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.

9.8

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$4,883.00
Average Mileage:
87,515 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. engine replacement (9 reports)
  2. engine replaced under powertrain warranty (1 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Dodge Durango Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 222014

Durango SXT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,063 miles

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

Bought vehicle with 80000 miles, ran on the verge of hot from the start. I put new radiator per dealer. 2 new water pumps, all new hoses, new radiator cap, had cylinder test for head gasket, new thermostat, dealer said was normal for 4.7 to run close to hot, it would be OK. Just drove locally for years. Had family sickness 3 hours away, had to stop on interstate every 45 minutes to let it cool. Finally made a loud pop, checked oil, had anti freeze half way up dipstick. Pulled vehicle to my mechanics garage and started looking for used good 4.7 motor, it don't exist.

After 4 months, located one with 70000 miles, 200 miles away. Picked up engine, guaranteed to be good. Paid $800 to have it put in. Started it, knocked like a woodpecker, pulled head, valve seat was melted and laying on top of piston. Call wrecking yard, he agreed to refund money or pull head off another motor. Elected to drive 3 hours to get used head, picked it up, back to mechanic. Cleaned head to install. Had 5 cracks in it. Drove 3 hours back, wrecking yard pulled head off 4 more Durangos all cracked.

Finally wrecking yard owner agreed to give me $275 to buy rebuilt head. Found new one for $350 dollars, replaced, also new timing chains, guides and tensioners. Runs good now, after 4 months,1000s of miles for parts. But there is a moral to this story, DODGES 4.7 ENGINES SUCKS, I have a 2008 full size RAM 5.2 with 222000 miles, never a problem except heater, and I have a 2002 Dakota crew cab 4x4 and pulled anything and everything, has 260000 miles, 5.2 replaced brakes and calipers,and rear axle bearing, both 2008.and 2002 have had less than 1/10 spent together than the 2003 Durango, if Dodge plans on keeping me buying their products, they need to recall all 4.7 and replace those dumbass aluminum heads!

- , Nashville, TN, USA

problem #10

Dec 032012

Durango SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine seized

My 2003 Dodge Durango has had engine problems since I bought it 4 years ago. The engine light was always on.When it was inspected they would turn it off and it would come back on. It always ran rough, not all cylinders were working. Now it won't start. I was told it needs a new motor. A new motor and labor are very expensive,Not sure what to do with it, Still owe 1 year payment on it.Sure hate paying on a vehicle I can't use!

- , Margaretville, NY, USA

problem #9

Jul 102010

Durango SLT V8 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Wow, I can't believe all the same complaints on the engine... Mine is pretty much the same, kept overheating took it to dealer who told me numerous times no there's nothing wrong spent a boat load of money on rental cars to get back and forth to work , meanwhile paying 700 / month for a car that's not running. Long story short replace engine or buy new car.... well i don't ever want to buy a new car after this experience so i opted for engine $5,000 or $20,000 still not sure if i made the right decision what a mess and very disappointing for dodge. It's hard to believe they take no more pride in their work than this. very unsatisfied customer

- , Aurora, IN, USA

problem #8

Aug 152010

Durango SXT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

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

I wasn't going to write anything about my Durango motor blowing a rod but after reading other complaints I figured I would add mine to the list. I was pulling our family camper to Knoebel's PA as we do every year. I was driving my 2003 Durango pulling a camper that is under the towing capacity of the vehicle. I've been pulling this camper for 3 years with this Durango with no problems. I always perform vehicle maintenance on the motor before I take a trip like this. The oil was clean and at the proper level. new air filter. The basics. We never made it to our destination. Oil light came on and then engine failure less than 5 seconds later. I've been told that I need a new motor by several different people but I won't really know until I drive back to PA where it died and tow it back home myself so my own mechanic can look at it. My wife has a ford Explorer that is still running fine but the nickle and dime cheap manufactured sh*t we build our cars out of is pathetic. Its probably only a matter of time before that car dies too and it only has 30,000 miles on it.

Sorry America............ If I have to get rid of my Durango because it's too expensive to fix.......... it will be a very long time and it will take a lot of convincing for me to buy another American made vehicle.

- , Belcamp, MD, USA

problem #7

Dec 272008

Durango

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,600 miles

Christmas trip from Phoenix to Denver. 1st day out. Heading into Albuquerque w/all 7 seats occupied by kids & family, suddenly lost oil pressure & had AWFUL noise from engine. Limped into town & into a Firestone store. They looked & said we'd thrown a rod & 'might' be able to limp about 5 mi. to Dodge dealer. Said we'd need new engine. Got about 3 mi. & engine totally seized up. Towed to dealer. Tow truck driver said same - new engine. Dodge dealer confirmed. Approx. $8000 to pull & replace engine. Powertrain warranty expired. Ended up buying a new car so we could finish our trip.

- , Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #6

Oct 312007

(reported on)

Durango SXT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My oil light would come on every morning. I cut the truck off, check the oil, see the oil and then start the truck again and the light would be off. On my way with my whole family and Mom -n-law to my mothers house warming, on a long deserted country road, the oil light came on and then the engine light came on and the car died. 2 days later she shop guy called and say $5000 new engine at the lowest. I have a 2003 and drive 90% of my 167,000 miles on the highway. Tuned it up every season change, changed oil every 2000 miles and now I have $8000 to pay on it and no truck. Dodge must be crazy....after I read that everyone else is having the same problem. I paid them more than I should have for this truck.

- , Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #5

Aug 092007

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

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

We bought a 2003 Dodge Durango in June of 2007, after only having it about 40 days, we have complete engine failure. It ALL OF A SUDDEN started knocking...... minutes later the oil pressure dropped to zero.... and SECONDS after that the engine locked up. I had just gotten it registered and tagged 5 days before this happened and made the FIRST payment 7 days before it happened. Now we have a completely USELESS vehicle that we owe 12,000 dollars on. With NO way to get it fixed. It has created an AWFUL mess and a TREMENDOUS financial burden. I agree with the others there NEEDS to be a LAWSUIT against Dodge!!! And QUICK!!

- , Harrisburg, AR, USA

problem #4

Jul 192007

(reported on)

Durango V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Oil sludge build up resulting in new motor - Dodge dealership said was popular problem but no recalls. Had warranty up to 70,000 miles, my Durango had 72,000 when it failed.

- , Crab Orchard, WV, USA

problem #3

Jun 272007

(reported on)

Durango SXT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

03 Dodge Durango, 104000 mi, purchased at used car dealership and had checked over by "reliable" mechanic with passing results. Drove less than 10 miles and oil light came on, lost oil pressure immediately followed by knocking, then complete loss of power. Engine seized. Diagosis from Dodge dealership: Engine seized due to oil sludge. Had to pay over $4000 to put a reman engine in it. No recourse with used car dealer due to the fact that the Florida lemon law only applies to NEW vehicles, and the vehicle was purchased "as is". Furthermore, dealer still won't return my calls about getting me my title and tag, but that's another story. The bottom line is: BUYER BEWARE... Durangos are known for this problem and it may even be undetectable until the engine seizes. Be careful!

- , Crestview, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 132007

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I got my durango new in 2003 in the end i will have payed 41000. I pay 700 a month. When i called the dodge place where i got it, they asked if it had sludge in the oil. I told them no and that i changed my oil like i was told. I was asked what went wrong and i told him that i was driving down the road and the oil light came on and then it started knocking real bad then it went dead. He told me it would cost 5,000 just for the motor that the labor would be 1,000. I told him i was a single mom of 6 kids and i didn't have that kind of money. He said I'm sorry i don't know what to tell you. Hell i still have 700 dollar amounth payments what am i going to do?

- , Temple, GA, USA

problem #1

Dec 052006

(reported on)

Durango SLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Well there is nothing like driving down the road on a steep mountain and having your car just die. There was no warning! Not fun, and very dangerous not only for me but those around me seeing as I had no more power steering or power brakes because there was no POWER! I coasted down the mountain which also happened to be 3 hours from where I live to find that all the mechanic could say was I'm sorry but your engine is seized up, you're not going anywhere. Needless to say I was not a happy camper and neither was my husband who had to drive 3 hours to come load up our Durango and bring it back to the dealer here to fix. The good news is it's covered under the powertrain warranty, the bad news is it has been in the shop for a month now and the dealer is in no hurry to get it fixed. I called Chrysler to complain about the service or lack there of that I was receiving from my dealer here at home and all they could suggest was that I have it towed at my own cost to another dealer. Well isn't that dandy. I live in the middle of the desert in NM and the next closest dealer is 70 miles away! All I know is since buying this vehicle it has had to have the rear end and front end replaced plus the wiper motor and some wiring connection fixed and the AC repaired which I had my brother in law do because I didn't have a month to wait in 100 degree temperatures for the dealer to get it done for me. I am so frustrated at this point I just want my Durango fixed so I can go trade it in for a Chevy heck I may even buy a foreign car at this point. I do know I will NEVER buy a Dodge again not just because of the problems I have had with this lemon they sold me but because they are of no help when a problem arises with your car. Word gets around about a product and the service you get, and I will be sure and it does after all this.

- , Carlsbad, NM, USA

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