Whether you’re looking to get an old or new model year, you can always count on the Dodge Durango’s superb comfort and excellent performance. It boasts enough utility to easily transport cargo and a great resale value, only depreciating 46% in five years, according to CarEdge.com.
Are Dodge Durangos Reliable?
The Dodge Durango achieved high scores on all major reliability ratings. RepairPal gave it 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 3rd out of 14 in the full-size SUV segment. Its 2020 model was ranked 3rd out of 10 full-size SUVs by J.D. Power after receiving an overall rating of 83 out of 100. With proper handling and regular maintenance, a Dodge Durango can last well past its estimated lifespan.
Top Dodge Durango Problems
Although the Dodge Durango is a reliable full-size SUV, it has its fair share of issues. Here are the most widely reported problems across its model years:
Some owners of first- to third-generation Durangos have experienced poor AC performance because of a refrigerant leak coming from the AC condenser. Some of the model years affected include Durangos from 1998 to 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2014, and 2018. Most drivers have been able to resolve this issue by replacing their AC condenser, which could cost $40 to $150 plus labor fees.
Musty odor coming from the HVAC system is another widely reported problem. This issue has affected Dodge Durangos from 1999 to 2016. Owners have complained about a strong mildew smell coming from the vents when either the heater or the AC was on. To fix the problem, Dodge has offered a disinfectant and a coating for the evaporator designed to stave off bacterial growth.
Door Lock Issues
Automatic locks intermittently locking and unlocking are another frequently reported issue. This problem was common in first- (2000-2003) and third-generation (2011-2015) Durangos. Owners have reported that the issue happens more often when they’re driving through a car wash and other damp conditions. Most of them had to replace the door and liftgate lock cylinder switches to fix the issue. A lock cylinder replacement can cost you $15 to $50 plus labor costs.
The 2011 Dodge Durango has quite a few problems, one of which was a faulty Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM). The TIPM is the electronic power relay center of the vehicle. When it malfunctions, it can cause a lot of electronic problems throughout the Durango. Owners have complained about various issues like all the warning lights coming on and the SUV refusing to start.
A faulty TIPM was such a widespread problem that the automaker issued recall #P54 for 2011 Dodge Durangos with either a 3.6L or 5.7L engine. Dodge replaced the TIPMs of the recalled models to resolve the issue.
Clogged EGR Tube
Many owners of Dodge Durangos from 1999 to 2002 and 2004 to 2009 have experienced engine stalling and rough idling due to a clogged exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) tube. The affected SUVs also tend to start roughly, die suddenly, or stall frequently. Cleaning the clogged EGR tube or replacing it with a new one usually resolved this problem. A new EGR tube could cost you around $30 to $120 plus labor costs.
Worn Cowl Screen
A worn cowl screen is another issue commonly reported in first- (1998-2003) and second-generation (2004- 2007) Dodge Durangos. Owners have complained that their faulty cowl screen failed to keep water out during heavy rains, resulting in an activated check engine light and various engine problems. Most drivers were able to fix this issue by replacing their worn cowl screens with new ones.
Exhaust Manifold Issues
The most commonly reported Dodge Durango problem is ticking or tapping noises coming from the exhaust manifold. This issue appeared in first- to third-generation Durangos, though it seems to be a recurrent 2005 Dodge Durango problem.
Dodge didn’t issue a recall despite the numerous reports, so owners had to resolve this problem themselves. Some had to replace worn exhaust manifold bolts, while others had to swap out their exhaust manifold gasket for a new one. An exhaust manifold gasket can cost you $10 to $35 plus labor fees.
Many owners of the 2004 Dodge Durango had problems with its engine. Most of them complained about having a blown engine that broke down out of nowhere. This issue is dangerous, especially if it happened while driving in the middle of a busy road. While some owners were able to fix the problem by replacing their engine, it’s still best to take your Durango to a mechanic once you suspect that it has this issue.
Camshaft Position Sensor Failure
A lot of first-generation (1998-2003) Dodge Durangos suffered from camshaft position sensor failure. Most owners have reported that they experienced engine startup failure, engine cranking, or intermittent stalling when the part failed. To resolve this, most of them had to get a replacement. A new camshaft position sensor could cost you $10 to $50 plus labor costs.
Oil Sludge Buildup
One of the widely reported 2000 Dodge Durango problems was oil sludge buildup in the engine, which causes abrupt oil pressure drops. Owners have reported that the buildup still occurs even when the oil was recently changed. Most had to replace their engine to restore their SUV’s performance.
If you want to know if your Dodge Durango was part of any recall, you can use our guide to check or visit the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) site.
Researching common Dodge Durango problems will help you anticipate how much repair and maintenance your SUV will need as it racks up mileage. As long as you’re aware of its potential issues, driving a Durango should come with little risk.
If you’re in the market for a new or used Dodge Durango, knowing this information before heading to your local dealership will help you narrow down your options. Make sure the seller has cleared everything before signing anything, especially if the model you’re interested in has widely reported issues.