1998 Dodge Durango SLT 5.2 from North America


Nice truck, but way too many expensive repairs


After buying it, went for state inspection at about 7 months, cost $646.00 to get it out of the shop. Most disturbing was the steering shaft was bad at 27,000 miles! Brakes needed new rotors (dealer said the last brake job was done wrong).

Also had problems with an 'improperly installed' door lock, and a mis-aligned gear selection indicator.

Now at almost 36,000 miles, more problems.

Coolant gauge would peg at the "hot" end of the scale, then return to normal a minute or two later. Dealer says it was a coolant leak around the thermostat housing. $110.

They performed a "courtesy check", replaced part of the throttle body and the serpentine belt. $92 in parts, $65 in labor for the belt, and $78 in labor for the throttle.

They adjusted the brakes, for another $32. Guess Dodge either doesn't have slack adjusters, or has ones that don't work.

Most irritating was the news that the transfer case seals were bad, and should be replaced ASAP before it dumps it's lube and seizes up. This they can take care of for $350 plus parts, and they were trying to find me a rental car so that I wouldn't be 'inconvenienced' by them having the truck for another day or so.

Total bill this time (without the $350 for the transfer case seal job, which I'm getting a second opinion on), $562.00.

General Comments:

Overall, the wife and I like the truck. Gas mileage sucks, but kind of expected that. Big mirrors are great, but create big blind spots. Lots of room, great power, handles well, goes great in the snow, nice looking. Just can't keep shelling out the $$$ in maintenance.

Not happy with the dealers service department either. Not very responsive, seem to evade solid answers to questions, seem pretty disorganized, bordering on the run-around.

Would not buy another Chrysler product.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th June, 2002

18th Nov 2004, 15:58

I am commenting in regards to the review I just read. I have a 1999 Durango SLT - top of the line. The BEST thing I ever did was buy the most expensive extended warranty on this vehicle. Of course the vehicle cost more at the time of purchase because of the opt-to-buy warranty, but unfortunately it sure paid for itself quickly. Sadly, I have had ALL the same problems with my Durango as described in the review. But I still love my vehicle. I have the all-wheel-drive option which I use going up the ski hill in the winter time. It's a great feature. I also love everything about the inside of the vehicle. Upgraded Bose surround sound system is worth the money. Seats are very comfortable.

I now have over 75,000 miles on it and now again am starting to see wear issues with rotors and brakes. That is frustrating. It makes me wonder what is to come in the future with repairs. However, I am still hopeful to keep my Durango for years to come!

18th May 2009, 19:41

I just recently bought a 1998 Dodge Durango SLT with the 5.2 ltr V8. I love it! It's my first car, and I can only think of a few things that I don't like about it.

When I bought it, the speedometer sensor needed fixing (it wouldn't register until I hit 30 mph), but that was only $50 to fix.

One of the rear passenger doors doesn't open, but other than that it's a pretty sweet ride.

I love the horsepower, which I can put to use hauling my friend's 4 wheeler, and it sounds beastly when revved up.

The only bad thing about driving a lot in it is the gas mileage. I'd say I'm getting about 17 mpg, but it also has 185,000 miles, so it could be a lot worse.

Overall I'd give it a 9/10.

1998 Dodge Durango SLT 5.2 V8 from North America


Serious long-term reliability problems - buy a GM SUV


New transmission needed at 74k (beat my friend's, who needed his at 70k)

New evaporator at 88k ($1200 quote at dealer, found $850 at local shop)

Considerable rumbling noise in suspension when climbing hills at 65-75mph, have had it looked at 3 times - can find nothing wrong.

Rear window non-functional.

Consistently "eats" tires - on third set at only 88k.

Brakes glaze continuously.

General Comments:

At 88k everything seems to be falling apart. With only $8k trade-in value and twice that owed the bank, looks like I'm handcuffed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th April, 2002

21st Nov 2002, 08:20

You and others have commented on "rumbling" noises that have not yet been diagnosed, and I have a suggestion based on my experience.

The term "rumbling" in autos very often is used to describe noises coming from bad bearings, and is a very appropriate description. Bad wheel bearings, for example, will rumble, and will change sound depending on the lateral load applied to them, that is, when cornering.

My 1998 4x4 Durango (and an earlier Triumph sports car) had rumblings that did NOT change with cornering. And in the Durango, as I recall, it was at its worst when climbing hills, as you have described with yours. In both cases, the rumbling was coming from bad bearings in the differentials! In the Durango, it was the front differential. It was just out of warranty, but I called Chrysler and convinced them that no vehicle should have the differential bearings fail during the life of the vehicle, so they picked up the cost of parts and I picked up the cost of labor to rebuild the front differential with new bearings.

I'm having some new rumblings in the front end, now, so who knows what bearings are beginning to fail now!! Good luck.