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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • Hi... I just bought a 2000 Dodge Dakota Sport. 105000 miles, 3.9L magnum, automatic transmission. I got too good of a deal on it even if it needs a tranny rebuild. When the truck is cold it does not shift into second without with RPM's hitting 4000. It is almost as if it will not shift into overdrive. It is not consistent when it does this. The check engine light is not on. After driving about 10 minutes it starts shifting normally and drives great. I have checked all fluids and they are good. The guy I got if from put some Lucus transmission "stuff" in it and really no change. I have found no leaks. I have done some research but want some more opinions. Govenor Pressure Solenoid?? or Speed Sensors?? In low and High Gear (1 and 2) truck runs and shifts fine.
    Thanks, first_truck :(
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    A binding or loose Throttle Position Cable can cause this, or a weak or missing Throttle Return Spring.

    I highly recommend that you get that Lucas stuff out of there. Mopar automatics use a special ATF (ATF+4) that can be easily destabilized by incorrect or incompatible fluids.

  • I have a 2003 quad cab with auto transmission. If I depress the throttle hard in order to pass or climb a hill the transmission seems to go into nuetral and the engine rpms peg. When I release the throttle, the transmission goes back into gear. Is this some type of safety feature or is there a problem?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Is it a V6 or V8?

  • Thanks so much, will do.
  • Weird right!

    I've owned my 3.9L V6 2000 Dodge Dakota 2WD since buying it brand new in well 2000. Over the last three years or so once in awhile while making a left turn the tranny (automatic) will slip out of gear and hesitate. I've gotten used to it and it doesn't seem to really harm the truck but I'd like to fix it if possible to prolong the life of the truck. I intend to replace the throttle position sensor as I've read on here to see if that works but I wanted to see if anyone else on here was having a similar issue.
  • Dusty
    It is a V6
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    Sorry about the late response.

    You have a 42RE transmission.

    Based on your description of the symptom I would say there is a problem. Some possibilities are list as follows:

    *Low fluid level or foaming (possible transmission overheating)

    *Clogged transmission filter

    *Clogged cooler lines

    *Throttle Position Cable misadjusted

    *Gear shift linkage out of adjustment; kinked or binding shift cable

    *Partially restricted Anti-drain Back Valve (excessively dirty fluid)

    *Low hydraulic pressure caused by a weak pump, Valve Body malfunction or warpage, leaking clutch or ring seals, leaking Servo.

    *Rear Clutch malfunction;worn clutch or leaking clutch seals.

    Valve body wear is usually found on high mileage vehicles. Sticking valve body components usually indicate expired or very dirty ATF. Rear clutch wear at lower mileage usually indicates that the transmission had been overheated at one time, probably from pulling an excessively heavy load or towing with the overdrive engaged, or pulling heavy loads/towing in hilly country with the overdrive engaged.

    This is also one of the classic symptoms in Mopar transmissions where the incorrect transmission fluid was used, probably Dexron-Mercon. All Dodge trucks and most Chrysler-built cars require ATF+3 (older vehicles) or ATF+4. Your's requires ATF+4.

    Good luck and best regards,
  • Hey I think I have a huge problem. i have a 99 Dodge Dakota 5.2l 4x4 it has about 117000 miles on it. some times when you take off from a stop it acts like it is in neutral then it will jump hard in to gear. It also pulses when driving down the highway the problem is intermittent. The pulsing is slow like every 10 to 15 seconds the RPMs will jump about 500 to 750. The transmission also slips some times when it shift. Is this something I can fix my self or should i take it in. I have about two years of automotive schooling. But I am a college Student and Broke.
  • Hi, I'm new here and I sure hope you can help me... I just bought a 94 Dakota Ext, cab with the 3.9L V-6 and automatic trans. When I bought it, I drove it home and everything seemed fine as far as shifting... After about a week, it got to where it would shift fine when cold, but after the truck warmed up, it didn't want to shift out of 2nd. But you could sometimes manually shift it and it would go threw the shifts. Then it got to where it just didn't want to come out of second at all. I figured it was the filter picking up slug as it heated up, and restricting the filter. So I changed the filter and fluid. (I used the ATF+4, right?). Shifted fairly good for a couple of days, and the more I drive it the better it shifts. Now it seems to be doing fine except for... Now the darn thing doesn't go into overdrive... At all... I'm just a backyard mechanic, and not at all a transmission guy... What would cause it to not go into overdrive, when it was when I first bought it about a month ago... Help please...
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The symptoms seem to indicate a possible intermittent loss of hydraulic pressure, although there are quite a few other possible explanations. Because of the age and mileage...coupled with lack of proper have a restricted flow problem. Potential candidates are a partially clogged transmission filter or cooling lines, or a clogged anti-drain back valve.

    Of course, you could also have a weak of bad pump, bad seals, or rear clutch problems.

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    How many miles on this truck?

  • 133,000. It is shifting fine now with the new filter and fluid, but will not go into overdrive...
  • If you have not already repaired your transmission problem...or been gouged with a full transmission rebuild...your problem is one that I have experienced with two Dakotas I've owned.
    The overdrive problem can be solved by having a reputable transmission shop pull the overdrive unit and change out the two bearings in the unit.The whining noise is caused by pitting on the bearing races. If you drive the vehicle too long, you can freeze up the bearing and cause a full rebuild of the overdrive unit that costs in the range of $1200. Change out of the bearings, inspection, clean-up, and changing out the three sensors should be less than $600.
    Hope this time.
  • I have a 1998 Dodge Dakota 5.2, 2wd, 160k miles with an automatic transmission. For quite some time I've been noticing a shift quality issue that only occurs between 2nd and 3rd gear when the transmission is cold. When the tranny is cold, and the weather is cool, the engine revs quite high for quite a while before the truck will shift from 2nd into 3rd gear. the colder the weather, the higher and longer the motor will rev before shifting. The truck shifts perfectly after the truck is warmed up (after 5 miles or so of driving).

    I've changed the transmission fluid and filter, and have also changed the output speed sensor on the advice of some folks, but neither step resolved the problem. The fluid change did help a little, but it hasn't resolved the problem.

    I did note during the fluid change there were some very small black particules suspended in the fluid as well as some very fine metal particles stuck to the magnet in the bottom of the transmission pan. I belive the fluid was last changed about 100k miles ago, so the fluid didn't seem too bad considering.

    Any ideas on what might be causing this? I'm really hoping this is a simple fix so I can avoid a costly transmission service here...

  • I posted on here a few years ago and still have the same problem. 93 dak 3.9 auto with 160k on it. It runs fine and shifts fine except when you have to pass it won't kick down. You can manually downshift and it works. I changed the fluid and filter right after I bought it. This is a 3rd vehicle for me and doesnt get used much at all except to haul things. I did replace the atf with the wrong type but it did the same before that. I am going to replace it again with the correct atf+4 and filter since the fluid looked brown and dirty. Anything to check while I am in there? The od works but you cannot manually shut it off at the switch, it is definitely NOT the switch as I replaced with a known good one. When you do hit the button, it seems to rev up a few like it is trying to kick out but then drops back into OD. The cable is adjusted properly. Had a guy in town drive it that rebuilds trannies for a living. He didnt think the tranny was bad per se, might be a valve body sticking or dirty??? Can't stick alot of money into it as its a spare but need it to be reliable. TPS? Od solenoid? It just doesn't have any downshifting ability. PLEASE ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!! :confuse:
  • My 2004 Dakota 4X4 has 193,000 kms (about 125,000 miles) on it. when I stop at a stop sign or stop light I have to manually shift to first gear or the truck will rev. high. 2nd and third are the only gears that work when it does this, first and overdrive don't work. If I restart the truck the problem clears. I took it to a transmission shop they could not find anything physically wrong with the tranny, they suggested it was electrical. I had the fluid and both filters changed,was okay for three days then started again, when the tranny was being flushed the tech. said the pump was real slow. Is there a sensor that could be bad or may be the pump is going?
  • UPDATE..........Ran seafoam tranny cleaner before the flush. Replaced filter and flushed out all the old fluid, replaced with walmart atf4. Has never worked better!!! Now it downshifts and upshifts in all gears and OD now can be turned on/off. I am truly a believer in the flush and refill with atf+4. :shades:
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