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:
128,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. needs new engine (1 reports)
2004 Dodge Durango engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments

problem #1

Jul 292014

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles


Driving along and pulling a trailer. Done it a hundred times, short distances with cars on the trailer, so didn't think of anything unusual. I got about 200 miles without anything on the trailer and suddenly the dash alarms started going crazy! I looked behind me and saw it billowing white AND black smoke. A quick look at my gauges and saw it wasn't over heating, in fact it was at the same spot under the half mark that it always runs at, I was on the interstate and couldn't pull over for about 2 more miles.

Got to the rest stop and got out assuming it was a fire. As I got out I shut it off and yanked the key. I noticed it was all from the exhaust. Had to give it a couple hours to cool down and checked the fluids assuming I blew the head and/or gasket. The fluids were fine!? No nasty looking coolant and the oil looked just as good as it did when I changed it about 1,500 miles before. After I let it sit awhile longer I started it up again hoping it was just a fluke. Immediately billowing out the white smoke but not black. It ran rough but I forced it to run for about 2 minutes before I shut it off again. Checked the oil and it looked good, coolant was fine too. I did a walk to the back to see if anything else was going on and noticed a black spot where something was dripping from under my Durango. After searching for an oil leak from engine to transmission it came down to this: This was engine oil. It was leaking out the bottom of my muffler. Not running down my exhaust, not dripping onto my muffler and seeping around to the bottom, but out the exhaust.

The only conclusion I can think is that when I was pulling the trailer, instead of hitting the gas after being stuck behind a slow truck, I was using the tow/haul button for downshifting (It's not smart, I know, don't want to hear about it. It's in the past now...). I think by doing that I must have blown out a spot in the plenum/intake gasket and all the coolant was seeping into different cylinders and the oil was leaking into the exhaust (black smoke would have been when it was hot and burning inside the muffler). I just need to have this verified when I have time to take it to my mechanic (I have him do the hard stuff because I am not patient enough to deal with big projects). I am hoping this is what the issue is, anyone is more than welcome to direct me to a video of how to change one or if the votes say yay or nay to this issue.

Update from Jun 10, 2015: The way it was running, I thought it was a bad gasket issue. Pulled the heads off and there was 1 cylinder that shattered a rod and shoved the piston into the bore sideways. New engine needed.

- , Des Moines, IA, USA

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