1999 Dodge Durango SLT 4X4 5.2L from North America


Poor Reliability


The first problem was that a few months after purchasing the Durango it began to sit unlevel (side to side, not front to rear). This was easily noticed and when measured it was more than 1.5" out of level. The selling dealer was quick to replace the leaf spring and shock on one side of the rear axle. One day after the repair it was again unlevel. A new spring and shock were ordered for the other side, but before they arrived I solved the problem by a small adjustment to the front torsion bars.

Next, while still under warranty the front window motors failed and were replaced. At around 40,000 miles a rear window motor failed. The dealer replaced it at a reduced price ($50) since the warranty had just run out. The last window motor failed at 60,000 miles.

At around 40,000 miles the engine began consuming around 1 quart of coolant per month. This has continued to the present time (75,000 miles).

At 65,000 miles the speed sensor failed and needed replacement.

At 74,000 miles the transmission has started to delay shifting from second to third gear when the engine is cold. The dealer says an internal seal has failed and the repair will be $1800. I declined the repair to take time to consider other options. The dealer also suggested that the cause of the problem was not replacing the trans fluid at 36,000 miles. I feel this is only an excuse for Dodge to hide behind. I have been driving many years and have never changed automatic transmission fluid and never had transmission problems. Also, my vehicles are not operated in extreme conditions (high temp, high speed, or heavy towing).

The oil pressure gauge also started indicated lower oil pressure at idle at around 50,000 miles. It stays in the range considered normal, but I am concerned that this is an indication of abnormal wear on the bearings. I have changed the oil every 5000 miles and feel that this engine should easily provide 100,000 miles of trouble free driving, but these signs indicate that it will not.

General Comments:

Aside from the lack of reliability I am happy with the Durango.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th January, 2003

30th Mar 2005, 06:11

The problem with oil consumption is the intake manifold gasket is LEAKING!!! Replace this and your spark plugs will last longer. BUT, most importantly, you will notice you no longer have to fill it up with oil and check the gas!

1999 Dodge Durango SLT 318 from North America




Cracked Seat Housing. Has anyone heard or experienced this problem. The drivers side seat, electric operation, is loose. Took to a mechanic that told me the housing that holds the seat is loose due to the seat track being cracked. Called Dodge zone office they have no complaints of this. Dealer says cost of repair will be around $600. Not covered under warranty. Seems like a safety hazard for a drivers seat to come loose due to a cracked track for a vehicle that's never been in any accident.

General Comments:

Not happy with the dealer. The Zone office recorded my complaint, but said no other complaints like it heard. Another dealer claims that this happens frequently, but that Dodge likes to keep it quiet. Would be interested in hearing from Durango owners no this issue.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th December, 2002

30th Dec 2003, 07:01

I know this response to your message post is dated, but I just encountered the same problem with the same set of circumstances with my 1998 Durango. Dealer said it would cost $500-$600 to fix. I agree that Dodge keeps this sort of thing quiet. A loose seat could cause an accident.

Ken - Houston, Texas.

1999 Dodge Durango SLT 5.2 Magnum from North America


High dollar money pit


This vehicle is a very nice looking SUV, but has been nothing but a problem since I bought it in Nov. 1999.

To begin with the Durango has always used anti-freeze. Up to a half a gallon per month dealer said it was no problem.

At 38,000 miles it had oil pump failure. Dealer said it was due to excessive oil wear. Even thou I have always changed my own oil at least every 5,000 miles, I kept no receipts.

This was a $691 lesson learned.

Now, 5 months later I have bearing wear and the engine will not keep oil pressure. Dealer wants $5,100 for a new short block. Chrysler said it is due to the original sludge build up. Therefore will not help in anyway.

Customer service is very poor as I cannot talk to anyone past the service manager. They will not give me the District Mgrs. phone number and he will not call me back. The customer service line just calls the service manager.

I have bought my last Dodge product!

General Comments:

I hope you have better luck with your Durango than I had with mine.

As I search the internet it appears there is widespread problems with the 5.2 Magnum engine, but yet Chrysler will not admit to any design flaws. Where is the Attorney General?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th December, 2002

29th Jan 2003, 07:43

I would bet that your coolant loss is occuring around the thermostat housing. It is very simple to detect. You just follow the upper radiator hose to where it connects to the engine block. You will probably see signs of where your coolant is going. Because this is on top of the engine it rarely drips to the ground, but rather evaporates and leaves a crusty residue. I hope this helps you and others as it is a fairly common problem.

As for your oil concerns, 5000 miles between oil changes is too long. I have a 99 durango with 60000+ miles and have never had the problem you described, However, I have seen many examples of the same thing on vehicles with inadequate maintenance.

31st Jul 2003, 10:40

Hard to believe a dealer would consider a low coolant problem not an issue. Though I do own a Dodge and a Pontiac and have found complete incompetence at certain dealerships with both. I don't like their philosophy of tell us what is wrong and we'll fix it. You guys are the experts! Tell us what is wrong and fix it, under warranty or not.

I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I'm at 76,000 miles and maintain most of the maintenance myself. I tow a full size camper and boat regularly and she is still truck-in. Though at 75,000 miles I did have to replace the output shaft speed sensor... seems to be pretty common.

Sorry to hear about the dealership problems, but I'm afraid it is everywhere. I don't see this improving any time soon. Ask to see ASE certifications from the mechanics working on your vehicle. If they don't have any, go somewhere else.

29th Nov 2007, 17:46

What can we do about this? Why do we as customers have to pay the price because these SUV, have all kind of problems I will be giving my local TV station my concerns to see what they can get from the Dodge Dealership.Because this is a wide spead problem. Regina