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2000 Durango Cold Start Idle Problem

05-02-2004, 02:43 PM
I have a 2000 Dodge Durango 4.7L V8 with 23K miles on it. From the moment I purchased the SUV from the dealer I have encountered a strange starting problem. When I start the engine after being shut off for a minimum of about 4 hours and the environmental temperature at the moment of starting the engine is 35F-60F, the engine will start, the idle will smooth out, and after 5 seconds of running, the engine will sputter and often die. I then restart the engine and it runs fine. It only happens from a cold start up. If I depress on the accelerator pedal during when the engine starts to sputter, the rpms will pick up and the engine will run smoothly at 1500-2000 rpms (maintained at that level my foot). Once I release the accelerator pedal, the engine will sputter. Once the engine begins to sputter, it lasts for 2-3 seconds and either die or the computer will take control of the situation and speed up the engine and/or change the fuel/air mixture conditions.

I took the vehicle to a dearership 2 years ago about it and they replaced the fuel pump under warrenty. Absolutely nothing changed with my starting problem. The problem seems that it has something to do with the fuel/air mixture management at the time of start. When the air temperature is below freezing, the engine has absolutely no problem starting well. least I don't have to worry about starting the vehicle in the winter

Has anybody experienced this or have any ideas?

05-03-2004, 12:48 PM
Idle air control valve dirty or bad.

05-05-2004, 10:27 AM
I have a 2000 w/ a 4.7 and it does the same thing. Where can I get that valve at? Also, my engine has a very light knock and runs rough when I start it up. Does anyone know what that is? The engine runs rough sometimes but at other times feels fine. I need to know what to do so I can take it in before the warranty runs out.

05-05-2004, 11:14 AM
I have a 2000 w/ a 4.7 and it does the same thing. Where can I get that valve at? Also, my engine has a very light knock and runs rough when I start it up. Does anyone know what that is? The engine runs rough sometimes but at other times feels fine. I need to know what to do so I can take it in before the warranty runs out.

I checked into the idle air control valve (IAC) and believe that this is not the problem. Several other automotive formums such as this one also list Durango&Dakota owners who have the same problem. Several have had the throttle bodies cleaned which includes the IAC. The IAC was replaced in some cases. However, in nearly all cases the rough idle problem at a cold start was not solved. This is something pervasive to the 4.7L magnum engine, none of the other engines have this problem. When my Durango was under warrenty I had it serviced several times for this issue and nothing abnormal was found. As an attempt to fix the problem, the dealer replaced my fuel sending unit with the thinking that it was a fuel pressure problem. It made absolutely not change. My thoughts are that the problem definitely has to do with the fuel/air mixture management. It could be the onboard computer is not programmed well. Several people in other forums had their computer software upgraded which resulted in no starting improvement. I do not know how to proceed to a solution. I've lived with the problem for nearly 4 years and it appears that I will have to continue living with for the remainder of my ownership of the vehicle.

08-10-2004, 10:24 AM
Well, just brought my 2000 Durango in for the very same problem. Coincidentally it happened right after I got it back from having my "throttle body" cleaned (naturally they denied that they were related.)

They said it was my “Idle Speed Motor”, P/N: 53030657AC. Quoted $192 for parts and labor.

I figure I'll try to put one in myself and see if it helps.


08-10-2004, 01:02 PM
Maybe change out your throttle position sensor may help also? My 5.9 cold start idling seemed to improved alot after I changed the TPS out due to another problem. Before, the engine would seem to idle a little rough, almost like it was mis-timed. After the TPS was replaced, cold start idling smoothed out alot. I changed out my TPS primarily because of the wierd random engine surging issue when in cruise control and also seemed like the durango had no bottom end power until the engine hits 3000 rpms and then all the power is there.

08-10-2004, 03:55 PM

I'm new to the forum as a member. I read alot, and don't write much. So, let me give you my insights in hopes it will help.

I've a long time reader, 30 year automechanic (dealer and private), owner of 30+vehicles including a 99 Durango owner, all of which I've worked on in/out out of warrantee.

As a result, and a consumer who knows better, I've had many a frustration dealing with dealers and the "No Problem Found", or the "they are all like that" conversations. Also, don't believe that factory training ensures that all issues won't be "misdiagnosed", and need further pushing for repair on your end.

The reality is that is possible that delars will attempt to push out as many "updates" or repairs needed until warrantees are up. This in an attempt to maximize their profits (remember when working on your car at warrantee rates, they are not making what they would charge you for the same repair), and minimize corporate auto mfgr cost liabilities (auto companies measure the level of warantee claims made by each dealer and do statiscal comparisons, they get onto dealers where they think this might be too high).

Point of all this is, you need to be educated to force the repairs needed during the warrantee period, and be steadfast pleading your case with the service reps by providing compelling evidence, even if out of warrantee.

Educate yourselves by reviewing the various forums, recall sites, and other on-line information availabile. Based on the information, learn to discern which is valid info, and which is not. I like to verify through different sources to confirm a forums suggestions.

In response to your questions..these are all issue which I have forced repairs on my Durango, even though in most cases, it was a initially a "No Problem Found", "they are all like that" , or where "misdiagnosed". at no cost to me.

Through the forums, and verfied by Chyrsler TSB's (technical service bulletin) or other sites, and personal experience, I've learned the Durango's have a few issues which need correction. If you don't complain about them, the dealer won't be triggered to do the free TSB's, or perhaps even cover them out of warrantee. Push to speak to mfgr service reps if need be.

Case in point....Durago's 99-03, with either of the 4.7, 5.2, and 5.9's have certain problems which should be checked for and corrected, whether they are currently causing syptoms or not. Unfortuately, experience has taught me that regardless of when, they all will occur. These are not random failures, but common failures.

1) Throttle Position Sensor - will cause intermittent surge in Cruise Mode, as well as poor cold idle, w/o causing an engine code, and therefore dealer tech's won't find it.
2) Intake manifold gasket leak - this is an internal leak to the motor, so no visual oil leak is noticed. It causes pinging under load, varying levels of rough idle at varying temperatures (remember the thermal expansion of alum, steel, and gasket material is all different), excessive oil comsumption, and is a contributor to "engine SLUDGING".
3) Loss of oil presure due to sludging. Engine sludge builds-up and blocks oil intake screen. Preventive Cure...synthic oil and frequent changes, repair manifold gasket.
4) Transmission output sensor - causes engine to stall at stop, shift problems, etc.
5) Premature Upper/Lower Ball Joint failures - loss of wheel, noises in front end, excessive/premature tire wear.
6) Rear axle ABS failure - ABS light failure.

I'm sure there are other issues, but these seem to be the most common cause of many issues.

Hope this helps.

08-11-2004, 02:43 PM
To add to your common list, I think the heater cores in Durangos goes out pretty early as well. I had mine changed on 47k miles. Alot of other Durango owners also had blown cores anywhere from 13k-50k miles.

07-25-2006, 11:45 AM
I am new to this forum as well but it is great.
I have a 4.7L 2000 Durango with idle issues as well. I cleaned the IAC with no change, Then coincidently the engin light came on and I took it to the dealer for evaluation and was told that the cam position sensor and or the crank position sensor was bad. I went online and purchased OEM sensors for 1/3 the price quoted by my dealer. The install took less than an hour with simple hand tools! The engine light wen away but the Durango still has a random idle issue when starting or when the AC is on. I replaced the IAC (idle air contrlol motor) and the car is still acting up. I think I will try the TPS sensor since it is cheap befor I tear into the engine and look for a Vaccuum leak.

02-21-2008, 03:31 PM
Hi all I recently had my 2000 Dodge Durango 5.9L suv taken into the dealer for service for the same problem listed here in this thread. The dealers couldnt find anything. So, my father and I thought that it might be the cap and rotors, or maybe needs a tune-up. So, when we went to take a look at the spark plug wires we found a few wires had white markings, which indicates that we need to replace those wires. Now we have brand new wires and spark plugs and rotors. Everything runs smooth and stronger. Problem solved. Doing this tune-up ourselves saved us $200.00 labor fee from the dealer. Mopar parts were $110.00 altogether. Im very happy now with my Durango.

10-28-2010, 02:08 PM
Help!! I just let them order me a new idle air motor and it's gonna' cost a few bucks to have them install it. My 2000 Durango simply revs itself up and down while in park and running, but drives fine. The mechanic told me that if I don't get the IAM replaced that it'll get worse and worse and starting the car will become a bit difficult. He says you'll have to pump the gas to get it goin' and then it will continue to become more tricky and difficult over time, so a new IA motor is necessary.

Are you guys sayin' I don't need an idle air motor replacement at all, that my mechanic (who's pretty good, experienced and trustworthy) has misdiagnosed my Durango's sickness, that maybe it's a tune-up or something else?

I need to know soon because they will be doing the work along with fixing my power window (need it back up and running for weather's sake immediately) on Monday. I don't have the balls to challenge the guy, but if he's wrong I really need to. So I need to know if I can back it up. Can somebody here help me to do that?

11-13-2010, 04:29 PM
Before you spend another dollar, have your battery load tested, and replace it if it shows the least bit flaky.

Chrysler vehicles are very sensitive to not having a strong reference voltage to run all of the on board computers.

Which such low miles, it would be unusual to have a bad or dirty IAC or TPS.

The battery needs to be ruled out though before going any further.


12-30-2010, 03:18 PM
:screwy: check this out, I've got one of these in my garage right now showing the same symptoms. The Durango would not idle intermitantly! It started out fine when I got it to the garage. After checking these post, I put a load tester on it to drain the battery down some and what do you know, here goes the intermitant no idle problem. After putting a good charge on the battery the problem went away. So the load test did confirm that the battery was not good enough, it's not trash(as it does start the vehicle) but none the less it's not good enough. As crazy as it sounds yes a fairly weak battery was the culprit.

04-17-2011, 07:49 PM
I have a 2000 durango w/ the same symptoms (cold start surge & surging/stalling @ stop/idle) I have replaced the batt. & the fuel pump (both of wich were needed anyway since shes got 180k+ mi.) also cleaned the IAC but I think 02HARLEY350 posted that the "trans. output sensor" could cause these probs. so heres my questions 1)is the trans output sensor & the tail shaft speed sensor the same thing? and ifso 2)has any one else tried this & had any luck with it?

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