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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,338 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.

2008 Dodge Nitro electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Dodge Nitro Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Oct 212013


  • 58,135 miles


Windshield wipers start by itself once vehicle is started even though they are switched off. The only way to correct is to disconnect the battery cable and reconnect. This has been happening intermittently since purchasing the vehicle in 2011 but has been occurring more frequently in the past year. I am concerned that the problem could get worse or occur while driving the vehicle thus causing an injury or accident.

- Portage, IN, USA

problem #39

Sep 182013


  • 66,000 miles
I dropped my daughter off at school and was returning home when all the dash lights appeared and vehicle started to shut down. Had the battery checked and alternator checked both was fine. Similar problems occurred about 8 months earlier replaced battery and battery ends. Took the vehicle to dealer to get checked out. Same problem with battery ends needs replacing. Also have been replacing rear lights every three to six months turns out the switch needed to be replaced. Not sure if these are normal problems for a five year old vehicle.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #38

Sep 032013


  • 123,000 miles
The tipm failed in my 2008 Dodge Nitro cause me to lose shifting capability. I lost all control of electrical features. The window wipers, fluid, horn were all on and uncontrollable. I turned the car off but it kept running. The door locks locked and unlocked randomly. After reading about the incident the 2007 Dodge Nitro had its tipm recalled and I believe this falls under the same category. Below is the action number. NHTSA action number : pe07027nhtsa recall campaign number : 07V291000

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #37

Aug 112013


  • 88,300 miles


This vehicle caught on fire in may, we got it put out, and I turned it into my insurance company, they had us take it to a garage and I did. I took it to waterfront Jeep garage, they said they didn't see anything that had been on fire and we told them how the wires are and everything. We paid $94 to get it back. I was taking my daughter and niece (1yearold), nephew(2yearold)swimming and decided to go pick my husband up first, I dropped my nephew off and was going home, stopped at my mother in laws and it was smoldering with smoke we all got out safe but my vehicle burnt. The insurance company now is geico, and they have been good at taking care of it, but they don't pay the whole loan off, only what it was worth, which is -600. The bank keeps charging interest but what to do until they are paid. My question is can I do anything about waterfront sending us back out in an unsafe car or the insurance company I had then, which I had to pay the taxes of the difference of the rental car since they don't pay taxes.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #36

Sep 072013


  • 86,300 miles
Wife was driving home from a dinner date with a friend, we were on the phone with each other when the horn started going crazy, wipers rear and front started running on their own spitting out washer fluid, door locks going crazy, both horns going off consitantly, and accelerator not working properly. She pulled over and shut the vehicle off. Everything continued to happen she removed the key from ignition and same result. I told her to try door locks on keychain no change, tried panic alarm on key chain and still nothing. She did not have tools to disconnect battery. After a few minutes it stopped. She made it home safely without any injuries except sever panic and anxiety. When this happened first thing I did was get online and look for issues. Apparently this is a commonly known issue by Chrysler. The tipm is bad. Many people reported having same issue. Chrysler wants to rip you off cause its a dealer only item. Known issue and yet no recall was ever issued. I contacted Chrysler they said per the VIN they could not authorize any repairs except for the current recall that is active. This could have led to a serious accident. Especially when you hit the brakes and not slow down at all and have to use emergency brake. So now we are stuck with a vehicle non op and dont have $1000 to fix a known issue by Chrysler. I will never buy another Chrysler product. I will be in touch with them again to seek repairs.

- Ozark, MO, USA

problem #35

Sep 032013


  • 123,500 miles
The tipm malfunctioned on my car. Which causes me driving down the interstate to lose electronics, horn stayed on, wipers stayed on and my car downshifted and would not up shift. I had to swerve to the side of the highway to avoid being hit. The dealership saw the car in person while all the electronic parts were going haywire. Then car would not shut off even with the key out of the ignition. The battery had to be disconnected. This could have been a major accident on the highway in rush hour.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #34

Aug 222013


  • 59,938 miles


As I was leaving work early this morning, I click the unlock button on the keyless entry and the car just starts going nuts. The horn is blaring, windshield wipers moving, wiper fluid spraying all over the place, door locks going up and down and lights all lit up. Come to find out this is a problem with many other vehicles of the same make, model and year. There has been no recalls that I can find with this problem. This is extremely dissatisfying that when I research this problem other Dodge Nitro owners have had the same problem and Dodge isn't doing anything to correct their problem. This comes down to safety. What if it happens when I'm driving on the highway"?"

- Elmira, NY, USA

problem #33

Jun 012012

Nitro 6-cyl

  • 78,100 miles
A week after I bought the truck I was driving home and all the lights on the dashboard came on. There was a slight shaking from time to time when I would go and stop. It did not do it every time I drove it. I took it to the dealer and told them I did not want the truck. They told me there was nothing they could do that they would fix the problem for free. I had to fight with them for 3 months to figure out what was wrong. They never gave me a direct answer, but said they fixed the problem. The following month the ABS light came back on, and I took the truck back again. I described the shaking that didn't happen all the time. They made the light go off, and told me if the shake happened I should bring it while it was happening because they couldn't tell otherwise what the issue was. About 2 months ago, my back brake locked up and started smoking after my vacation which the heat shield was flapping in the wind out of no where on the ride home and fell off when I stopped(still yet to be fixed). I replaced the caliper, brake, and the rotors. I had the front checked and they said the brakes were fine. 2 weeks later the shaking started again, and the front brake locked up and started smoking. I had to repeat replacing all the same parts. 2 weeks later again! the front brake started locking up so hard it pulled to the left, and was glowing red when I pulled over. I took it to Dodge this time, and they told me the brake line had collapsed. When will this end and are all these things related to the recalls" if not considering I drive my 4 children in this car and it is a danger what can I do about it" why did they not tell me these cars have these issues, and why are they selling them and not notifying buyers of potential life threatening problems.the coils, and brakes and all are rusty like a old car I don't understand how a car as new and well taken care of could be this way.

- Beaufort, SC, USA

problem #32

Jun 122013

Nitro 6-cyl

  • 84,500 miles
The first incident, I was leaving my house at night. As soon as I pulled out of my driveway, the headlights shut off.I replaced the headlight switch and thought that fixed it. Within the week, the headlights quit working again only this time I was on the interstate approximately 50 miles from home. While trying to figure out the problem, I was driving only in daytime hours with clear sunny weather. About two weeks later, my vehicle seemed to become possessed. The wipers turn on spontaneously along with wiper fluid spurting and the horn going off. This continued even after my vehicle was turned off and the key out. My battery had to be disconnected to stop the madness. I found out by internet research that my problem was most likely the tipm since many people with the same vehicle had to replace it. I replaced that part today and thus far fixed my previous problems. However, now my front passenger airbag light is on indicating that airbag is turned off. The light stayed on when I had an adult riding in that seat. I feel the makers of my vehicle put many of their customers in danger knowing this was a problem. The tipm was on back-order at my local Dodge dealership and many others.

- South Charleston, WV, USA

problem #31

Jun 112013


  • 86,000 miles
The Dodge Nitro has to be the most poorly made car I have ever owned. They just replaced my entire gas tank 2 weeks ago and another letter came in the mail, regarding a recall with the drive shaft. So far 2 recalls and now my car is unlocking itself and turning on its interior and exterior lights on its own. My car was parked in my driveway and keys in the house. A young man from next door came to my door to inform me that my lights were on. We locked the doors and watched the lights go off, only to find them back on an hour later and doors unlocked. Woke up the next morning to find my car dead. At first we thought it was the battery and replaced it for the 3rd time in 5 years, but the problem continues to occur. A friend of mine also has a Nitro that experienced the same problem several months ago. She had to pay $600 for them to rewire her car.

- Bartlesville, OK, USA

problem #30

May 152013

Nitro 6-cyl

  • miles


Electrical doorlocks stopped working had it diagnosed on machine could not find problem. Please help!

- Follansbee, WV, USA

problem #29

Mar 012013


  • 63,000 miles
My 2008 Dodge Nitro's electrical system is operating on its own. It seems like it is possessed. On several occasions (at least 10 incidents) for the past few months the following occurs. The front & back windshield wipers start operating by themselves. They go fast & then sometimes they move in a stop & go method. The rhythm of the wipes is random but its common to see them do a partial wipe, then pause, another partial wipe, then pause and keeps repeating. Then all of a sudden it will go fast. The windshield washer sprayer shoot fluid (front & back) on its own, until the tank is empty. The horn goes off non stop. It just goes & goes & goes. The horn & the windshield wipers seem to operate as one. Hazard lights are blinking constantly. The light above the trunk door is blinking. The signal lights stay illuminated. The doors lock/unlock repeatedly. On the dashboard the H.a.S. and the slick road icon illuminate. This occurs while I'm parked or driving. It occurs whether the keys are in the ignition or not. There seems to be a relation between using the remote unlock & a incident occurring. Yet, it happens also when I unlock the door manually. Based on other customer complaints from this message board, they are being told its the tipm or total integrated power module that is causing the madness. Dealerships & Chrysler/Dodge corporate has told them the part is on back order. Basically they have got the run around and not received any help.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #28

Apr 262013


  • 54,000 miles
Upon disarming the alarm/unlocking doors the wipers, sprayers, lights, and horn went off. I unlocked the door with the key and tried to start the car to disable and it wouldn't. when I removed the key from the ignition it kept running as well. It would not shut off. With the key in the engine wouldn't shut off either, nor get out of park. We disabled the battery... nothing. Finally disabled the alternator and it stopped, only to start again when we plugged it all back in. There have been various occasions that the wipers have turned on when unlocking the doors in the past. Along with quite a few times upon starting with a turn of the key you must turn it twice for it to engage. This has been in for service and they couldn't find a problem at the dealer either time I took it in. This car is a hazard and cant imagine if it happened driving as in a previous story I saw. Unfortunately, none of this happens while still under warranty and if it does, they cant find a problem.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #27

Jan 012013


  • miles
We have a 2008 Dodge Nitro that we had just bought in Nov 2012. After driving it a few months the radio has shorted out and keeps making all kinds of noises. I am afraid its going to cause and electrical fire.

- Grafton, WV, USA

problem #26

Feb 112013


  • 87,000 miles
TL-the contact owns a 2008 Dodge Nitro. The contact stated that someone informed him that his alarm had went off. The contact went to turn the alarm off and noticed that the lights were not flashing. The contact stated that he went to the vehicle the next morning and noticed that the vehicle would not start. The contact brought a new battery but that did not solve the cause of failure. The contact stated that he had to have the new battery jumped. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the electrical system needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 87,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Glen Oak, MD, USA

problem #25

Feb 262013


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Nitro. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact mentioned that the lights on the instrument panel, the horn and the windshield wiper fluid activated independently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 50,000. The VIN was not available.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #24

Apr 042012

Nitro 6-cyl

  • miles
I purchased my Nitro in 2011 and since then I have had numerous incidents of the doorlocks turning off and on, alarm going off, wind shield wipers going off, lights blinking and fluid discharging, horn blowing. Etc.... numerous owners of the 2008 Nitro are having the same issue and no one from the Dodge dealership is taking responsibility for there malfunctioned parts. I think that says a lot about Dodge in itself if you are not recalling their Nitros and having them fixed before this problem causes a serious injury. I have seen the complaints that it's a tipm part that is the cause of this issue and that the Dodge dealership states that it's on back order or something to that effect my issue is this what happens if my car catches on fire due to there malfunctioned part that they aren't doing anything about. Need to know what and who to speak to that can get this problem resolved because I feel that Dodge needs to rectify this issue we owners of the 2008 Nitro are having.

- Morganton, NC, USA

problem #23

Jan 012012


  • 100,000 miles
At any given time all of the electronics on my 2008 Dodge Nitro will go crazy without cause. While your driving or parked, engine on or off, key in or out of the ignition the headlights, wipers, horn, windshield washer fluid, blinkers, door locks, radio interior lights will just start going on or off. This issue has been going on for about 1 year now. I've taken it to the dealership and they advised me that it was the tipm or total integrated power module. They stated that the tipm is on back order and they can not tell me when more will be available for purchase. I contact Dodge/Chrysler in detroit and they too could not give me any information on getting this repaired. I searched the internet and found that there are a lot of Nitro owners who are having the same problem and have been left without answers. If so many vehicles are effected by this issue then why hasn't there been a recall for this problem" if I cant turn to my dealer or manufacturer for help, where do I turn"

- Hockley, TX, USA

problem #22

Nov 232010

Nitro 6-cyl

  • 49,437 miles
I began having problems with my 2008 Dodge Nitro in Nov 2010 (still covered by extended warranty). I was driving and the car systems went haywire, the dash lights illuminating, windshield wipers and washer fluid engaged, the headlights cutting out and the horn blaring uncontrollably. Turning the car off did not correct the problem and it eventually stopped after 3-4 minutes. This happened again on the way to work (this time the radio turned to full volume with no assist), the heat cut out and the windshield/lights/horn went nuts. I took the car in for a diagnostic and was assured they'd find the problem. The Dodge dealership ran diagnostics, pulled codes, but could not replicate the issue so told me it was "absolutely fine" to drive. I continued to deal with the 'freak outs' throughout the years, until another one happened where the car would not stop (until we disconnected the battery). I brought it to a private mechanic who pulled codes and said there was a problem, but I had to bring it to Dodge. On the way to work at approx 70 mph, I lost control of the car (it was as if I were slamming on the brakes-although they were never engaged) I am lucky the person behind me was able to swerve around me and not rear-end me. Dodge determined that the computer told my transmission to go into 'fail mode' thrusting me into 2nd gear. I paid for another diagnostic and they told me a tune-up and a cleaning of the battery coils would clear the problem. The car worked normal for a while, but then had two more incidents, another fail mode on the highway (which also included lights/wipers/horn). I am pregnant and feel very unsafe in this car. Dodge continues to maintain that there is nothing wrong with the car. I have videos of the 'freak outs' so they cannot deny it, but they choose not to help and to continue to encourage me to drive an unsafe vehicle.

- Brookfield, CT, USA

problem #21

Sep 012012


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Nitro. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55-60 mph, the horn, windshield wipers and door locks activated independently and without warning. The contact was unable to turn any of the components off until the battery was disconnected. The vehicle had not been inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic for the failure. The contact was no longer driving the vehicle due to the failure. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000. The current mileage was approximately 55,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

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