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 3 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #251

Aug 042015


  • miles


We purchased a 2004 Dodge Durango slt 4X4 sport utility 4-door about a year ago. We noticed that when we went through a car wash it would stall out. It progressively got worse and every time it rained it would stall out. Yesterday (8/4/2015) it started to make a loud clunky noise. The engine hydro-locked and we noticed oil dripping all over. We are lucky that this did not happen while we were driving or someone could have gotten seriously hurt or even worse killed. Now we have a vehicle we are still making payments on and can't even drive. We don't have the money to fix it.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #250

Jul 032011


  • 107,000 miles
My 2004 Durango had sat for 2 days in rainy weather. When attempting to start there was a loud bang or clunk. I attempted to start it again and when it started there was a loud tapping noise. I immediately shut it off. I looked around and under the car found a puddle of oil as well as 3 pieces of iron,1with a Chrysler symbol molded into it. Apparently the engine hydro locked and threw a piston rod through the block. I had it towed to my local mechanic and he verified this was the case. Checking various forums this is a common problem with 04 Durangos with 5.7 hemis. Many many incidents some while driving were reported. Weak engine components as well as a poorly designed windshield cowl has contributed to the problem, which Chrysler has denied. This is a safety issue as it could happen at any time at any speed. I hope something can be done. Dodge should be held accountable for a poorly designed engine and cowl. Thank you

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #249

May 052014


  • 140,000 miles
The engine hydro-locked breaking 2 rods and blowing a hole through the engine block. Caused the vehicle to lose all power and my wife drove off of the road. Luckily she did not hit anything or get injured. The vehicle needed an engine replacement. The local Dodge dealership was familiar with the issue as it turns out to be very common with this year vehicle. The windshield dam that directs rain water away from the engine is poorly designed and it allows water to flow right onto the motor. Over time the water rusts and rots the intake manifold bolts eventually allowing the water to flow into the engine causing hydro-lock. This is an issue that Chrysler should have taken responsibility for but instead they have not. My wife could have been killed and it cost me $6,000 to replace the motor.

- Brentwood, NH, USA

problem #248

Jul 192015


  • 124,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle made an abnormal rattling chain sound. In addition, the contact smelled smoke coming from the engine. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the lower part of the engine block failed due to a hole in the rod. The engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 124,000.

- Centervalley , PA, USA

problem #247

Jul 032015


  • 116,000 miles
When wife started vehicle sounded like hammers in engine results was total engine failure.

- Parma Heights, OH, USA

problem #246

Jul 012015


  • 199,990 miles
When it rains the vehicle starts to "chug". when I approach an intersection/ stop light or attempt to slow down the vehice will cut off. I then have no power and can not restart the vehicle for several minutes. Last week while going to cross the highway in the rain the vehcle cut off in the middle of the road. I was almost hit by oncoming traffic. I have taken it to 2 mechanics and they can not find the problem. It has happened several times over the years but has gotten much worse. I have just been made aware of this site to file a complaint.

- Machipongo, VA, USA

problem #245

Jun 222015


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While driving 55 mph, the contact heard a popping noise coming from the vehicle. The contact pulled over to the side of the road and noticed oil leaking under the front end. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that a spring from inside the motor snapped and the engine needed to be replaced or rebuilt. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #244

Jun 282015


  • 108,000 miles
Upon attempting to start my 2004 Durango after 2 days of rain the motor had a loud noise and then after restarting, a loud ticking noise. Shut off had towed to garage, mechanic says rod went through block. Numerous similar complaints..water onto engine top, sucked into intake...boom! design flaw, cowl lets water onto top of engine, sucked into valves thru intake..boom..engine trashed. Cost of new engine greater than blue book...108000 miles.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #243

Jun 232015


  • 160,000 miles
The morning after a rain storm, water accumulated on top of the engine and leaked into the engine. A loud clank noise was evident after first starting the engine. Diagnosed to be a bend connecting rod due to hydrolocked engine. No warning or other malfunction was observed before the incident.

- Inlet, NY, USA

problem #242

Jun 102013


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle began to shake. Upon stopping the vehicle at a traffic light, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after several attempts; however, the failure recurred whenever it rained. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure was unable to be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #241

Oct 152012


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While at a car wash, the vehicle suddenly lost power without warning. The vehicle restarted after several attempts; however, the failure recurred and the vehicle became inoperable. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 150,000. The VIN was not available.

- Schererville , IN, USA

problem #240

Jun 012015


  • 132,500 miles
After a rainstorm, I went to start the vehicle. I heard a big bang. Now motor raps and ticks loudly and leaks engine oil. Mechanic looked at it and said motor was blown.

- Mountain Top, PA, USA

problem #239

Jun 012014


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While driving approximately 55 mph, all of the instrument panel lights disengaged. The contact continued to drive and the lights illuminated after approximately four minutes. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure was unable to be determined. The failure recurred on several occasions. While driving in the rain at 75 mph, the vehicle stalled after the check engine and the battery warning lights illuminated. The failure recurred each time it was driven in the rain as well as when driven through a car wash. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure was unable to be determined. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #238

May 292015


  • 165,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that there was an abnormal noise coming from the engine without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 165,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #237

Apr 272015


  • 104,000 miles
Our 2004 Dodge Durango was purchase used, from original owner. All service records were given to us, showing proper maintenance of vehicle. I tried to start the vehicle and heard a horrible sound from the engine. After having it towed, I learned the engine threw 2 rods and put holes in the engine block. This is a complete failure to the engine, with the only solution being to replace the entire engine. Based on my mechanics observation, this is a result of water being directed into the engine compartment, therefore rusting and destroying necessary components. When the engine was pulled from my vehicle, it had been sitting in a large amount of water, even after having been garage kept for several weeks. After reading online, this is a very common occurrence with these 2004 Durangos. At that, Dodge has never issued a recall. I am now out $7900 for a new engine. All I can say, is thank god I was in my driveway when this happened. I am so fearful this will happen to someone while they are driving, resulting in something tragic. Due to the frequency of this failure and Dodge ignoring it, it seems as though it will take someone to be killed in an accident before Dodge addresses this problem.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #236

Mar 052015

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Catastrophic engine failure. The same "hemi tick" issue and consequent valve/piston rod failure that has apparently been reported and complained about by thousands of consumers and thousands of times. Mine was failed sitting in my driveway idling. This is a recurring issue that the valve springs, spring seats, and piston rods are made of garbage materials, yet Dodge refuses to acknowledge or make any effort to make right. This is a major design defect and needs to become a recall.

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #235

Jan 032015

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
After a thaw of snow and a early morning rain, went to start Durango and would not turn over. After a few attempts Durango start to a loud bang and rattling. Turned off. Told the engine blew. Month prior to this when it would rain the Durango would stall. No one could figure out why. Now what I have been told is hydrolock. Https://

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #234

Mar 162015


  • miles
When it rains water would pour into engine and effect electrical sysytem and cause engine problems engine lock up, engine would automatically cut off and power steering would lock up while making a turn in my 2005 hemi Durango, the engine shut off in the middle of the road.

- Nashville , TN, USA

problem #233

Mar 172015

Durango 4WD 8-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The vehicle was purchased new back in March of 2005 and has been maintained at regular intervals. Recently when it rained a sputter was noticed and thought to be spark plug wires, which had been changed approximately 1 year prior. Then approximately one month ago we went to start the Durango and it would not start. At first it sounded like the starter grinding so I removed the starter and had it tested and it fine. I attempted to turn the engine over by the crankshaft bolt and the engine would not move. I removed the spark plugs and found that the #7 spark plug had ice on it. The cylinder was found to be full of ice. The following day the ice melted and the engine moved and ran. The truck drove fine with no issues after that. I did some research and found many complaints of the engine hydrolocking due to a failure in the cowl which allowed water to pour onto the engine. The complaints indicated that it was a known problem and that Chrysler had been advised of the issue but nothing was done about it. I then found that water was leaking past the cowl and the wiper arms. On March 17, 2015 the Durango again made the grinding noise when attempting to start. The #7 cylinder and the #8 cylinder had water in them. The vehicle had been sitting for approximately 4 days prior and it had rained while the vehicle was parked. The vehicle would not start with the starter and would not turn by hand when tried at the flywheel. The vehicle had not exhibited any issues prior to being parked and had not run since it was parked and did not turn over at all when we attempted to start it. The engine is believed to be seized and no longer usable.

- Brooklyn, CT, USA

problem #232

Mar 082015


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While the vehicle was idling, a knocking sound emitted from the engine without warning. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 143,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

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