Discover Used Dodge Durango Years to Avoid and Reliability Issues

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you tired of sifting through countless brand of mid-size sport utility vehicle, with three rows of seating inside, large cargo capacity and solid for outdoor adventures?

If yes, we present the Dodge Durango – an SUV with reliable second hand value and performance. However, with so many models, years, and features to consider, the process can be overwhelming.

And, it’s equally crucial to know which years have had more issues than others. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Our team discovered that few model years (1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2011, and 2012) have had significant problems that may affect your driving experience.

But, with our expert report and similar car buying tips, you can make an informed choice and avoid a subpar driving experience. Go here for the best year for Dodge Durango SUVs.

Dodge Durango years to avoid

History of Dodge Durango Generations

First Generation (1998-2003)

The first-generation Dodge Durango was introduced in 1998, and it brought some unique features that set the stage for a successful SUV lineup.

However, early models experienced some issues that you should be aware of. Most notably, the 1999 and 2000 models faced propelling system problems, including sudden engine shutdowns.

Although the 2001 to 2003 models showed improvements, it’s wise to be cautious when considering first-generation Durango vehicles.

During this time period, Dodge released Durango models with various engines, including a 3.9L V6, a 5.2L V8, and a 5.9L V8. Each engine choice impacted the vehicle’s overall power and fuel efficiency.

Second Generation (2004-2009)

The second generation of Dodge Durango was launched in 2004, boasting a more refined design and enhanced capabilities.

However, some issues persisted in the 2004 and 2005 models, including airbag deployment problems and engine malfunctions.

In 2008, the Durango received a facelift and introduced the popular 5.7L HEMI V8 engine as an option.

Despite these improvements, the second generation had some additional concerns, such as gasoline fuel system issues and ongoing engine problems.

Third Generation (2011-Present)

After a brief hiatus, the Dodge Durango returned to the market in 2011 with its third generation.

Sporting a new unibody platform, the modern Durango offers more versatility and comfort for drivers. However, the 2011 model had problems with the TIPM chip, causing various electrical issues.

Over the years, Dodge continued to refine the Durango, with notable updates in 2014 and 2015. The latest models, including those from 2020, 2021, and 2022, boast advanced features and performance capabilities.

Dodge Durango Years to Avoid

Early Years of First Generation

Some of the earliest problematic years include 1999 and 2000, part of the first generation of Dodge Durango models.

Notorious for various issues surrounding their suspensions, the 1999 and 2000 Dodge Durango models had frequent ball joint problems and squeaky front ends.

Mid-Second Generation

Moving on to the mid-second generation, specifically the 2004 and 2005 Dodge Durango models, these years also have a history of problems.

These models faced numerous issues concerning their engines, transmissions, and electrical systems. While the 2008 and 2009 models improved in reliability, the 2004 and 2005 Durangos remain among the years to avoid.

Recent Problematic Model Years

Lastly, the more recent problematic model years fall in the 2011 and 2012 range. Despite being part of the well-established third generation, these years experienced problems in transmissions and engine failures.

This information emphasizes the importance of researching and being aware of the Dodge Durango years to avoid, regardless of the generation.

In summary, the years to avoid when considering a Dodge Durango are:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2011
  • 2012

By steering clear of these problematic years, you’ll be more likely to enjoy a reliable and pleasant driving experience with your Dodge Durango.

EDITOR TIPS: The Durango has close rivals such as the Ford Bronco pros and cons, and Kia Telluride worst and best versions to consider!

Common Problems in Problematic Years

Engine Issues

One common problem with some Dodge Durango years is engine failure due to oil sludge. Oil sludge can cause unexpected decreases in oil pressure and even cases of the engine catching fire.

Be mindful of engine stalling, as this can happen without warning and may be dangerous on the road. Another issue is the engine shaking and dying when it rains, which might lead to your SUV being stuck until it’s fixed.

Transmission Problems

It’s important to watch out for transmission issues, as some models may not shift properly.

This can affect the vehicle’s performance and reliability, making it more difficult for you to drive safely and smoothly.

Make sure to address any transmission problems as soon as you notice them to maintain the longevity of your Durango.

Electrical Problems

Some Dodge Durango models suffer from various electrical problems, such as failing cam sensors, which can lead to engine stalling or failure to start.

Additionally, the Total Integrated Power Modules (TIPM) chips, which are responsible for controlling the electrical system, may experience malfunctions, causing issues with the vehicle’s operation.

Always stay vigilant for any signs of electrical issues and consult a professional for assistance.

Suspension and Brake Issues

Suspension and brake issues are also commonly reported in some problematic years of the Dodge Durango, with engine and brake problems being relatively prevalent.

Instances of engine shutdown while in motion or brake failure can occur, leading to potentially dangerous situations while driving.

Ensure that you regularly maintain and inspect your vehicle’s suspension and brake systems to keep everything working as it should.

Recalls and Safety Concerns

Vehicle Recalls

Throughout its production history, certain Dodge Durango models have been the subject of recalls due to various issues.

For example, the 2004 model year is notorious for having problems like airbags not deploying, leading to a recall. Similarly, the 2011 model experienced TIPM chip malfunctioning, which caused several electrical issues.

When considering a used Dodge Durango, it’s important to research if the specific model year you’re interested in has been affected by any recalls.

This will help you make a more informed decision and keep you aware of any potential safety concerns.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Evaluations

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) evaluates vehicles for their safety and provides ratings that can help consumers make better choices.

Some of the key safety features evaluated by the NHTSA include:

  • Antilock disk brakes: These allow your wheels to maintain traction under heavy braking, even on slippery surfaces. They’re important to avoid skidding or losing control of your vehicle.
  • Traction and stability control: These systems work together to help your vehicle maintain grip in challenging driving situations, like when you’re turning sharply or encountering slippery conditions.
  • Roof racks: Although not a traditional safety feature, proper roof rack installation and usage can prevent accidents related to improperly secured items falling onto the road.
  • Rear backup camera: This feature allows you to see what’s behind your vehicle when backing up, helping to prevent accidents involving pedestrians or obstacles you might not have noticed.
  • Airbags: Offering protection against injury in the event of a collision, airbags play a crucial role in vehicle safety. They should function properly and be up to date on any recalls or replacements if needed.

Before purchasing a used Dodge Durango, ensure that the model you’re considering has been evaluated by the NHTSA and includes these key safety features.

Reliability of Dodge Durango Models

Reliable Model Years

Good news is that, some years stand out more than others. For example, the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Dodge Durango are known to be more reliable than certain other model years.

These models are praised for their quality, durability, and relatively fewer issues in comparison to problematic years.

Maintenance and Durability

The V8 engine available with many models provides impressive power, but also requires proper maintenance to prevent issues such as engine failure.

Regular oil changes, timely servicing, and using quality parts can help extend the life of your Durango. Paying attention to the interior cleanliness and exterior condition of the vehicle can also contribute greatly to its overall longevity.

Red Flags to Consider

As mentioned above, you’ll do well to avoid these years – 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2011, and 2012 model years due to brakes, engines, and electrical systems problems.

To sum up the key points:

  • Reliable Model Years: 2015, 2016, and 2017
  • Maintenance: Regular oil changes, timely servicing, and using quality parts
  • Durability: Paying attention to interior cleanliness and exterior condition
  • Red Flags: 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2011, and 2012 model years

Dodge Durango Features and Options

Tech Features

Your Dodge Durango comes packed with technology features to make your driving experience enjoyable and convenient.

One of the highlights is the infotainment system, which supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ensuring seamless smartphone connectivity.

Whether you’re navigating unfamiliar roads or enjoying your favorite podcast, these features keep you connected and entertained.

Performance and Fuel Economy

When it comes to performance, the Durango offers a range of engine options to suit your needs.

The standard engine is a capable V6, but for those seeking more power, there are also V8 options available.

With these engines, your SUV gains a significant increase in towing capacity, making it perfect for adventurous families who need the extra muscle for hauling things like boats or trailers.

Fuel economy may not be the Durango’s strong suit, but it still offers decent figures, especially considering the SUV’s power and size. The V6 engine option provides a better fuel economy compared to the more powerful V8 models.

Interior and Comfort

Inside the Dodge Durango, you’ll find a spacious and comfortable cabin that accommodates families with ease.

The third-row seating option ensures that there’s plenty of room for everyone, while features like roof racks add versatility for those weekend getaways or trips to the store.

Higher trims like the Citadel offer exceptional comfort, thanks to luxurious touches such as leather seating surfaces and advanced climate control options.

While some complaints about certain Durango model years do exist, newer models have addressed many of the earlier concerns.

Focusing on the more recent models will ensure that you get the best of what this SUV has to offer.


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