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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,864 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.

2002 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Aug 012014

Durango 8-cyl

  • 123,400 miles


Oil pressure keeps changing when it shouldn't which is causing car to overheat.

- Soldotna, AK, USA

problem #22

Mar 062012


  • miles
Vehicle looses oil pressure often and timing chains and gears from factoryare no good!

- Erie, KS, USA

problem #21

Feb 282012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. While driving approximately 10 mph and approaching a traffic stop, the vehicle stalled without warning. The engine was restarted and the vehicle resumed normally. The failure recurred whenever the engine was idled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the failure was contributed to the idle air control valve, which was replaced. The failure continued to occur after the repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Valley Stream , NY, USA

problem #20

Jan 222012

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


I was coming down a driveway from a store and I attempted to stop behind another vehicle when I applied my brakes and my Durango lunged forward towards the other vehicle and it did it twice but the second time I had both my feet on the brakes and I hit the other vehicle.I have new tires and brakes and also the pavement was wet but it did not slide. It was like the accelerator stuck or something. My worry is that I could hit a pedestrian next time this happens. I had no damage to my Durango but there was damage to the other vehicle. This is the first accident I've had in years and I had a good driving record until now.

- Howard , OH, USA

problem #19

Dec 242011

Durango 8-cyl

  • 140,500 miles
While driving a burning odor could be detected from inside the cabin. So I pulled over to check the engine and no immediate problem could be seen. After driving for two blocks I notice that the odor was getting stronger and smoke was coming from the engine. I pulled over once more open the hood. Upon further inspection I notice flame at the fire wall within seconds the whole engine covered in flames.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #18

Aug 152011


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that the vehicle overheated while driving 30 mph. There was coolant leaking from the reservoir and the temperature erratically raced to hot. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where they replaced the thermostat and the radiator pressure cap. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and advised that there were no recalls for the failure and offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 86,000.

- Sea Cliff, NY, USA

problem #17

Jun 072011


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. The contact was driving 25 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning, approximately eight times. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic for diagnostic testing but the mechanic was unable to produce any failure codes. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- Auburn, ME, USA

problem #16

Oct 012005


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. The air bag light and the check engine remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the air bag failure. The dealers diagnosis located the failure to the air bag sensor electrical wires. No codes were displayed regarding the check engine light. The vehicle was taken to a tire garage, because the front tires felt unstable while driving. The tire mechanic stated the front hub cap caused the vehicle to feel unstable while driving. The vehicle wasn't repaired. The manufacturer will be contacted. The failure mileage was 21,000 and the current mileage was 73,000.

- Orlando , FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 122002


  • miles
While driving home on March 12, 2010 my 2002 Dodge Durango slt began to overheat and it shut down on me. I called and had my car towed to a mechanic who inspected the car. He stated the engine will need to be replaced due to the oil sludge which caused the engine to overheat leading to engine failure. Prior to this incidence the maintenance was well done and there was no signals which would have alarmed me that a problem was occurring. It is alarming to me see thousands of other consumers who has experienced the same problem which goes to show that my incident was no an isolated one.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #14

Dec 092009


  • 141,016 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. While driving 15 mph the vehicle stalled without any prior warnings. He could not restart the vehicle. He contacted the manufacturer and the dealership, but was not provided with any assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired to-date. The current and failure mileages were 141,016.

- Inverness, FL, USA

problem #13

Dec 152008


  • miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. While driving approximately 30 mph on normal road conditions, the vehicle stalled unexpectedly. There were no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The engine restarted on the first attempt and resumed normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing, but the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic on a separate occasion for the same failure, but there were no resolutions. Currently, the vehicle is being diagnosed at the authorized dealer. The contact is waiting on a response to determine the cause of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unavailable. The current mileage was 100,000.

- Longwood, FL, USA

problem #12

Aug 162008


  • 83,000 miles
While returning from a family vacation(app. 600mi. Round trip) the Durango check gauges light came on the dash, I found the temp gauge was hot, while looking for a wide place to pull over on the highway the motor died. I opened the hood to try to find the problem I found that the coolant reservoir was still full of cool fluid, and the radiator was also cool(about body temp) also found the top radiator hose was way too hot to touch. While waiting for the tow truck, about 30 min. Later, I heard bubbling, and gurgles from the coolant system, then the radiator was really hot. After having the tow truck drop it off at my mechanic, he said the motor was blown(no compression in cylinders 2, 4, and 6) probably caused by a stuck thermostat. Estimated repair bill for a remanufactured motor app. $6,000.

- Klamath Falls, OR, USA

problem #11

Jul 252008


  • 119,800 miles
I purchase the vehicle new in Jan 2003. I first experienced the problem a few months later but it was very occasional and consequently couldn't be identified by the dealer. What happened was that (usually at highway speed), the engine would very briefly shut off and then resume normally. The best way I could describe it would be a slight 'stagger'. over the years the problem has become more and more frequent and now occurs at all speeds in all driving conditions regardless of load, temperature, weather, etc. It now occurs at least daily and sometimes several times in less than one minute. Often the engine will die completely and needs to be restarted using the key. Today, the engine died (completely) as I was pulling out of a parking spot and attempting to merge with oncoming traffic. It died (completely) again as I was going about 25 mph on city streets under light load. It died again (completely) as I was pulling into the parking lot of a business. During my commute to work it 'staggered' at highway speed at three separate times at highway speed while under moderate load. Suffice to say this is quite dangerous as the power steering and power brakes become significantly more difficult to use following loss of power.

- Galt, CA, USA

problem #10

Mar 122008

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
While dropping my children off at school the check gauges light lit up. Nothing on my gauges appeared to be wrong except for the fuel gauge being on 1/4 tank so I continued on my 1 mile trip to the school. When my children exited the vehicle the check gauges light lit again and the truck started to sputter. I then turned the truck off and turned it back on. The light came on again and then the engine stopped. I called for a tow. Several hours and at a cost the mechanic told me that my engine had seized and the problem was engine sludge.

- Woonsocket, RI, USA

problem #9

Dec 122006

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,053 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. While driving 35 mph, the oil pump failed without warning. The oil pressure dropped and the motor locked. The dealer rebuilt the transmission, but the failure continued. The vehicle was taken to the dealer numerous times, but they could not duplicate the failure. The contact stated that there was oil leakage in cold weather. When the engine heated up, there was sludge because the leaker stopped the strainer. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was approximately 112,300 and failure mileage was 91,053.

- Warrior, AL, USA

problem #8

Dec 142002

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
2002 Dodge Durango. Car engine "surges" when starting to drive, then returns to normal after a few hundred yards. Occurs at speeds of 10-20 mph. Reported to dealer. Dealer unable to reproduce problem. Occurs randomly, but about 1-2 a month. Car also stops and will not restart. Recurs randomly and without warning. Local mechanic feels problem could be powertrain control module related. Occurs at speeds of 0-60 mph.

- Livingston, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 012006

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,084 miles
I purchased a 2002 Dodge Durango used with 60K I have accumulated less than 3K from September until January and I've had to replace my entire engine. Reason mechanic states there is sludge throughout the engine.

- Huber Heights, OH, USA

problem #6

Jun 302005

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
The engine seized without indication. The temperature gauge elevated and within a matter of seconds the engine locked up. The engine was running and the consumer's wife was pulling into driveway. The consumer took the vehicle to a dealer and was told there was a ground strap attached to a coolant tube on the engine, and that resulted in premature wear of cooling tube, allowing escape of coolant. The engine was destroyed. The engine was under warranty, but the coolant tube was not, and they would not honor the warranty. Manufacturer was contacted and would not honor warranty as well.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #5

Jan 222005


  • miles
The check engine light went on. Took our 2002 Dodge Durango to our 5 star dealership and was told we had sludge in our engine. This vehicle had 24,289 miles at this time. Both the dealership and Chrysler said the sludge was do to owner neglect since I couldn't produce eight oil change receipts. The oil was changed about every 6,000 miles. Needless to say they are not going to cover the repair under the 3 year 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty or the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #4

May 272004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
While driving 35 mph check engine light came on, and the oil pressure dropped immediately afterwards. Subsequently, vehicle was driven for a quarter of a mile, and it sounded like a diesel engine when the consumer arrived at the prescribed destination. Vehicle was towed to the dealership the following day, and mechanic determined that the failure was due to sludge building up in the engine. Dealership will either clean out the oil pan or replace the motor.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

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