Since its debut in 1998, the Dodge Durango has been equipped with two transmissions: the three-speed TorqueFlite automatic, which dates to1956, and the four-speed 42LE automatic, which was launched in 2003 and remains in all Durangos. These transmissions are essentially identical and are generally considered reliable. However, getting stuck in gear, a faulty ignition/park shift interlock system and hard shifting have been persistent problems on some models.
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Stuck in Gear
A leaking seal inside some Dodge Durango transmissions can cause shifting problems. Difficulties could include the transmission not shifting into third gear. A common misdiagnosis is often attributed to cold weather. Dodge transmissions are usually not affected by weather conditions. Any shifting problems should immediately be brought to the attention of a Dodge dealer, according to carsurvey.org.
If a Durango automatic transmission does not engage in reverse gear or has intermittent shifting problems in forward gears, a leaking transmission with fluid in the drain pan might be the culprit.
Some Dodge Durangos share the same Park-to-Reverse, or false park, problems as the compact Dodge Dakota pickups. This occurs when the driver places the shift lever in a position between park and reverse with the driver believing he or she has placed the gear in park. If the driver leaves the vehicle while its running, it could shift into reverse injuring the driver or a bystander, according to usautoinjurylaw.com.
Stuck in Low Gear
The Dodge Durango four-speed 42RLE automatic transmissions can have difficulty shifting out of low gear after a transmission fluid change. This might be because the wrong transmission filter has been installed, according to Edmunds.com.
Another recall notice was issued for 2007 Dodge Durangos. A faulty computer program could cause a lock-up of the rear wheels at 40 mph or faster because of the transmission shifting on its own into neutral and then back to drive. This could cause a crash. The computer should be reprogrammed, according to Motor Trend.
Some model year 2000 Durangos might stall, lose power and shift hard during heavy-duty snow ploughing. This is caused by the torque converter clutch not properly engaging. A technical bulletin was issued advising that new computer software and Powertrain Control Module should be installed.
Park Shift Interlock
Dodge issued a recall advisory for 2002 Durangos because of a bad ignition/park shift interlock system that might cause the transmission to shift out of park after the driver exits with the ignition key, causing it to roll away. This can be repaired by replacing the gearshift block and bracket assembly, according to Motor Trend.
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