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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • my mom has a 1999 dakota, 3.9l v6 2WD with an automatic transmission that is acting up. It seems strange to us that it is having problems because it only has 74,000 miles on it. For some odd reason the transmission sometimes will not shift out of first gear. We took it up to the mountains a while back and i got to drive (yay!) on the mountain roads all the way to the main road. When we switched drivers and started on our way it revved up to almost 5,000 RPM before my mom and i felt there was something wrong. We had to pull over and go again and this time it did shift but only after it was revved and my mom let off the gas. Then the check engine light came on. The rest of the gears shifted OK but abnormally harsh. Now it does this every time almost. we had the tranny flushed and it didn't help. Has anyone ever had this problem and is there anyone with the slightest idea?
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    After the check engine light came on did you have the codes read?? If so,what were they?? If you didn't have them read, go to AutoZone and they will read them for free. Then post them back here and that will give someone a bit more guidance to go by.....
  • no we havent yet. is there any ay we could do it ourselves? for free huh? i think i like that price
  • cshell93cshell93 Posts: 1
    My 95 with 139,000 is suddenly giving me a difficult time with shifting once it hits OD. It won't do it all the time, but it shifts back up @ about 40-55, shooting the RPM, then shift back down to normal. The vechicle has been very well taken care of, and I have been quoted a new Tranmission, almost costs what the truck is worth...any advice or similar experience???
  • carlsbaddcarlsbadd Posts: 1
    Bravo to Ken on his tip about the TPS
    I had a slip in my tranny and shifting problems , rough idle, followed by a check enginge light in my 2000 Dakota.

    I pumped the gas pedel a few times before I started it the next day and it drove fine. When I came out of the first stop on my errands the check engine light was no longer on. I replaced the TPS this morning and truck runs better than it has all year.

    THanks Ken for saving me a bunch of money!!
  • jlanhamjlanham Posts: 2
    other than the transmission problems that dodge is notorious for, what in the world causes the ABS light and brake light to come on. my wife's 97 dakota has this problem and at the same time the brake lights, turn signals and tail lights quit working. this all happened the same day all at once :sick: . she also has that problem with the tranny everyone else seems to have. TPS???
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Check your fuses. This could explain why a number of things have gone out at once. If the fuses are good, you could be low on brake fluid. This will cause the brake light to come on. The the signal, brake, and taillight issue would be a different issue if the fuses are okay.

    Neither I or anyone I know personally with a Dak of any year have had transmission issues.

  • handymexhandymex Posts: 5
    Hi to all members,

    I recently bought this 96 Dodge Dakota,3.9l with 115k miles. One time I got off the freeway,and as I was waiting for the green light the truck would not move forward.

    As I was looking for a tow truck to tow the truck away because I thought the transmission had gone bad (after only a few miles of owning the truck),the truck would run OK again.

    I have also noticed that when I go from park to drive, it takes the transmission a few seconds to engage.Moreover, when driving the truck on the street, some times the RPM's would go up to 3k or 3.5K before shifting gears.

    I took the truck to the mechanic and he told me that the transmission is staring to slip. I still have not done any transmission tune-up but I am going to before moving to the the more expensive step of replacing transmission.

    Since I have only own this truck for a week or so, I would like to ask your opiniong as to what may be wrong the the trasmission and if there are steps that I can take to improve the problem.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


  • me2butch4ume2butch4u Posts: 17
    Just developed a new problem with my 2000 dakota. 6 cyl / auto / 4x4 with 86,000 miles on it. Went out to start it today and it started right up and was making a knocking noise. Shifted into gear and noise went away. Seem to run and drive same as it ever did. Noise is like a knock or like something is hitting something when engine is running but only when in park. Any clues??
  • jlanhamjlanham Posts: 2
    yea i checked all the fuses (figured the obvious) but none were blown. after you said to check the brake fluid i thought yea that might fix the brake problem but it wasn't low and i don't really think that would cause the ABS light to come on also.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    My first step would be to have the transmission flushed and filter changed. Make sure the shop puts the proper fluid back in it.
  • me2butch4ume2butch4u Posts: 17
    THANKS Ken!!! I went the next day and purchased one and installed it. No more bucking and backfiring!! I also noticed that it shifts smoother and accellerates better. The TPS for my Dakota was $83 bucks. A little more than the 22 you suggested, but WELL WORTH IT!! It was easy as pie to install. Took about 7 minutes and that included dropping a screw down in the engine compartment and having to locate it and fish it out. I am very happy now and so is my mechanic. Now he can fix all those other Dakotas that he was pulling his hair out over. :) :) :)
    Thanks again,
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I'm guessing You bought a factory part from Mopar. Either way, I'm glad it helped You with Your Dakota. Congrats My Friend!! Back yard tooling is still happening and I like that. It's good to see people fixing their own trucks and stuff and keeping the expense money in pocket for other things.. like headers and dual exhaust :)
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Hi, I've had this truck for over a year. When I purchased a pop-up camper, durning our 1st trip, after getting "unhitched", I noticed the truck acting up while driving. The truck ran great before hitching up and then sometime durning traveling it starts. While driving, it bucks, the tac jumps up 1-2 rpms. It feels like it's missing but the tac jumps up. Then down. Short hits, Sometimes in long episodes. Morning warm-up the tac goes up & down, up & down, like your reviving the gas pedal. In past history, it will act this way only after camping with the pop-up. It is commom for this to happen for 4-6 weeks then it goes away. Nothing comes up on the shops computer. Any Ideas? One advice was that the coolent sensor was bad. I bought a new one but can't locate it on the engine, I had the complete flush done. I lived through this problem for a couple of years now, knowing what to expect when we go camping and I think about those good old days with just a tent! Anybody with an idea??? I can't possibly be the only one with this condition. Thank You
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I'm not sure about this, but according to some of the information I've read about the Dakota transmission, it's some sort of spinoff from the Intrepid transmissions. At any rate, they have the ability to learn Your driving style, or so it would seem after my wife took my 95 Intrepid the day.. when I finally got it back, it had to relearn my driving behavior..thusly.. the Dakota is capable of the same thing, and when You have towed something.. like the 21 foot Maxum that I tow with my 2000 Dakota, unhitching it usually results in some abrupt transmission shifting.. usually after running it for a few miles, it seems to clear itself. There's probably somebody else more informed about these trannys.. I would much rather not have the feature than have it. It just seems kind of pointless to me.
  • 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?
    Dave :confuse:
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Thanks, It looks like another trip to transmission shop. Hopefuly it will still be acting up.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Erratic behavior like that (erratic idle, bucking, etc.) can often be caused by a bad throttle position sensor. It's fairly easy to replace and can be found in most parts stores for under $20.
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Thanks, Sunburn.......I'll try it.
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I tow my boat which is identical to this boat and trailer except no surge brakes on my trailer with no problems except when it comes to stopping.. Dakota brakes are fine for Dakota size pulls :)) . Pulling power is good since I changed my tps. A little slow to start out, but goes like a raped ape once it's steaming up the highway. Little truck.. Big heart!!
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