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

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2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 2 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #271

Nov 032015


  • 169,320 miles


2004 Durango 5.7 every time we have a hard rain the motor stalls or runs extremely rough and we have to pull to the side of the road. I travel for work, and received a call from my wife that the Durango would no crank over but was not caused by battery issue as it had just been replaced. Had several people look at it and they said motor was locked up (had rained the night before). Let it sit until I got home and it started up with a little kick back against starter. Let it warm up and went and had the battery and starter checked, both were within specification for voltage and amp draw. Drove on county hwy with 45 mile speed limit approx. Three miles to the bank. Leaving the bank made a right turn onto main street and the motor went thump, clunk, bang and died. Coasted off road and looked under vehicle thinking we had thrown a belt or hit something. Saw oil dripping from passenger side of motor and found a hole in the oil pan with part of the connecting rod sticking through it. I used to be a mechanic so I know what I was looking at. After doing research I have found that the rain gutter channels water onto the top of the motor where the plastic intake manifold has cracked allowing water into the motor, this water can become trapped in the intake manifold and be pulled into the motor while it is running and you are making a turn. Talked to my local Dodge dealer, they said they had never heard of such a problem but kindly told me $8000 to replace my motor. Talked to the parts department and they did not have any information on an updated rain gutter, even though there appears to be a service bulletin on this problem. The number of complaints I have seen says to me that there should have been a recall on this problem as every thing I have read says it is quite common

- Ozark, MO, USA

problem #270

Sep 032015


  • 120,000 miles
After heavy rains the engine would run rough and then smooth out. Then during one heavy rain I tried to start the vehicle and heard a loud knocking. I brought it to the shop and they determined that it had hydrolocked due to water getting into the intake gasket from the cowl. After two months of agruing with the warranty company and the dealer, the warranty company covered all but 1000 dollars of the engine replacement but the cowl is not replaced. I fear that this will happen again.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #269

Nov 092015


  • 120,000 miles
Engine blew. A rod or something blew without warning through the engine case as I was driving at 35 mph on straight road on a town street

- Limerick, PA, USA

problem #268

Nov 022015


  • 53,000 miles


If any water gets into engine compartment (rain, etc..) the engine will misfire (stationary) or shut off (stationary or driving). If driving while raining, the SUV will misfire and may shut off while driving. The error seems to be well documented on the internet and became all to real this week when the car shut off at 70 mph on the highway while it was raining almost causing an accident and potentially killing my family.

- Tyrone, GA, USA

problem #267

Oct 312015


  • 122,000 miles
Vehicle would stall during heavy rains and taking it through a car wash while driving. Sometimes it would even cut off. One day it cut off and I had to have it towed to the dealership. I bought my vehicle brand new and this problem has been going on since then. Goodyear could not determine the cause of the issue and the Dodge dealership informed me that it was the fuel pump. So they replaced my fuel pump and the problem still occurs during heavy rains and going through the car wash. I replaced the battery a third time after contacting roadside assistance. Now the vehicle is making a knocking sound. I'm afraid it's the engine. After researching, there are thousands of complaints about the issue with the wiper cowl leaking. There is a service bulletin 18-006-05 put out by Chrysler.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #266

Jun 012015


  • 132,771 miles
Stalled in rainstorm while driving on interstate 95, a day before. We had battery tested at advanced auto. Battery good. Drove home. The next day we started it up and it made a loud noise. Shut it off and then restarted it. The engine was rapping. Needed a new engine. Upon lifting hood to see problem we saw a hole in the block. You could see connecting rod in there.

- Mountain Top, PA, USA

problem #265

Oct 022015


  • 151,400 miles


It was a rainy day on Friday Oct. 2, 2015. That morning my vehicle started fine, it wasn't until I came out of work that evening when I went to start it the engine made a loud sound and it wouldn't start. I tried a few times until suddenly it turned on and it was making a knocking noise. I then called my mechanic and explained the situation and he told me to bring it to the shop so they can put it on a lift to take a look underneath. As I drove away the sound was unbearable and the faster I drove the louder it got, suddenly I heard a loud explosion and the vehicle stopped. It felt like the engine fell out, there was a lot of smoke and oil everywhere. I got the vehicle towed to the my mechanics shop for further diagnosing when they told me the engine blew out. The next day I got a call after they took the engine apart and told me the block had a hole because the piston blew through it. They told me it would cost more money to rebuild my original engine than buying a used one, I opted out on the used one. As I was home I went online and did some research when I come to find out that many people had the same problem happen to them with the same vehicle on a rainy day or when they took their car through a car wash. So as I did more research it turns out the wiper cowl which at some point Chrysler came out with an upgrade tends to leak water on top of the intake manifold which is another bad design, then sucks in water into the engine eventually causing it to hydro lock. I bought my vehicle brand new in 2004 and now I'm disappointed they never issued a recall to fix this problem. I just paid over $4000 to repair it and god knows how long until this used engine goes out with the same problem. I filed a complaint with Dodge and spoke to someone yesterday for them to tell me that my vehicle is out of warranty. Please help me with this matter.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #264

Sep 152015


  • 120,000 miles
I have had this SUV for just a few months the day I mad my first payment it went into the shop to be fixed. At first it was apparently my #5 piston shot thru the block with only 120,000 mile on it. Than after spending the $3,700 to get that fixed it was still smoking and having issues. Next thing I know it is now the intake manifold whitch was another $700 and it was 84 in back order when I seen that I pulled it up online were I read that thousans and thousands of people have had this same problem with the first year of the hemi motor in the Durango. I have three small children and I support my kids and husband due to his spine surgerys. I feel if there has been this many parts go bad that it should have a recall with it. I cant afford to keep putting money in something that is still not going to drive properly with my children in it. It has shut off while driving the SUV. It is not safe for my kids to be in im afraid they will be hurt or killed if it happens again. Dodge needs to do the right thing and have thiss recalled as soon as they can. The vechile turned off while on a street thank god it was not on the free way.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #263

Oct 102015


  • 160,131 miles
Just purchased this vehicle two months ago from dealer in NJ. We had a hard rain about a month ago, and the Durango wouldn't start immediately. I turned it over again a few hours later and it started with a hard rumble, but it started up. It drove fine for about a month, and just as the wife and I were leaving a gas station, we drove about fifty feet and heard a loud bang. Smoke was coming out of the passenger side of the engine, and the Durango was making a noise like metal was rolling around in the engine. I stopped the car, pulling over to the side of the road. I looked under the Durango and saw oil dripping out from the engine. I got under the car to inspect it a little further and saw a dime size hole in the engine block. I got the car towed back to my home as it was Saturday and the mechanic was not open. The tow truck driver told me that this was the third Durango he picked up that day. Not saying that all of the other cars were towed because a blown engine, but you get the idea. Dealer wouldn't warranty vehicle because of mileage. I couldn't get anyone to warranty the Durango because of the mileage being over 150000. Now im told I will have to buy a remanned/new engine for this clunker. I will be making a complaint to the manufacturer. I know it may not go anywhere. I have read all of the complaints here and on the internet, forums, etc. All the result of blown engines due to "hydro-locking", and the wiper cowl defect were water would get into the engine during heavy rains or car washes. I hope our government would intervene on behalf of its citizens and force Chrysler to issue a recall or at least be responsible for a defect that they created, but I won't hold my breath. My Durango currently has 160131 miles on it, and I guess it's gonna stay that way now because it can't move, and I still owe money on a SUV that I cannot drive. NHTSA do the right thing.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #262

Sep 282015


  • miles
Bought this vehicle 3 months ago with just 52000 miles and running in good condition. During the weekend of 25th of September 2015 it rained and upon trying to turn on the vehicle to go to work on Monday as usual, the motor/engine was hydrolocked. Water had seeped into the cylinders and the motor suffered failure and broke rods. I had installed the newly redesigned cowl vent grille that was supposed to prevent this, but it didn't work. Dodge company is very well aware of their bad engineering but won't recall the vehicles and protect their customers. I just lost over $9000 dollars in investment, including taxes for $700 + getting the vehicle registration, inspected, tags, etc. The vehicle wasn't in motion when this happened. It was parked. Not even their redesigned cowl vent grille prevents hydrolock, water from leaking into the intake manifold, from happening.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #261

Jul 072015


  • miles


Consumer stated that he filed a pro-SE lawsuit against fca us llc that he will be mailing the complete lawsuit and other supporting documents to substantiate his complaints in regards to issuing recalls. The consumer stated his issue involved a defective cowl panel, which allowed water to penetrate the spark plugs and engine combustion cylinders causing it to hydrolock and/or throw a rod. The damages cost the consumer $8,900.

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #260

Sep 102015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that there was excessive smoke coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the motor was replaced, but the failure recurred. The contact mentioned that the original owner previously replaced the motor. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the intake manifold needed to be replaced, but the part was on back order. The contact was placed on a waiting list where the vehicle was number ninety-five. The vehicle was not repaired due to the part being on back order. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #259

Jun 262015


  • 166,000 miles
After an overnight rainstorm, vehicle was started and driven approximately 1/4 mile when the engine threw a rod through the engine block. We had had issues prior to this of the vehicle not starting after a rain event. It would start after drying out. Thought it was the starter and had the starter replaced twice. I just replaced the engine with a used engine that with parts and labor cost me $4,800. I see that this is a somewhat common issue with this vehicle and wanted to be on record.

- Salisbury, MO, USA

problem #258

Aug 192015


  • 229,500 miles
This complain involve several issues that constantly happens. The first issue is that the interior lights and instrument panel lights illuminated intermittently and I can hear a buzzing sound when it does this. The second is that the battery dies and I have to jump start or charge it manually most days. Third, every day I have to pour coolant into my radiator because there is a leak somewhere either the water pump or radiator. Fourth, when it rains, water gets inside via the door seams. Fifth, then my radio/dvd player stopped working and I had to pull the fuse because it would not turn off. Sixth, my head lights goes very dim and even sometimes shut off. This is very scary in the middle of the night coming home from work. Seventh issue involves the engine stalling on several occasions, mostly when it's pouring down raining.

- Groveland, FL, USA

problem #257

Aug 052015

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle shook before suddenly shutting off. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure occurred on multiple occasions during rain weather conditions. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000. Updated 11/06/15 the consumer stated the repair garage stated the vehicle needed spark plugs, coils and wires. However, another establishment stated everything was ok. Updated 12/10/15.

- Powell, WY, USA

problem #256

May 202015


  • miles
One random I started my Durango, it started making a fast clicking sound from the engine. Seems to driver and idle fine, but it isn't a normal sound since I have had this Durango a while and never heard it till now. To find out its on the passenger side..been told its the exhaust manifold. Takes a few mins, but goes away about 90%.the colder it is outside the worst and louder the noise is.I searched online about this and looks like I am not the only one and supriseing its not a recall. I was told by a shop I have a broken stud bolt and will cost.1200-2000. I don't have that kinda is there a way I could get help getting this fixed? because it is possible it could mess up the piston on that side of the loos manifold. Also received a letter that I have a recall for the driver airbag inflator..waiting for my dealer to call me back for a appointment.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #255

May 102015


  • 107,000 miles
Engine making noise at start up. Had it looked at by several mechanics, including the local Dodge dealer. Said it is probably piston. Had valve covers and heads taken off for possible stuck lifter and found plenty of rust etc. That would indicate water in motor. Several people indicated this is an issue with this model and make with leaking cowling at windshield leaking water onto motor in bad spots causing this failure. Should not be needing new motor at 107K.

- Federal Way , WA, USA

problem #254

Aug 212015


  • 143,000 miles
Aug 21 @ 1030am. My fiancÉ, our daughter and I were about to leave our home. I went to the car and strapped our daughter into her car seat while my fiancÉ had bags at the front of our apartment building. Turned on the car it struggled to turn over, went clunk clunk clunk. I turned it off. Called my fiancÉ to come up to our parking spot to have a look. He couldn't see anything immediately. Called a tow but in the meantime a friend who knows a bit about cars came by, looked under the car and found pieces of the engine as well as leaking engine oil under the car. The discussion was that it had blown a rod and the engine was done. At this point in time I can't afford to get it worked on, so it is still sitting in the same place. The description is so similar to other reports of a rod going through the engine block. Luckily we weren't on the road driving when it happened and everyone is safe. For a problem like this that is obviously recurring due to the engines being defective how can Dodge not still be responsible.

- Nyack, NY, USA

problem #253

Apr 012012


  • miles
I have been battling with my 2004 Dodge Durango 5.7L hemi for years now. Every time it would rain heavy, my vehicle acted as if it were going to die. It would get very jumpy, and I felt like I had to fight it to keep going. If I got stopped by a light or stop sign, it was horrible. My engine light would come on and sometimes stay on for a day or two. I brought it to different mechanics who could only fine a cylinder misfire when the engine light was actually still on. It seemed like it always went off as soon as I was able to get it to the mechanic. The mechanics were not able to recreate the problem I was having in order to view what the vehicle was doing. I had numerous plugs changed and nothing helped. It has since gotten worse, yet no one can figure it out. It now happens if I take it to the car wash. They are not able to start it after it comes out. They have to try a few times before they can get it going. I decided to do my own research to see if there are any others out there with this issue. I was surprised to find all the information I did and yet no mechanic can find a solution. I came to read about the hydrolock issue on this model. After reading all these complaints by everyone else, I can't believe there wouldn't be a recall on this! I have lived with this issue for at least 3 years dreading every time it rains heavy. It makes me panicked to drive my vehicle in any rain knowing the outcome of all these other people. I can't believe that Dodge just let this go on, especially after all the complaints. I have 190,000 miles on it now, it is full of rust (which is another issue that should have been resolved...I have seen so many Durangos with rust on the back door by the chrome above the license plate. It starts out as bubbling and just rusts away into big holes), and there is no point to replace the engine. This issue should be addressed by Dodge.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #252

Jul 152015


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the engine warning light illuminated, the vehicle violently shook and stalled. The contact discovered that the cowl screen needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000. The VIN was not available.

- Powell, WY, USA

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