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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems

mruhlmruhl Posts: 2
Our 2000 Dakota quad cab has this problem sporadically. When you start it (sometimes) it won't come out of park. Usually after 5-10 minutes, we can get it into gear. The dealer can't repeat the problem so can't fix it. They did say the parking brake needed greased, but since we rarely if ever use that, I doubt it is contributing to the problem. Any ideas?
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Comments

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, since its fresh in my mind, this is a symptom that could be caused by a defective Throttle Position Sensor.

    Can you get a fault code to read out?

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    If you are parked on any kind of an incline, this will contribute to difficulty shifting out of park, especially if you don't use the parking brake. Best practice is to bring the vehicle to a stop, set the parking brake fully, release the regular brakes and let the vehicle rock to a stop, THEN shift to park. This relieves pressure on the parking pawl and makes it easier to shift. Also, an inlcine will cause trans fluid to pool downward, so you may need a minute or two when you start the engine to get the fluid flowing before shifting is sm,ooth.

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  • mruhlmruhl Posts: 2
    I appreciate the info, but the vehicle has been parked on a level surface each time this has occurred. It is not the same difficulty as when parked on an incline. It just plain won't budge at all.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Have the parking pawl checked. Sounds like it's not functioning correctly and allowing "lockup" when it's engaged for extended periods of time.

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  • litus82litus82 Posts: 1
    Something like that happened to my civic, but it was my brake light fuse that got blown.
  • lhooklhook Posts: 5
    1998 Dakota/ 6 cyl/auto Xmission/ 4WD

    I'm a brand new member so I hope I do everything right.

    When I put the truck in reverse it will engage as long as I don't accelerate. When I accelerate it makes a sound as if something is disengaging. A local garage said it could be fixed for $2000.00 Is there a cheaper method??
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I recently bought a 2000 Dakota Sport 4.7 automatic. Recently it started bucking around 45 mph. I've also noticed that the tcc disengages periodically even though I have not depressed the accelerator far enough to actually cause it to unlock. My fuel economy has gone from despicable to phenominal since I changed the plugs. I think the sudden gain in fuel economy is because the engine simply isn't receiving enough gas and this is possibly causing the sudden increase in fuel economy. Lately when I fire up the engine, it revs upto 2000 rpms before dropping back to an idle. Is it possible the throttle position sensor is going fowl and causing all of these problems? the tranny sometimes gets irratic to. I honestly do not think there is a problem with the tranny, but rather something to do with the throttle.. I'm guessing here tho. I recently bought a Matco scan tool to check for codes, and there are no codes.

    Thanks!
    Ken
  • jim1958jim1958 Posts: 2
    The automatic transmission on my 1999 Dakota, 4x4 3.9 liter, 115K miles, has trouble shifting from second into third. This occurs when I accelerate normally from a stop. For example, after stopping at a stop light. The truck will shift from first to second fine but after that the engine will continue to rev up and the only way to get it to shift into third is to take my foot off of the accelerator and wait for the rpm's to come down. When it reaches a certain point it will shift very smoothly into third and drives normally until I have to stop again. Sometimes though it shifts normally and I don't have this problem. This problem has ben going on for about three years. Last year I dropped the transmission pan and replaced the filter and fluid. The fluid looked excellent. No sign of bad odor or any sign of wear. There was almost nothing in the pan as far as sludge. Very clean. Any ideas?
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    Jim,

    I had simular problems with my 2000 Dakota. Try replacing your throttle position sensor. It's a $23.00 part at most local parts stores. I replaced mine and it cured my shifting problems as well as the bucking issues. You can also try moving your throttle pedal from the idle position to full throttle repeatedly before You start Your engine and determine if it's a tps issue. Sometimes just doing that cleans the contacts in the tps momentarilly. If that doesn't do anything for Your problem, I'd suspect something wrong with the transmission.. also, make sure it's not filled with Dexron. I read some place the Dak transmissions are directly related to the same transmissions used in the H bodys and Dexron causes them to do all sorts of wild things. Did You put Chrysler fluid back in when You changed the fluid and filter? It's my experience that Chrysler 7176 atf is the only thing to use even though the owners manuals say You can use Dexron.

    Hope this helps

    Ken
  • jim1958jim1958 Posts: 2
    Ken:

    Thanks for the information. When I changed the fluid I used Valvoline ATF+3. It says on the container "Recommended for Chrysler vehicles", and "Recommended for transmissions requiring Chrysler MS-7176. You never know though, sometimes in spite of a message like that it still does not work like the original. As you mention I'll start with the tps. Thanks again.
  • me2butch4ume2butch4u Posts: 17
    I have a 2000 dakota 6 cyl automatic. When I first start the thing and take off with it, it is doggy and wont take the gas. It dies out and bucks and back-fires. Sometimes I can get it to come out of it by mashing the pedal to the floor until the passing gear kicks in and then let off it when it finally goes, but sometimes it wont work. Sometimes it just needs to go through its fit and then it will straighten out. Once I get it going, it will run fine as long as I dont shut it off and let it sit for a while. It also seems knumb on the acceleration when it is "running right", compared to my friends dakota. I have spent over a 1000 bucks at the garage trying to get it fixed. Mechanic says it is not showing any codes and he cant figure it out either. I trust this guy and have had 20 years of satisfied service from him. So far we have changed battery, complete tune up,O2 sensor, pcv valve, among other things. We are both pulling our hair out and I am going BROKE!!! Someone please help!!
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I would start with a $22.00 throttle position sensor. It controls the fuel going into the engine and the shift points of the transmission. It's a simple 2 minute parts swap and I'm almost certain You're going to see a major difference in performance. The throttle position sensor isn't going to toss codes when it's not working right since the ecm is just seeing the signals from it even when it's not working right.. but it causes all sorts of driveability problems because of the irratic nature of the signal it's sending to the ecm. BTW, if You have a small phillips head screwdriver, You can do this exchange Yourself by removing the two screws and the electrical connector and replacing the part with a new one. Just make sure the slot is installed correctly into the throttle plate shaft. the new part should just pop back into place, and You'll save Yourself a bundle on parts and labor costs.

    Hope this helps.

    Ken
  • amend1amend1 Posts: 98
    Bravo, Ken, for the accurate info on the TPS. I had cruise control issues with it (surging) and the dealer was a LOSER trying to figure it out and gave me the truck back with a transmission leak. After slamming my foot on the gas several times, it worked OK which got me thinking it was a bad TPS. I replaced it and all is well; gas mileage a little better too.
    Bill
  • ldc1ldc1 Posts: 2
    My 2000 3.9 Dakota was shifting improperly, particularly when stopping and then slipping on take off. Was also winding out too much before shifting until I let off the gas. After 15 or 20 miles it seemed better. I took it in and they drained and flushed the tran and put in a new filter. It drove like a new one from there to work. But when its cold its doing the same thing and then is fine after driving a while. They said the bands were within tolerance. Could it be the TPS or am I in big trouble?
    Larry
  • amend1amend1 Posts: 98
    These transmissions don't have bands. The Chrysler transmissions are NOTORIOUS for this "won't shift till it's warm" problem. I don't think that's the TPS. If they only performed a pan fluid change and not a system flush of the tranny, I personally would get to a trans shop that does a complete system flush and replace it with the proper synthetic trans fluid. At the very least, replace it with the ATF+4 by Chrysler, but do a full flush. Sometimes the governor valve (tells the tranny to shift) gets gummed up and requires a higher pressure to make it move.
    Bill
  • ldc1ldc1 Posts: 2
    Thanks Bill,
    Just after I posted it started doing the same thing even after it was heated up. Doesn't down shift until just as I'm stopping and then slips a bit when I'm taking off and then not shifting again until I let off. The tran shop did a flush until the fluid was pure red. But I think they had a one type fits all trans. fluid so I'll drain and replace with the ATF +4. And maybe replace the TPS?
    Larry
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I personally haven't had any transmission problems outside of the occasional harsh shift and it hasn't done it since I swapped out the tps. A lot of people think they can drive their trucks into the local Speedy Lube and get a quick flush, when what they really need is a complete replacement of the fluid and filter. The two go hand in hand and I personally wouldn't do one without the other, and after owning two Intrepids, I'll never use any fluid other than what the vehicle came with. a lot of fluid changes involve factory fluid being replaced with Dexron, and like I said in a previoud post.. Dexron makes Chrysler trannys behave irratically.... NOW!! if I can get my 2000 Dak 4.7 to stop lugging at the 42-52 mph range, it'll be perfect. That's my only complaint with mine at the moment besides the torsion bar adjustment which I'm going to post about after this reply.
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    OK. This is a quick technical question regarding torsion bars. Bought my 00 Dak with 64K on it back in November. To me it seems like the previous owner cranked the torsion bars too much and my Dak has a tendancy to roll torwards the right rear and on left hand turns all most seems like the truck is going to roll over on it's right side and take a nap. Right hand turns are nice and flat.. I'm guessing the left torsion bar has too much adjustment on it and is causing this condition. Years ago, Chrysler torsion bar rule of thumb was, ball joint level with the adjusting bolt. Does this still apply to the Dak? My Dak also has a slight rightward list which is pretty noticeable on the highway.
  • dervin1dervin1 Posts: 9
    My dakota just started to delay in shifting from 1st to 2nd gears. The RPMs have to get to 2500-3000, the speedometer isn't working until the RPMs get to around 3000, then it shifts into 2nd gear and the speedometer starts working. No other shifting problems, no slipping.
    Any suggestions on what it needs? Speed sensor?
    Thanks,
    Dave :confuse:
  • dervin1dervin1 Posts: 9
    My dakota just started to delay in shifting from 1st to 2nd gears. The RPMs have to get to 2500-3000, the speedometer isn't working until the RPMs get to around 3000, then it shifts into 2nd gear and the speedometer starts working. No other shifting problems, no slipping.
    Any suggestions on what it needs? Speed sensor? How much and where located?
    Thanks,
    Dave
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