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4.8

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,817 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Dodge Durango drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Dec 152005

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Had rear rebuilt in 2003 by dealer.back in 12/15/05 rear went again.talked to mechanic he said Dodge knows about rears being bad.due to tight tolerances in gears.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #23

Jun 012004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Dodge dealer reported that ball joints on 1998 Dodge Durango have excessive wear and require replacement. The quote to replace exceeded $2000 and I was told at the time that the recall was pending. I am the original owner, vehicle mileage is 76,898. VIN is [xxx]. I see that the recall is for 2000 through 2003 and that warranty on 2000 thru 2003 models was extended to 100,000 miles for ball joints. Is there any recourse" isn't this the same suspension design as the 2000 model" I also replaced the rear axle in 2003 following a total failure resulting in rear locking up and shearing the U-joint and dropping the drive shaft while driving. Replacement cost exceeded $3000 and I was told at the time that this is a known problem with Durango's as well. Updated 07/24/2012* js information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #22

Apr 151999

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles
1. seatbelts, housing repeatedly fell down. Never replaced, service only pulled it back up and the problem continues 2. all four window regulators replaced prior to recall. Now I have one window that will go down. The rest are stuck in the up posiiton. Of course, my warranty is up. 3. rear differential went out at 63,000. 3,000 past warranty. 4. all four ball joints are bad. Serviceman says unsafe to drive until replaced. Still waiting on a recall. 5. passenger front seat cover came apart at seams. Service said not covered by warranty. 6. hood latch does not release hood. My vehicle is now parked and not being driven at 80,000. I do not have and will never have another Chrysler product in my drive. I bought this vehicle new and took very good care of it. It seems to be falling apart around me. Seems I have heard stories about the ball joints, wheels coming off, etc. No one killed yet, but no recall yet either I see.

- Noble, IL, USA

problem #21

Aug 152003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Defective rear-end of the vehicle including the ring and pinion of the differential. Dodge Durango 1998.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #20

Oct 142003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Vehicle was making high pitch sound when gas pedal was pressed. Truck only had 70,000 miles on it when I bought it (April 2003) used. I was assured by well known and respected car dealer (koeppel of New York) that vehicle was in great shape. 6 months later the vehicle need to have the front differential and rear differential to be replaced. Front differential was leaking fluid and rear was causing high pitch noise.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #19

Aug 022003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Whining noise coming from rear. Took to Dodge dealership. Needs complete rear end rebuild. $1300-$1500 estimate. Only 63K miles. Apparently it's a design defect by Dodge.

- Bastrop, LA, USA

problem #18

Aug 122003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 41,609 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving, the vehicle had a high pitch squeaking noise. This was caused by a failure in the rear end. The front rotor disk, ring gear and pinion was replaced.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #17

Apr 192003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles
We had noticed that the tranmission was acting very sluggish. Despite having the vehicle checked, our local shop could not find a problem. While on our way to Florida, just outside of birmingham Alabama with two children in the car, driving 70 mph on the interstate, we had a catastrophic failure in the vehicle. The transfer case blew up and both driveshafts broke. We were able to be able to stop the vehicle without causing an accident, or having another vehicle hit us, despite the black coud of transfer case fluid trailing behind us. The vehicle required extensive service - to the tune of $ $2,600. We had 95,000 miles on the vehicle and were offered no assistance by Chrysler. In fact, not even an offer to assist us with the rental cars we were forced to take.

- Birmingham, MI, USA

problem #16

Jan 312003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
I have a 1998 Dodge Durango with 52,000 miles on it. This past week I noticed a high pitched whine from the rear differential. I have taken the vehicle to the original dealer in corydon, Indiana. That I have purchased 2 other vehicles from. They are telling me that I am responsible for either all the cost of repairs, or that they might be able to get Chrysler to pay half. I think this extremely unfair. I have had rear differential vehicles with well over 100,000 miles that are still moving with no differential failures. When is someone going to make these car companies stand behind there product. Thanks, for your time. Rlc.

- New Albany, IN, USA

problem #15

Oct 242002

(reported on)

Durango 4WD

  • miles
When co. Rep said the co. Would not compensate due to age and milage even though parts failed far short of normal service life. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

- Hillsboro, IN, USA

problem #14

Jul 032002

Durango 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Pinion shaft broke while driving, causing rear end to lock up. Gear busted, and there was a hole in rear end. The gears broke and put a hole in the bottom of rear end.

- Jerusalem, OH, USA

problem #13

May 112002

Durango 4WD

  • miles
The 1998 Dodge Durango rear differential unit seized and failed on a major highway. I was unable to move the vehicle and caused us to immediately exit the vehicle to avoid on coming traffic. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where I was told that the rear differential was in pieces. The dealer denied to absorb the repair cost for they said it was out of warranty. I appealed to the customer service representative who denied the claim. I called an independent insurance tech rep and he concluded it was a serious design flaw. In my personal opinion I feel Dodge should inspect and repair these vehicles.

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #12

May 112002

Durango 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While on the highway, vehicle's differential freezes and is unable to move forward or backwards. This is not uncommon for this model. There have been failures reported previously by other consumers. Consumer feels Dodge should recall and repair the problem.

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #11

Nov 132001

Durango

  • miles
While driving the vehicle, a loud whining sound was heard coming from the rear of the Durango. After verifying the tire pressure was correct and attempting to make sure that the 4WD was not engaged, the whining sound became louder. I took the vehicle in for service to a dealer in North richland hills, tx (a suburb of fort worth). The service advisor was sure that the rear differential needed to be changed and all would be fine. After servicing the differential the service advisor contacted me to let me know that the problem still existed. After further investigation the dealer found that the "ring and pinon set, and cup and cones" needed to be replaced ( this is the ring and pinon gear, the pinon seal, and the side bearing that support the differential case). The estimated cost for this repair was $1323.08. I reminded the service advisor that a 1998 Dodge Durango with 47333 miles should not have this problem and why should I pay for this repair since I believe that the rear differential problem is a manufacture defect. The service advisor told me that there was nothing that he could do and he suggested I call Dodge customer service. After speaking to Dodge customer service three times, they "reviewed" my situation. Since I did not have any extended warranty, Dodge offered to pay half of the repair cost as a "good will gesture". in the end, the rear differential was repaired at a cost to me of $502.28. The total cost of the repair was $1004.56 and with Dodge's "good will gesture" the repair cost me out of pocket $502.28. However, after reviewing the numerous complaints listed on this site I feel more strongly that there is a defect in the rear differential of this vechicle.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #10

Sep 152001

Durango 4WD

  • miles
A loud howling noise was heard coming from the rear of the vehicle. Took the vehicle to the repair shop where I was told that the rear axle bearings and possibly differential ring and pinion were bad. I was advised by my mechanic to go back to the dealer since this was an original equipment material and workmanship defect obvious by the low (22,000) mileage on the vehicle that looks like the day it came out of the showroom. This vehicle has never been used off-road. I received no satisfaction from the dealer and was told since the vehicle is 9 months out of warranty that I was responsible for repair costs. I strongly disagree. There are several other complaints listed in this section with the same problem I experienced and I've been told by an expert that the rear differential in this vehicle has a serious design defect involving the ring and pinion not being capable of handle the forces imposed by the drivetrain of this vehicle. Repair costs are estimated at $1500 - $2000. Chrysler/Dodge should step forward and admit a design flaw exists. I will fight this in court if I have to. Dodge, you should be ashamed of yourself for not fessing up to this.

- Oceanside, NY, USA

problem #9

Nov 241999

Durango 4WD

  • miles
This vehicle has had major component breakdowns since purchase. Initially, immediately after purchase there was a clicking sound in the steering column. The dealer indicated that there was a tsb and replaced steering column. The second problem occurred in February 2000, some three months after purchase. We began to notice a significant pulsing in the brake pedal. The dealer attributed this to ABS brakes. Several months later when the pulsing was significantly greater and the braking was being affected, an independent shop reviewed the brakes and indicated that the rotors were severely warped and causing the pulsing sensation. This was repaired out of pocket. In February, 2001 the temperature began fluctuating, spiking higher temperatures causing the check gauge light to illuminate. It would then reset. Hanover Dodge, a different dealer indicated that the thermostat housing seal was leaking and replaced the thermostat and gasket. This was paid out of pocket. Approximately ten days later, the radiator had a major failure requiring replacement. This was paid out of pocket in the amount of $610.33. In may, 2001we were alerted to a problem involving the front end. In bringing the vehicle to the dealer, a leak was noticed from the transmission cooler and also and more critically it was determined that the left upper ball joint required replacement as well as the inner tie rods. These repairs were also paid out of pocket in the amount of $923.45. The latest issue arose several weeks ago when a howling sound was noticed coming from the rear of the vehicle. Through research and independent evaluation it has been determined that the rear differential has a design defect whereby the ring and pinion cannot handle the load of the vehicle. I have noted several of the same complaints being made to your organization in this database. We believe that the vehicle we have is defective. Each problem has involved a major component or system.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #8

Aug 142001

Durango 4WD

  • miles
While backing out of driveway car made a loud noise, car was inoperable, car was towed to dealer. Was notified by the dealer that the ring and pinion gar had cracked, and rear needs to be replaced.

- Oaklyn, NJ, USA

problem #7

Aug 012001

Durango 4WD

  • miles
Vehicle was experiencing loud noise from the rear differential unit. Took to repair shop and they replaced left and right side of rear differential. Wanted to also repair differential ring and pinion because there was still a loud noise.

- Lebanon, OR, USA

problem #6

Aug 012001

Durango 4WD

  • miles
Vehicle was experiencing loud noise from the rear differential unit. Took to repair shop and they replaced left and right side of rear differential. Wanted to also repair differential ring and pinion because there was still a loud noise.

- Lebanon, OR, USA

problem #5

Feb 152000

Durango 4WD

  • miles
Rear differential locks up. Under normal driving conditions it makes the vehicle feel as though the rear end is loose on the road as a low tire pressure problem. When attempting to make a tight turn at an intersection the vehicle requires considerable power to force it through the turn. The unit will release with a sudden bang that would make you think the drivetrain gave way. The vehicle will not achieve its turning radius under these conditions, taking the driver by surprise when trying to pull into traffic.

- Oakdale, PA, USA

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