really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
134,592 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. rebuild the transmission (4 reports)
  3. replace transmission (2 reports)
  4. rebuild trans (1 reports)
1998 Dodge Durango transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Dodge Durango Owner Comments

problem #13

Jul 082011

Durango SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


It started by not wanting to shift started letting off the gas then would shift. Now it won't go into park, then got home and got into park but will still roll so have to use e brake and have to put into neutral to start. Still have to let off the gas to get to shift. Plus feels like something is binding when putting into park.

- , Adrian, MO, USA

problem #12

Jan 142011

Durango 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

my 98 durango where do i start it was a nice sunny august afternoon and i hear a noise coming out from under my truck just the begining few days later i have to change my fuel pump $200 bucks and the whining noise still excist two weeks after that truck leaves me stranded the traning wouldnt go into gear the next day truck just starts working again i take it to the shop and my mechanic gets me for $350 to service the trans it slipped out of gear or something a month later the breaks there goes another $200 by this point the trans wont change the way it should on the highway it sounds like a jet airplane trying to take off back to my mechanic i go luckily he doesnt charge me to look at it he suggest i rebuild the trans before it goes i do there goes $1000 bucks plus another $350 for some blown break line and calipers i decide not to dump anymore money on it i sell it now im getting sued for selling a lemon wow this truck has blead me dry even gone its back to haunt me never ever again screw dodge for this hunk of crap oh did i mention the tires i had to buy because an alignment problem and the 100 bucks a week for gas

- , Elmwood Park, NJ, USA

problem #11

Aug 022010


  • 175,000 miles

Constant issues trying to keep this thing running right, rebuilt the transmission, figured all would be fantastic. About 14,000 miles went by and the transmission refused to shift into the proper gear. Took it back to the shop that rebuilt my transmission, Aamco, and apparently the oxygen sensor is on the same circuit as the shift solenoid and the O2 sensor was shorting it out. O2 sensor and shift solenoid were all changed, truck ran pretty good for about a month. Started its shifting problem again and didn't want to shift out of 3rd gear at all, minor compared to when 1st was it but I've sunk enough money into this thing that it should run perfect. Anyways, shift solenoid is once again acting up, Aamco says they think its something electrical besides the transmission. Any idea what it might be??????

- , Bro, NY, USA

problem #10

May 122010

Durango SLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


I was sure the durango was a great vehicle, so i replaced the transmission, i hope i did the right thing! I have had ac problems, radiator issue, but this is a huge cost

- , Hardwick, NJ, USA

problem #9

Dec 022008

Durango SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

I bought this vehicle with 220k miles on it. I didn't find out about this site until after I bought it. Luckily I only paid $900 for it, but I'm still going to be losing money on it even if I sell it now because of how much work I am needing to put into it. and I'm doing all the labor!

Anyhow, I knew when I bought it the tranny was most likely bad. The person had a rebuilt tranny installed when they got it @~120k miles so that tranny lasted for awhile. The only thing they did with this vehicle is change the engine oil which is probably why it failed. The tranny was grinding when trying to shift into overdrive and first gear was starting to slip after about 10 mins of driving. Replacing the transmission was hell.

From a mechanics perspective, this car is garbage for the most part. Those stupid engine-to-transmission brackets were difficult to maneuver to get the stupid torque converter access cover off and the books never said anything about the top nuts that holds the brackets down. The rear crossmember was worse. It couldn't come straight down like on my Chevy or every other car. Oh no, the frame is tapered at that point so it has to slide back first before it comes out and because I couldn't pull the exhaust out seeing how I don't own an acetylene/oxygen torch I had to just slide it awkwardly back enough to get the tranny out. I�m just glad I was able to get it out and back in without pulling the exhaust.

I got the rebuilt tranny from ebay which was for a �98 jeep with a 5.9. Same 46re tranny, but just to be safe and make sure it would work in my Durango, I called the local dodge dealership and asked and the guy said it will and I asked him if he was sure and he said yes because a 46re is a 46re. Cost $800+$310 for shipping (which was way too much IMO). When I got it, I opened it up and to my surprise, it had a different bolt pattern. I was so mad and there was nothing I could do because I didn�t get a name. No one there was any help. The first guy I started talking to about it, hung up on me! The next time I called, I got a manager, but he wasn�t really any help either and I can see why seeing how I didn�t really know who told me. This is the last time I buy a dodge! I really liked the look of the Durango�s which is why I bought one, but never again! I called the local tranny shops and one quoted me $250 to swap out the internals and clean the old housing. That took like 5 hrs and I had it back and started installing it.

One improvement I did that I recommend everyone do if they are going to get a rebuild or even just to make their tranny last longer is buy a �shift correction package� by superior transmission parts inc. I bought one and it�s basically a shift kit which reduces wear on the internals/reduces heat and also eliminates the drain back check valve that can clog or just restrict flow and cause your tranny to overheat and fail. I installed everything but the new seals for the direct drum because I don�t have the special tools to disassemble the tranny and I didn�t think to do it before I took the tranny to the shop. It still works great. Shifts nice, I just set the shift setting to regular duty and you can make it harder if you want. Now for the rest of the problems�

- , Panama City, FL, USA

problem #8

Jun 212005

(reported on)

Durango SLT

  • 106,700 miles

i bought my 98 Durango slt 4x4, two days later the trans started acting really funny. It wouldn't shift until 2k rpm from 1st to 2nd and when it would shift they would jump to 2500 and back down, from 2nd to 3rd 3k rpm then same thing jump to 3500. I took it to a dodge dealer and they drove it firs they told me no problem then it would warm up and start to slip real bad. it took two weeks and i finally got my Durango back and he told me he replaced all gaskets and moving parts, and for one day it worked grate now it slams through gears and the enging red lines before shifting. I took it back three times now and they tell me everytime nothing they can do. I called Auto Zone and $1500.00 for a new trans. i'm going to put it in myself and sue the dealership i bought it from-they warrantied it for 1 year-for the new trans and labor.

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 302007

Durango 4/4 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles


click to see larger images

transmission failure

im really mad about dodge only because lot's of people said go dodge this is my first truck like car and now i need a tran im a single mom and my car will sit tell i can afford to fix it sham on dodge i will never by one again not only that i have to pay fot the dam thing because it's mine and if i don't it will ruin my score..i does work but i get's stuck on 2 and 3 i have to put it on nutl and back to drive just for it to get a gear any help out there?they told me i needed a new tranny and then some one else said tranny sensors help a woman allways getting the run around bye mec.?

- , Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #6

Sep 062007

(reported on)

Durango SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Okay, I own a 1998 dodge durango and recently the transmission started acting up. It would not shift into third gear. I brought it to a transmission shop, replaced the filter, and two days after it started acting up again. I brought it in a second time, and this time the computer that triggers the speedometer was not working. Therefore the transmission could not tell if car was moving. Again it broke down, and finally for the third time again was towed, thank god for AAA. I was told filter was clogged again, my bill for first transmission shop was $800.00! I decided to take it to another shop. This time I was told the trans had to be overhauled, along with leakage car was in shop for almost 2 weeks total cost $2,700.00. I really loved it until it started acting up. I finally decided to put it up for sale and get me a chevy tahoe or suburban, or maybe a toyota 4 runner or seqoiua!

- , Mililani, HI, USA

problem #5

Aug 192007

(reported on)

Durango XLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

Would not shift out of 1st gear. 1998 Dodge Durango 5.9, I got this used with 20K miles and at 133K miles the transmission just would not shift, no noise at all. I got to a shop and he told me it would take a total rebuild and that he see a lot of them, Overhaul kit, rebuilt torque con. front pump, bushing kit, the list goes on. He told me that it was just worn out. Yes, I did expect more out of it than 133K miles. This is big shop here in Pensacola and they have 6 bays for cars and trucks and they are busy. He tell me he sees about one per week: " Durango" and need a rebuild.

- , Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 142007

(reported on)

Durango 5.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My wife's transmission to her 98 Durango is not shifting into 3rd / passing gear. rpms get to 3000-3500. she has to let rpms go down to 1000 and it usually kicks in once she gives it gas. but it's getting worse. Help me cause i don't want to buy a new vehicle. and I'm tired of her reminding me of it. I had the transmission oil filter changed did not help at all.

- , Blessing, TX, USA

problem #3

May 112005

(reported on)


  • 150,000 miles


Let's hear it for Dodge.... BOOOOOOO! Seriously, it is a great vehicle when it is running. We put ours in the shop last September because the transmission went out. My husband drove it to work and then got stuck on the side of the road because it wouldn't shift anymore. The tow truck came and got it.... and then we had the pleasure of paying a $1500 repair bill for the transmission. We had the Durango back for 5 days... and I noticed it wasn't shifting right AGAIN! It was going all the way up to 8000 RPM's before it would shift into any gear! We took it back to the shop.... it needed ANOTHER TRANSMISSION. When they called to say it was ready again... my husband told the man to drive it over the weekend and see how it does. Low and behold, Monday morning, the repair shop calls and says the transmission went out again... Well we finally got the Durango back... and everything was okay for 6 months. We just got back from a 6 hour trip to visit family... pulled up in front of our driveway to back in so we could unload the Durango and my husband put it in reverse and the Durango died. He cranked it up, put it in reverse and it died again. He tried several more times and it always died. Luckily we were at home... we pushed the Durango back into the driveway (by the way, they are very, very heavy to push!!!) and I called the repair shop. They towed it off and right now it is getting another new transmission. My husband and I both love the Durango, but not the inconvenience of having one.... we won't ever buy another Dodge.

- , Panama City Beach, FL, US

problem #2

Jul 202004

(reported on)


  • 80,000 miles

well on july 15th my family and i was on our way to st louis mo which is 2 hours away from where i live my durango started driveing funny and makeing some awfull noises so we pulled over and called someone to come pick us up well monday my durango got back home and the upper and lower ball-joints went out of it on the left and right side of the truck and the wheel bearing went out on the left side also so i get it fixed that cost 800.00 on monday i drive it from the place i got it fixed at got right to the bottom of my drive way and it decides not to drive no more so i call the man back to see whats going on with it and with in 2 blocks from where it was fixed and my house the transmission cracks into the man said that he has only seen 2 vehicles in his 30 years working on them do that he also said that its very rare for that to happen i have looked at alot of complaints else where on durango's and there pretty much all the same problems so something needs to be done about it my dodge i will say that this is the 1st dodge iv owned and it will be the last i hated it and they shouldnt be able to sale there vehicles to anyone everyone i know that owens a dodge has had trouble with them

- , New London, MO, Pacific Islands (US)

problem #1

Dec 112003

(reported on)


  • 67,000 miles

My transmission recently started slipping. Yesterday, we had a snow storm & I had to put it in 4-wheel drive. Unfortunately, I only made it 6 blocks & pulled over into a parking lot because it wouldn't shift at all. I put my Durango in park & it sounded like metal being scraped together. I tried to take it out of 4-wheel drive - but it wouldn't budge. I then tried to put it into drive to pull into a parking space. It wouldn't go into any gear. Finally, I put it in neutral & got it out of 4-wheel drive & tried to move it again. No Luck. Did I mention that we had a snow storm... The parking lot I pulled into was the Parks & Recreation parking lot. So, I was stuck fully blocking the exit drive for the city's snow plows & salt trucks to exit for over 1.5 hours until AAA showed up. Imagine how much they loved me. My bastard Durango is in the shop & I have no idea how much it will cost to fix - but I will post again when I get the bad news.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

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