Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,221 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Dec 112006

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,350 miles


- on 3/13/06 the contact took 1998 Dodge Durango to cottman transmission because the transmission was slipping into first gear. At that time, cottman replaced the valve body. On 3/31/06 the contact took it back to cottman for the same reason, and cottman stated that they would rebuild the whole transmission. When contact picked up the vehicle it was making a loud squeaking noise, and cottman told him to drive it for a few days and the noise would go away. After driving it for a few days contact continued to hear the same squeaking noise, so cottman replaced the transmission. At which point the contact continued to hear the same noise, he took vehicle to at pro transmission and they stated to the contact that the damage was probably internal because they couldn't see anything wrong with the vehicle. On 6/16/06 contact took it back to cottman, and cottman stated that they replaced the transmission; after contact picked it up he continued to hear the same squeaking noise, so contact brought vehicle back to cottman on 12/11/06. Cottman once again replaced the transmission. The contact stated that the transmission is pouring fluid from the pump. Contact will take the vehicle to cottman. Updated 2/6/2007 -

- Riverside, NJ, USA

problem #36

Nov 082006

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,949 miles
: the contact stated while driving 30 mph, there was a knocking noise coming from the engine compartment. The vehicle was returned to the sales dealer for service, who determined the problem was with the transmission. The dealer sent the vehicle to a transmission shop. The knocking continued each time after 5 more visits to the transmission shop, so the sales dealer sent the vehicle to a service dealer. The knocking continued. The manufacturer was not notified.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #35

Aug 152002

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Premature wear on upper and lower ball joints on both sides of vehicle. The separation of these components cause the driver to lose control of the steering and could cause the vehicle to roll over causing serious injury or death. In addition to the ball joints, the wheel bearing assemblies fail prematurely which in combination with the ball joint problem greatly increases loss of control of the vehicle. This vehicle also has a problem with the transmission slipping with less than 70,000 miles on it. This causes slow acceleration which could cause an accident resulting in serious injury or death.

- Vestaburg, MI, USA

problem #34

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 #33

Jun 102004

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,800 miles
Transmission light illuminated in the instrument panel. Dealership informed the consumer that the problem was pertaining to a burned transmission. The transmission was serviced at 30000 miles then had to be replaced at 60000 miles.

- Buchanan, VA, USA

problem #32

Jun 052004

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
1998 doge Durango - 60000 miles. Transmission failure. Had problems with transmission since purchase in 1999.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #31

Jan 272004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


I bought a 1998 Dodge Durango in November of 2002. The vehicle had 59939 miles on it. I have maintained the car as one should. On 9/2/03 I took the auto into aamco transmissions as the car was not shifting down into 1st gear. It cost me $500 to fix this transmission problem. At the same time they told me my transfer case was going out and needs to be rebuilt. The estimate-$1350. In Nov of 2003, I took the car in to get a lube job. The mechanic told me that my lower ball joints were not accepting grease & the upper boots were rotted. That eventually I would need new ball joints but I still had time. In Dec 2003, I started having problems with the electrical system. The front passenger window would not roll down. Then if my steering wheel was turned as I put the car in park, it would not start, or it would die as I was backing out. In January I heard metal in my front tires as I was braking. A new brake job cost me $350. The end of January, while driving this vehicle with 72,000 miles, my front right tire fell off. Reason: Upper ball joint broke off. Every mechanic has stated that this is a defect, as they have never seen ball joints do this at this low mileage. I then saw NHTSA interviewed on the news for the very same reason. Dodge Durangos and their ball joints with tires falling off. My car landed in a ditch. I was lucky I was only travelling at 35 mph. It could have been fatal, and who ever manufactures these ball joints better stand up to the plate and take responsibility. This auto has been nothing but a mechanical problem since I bought it. And costly at that!

- Kittredge, CO, USA

problem #30

Apr 202004

(reported on)

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles
Consumer complained about a transmission problem. Vehicle hesitated when driving. The front differential pin failed and seized to the pinion shaft the upper and lower ball joints were replaced.

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #29

Oct 222003


  • 68,000 miles
PE 03-032, front suspension/upper ball joint failure: Consumer took vehicle to dealer because of excessive tire wear. Mechanic determined upper ball joints needed to be replaced. Also gear shift indicator was off center. When vehicle was in drive indicator was between drive and neutral. Consumer had one transmission replaced, and another one needed to be replaced.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #28

Jan 312004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles
I started having problems with my transmission shifting on its own and the 4X4 selector would slip and make an awful noise when you put it in gear. On 31 January 2004, my transmission went out and left my 2-toddlers and I stranded approximately 2-hours away from home. It is a 1998 Dodge Durango. It is ironic that an older gentlemen had asked me if I had problems a month earlier with my transmission. When I spoke with a couple repair shops (even a technician at hilikelly Dodge in daphne, al), all of them stated that it was a common problem with the Dodge transmissions.

- Daleville, AL, USA

problem #27

Dec 182003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles


I own a 1998 Dodge Durango front end was popping and the transmission was slipping at 51000 miles. It goes into the shop to be checked Dec.23, with all the known problems with the front end this makes me very concerned. My wife and I are cheerleding sponsers and travel all over the state with the girls.

- Griswold, IA, USA

problem #26

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 #25

Aug 182003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,500 miles
1998 Dodge Durango...transmission slips between 2nd & 3rd gear. Tachometer lurches forward with no power to the axle. This is a very dangerous situation when on the highway attempting to merge or pass. Being that Chrysler knows about this, they should be forced to remedy the problem, regardless of cost. This has been happening since I purchased the vehicle. I've returned it to the dealer and they said they've never heard of this problem.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #24

Aug 042003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
At 85000 miles I started having significant problems with the transmission. When first started in the morning the transmission does not shift out of first gear until the tach reads 2500 RPM. This causes a check engine light to come on because the transmission is sending a fault code to the computer. Also there are many many time that the car bogs down when trying to accelerate and then will finally kick into gear however passing speed is very very poor. I had the problem diagnosed and was told it is going to cost well over $1500 to repair which is why I have yet to have it done because quite frankly I cannot afford that right now.that is how I found out abnout this complaint service because I was told that 98 Durangos have had this problem since the car was built and the more research that I do on it the more I discover that there is truth to that statement. There is no way that a transmission should go out that quickly. I have never used this vehicle to tow anything and it has just been used to go back and forth to work and other normal family errands. I have never taken it off road and therefore I cannot understand why this transmission uis acting so flaky. I am also now getting some very wierd grinding noises when I back up...this is a new sound and will be having this looked at next. It seems as if this car is just deteriorating too quickly. After all I am not even at 100K yet...any help or suggestions would be greatly greatly appreciated.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #23

Apr 012003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,623 miles
Transmission went out at 65000, costing $2300 to replace (I was unemployed at the time too). A Chrysler A-500 transmission was installed with complete pump assembly, torque converter (which had pieces of metal rattling around inside of it) value body, a complete rebuild. This vehicle never towed anything and always maintained. Notified Dodge of this problem and they replied, sorry but not under warranty so nothing they would do about it. Even asked if they would reimburse for the parts only and they just said sorry. Spoke to several mechanics and they were very knowledgable about the problems with Dodge transmissions. Will be checking the ball-joints out now after the latest reports.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #22

Jun 122002

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
I had a complete automatic transmission failure at just over 60,000 miles. I contacted Dodge and they acted as if it wasn't their problem. Cost me $2000 dollars for a complete rebuild. Then after one month of having transmission redone the air conditioning went and cost me another $800 dollars. I complained again and again was treated as if it were my fault. I have a friend that works for a local Dodge dealership and he told me that Dodge does know about this problem and are denying it exists because of the large number of recalls that would result. He said they did a study and found out that the transmissions that were installed from '97 until 2000 were to small to handle the payload of the Durango. They have since fixed that problem but will not admit to earlier damages to the earlier models. By the way, Dodge only charges the dealers $400 dollars for the rebuild kits.

- Boardman, OH, USA

problem #21

Jul 222003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
Accident, airbags did not deploy, seat belts didn't work proper. Loss of of control from steering problems. Steering problems on wet roads. Transmission problems, doesn't shift proper, no air condition, can not drive with windows down in back, very hard to control. Car is parked because I am afraid to drive it. Been back to dealer with problem after problem.

- Morven, NC, USA

problem #20

Oct 102001

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
All four power windows went out in 2001. Transmission is shifting at a higher RPM. It does not shift until 3800 to 4500. This accured at 58000 miles June 4.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #19

Mar 202000

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
Upper and lower balljoints and front tie rod ends had to be replaced at my expense due to being totally worn out and front tires where worn bald on the inside due to this problem. Gear shift indicator is also not aligned properly since purchase, sits in between neutral and drive while in drive position, transmission will hang in first gear or slip when accelarating causing high rpms, have mainly experienced this problem when vehicle is low on gas, as strange as that may be. Have also experienced problems with the vehicle leaking a clear liquid on the passenger side floorboard which appears to be coming from the air conditioner condensation.

- Pawhuska, OK, USA

problem #18

Jun 182003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
Transmission: I bought a 1998 Durango in 2001 and have had problems with the transmission since the day I bought it. The transmission slips horribly and may times the truck will not accelerate at all once I reach 30 mph and the rpms red line almost every time. Now the transmission is completely shot and I've been told it will be a minimum of $2,000. No transmissions could be found at junk yards because it turns out that these vehicles are known to have bad transmissions.

- Morral, OH, USA

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