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 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
110,256 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Dodge Durango:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #91

Apr 262013


  • 106,001 miles


Loud noise emanates from the bottom of the truck followed by smoke. Engine goes dead. Tried restarting, but to no avail. Towed vehicle to dealership only to be told that a piston came off and blew a whole in the engine. As a results, a whole new engine is required. Engine had no sludge whatsoever and well maintained. This almost caused an accident as it was rush hour and vehicles were behind. 2004 5.7L hemi limited

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #90

May 092013


  • 140,000 miles
Went to a drive-through car wash... while car was rinsing - lots of water - the engine light came on and the engine started idling roughly. I got out of the wash and got on to the highway with the engine still cutting out sporadically. I drove about a mile and the engine smoothed out, but then I heard a warning bell and noted that my engine temp had shot up. I immediately pulled over. Engine coolant was everywhere. I refilled with new coolant and water and started the engine... drove about another mile and the "hot engine" light came on. I immediately pulled into a parking lot. Called for a wrecker and had the car towed in. Diagnosed as a blown head gasket. $6000 for another engine. I have seen on other Dodge forums where these engines have failed after driving in the rain, or having driven through standing water. I simply went through a car wash. This is a known problem (water intrusion in the engine due to a poorly designed engine cowling) on the 2004 hemi - according to local Dodge dealer.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #89

Apr 092013

Durango 8-cyl

  • miles
I was driving the vehicle on an interstate during a pretty heavy thunderstorm. I noticed that the vehicle was starting to hesitate and lose power. As I started to slow the vehicle down to pull over the engine quit at about 50 mph. Thankfully I was on a straight part of the road and without power I was able to guide the vehicle to the shoulder of the road with out an incident. After waiting out the storm to pass on the side of the interstate, with traffic flying by, I was able to get the vehicle restarted after some hesitation and drive it home. During the night the vehicle sat in the driveway while we had some pretty good rainfall in the area. The next morning I went and attempted to start the vehicle to go to work. The engine turned over, it started, followed by a grinding noise and then the motor quit and hasn't started since. After having the vehicle looked over we have found that two of the cylinders had quite a bit of water in them which had appeared to hydro lock the engine. Dodge needs to be held responsible for this issue and stop pushing the blame and cost off on to the vehicle owners. This is a huge design flaw and safety issue.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #88

May 042013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


Engine connecting rod failure on well maintained engine during starting up in the morning. Rain occurred during most of the night.

- Albertville, AL, USA

problem #87

May 012013


  • miles
I have a 2004 Dodge Durango sometime last week there was a heavy rain, I went out to start my truck and it would not start. Later that day it started but there was a loud horrible noise.. I found out today the motor is gone. This happened before when it rained it didn't start for a while and then started later. The engine is very expensive and seems life when there is heavy rain the truck stalls now it's completely gone.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #86

Apr 182013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 150,722 miles
Engine hydrolocked due to excessive water pouring from the windshield onto the engine causing water to penetrate the cylinders. Vehicle would stall when driving in the rain or in a carwash. Well maintained and oil changed frequently. Now vehicle is worthless due to Dodge design flaw or faulty parts.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #85

Apr 292013


  • 160,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that after starting the engine, he heard a loud noise emanating from the engine that sounded like rocks were under the hood. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 160,000.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #84

Apr 022013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
My 2004 Dodge Durango was garage kept for the first 8 years of its life. We recently moved it to be parked outside and it began to have trouble starting. It was diagnosed as hydrolocking, but they could not reproduce it at my repair shop. After sitting outside again, starting caused a thrown rod ruining the engine and block. It requires a new engine. I have found out that my neighbor had the same thing happen. His vehicle would hesitate when going through car washes, then one day threw a rod when starting. Many other instances seem to be similar in online posts. Please investigate this flaw in the 2004 Dodge Durango vehicles. This is a financially devastating situation for families.

- Glenwood, MD, USA

problem #83

Apr 222013


  • 170,000 miles
Since I bought the vehicle in 2005, the glass on back hatch shattered 6 months after I bought it, the electronic panel went out, the map sensor, idler pulleys (car was two years old), car stalls in heavy rain/at car wash always- have had it towed, exhaust manifolds been worked on, water pump, radiator, heater core, intake valve spring, rust bubbles on paint car was only 2 years old. Yesterday, while driving my children to activities, car made ticking sound & sounded funny pressing on the gas & sitting at light- I immediately drove to muffler man thinking it was the muffler. To my surprise, I was told lifters collapsed and need two sets of lifters/ head gaskets, whole engine has to be taken apart, cost is $1,500. I thought a hemi engine was supposed to be the best. This car has been a money pit since I bought it and for everyone else too after the comments I have read. I will never purchase a Dodge vehicle again. Too many things have replaced on this car I can't even begin to tell you, it is in previous letters sent to Chrysler-and it isn't just me. I maintained this vehicle, got regular oil changes, etc. And it backfired on me. I realize it is 10 years old and we put a lot of highway miles on the car taking family vacations and every family vacation, there has been a car problem. I put so much money into this car, I can't save up enough to get anything new. I know family members that have cars 10-15 years old and haven't put a dime into their car, other than maintenance, new tires, oil changes, etc. I cannot express the amount of stress this car has put on me. It has left me stranded on several occasions with my kids in the car. Not reliable whatsoever, would never purchase a Dodge/Chrysler product again. Every time I take it some where, the mechanics always mention the poor design of the engine.

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #82

Dec 232012

Durango 8-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
My Dodge Durango 2004 with a 5.7 hemi engine was only driven locally and barely had 60,000 miles on it when I went to start it up in the morning there was a loud banging/knocking sound, I immediately turned off the car. Once we had it towed to a mechanic, after inspecting the issue, it was a rod that had broke off and put a hole in the side of my engine. All of the vehicle maintenance has been up to date and I had purchased the vehicle brand new. With only 60,000 miles on the vehicle, I was extremely surprised and very upset to find out that I needed too replace the engine. I have not had any problems with my vehicle up to this point and after researching the issue, found that there have been numerous complaints from other Durango hemi owners with the same problem happening. Something needs to be done about this, a cars engine should not have to be replaced with just 60,000 miles on it with no prior problems and all maintenance being taken care of through the years with an original owner!

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #81

Apr 102013

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 180,000 miles


Went out to start 2004 Dodge Durango morning after a heavy rain, turned key and rod went thru block. Had problems with it when it rained (caused multiple misfires) found out later after the engine blew that the company was aware of the cowl leakage problem that allows water to leak onto motor. Think there should of been a recall or letter advising us this needed fixed. Evidentially these complaints aren't being read or no one is paying attention to them. Guess were all screwed by Dodge. Vehicle was maintained proper every 3000 miles just for information Dodge will not help anyone if engine is out of warranty, they will tell you your on your own. Sale, sale, sale, your Dodge Durango and don't buy another one. Sale it and don't keep because it will happen again. By selling it the problem is then solved because Dodge or these guys wont do anything for you.

- West Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #80

Apr 172013

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 121,551 miles
2004 Dodge Durango with 5.7 hemi, would always experience a slight engine miss after a hard rain and vehicle would shut off with engine miss if ran through an auto car wash. Had a very heavy rain last night, ran vehicle approximately 50 miles today with no real noticeable problems. Felt slight engine miss while sitting at idle. On my home from picking up our daughter from school, with no warning the engine blew a rod out the side of the block on the passengers side of the vehicle. From reading several different forums it appears this a common problem with this model. Have always had service maintenance performed every 3,000 miles! sounds like a manufactures defect causing engine to blow rod at same location on multiple vehicles! every vehicle in our driveway is a Dodge brand, mopar runs through our veins. Chrysler Corp. Knows they have a component failure issue with this year and engine combination and it is time they do something about it before someone is seriously hurt or killed. I was very fortunate to get my vehicle off the highway, praising god our daughter was not driving who just got her learners permit. She (15 years old) most likely would not have been able to react quickly enough to the catastrophic failure to get the vehicle, which died instantly off the busy highway.

- New Creek, WV, USA

problem #79

Mar 202013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
After a snow storm and the snow melted, when I attempted to start it, the starter was grinding. The engine was hydrolocked and broke the connecting rod for #3 cylinder. Subsequent investigation turned up a tech bulletin (not mandatory recall) to replace cowl at the base of the windshield due to water leakage onto the top of the engine which can cause misfiring. I never received notice of this tech bulletin or the potential catastrophic consequences of not implementing it. There was no indication the defective cowl could cause total engine failure in the tech bulletin. The melting snow seeped into the #3 cylinder, possibly from a failed intake manifold seal or warped intake manifold (yet to be determined), and caused hydrolock. I found evidence of a small amount of water in the oil pan which leaked from #3 cylinder. I also found water under the intake manifold near the #3 cylinder. This is a safety issue because a broken connecting rod usually punches a hole in the block causing oil to spill on the road! this was a 5.7L hemi. The engine needed to be completely rebuilt.

- Chesilhurst, NJ, USA

problem #78

Mar 312013


  • 75,995 miles
I've owned my 2004 Durango 5.7 since it was new has had most service done at dealership a few at sears. The Durango was in and out of the shop on numerous occasions for rough idle when raining and loss of fuel mileage. The dealer couldn't find the problem drove the Durango on a Saturday before we had a lot of rain Saturday night and Sunday morning after rain stopped started the Durango only to hear a bang then something knocking in motor took it to the dealer only to be told after spending another 325 dollars that the motor hydra locked and broke a rod. Now the dealership and Dodge both say there is nothing they can do about it. Since it is out of warranty someone needs to hold them accountable for not fixing a problem they know exists. They now want to charge me another $8500 to replace the engine.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #77

Jun 152011

Durango 8-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I bought my 2004 Durango in 2011 everytime it rains it stalls and acts like it wants to die same as when I am in a car wash it will idle rough and act like it wants to die no matter what speed you are going if it rains or is in any type of water it will stall and die on you and dealerships don't know what the problem is besides it needs a new motor I just hit 100 K on my car and it is getting worse the oil censor is defective to and they won't fix that either.

- Elpaso, IL, USA

problem #76

Mar 202013

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles
My husband and I were exiting the subdivision on our way to work after dropping our children off at daycare. We merged through the middle lane and onto the main street at about 25-30 miles per hour when all of a sudden we heard a loud noise and the car shut down. After waiting forever for roadside to come and get us and take our car to the shop, they determined that the engine was locked. We were very accurate with oil changes and getting our car serviced at the Dodge dealerships so this was not due to anything we failed to get serviced. There should definitely be a recall on these vehicles. What is the point of paying $30 for oil changes and many other services and fees if the engine is going to lock up anyway"! now we are stuck with a car note which we cannot afford to pay because we are paying $600 a month for a rental. So now there will most likely be a repossesion on our credit. Who should be responsible for this? where is the durability in these vehicles" I am highly disappointed in this investment.

- St. Louis , MO, USA

problem #75

Apr 112013


  • 142,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that the engine made an unusual noise after it was started. The contact also stated that there was an oil leak. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 142,000.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #74

Aug 182012

Durango 8-cyl

  • 69,182 miles
2004 Dodge Durango bent rod # 7 Chrysler dealership replaced bent rod. But said need new engine because they could not find out why the engine failed. Many thousand of dollars were paid to fix and get on road again. Not sure if this would happen again, nervous with three kids in car ages 2,5,6 am I going to kill or hurt my children driving them in this car"??" happened again same bent rod 1 month after repair. On 2012 October. Car sits in dealership for 8 months now. Will not move car or drive car till someone tells me that it is safe to drive kids in it. They fluxed motor pressure tested it and still they do not know what is wrong. Look at all the same complaints on line this is not just me!!! something is wrong! do my children need to die or someone elses family need to get hurt by one of these SUV's before someone takes notice. Please look in to this. [xxx], Michigan E-mail [xxx] I will be posting this over again till someone hears my cry! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #73

Apr 082013

Durango 8-cyl

  • 87,389 miles
Driving North bound on I 95 in South Carolina the check engine light came on and a flapping sound followed by a loss of power and a very rough idle. Pull to off ramp, shut car off, and called for a nearby Dodge dealer and a tow. It seems a "new" engine is required. Dodge does not supply new engines with replacements they use remanufactured engines. The cost with labor will be $7,500. Upon requesting the true cause and broken parts I was told Dodge requires all parts be sent back with the broken engine to remanufacture a future engine. Very convenient to prevent any independent examination of the problem. Research on various sites like edmunds illustrates that this engine failure of the 5.7L hemi in the second generation Durango's is prevalent. Dodge refuses to help with the repair because of the age of the vehicle.

- Sellersville, PA, USA

problem #72

Jan 212013


  • 107,000 miles
I own a 2004 Dodge Durango 5.7 hemi. The engine made a loud noise, I pulled over and saw oil on the frame. I had a mechanic look at it and they said a rod went through the block. I always changed the oil on schedule. The vehicle only had about 700 miles on the last oil change. The vehicle didn't give any warning before going out. I have seen lots of other people with the same problems. Chrysler needs to be held accountable in this situation.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?