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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • Seth,
    Ironically, I had the same problem this afternoon luckly only two miles from home.
    I tried the battery trick (mine is original) with no luck. I got the exact same codes and the "no bus" indication.
    How did you make out with the PCM?
  • 95 Dakota V8- 318 5.2L Magnum 4 wheel Drive pick up truck. Cranks but will not start. Have replaced crank shaft position sensor, cam shaft and powertrain control module. I'm tearing my hair out here! Please help! Pete
  • Dave,

    Unfortunately, I still don't know anything. I tried the battery trick as well, to no avail. I had it towed to the dealer and have not heard back from them yet. I will post the results as soon as know something. Just out of curiosity, have you had any problems with your stereo or any other electrical problems?

  • Dave,

    I just heard from the dealer, it is the PCM. Unfortunately for me it is on back order. I also have found that we are not the only ones this has happened to. I looked on and found other similar complaints. One guy said his went out at 57,500 miles (which is what mine is at), they replaced it and it went out again after 7,000 miles.

    Sounds like there may be a potential recall.

    Good Luck,
  • No other electrical problems whatsoever.
    I ordered a used PCM today, hopefully it will be here by Friday. I'll keep you posted.
  • I have a little more mileage - 106K.
    I just realized that you have a 2001. I was so focused on postings with "no bus" I didn't pick that up, mine is a 2000. I have a friend at work that told me there was a recall on the 2001 to have the PCM "flashed". Might want to look into that.
  • It is a 01 Dakota 4.7L, and I don't understand what you mean by an engine code. It usually haooens when I start the engine up. When I turn on the A/C, it will idle real high until it is warm.
  • This BONEHEAD had all kinds of stuff fixed while it was still under warranty. Every time something wasn't right, I hauled it in. If I didn't owe more than the thing was worth, I would have gotten rid of it a long time ago.
  • Well, we put a factory rebuilt PCM purchased from a Dodge dealership in and still no luck. We are trying to have it checked out tho because we have no guarantee that it works properly. I have had all my "expert" friends, who work on cars professionally, looking at this truck and we just cannot get it going. I really need this second vehicle and any ideas at all will be appreciated. Thanx, Pete
  • Thanks for the "heads up" on the possible recall. I will look into that.
  • It's good to know about the P-Codes, but if it's not theP-Codes that keep coming up on my odometer ie: 950 & 999 then what are these numbers? My 97 is going into the dealer's service dept. tomorrow morning (Friday). I had earlier postings listed under "Backfring And Power Loss". I've given up troubleshooting this one myself. I will post the results.
  • Steve,

    I, too, have a '97 Dakota. Look for my posts about Check Engine over the past 2 weeks. Someone named Dusty has answered a few of my questions, but he left me hanging on my last one (never heard from him again). According to him, the 3-digit codes you're getting in your odometer are Instrument Cluster faults; I get the same ones (950/999). It points to ABS from CAB fuse panel (look thru the thread and you'll see in better detail.). It's still Greek to me - probably nothing serious. I asked Dusty for an exhaustive list of the 3-digit codes we're talkng about here but he didn't oblige.

    On a website called I Hacked, I found this (it'll help you deciper the 3-digit ones):

    What Dusty first claims to be a capability to read P-codes from the odometer turned out to be false: one CANNOT read those codes from the odometer on the '97, and this is no doubt true for other years as well. If you look at my last post, you'll see explicit and useful instructions as to how to get and crack the P-codes for the Dakota.

    Good luck.
  • Well, I just replaced the PCM with a used unit. Did not fix the problem. Back to the drawing board.........Any one have any suggestions??
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    For the most part, Dusty is a knowledgeable and helpful resource for all of us in the forum. The same goes for Bruce (bpeebles) and this forum would be much less worthwhile without them. I like to think about all of the people whom they have helped (including me) at one time or another. The tone of your posting seems to indicate that Dusty is not cooperative, respondent or helpful. I sincerely think otherwise. If I misread your intent, I apologize. The whole beauty of this forum has been the friendliness of the members, and the respect for each other. No one is always "right" (not counting my mother-in-law) and everyone does their best to offer sound advice.

  • Thanks Dakotaman1for the input. I was able to get my truck into my local Dodge Dealer Friday morning (9/16) but haven't heard anything back yet. I've called a couple of times but the service writer said that they didn't have anything conclusive yet. At one point he even used the word STUMPED. That's not what I wanted to hear. He told me to expect a call today (Saturday) but we'll just have to wait and see? I'm concerned that my PCM may be faulty because my check engine light hasn't came on for the past week even when my truck was running so rough it was backfiring? I'll post what the dealer says when I get their response.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    My apologies for not responding right away. Not only am I not on every day, but I've been have internet problems to boot.

    The P-codes are readable in my 2003 and earlier Dakotas, and it works in Dodge and Chrysler cars and mini-vans. I just verified that it works on a '98 Chrysler Concorde and a '99 Dodge Caravan. I was not aware that it didn't work on a '97 Dakota. That seems strange since Chrysler has used that same method for reading faults even before they went to the direct display of P-codes in the odometer display.

    If you still need a definition of the instrument cluster codes I'll provide them.

  • And sorry I didn't get you something posted before you took your truck on in - no doubt the very thing you werre trying to avoid. Not that my post would have necessarily solved your problem either. If you get a resolution on your PCM issue, I do hope you'll post it.

    And as for BooKitty's comment - seems a bit too defensive. All I did was recap the history of my thread. I agree that Dusty has provided much useful on this forum, and given the nature of those commtns, it surprised me that he was wrong about reading P-codes. He started out by saying (emphatically) that Chrylsler was the only make that allowed you (owners) to do this, and it ended up - after several iterations - to be that it's impossible; and I made this determiniation on my own. That P-codes are not readable via odometer on the Dakota is something every Dakota owner should know, and as such, it's too bad such info couldn't be posted in a general (e.g., FAQ area) rather than hidden within a discussion thread like mine (or Steve's).

    The only other point I raised was the source of the 3-digit code translations. Inquiring minds wanna know. Dusty offered a translaton for "950". I politely asked for a source of the entire list and that request was ignored (for whatever reason). Here again, translations for all 3-digit Instrument Cluster check codes, as with P-codes, are something every Dakota owner should know, and as such, it's too bad such info couldn't be posted in a general (e.g., FAQ area) rather than hidden within a dussion thread like mine (or Steve's). Turned out - Steve had the same question.

    What is frustrating on a forum like this is when someone posts several questons and some else - well meaning as they are - weighs in and picks and chooses which questions to respond to and says nothing about the rest - even if to say "I know nothing abut that other question..." This is what's a little frustrating for some - a little like charades. So I ended up research on my own and - in effect - answering some of my own questions. I posted the definitive source of 3-digit (Instrument Cluster Check) codes:

    and P-codes

    for all to see. If someone disagrees with this information, please push back! But I saw it posted nowhere else on this forum.

    Enough of that. Dusty's responces were appreciated and I stated so personally in all my replies. Reread (BooKitty) if you missed them. A major suggestion would be to have a generic FAQ area to post fundamental info about the Dakota, so it's not couched in problem-specific threads. That would save busy folks like me a lot of time. If such is possible on this forum, great! If not, so be it.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    First, I guess on occasion I do let some questions go by because I'm not the only one in here that has good Dakota knowledge and has been more than helpful. However, I missed your's because a number of posts went by and I don't always go backwards to check. I do have a life outside of this forum.

    On your comment about the "P-codes are not readable via odometer on the Dakota " is categorically incorrect. They are on 2001s and up for sure. The fact that the '97 has the newest Chrysler instrument cluster and PCM circuitry, I did believe that they would have the P-codes readable in the odometer display. It looks like I made an assumption and was incorrect. My apologies.

    As to the Instrument Cluster codes, They are from the '03 Dodge Dakota factory service manual, although Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler cars and trucks use the same scheme and have for a number of years. I agree that it should probably be published in the Dakota FAQs forum and I will post them there when I have the time.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    I just realized that I did respond to the question about where the source for the instrument cluster codes were. It's in post number 3662 to Seth.

  • Dusty,
    Can I reset the instrument cluster myself without having to go back to the dealer? What is the procedure?
This discussion has been closed.