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Dodge Dakota Problems. Please help!



  • danodwdanodw Posts: 63
    I too have read more on this site about all the Dodge problems. I really like the truck ( looks and features ) but that is all I like about it. I've had way too many problems out of this truck and can't get the service done right. In 3 weeks I have had my truck for one year, 20K miles, been to shop O' I guess about 10 times, put in the shop over night about 3 times, another time it was there 6 days and two days later was there 2 more days. Still not fixed. Whats bad is I amfeeling bad about this. I mean I am having more small problems now. I could go on and on to the dealer but I want bring up the new problems becausethey have not even took care of the old problems and its taken a year to get to meet with a rep. They talk to me like this is my first time driving and owning a truck or car. I could fix everything myself for $1000 to 2K but I paid too much for this truck to let it go and the problem has been since day one. I will never trust or buy another Dodge. Wouldn't be so bad if they would just fix the thing the first time. I know every auto maker out there has problems but Dodge has too many and not fixing them. March 1st I am having a meeting with a rep at the dealership. I can't wait. I almost just want to get it all off my mind, kick their [non-permissible content removed] and fix the thing myself or just get rid of it. It will be hard to get rid of it around here because used Dakota's are for sale everywhere and the word is out that they are junk and Dodge will not stand behind them. Anyway I
    expect more bull crap from the rep. Most people do not have time to fight for a warranty. I will do my best to keep someone from buying a Dodge. Please don't tell me its my fault or I should chill and give them a chance. My attitude is because of the poor quality of dodge and them not knowing or willing to fix it. In my 30 years of owning and driving I have never gone through this much crap and been taken for so much money. Way to much trouble. I do know there are some good one's out there but not many and I'm wondering if some of the good one's are coming from owners who have never had a quality truck, like Nissan or toyota. I do want to think all the people on this site for the help and advice I have gotten here. You know if the rep says fix my truck, I bet its with the same crapy parts. I will request after market parts mainly on the brake system. I have been printing out the problems on brakes and other things on this site so if anyone wants to post someting on here before the 1st of march, Iwill print it out and give it to the rep I am seeing. I want them to know that I am not the only one having problems and that I know this. Recall Recall Recall.
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    What problems are you having besides the brakes that would cost 2k to fix?

    I've had my Dakota since Oct 30, 2000. The brakes are fine, 12k miles. No sign whatsoever of rotor warpage. The pads looked fine at the October inspection. I had a noisy vacuum hose in the engine at one point, but the dealer replaced that and all is well. No other real troubles at all. Perhaps my experience is not typical, I don't know.

    If you are complaining solely about the brakes I would have to say bite the bullet and put the required aftermarket parts on to fix your problem. It seems to have made many of the folks here happy that were having problems. Perhaps not the fix you are looking for after spending the amount of money you have, but look at the loss you would take if you sell the truck when you could have cured the problems with it.

    What are the other problems that you are having that are so bad?
  • stnickstnick Posts: 177
    I feel for those of you that have had more than your share of problems. All vehicles have problems. But a good dealer and servicer is worth his/her weight in gold. They can make or break your problems, amplify your frustrations by lack of understanding, incompetence or just don't give a poo. Or they can treat you as they themselves would like to be treated. They are I think 60% of vehicle owner satisfaction if you do need service. Talk about scary problems, I was researching the new GM trailblazer/Envoy twins in their owner club, as possible future purchase. There I found reports of catastrophic front end parts failures, and more important, cylinder sleeve crackes in the new in line 6 engine, that require engine replacement, and more than a few owners reporting this. One guy said he was on his 3rd engine! At least we Dak owners havn't had that to contend with. Knock wood.. Nick
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I have had the same experience with my 2000 GMC Sierra over 18 months of ownership. It has been back to the dealer at least 12 times; once for a new engine. I asked GM for an extended warranty to compensate me for the inconvenience. They told me there was "no business case" for doing so.

    So, now I plan to get rid of it. I was considering a Dakota until reading of all the problems. Now I am looking at a Mazda B4000 - I don't read of many problems reported with them.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    Are you aware that many MAZDA and FORD are made on the same assembly line. Somtimes they put FORD badges on .... then they put some MAZDA badges on.

    Personallly I will NEVER own a FORD (and that means MAZDA too.)
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    You got a PROBLEM with FORDS?? Huh? HUH?

    In truth, I would like to hear your agument why you would NEVER own a FORD.

    As many wise folks here have said, every manufacturer makes their share of junk, even DODGE.

    The only reason I broke and bought a dodge this time around is because they were the only manufacturer that had the configuration I wanted in a vehicle. Next time Chevy might make the one I need.

    Brand loyalty is over rated.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    I totally agree with you... a savvy consumer does not succumb to brand loyalty.

    I am not 'loyal' to any specific brand... I am certainly biased againsed some brands for specific reasons.

    There are many reasons I will not own a ford. One of which is their marketing tactics. When it comes to Toyota... They pay a certain political activist monie$ to look upon them favorably.

    For example... Ford claims that the F150 has been the #1 selling truck for 15 years or so. This is because they add in virtually ALL rental vehicles, fleet purchases, and anyting else that makes the numbers look good.

    If GM would add up all Chevy and GMC trucks (including renatls and fleets) Their number would FAR exceed the Ford claims... (I applaud GM for not lowering themselves to Fords tricks.)

    Besides... I like to be DIFFERENT and will often stay away from what everone else is doing.

    I bought my Dakota because it was the ONLY choice with a V8 in a small(er) truck. I also live in Vermont where DC vehicles tend to shun off the rust caused by the copious use of roadsalt. (Chevies and most asian vehicles RUST quickly.) Also, A US-named vehicle usually has cheaper parts when it comes time to replace things such as brakes or airfilters.

    I realized that I may be sacrificing some 'reliability' when I went with a US-named vehicle... but that was my personall priority. (There is no longer such a thing as a US-made vehicle.)

    The other 2 vehicles in my driveway are Hondas. One has over 204,000 miles on it and the other is only around 156,000 miles. The service at the Honda dealership is FAR FAR superiour that what my Dakota dealer can even imagine. It is not cheap... but I am treated like royality each time I call or show up at the Honda dealership. Even the salesman that sold me my 1991 4WD Honda Civic still makes it a point to say "HI" when he sees me. (Too bad our Hondas are starting to rust out... Honda no longer makes the 4WD civic and my wife LOVES that car.)

    Saturn makes PLASTIC cars that will NEVER rust. I am hoping their new 4WD wagon will satisfy my wife to relace her 4WD civic.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I think it can be summed up in value, reliability, and resale value. Not to mention usability(in other words, does the vehicle PERFORM as you expect)

    All vehicles have their quirks, some more than others. On the whole, I used to have terrific satisfaction from Chrysler products. Then, beancounters and cost cutting reared its ugly head and no longer does DC make a vehicle which can measure up to past examples of reliability.

    For instance, its a well known fact that Dakota brakes leave much to be desired in terms of durability. (just check other Dak sites on this specific issue) I have heard one argument after another about "well, all vehicles these days go thru rotors...." Its as if we're all supposed to buy that half bakes horse manure arguement and trudge off to Midas or Munro and spend $600 for a 30K brake job.

    Sorry, I have a slightly higher level of intelligence than that. What happened to the days when you replaced just the pads or shoes and never the rotor or the drum unless you ignored the squeals and let the shoes eat the drum/rotor? I suppose that's a thing of the past.
    I feel it's an attempt on the part of dealers/service managers to lower the customers expectations so when we show up for service and get presented with a huge bill, we're supposed to accept that and go on.

    The point is, DC made some errors in judegement or cost decisions and unfortunately it has clouded my enthusiaism I once had driving my truck.
    What disappoints me greatly is my prior Chrysler products performed admirably, often under extremely stretched maintenance intervals (anyone remember their college days and the lack of cash to spruce up your ride? I sure do!)
    Now here is my dak that has never had to:
    1. Haul loads like other trucks have.
    2. Never to towed a boat, trailer, camper etc.

    In other words, I have asked only that the brakes slow down the truck plus my 200+ body.
    Not too much to ask is it?
    And yet 4 sets of rotors and drums and I have yet to hit 30K......somethings rotten out there....... and its not in Denmark!

    I stand firmly behind my previous comment in that if I had it to do all over again, knowing what I now know, I would NOT buy a Dakota. Best thing I can say is 2 1/2 years more payments and I will have the title free and clear. Not too sure what I will buy next, maybe my old Dodge Dart with its quirky slant 6 and carter BBS carb or find a Cordoba with a 400 4bbl and t-tops (like my old one) or maybe just settle for a slightly used Dodge Spirit, a wonderful if unrefined car.
  • Hey folks,

    Lot's of griping here, but for what it's worth, I'm on my second Dakota (first one had a 318, second one has the 4.7L). Here's what I can tell you about each:

    Dakota #1 was a 1995 and I put 136k miles on it before sellign it. The ONLY thing I had to do outside or nomal maintenance (oil changes, tires, etc) was a radiator at 130k miles. Salt got to it. I replaced the pads and shoes once and it still had the original drums and rotors. It was an outstanding truck. The only gripe I had was that it still had the 1980s vintage type interior so it didn't look or feel very high quality.

    Dakota #2 is 2000 (currently has 9k miles). I had one problem with it. The left front shock came loose and the dealer fixed it on the spot when I rolled in. As far as the brakes go, so far so good and they stop better than most sedans I've been in save the BMW 325i I just test drove (still drooling over that one, but it's not a truck :-) ).

    Anyway, if brakes are the only issue, I agree with whoever said to suck it up and just fix 'em. If that's the only problem you ever have be thankful becasue all of them have their good points and bad.

    As for Honda, I have a 92 Accord in the driveway as well with 138k miles. Great car. Had to replace the timing belt (normal), CV boots (sometimes normal), and a wheel bearing (not normal). That's it to date, but my first Dakota actually had fewer woes. Also, for those of you who may remember, Hondas had notorious issues with eating rortors from about 1991 until 1996.

    Here's the key, this really isn't a major problem. Yes, we pay good money for vehicles and they should be right the first time, but sometimes they're not and as long as it's not serious stuff I can live with it. I don't like squeeks and rattles either so thanfully the 2000 Dakota doesn't have that.

    I have no idea where these prices for brake jobs are coming from. If that's what people want to charge then pull out the wrenches youself. My God don't be such wimps! Excellent quality rotors can be had for $35 - $50 ea and a high quality pad set can be had for about $30. This and an hour of your time and the problem is gone. The gripers have probably spent more time than that hollerin' about it in this forum! :-)

    Lastly, on the good side of the ledger, I've been greatly surprised at how well my 2000 Dakota Sport handles. For a truck it is absolutely outstanding and when compared to most cars, it's at least "good" if not "pretty good". It goes around corners better than my Accord and better than most anything else I've looked at in the car lines except a 'Stang and of course the high end sports sedans. In fact, the steering is weighted a lot like a sports sedan and I love it! Yeah, I plan to keep my truck, but I'm also looking for a nice sedan to go with it. I'm a MOPAR guy and have been one for a long time (even back when they were horrible cars in the late 70s and 80s!). Only problem is they don't have anything that turns my crank right now. I'm looking for horsepower, rear wheel drive, and a 5 spd manual. Chrysler/Dodge only has one of the three. I'd take 2 of three if they had it. So, I've been off in BMW land. I'm hoping to see a Hemi powered 300 with a manual trans in the next several years. If they make it I'll be in line to get one. Until then, I plan to enjoy my Dakota.

  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    bpeebles - Why is it that you do not consider fleet sales to be sales? Or rental sales? As far as I'm concerned, if you sell the vehicle, it's a sale, and should be counted as such. Who cares if the guy who is driving it paid for it himself or if it is a work supplied vehicle? It's still out there, paid for and in use. ??

    These types of things, along with the 'xxx of the year' awards from every magazine out there, should be taken with a grain of salt anyway.

    Not very good reasons to NEVER buy a vehicle from them, in my opinion...
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    You may be correct... my reasons for not ever owning a F@RD may be pretty lame.

    As for counting fleet and rental "sales" to claim the "best selling truck in the world". My point is that they are comparing apples to oranges to make that claim. I realize that the idea is to "pull in" other folks that like to follow the crowd. I guess that is the VERY reason I am running the other way. (I do not like crowds)

    I know several farmers that have tried F@rds over the years... they guzzled gas and wore out quickly. These farmers ALL ended up in the DODGE camp after trying all the other trucks out there.
  • I'd have to second what Bpeebles said about brand loyalty (and not having any). Personally, I could care less who makes what, or even the political agenda of the companies (although I can't say that I agree with Toyota and Ford marketing tactics). This is, however, mainly because I hate politics. :) For me it is the overall package that is important; reliability, options, performance, dealer reliability/performance are all a part of that. I have owned 5 cars/trucks thus far, and all of them have their upsides and downsides. I owned a Saturn SL2 for 170K miles and replaced NOTHING except for brake pads and one alternator, and even THAT was due to my adding a subwoofer to the car. It sure didn't beat many people in races, but I loved that car because it was fast enough for what I needed, and it cost next to nothing to maintain. I then bought an S-10 because gas mileage was good and it hauled stuff around well enough for what I needed, and although I didn't have to have anything repaired, I only owned it for 45K miles, and by the time I traded it in on my Dakota, the clutch was about to go, the rotors HAD gone, the dash was rattling like crazy (and had been since 10K miles) and on top of that, the dealer took advantage of me so that I almost had to pay for a new clutch.

    I've owned my Dak for almost 8K miles so far in 2 months and while that's not a lot of time, so far I am extremely pleased with it. It has exhibited none of the problems that I have heard of yet, is quiet as a mouse as far as rattles/squeaks go, has more than enough power for a V6 for what I need, looks great, and on top of that, I got it for $500 under invoice at 0.0% financing with a 7 yr/100K warranty. To top it off, I've had it in the shop 3 or 4 times for routine maintenance and a little 'buzz' that came from the engine (turns out the oil dipstick was beating on the underside of the hood), and I have always gotten awesome service. I can't say that the truck will NEVER have problems, but my S10 had problems with the clutch and squeaks before 6K miles were out, and I've used my Dakota harder than I ever used any vehicle. I can't say I'm a Dodge loyalist, but I can say that I'll never refuse to purchase a vehicle from certain companies. After all, 10 years ago, if someone had said "Hey, in 10 years, Toyota will come out with an extremely popular full-size truck, and Hyundai cars will be selling like hotcakes because they are extremely reliable" I would have dropped dead with laughter.
  • I've got a 2001 QuadCab 4WD with 11,500 miles. My only complaint is a clunking noise coming from the front end when I make left turns or hit bumps. Dealer told me they "think" it's due to the torsion bar not "floating" like it is supposed to. Their solution is to remove the torsion bars, apply anti-seizing lubricant and reinstall them. I was told this should "minimize" the problem. Anyone have similar problems? Otherwise very satisfied with the truck.
  • I had a clunking noise when I backed down my driveway and turned the wheel. It turned out that when I had the vehicle aligned, the shop forgot to tighten some setting. Sorry I can't be more technical.

    If you have had your alignment done recently, take it back and have them double check the settings.

    Hopefully this helps.
  • Owned this 99 extended cab since 4/01, bought it used from original owner in Ohio, who bought it new in Cinncinati, Ohio.I just read back a few messages and had some comments. The rear end gear whine , I have deduced is the gear lash in the rear end and have lived with it .I just don,t trust the yahoos at the dealer, My brakes pulsate just like everybody elses. The previous owner had the rotors and pads replaced in CVG and I will live with it till the pads wear out , then i will use aftermarket pads but will try to get rid of the pulsating by cutting the rotors. as far as gas mileage, I have the 3.9 and i get 12 -14 mpg. truck now has 40k on it and i use Mobil 1 oil. engine does sound really loose, almost like a singer sewing machine
  • My brother-in-law has a '00 Quad Cab with 40k miles. He has the typical brake problem. The dealership turned his rotors and drums at 25k miles. When they are warped again, we are going to go with the drilled and slotted rotors and upgraded drums. But here is his problem. The power door lock actuators keep going out. The dealer has replaced all four, they have been very good about it too. This has been an awfully puzzling problem, has anyone else had this happen to them?
  • How exactly do you know when your rotors are warped? Yea, I know, I may be dumb, but I've owned 3 vehicles and never have experienced them. Just want to know what to look out for. Tks.
  • gregp5gregp5 Posts: 51
    You can usually tell by when you apply the brakes the pedal will pulsate under your foot.
    If your asking how they know there warped at the Dealer, they use a gauge to measure the runout.
  • Well I have a 94 dakota with the 3.9, 5 speed 2wd. This truck has over 150000 miles on it and has not really given me that many problems. Other than a fuel pump around 80k and water pump around 90k it been pretty good. I haven't even had to replace the clutch yet just normal wear and tear stuff, although I did have that rotor problem and after I turned them so much they needed replacing I just bought some after market rotors and they have been fine for about oh 60k or so miles. It has been a good truck but I need something bigger possibly the new ram or silverado....never had a chevy before.
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