Dodge Durango Electrical Problemsby Charm Baker
Various electrical problems affecting the Dodge Durango SUV have resulted in three different manufacturer recalls. The compact Dodge vehicle that was first introduced in 1998 has also had other problems not related to the electrical system that forced recalls. Official details indicate that the three recalls related to the electrical components all stemmed from different sources.
Since the Durango first came onto the scene, Chrysler has had its hands full coming up with remedies for its recall problems. When a 1997 MotorTrend article described the upcoming Durango's features, no one would have anticipated the future problems with the vehicle. Though compact in size, this SUV has a spacious interior that can seat eight passengers and a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. It runs on a strong V8 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission.
First Recall: Defective Circuit Board
Concerns about electrical issues with the Durango started with a December 12, 2003, recall. A documented description of the defect isolated the source as the interior electrical system wiring under the dash. Some Durango vehicles contained defective circuit boards that could overheat and cause an instrument panel fire, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report. A bad capacitor was identified as the problem with the circuit board. This electrical recall was designated as Campaign Number 03V528000 and was the first of the three.
Faulty Battery Cables and Overloading Panel
Next, a December 7, 2004, recall involved the electrical system in that year's Durango. The battery cables were found to be the source of the problem. Vehicles covered by this recall have either 3.7L, 4.7L or 5.7L engines. The control arm mounting bracket dangerously makes contact with the positive battery cable. This can wear down the cable, leaving exposed wires to short-circuit and potentially cause a fire under the hood. The third electrical recall resulted after Chrysler received 66 reports of fires by various Durango owners. CBS news reported that Chrysler blamed an integrated circuit in the instrument panel for the March 9, 2007 recall. If the panel overloads, it could lead to overheating and cause an instrument panel fire. Also, the vehicle's interior lighting could be affected.
As with the 2003 recall, the 2004 and 2007 recalls received numbers to identify the specific components responsible for the problems. The identifying Campaign Number for the 2004 recall is 04V578000, and for 2007 the number is 07V092000. Durango owners can use these numbers to pinpoint exactly which recalls involve them and have their vehicles repaired. All three recalls include a large number of vehicles, but the 2007 recall was the biggest, with 328,424 potential units affected.
Chrysler's solution to the recalls is for Durango dealers to inspect the vehicles and act accordingly. Owners must make arrangements for a service inspection with authorized dealers, who will remedy the situation based on the specific recall report. This may mean removing a defective circuit board capacitor, repositioning the positive battery cable or replacing a defective instrument cluster. Durango owners can contact Safercar.gov for more information on any of the Durango recalls.
- photo_camera Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Hamed Saber