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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,821 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.

2003 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Dodge Durango Owner Comments

problem #18

Sep 012011


  • 107,571 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Durango. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 mph he heard a loud knocking noise in the engine. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic who advised him that the valve seat came out of the head gasket causing it to open. The vehicle was repaired by decarbonating the engine. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 107,571.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #17

Nov 012011


  • 108,000 miles
While at idle or taking off slowly the truck will stall out-I have found if I run my A/C even when its cold out side it does better-but something is wrong---even when driving at highway speeds rpms go up and down--even when cruise is on gas mileage very bad---feels like something holding truck back---not smooth engine driving. No check engine light--no codes.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #16

Sep 122011


  • 80,000 miles
While driving to work on secondary roads at approx 30mph, engine smoked, seized, over-heated, bucked and failed. Had it towed and mechanic immediately noticed sludge around top of some gasket. Before further inspection, he said immediately that it was not a good sign at all and most likely would need new engine. I was shocked as this truck is our secondary vehicle and has only been driven approx 20,000 miles in 3 years with regular oil changes and no issues whatsoever! no indication was given via warning lights of any issues nor was there any change in how it drove immediately prior to seizing. After a day, the mechanic confirmed it needed total engine replacement. We assumed we were being taken advantage of and had it towed to another repair place, who only went on to say the same: New engine needed! after researching this on-line it seems that many of this make and model have had issues with this, yet there is no recourse with the manufacturer. We were owners of a 1999 Dodge Durango prior to this and that vehicle also needed total engine replacement after 60 days but thankfully it was covered through the dealership. We are no longer under any type of warranty and since this is a known issue, we feel that daimler Chrysler should recognize this known issue based on the amount of complaints there is regarding this! not only will we be abandoning this vehicle, as we are told that if we replace the engine for approx $4000 it will more than likely happen again, but we will never, ever purchase a vehicle through this manufacturer again! shame on daimler/Chrysler for not acknowledging their fault!

- Unionville, NY, USA

problem #15

Aug 152010


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Durango. While driving approximately 30 mph the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the engine warning indicator. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and resume driving. The failure occurred five times. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- Baltic, CT, USA

problem #14

Nov 012007


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the heater failed to function. The contact also stated that the connecting wires for the fan resistors were melted. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 115,000.

- Johnstown, OH, USA

problem #13

Aug 012011

Durango 8-cyl

  • miles
2003 Dodge Durango. Consumer states problem with blown head gasket

- Monroe, GA, USA

problem #12

May 072010


  • 119,560 miles


I have an 03 Dodge Durango and ever so often when I make a stop the RPM go up and down and makes it want to shut off and there's times where it actually cut off and some days when I want to pull off it wont move unless I sit there and let it warm for at least 2-5 minutes lugs have started to pop off had a diagnostic and they found nothing.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #11

Oct 092008


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Durango. While idling at a traffic light, the vehicle accelerated by itself. The brake pedal was depressed when the failure occurred. The rear tires turned over and pushed the vehicle out into the intersection. The vehicle then began to fishtail. The contact turned the wheel to the left and caused the vehicle to roll over. He sustained head injuries. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 06E024000 (engine and engine cooling), which he believed to be the cause of the failure. A police report was filed. The dealer and manufacturer have not been notified, just his insurance company. The current and failure mileages were approximately 100,000.

- Godwin, NC, USA

problem #10

Apr 202008


  • miles
2003 Dodge Durango was purchased from a local dealership in wickliffe, oh in April of 08. The vehicle has been at the dealership needing to be serviced in excess of 7 times, from the bushings being replaced to the check engine light repeatedly coming on with the dealerships inability to fix it. I have been in a rental car more than I have driven the vehicle that I purchased from the dealership. There was an evap code as they so eloquently stated so they allegedly fixed that only to find that the check engine light still continually comes on. Every time that the problem was supposedly resolved, I was back at the dealership within 2 to 3 days with the same problem again. The management there stated and admitted that they simply can't fix the vehicle therefore they are going to get me out of it so they even had me to pick another vehicle which they said would fit perfectly and should not affect the payment that I have in place right now. I have been hearing about getting this replacement vehicle for over 3 months with no result. The vehicle is not safe when driving on the highway and hitting a bump because it feels as if the front end is going in two different directions. My wife wont drive it, we are scared to put our kids into it and I need your help right away.

- South Euclid, OH, USA

problem #9

Oct 252007

Durango 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2003 Dodge Durango. The vehicle has been in to the service department of my local Dodge / Jeep dealer due to a an engine light coming on. They have been unable to find out what is wrong with the vehicle.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 082007

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,300 miles


We bought a 2003 Dodge Durango on June 26, 2007. On August 8, 2007 all of a sudden, with no warning it started sounding funny, like a diesel, a few minutes later the oil pressure dropped to zero and just a few seconds after that the engine locked up. We were on the interstate abut 50 miles from home with 2 children. Luckily we got a ride home and had the vehicle towed later on that night. The vehicle was under a 7 yr./70,000 mile warranty, but Dodge doesn't want to honor it. We had the vehicle barely over a month when this happened. I had just gotten it registered and tagged 5 days before it happened and made the first payment 7 days before it happened. Now we don't know what to do. I have read hundreds of other reports exactly like our situation. Please do something and make Dodge acknowledge that there is a huge problem with their engines!!!

- Harrisburg, AR, USA

problem #7

Jul 012006

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,881 miles
While driving down highway, the oil warning light came on. Immediately we pulled over and checked oil, which was fine. We started the car and began driving. While driving, the engine began to make a clicking noise. Immediately, I pulled over again and had to have the car towed to a Dodge dealership. I was told by the Dodge service department that the engine failure was due to sludge in the oil that blocked the screen to the oil pump. We would require a new engine. Dodge has denied our power train warranty due to the sludge.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #6

Oct 262003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Vehicle has a brake pulsation and had a brake squeak. This has been going on since vehicle was purchased in 10-03. Vehicle was returned to dealership while under warranty. They replaced the brake pads and resurfaced the rotors. This did not eliminate the pulsation but did eliminate the squeak. The transmission bangs into gear and has a long delay going from park into reverse. This is an ongoing problem. The vehicle has been returned to the dealer more than 10 times. They claimed they could not duplicate the problem. This is after telling us they felt something but did not know what it was. Engine stalls and runs rough. This is intermittent and dealer could not duplicate it. I have spoken with several transmission shops and they have stated that there is a fix for the transmission problem. Chrysler will not perform the repair. They did agree to install the necessary parts if I purchased them but then this would void my warranty. And why should I pay for a repair that should be covered under my warranty??

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 172005

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2003 Durango, for the past several weeks, the truck will not start in the morning, you are forced to hold you foot on the gas until the truck is warmed up. When driving, when you come to a stop the idle of the truck drops so low, feels like the truck is going to stall, then it caught itself at the last moment. Truck has been back to the dealer no less then 9 times for this problem. They have not been able to duplicate the problem. The truck just went out of warranty, so I sure next time I bring it back, they will find what the problem is. I will never purchase another Dodge again!

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 022005


  • 40,000 miles
While driving any speed, the vehicle stalled.. the cause was not determined. Updated 5/3/2006 - the consumer sat for about ten minutes and the vehicle was restarted. When it was restarted it made a lot of noise. The consumer drove the vehicle home about 10 mph. The next morning the vehicle was towed to a local repair facility who indicated that the problem was probably with the engine or transmission.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #3

Dec 202004

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,361 miles
While traveling 70 mph vehicle stalled. Consumer was able to restart vehicle ten minutes later, and drove it to the dealer. Mechanic could not be duplicate the problem.....incident date 09/30/2004. Consumer claimed Dodge was responsible for stalling. Daler never had an experienced mechanic examine the vehicle.

- Roslyn Heights, NY, USA

problem #2

Sep 132004


  • 17,000 miles
While driving, the vehicle stalled. The consumer managed to pull over and restart the vehicle.

- Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #1

Jan 262004

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
While driving at 60 mph the vehicle stalled and jerked. Another motorist informed the consumer that the vehicle was on fire. The consumer exited the vehicle, and watched the engine compartment become engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished with no injuries. The dealer informed the consumer that engine threw a rod, and it punctured the oil pan. The engine was replaced.

- Essex Junction, VT, USA

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