26th Aug 2008, 23:05
I have a 1998 Durango with 160,000 miles and climbing. I love this truck! I don't have the transmission issues many here have had, thankfully. This truck, starts, stops and goes like new. This is incredible considering the age and mileage. The exterior has the expected scratches. This is in stark contrast to the interior which is tip top looking like she's a year old not 10.
Sure, my truck has some gremlins. The AC doesn't work. The LH passenger window regulator is INOP. The air-bag light on instrument cluster occasionally clacks off; clock spring defect known TSB. I'll fix the window this year maybe. I'm comfortable blowing off the other nits.
I've replaced the ball-joints (common), water pump (normal wear), tires (normal wear), front rotors (normal wear), flexible brake-lines (routing issue/TSB, still no big deal) and rear brake line. Other than getting simple tune-ups, this truck has needed nothing. I'm doing some much deferred maintenance at the moment. So she's up on jackstands. She's getting transmission filter and fluid (I will do the band check as a previous post described), transfer case fluid, shocks, struts, differential fluid front and rear, lube job, fresh power-steering fluid, brake shoes and a new cap and rotor.
She'll need replacement brake line along rear axle another known issue with TSB. As expected the bone stock stainless exhaust is still going strong! She could use a new muffler perhaps I'll replace it next year as the outer case is compromised. The truck still cruised through state emissions inspection which gives her a gold star in my book.
This truck is amazing in snow and on muddy fire-break trails that humble some CJ/TJ jeeps. I'm looking forward to keeping this truck rolling for years to come. When I hit 200k miles I may put a crate motor in her, rebuilt tranny and spray her with a fresh coat of paint. Then, I'll drive it another 200k miles!
8th Sep 2008, 20:18
I have a 1999 Durango SLT 5.9L with 115000 and absolutely hate it. I had a sensor go bad causing all of the oil to be blown out. I've been lucky so far that the massive knock has not gotten any worse over the last 5 years.
But since then, I've had a wheel FALL OFF. The dealer said that 3 of the lugs had rusted out and broke a while back and the remaining 3 finally vibrated enough and broke as well. Luckily it happened pulling away from a light and not on the highway.
My AC has stopped working for the 2nd time. I've had an ABS sensor in the rear replaced twice and I gave up the third time. The suspension totally went out on the front very quickly causing the tires to bounce on the road.
Now it's missing yet again and have to replace spark plugs for the third time. Nothing but problems, can't wait to get rid of it.
14th Sep 2008, 10:27
Hi all, I had a 99 Durango 5.2 SLT, and it was the worst car I have EVER had the misfortune of owning!! TOTAL piece of crap. I'll list the biggest problems first. I bought it used with 85,000 miles on it.
1. At 88,000, it over heated on me, and it wound up being a bad thermostat and radiator cap... or so I thought. The dealer charged me $270 and tried to charge me $85 for the tow truck, even though the tow really was only $65! Nice huh!
2. At 92,000 miles, it over heated on me AGAIN, and it wound up being a cracked cylinder head. After losing all trust in the dealership, I took it to a private garage. The garage had it for 3 weeks, and it was a total of $2800!
3. At 95,000, it over heated on me AGAIN, costing about $150 for the tow and $20 for a thermostat housing. I guess I got off easy that time!
4. At 98,000 miles, it over heated on me AGAIN, costing me over $200 to have it towed first to my house, then back to the garage. This time it was a warped intake manifold. Another $450!
Not to mention, two weeks after I bought it, I had to bring it back for two new brake pads for the front tires, and about a month into owning it, EVERY speaker in the thing blew at the same time, and I paid $275 for all new speakers. My passenger side window motor broke, and I had to bake all summer in a car that I was afraid to use the A/C in.
I got rid of the Durango and now drive a Toyota. I took a huge loss on the trade, and I will be paying off the curse of that vehicle for years to come. I know many people that have had nothing but problems with their Dodges also. PLEASE save your family from a financial crisis, and DON'T BUY A DODGE! Shame on you Dodge Motor Co. I will never own your product again.
17th Oct 2008, 00:12
Sorry to hear about your over heating problems, it's unfortunate that they all stemmed from one cause that was never dealt with in the first place.
I am a mechanic and my girlfriend owns a Durango. Not a bad SUV for the era in which it came out, but yeah, these things have been just rampant with issues, and it doesn't help if you don't do your part as owner to take care of proper scheduled maintenance.
Tonight, her Durango's shift cable snapped or something, and will not go into park. will have to fix tomorrow.
ANYHOW, I just wanted to mention a couple things.
1) Some mechanics are good honest men, like me and the guys in my shop. And some are scandalous b*****ds. I have worked with both. But you can usually tell without much digging who is who.
2) STAY AWAY from AUTOMATIC transmissions. AVOID something that is controlled by a computer as much as possible. Drive a STANDARD, do your maintenance, and don't buy into these new spangled BS ideas like TRACTION CONTROL and other NON USER FRIENDLY COMPUTER OPERATED GARBAGE. I know it's hard, but do your best.
3) STAY AWAY FROM DEALERSHIPS!! THEY WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY!! Only use a dealership to BUY a car, and get work done that is COVERED BY YOUR warranty!! If they suggest something else that you have to pay for, get a second opinion.
4) Never trust a garage that makes you pay for windshield washer fluid. Or sells used cars.
5) Look for a shop with an hourly labor rate UNDER $100/hr. (May vary for where you're located, we have bills to pay too you know.)
6) i) STOP bringing us beer, and donuts. WE can't KEEP A BUSINESS OPEN GETTING PAID WITH BEER!!! Not kidding. STOP.
Ii) Don't cry to us, either in the office or on the phone. It won't get your anywhere, and may even have your name put on... the (not getting a future booking) list.
Iii) Please, no more implying sexual favors, either physically or verbally.
My last note is this: Every automotive company sucks. And that is something a mechanic will truly tell you. Dodge isn't that bad. Do you really think FORD (HA!) or GM are better?? Well, then go blow another 50 grand on something that is going to have its own set of outrageous repair costs and issues. Some models are better built than others, but all are made to die, so that you will buy another one.