to the bracket. This is actually a rare occurrence, and should only happen in the most extreme cases-as, say, when the bracket is already completely torn off. If left untended-to, the imbalance in weight-caused by the rest of the brackets supporting more than they are rated for-might actually hasten the loss of the entire bumper. It's actually not a smart thing to quick-fix anything at this point-a replacement of all the damaged parts is a must.