Looking to purchase a used Dodge Durango? This three-row mid-size SUV is certainly appealing to power-loving drivers and families who need to tow, but much less to those who don't want to spend too much money at the pump!
Even if its design is getting older, the Durango remains popular because of its space, comfort and the many versions it proposes.
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Let's take a closer look under the hood of the Durango where lies the famous 5.7-litre HEMI V8 engine that develops 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque.
This rather robust engine has been in service for a long time and is capable of taking a lot of abuse. However, if you want to keep it for a long time, it requires some (costly) maintenance. For example, if you want to change the spark plugs (two per cylinder for a total of 16), the job will cost close to $500, excluding labour.
Note that the alternator is located just below one of the hood air intakes (R/T version). If it rains, water could flow directly through several mechanical components, which could cause long-term problems. By the way, the engine block is made out of cast iron and rust, which is prone to rust.
You should also know that the seize if the oil change schedule isn't followed. This engine uses 5W-20 oil, something you don't really see in modern vehicles anymore. The good news is that you can easily reach the oil filter and the oil pan, the latter being made of plastic so that rust doesn't become a problem in this particular area. On the other hand, the drain plug threads could get permanently damaged, so you have to be careful.
If you're looking for the battery, it's hidden inside the vehicle. So, if you need a boost, you'll have to use hooks located in the engine compartment.
A word about the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that comes with the V8 HEMI: once a disaster in terms of reliability, it is now more durable. That said, one must expect to pay the price when maintenance is required.
Finally, the large exhaust pipes under the Durango are assembled built in large pieces, which will add to the bill in the event of a replacement.
All in all, the Dodge Durango has no major weaknesses despite its relatively archaic design, except that it could cost you a lot of money to maintain, especially because of certain choices made by the engineers. An extended warranty might be a good idea here!