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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,311 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 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Mar 012004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Engine kept overheating. Had two new engines put in the vehicle, and overheated a third time, and vehicle was back in the shop. First time mechanic said it was due to oil leaking. Second time dealer got a used engine that was cracked, and third time wanted to put another used engine.

- Glucester, MA, USA

problem #26

Jun 031999

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
I purchased a 1998 Dodge Durango in March of 1998. The car was brand new with 3 miles on it. The car was excellent until about 52,000 miles. 1st repair, water pump. At about 56,000 transmission rebuild. At about 61,000 heater core, and power steering fluid leaking. At 77,000 transmission rebuild again. At about 80,000 miles, steering wheel started to stiffen up and very difficult to turn wheel they told me I needed a new rack and pinion. Durangos do not have rack and pinions, they have gear boxes. At about 94,000 transmission rebuild. At 106,000 trasnmission rebuild and installed a transmission cooler this time around along with an aftermarket transmission gauge which tells me the temp of the trans(price was $125 for gauge and wiring). Called Dodge was like talking to my dog, they said that it wasn't their problem. I swore to all my friends and relatives that the day I buy another Chrysler is the day I eat S*!!! Dodge cars and trucks suck, their customer service is crap and I had to spend money $$$ out of my own pocket for repairs alone almost $9,500, out of which Chrysler kept saying its not our problem. You know when its their problem, when they screw with someone who isn't just joe schmoe walking in to buy a car. Someone with a degree in law so that they can royally ge smacked in the face and help all the other unfortunate ones who are stuck with Dodge sucks (trucks). Whoever wants to buy a Dodge, be prepared for a rude awakening. They are going to rape you!

- Norridge, IL, USA

problem #25

May 282004


  • 79,725 miles
Engine shut down on 1998 Dodge Durango.*mrthe vehicle was taken tot he dealer who indicated that in order to check the engine the consumer may incur a $1000 inorder to properly diagnose the problem. He was the told that the problem was likely a blow engine and that a neww one would cost $3000-$4000. The consumer feels that the manufacturer should be responsible for repairing the vehicle.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #24

Jul 242004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,300 miles


I purchased a 1998 Dodge Durango, slt, brand new. Over the last two years we have had the oil pressure gauge drop to zero and twice have replaced the oil sending(?) unit. In July, 2004, while on vacation, the oil pressure drops to zero, it starts knocking and before we can get to an exit it gets loud and dies. We coast into a filling station and the oil is running out on the ground. My husband walks to a U'haul and rents a truck and trailer, goes to a hardware store and buys a come-along to get the Durango onto the trailer to tow it home. After doing research on the internet, I find this is a common occurance among the Dodge Durangos. When we started out for vacation, the Durango had 69,000 miles on it. I had to rent a vehicle to tow mine home, buy a new engine, rent a vehicle to get back and forth for the next few weeks and without even being close to finished with this nightmare, I am at the $3,000 mark. I also bought the extended warranty. Any recourse possible?

- Jeffersonville, IN, USA

problem #23

Jun 212004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,437 miles
During a drive oil pressure dropped. I stopped, to check the oil which was fine. 2 days later I completely lost oil pressure after having chnged my oil recently. I owned the vehicle less than 2 months and had to have the oil pump and screen replaced. After reading the web I realized this is a Dodge defect that they have know about.

- West Babylon, NY, USA

problem #22

May 012003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
I own a 1998 Dodge Durango. In the last 2 years I have had to replace the engine and drive shaft, simply because they failed. The SUV has been meticulously cared for; all maintenance schedules have been followed. In addition, the ABS computer/system had to be replaced, and now 15 months later, the ABS light has come on again. I wanted to know if other customers have experienced similar problems with this vehicle. When I called customer service, the only people I have been able to talk to have been the low level employee. They will not, and probably have been instructed not to, forward the call to someone in upper management. They will not give me any information as to whether the problems I have had with this vehicle are common.this has been very frustrating.

- Vestavia Hills, AL, USA

problem #21

Jan 202004


  • 75,000 miles


While driving 70 mph the vehicle's oil pressure dropped to zero and there was a ticking sound coming from the engine. The dealer has informed the consumer that a new engine is needed. The manufacturer is aware of the problem.

- Princeton, WV, USA

problem #20

Dec 042003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
My 1998 Dodge Durango continues to show problems with steering and front. There are only 57000 miles on this vehicle and the miles have been easy miles, (all on road and easy driving). I've replaced the power steering box, and the lower ball joints plus the front wheel bearing and drum. All of this has cost $550 the first time and $880 the second time. This cost come in addition to replacement a head gasket and rear windows that don't work.

- Waynesboro, VA, USA

problem #19

Dec 122002

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,369 miles
While driving 65 mph vehicle stalled. Driver restarted the vehicle and drove it to the dealer for analysis. The mechanic could not resolve the problem. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for seat release failure, whining noise in reverse, and knocking sounds while accelerating. Mechanic test drove the vehicle and noticed a loose and wobbly steering wheel. He replaced upper ball joint and left upper control arm.

- Basehor, KS, USA

problem #18

Mar 042003

Durango 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I had to have the ball joints replaced 6 months after I bought the truck. The dealership said that my wheels were getting ready to fall off and the truck was to dangerous to drive. Then the transmission went out in August of 2003. I barely had 50,000 miles on it. The brakes on it are terrible. When it is raining I hydroplane just about ever time I put on the brakes. The anti lock brake system is not working properly. The light is now on. The speedometer is now broken. It stays at zero most of the time but will occasionally jump up and down while driving. The electric door lock makes a horrible sound when it locks. Last but not least whenever I drive on the interstate and go over 60 mph the engine makes a rattling noise.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #17

Feb 112002

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,499 miles


Engine failure due to oil pump failure and sludge buildup. First incident happened on 2-11-02 at 65,499 miles. Engine replaced and second incident occurred on July 16, 2003 at 91,749 miles.

- Casa Grande, AZ, USA

problem #16

Apr 082003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,700 miles
Returning home from a business trip, the Durango started making a loud noise, then quit within seconds of the original noise, with a loud clunk. The "check engine guages" light did not come on prior to the loud noise. I live in the mountains, and fortunately the engine quit next to a vehicle turnout. If the engine failure had occured a few seconds earlier, or a few seconds later, my life would have been in serious danger, and I would have endangered the lives of the people at risk of hitting my stalled vehicle. My mechanic found a used engine and installed it. New installed engine ran quite well for about 300 miles. This time, the failure was forwarned by a "check engine guages" light and bell. Checking the guages, I found nothing out of the ordinary - oil pressure and temp were ok. This happened with the second bell as well. The third bell, and I turned the engine off due to the oil pressure guage falling to zero. Towing the Durango to a local mechanic, he advised that we should change the oil pump, but advised me that metal shavings were found in the oil pump screen, and that further damage was probbable. My mechanic told me that I should have the pump changed, and drive it to his shop for inspection - a distance of approximately 35 miles. The Durango made it 15 miles before quitting. The catastrophic failure of this engine creates a definite safety hazard. The manufacturer should be allowed to do a recall on this engine. If the manufacturer does not think a recall necessary, the NHTSA should force a recall. This engine will create serious harm to someone. It is just a matter of time....

- Cedar Glen, CA, USA

problem #15

Feb 072001

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,679 miles
Check engine light came on; cracked left cylinder head at 40,000 miles. Dealer repaired under warranty; claims to not know why head cracked. Exactly 40,000 miles later, left cylinder head cracked again. Dealer will not repair; car is 3 months outside of extended warranty. Dealer still can't give reason for cylinder head failure. Other mechanics/dealers believe cylinder heads fail due to faulty casting. There was a scraping noise when the steering wheel was turned. The service dealer found internal damage in the clockspring and replaced the unit. The consumer requested reimbursement.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 012000

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Oil pressure told us that they thought it was the gauge...not to worry. The engine seized up that evening....we were slightly over the mileage on the warranty so was told that it would not be covered.....we had the engine rebuilt and the lines cleaned out (oil was sludge....lots of metal shavings) and when the pressure started dropping (about 10000 miles) again we immediately took it in for service.......again there was lots of sludge and metal shavings......we had the oil pump replaced and the Durango functioned for a short time and is now in the shop again with the same problem.......the mechanic feels like it has spun a main bearing and that is the cause for the metal shavings that keep occurring......there is something seriously wrong with the engines in this particular model vehicle....

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #13

Mar 142003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,700 miles
This trouble mimics dozens and dozens of the same problem I have read about on multiple websites, including this one concerning 1998-99 5.2 V8 Dodge Durango's. oil pressure gauge will go to zero. Truck is turned off and oil checked, confirming correct oil level. Upon restarting of truck the pressure returns to normal. When the pressure gauge bottoms out the valves will begin to tap shortly after if the truck is not immediately shut down. This has occurred 4 times within 2 days and has since been taken to my mechanic. Per a conversation with the dealership where I bought the vehicle, they do not wish to get involved as they are not a Dodge dealer. I need some sort of assistance; judging by all the other reports on this problem my engine is due to fail and there is nothing I can do about it!!!

- Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #12

Dec 152001

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
Dodge Durango sludge engine

- Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jun 242001

Durango 4WD

  • miles
First failure oil light kept coming on intermitently took it to dealership they replaced oil pump. No mention of sludge or any build up of material in pan. They said they had seen this happen often at this mileage range. One year later and 4 oil changes the same thing happened only I lost all oil pressure. Was towed to dealership for repair and was told that we should have the gasket replaced between the head and the block because the head was aluminum and the block was steel and over time and heating and cooling the gasket gets extruded and the antifreeze will get into the oil and sludge up the oil causing the failure of the pump. I feel Dodge has a problem that they are not telling the consumer.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #10

May 022002


  • miles
Engine check light has come on, and from time to time light will stay on when getting vehicle checked out. Spark plugs were melted and, head cylinder was cracked.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 152002


  • miles
While driving on highway heard a loud clanking noise. Then, engine check light iulluminated. Took vehicle to dealer, and they stated that crankshaft had broken. Consumer had a lack of brakes and steering. Took vehicle to dealer again, and they stated that crankshaft should not go out.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #8

Feb 152002

Durango 4WD

  • miles
Note: Two oil changes within 2,000 miles of breakdown (have receipts). Traveling on busy highway when oil pressure dropped to 0 and engine immediately began to make loud tapping noise. Oil pan was removed and "a lot of metal shavings from the engine" had clogged the oil screen causing the oil pump failure. As a result of the oil pump failure, the engine was damaged and needs replacement. Based on ntsa database and discussions with area experts, this oil pump failure/engine damage defect condition for the 1998 Durango (5.2L) is common, yet frequently unreported. No assistance from manufacturer. Warrants detailed Agency scrutiny and product recall due to defect condition. Will be pursuing legal action to recover cost of oil pump and engine replacement.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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