hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,548 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 #15

Feb 112011


  • 47,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle began to sputter and function with resistance. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic and the diagnostic test confirmed that the engine had a slush like oil build up. The contact was informed that the engine needed to be replaced at his expense for $6500. The dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #14

Jul 142010


  • 92,000 miles
Rocker arm comes off. Researching on the internet this is a common problem. How many people does it take to get killed due to rocker arm coming off and stopping in traffic? I do not understand why this problem continues with no action. I noticed one of the questions on this website ask if there were any injuries or deaths. I guess a number of these must happen before anything is done.

- Mount Airy, NC, USA

problem #13

Jul 042010


  • 77,777 miles
I own a 2003 Dodge Durango, and have always provided proper maintenance for the vehicle - oil changes, tune-up etc. On July 4, 2010 I started the vehicle and noticed a tapping sound and the oil light started flashing. I had the vehicle towed to an auto repair facility, only to find out that there was a muddy sludge build up in the oil pan which was clogging the oil pick-up screen. The vehicle only has 70K original miles on it and has had regular oil changes and I don't believe that should have happened. Upon checking various, I noticed that there was a pattern with sludge build up in this particular vehicle. I believe that the auto manufacturer should recall these vehicles and recognize and rectify the problem.

- Arleta, CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 302010


  • 102,000 miles


While driving my 2003 Dodge Durango in which I am financing the vehicle since 2007 April, without warning my oil light came on and the car started to shake and the engine was banging really bad. The engine died on me., I was stuck on a bridge with 6 children 100 miles from home. The vehicle was well maintained and how could this happen. Now I am stuck paying for a truck that I can not use.

- Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #11

Dec 212009


  • 102,000 miles
I have contacted the Dodge dealer and they said that the only for my vehicle is the windshield wiper motor. I have the same issues as the only recalls and defects as well. The unintended acceleration that will cause a crash and the idling of the engine while in park and the list goes on and on. Fear for the safety of me and my kids what am I suppose to do. I am leasing this vehicle I feel like I'm paying for a lemon. I can't enjoy life with my kids they are the main reason I got a truck in the first place. Help please I don't know what to do.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #10

Sep 212009

Durango 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I have to stop far away from a vehicle fear of running in the back of their vehicle. It doesn't seem to want to stop sometime, this has been happening for awhile now alot recently. It cuts off on me if I get in the highway so embarrassing and when that happens I only can take off slow. Which causes me to exit the highway and not get back on. I had bought a car vacuum and it stated smoking on me, I was using the socket in the arm rest. I have alot of problems when I use the A/C or heat it cuts off on me and it stalls to take off, it's scary for me and my kids. It Ram by it's self and it acts as if it's gone cut off and most of the time it do. It make this putting sounds when it's going to cut off or even when it stops on me. The dealer replace the Cadillac converter and my oxygen sensors. I also got a tune up and two of the fuel injectors replace new parts, that I paid for myself. It feels like my front suspension is messed up I had my brakes checked and they are not bad, but you can feel it when you press on the brakes something is not right.

- Spring Lake Park, MN, USA

problem #9

Aug 032005

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,711 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Durango. While idling, the engine would stall and the vehicle would jerk and surge forward at low speeds. Occasionally, the vehicle would shut off and then restart minutes later while idling. The contact noticed that the check engine light would illuminate during the failures. He took the vehicle to the dealer on several occasions and they replaced the nvld pump vacuum canister, the cam sensory, and the split hose solenoid canister. The check engine remains illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure mileage was 27,711 and current mileage was 42,000.

- Pemembrook Pines, FL, USA

problem #8

Aug 272006

Durango 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,235 miles
Have a 2003 Dodge Durango. Was driving down the highway when it sounded like something fell off the car the car was immediately pulled over and there were flames coming from under the engine. The car quickly became total engulfed in flames and burned up. The car is a 100% lose.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 122005

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,908 miles
Sudden engine failure while driving.

- Quezon City, 00, USA

problem #6

May 122004

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,361 miles
The contact stated while driving an indicator light came on. Also, the vehicle made a loud noise. The engine locked. Was then able to pull off the road without incident and checked the motor. The vehicle was then towed a dealership, who determined that the defect was the oil pickup in the engine, that caused it to lock. The dealership told the contact that the engine would need to be replaced. The vehicle has been in a repair shop for 4 months.

- Wianae, HI, USA

problem #5

Aug 152005

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


Front suspension - drive train - locks - axle - power steering pump vehicle has had consistent front end grinding noise since 30,000 km's. ball joints have been replaced, front axle spyder gears have been replaced. Previous 1998 Durango had same problem - fix was front wheel bearings. 2003 Durango - dealer says that it doesn't require replacement. Noise and grinding only happen at slow speed turns left or right. From stop to light acceleration to hard left or right turn, new noise from rear axle - limited slip unit now getting louder. Axle oil and limited slip additive have been replaced with factory Chrysler oil additive. Indicative of same problem with 1998 Durango that I had, when rear axle pinion bearing was heavily scored. In that incident the same maintenance was done, but repair was out of warranty by 3,000 km's and Chrysler only paid 50% of repair of $700. Oil changes on complete drivetrain was $590 (4X4 with skid plates). This appears to be a metal fatigue problem in combination with engineering specifications that are too wide in tolerances, which allows failure of components to compound problems and create longer term damaging results. Ever since Dodge trucks went to maintenance free front axle bearings (you can't pack bearings with grease), poor limited slip tolerances in rear axle, and transfer case that's electronically operated, the drivetrain and front suspension components have excessive loads and poor quality components. Both Durangos that I've owned have had 5 wheel alignments (constant pulling to the left) and no off road driving. Strictly highway and city driving. I purchased factory extended warranty on 2003 Durango which I highly recommend. So far, out of pocket expenses have been minimal, but Durango spends too much time in the shop and is very inconvenient to have serviced constantly. Never had issues with warranty parts or dealer not doing warranty recall work.

- Mississauga, 00, USA

problem #4

May 162005


  • 33,593 miles
Sludge build up occurred in the Dodge Durango. The dealer informed the consumer that there was sludge in the engine and that it was as a result of neglect which then voided the warranty. The consumer explained that the vehicle oil had been changed numerous time by non-dealer mechanic. The dealer nor manufacturer provided any financial assistance. The consumer had the engine replaced by a local repair facility. The consumer's vehicle was making noise in the front end.

- Largo, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 012003

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 375 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Durango. His vehicle stalls while idling and at low speeds. Took vehicle to the dealer, but since the problem is intermittent dealer can't figure out the cause of the problem. The dealer tried to see if the problem would occur, but problem didn't occur for about six months. The technician indicated that he had never heard of this problem. In June 2005 the service rep said that Dodge was aware of idle/stalling problems and may be working on engine transmission software fix on engine performance computer.

- Eagle River, AK, USA

problem #2

Sep 102004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,267 miles
While applying brakes vehicle continued to stall. As a result, the vehicle lost power. Dealer stated they were not able to duplicate the problem. The consumer came to a stop to let oncoming traffic pass. The consumer put foot on the accelerator and noticed the vehicle had stalled with no warning while the headlights where still on. On other occasions headlights would dim and then get brighter as the vehicle spit and sputtered for 15 seconds. The consumer had 4 co-Pilot installed and was not able to hold the recordings. The vehicles left front speaker was not working. The rear hatch light will not stay in because the retainer clips broke. The vehicle had an oil leak. The transmission is not shifting properly in the vehicle.

- Royal Center, IN, USA

problem #1

Aug 022003

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2001 Dodge Durango the engine has gone out at only 46,000 miles.I have changed my oil every 3000 miles but Dodge nor the extended warranty company will take care of it.oil system failure.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

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