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Dodge Dakota Braking Problems



  • I took my truck to the shop and they found out the caliper stuck and warped the disk. I had the caliper and disk replaced and new brake fluid put in and a front end alignment. The truck drives great now. Thanks to everyone for your help.
  • we have 2002 dodge dakota 2 times our brakes locked up.been everywhere. found out th<ANTILOCK<CONTROL UNIT/MODULE recall number is 06v038000 this is what is wrong with the 2002 dodge brakes locking up, We need a recall so everyone has to call federal trade document it, call dodge file a complaint call your attornet greneral , its really expense to fix this problem,im not sure if we can because i think the computer has to be program I am still trying to get our fix I will not stop so EVERYONE ahs to help call me if you need help 5709955110
  • abs unit recall number on 2006 is 06V038000 same problem as 2002 dodge dakota has antilock control unit module
  • jc727jc727 Posts: 5
    My 2001 has locked up 5 times in 120000 miles every time had dealers or some other shop do the repair usually new pads rotors sometimes hoses etc. It got so hot one time even had to replace wheel bearings.
    Any ways it would do it again after "repair" sometimes right away sometimes 30,000 miles.. Last time it happened I ripped it apart my self ordered new pads and rotors while in the process of installing them I noticed the area of backing plate that sticks out where brake pads rest in order to slide in and out, was all rough and gnarled. I ground and filed them smooth so pads could move in and out smoothly with wear and have not had a problem since..
  • Hello All

    I am hoping someone may have some insight on the issue I am having with my 2005 Dakota.

    No dash lights are signaling an error, but when I stop on a slick surface my ABS system turns on for a second or so then the truck starts sliding until it stops. Very rarely does the ABS system turn on after the first attempt, and if it does it is only for another second. We just had a heavy snow storm so it is easy to test out. Again I can feel the truck sliding and the ABS kicks on for a second and then stops working.

    When I turn the truck on the ABS light turns on as normal for a few seconds then turns off. There is no other identification of an issue that I know of besides the fact that the ABS does not work properly.

    Thank you for taking a look and for any help

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Doesn't the ABS only work on the rear brakes? So the front wheels can still lock up, but at least the light back end won't come around on you. At least that's the theory.
  • Thank you for replying to the message srs. That does make sense to me in regards to the way the ABS is functioning. I didn't realize it was rear only ABS. I am accustomed to a sedan with ABS and it was totally different. This really helped out a lot and thank you for replying.

  • russ47russ47 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota Quad cab. After i drive it for a while braking it seems the pedal is all the way to the top and the brakes are on. After it sits for awhile the brakes are fine and it does not do it every time i drive it . Sure could use some help
    Thanks russ47
  • jc727jc727 Posts: 5
    edited July 2011
    A WAG, have you checked master cylinder level to see that its not over recommended quanity?
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    I've had the customary, warped rotor and seized caliper problems with mine since 1998.
    106,000km (little over 62K miles). It's 3rd set of rotors on it now, and 3rd caliper on the driver's
    side. The first oem seized up at roughly 50Kmiles and the second within 12 months on the same
    However, yesterday, I got quite a shock when I came off the expressway onto a down ramp
    and applied the brakes. The pedal went almost to the floor and the ABS and (B)rake light
    came on. I managed to slow the truck down to avoid rear-ending a car in front of me, but
    it was a miracle. I crawled to the nearest garage to get find out what had happened.
    Looked at the master cylinder reservor and it was almost empty! Looked around underneath
    and we found a leak about halfway along the frame. The front to back brake line had rusted
    at one spot and had sprung a leak.

    Since the garage had time to replace the brake line, they also checked the brakes on all 4 wheels
    and the back shoes were coming apart so it was time to change those. The bleeders were seized
    on the rear wheel cylinders so they had to be changed as well..and the cross axle brake line
    and the flex hose which had serious signs of abrasion from rubbing on the rear axle.
    4.5 hrs of labour later all the lines, except the ones for the front wheels had been replaced.

    Now this is the perplexing part. I thought that most modern vehicles had dual braking systems
    and the fluid in the reservoir was separated so that a leak and complete loss of fluid in one
    didn't affect the ability of the other set of wheels to still be able to brake....not so apparently
    on the 98 dakota..the master cylinder was practically empty..I did see a tiny bit of fluid in
    a middle "round" compartment, but not sure if this was for the front calipers or not.

    I was lucky that I still had at least 25% braking power (if that), but to me, this seems a serious
    design flaw in the master cylinder reservoir on the 98 Dakota.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I thought the master/slave braking setup was right-front coupled to left-rear, and left-front coupled to right-rear. So that if you lost all braking in one path, you would still have one front and one rear brake working.

    Now, given that the Dakota (like most trucks), are very light in the rear end when unloaded, it might not be surprising that losing one of the braking paths might feel like you only have 25% braking.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited August 2011
    Well I am still annoyed with this one! as I barely avoided a rear ender, which
    would have placed me at fault. Ok, as far as I have been able to trace on
    my 1998 Dakota with the 318 V8,the brakes are configured as follows:

    Master cylinder reservoir has 2 separate for the back
    and one for the front. So below a certain brake fluid level, the compartments are separate there.
    The master cylinder has a dual piston (one for the front system and one for the back).

    The o/p of the master cylinder goes to a combination valve that has separate
    inputs and outputs.
    The lines are crossed going into the input of this combo-proportioning valve with the REAR of the master cylinder going to the FRONT of the combo valve, and the FRONT of the MC going to the REAR of the combo valve.

    The combo valve has a (two wire) fluid pressure switch fitted. so when the piston inside the combo valve moves from one side to the other, (due to more pressure on one side than the other, in case of a leak) the difference in pressure will activate the dash board BRAKE and ABS light.

    The combo valve has two output lines coming out of it.

    Combo valve: the FRONT line o/p goes to the HCU (hydraulic
    control unit) that is controlled by the ABS controller. The HCU has a dump
    valve solenoid and an isolation valve solenoid on it. The o/p of the HCU goes
    down to the distribution block (on the frame) and a line goes from there to BOTH rear wheels. There is a flexible line that goes to middle of the axle and two lines come off it to each rear wheel cylinder. These are the ABS controlled
    drum brakes. The front disc brakes are just normal brakes.

    Combo valve: The REAR o/p line goes down to a distribution block (on the frame) and then two lines go off from it, one to each front wheel.

    Since the only common place for fluid to be transferred between the front
    and rear braking systems is the Combination valve, the fluid loss had to
    be there, because the piston inside didn't move all the way(sticking?) and repeated brake pedal applications forced more fluid to be transferred from
    the front (disk brake) system over to the ABS controlled system..which had a split line LEAK on the front to back line.
  • I am stumped on this one and would appreciate any help figuring this out..
    2000 dakota 3.9l 4x4 standard transmission

    driving down the road one day the vss sensor went out: engine light on, no speedo, abs light on, brake light on but the brake wasn't on, shift light told me to shift into a higher gear when already in 5th. engine started stalling and backfiring. got it home, and replaced the sensor ($40).

    all is good, except now the brake pedal is soft, and pulsates a bit(but it doesn't feel like the normal pulsating from the normal warped rotor problems) it feels more like a clunking in the pedal if that makes any sense. checked all the rotors and pads and have new rear brakes(shoes and drums) nothing looks bad that way....and this only started after the vss sensor was replaced... what else should I look into?

    thanks in advance for any ideas :)
  • did you get this fixed? mines doing the same thing. changed the rear brake line which was the easiest.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited November 2011
    driving down the road one day the vss sensor went out: engine light on, no speedo, abs light on, brake light on but the brake wasn't on, shift light told me to shift into a higher gear when already in 5th. engine started stalling and backfiring. got it home, and replaced the sensor ($40). [/quote]

    The ABS controller WILL set the ABS light and Brake light if it detects
    a fluid leak/loss of braking pressure in the rear lines from the HCU (hydraulic control unit) which pulses the rear brakes, or loss of fluid pressure at the proportioning valve.
    So it sounds like you had some sort of brake issue already,
    but that shouldn't cause stalling and backfiring..that is something else
    The Vehicle speed sensor (in rear differential) sends pulses to the PCM
    for the Speedo and to the CAB (Controller Antilock Brake) for RWD antilock
    brakes. So if you have complete failure in the VSS, the PCM doesn't
    get the pulses and it can't calculate the vehicle speed. The CAB can't
    perform the ABS function, BUT you would still have regular braking power.

    On the Dakotas, the rear brakes are drum brakes and they use
    a RWAL (rear wheel anti-lock) system to prevent the rear drum brakes from locking up on you, causing a skid when you jam down on the power brakes hard.

    all is good, except now the brake pedal is soft, and pulsates a bit(but it doesn't feel like the normal pulsating from the normal warped rotor problems) it feels more like a clunking in the pedal if that makes any sense.
    checked all the rotors and pads and have new rear brakes(shoes and drums) nothing looks bad that way....and this only started after the vss sensor was replaced... what else should I look into? [/quote]

    The clunking is a mechanical issue with either the front calipers or the
    rear shoes. If the pedal feels soft and there is brake fluid in the reservoir
    up to the fill mark, then some possibilities are:

    - Master cylinder leaking and air is getting in the lines somehow.
    -one of the rear wheel cylinders is leaking fluid
    - pinhole leak in the front to rear long brake line somewhere.
    it needs to be checked thoroughly and the rubber line that connects
    it to the axle lines. That rubber line could be abraded from wearing
    on the axle and have a small pinhole leak

    -ABS system (rear brake line and wheel cylinders have possibly got some air in there somehow.

    -Front pads ok? If not, more fluid has to be transfered from the master
    cylinder to the caliper pistons to achieve front braking and the pedal
    WILL travel further to the floor to achieve braking power in that case.

    Solution: a) Check pads for wear, replace if necessary.
    b) bleed all 4 wheels at bleed screws on calipers/ wheel cylinders.
    If the new shoes/drums were replaced recently, was the wheel cylinders ever bled?

    That may be a challenge however, if the bleed screws
    are seized from brake heat over the years.

    c) Try resetting the CAB by disconnecting the positive battery cable for
    10 seconds. If the CAB still thinks there is a brake issue, it won't
    reset itself until the actual problem is cleared.
  • i did not bleed after installing the line. i didn't know air in the lines would cause the brakes to tighten up. i'll try bleeding but i can't see how air in the lines would cause the brakes to tighten up. unless it gets in the cab and screws it up. i'll try bleeding the only thing left is to change the cab unit. if this doesn't work i may by pass the unit and just run straight brake line to the rear.
  • The VSS in the rear diff was changed and stopped all the issues that resulted from it. I could stop normal (no soft pedal or clunking feeling)even when it was bad, no trouble with the brakes at all....but once it was changed, we took it for a test drive, and that's when the soft pedal and clunking feeling in the pedal showed up.

    Yes the rear brakes were bled when they were changed a month before all that went down, we had to change the one cylinder at that time, and the brake line to it as well. front pads and rotors still looked good as well. no loss of fluid either. Should I maybe try to bleed them again even tho all we did was change the vss sensor?

    I probably should say that my dashboard isn't light up like a christmas tree anymore, that was fixed with the new sensor also. no lights on at all. I still drive it, just not when there is a lot of traffic as I don't trust others to not pull out in front of me as I don't have much confidence in stopping quickly at the moment.

    thanks for the help ;)
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited November 2011
    So you changed the line to the rear cylinders and both rear cylinders?

    That would introduce air into the braking system and it doesn't take much air to give
    you a soft pedal.
    I agree that the VSS sensor going bad and being changed has nothing to do with
    a soft pedal. It would only give you a ABS and BRAKE indicator coming on as well
    as a check engine, since the CAB requires the pulses coming in from the VSS to
    function. IF the brake lines and brakes are free of air, you would get a normal
    pedal feel and the hydraulic brakes would still function normally.

    The soft pedal means that air has entered the system somewhere, it can
    get in through the threads of the loose bleeder screw or the master cylinder
    sucking in air when the fluid is too low.

    Did you add fluid to the master cylinder and check it constantly while bleeding the rear
    brakes? When bleeding, you must not allow the brake fluid level to get down to the point
    where the master cylinder sucks in air...if it did, then there is now air trapped in the front calipers
    and they must be bled to get rid of the air in the front lines.

    When bleeding brakes, you need lots of brake fluid. You need a rubber tube fitting
    tight on the bleeder screw going into a container of brake fluid. The end of the
    rubber hose cannot be exposed to air..otherwise air will get in via the bleed screw
    as soon as the fluid stops flowing when the pedal is down. As soon as the pedal
    is released, the system starts sucking air wherever there is any tiny exposure to air.

    If one person bled the brakes, then there is some likelyhood that air did manage
    to get into the lines, and trapped inside the front calipers. If you didn't bleed the
    calipers, then there is a good possibility that there is some air in one or both
    of the front calipers which do 70% of the braking on the vehicle.

    With two people , one pumping the brake pedal and the other checking the master cylinder
    fluid level and operating the bleeder screw with a hose on the bleeder screw going into
    a sealed plastic bottle containing brake fluid, there would be less chance of getting
    air introduced back into the system.

    (Instructions to person pumping pedal)
    1. PUMP!
    2. HOLD (dont release pedal until instructed)
    Other person opens up bleeder screw and fluid and air go into a closed container
    3. Ok (RELEASE
    repeat the proces)s 6 to 7 times for each caliper/wheel cylinder
    NOTE: You will require 2-3 containers of brake fluid for this, Do not pour old
    fluid back into mastercylinder as it may contain moisture which will boil inside
    if the brakes get too hot!

    So to summarize: with one person pumping and holding the pedal down WITHOUT RELEASING,
    the other person operates the bleed screw and fluid/air released into a bottle
    containing some brake fluid.

    Here is a youtube video on a spongy pedal tough brake bleed job.
    Calipers incorrectly installed on this car. They ended up using
    the reverse bleeding method and note the last section where the caliper bleed screw was
    elevated to allow trapped air (still in the caliper) to finally make it's way out and allow
    for a firm pedal.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited November 2011
    See my reply (soft pedal rquires rebleeding of brakes) FRONT AND REAR!
  • Changed the passenger side brake cylinder when we did the brakes and the line to it. We bled them properly, and they worked just fine, no issues up until the VSS went bad a month later. We didn't touch any part of the brake system when we changed the VSS. But That is when the problem showed up. That is what has us confused.

    Tomorrow is supposed to be a pretty nice day here in NE Ohio, will try to bleed them tomorrow health permitting(my brother has some troubles)
    I will let you all know if your ideas help :) thanks!
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