Top 5 Dodge Durango Problems: 1st Generation (1998 to 2003)

dodge durango problems

The Dodge Durango is Dodge’s mid-size SUV offering that has three generations and has existed since the 1998 model year. Learn the top Dodge Durango problems of the 1st generation as we cover the 5 most common issues Durango owners experience.

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Top 5 Issues on the 1st Generation Dodge Durango (1998 to 2003)

1. Throttle Position Sensor Failure

Pointing to the throttle body sensor on the 1st gen Durango
Pointing to the throttle body sensor on the 1st gen Durango

Symptoms of Throttle Position Sensor Failure

  • Issues with acceleration
  • Problems with engine idling such as an erratic idle
  • Check engine light

How to Fix Throttle Position Sensor Failure

The throttle position sensor is located on the throttle body. The sensor can be replaced separately from the throttle body on the 1st gen Dodge Durango. Steps to replace the throttle position sensor include disconnecting the electrical connector, removing the two screws from the throttle body sensor, removing the sensor, and reversing the steps to reinstall.

2. MAP Sensor Failure

MAP sensor on a 1st gen Dodge Durango
MAP sensor on a 1st gen Dodge Durango

Symptoms of a Faulty MAP Sensor

  • Problems starting
  • Check engine light for a MAP sensor-related code

How to Fix a Faulty MAP Sensor

The MAP sensor is located behind the alternator. To replace the MAP sensor, remove the screws from the sensor, disconnect the electrical connector, and remove the MAP sensor. Reverse these steps to reinstall.

3. Front Driveshaft Failure

Symptoms of a Faulty Driveshaft

  • Clunking noise underneath the vehicle

Causes of a Faulty Driveshaft

Rusted constant velocity joint on a 1st gen Dodge Durango
Rusted constant velocity joint on a 1st gen Dodge Durango

The grease usually wears out in the constant velocity joint. The joint then binds, causing the symptoms above. This problem only affects the front wheels of the four-wheel drive system. This vehicle still drive in two-wheel drive by getting power from the rear wheels.

How to Fix a Faulty Driveshaft

Rebuild the constant velocity joint or replace the whole driveshaft.

4. Loose Exhaust Manifold Bolts

Symptoms of Loose Exhaust Manifold Bolts

  • Ticking sound from low parts of the vehicle when driving or accelerating

Causes of Loose Exhaust Manifold Bolts

Usually this sound is from an exhaust leak caused by broken exhaust manifold bolts.

How to Fix the Exhaust Manifold

Fixing the exhaust manifold is a detailed job that requires removing the entire exhaust manifold. You’ll also want to replace the exhaust manifold gasket.

5. Driver’s Door Lock Cylinder Switch

Symptoms of a Faulty Driver’s Door Lock Cylinder Switch

  • Door locks cycle on and off while driving

Causes of Door Lock Cylinder Switch Issues

Problems with the door locks on the 1st gen Dodge Durango is usually from a faulty driver’s door lock cylinder switch, which is located behind the door lock cylinder. The driver’s door lock switch can accumulate moisture and cause problems with the electrical connection.

How to Fix Door Lock Problems on the 1st Gen Dodge Durango

Replace the door lock cylinder switch.

1st Generation Dodge Durango Model Years

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Top 5 Dodge Durango Problems - 1st Generation (1998 to 2003) - 1A Auto
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Top 5 Dodge Durango Problems - 1st Generation (1998 to 2003) - 1A Auto
Description
Learn about the top 5 1st gen Dodge Durango problems like ticking noises and door locks cycling as our expert mechanics review the most common issues with the 1998 to 2003 Dodge Durango
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1A Auto
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