2018 Dodge Journey Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes, electrical, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The road is saturated with SUV models for today’s busy family. To make it in this competitive segment, automakers must make sure their vehicles stand out. As far as the 2018 Dodge Journey is concerned, this model offers plenty of style. Even the newest lineup is labeled with the tagline “muscle on the run.” Still, owners can’t seem to agree. Between the faulty electrical system, malfunctioning engine, defective powertrain and non-working service brakes, this SUV is a danger traveling down the road.

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Electrical

It’s challenging to find one component in a vehicle that isn’t run by the electrical system. The power travels to the engine, transmission and interior parts in every model. When something malfunctions, the systems fail and create plenty of problems.

One Edmunds reviewer states what happens by saying, “Not very happy with my 2018 Journey, bought it brand new, within the first 4 months it was in the shop 4 different times trying to figure out a noise in the front end. They replaced shocks and 2 other items however over a year now it still continues. I recently just started having problems with something electrical as my radio will just turn the volume up to 40 as I’m driving down the road as well as now the fan for the air/heat in the back of the vehicle is turning all the way up on its own as I’m driving down the road! Not a happy customer!”

While this illustrates the numerous annoyances that occur with a poorly engineered electrical system, there are far larger concerns. FCA issued a recall labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 18V524000. This recall states that the voltage regulator might fail and lead to a stalling vehicle. When this occurs, occupants are at risk for a crash. To repair it, the technicians must replace the powertrain control module. Stalling vehicles certainly don’t help the automaker continue the persona of having a muscular vehicle “on the run.” In fact, this vehicle can’t go anywhere once the problem persists.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Dodge Journey Electrical Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 DODGE JOURNEY. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM FAILED TO OPERATE OR WOULD OPERATE ON ITS OWN. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE HEADLIGHTS AND TAIL LIGHTS WOULD SOMETIMES ILLUMINATE ON THEIR OWN. THE CONTACT ALSO STATED THAT CERTAIN UNKNOWN WARNING INDICATORS WOULD ILLUMINATE RANDOMLY WHILE DRIVING AND THEN TURN OFF. THE CONTACT DROVE TO DEALERSHIP ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, BUT IT WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED AND DID NOT ASSIST. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 20.

DOOR LOCKS WILL NOT STAY LOCK DOORS WILL UNLOCK WHEN WET WHEN YOU WASH CAR YOU GET WATER ON DOORS CAR LOCK AND UNLOCK UNCONTROLLABLY AND IN CAR WASH AND WHEN IT RAINS DOORS UNLOCK THEM SELF’S , DEALER CAN NOT FIX PROBLEM WENT THERE 6 TIMES.

THE RADIO IN THIS VEHICLE OFTEN WILL MAKE A SUDDEN LOUD NOISE MID-MUSIC AND THEN SHUT DOWN THE SYSTEM ENTIRELY FOR ABOUT A MINUTE. IT THEN STARTS BACK UP AS NORMAL. THIS HAPPENS UNPREDICTABLY ABOUT ONCE A WEEK SINCE I PURCHASED THE VEHICLE AROUND NOVEMBER.

Engine

How can one make a muscle car without the proper engine power? The engineers needed to perfect the motor in order to stand behind its claims. Yet, many owners find that the engine is lacking the necessary oomph it requires.

An NHTSA reviewer states, “I was driving on the freeway and noticed that it was struggling for power. I exited. At the stoplight, my car started shaking and puttering. When I pressed the gas to go the car puttered like it didn’t want to go, but then did. So I drove to the car dealership on the next exit. My car shut itself off in the entrance to the dealership. The mechanic reported that a fuel injector had exploded and spewing raw gas. My car is now in the shop awaiting parts. Another issue is that it easily slips into reverse while driving. Serious safety concerns!”

That’s downright scary! What’s even more frightening is another recall issued by FCA that states the cruise control cannot be canceled. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V332000 affects almost five million cars and states that the cruise control isn’t capable of disengaging. To repair the issue, the dealer must perform a software flash on the engine control module. In the meantime, the Journey is rolling down the road showcasing how it is muscle on the run that cannot be stopped.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Dodge Journey Engine Problems:

2018 DODGE JOURNEY. CONSUMER WRITES IN REGARDS TO ILLUMINATED CHECK ENGINE LIGHT. THE CONSUMER STATED THE VEHICLE WAS REPAIRED TWICE, BUT THE FAILURE RECURRED. THE DEALER WAS UNABLE TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF THE FAILUIRE. THE CONSUMER REQUESTED A FULL REFUND OR A NEW VEHICLE OF A DIFFERENT MAKE AND MODEL.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 DODGE JOURNEY. WHILE DRIVING 22 MPH, THE CHECK ENGINE WARNING INDICATOR ILLUMINATED ON THE INSTRUMENT PANEL. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO DEALERSHIP, BUT THE CAUSE OF THE FAILURE COULD NOT BE DIAGNOSED. THE FAILURE RECURRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE AND INFORMED THE CONTACT TO TAKE THE VEHICLE BACK TO THE DEALER FOR ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSTIC TESTING. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 11,005.

Powertrain

With a smooth-running powertrain, any adventure is enjoyable. With the 2018 Dodge Journey, owners can’t help but take to the internet to express their disgust over the powertrain issues.

One Edmunds user stated, “Purchased 2018 Dodge Journey Crossroads with all the extra features.  Drove great during test drive; nice looking car for the price tag.  The first week of owning the car, the power steering and acceleration went out while driving on two separate occasions.  The car was still under factory warranty but Dodge found no problems.  We have read countless similar stories.  Due to the vehicle being a major safety issue we bought another car two weeks later.  We only drove the car one week and we were given 4k negative equity.”

It’s interesting to find out that the automaker has nothing to say about the powertrain concerns. They have chosen to remain relatively quiet on the malfunctioning components. After all, how will they claim that they provide the muscle needed if they can’t get the vehicle to drive correctly? Maybe the tagline should be something such as “muscle sitting at the dealership for repairs.”

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Dodge Journey Transmission Problems:

THE CAR HAS BARELY ANY POWER. THE TACKOMETER REVS UP TO THE RED ZONE WHEN GOING UPHILL AND THEN STILL STRUGGLES TO KEEP SPEED. WHEN DRIVING ON THE STREET MY CAR REVS UP TO TO THE 6 ON THE TACKOMETER BEFORE CHANGING GEARS. SOMETIME I HAVE TO LET GO OF GAS TO GET IT TO DROP TO CHANGE GEARS.

WHEN CRUISING DOWN THE ROAD IT FEELS AS IF THE CAR DROPS OUT OF GEAR MOMENTARILY THEN SLAMS BACK INTO GEAR. THIS IS A SPECIFIC PROBLEM BUT IT COULD BE DEADLY.

Service Brakes

With all this power, it’s necessary to have a functioning brake system that will stop the SUV. Yet, that’s not what owners experience at all.

One NHTSA complaint says, “My vehicle brakes have a pause between them. When I am coming to a stop it takes a while to brake. The brakes are not consistent, this is very scary. I was driving on the freeway yesterday and the brakes took a while to actually start braking. These brakes are not right. I was told after 500 miles the car would break in and drive better. But still driving the same.Very dangerous for myself and my family.”

There’s another recall related to the braking components. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V523000 illustrates how the rear brake caliper pistons might contain an insufficient coating. This creates a reduction in braking performance and could lead to an accident. To repair the problem, dealers must bleed the brake system to rid it of the gas pockets that form. Again, it just proves that Dodge wants the Journey to remain on the run. The trouble is that some components and systems are telling the vehicle to go, while the rest are making it impossible to move. It’s like having a vehicle with a split personality disorder.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Dodge Journey Brake Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 DODGE JOURNEY. WHILE DEPRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL, THE VEHICLE WOULD SKID BEFORE STOPPING, WHICH EXTENDED THE BRAKING DISTANCE. THE CONTACT INDICATED THAT THE FAILURE WAS INTERMITTENT. THE FAILURE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE LOCAL DEALER (TROTTER AUTO EL DORADO, 1910 W. HILLSBORO ST, EL DORADO, AR) WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT NOTIFIED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 200.

WAS RAINING AND WHEN I WENT TO BREAK IT’S LIKE THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT A BREAK FAILURE LIKE IT DID NOT WANT TO STOP THE VEHICLE AND I ENDED UP SKIDING BEFORE THE VEHICLE CAME TO A STOP BUT DID NOT HIT ANYTHING SO IT’S LIKE IT IT DID NOT WANT TO GRIP THE PAVEMENT OR STOP UNTIL IT ACTUALLY GRIPPED

SOME DAYS MY BRAKE PEDAL FEELS MORE FIRM AND WILL STOP ON A DIME THAN OTHERS TIMES IT FEELS SPONGY OR SOFT AND GOES TO THE FLOOR IT DOES STOP THE VEHICLE BUT WHEN IT’S SPONGY IT TAKES LONGER ALMOST AS IF I’M DRIVING A FREIGHT TRAIN AT 60 MILES AN HOUR HIGHWAY IN OR IN TOWN DRIVING AS OF TODAY I DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER COMPLAINTS OTHER THAN THE BRAKES

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