Top 5 2nd Gen Durango Problems: 2004 to 2009

Mechanic showing the top 2nd gen durango problems

The Dodge Durango has three generations and has existed since the 1998 model year. This post reviews the top 5 2nd gen Durango problems, years 2004 to 2009.

Fix 2004 to 2009 Dodge Durango problems yourself with quality auto parts at

Common Issues with the 2nd Gen Dodge Durango (2004 to 2009)

1. Bad Cowl Seals

Cowl panel on a 2nd gen Dodge Durango

Symptoms of Bad Cowl Seals

  • Check engine light
  • Engine performance issues like misfires

Causes of Bad Cowl Seals

The cowl panel is located along the bottom of the windshield and houses the wiper assembly. The windshield cowl has several important seals to keep moisture from reaching the engine. The seals on the 2nd gen Durango sometimes allow water to collect on top of the engine. Water on top of the engine can affect parts like the ignition coils and their electrical connections. Water on the ignition coils can affect combustion and cause problems like misfires or a check engine light.

How to Fix Bad Cowl Seals

Check the seals for cracking, breaking, looseness, or other signs that may allow water to get by. Check the electrical connections near the cowl for corrosion or moisture, and replace any broken parts. You will likely need to replace the entire cowl if replacing the seals.

2. EGR Valve Failure

2nd gen Dodge Durango EGR Valve

Symptoms of EGR Valve Failure

  • Check engine light
  • Slow acceleration
  • Hesitation when trying to acceleration
  • Engine stalls out under low acceleration

Causes of EGR Valve Failure

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve is located by the alternator underneath the air inlet tube. The tube leads from the exhaust to the valve and then to the engine. The valve is supposed to open and close as needed and will open up and recirculate some exhaust fumes back into the combustion chamber to decrease pollution and smog. Sometimes the hot exhaust gases build carbon in the valve and tube and affect its ability to recirculate exhaust.

How to Fix EGR Valve Failure

Remove the EGR valve. If the EGR valve looks black and full of carbon build-up, clean it out. If the issue persists, replace the EGR valve.

3. Fuel System Venting Problems

Symptoms of Fuel System Venting Problems

  • Fuel pump turns off when filling up

Causes of Fuel System Venting Problems

The fuel system is designed to vent air pressure when filling up. If there is an issue with the vent valve or the breather tube that runs along the fuel filler neck, too much pressure will build inside the system.

How to Fix Fuel System Venting Problems

Putting the gas on low to pump the gas with this issue can cause gas to spray out of the filler neck once the gas nozzle is removed. This is from an air bubble trapped inside the filler neck that could not escape from the vent.

See if the breather tube is pinched off, crimped, bent, or missing. If it is, replace it. If the breather tube is in good condition, check parts of the EVAP system like the vent solenoid for debris. See if the air filter is full of sand. Replace these parts if needed.

4. Differential Leaks

Differential leak at the pinion seal of a 2004 to 2009 Dodge Durango
Differential leak at the pinion seal

Symptoms of Differential Leaks

  • Rear differential fluid leaks at the pinion seal, differential housing, and axle seals
  • Front differential fluid leaks
  • Howl noise from the differential

Causes of Differential Leaks

Dirt can accumulate between the pinion seal and the metal and damage the seal. This can cause differential fluid leaks. The differentials have gear oil that helps them function without friction. If moisture or debris sneaks inside, it can create a howl noise if it reaches the gears.

How to Fix Differential Leaks

If a seal on the differential is leaking, replace it. Try dropping the differential cover and inspect the gears for large metal fragments or debris. Clean the differential and replace the pan. Then replace the differential fluid.

If there is an axle seal leak by the brakes, we recommend replacing both axle seals since the procedure requires removing the differential cover and a couple pins inside the axle housing. Also, inspect the brakes near the leak. If differential fluid reached the braking area, it may have collected on the pads or the emergency brake shoes. Cleaning and sanding the pads and shoes may clean it, but they will likely need to be replaced.

5. A/C Smells

Symptoms of A/C Smells

  • Dirty laundry smell coming from the vents inside the passenger compartment when running the A/C

Causes of A/C Smells

The AC will build up condensation over time. This condensation will collect next to the evaporator of the AC, which will be located behind the dash and inside of a box. A drain that extends to the bottom of the Durango tends to flush this condensation out unless its clogged. If the drain tube is clogged with dirt, debris, or other items such as leaves, the condensation will have nowhere to drain. Eventually this condensation can collect bacteria, which creates the dirty laundry smell.

How to Fix A/C Smells

Vent tube on a 2nd gen Dodge Durango

Crawl underneath the front of the truck on the passenger side and find the vent tube near the right front wheel well. Spray pressurized air inside. You may feel a lot of pressure until it breaks free and drains any water. Once the moisture is out of the system, spray the inside of the venting system with an antibacterial.

Replace 2nd Gen Dodge Durango Parts Yourself

Learn how to do repairs like the headlights, brakes, and window regulator on the 2nd gen Dodge Durango with 1A Auto’s how-to videos.

2nd Generation Dodge Durango Model Years

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Top 5 2nd Gen Dodge Durango Problems (2004 to 2009) - 1A Auto
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Top 5 2nd Gen Dodge Durango Problems (2004 to 2009) - 1A Auto
Learn the top 5 Dodge Durango problems of the 2nd gen Durango like bad cowl seals and A/C smells as this article reviews their symptoms, causes, and fixes
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1A Auto
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