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 / 9
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,475 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 1 of 17)

problem #325

Jan 252021


  • miles


Car was parked on a Thursday, was running fine with no problems. Rained all weekend. Went to start it on Monday morning, produced a horrible grinding noise and would not start. Research shows that the cowl has allowed water to leak under the hood and puddle on the motor allowing it to seep into the intake and hydrolock the motor. Apparently this is a very common problem with this year make and model but nothing has been done to resolve it. Now I am without a running vehicle and can not afford to fix it or replace it.

- Cumby, TX, USA

problem #324

Oct 142020


  • 0 miles
Good day I own a precious 04 Dodge Durango I've been maintaining well over the years. But as of late some issues arose with my air bag sensor and oil light flickering on dash when brake at idle. I don't drive too frequently except the normal work schedule mon-fri so I dont go far especially since these problems arose never been in an accident nor intergrated parts

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #323

Aug 152020


  • 118,000 miles
Blown enegine due to cyclinder misfire and bnding rod caused by faulty cowl panel. This happened when it rained I went to start enegine and it blew

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #322

Jul 192020


  • 200,000 miles


The problem happens to every hemi vehicle. As it age. Exhaust manifold will start to leak. Making a ticking sound.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #321

Feb 122020


  • miles
My engine shuts off while I am driving my vehicle. Without warning. This has happened on several occasions. The vehicle comes to a complete stop when it shuts off.

- Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #320

Dec 272019


  • miles
Went to go start Durango & heard a loud boom, & now it seems to be knocking & not drivable now, after do research online we cam across that on these models (2004 Dodge Durango 5.7 hemi magnums) it seems too leak water into where the engine is due to hood manifold is designed horribly & water leaks on wires, spark, plugs, engine etc. Etc. We've noticed when we drove in the rain or even going through a carwash that the Durango would sputter as if it was going to die & it has a couple times & took about 15 mins to start again, after this event has happened we thank god that it happened at home & not on the interstate around other vehicles because this is a serious safely issue that needs to be addressed & now we are out of a vehicle at the moment and we are still currently making payments on this vehicle for another year and a half at-least.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #319

Nov 202019


  • 114,000 miles


Early morning after a heavy rain the vehicle was started and an extremely loud banging noise was coming from the engine. All fluids were maintained. The vehicle was parked on a city street.

- Rockaway Pt, NY, USA

problem #318

Oct 302019


  • 161,334 miles
The vehicle will intermittently shut off without warning. Does not sputter or stall out it just shuts off like you turned the key off. No codes thrown so the dealer wont acknowledge it. Vehicle will start right back up but I have seen several complaints where people have wrecked because they lost control of steering and braking. So far this has only happened to me while at a stop light but from other reports it sounds like it can happen at any time.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #317

May 222019


  • 174,000 miles
Bought the car used in 2014. Always had misfire/rough running problems in heavy rain or a car wash. In May 2019, driving in the rain, the engine failed catastrophically. Research on line and my own repairs discovered a flaw in the first generation cowl grill. It allowed water to flood the top of the engine. A leak in the intake manifold gaskets allowed the water to enter the engine, causing it to hydrolock. It broke a connecting rod. It did however still run, but was very noisy. The intake leak was not noticed in any other conditions, nor was the check engine lamp on prior to this event. The engine did not use oil or make any other noises prior to this event. It has about 175000 miles.

- Kalispell, MT, USA

problem #316

Oct 062019


  • miles
Vehicle will die without warning you hole driving causing a serious risk for collision. Engine stops running and is very hard to steer or stop with no power.

- High Ridge, MO, USA

problem #315

Aug 292019


  • 130,000 miles


Cowl under windshield does not divert water from engine bay. Water pools on engine, getting into the coil-over-plugs (cop) and intake(gasket) causing hesitation stalling and engine failure after being exposed to water. Rain, car wash, using the windshield washer. Chrysler has made 7 different versions of the cowl to address the issue but has never issued an official recall. Those who do not have the latest version of the cowl (part# 55362453ak) have to pay for the part and have it installed or risk having engine failure while driving down the road in the rain. Part that should be included in recall 55362453ak "cowl" this is a known issue reported by "Durango" owners that is all over the internet

- Bells, TN, USA

problem #314

Jun 012019


  • 130,000 miles
I have experienced this incident several times. When it rains really hard or when the car is taken through the car wash, some how the water reaches the motor. It will start acting up (stalling) and have trouble "going." It will then trigger a check engine light and the motor will die. I have had the check engine light checked while on and spark plugs replaced per the check engine light. It is very difficult to plan any type of trip with the threat of rain while driving for fear of breaking down. The car wash will completely kill the motor and takes several times to re crank. Once the car is dry, it runs perfectly. I have red several similar issues online.

- Armuchee, GA, USA

problem #313

Jun 062019


  • 240,000 miles
I was getting gas and as I pulled out of the gas station I was getting a load ticking noise. To find out later my 5.7 himi lifter and cam shafts needs to be replaced. I get a regular oil change and filter change. I am not sure why this is happening but I did see that this is normal and 5.7 himis Dodge Durangos and not understanding why it hasn't been recalled. I'm a mother of 3 little ones and I'm terrified we can get stranded if my engine decides to go out due to this issue.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #312

Apr 022019


  • 120,000 miles
I was going 45 miles an hour with all my 4 children and husband in vehicle when without warning the vehicle shut off. There is no code vehicle loses power steering and brake function and you have to shut vehicle down and restart to gain control again. This has happened 7 times! there is no code being given no one can diagnose this issue I have been everywhere and been told that no one can do anything for me this is ridiculous I have seen this problem spread all over Dodge for you and I cannot believe that this is not a recall a whole family my family almost died multiple times because of its end this is not right that there is not a recall on this this is serious there have been hundreds of near-death accidents because of this issue alone this needs to be looked into this needs to be taken seriously and Dodge needs to be held accountable it has nothing to do with speed I was parked in my vehicle died this morning I'm fortunate that I was parked and not driving the last two times I was pulling out of a parking lot in front of some cars and it just died I had to turn on my flashers as quickly as possible so hopefully no one would hit me as I was dead in the road the fact that I can't just take this to a shop because there's absolutely no indication of what's going on there's no warning when this happens there is no code after this happens I don't feel safe hundreds thousands of others do not feel safe and nothing has been done about this I am terrified to put my family in a family vehicle are only family vehicle because we have gotten lucky up until this point but I don't see that look holding out for much longer somebody needs to look into this and somebody needs to hold Dodge accountable.

- Carson City, NV, USA

problem #311

Mar 012018


  • 200,000 miles
Takara recall I put oil on the engine constantly as I dont know wheres is going through. No smoke or leak.

- Uvalde, TX, USA

problem #310

Feb 202019


  • miles
I am original owner and love my Durango but since I have owned it I cannot drive in rain. The vehicle sputters and dies and check engine light comes on. I found several places online of people with same complaint and the issue is the original cowl. I looked and mine does not have a taller ridge around the wiper bolts or a ridge to divert the water from running into my engine. I need the 2nd generation cowl that was improved part #55362453ak our family always buys Dodge, my husband has the 1500 truck as well as my daughter. I don't understand why Dodge has not put a recall out on this issues that so many are complaining about. I have taken my Durango several times to the service dept. And they could never find the problem but online after seeing everyone with same issue and how they are repairing I know I need this part. I ran water directly over the windshield and as it went over the existing cowl it did indeed dump into my engine and started sputtering and shut off. I tried to find the part but they are costing $180 with shipping and another $130 to have installed. I need this part like so many other Dodge owners and there should have been a recall for this ongoing issue. It is not safe for us because the vehicles stall in traffic and we have to avoid collisions with other drivers as well as creating traffic jams. I have to keep my vehicle parked under a roof to avoid rain and I cannot drive when it is raining. This has been an ongoing issues since I have owned from 2004 to present.

- Monroe, VA, USA

problem #309

Jan 092019


  • 130,000 miles
Blew a hole in the side of the engine block with a failed rod/piston on a slow right turn.... always took meticulous care of the engine... 5.7 hemi should have lasted 250K to 300K miles.... it blew at 130K miles.

- West Bend, WI, USA

problem #308

Jul 102018


  • 180,000 miles
The vehicle would always drive rough whenever it rained and would even die when going through a car wash. If it started raining while in traffic, I had to keep my foot on the brake and the gas when coming to a stop otherwise the vehicle would stall. After raining all night, I came to start my vehicle in the morning and it only made a terrible clunking noise without starting. Luckily, I was not driving in traffic when the vehicle decided to stop running due to rain, something that a vehicle should not irregularly and suddenly shut off over.

- Papillion, NE, USA

problem #307

Nov 012018


  • 120,000 miles
2004 Dodge Durango 5.7 hemi these vehicles are shutting off without warning no steering, brakes lights, hazards, nothing is operable vehicle doesn't stutter or stall at all no waring lights just shuts right off multiple people are reporting the exact same problem this is a serious defect as there aren't any codes or signs of failure

- Old Forge, PA, USA

problem #306

Oct 272018


  • 178,000 miles
After a night of raining I started up my vehicle to a terrible knocking sound. Blown motor due to defective cowl allowing water to lay on top of intake. And sucked through intake gaskets.causing a hydraulic and blown motor. Comprehensive insurance said mechanical failure. Internet says enough about this viehicle. Rods through the block upon ignition.

- Claysburg, PA, USA

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