2008 Dodge Nitro Life Expectancy

The 2008 Dodge Nitro has been known to last between 200,000 and 220,000 miles, but three NHTSA recalls for this model year compromise its reliability.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
A 2008 Dodge Nitro has an average life expectancy between 200,000 and 220,000 miles, but this particular model year has been the subject of three recalls from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). When recalls happen, they compromise the overall reliability of a vehicle. 
The Dodge Nitro was an early compact SUV from the American auto brand that was heavily inspired by the
Jeep Liberty
. The Dodge Nitro was first made in 2007 and the line continued until it was discontinued in 2011. Despite a short production history, there are still a good number of Nitros on the used market today due to the model’s long life expectancy. 
Interested to know more about
’s early-era small SUV? Keep reading to get familiar with the typical life expectancy of the Dodge Nitro. 
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How many miles can a 2008 Dodge Nitro last?

Typically, a 2008 Dodge Nitro can last for around 200,000 and 220,000 miles—but of course, these miles represent a Dodge Nitro that has been
regularly maintained
. Bad ownership habits like skipping oil changes or putting off mechanical repairs will shorten the lifespan of any vehicle. 
When it comes to reliability ratings, the 2008 Dodge Nitro received a Quality & Reliability rating of 80/100 from J.D. Power, earning a designation of average.
MORE: Are Dodges expensive to maintain?

How long does a 2008 Dodge Nitro engine last?

With routine maintenance, the Dodge Nitro’s 3.7-liter V6 engine can often last up to 200,000 miles or even past it. 

Can a 2008 Dodge Nitro last 500,000 miles?

Stranger things have happened, but we wouldn’t bank on your Nitro hitting 500,000 miles. In fact, it’s rare to see any vehicle sprint much beyond 250,000 miles—but technically speaking, it’s possible.

Average life expectancy for a 2008 Dodge Nitro

Recent studies have shown that about 28% of Dodge Nitros still being driven have reached 150,000 miles or more while around 54% have hit between 1000,000 and 149,999 miles. These aren’t bad stats for a 15-year-old SUV, but in order to keep your 2008 Dodge Nitro running for as long as possible you need to prioritize the following:
  • Regular maintenance: If you aren’t the original owner, there’s only so much control you have over a vehicle’s past, but the Dodge Nitros that last over a decade have undergone routine maintenance from the start. 
  • Mileage: The average driver puts 14,000 annual miles on their vehicle, but if you can get away with driving your Nitro less than that, you could extend the number of years it lasts. 
  • Accidents: A car that sustains damage in an accident isn’t necessarily doomed, but the force of a collision can affect the durability of certain vehicle components and potentially have a negative impact on the overall longevity of your Nitro. 
If you’re in the market for a 2008 Dodge Nitro, you first need to consider how many miles are on it. When you purchase a vehicle with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer you’re assuming a certain degree of risk—regardless of what make and model the vehicle is. Not only is the vehicle getting on in miles and years, but you have no control over how it was cared for in the past, which can have a substantial effect on its future longevity

How to extend a 2008 Dodge Nitro’s life expectancy

You can probably guess the number one way to extend a 2008’s Dodge Nitro’s life expectancy. Yup, you got it—maintenance
We’re not just talking about oil changes, but also transmission flushes, air filter replacements, and keeping a watchful eye on your brake pads and rotors. As a general rule, the better you take care of your vehicle, the longer it will stick around. 

Common 2008 Dodge Nitro problems to watch out for

That being said, there are some problems that affect the 2008 Dodge Nitro—and you should be aware of them. Keep in mind that for mechanical malfunctions related to one or more of the three recalls affecting the 2008 Dodge Nitro, the repair will be covered by the manufacturer at no cost to you. Here are some of the common issues you need to look out for:
  • Faulty airbags: Two of the three NHTSA recalls for the 2008 Dodge Nitro had to do with the airbag system. A loose steering wheel emblem on 2007-2011 Nitros can become projectiles if the airbag deploys. 
  • Broken driveshaft: A recall was issued for an issue with a defective case heat shield. The heat shield may drop down onto the drive shaft and break it. If this happens, not only will the vehicle lose mobility, but the force of the drive shaft breaking can cause the airbags to deploy unnecessarily—both of which increase the chance of an accident. 
  • Malfunctioning parking brake: There was also a recall for the Nitro’s parking brake, which may not perform properly due to a distorted level clutch drum. An ineffective parking brake may cause your vehicle to roll and cause an accident. 
  • Engine won’t start: An issue with the wireless control module (WCM) may cause the anti-theft system to immobilize your engine unnecessarily. A WCM repair could cost you between $381 and $393.
  • Defective power door locks: Intermittent or defective power door locks have been a common complaint amongst Nitro owners. This issue may require repairs to the actuator within the door panel, which could set you back about $245 to $266. 
  • Faulty liftgate ajar warning light: If the liftgate ajar warning light illuminates despite the liftgate being firmly closed, it’s likely the result of a wiring problem. Diagnosing wiring issues typically costs between $88 and $111. 
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As little as 0.03% of all vehicles run past 300,000 miles, so needless to say it's a very rare occurrence. However, the vehicles that do make it past this remarkable milestone are typically
The Dodge Nitro was a sporty and capable SUV, but it lacked popularity due to its uninspired interior design. It was also the subject of numerous NHTSA recalls which hurt its reliability.
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