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
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,452 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.

2004 Dodge Durango drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Aug 162013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


I was pulling away from a stop when the engine suddenly made some loud noises sounding like grinding and the vehicle lost all power, steering and brakes. I had to navigate over railroad tracks with a train coming and onto a side street and a ditch. I was the only one in the truck at the time and was not hurt and there was no damage to the vehicle. If it had been one of my kids or wife driving it would have been tragic due to no power and trying to steer a 5000lb truck across traffic and railroad tracks with a train coming. This vehicle was well maintained and had an oil change two weeks prior to the failure. Within the past year this I had the vehicle completely gone thru by dealer mcinerney in mi and they got it ready for what I thought would be the next 100,000 miles. After I had the vehicle towed home due to the estimated $7000 repair bill, I called several Chrysler mechanics who told me this is a known issue with that model and engine year due to both water leaking into the engine compartment (tsb issued) and a possible problem with the crank main bearing. I called Chrysler customer service (joke) and both the people I talked too "literally" asked why I was calling since the warranty had expired and it was no longer Chrysler's problem. I told them because warranty has no bearing on a known defect. The second person I talked to literally laughed at me on the phone and refused to let me talk to someone higher than him stating "I am as high as it gets" and told me "Chrysler is not going to do anything for you". I asked his if this is the new Chrysler after "I" helped bail them out, he said they bailed themselves out. This is the same customer service that told me there were no electrical issues, then 6 months later recalled my truck due to electric fires. If this does not get resolved by Chrysler, I nor will a anyone in my family ever buy another Chrysler product.

- Southgate, MI, USA

problem #31

Dec 172012


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall sporadically. Additionally, the transmission would slip and the vehicle would engage into any gear independently. The contact also stated that the engine rpms would increase excessively and the vehicle would exhibit an abnormal noise when first started. On one occasion, the contact secured the vehicle in park and exited when she noticed the vehicle had rolled away. The contact was able to re-enter the vehicle however, it proceeded to crash into a tree. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle had been taken to an authorized dealer multiple times where the fuel pump and the alternator was replaced but the failure persisted. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 76000.

- Clinton, MS, USA

problem #30

Dec 252008

Durango 8-cyl

  • 41,500 miles
During medium/heavy rain the engine stalls badly or completely dies. Also happens during car washes, though not a safety issue then- just aggravating! :( restarts only after rain subsides. This creates a very dangerous driving condition- for myself and those vehicles around me. My research shows this is a very common problem for this vehicle. Despite countless complaints, it appears Dodge has refused to acknowledge or address it for several years, alienating many previously loyal customers (this was a very popular SUV). The factory waranty was expired/near to expire when most of us began to experience this so we had little recourse. As my vehicle was purchased new and has low miles for its age, I plan to keep it for the foreseeable future- circumstances permitting... thank you for letting me post my concern here! I hope something can be done to correct this very serious issue. Long overdue! step up Chrysler and stand behind your product. Thank you again for giving attention to my concern. :)

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #29

Nov 122012

Durango 8-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


Goes in and out of 4 wheel drive by itself.

- Everett, PA, USA

problem #28

Nov 012013


  • 165,000 miles
Transfer case shifted into four wheel drive lock without input of the driver. The vehicle was on straight level hard surface road. Transfer case will not shift out of four wheel drive lock.

- Mount Pleasant, NC, USA

problem #27

Sep 022013

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
As with many other complaints with this same issue, I have experienced problems with the vehicles service 4WD light coming on. Took to dealer and they said transfer case motor was bad. They replaced the motor and the light still comes on. Vehicle gets 'locked' in 4WD mode and cannot select the standard AWD driving option. There should be a recall on this. Owners shouldn't have to keep replacing the transfer case in hopes it resolves the issue. Dodge/Chrysler needs to really look into this.

- Linden, VA, USA

problem #26

Jun 032013


  • 145,000 miles


The 4 wheel drive engages on its own while driving or just being parked.

- Bailey, CO, USA

problem #25

May 282013

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
While driving my 2004 Dodge Durango 5.7 hemi the svc 4X4 light went on at the time I was driving 35mpg in 70 degree weather and did not have my 4X4 on. I took it the mechanic shop and they said I needed to replace the 4X4 shift motor, so I bought a new 4X4 shift motor and they replaced it but my 4X4 was still not working. I have taken it to two different mechanic shops and they keep saying its the 4X4 shift motor so I exchanged the new 4X4 shift motor thinking it was defected and once again bought a new one and had it replaced and at this point the mechanics don't know what else it could be because it still didn't work.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #24

Feb 182013


  • 120,000 miles
My well-maintained 2004 Dodge Durango slt began doing something bizarre a few months ago at about 120,000 miles. This has 4.7L V8 and the AWD-4hi-4lo 2-speed transfer case. The "service 4WD" and the traction control light began flashing, and it felt like the transfer case was stuck in 4hi with the tires grabbing on a turn. The selector knob on the dash would not function. I brought the truck to my mechanic who checked the function of the transfer case motor, inspected the motor and wiring, and changed the transfer case fluid again. I called my local Chrysler dealer and they advised that they would need to change the transfer case motor. The motor costs $1190 plus two hours labor and two quarts of atf+4 fluid. I brought the truck back to my mechanic and he said there is nothing wrong with the motor or the transfer case or the dash selector knob. He said he believes this is a control module or programming issue. I got a third opinion at my local lee myles. They concurred that there is nothing wrong with the transfer case motor and there must be some issue with the computer, programming, or one or more of the control modules. The truck continues to do the same thing. The malfunction condition exists approximately 65% of the time. I can't afford to bring to the dealer now and spend over $1300 for a repair that I do not think will correct the problem. I have read on many message boards that this seems to be a very common issue with 2004-2006 Durangos and changing the motor, or the switch does not help the situation. I also notice that at times when I open the doors or unlock the doors with the key fob, I can hear the transfer case motor cycling. This seems to be an electrical or programming issue. It is very difficult to turn the wheels at low speeds when the malfunction condition exists and I fear this is straining the transmission.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #23

Mar 012013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 158,000 miles
Purchased vehicle on 2/19/13 drove it for 2 weeks. Was driving on the highway and heard a loud noise followed by clunking noise which sounded like a flat tire but wasn't. took it to my mechanic who told me that the front differential needed to be replaced. Fixed that problem. 2 weeks after that on 3/29 was getting off the highway when I heard another loud noise followed by a clunking noise this time I lost steering and barely made it into a parking lot. Had it towed to my mechanic to find out it blew a rod and needed to have the engine replaced. After having this vehicle for 6 weeks I have had 2 catastrophic failures. My dealership will not help me and I cannot afford to replace the engine on my own. I purchased this vehicle to be a safe and reliable mode of transportation for me and my 4 children. Now I am out $6000 and have no vehicle. Something needs to be done about this. People should not be forced to pay for an issue that is known to be a problem.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #22

Mar 042013


  • 117,000 miles


I went out one morning to due my daily running for the day and when I turned the key and the vehicle started it made a sound like the starter was stuck. I turned it off and called my husband and when I started it again there was a loud pecking in the motor. I took it to a local garage and the man listened to it and told me that the noise was coming from inside the motor and that he did not do motor work. So I found another garage and took it to them and they told me that it was the starter that was bad and that they wouldn't be able to get to it for a week or so. So I called the lot that the vehicle was bought from and he sent me to his garage and the man there told me that he would take a look at it and get back to me. Well he called the next day and told me that all of the noise was coming from the transmission and that it was the fly wheel so he replaced the fly wheel and the called me back and told me that the torque converter was what was making the noise. That the veins in it was bad and rattling around so I had to wait another three days for the part to come in. After he replaced that part and put it all back together and called me and told me that it was done and that it was still making that noise, and that he could not figure out where it was coming from. He started that he called the Dodge garage and talked to the about it and they told him that the crank was bad. And that there was nothing that they could do about it. So I asked them about rebuilding the motor and he laughed at me and told me that if I could find someone that would attempt to rebuild it that he would shake their hand that no one will attempt it. All I could do is have another motor put in it. We have had that 2004 Durango 5.7 for only a year and we still owe the bank for the vehicle. And an engine is going to cost us $3400 not to mention labor fee for putting it in.

- Grafton, WV, USA

problem #21

Feb 222013

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Had driven truck earlier in day had no issues at all. Drove and sounded like it always did!! went to start it that evening to get daughter from school event and it made a horrible noise and wouldn't start! mechanic said it was starter. After 2 days of waiting for a starter that noone keeps in stock! put it on and nothing! mechanic said it was stuck flywheel. He got it to turn over but the motor was knocking very loud!! now I'm without a car because I do not have the money for a new motor!!

- Hawesville, KY, USA

problem #20

Feb 102013


  • 90,533 miles
Vehicle started to run a little rough. Wife was at a stop light accelerated upon green and heard a loud noise and a jerk. She nursed it home about a mile or so. Pulled into the driveway and shut it off and oil was everywhere. I looked around and discovered a hole in the engine block behind the passenger side tire about the size of my fist. Have had the Durango since it was brand new. Its always ran great. We love our Durango. Very upset that this happened. We do not have much money to spare at months end, but we needed a car so we were forced to go buy another. Would like to maybe get the Durango fixed. But that might take a little while to get the money now. Be nice if Chrysler could send me a new engine or something. I have owned a total of 5 Chrysler brand vehicles.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #19

Jan 122013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Similar to all other complaints I read. Was driving the vehicle during rain, engine started ticking. Stopped and had it towed to mechanic. Bent rod and busted piston.

- O'fallon, MO, USA

problem #18

Jan 252012


  • 175,000 miles
My truck goes in and out of 4WD on its own. Truck can be on, off, driving, parked, it doesn't matter. Apparently a lot of others are having this issue as well.

- Mesick, MI, USA

problem #17

Nov 262012

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 97,150 miles
2004 Dodge Durango limited 5.7L hemi 4X4 my vehicle was already running for approx 3-5 minutes, warming up, after I had finished working a full 12-hour night shift. Time is 0640 hrs, outside temp is approx 30 degrees. Vehicle running normal, no alarms, no warning indicators. I was pulling out of driveway of my employment onto the roadway and accelerating on a completely straight roadway. As vehicle was passing 20-25mph and with no fore-warning, heard loud 'bang' from the engine compartment and vehicle started shaking. Vehicle's reaction was immediate. Violent vibrations, tappings and metal to metal sounds, I immediately shut down the engine and drifted off to side of road. My vehicle has never been pushed or worked hard. Never hauled heavy loads or trailored. Body is in very good condition and vehicle maintenance has always been performed on regular basis (approx 1000 miles into current oil change). At first I thought I had thrown the serpentine belt, but within seconds I knew it was much worse, shutting off the engine. Two checks of the oil level, assured me that there was in fact oil in the engine. There were no external leaks found and there did not appear to be any oil/coolant mixing. After towing the vehicle, to my mechanic, they have since reported what they believe to be as a "catastrophic loss of the engine". I have reported this failure to Chrysler Corp. And they have opened a case number for me, but they have not made any commitment, if they will cover the failure. After some of my own investigating, I have discovered there are numerous complaints, of the exact same nature as my failure, with this identical make/model year and 5.7L hemi engine, with many failures occurring in the 80-120K mile range (my mileage 97K). Very angry and upset about this failure, but thankful I was able to safely pull over without any further incident and injury.

- Limerick, PA, USA

problem #16

Jun 152008


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken for an emissions test but did not pass. The vehicle was then taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician advised the contact that the PCM would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and was taken back for emission testing twice but did not pass either time. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the PCM was replaced two additional times. The vehicle was not further repaired and the failure persisted. The approximate failure mileage was 38,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #15

Sep 092012

Durango 8-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Auto drove properly previous day, started the engine at 6pm and it sounded like rocks in the engine. A puddle of oil was visible underneath the parked SUV. Car has been properly cared for, no warning lights on the dashboard ie: Oil, engine light - just loud clanking and not drivable. Edmunds and other auto information complaints are exactly like ours. This issue has been fixed in the 05 models but not in the 04. It rained a little earlier in the day and this video shows what is transpiring in the 04 models: Hydrolock= broken rods Chrysler needs to answer the hundreds of complaints that are documented. We cannot afford a new family car. Thank you for your time and I hope that you help us find a solution and hold them accountable.

- Homer City, PA, USA

problem #14

Jan 212012

Durango 8-cyl

  • 151,960 miles
I've owned my 2004 Dodge Durango 5.7 hemi since 2005. With only 151,960 miles - taking excellent care and pride in it, the #7 rod has been bent. Water has somehow gotten into my motor causing all kinds of issues. Within the past year, it has had issues running hot, running poorly when it rains and rough idle on occasion. After sitting for 24 hours, I went out to crank it and it jumped (I thought a small animal had crawled into my motor) and it shut off. I then re-cranked it and it sounds like a sewing machine. I had to have it towed and am now looking at $4000 for another motor. I've have researched the internet and am totally blown away at the others having the issues with the same exact make and model of vehicle. This is something Chrysler should make right. I am a single mother and live week to week, I can not afford to do this, but I have to. Working full time, caring for a 10 year old and now applying for a part-time job is what this extra expense is causing me to do. I think someone should do something - if I win the lottery, you best believe I will. Chrysler do the right thing....this is happening too much and is a defect - no doubt. Toyota did a recall - maybe if I'm ever to buy another vehicle, atleast they would make it right. *kicks soapbox*.

- Lyman, SC, USA

problem #13

Mar 172011

Durango 8-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
1. engine light remains lit: Service can see no reason from computer diagnosis. 1A. engine idles rough for several minutes after a rain storm. 2. engine won't start unless gas pedal fully depressed: Then stalls unless idle remains at least 1500 rpms. 3. took to service shop: Diagnosis is cylinder # 7 has no compression and computer shows 8 system faults relating to failure of cylinder # 7. research from internet forums shows this is a common problem and the only solution is to replace the engine at a cost between $4000 and $5000. No guarantees replacement engine will not have same problem.

- Columbus, GA, USA

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