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9.4

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$4,518.00
Average Mileage:
81,678 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (14 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
  3. taking to court, dealer said my fault - B F'in S! (3 reports)
2002 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Durango Owner Comments

problem #20

Apr 032013

Durango SXT 4.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

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

So my Durango has taken us everywhere, I.E. Camping, backwoods, road trips, and out of state. Never had a rough idle or low pressure issues or anything to indicate a problem. A few times before the engine "went to hell", I heard a throaty cold start in the initial turnover. My check engine light would go on and every time I ran the code it gave me an evap issue. Which had nothing to do with the engine about to fail. On the way to drop family off an hour away from home, we decided to stop at the bank. Shut the engine off and went inside. Came out to leave, turned the key and this AWFUL clunk happened and it was spitting on what sounded like 2 pistons!! Couldn't believe it!! Towed it to my mechanic and when he finally looked at it gave me the bad news. Blown engine, full engine replacement was the only option besides junking it! Some 3 thousand dollars later I have my Durango back! He said he had to send the pan out to be specially blasted because the sludge buildup was so bad the guys in the shop couldn't do much with chiseling it!! Unbelievable because I would have it serviced every 3,500 to 4,000 miles. My mechanic said this way typical with that years design he couldn't believe that jeep/dodge wouldn't send out a recall with all the replacements that had happened! So he did advise me to use synthetic oil and get my engine flushed more than I would think or like to. I love my Durango and have accompanied it with it's sister the Neon. But I HATE the major issues and I refused to be in a more foreign vehicle than I have to.

- , Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #19

May 022002

Durango SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Just a suggestion, if it’s not too late…Only use synthetic oil. I know it’s costly, but well worth it. I bought my 2002 Durango new and have only used synthetic in it. I change my oil about every 5 months. I have not had any of these issues (at least not yet). So, I’m thinking the difference might be the synthetic??? My Durango is over 10 years old, with over 125,000 miles and still is going strong. I just passed it over to my 16 year old son. I will only use synthetic in my new car too.

Update from Jul 29, 2012: Correction...I change the oil about every 5,000 miles.

- , Margate, FL, USA

problem #18

Oct 102010

Durango 4.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,020 miles

I HAVE A 2002 DODGE DURANGO THAT HAD OIL SLUDGE BUILD UP RESULTING IN NO OIL PRESSURE AND ENGINE REPLACEMENT! I CHANGED MY OIL ON A REGULAR BASIS LIKE MOST OF US DO BUT IT DIDN'T MATTER. THE FIRST SIGNAL THAT I HAD WAS VERY HIGH OIL PRESSURE FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN LOW OIL PRESSURE THEN NO OIL PRESSURE. HAD IT TOWED TO THE DODGE DEALER AND THEY SAID THERE WAS A LOT OF SLUDGE BLOCKING THE SCREEN AND THAT RESULTED IN A DAMAGED PISTON AND NO COMPRESSION. THAT EQUALS ENGINE REPLACEMENT WITH NO HELP AT ALL FROM THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS WHO KNOW THAT THEY ARE SELLING

DEFECTIVE VEHICLES BUT WONT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM. WE NEED TO FIND A LAWYER AND OPEN A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT TO GET SOME REIMBURSEMENT FROM THIS NEGLIGENT MANUFACTURER! ANYBODY KNOW A LAWYER?

- , South Fork, PA, USA

problem #17

Mar 172008

Durango SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

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

It is not at all shocking that Chrysler would ignore this obvious issue and continue to sell a defective product. The current state of the american automotive industry is testament to the fact that they build an inferior product without any concern for doing so. I have been a long-time customer of Chrysler products and have never purchased a vehicle from a foreign car manufacturer. What this long list of complaints about the same issue tells me is that we need to show Chrysler how we feel by shopping elsewhere. Unfortunately for me, I purchased 2 new Chrysler vehicles just before this most recent incident. I can assure you all, and Chrylser, that those will be my last and I will encourage others to avoid their products as well!

- , Stow, OH, USA

problem #16

Jun 212008

Durango

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Well, Here's my story....:( I encountered this problem with my 2002 Durango in 2004. I took it to the dealer and they told me the same crap you've been reading in these forums. I got it fixed(damage $1,856.00)...Ive been making regular oil changes especially after such a cost. 3 months ago THE EXACT CRAP !!!..Are you kidding me !!! OIL SLUDGE, OIL SLUDGE...I haven't gone back to the dealer cause I might hurt somebody but this is an issue that needs to be handled. We all need to find a Lawyer that will look into this and resolve this problem with a RECALL granted to all who supported Dodge and bought their vehicles. Even if it gets fixed I cant find it in my right mind to sell this truck to someone else. They are going to have the same problems in a few months and I would be just as much of a Jerk as the people at Dodge for not letting us know this problem exist with their engines. PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED & I WILL DO THE SAME. Put the word out. This is theft at its finest.They are crooks.

signed, Disappointed Dodge Driver

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #15

Jun 032008

Durango SLT 5.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,395 miles

Initially I was noticing a strong odor of alcohol when restarting the engine after a brief period of time (such as a trip to the post office or gas station). A few weeks later, the engine overheated and was completely out of coolant. By this time, the oil was a thick viscous sludge and resembled a milkshake. After replacing the coolant, the engine was running very rough at low RPM, so a trip to the dealership was indicated.

The local Chrysler dealer diagnosed the problem as a blown head gasket caused by overheating from engine failure due to sludge buildup. I had only owned the used vehicle for a few months, so I was unaware of the previous owner's maintenance practices. My extended warranty company denied the work, because the head gasket is not covered. If I had taken it in before the head gasket blew, it might have been covered, but I was unaware of the problem until it was too late.

I had to have the engine replaced. It took 10 days to get the used engine and another 2 weeks to install it. This was over $1000 in car rental fees alone! After googling "engine failure Durango sludge" it is apparent to me that this is a manufacturer design defect. Maybe some smart lawyer will start a class action lawsuit. If so, PLEASE CONTACT ME!

- , Crawfordsville, IN, USA

problem #14

Apr 012008

Durango SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

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

I was driving home from a Dr's appointment and was 100 miles from home and the engine blew up. $500.00 just for the mechanics to tow it back home and tell me that the engine blew up. Now it's sitting in the yard and I still have 2 years of payments left on it and I can't drive it or afford to have it fixed. Luckily I have a Wrangler that I can drive back and forth to work. This hit at absolutely the wrong time. My son was supposed to take the Durango to college with him this fall. Now I can't afford to get him a car because of the dodge payment, and my son will have to put off college until I can afford to get him a car to drive. I'm not about to send my son off to college in a $500.00 clunker, so we'll just have to bite the bullet and wait. I will never buy another Dodge because they know about this problem and haven't issued a recall.

- , Hornbeak, TN, USA

problem #13

Apr 202007

Durango Eva - 4.7L V8 Mpi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Purchased a 2002 Dodge Durango new. Drove the vehicle 50 miles one day and didn't drive for another 2 weeks. No lights came on during this trip. Went to start it up one morning and the Engine froze without any warning. No lights ever came on. After talking to a dodge dealership, was told to have it towed to them, and that it would be covered by the warranty. After having it towed to the dealership, was told they needed to run diagnostics on the problem, and that it would cost $ 100.to do so. However, was led to believe the problem would be covered, as well as the $ 100 diagnostics by the warranty. Received a call from the the dealership that sludge was found in the oil pan, and that they would need approval from the warranty group. Warranty group instructed dealership they would have to break down the engine to be inspected by a a "contracted" mechanic. Per the warranty group/mechanic, "the failure was due to a build up of sludge, which caused a starvation within the engine. Sludge is the direct result of the failure to perform adequate service work and not covered".

I think it is obvious that Dodge has a serious problem here and is not taking responsibility. We're on our way to small claims court this month.If anyone has successfully won a case against dodge concerning this sludge issue, or have gotten a dealership/warranty company to fix your problem please contact me.

.

- , Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 222007

Durango SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,136 miles

We bought this used 2002 Dodge Durango in August 2007 and in October 2007 I was driving and the oil pressure dropped to 0 and the check gauges light came on. We got it towed back to the dealer where we purchased it and were told that it needed a new engine. Thank god we bought the extended warranty and the engine was covered. I think it is really ridiculous for the engine to go out on a vehicle that has only 56,000 miles and is only about 5 years old. I really like this vehicle though and if this engine goes out I am replacing it with a jasper engine because the dodge engines are just going to keep going out. What a rip off!

- , Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA

problem #11

Apr 042008

Durango

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I was driving along when the "check gages" light came on and when I did, the oil pressure had dropped to 0. My husband had just checked the oil a few days earlier but I checked it again anyway. The oil level was fine, I started it back up and the gages were reading fine again. I drove about a block and a half when the "check gages" light came back on and I saw the oil pressure drop to 0 and a horrible loud clang, clang, clang....I knew that was bad and had the mechanic look at it and he spent all day running tests on it and recommended that we check for blogs on the internet for anyone else who might have the same problem...and what do you know? There could be hundreds! What can be done? From what I have read so far, Dodge knew this has been going on and hasn't taken any responsibility for it. I don't have any way to get to work or school or get my kids to school....and we just paid this thing off 3 months ago...how convenient.

- , Perryton, TX, USA

problem #10

Dec 172007

Durango Slt Plus 4.7L V8

  • Manual transmission
  • 14,000 miles

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

after sitting for almost a year in front of my house i had an extra bonus for Christmas anws i spent it on trying to fix my car they replaced lifters, did an oil change they told me my fan was so loud because it was a faulty fan and it is dangerous to drive it in the condition then i told them it was new and their story changed to it being an aftermarket fan and that is why it was so loud. so they replaced that they replaced the sending unit and a couple other small things. i picked up the car and it was not fixed. they told me i needed an new engine. i tried to take it back and they sied they cant find problem just to buy a new engine.

- , Rocklin, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 262007

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I had taken, my 2002 Dodge Durango to two Dodge shops to see why my oil pressure dropped to zero. I purchased my truck brand new in 2002 and never knew Dodge had all this oil pressure issues with their engine. Both the Dodge shops could not tell why I was having this problem. I paid one Dodge shop $137.00 to check and the other $105.00 plus $265.00 for a rental car while Dodge was checking my Durango for two weeks. In the end Dodge said I should have my engine broke down. Dodge also recommend I get my engine replaced. My father-in-law has 1996 Ford Ranger with over 300,000 on the original motor and runs better then my Durango. This is my first time buying an American car as well as a Dodge. I will never buy a Dodge automobile again. Dodge needs to own up to their engine problems. After reading several blogs etc, this problem is not a myth.

- , Stockton, CA, USA

problem #8

Apr 192007

(reported on)

Durango ES 5.2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

NOW I HAVE MY DURANGO SETTING IN MY DRIVEWAY UNABLE TO DRIVE IT BUT STILL HAVE TO PAY PAYMENTS ON IT . HAD TO FIND ANOTHER WAY TO WORK I TOOK CARE OF MY TRUCK I ONLY HAD IT FOR A YEAR IT DID'NT SHOW ANY PROBLEMS WHEN IT STOPPED DIED ON THE ROAD . I HAD IT TOWED TO MY HOUSE AND THE NEXT DAY IT STARTED UP. THEN STARTED MAKING ALITTLE NOISE SO I HAD IT TOWED TO A GARAGE THEN TOLD ME THE OIL WAS LIKE MUD OR SLUGG AND THAT I WOULD HAVE TO HAVE ANOTHER MOTOR PUT IN

- , Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #7

Jul 212006

(reported on)

Durango

  • 68,000 miles

Do not purchase a 2002 Durango. There is a serious problem with sludge build up, causing engine failure. I had my timeing changed and the same day that I picked my car up from Pre-Bul my engine blew up and I was told becuase of lack of oil changes, put the mechanic had told my husband that he had saw this problem in many durangos, but still no one wants any parts of responsibility. I paid 1361.00 for a timing change and did not drive my car 5 miles before it started shaking. becuase it had no oil pressur. The dealer ship did not take any responsibility and now I have no car. And may I say I had just paid my car off!

- , Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #6

Feb 272007

(reported on)

Durango SLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

truck had engine replaced 1 time before but every time the engine light came on the dodge dealer would say it wasn't the engine it was something else. This last time 12/25/06 no warning lights came on and we were told that the engine problem was caused by neglect and we needed to send in all the maintenance work done on the vehicle. When we did that the records showed that the car was being checked for engine problems from the start. After seeing the maintenance records we were then told that a rod was broken and there was sludge in the engine and no oil was in the engine. When I told them that it was oil in the truck because I checked it before I got it towed to them. I asked the mechanic to send me the information in writing and was told that I had to call chrysler to get the report. Needless to say chrysler did not send me anything until 2/27/07 and that was only because I send the letter certified mail. The first time they act like it got lost in the mail so that's why I sent it certified. The letter said. " This letter is to acknowledge receipt of you recent correspondence regarding a request for a copy of the denial of coverage. Inspection reports are proprietary information and the sole property of DaimlerChrysler Corporation. DaimlerChrysler does not allow information of that nature to be shared with consumers. DaimlerChrysler utilized the services of an independent Mechanical Breakdown inspection company to view your vehicle in its failed state, and provide us with a report and photographs t document the diagnosis. The report clearly documents that the failure of your engine was due to a build up of sludge, which caused oil starvation within the engine. Sludge, is a direct result of the failure to perform adequate service work on the vehicle and is not coverd under the terms of the contract. Anyone reading this should take the time to go to consumer complaint web site and see more complaints and problems with the sludge engines that are put into durangos during certain years. The engines are too small to accommodate the truck and they knew it.I'm taking to court, dealer said my fault - B F'in S!

- , Damascus, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 062006

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

Driving on freeway, I got a "Check Gauges" light, saw that the oil pressure went to zero and within 5-10 seconds my engine seized up. Dealer said needed to teardown engine and would cost $500 diagnostic fee. I said sure since I change my oil all the time and know this is typical of an oil pump failure (I am a mechanic). The dealer said sorry, not cover as was my neglect as I had sludge in pan - - - WHAT the F

I saw that all they did for $500 was pull the oil pan. The pan is normal and there is no way in heck I am paying $500 to pull a pan (for $500 my motor should be strapped to a pallet). So I went to the county courthouse, bonded out my Durango and after 60 days went to the courthouse and reclaimed my $500 bond.

I will now follow up in court for the replacement engine - this is a load of crap, I have owned 2 Durangos and 2 Dodge Rams - never again will I buy a Dodge unless someone at Dodge pony's up and honors their 70k mile powertrain warranty.

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 192006

(reported on)

Durango LX

  • 74,000 miles

After getting the oil changed every 3,000 miles, one day the engine started pinking. A check of the oil dip sticked showed the oil was black and needed to be changed. The oil preasure gauge showed zero oil pressure after the oil was changed. Checking the dip stick again, one could see the oil was crystal clear and assume there should not be a problem.

I called Irondequiot Dodge (now called Irondequoit Suzuki) here in Rochester NY where I bought the vehicle and they said the waranty had expired.

This same dealership (Irondequoit Dodge), I had taken the Dodge Durango in to a few months prior to have the AC recharged. Three days after they charged me $85 for the recharge, the AC was once again not working. I took the Durango back for them to find out that the condensor was leaking. When I said, after you filled the compressor and charged me $85.00, wouldn't your service man see that it was leaking when it was under preasure? The reply was that it will be $700.00 for the new AC compressor and another $85.00 for re-charging. Needless to say, I did not have them do the work.

Now I have a 2002 $35,000 vehicle which was bought in late 2002 after the 2003s were out with a blown engine. Estimates so far are $3,000 plus labor for a new engine. The 2002 Durango bought and fully paid for now sits in a local garage awaiting a new engine.

Ironically, the mechanic who now has this vehicle tells me that oil pumps failing on this engine are common. Funny the salesman never mentioned that at Irondequoit Dodge (now Irondequoit Suzuki) never mentioned that. Nor did he mention my 2002 vehicle which I paid more that $35K for would only have a bluebook value of $17K in 2006.

So if you happen to drive through Rochester, New York and think about buying a car at Irondequoit Dodge (now called Irondequoit Suzuki), don't walk away, run.

- , Rochester, New York, USA

problem #3

Mar 292006

(reported on)

Durango

  • 73,000 miles

Oil sludge because I did not change my oil??? Are you kidding me? I financed a $23000 freakin car and I am not going to pay $35.00 every 3 months for an oil change. Did I keep my receipts?? Who does? If I knew I was purchasing a defective product I would have kept every one of them!! Bob, from the extended warranty division asked me "What red blooded american does not keep their oil change receipts?". Maybe he knew something I did not. I have no other car, it has been out since 12/22/05 and luckly I work very close to where I live so my friends alternate giving me a ride. I am so depressed!!!

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Dec 132005

(reported on)

Durango

  • 79,000 miles

Engine needs to be replaced due to "oil sludge". Upon researching this on the internet, seems like this has been and is an ongoing problem with these engines. Consumers have not been alerted to this problem. The company still sells these cars. Don't know what we are going to do at this point and time, but no satisfaction from corporate. Buy American?? And Corporate blames anything and everyone else for the problem, when in fact it is the engineering of said engine which is causing the problem of oil sludge. All's I can say is buyer beware!!!!, and we will never buy another product from this company again.

- , Flat Rock, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 182005

(reported on)

Durango SLT

  • 82,000 miles

Dodge won't admit that there is an issue with the Durango, but a search on-line revealed a significant issue with this engine heating up and "cooking" the oil into a "sludge".

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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