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Dodge Dakota Auto Tranny Problems

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  • I AM THINKING OF BUYING A 1997 DAKOTA PICKUP V6
    AUTOMATIC TRANS ANY INFO IT HAS 17000 MILES
    HE WANTS 10,900
  • I have a 1997 Dakota SLT+ Club Cab 4x2 with the 5.2L engine and Auto Transmission with 40k miles on it. Everything has been great with this truck, except for the Goodyear Wrangler R/T's being out of round (a known problem). No transmission problems at all.

    (By the way, if anyone's interested, it's for sale ... see www.cowspot.com for details)
  • rd8rd8 Posts: 2
    I really like Dodge trucks. Unfortunately I'm jumping ship over the on-going problems with automatic
    transmissions. My Ram Charger just died due to its
    3rd transmission failure. The first one went out
    while the truck was still under warranty. The
    second time, it cost nearly 2K to fix it and it
    lasted for about 20K miles. The third time I
    decided it was down for the count. As much as I hate
    to agree with the suggestion that Dodge's auto
    transmissions are inherently defective, my own
    experience is that it's true.

    I'm looking at Toyotas now. They cost too
    much but they don't break like most American cars.
    I had a Toyota years ago, drove it places I
    wouldn't drive a tank, and it still ran like a champ until an elderly lady hit me head on and totaled it.
  • I've got a '93 Dakota, 4x4 V6 with 120k miles on it. The original transmission went out at 70,500 and the dealer was good enough to cover it under my 70k warranty. The dealer couldn't get one so he ordered the components and built it up in the shop. Now 50k miles later there is a rumbling/clattering when cold, in gear and foot on the brake. I am taking it in today. I'm looking at a new Dakota, thinking about a '99 but maybe should opt for the 2000. Except for the transmission, I have had great luck with the truck. Just wish I could get the 8' box on the 4x4 chassis again.
  • Looking to buy a 2000 Dakota with 4.7L/5-speed tranny. Are these problems only with the automatic? Is anyone aware of any problems with the 5-speed paired with this motor. Has anyone had problems/issues with the motor itself. I've looked all through the Jeep site & see the same tranny problems & only praise for the motor. Any thoughts?
  • Bought a 95 club cab V8 AT. With 37000 miles the tranny went. When I went to the dealer they said the warranty was out. Shame on me for not getting the extended warranty. I contacted Dodge Corp. when I asked them if they were going to stand by their product they offered to pay half of the bill (rebuilt or new) Now 20000 miles later when I shift from park to drive or reverse I engages real hard, it almost sound like someone is hitting the tranny with a hammer. Does this happen to anyone else? I afraid that the tranny is going to go again? Any suggestions?
  • I have a 93 4 By 318 with 120000 miles and the only problem I had is the computer croked at 60000 miles. Never a whisper from the trans. I clunks now when I put it in gear, but it is the U joints.

    Anyone know about the new 4.7Liter. I'm thinking real hard about buying one. I figure I should get rid of the old truck while I can still get a few grand on trade in.
  • I'm currently looking at 2 different Dakotas. Both are 4x4 ext. cab 5.2 L.. The only difference is the tranny and the distance. The auto is about the right price, and is 10 mi. up the road at the local bank. The 5 speed is 1400 mi. away in Phoenix, also at a good price. Comments, suggestions, recommendations? All will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • I get kick out of listening to all of these tranny
    problems....I have a '93 3.9 4x4 ext. cab (85,000 miles)and have never had an once of problems with the trans. It does, however, make a
    clunk when it goes from 2nd to 3rd. It's made this noise for the past 15,000 miles.
    You all make me think about dumping this great,
    loyal truck before it gets into some big$$$.
    This truck has been the most dependable thing
    I have ever owned. Should I sink or swim with this truck????? Help
  • I JUST BOUGHT A 2000 DODGE DAKOTA 4.7 LITRE CLUB CAB. RUNS EXCELLENT, VERY QUIET, THE TRANSMISSION DOES SHIFT A LITTLE ROUGH. OVERALL GREAT VEHICLE. THE COLOR IS AWESOME. FLAME RED
  • scm23scm23 Posts: 1
    I just ordered a 2000 Dakota 4X4 Sport with Auto trans. I'm not obligated to buy it so I want to make sure the auto trans is going to hold up. Is the manual better, same or worse? I haven't seen too many comments on the manual so far, just one from my dealer saying that they were worse but I think he has other interests in mind (like his take on the deal) What do ya think?
  • mck3mck3 Posts: 6
    3 kids makes me look t'ward Dakota for room. A test ride proved height makes it hard to lift the kids in and out. The ride had me involuntarily in and exhaling. And worst of all, after 15 min. the lumbar and over contoured seat left me with a sore back. I don't have a bad back, but find myself taking the for sale sign off my ranger until I can figure out how to pad the seat so I can live with it. I don't see any lighter suspension available and if it's even available, smaller tires seem like the only adjustment in height on a 4x4. I love this truck, any ideas on tweaking it?......mck3
  • jwm2jwm2 Posts: 43
    scm23. I just picked up an ordered 2000 Dakota Sport with the 5sp. trans. Only 117 miles on it so far. For me I like the 5 sp. Shifts great and I feel that the seats are very comfortable, much more that the Chevy S10 which I was considering. This is a 4x4 with the 10x31 tires. Ride is very good and on the interstate the truck has no wind or tire noise. I know they don't sell a lot of em with the 5 sp but if you don't mind shifting and get a little sportier feel, I would go that route. Then you don't have to worry about fixing a exspensive transmisson problem down the road.??
    The 4.7L motor is a good running motor but it's to early to really give a good report on it yet. Starts everytime and runs hard off the line if I punch it a little. I like it.
    Mck3 I'm not sure if this is a family type truck. Unfortunately they don't have a 3rd door and room in the back of the cab isn't the roomiest. Only thing I can think of is to add running boards or nerf bars for ease of getting in and out of a 4x4.
    Jim
  • rlholmrlholm Posts: 37
    If you have 3 kids, don't be cruel--get the quad cab version with 4 doors.
  • mck3mck3 Posts: 6
    rlholm, already considered a quad but I need the box length. Am dissapointed Dodge didnt do a club 4 dr.. Kids,ages 3,7,and 9, love the back seat compaired to ranger.{also have an econoline} Full size wont fit in garage so Dakota fits the bill. Cant believe I'm saying this but I'm going to sewing supply and see if my seamstress wife can sew me up seat pads. mck3
  • Sorry if this isn't relevant - but have you driven both seat combos? I have the bucket seats and love them, but it sounds from your post as if this might have been what caused the problems. If so what about the front bench? (Or vice versa if you drove the bench).
  • I bought a 99 Dakota 5.2 ,4x4, ext cab ,auto with all the "goodies", back in April. I have 6k miles on it and am waiting and listening. The trans. is just fine right now but I am having a problem with engine "spark knock" on acceleration.Its in the shop as I write. I was told there's a TSB on this problem but I guess thats ANOTHER topic. Hope I don't regret not buying the Tacoma!
  • Now that's funny!!
  • rlholmrlholm Posts: 37
    mck3, I'm not sure why Dodge didn't do 4 doors on the Club Cab. Maybe they will do it later but wanted to hit the Quad cab market first. I have a 1982 datsun pickup with a 6' bed I use for hauling stuff. 9 inches less isn't significant for me since plywood and 2X4s hang off the back anyway. I need to be able to combine trips hauling adults comfortably and stuff in the bed but in a compact form factor. It's a compromise. If you don't want to compromise, there's the full size market. Incidentally I rode in the back of that same datsun to school everyday when I was a kid, climbing over the seat, and triping over the seatbelt. It shouldn't surprise you I recommend the quad cab. Also last night I drove the Club Cab 4X4 V8 with the bench seat. My back instantly complains about bad seats. I found the seats very comfortable and the ride smooth. The ride was smoother than my Nissan Maxima (admittedly with performance suspension). Sorry your experience was not the same. Maybe the one you drove had the higher payload option.
  • mck3mck3 Posts: 6
    rlholm, It did have the 1800lb payload option. I was told by a couple of dealers I would'nt notice the difference. I tend to doubt their expertise as they cant seem to answer a lot of questions....
  • bhillsbhills Posts: 1
    I am considering a 2000 xcab 4x4 with auto tranny, heavy duty service, etc since I want to tow a
    heavy trailer camper (approx 3000lbs loaded).
    Any one have any experience in this kind of
    situation?
  • ladyblueladyblue Posts: 326
    Please take a moment to visit Kenny Brown Talks About Women And Performance Cars! in the Our Turn, Women's Automotive Research Conference. Kenny Brown will be available all this week to answer your questions.

    ladyblue
    Community Leader/SUV Conference
  • My experience with trans trouble occurred at 17k miles on my '97 Ram 1500 club cab. After towing a 27', 6500 GVW travel trailer for 300 mi., and parking it overnight, the next morning during an hour trip w/o trailer it wouldn't shift into O/D. After parking truck for a couple hours, the trans resumed using O/D. Nothing further was noted during for days, until towing the trailer home. The trans then slipped when starting from stop, and occurred at every stop.

    On return home, scheduled service at the 5 star dealer I purchased truck from. They asked if I towed in O/D, which I didn't. Mechanic told me the 1500 was marginal for towing a trailer this size. This surprised me greatly as the truck is rated for 8100 lbs. with the towing pkg and heavy duty service group, which I am equipped with.

    The results of this visit was an "overhaul" which included an updated front clutch pack (From a 3 disk pack to a 4 disk) per Chrysler bulletin?

    I am taking the truck back next week, due to a hunting problem between 1st and 2nd at slow acceleration, (W/O trailer) and hunting between 2nd and 3rd under load (with trailer).

    I love my truck, but am disapointed with these problems
  • I bought a 99 dakota back in April 2wd club cab with the auto trans. Love the truck but the transmission doesn't like to downshift when I make left hand turns. Does it when the A/Cs on or not. Everytime I'm ready to take it to the dealer, the problem stops. It's got 6,000 miles on it now. Any ideas?
  • I have a story to tell you about my 1996 Dakota
    2wd ext cab. I bought the truck used this summer
    at just under 36,000. About a month ago I had a
    transmission tune up and shortly after that (about
    40,500) experienced problems shifting from 2nd to
    3rd only when the tranny was cold. In Wisconsin,
    the mornings are getting colder now and the colder
    it got, the more problems the tranny had shifting
    from 2nd to 3rd. Once warm, I had no trouble at
    all.
    The Dodge dealer from whom I purchased the truck
    had it a few times and determined that a seal in
    the transmission needed replacement. I was worried because I knew I was out of the warranty period. The service manager volunteered to check with his service rep to see what Dodge would do. I didn't even need the considerable testimonials from the wonderful people on this web site indicating that Chrysler covers transmission repairs within a reasonable amount of time beyond the warranty period I was armed with.
    The transmission was overhauled and Chrysler
    picked up all but $200 of the tab. I feel this is
    very reasonable. The dealer was excellent in
    trying to make things right. He did mention that
    transmission tuneups should be done religiously every 24k if you don't trailer and every 12k if you do. He also emphasized that if you trailer, TURN OFF the overdrive while towing. This is not only true for Mopar, but I know several cases in which GM tranny's were cooked towing while in overdrive. Finally, he confirmed other recommendations on this web site about only using Mopar 7176 tranny fluid.
    I know there are a lot of negative posts about
    Mopar transmission, and I'm sure they're happening, but I'm pleased with how Chrysler stood behind their product in my case.
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    i have been told many times, when you get your tranny serviced dont pull the pan to drain and do a service, when you change the tranny fluid that way, you still leave half of the original fluid in there and when the new and old mix there is a chemical reaction, i have learned that if you flush the system you get all of the old out, and as far as using the mopar fluid, i have heard it is the best to use also, and as far as towing, everyone i know with tranny problems over the years is usually from towing in overdrive. i use to work at a tranny place and that was our experience
  • I have a '94 Dakota with the 4sd auto trans. It recently kicked over 149,000 and still going strong. I pulled a trailer for 3,000 miles last month and didn't use the o/d button except on two occasions. I used Slick 50 at the beginning and at 50,000 went to Duro Lube.I use Duro Lube in the trans every 50,000 when I change fluid and filter.Tires, brakes, and exhaust have been changed. The rear end was changed because of a whine at 70,000 and has been fine since. I change oil and filter at 2500-3000 miles and of this time I use about a quart of oil in 2500 miles.
    Did I get an unusual truck? Maybe, I don't know.But, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another and I'm thinking about a 2000 quad cab with the 4.7 and 4spd auto. I have the 5.2 and love it with heavy duty everything and trl pkg. I'd go the same way again and may do it soon.
    Good luck to you other folks with the trans prob. Hope it gets resolved to you satisfaction.
  • keg3keg3 Posts: 14
    what octane fuel do you feed your truck when its thirsty? owners manual says high quality 87 octane? thats sounds a little low for a v-8. any experiences, comments on the type(s) of gas your're using for this new engine in the dakotas and how its performing?
  • No problem here on the regular gas. I too was sceptical, but it seems that one of Jeep / Dodge's key goals of this engine was to allow it to run on regular gas.

    I am sure someone with far greater knowledge than me can look at the engine specs and tell you what they consider the best octane rating to be based on them - but for me 87 works fine.
  • i bought a 1999 dakota 4x4 club cab with all the goodies in june 1999 when i turned 7000 miles my engine light started to flash i also developed a knock when going up hills and loseing power the truck goes in the shop tomorow they tell me its a flash module problem?anyone else encounter such a problem????
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