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. Notes: The second generation Durango was introduced in 2004 and instantly came under fire for, well, catching on fire.

From 2004-2006 electrical overloading in the driver's side instrument panel caused numerous reports of interior fires. The interior infernos became so commonplace that Chrysler eventually issued a recall.

The problems didn't stop there, however. Owners of the recalled vehicles complained about being treated unfairly and given take-it-or-leave-it low ball settlement offers. "They offered me $2000 under NADA retail as a settlement," said one owner, "and have been rude and hostile to deal with." Nothing says awesome service like treating your customers rudely after their cars have caught on fire.

Have we mentioned all the reports of complete engine failure due to oil sludge?


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
113,746 miles
Total Complaints:
135 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (103 reports)
  2. not sure (14 reports)
  3. replace engine or junk it (10 reports)
  4. Dodge recalls due to design flaw (3 reports)
  5. gave to charity (2 reports)
  6. replace cowl to prevent engine hydrolock (1 reports)
2004 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 1 of 7)

problem #135

Jul 312016

Durango SLT 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,287 miles


Well, it looks like the hydrolock issue claims another victim today... I was completely unaware of this issue about 3 hours ago, when, during a mild rain storm I hopped in the Durango to go to the store. The motor turned over fine, then made a very bad noise, obvious to me as a thrown rod/rod bearing. I used my google-fu and came across DOZENS of instances of thrown rods during rain/ carwash. Looking into it further, it appears there is a bad o-ring on the (miserably designed) intake manifold causing hydrolock when you go to start your motor.

I have owned this vehicle for nearly 5 years with very few other problems because I proudly maintain my vehicles, but Chrysler wanted to save a few pennies and not issue a recall on a couple hundred dollar part, instead I am faced with spending about 8k to fix it (everything is more expensive in Alaska, including man hours) or send it to the junk yard.

- , Fort Wainwright, AK, USA

problem #134

Jul 082016

Durango Limited 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I have had this car for 11 years and have had all regular maintenance done at the Dodge dealer we bought it from. Exterior and interior still in excellent shape. Love this vehicle. Drives wonderfully and ran great. Only problem is for about the last 2 years when we would go through car wash it would die and be difficult to start and would miss for a short time. Or if we were driving in heavy rain is would miss and shudder some.

The car was parked inside of our garage when not in use. Due to remodeling and having to use garage for storage it has had to set outside. On the 7th of July we made a trip to the airport 2 hours away and the car ran wonderful to and from. Ran errands and parked the car. We had drenching rain storm Thursday night and Friday morning. Went out in the afternoon to go run errands. The motor made a horrendous banging noise and I immediately turned it off. We had it towed to our mechanic shop and he said the motor is toast.

In his research found many of the same vehicle with same motor for sale with blown motors. Went to this website and began reading all the complaints about this motor failure. I am sure that my motor failure has been caused by the same problem as the other complaints. And that he problem is that due to the wiper cowling allowing water onto the block and ultimately into the intake system, causing"Hydrolock".

I agree with that this should have been a recall issue. And this problem has caused much financial hardship on many people when it could have been fixed and we would all be enjoying our 2004 Durangos with their Hemi engines for a long, long time. My husband is physically disabled and it is hard to find a vehicle that he can comfortably ride in and drive. Financially it is going to be hard to fine something else and this time, as much as we enjoyed driving our Dodge, it will not be a Dodge.

- , Tenino, WA, USA

problem #133

Jun 112016

Durango LX 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

Vehicle immaculately maintained. Engine stumbled after raining or car wash. Today, warm engine, started in parking lot and immediately blew out a connecting rod thru the block. Totally destroyed the engine....

Research shows that this is an ongoing problem with the '04 Durangos with the 5.7 litre engine. Apparently, the wiper cowling allows water onto the block and, ultimately into the intake system, causing "Hydrolock."

As water is NOT compressible, the engine become a hand grenade....which mine did. Connecting rod thru the block. I am now faced with $5-7 thousand dollars for an engine replacement!

I spoke with a representative,,,Case File # 29486225. Nice lady, but she had nothing for me.

Here is the site with EXACTLY the same problems as I encountered. Perhaps you might want to peruse it. It ALL deals with Hydrolock and catastrophic engine failures as a result.

I would hope & expect that you can give me some relief for what SHOULD have been a recall...but, to date, Chrysler/Dodge has ignored the problem.

I have been a Dodge owner for over 30 years. Frankly, I would like to remain so, but your actions on this matter will ultimately dictate that. I buy Dodge not only for my personal vehicles, but also for my business vehicles.

Kind Regards~Steve & Diane Pontious 409-504-1663

- , Beaumont, USA

problem #132

Apr 272016

Durango SLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Manual transmission
  • 122,024 miles


We purchased a 2004 Dodge Durango SLT in the summer of 2013. This was a nice running truck until it rained. When it rains the engine hesitated. We have taken good care of our Durango, we kept up on regular maintenance.

We had a big storm on Tuesday the 26th of April. I went out to start it the day after to take my kids somewhere. It wouldn't start, it clonked three times. I turned it off immediately. My husband looked at it later that day, since we couldn't take it to the mechanic. As he was looking underneath he discovered it was now leaking oil. As he further investigated he noticed a hole in the engine block; it is hydrolocked. Which seems to be popular for these engines in this model and year of the Durango's.

We have read many things online with people having the same problem. So it is very unfortunate that this happened. This SUV only has 122k miles on it. We have always been Dodge fans, but I am starting to question that!!

Update from Jul 22, 2016: How can we file a class action suit against them?

- , Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #131

Jan 122016

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Got in my Durango two week's ago to leave work. Engine was warmed up and I left, made it almost home, and heard a pop sound, so I turned the radio off, and it sounded like someone hitting the hood with a baseball bat!!! Broke a rod, and sent it through the oil pan, fortunate it didn't grenade the block, so it is savable.

I bought a 2005 motor from a salvage yard with 100,000 miles on it for 2k, which was a deal, and happened to be the only one I could find in the state! I had already replaced the cowl seal, and only ran Mobil 1 in it, this is complete BS on Dodges part, because obviously there is a problem with there design!

I am a Mopar fan to the end, and have never had problems with any other Chrysler product I own, but this POS is really testing my loyalty. Now I have a spare engine in need of a lower end rebuild that will probably make it's way into my 69 Dodge Dart, 4K later!

- , Neenah, WI, USA

problem #130

Jun 012015

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,771 miles

Driving down route 95 in a rainstorm our Durango stalled out. We went to Advanced Auto and had them check the battery- but they said the battery was great. Drove home. The next morning we went to move it and it backfired and the engine died. Upon looking under the hood we saw a hole in the block. We called everywhere for a new engine but they were so much money.

We found 5.7 hemi vin D's at junkyards but no one could verify if they still worked or if they were in the same condition as ours. When we did find one most people knew there was a market for them and were asking outrageous prices. We finally found someone selling one online who said they had a video of it working before removing it from the vehicle. We bought it and started installing it. Oil pan gasket, oil pan, exhaust manifold gasket and bolts, hydraulic lines on rack, pinion steering, and crank position sensor.

All of these months sharing a car with my wife and today, I finally have it back.(almost five months later) The installed motor has about the same miles on it so hoping we can get at least two to three years out of it. We took care of our Durango. We used a beater car for daily use and used our Durango for special occasions like skiing, when we all needed to go out to eat in the same car, etc.. So for this to happen was upsetting.

Update from Jan 8, 2016: We ordered a new cowl. What we've found is that the cowl's start to deteriorate after ten or so years. It then allows water to flow into the engine causing the well documented hydrolock, which we experienced.

Others are aware of the cowl issue as we had to wait almost five weeks for it to arrive. Most places stated that dealers were ordering this in bulk. I wondered if it was going to be a recall soon?? None the less, replaced it and the vehicle is running smooth again- even in the rain!!

- , Mountain Top, PA, USA

problem #129

Nov 302015

Durango Limited 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,300 miles


Driving at 5:30am, turned a corner and heard a pop + clunking noise. Had the vehicle taken to the local repair shop and found out that the piston had busted through the side of the engine. Apparently, this is becoming a common problem for this the 5.7l v8 Hemi with no other signs but, a single issue if you run through the car wash, it will have trouble starting.

I now know why I will never buy another or recommend another DODGE to anyone I care about, cheap parts that do not last. After I CarFaxed the vehicle I learned of a whole lot of issues concerning this and other Dodge vehicles. Caveat Emptor people.

For a mechanic to fix would cost between $4000 - $6500. I just paid cash $3700 including tax and title for this beautiful lawn ornament.

- , New Marshfield, OH, USA

problem #128

Nov 272015

Durango 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

Tried to start in the morning during rain, but engine made loud knocking sound and I did not try to start again. After towing, found two pieces of engine on pavement and found out that rod went through side. Still waiting to see what cost to replace engine, so not sure what decision will be made to fix or replace. Had symptoms of sometimes shaking during rain and now see that this is a consistent problem with many others. yes, I agree that Chrysler should have sent out warning and issued recall with this hydro-lock problem on 2004 Durango. Like everyone else, I can never again purchase a Chrysler product.

- , joplin, USA

problem #127

Mar 162011

Durango Limited 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,460 miles

I just found this site by accident and apparently I am a lucky one.

In 2011 our '04 Hemi Durango threw a #1 piston rod. I thought maybe pulling a travel trailer in "05 from Philly to Moab going 80 MPH across Kansas trying to out run some nasty weather might have been at the root of the engine failure. The dealer did not mention a hydraulic issue.

Lucky cause we had 400 miles left on the 80,000 mi extended warranty in 2011 when the wife told me of a terrible noise when she tried to start it. Still cost a couple of hundred for incidentals but all in all I feel like I hit the lottery in not having to pay $5500 for new engine and it was in the driveway when it failed to start.

Great web site - Great video post of the issue. I will check if they fixed the water intrusion issue

- , Philadelphia PA, PA, USA

problem #126

Jul 202015

Durango SLT 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,800 miles

Engine started making noise after a long rain storm. Took it to our mechanic and it was hydro-locked. Had to replace the engine since my wife loved the vehicle so much. With replacing the intake, and all the other parts that needed replacing it came to around 7000 dollars which with the mileage and condition is just about what the whole thing is worth blue book.

- , Stafford, VA, USA

problem #125

Mar 242015

Durango Unsure Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,102 miles


click to see larger images

engine failure

Just as others have stated, driving down highway and the car just stops. No Check Engine light, Nothing. The whole thing just froze up. coasted to side of road, and had it towed. Rod snapped, and put major hold in engine. Engine replaced. $5700 later. Brand New Hemi Engine installed, New oil Pan, and New starter. $5700 down the drain and 4 months later, after being in the RAINY Southern USA, we are bringing it back home to Illinois, as it is starting to make the same noises, as before it blew.

Such a beautiful SUV. What a shame. We are out $5700 and probably are going to have to retire it now.

- , Darien, IL, USA

problem #124

Aug 042014

Durango 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I will just say that so many people have complained about the same engine problem and yet nothing is being done by the worst auto company in the world. I got the 2004 Durango 4.7 from my son after he had it for 3 years "he bought the car new. I noticed after I had the car for 3 years the engine did not sound normal, but what do I know? I am not a mechanic, so I would change the oil and did what I was told to do by my mechanic.

In August of 2014 I got up went to start the car and I could not believe how bad the engine sounded, It was like everything was falling apart, I spent $3800 on the engine only because the mechanic knew me and gave me a break. The original cost was 5000 dollars. There are so many complaints on these engines and yet no one is doing nothing about it. Chrysler does not give a DAMN about it.

- , Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #123

Jun 032015

Durango Limited 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,400 miles

I just had the same thing happen to me and the car we got 1 yr ago used auto dealer with 2yrs/24,000 mile warranty. My friends who have garages do not do warranty work but told me it just needed a new intake manifold gasket. The warranty company made me take it to the dealer specified garage .

Well, they told me the engine was blown? I said no way, 2 other places told me what is was but don't do warranty work. So I ask the guy to call the warranty company and give them the diag plus costs. He instead calls up his friend we bought the car from (the dealer) and talks to him and never calls the He tells me to call this guy who ends up being the owner of the dealership and he gives me an earful about service receipts? So I call back the warranty company and they tell me no-one has called them? So the guy lied and I got permission to take it to another. Problem! The guy filled the engine with gas!

When I went to get it the oil stick was broken and I needed tweezers to get it out, plus it smelled of gas badly now. I replace the dip stick and it measures almost to the top minus 4 inches! So I call a tow and when I go to start it up to put on the tow it blows up!

I brought it to another place and they said it's now frozen of coarse. But I didn't want to tell him about what happened. I drove 14,000 miles in it and only have 1 receipt from Valvoline at 101.500, which was the last one. The dealer said he has one from when I bought it at about 90,000. I did 2 oil changes myself but no receipts yet cuz advanced auto says they cant go back and find them???

This should be attempted murder for what they did. Can someone plz help us>???I am disabled and got 2 kids and my wife is disabled and just found out she has cancer at age 43 :( . I bet they are gonna get away with this cuz there are no good samaritan's in this country anymore :( plz HELP US

- , E Bridgewater, MA, USA

problem #122

Jul 032015

(reported on)

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

Well this Durango has served us well for ten plus years. So much so, that last year we purchased a 2013 Durango. Thank God it doesn't have the hemi. I drove the truck to work Thursday and it sat outside in the rain Friday and Saturday. When I went to start it Sunday there was a loud bang and stall, restarted to a God-awful tapping....shut down immediately. Had it towed to my mechanic and he informed me there is a hole in the block with a rod peeking out...this friggin' hemi hydro lock, as I have learned.

I have owned Chrysler/dodge products as long as I have been driving, a BIG Mopar fan...very, very disappointed. The truck is not worth the cost of an engine replacement, especially if it may happen again at anytime. Turning a blind eye to a problem that is obvious is no way to keep customers, let alone gain new ones Chrysler/dodge..I am pissed off, but I feel more let down and disappointed. No wonder every year your market share shrinks!!! I too have a 2004 ornament gracing the front lawn.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #121

Jun 182013

Durango SLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

We had no issues with it for 6 years, and one day it just blew a rod through the engine block, with only 109K miles on it. Start doing research and find out that is an extremely common issue for the 2004, since it was the first year of the Hemi engine. Low and behold, a new engine is not only hard to find, but costs more than the truck was worth. So off to the scrap heap it went. Never ever will buy a first year of new model again.

- , Wausau, WI, USA

problem #120

Jul 112015

Durango 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

I went to start my truck in the driveway about 11am on Saturday morning. My truck would not start. It was like it was vapor locked. After trying 2 times it started and made a noise like a ticking. I then parked in the street for the day.I started back in the evening and was taking it to the repair shop ,went around the block and heard a huge knocking and turned off the engine. I had the truck towed.

They said my # 8 piston went through the head. WTH I still owe money on a loan. I have keep the perfect records and maintenance on this truck. I have my own mechanic who does oil change and maintenance every 3000 miles, except oil I use synthetic oil. I use premium fuel and only premium parts. I have had leased 4 Dodge trucks and vans. This was first used. I was hoping with all the complaints Dodge would help out.

- , clawson, MI, USA

problem #119

May 052014

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Engine rods broke and blew hole in block from hydrolock. This is a common problem with 2004 and 2005 Durangos with the 5.7L hemi engine. The cause is a poor design of the water dam on the windshield that over time leaks and allows water to flow onto the fuel intake manifold. Over time that water is pooled up and causes the intake bolts to rust and rot out allowing the water to then get sucked into the manifold causing the engine to hydrolock.

This problem has been presented to Dodge so many times that all dealership service centers are aware of the issue but Dodge refuses to issue a recall. That's because they would be required to reimburse everyone who has replaced the motor out of their own pockets. The government needs to step in and force this recall. If anyone decides to petition the courts I'm in!

- , Brentwood, NH, USA

problem #118

May 062008


  • 63,000 miles

Same problem happened again on 4/23/10 which is the push rod went through the engine (blew a hole) and you lose pressure to the entire car and it requires a new engine to fix. This was the second engine and I was given a one year 12,000 mile warranty on that engine. When this problem happened with that engine I had 12,400 miles on the engine. So I had to fight with Chrysler to have them split the repair cost with me and I paid approximately $700 for the labor. Chrysler agreed to pay for the parts.

I filed a report to the NTSB because this vehicle design was defective and no recall was ever done. I'm out approximately $1500 between repairs and towing and renting a vehicle. I hold onto my vehicles for a long time and I just had to get rid of this Dodge Durango because I felt that it was unsafe to drive any more. So I also lost use of several years of driving without car payments.

There was never a recall on the 2004 engine but I saw many people's comments online that had the same problem that I did.

- , Franklinville, NJ, USA

problem #117

Sep 102014

Durango SLT 5.7L Hemi V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

A mere 84,000 miles and my meticulously maintained 5.7 Hemi Durango engine seizes. I had brought it to Lester Glenn Dodge in Toms river, NJ on three separate occasions because the engine would stall while driving. The service dept. said no codes were coming up, and that it didn't stall when they drove it.

The first visit they replaced the clock spring. 2nd visit they did nothing and the 3rd they replaced some sensors, none of which was covered under my warranty or fixed the problem. Now, the service dept. manager "Mike" is swearing that my wife or I never told them that the car had ever stalled. They are saying we brought it in three times for the check engine light...They are Disgusting Liars!!!

- , Seaside Hghts, NJ, USA

problem #116

Apr 182015

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,936 miles

Left vehicle sit in rain for a week, while on vacation. Upon returning the motor had a loud knock. Mechanic states rod failure on number five cylinder, 7000 dollars to replace with rebuilt motor. Never again buy a Dodge. I figured a hemi could take more than a little rain water but I guess not.

- , Columbus, USA

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