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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,400 miles
Total Complaints:
27 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. pay to replace engine (25 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Jan 172008

Durango SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


We bought a 2004 Durango new. had 13 miles on it when we drove it off the lot. it now has 36000 miles. we have always taken care of this SUV. I mean. U have to. For 30,000 dollars. You have no choice. Not to mention I really liked this ride. Until now. Oil light came on and went off. motor started making a funny noise intermittently on my way home from work. I got home and called the dealer. Took it in about 30 minutes later. Come to find out that they dropped the oil pan and it was covered in sludge. Which mind you. The oil was changed regularly. But of course we have no proof but the current oil change sticker in the window. The mechanic told us that it looks like we haven't had the oil changed and that our 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty won't cover it because we don't have all the oil changes from 2004 and it must be our fault. I have talked to another mechanic not affiliated with Dodge and said that they have had some problems already with this and the sludge. then I found this website that concurs. Dodge won't listen because we don't have the proof and either will the extended warranty place. Gee, we are stuck with a car that won't run and no money to fix it. I can't believe that 36,000 miles would have that much sludge in it to blow a motor even if we didn't change the oil. Which that is a crock. So much for product durability. The service center said to check with our car insurance to see if they will pay for it. Haven't checked that out yet. But now that I have seen it on this site. I know now that this is an ongoing problem and something needs done. I emailed Chrysler and dodge with no help from them. Think I am being taken to the cleaners. 36,000 miles and a pile of junk.

our blazer has over 100,000 and have had no problems. We change the oil in both vehicles at the same time. Now I am stuck because we can't come up with ever little bit of paper where we bought each filter and oil. Never again will I buy a dodge. Nor will the rest of my family. SUV's are suppose to take a little wear and tear. but 36,000 miles and a blown motor. Because of sludge. Hmmmm Something isn't right with this picture. This is a mechanical problem that Dodge needs to correct not the consumer. Us poor people taken again. Especially the way the car industry is today. You think they would want to make the customer happy when it is obviously a dodge error in design if I'm not the only one with this problem. I know they have to protect themselves but this car wasn't used that much to have as much sludge as they say it does in the motor if it was a mechanical problem to begin with

- Brenda S., Orrville, OH, US

problem #6

Jan 112008

Durango 3.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Engine locked up while wife driving to Ohio to check on aging parents.Have had to replace rear main seal at my expense two times in last year due to oil sludge.I have been dodge owner all my life but would not buy another or recommend anyone else to.It will cost me 300.00 dollars to get towed home and who knows how much to have engine replaced.Oil has been changed every 3000 to 5000 miles this should not be happing at this low mileage.I have a 1990 Ford F 150 with 260000 miles and hardly do any maintenance to and it runs like a new one so do not try to make me belive that oil sludge is a problem that occurred because I did not treat my vechile right.This is oure and simple and flaw in the engines you put in your 2004 models and dodge should step up and take responsibility for it.I will never own another Dodge product.It is sad you still have to make huge payments on a car that does not work.

- Ricky B., Mt Sterling, KY, US

problem #5

Oct 022007

(reported on)

Durango 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Oil sludge

- Leon L., Louisville, KY, US

problem #4

Oct 022007

(reported on)

Durango 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles


Took car to shop for lose off power the tore engine dwn without askin permission claim they thought warrnty would cover then tey tell me there was sludge build up and claim i never change oil . I ve change it numerous time an want me to locate all the recipt before the would see if the warranty will cover it i have sum but who keeps every one of them.If not they want to change me 4 7000.00 dollars.

- Leon L., Louisville, KY, US

problem #3

Jun 222007

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

I have a 2004 dodge Durango with 66,000 miles. The dodge dealer says it has sludge buildup. I took in the maintenance records and oil changes to prove it had changes every 3000 miles, but dodge would not give credit for the oil changes I did myself. Therefore, they take the total mileage and divide it by the number of oil changes (receipts) done. (also we bought is with 9000 miles already on it) The heads have sludge but the pan had none. Which is consistent with plenum gasket failure, moisture in the cylinder heads during heavy rain or car washing. This is common on the 4.7L engine and there are TSB's which address this problem. Dodge has now requested oil samples from the oil pan to test it and we are waiting on results. This is definitely a design error. My advice if you own a Dodge Durango, get rid of it!!! otherwise, have someone change your oil, make sure the oil is what is recommended, document everything, and before your warranty runs out have them remove the valve covers and oil pan to check for problems. My 98 Ford Ranger used on the farm has 155000 miles and get the oil changed every 5000 miles and it is as clean as the day it was purchased. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Curtis C., Fayetteville, TN, US

problem #2

Feb 042007

(reported on)

Durango ST 3.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

they do not honor their powertrain warranty!

i do not recommend dodge unless daimler sells dodge or dodge sells daimler. I'm lucky the jeep liberty flips over all the time, making the engine available for transplant, my durango now has a jeep engine at my expense. i change the oil every three weeks. and i don't drive it much anymore. its a pretty car but it has a lousy engine 3.7l. don't buy a dodge, don't buy a dodge...

- spokc, Folcroft, PA, US

problem #1

Nov 212006

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

27 months, 96,000 miles and the engine failed! The dealer says it needs to be replaced. The oil light flashed for a few minutes and I pulled off the road to check the oil. The oil was ABOVE the top off line. I drove for another couple of minutes and the engine light came on and then the car started shaking. I drove it back home about 1 mile then had it towed to the dealer. I had them check the car and they said that the engine failed due to lack of oil pressure and that was caused by sludge from missed oil changes. This is total BS. There was plenty of oil in the car and we had done extra oil changes to flush out any sludge months ago. The pressure was checked months before and it was found to be fine. One week after getting another oil change, the engine fails. Now they are saying that they are having trouble even finding a new engine. I had already replaced the radiator on this thing after one year of ownership. It sounds like this is a common problem and I cannot afford to spend another $5000-$6000 on a car that cost me $30k and still has almost 3 years of payments left! Chrysler needs to make this right.

- Andrew W., Manchester, CT, US

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