2001 dodge durango over heating problem

Grants Pass, OR

#141 Jul 25, 2010
Derrick wrote:
<quoted text>
Here is a typical problem with the basic Durango design. The thermostat housing at the bottom of the engine is made of plastic. The overheating can cause this plastic housing to warp. When you replace the thermostat and tighten the housing you will see gaps around where the housing meets the engine block. Under pressure it can cause fluid to leak out of the sides and over time will leak enough fluid the radiator will be low and again overheat.
mine just started doing that. any suggestions it a 2004

United States

#142 Jul 27, 2010
Todd in Illinois wrote:
I have a 2003 Durango with a 4.7L, she's at 97K and runs great, up until about 2 months ago.
In my way home one night it started running hot, I turned on the heater and the temp dropped, not lot but enough to drive another 5 miles without being in the red.
Got it home and suspected the thermostat right off the bat just because I have seen this before in other cars. Changed it out with no problem the following morning, 9 days go by with some pretty heavy highway driving and it overheats again, wife says to take it to the dealer. Bring it there and they say that its getting clogged and that they are going to power flush it and add some acid to it to help with these clogs (NEVER heard that line before). Get it back and another week goes by, this time I drive nothing but highway for 6 days, starts overheating again so I take it back.
Now I'm told that my fan wiggles which tells them I need a water pump and they say there is air in the system so I need a head gasket. I changed the oil when I put in the thermostat, there is no antifreeze in that oil, is it not true that a bad head gasket will put antifreeze in the oil? So I get a little mad and tell him I don't believe him. Hanges up and calls me about 15 minutes later and says it's a bad rad. cap.
So, 5 weeks have passed, I have lost track of the amount of miles I have put on it since the last time in but today it started running hot again, funny thing is if I am sitting in the drive thru or at a light, the temp climbs, but if I'm running at speed limit, it's at normal operating temp.
So what do you all think this is? I'd appreciate any advice/input.
i have the same problem. durango overheats. but i have heard that when the fan wiggles it needs a fan clutch, and at high speeds it doesnt get hot because the air that blows thur helps the engine stay cool, but when is at stop is when the fan kicks in, and if it does not run fast enough it wont keep engine cool.
i connected a obd2 and it showed 2 codes p1388= auto shutdown relay control circuit open or shorted & p0545=exaust gas temperature sensor circuit low, so i cleared them from the durango to see it they would show up again,but have been driving it and nothing has showed up.
in the winter was fine, did not over heat, but as soon as summer came it started to over heat i also welded a glass pack muffler and am wondring if that would have some fault? since it is a thiner pipe and air is really forced out the tailpipe. i have changer the fan clutch, checked fuzes, system flush, replaced the thermostat, but then took it out, i think im going to replace the rad.
good luck to all

Coburn, PA

#143 Aug 2, 2010
Sean in Louisiana wrote:
Try the by-pass hose
Where do you find the by pass hose?

Since: Aug 10

Indianapolis, IN

#144 Aug 13, 2010
I too have a dodge durango 4x4 slt 8cyl 5.9l that is overheating and was leaking coolant. I changed the upper coolant assembly (t-connector with CAP connect two hoses). That fixed the leak, but I'm still overheating.

Does anyone know where the dad-gum thermostat is located on this thing?

Jamie B

United States

#145 Aug 15, 2010
Update: 2001 4.7l Durango
I fixed mine!
Rented a cooling system pressure tester from O'Reilly's.
Static test showed no leaks - gauge did not drop.
Running test showed increasing steady pressure when engine speed was increased.
Increasing pressure with fluctuating needle indicated head gasket failure.
No coolant in oil.
The reason that the pressure increased in dynamic test was due to the radiator being plugged, which caused coolant not to flow freely into radiator.
Replaced radiator, upper and lower hosed, radiator cap, thermostat.
Ran engine upon startup, waited for cool-down, then added coolant until system full.
Problem is fixed! Runs perfectly.
BTW, radiator is a bear to replace!
Just sharing,

Rockford, MI

#146 Aug 22, 2010
2001 durango slt with rear air and heat with 105,000 miles. I'm having the same problems. Runs hot and rear vents blow cool when they are set on hot. Replaced thermostat, waterpump, belt and tensioner, removed radiator and had it rodded out, flushed system. Dosen't get hot for 45 minutes of idle. But drive down the road 2 miles, and there she goes. There is no water in the oil. It still runs fine and still has plenty of power. Tested the "old" thermostat in a pan of boiling water and it worked correctly. Now I'm leaning toward the secondary electric waterpump on the passenger side fenderwell near the firewall. I'll never have another dodge jeep chrysler product again. These are the biggest lemons out there. And they wonder why our auto companies are going belly up? I'm guess I'm going foreign! We can't build cars anymore!
Problem sounds much like mine - did you address the secondary electric waterpump and did this help? Dodges Suck!
Ray in Tn

Jackson, TN

#147 Aug 23, 2010
2001 Durango with the same overheating problem. Waiting for answers on this site.

Johnstown, OH

#148 Aug 29, 2010
My 2001 Dodge Durango 5.9 R/T started over heating and smoking out of nowhere with no warning. I pulled over and lifted the hood and the radiator hose was blown off by the cap. Went and bought a new one, put it on, still over heated....went and bought a new thermostat and put it on, and it worked great for 1 day. The next day it started smoking again. Removed thermostat to make sure it wasnt defective, and drove it without it on for a few miles (summer time), and it didnt over heat, so i thought that was the problem. Then when I was driving to the parts store to exchange the thermostat, it started smoking again and it was leaking coolant every where something fierce. So I went home and made sure the fluid was flowing through the hose and it was, so not the water pump right? I dont know, but after seeing all these comments on here with the samr types of problems, i'm wondering if there isn't a silent recall on these durango's. I'll tell you, i've had mine for 2 years and have already replaced the transmission, head gaskets, and several other things. Not worth it! Lesson Learned: DON'T BUY A DODGE!!!!!

Chicago, IL

#149 Sep 9, 2010
I have a 2001 with just over 100k on it. The only problem I have with it is the random rpm fluctuation when in cruise Several people have told me to check the Tps sensor. One person, who knows dodge inside and out told me to to re-flash the computer aka ECM. Doubt it will work for your over heating problem. Try checking the coolant temp sensor

Chicago, IL

#150 Sep 9, 2010
Do any of you have rear heat an a/c? If so check the aux coolant pump on the passenger side front fender. After a while it will go bad like anything else. It's about a $300 fix if you don't do it yourself.

Fairfield, CA

#152 Sep 27, 2010
I am having this same problem every single person on this site is talking about.

Mchenry, IL

#153 Sep 29, 2010
We all have the same problem with our Durangos. I am not going to explain the problems again, because 151 of you have pretty much covered it. What I want to say, and ask, is this:
1. Are we not ready to do something about it? I am.
2. If someone who has the computer saavy to instruct us how to start a log of our names, email addresses, addresses,(with some type of link on this site) whatever - please, let's do so.
3. I will issue this promise to take our case to a legal firm in the Chicago area who will represent us in a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against Dodge. From waht I have gathered - we can't loose.
Can someone help me with the link to gather names.
I am also listening to any other legal advice that any of you may have. Let's do the correct thing. Let's join together.
I am:
[email protected]
Dee Tatum
3606 W. John St.
McHenry, IL. 60050
and I am ready to seek compensation, as a group. Please join me.
All I can say now is this: I have done everything imaginable to fix this overheating problem. It CAN NOT BE FIXED. WE HAVE RIGHTS, PEOPLE.
Dee T.
Don auto tech

United States

#155 Oct 4, 2010
Found most problem is the freeze plugs leaking, two of which are behind the bellhousing.

Flushing, NY

#156 Oct 5, 2010
I have a 2001 Dodge Durango SLT 5.9. I am having a different problem (one of many by the way). It seems that the tranny is leaking onto my exhaust manifold. I only notice it on the highway. Smoke pours out from the rear all of a sudden. It's not all the time though. Anyone else having this happen?

Laconia, NH

#157 Oct 6, 2010
Lou wrote:
I have a 2001 with just over 100k on it. The only problem I have with it is the random rpm fluctuation when in cruise Several people have told me to check the Tps sensor. One person, who knows dodge inside and out told me to to re-flash the computer aka ECM. Doubt it will work for your over heating problem. Try checking the coolant temp sensor
I've had to replace the throttle position sensor twice because of fluctuating RPMS.$40 at Autozone (comes with a two year warranty!) and about two minutes to replace. Here by the way is a good link on how to clean your throttle body if you wanted to try that before replacing the TPS. http://www.dakotausa.com/vBulletin/showthread...

The second time it happened we were experiencing all the overheating issues (and still are) that everyone else is. Here's the story:

02 4.7 Durango, 122k miles. Overheated. Coolant was low. Replaced thermostat,(bottom hose if jeff(?) is still wondering). Refilled coolant. Ran for a couple of days, then boiled out of the radiator cap. It DID run hotter than usual when that happened (slightly past half way).

I thought perhaps I had filled it incorrectly (FYI fill radiator, leave cap OFF until thermostat cycles, top off and THEN replace the cap) leaving an air pocket and causing it to get hot, create too much pressure and boil out of the cap.

Refilled it correctly. The next day after 25 miles it did it again. Still not overheating, just running hot and splashing AF all over the engine compartment. The radiator cap looked weathered, so I replaced the cap and refilled the AF. Made it about 30ft and the Durango stalled. Started it back up and a puff of white smoke came out the pipe. Tried to move it again, no power then stalled. Great! Head gasket right? Nope. At least not yet.

Towed it to the Dodge Dealership. They couldn't find anything wrong with it EXCEPT a few engine codes (TPS and EVAP LEAK.) They said it had plenty of power on the test drive and it never overheated. Since before the over heating problem we didn't have any issues with fluctuating idles, or other TPS symptoms I thought that when the AF blew all over the engine compartment, maybe the sensor (located right on top the engine, drivers side of the throttle body) it may have just gotten drenched with everything else. When it sat overnight and they left it idling the next day it had warmed up enough to evaporate the AF and that is why they couldn't find any problems with it.

I declined their offer to replace the TPS sensor for $149 (and the $399 wheel bearing they noticed was getting dry). So $100 for the diagnosis and three miles later it stalled. No power. It would start and idle just wouldn't move without stalling.

Replaced the TPS real quick and cheap ($40) that fixed the problem. Drove it for about two weeks before the it overheated again. Added about 1/2 gallon of AF. That was yesterday.

1/2 GALLON of AF!?! Where did that go in two weeks? No puddles, or leaks anywhere. I've still got the gut feeling that there is a head gasket problem. I read earlier when this problem started that the coolant actually picks up a charge and through electrolysis creates pits under the head gasket causing it to fail. Here's the link to that explanation - http://www.denlorstools.com/autoblog/2009/12/...

For anyone looking to get this done, our local mechanic quoted us at 6-8 hours to replace BOTH head gaskets. Plus the gasket kit (heads, intake etc; plus new tension bolts to hold the heads down.$800 IF the heads needed machining (why not make sure the heads are true and not warped so you don't replace the gaskets just to have them leak again) the thought he could get the done for $150. NEW heads are around $550 each if you were to go that route ( rockauto.com ).

Laconia, NH

#158 Oct 6, 2010
There have been a lot of good suggestions in this thread about what the problem might be that I need to follow through with.

The Durango has front a back heating and cooling controls, but the heat works only in the front and the a/c only in the back. Lately the heat has only been luke warm. Perhaps their is some blockage (heat exchanger?), or the aux pump?

Mike in Seattle had a great suggestion about doing a hydrocarbon check.

I'll follow up when I have some new information. Everyone else please do the same!

Hinesville, GA

#159 Oct 15, 2010
jeff359w wrote:
I too have a dodge durango 4x4 slt 8cyl 5.9l that is overheating and was leaking coolant. I changed the upper coolant assembly (t-connector with CAP connect two hoses). That fixed the leak, but I'm still overheating.
Does anyone know where the dad-gum thermostat is located on this thing?
On the 4.7L V8 the thermostat is in the lower radiator hose. Doesn't make sense but that is where they put it.

Hinesville, GA

#160 Oct 15, 2010
This problem is ridiculous! I have 2005 4.7L V8. I have changed the rad cap, water pump, coolant temp sensor, flushed rad, and changed the thermostat twice. I put in a 160 degree thermostat because the gauge keeps pinging at hot but there is no knocking or pinging coming from under the hood (no coolant boiling). I am baffled. The fans work, no leaks anywhere, no oil or gas in the coolant, no water in the oil. In the winter it's fine or if I run the heater I can keep the light from coming on but I live in Savannah, GA and it's still 80 degrees in October. Any ideas?

Salem, VA

#161 Oct 15, 2010

Have your radiator flow-tested. See my earlier posts. Your situation mirrors mine. Good luck.

Paramus, NJ

#162 Oct 25, 2010
I have a Dodge Durango. have had many problems with over heating, took it to the dealer, 1500..00 still not fixed, took it somewhere else.They put a new radiator in it, worked fine for 1 year, and now its back to doing the same thing...too costly and never fixes it totaly..I have replaced, thermostate, and several repairs...what gives with these Durango, and the over heating...Back to square one...I hate thses durangos, and would never have another!

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