13th Feb 2006, 09:47

I have been considering purchasing a used 1999 5.9 L Durango. I have found a lot of comments (on many web sites) regarding the oil sludge problem. What I am wondering is did anyone ever replace their engine? And then what? After replacing the intake manifold gasket... did that fix the problem? I really like the look and feel of the Durango, but want to be prepared before I buy.

22nd Jul 2006, 12:59

Actually I think these V-8s in the Durango would have been a lot better if Dodge had borrowed something from the '60s and '70s technology. I never heard of a 318 from that era having this oil sludge problem, or having clogged oil pump inlet screens or sheared off oil pump drive shafts that cause the engines to seize. As far as I can tell, Dodge's small block V-8s of the '60s and '70s have been proven to be a lot more reliable than the "new and improved" versions. If anyone is interested in a comparison, read the Dodge Ramcharger (predecessor to the Durango) reviews on this site. You'll be hard pressed to find any complaints about the engines.

1st Sep 2006, 12:26

I bought my 99 Durango in 2002 with 43k on it and had no problems with it until about 2 years ago. Since then I had to replace the water pump, ABS control module, the speedometer, and all four ball joints 3 times. I have put over $3000 into it and I'm just feed up with dodge. I wrote an e-mail to dodge and they told me that they could not do anything for me because it has too many miles on it. It has 110k on it now, but, that is no excuse for these problems to be happening so much. I have replaced the ball joints 3 times within a year and a half. I got to the point were I can't afford to replace theses parts all the time. I would like answers for all this and dodge will not give them out. Now after reading all these comments my oil gauge drops to zero when I come to a sudden stop or go down hills. Thanks Dodge.


7th Sep 2006, 16:21

I bought my Dodge Durango used almost 3 years ago. It is an 01 Durango R/T. I thought is was a steal as it only had 26K miles on it. Now it has about 60k miles and this week I have had some problems with the transmission. When I travel at 40 mph, the truck shifts gear and it is a violent shift. Sometimes it seems that the truck can't decide what gear to be in and the car loses power and dies out on me. I have no acceleration and I coast to the side of the road and put it in park and shut the car off for a minute, turn it on and I can go. The truck does not always go into park either. Today I sped up to 70 mph and the rev limiter started acting up. The car never shifted gears. Seems like something is very wrong, and the mechanic I spoke to said he does Durangos all the time and he swears the transmission Chrystler put out will put all of his kids through college.

I am sad this happened. Other than tune ups and oil changes the car has never been in the shop or had any problems. Now I have to figure out how to pay for these repairs. If anyone else has had these problems please feel free to e mail me.



26th Feb 2008, 07:14

OK, we bought our Durango new in 1999. It is a 5.9L, are all these problems on 5.2L? Our truck has 55k on it, and has been wrecked 3 times (these things are tanks). I have always used synthetic oil and changed the oil filter every time, I also put Slick50 in it at 3k. (our model is an SLT Plus 5.9L 4x4)

We have had no problems so far, I just went and checked valve cover oil fill and see no sludge build up. Now I guess, I will be pulling off the oil pan to change the gasket and check it for problems. I was more worried about the transmission.

So are you folks buying these used and having these problems? Are they 5.2L?

We have pulled cars, pop up campers, trailers loaded with wood. We recently bought a travel trailer, and I now have concerns. I guess I will pull the pans and check everything.

The only issue we had was bad paint and shipping damage not pointed out by the dealer. Which lead us to never purchase another Chrysler vehicle again.

17th May 2008, 19:07

I bought a 1999 Durango 4x4 in May 2005 with 78,000 miles. I did the research and found the two main complaints were the upper and lower ball joints failing and the oil pump failing. Since the ball joints were replaced, I took the chance with the oil pump issue and bought it. I had a complete tune up done and all fluids replaced when I bought it. I now have 152,000 miles on it and its run great for the last 3 years. I now have to replace the water pump, (making noise) and steering gear box, (leaking). Not bad for a 9 year old car. I've always used Castrol part synthetic oil and changed it every 3 to 4 thousands miles. I have not experience the other problems that many of you have, I guess I got one of the better Durango's.

28th Aug 2008, 14:41

For the Feb 15th commenter--you better check with your son first--sounds like a heavy foot!

2nd Jan 2009, 13:41

I have a 2001 Dodge Durango 2 Wheel Drive with a 4.7 V8 with 125k miles. Currently, I have a anti-freeze leak, but cannot find any fluid/water leaking, but we get fumes coming inside and not all the time. The water level in reservoir goes low and then we can smell anti-freeze fumes. If anyone has the same problem, please let me know what fixed it at bigoctoman@yahoo.com.

Also, it has been using more oil lately but no oil leaks. Any advise is welcome. Climate cold 40'+ in Sacramento, Ca.

The previous problem on my vehicle was the Durango died out at a stop light, as if the idle was too low. A check engine light came on, can't remember the code, but replaced the Power Steering Pump Sensor and it helped for a while. The idle seems a bit low again 640 rpms, but not dying out.

There was a couple of re-calls on the Dodge Durango's for 1999 to 2002 +/-2. One was on the Four Wheel Drives - Ball Joints. For 2 Wheel Drives, they have to be inspected and if found bad they too will be covered under rc-call back in 2003?

The second re-call on the Durango's is for the gear shifter gauge. The car can change gears at anytime. Call your local Dealership for re-call questions.


2nd Feb 2009, 15:55

The fix for the Durango with sludge in the oil pan, change your oil more frequently, use a better grade of oil filter and or oil. This should cure the problem in the pan.

As for the engine block passages, remove the engine, tear it down and boil the block and rod the passages is the only way to insure oil passage through the entire engine. You get what you pay for.