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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The #1 problem with MOPAR automatic xmissions is using the wrong fluid in them. Most mechanics will just pour in DEXRON (General Motors) trannie fluid. It may work OK for several thousand mailes...but eventually it will start to slip between gears and generaly shift like cr@p.

    It is often reccommended to have the filter and fluid changed when complaints such as yours about a Dodge xmission are heard. Your xmission is perhaps due for a fluid change anyway.

    Here is a URL to a website about MOPAR that explains in more details.

    Another possibility-- the xmission uses the speed sensor to "calibrate" itself. Since your speed-sensor was recently replaced, consider "retraining" your xmission. (refer to the above URL for "retraining" details)
  • Thanks .........I'll check them out ...
  • My 2000 Dakota's power stering pump whines a great deal. I can hear it in the cab when at idle. In the parking lots it gets very loud turning the wheels to park. My mechanic is at a loss, since the pump has lots of pressure and seems to operate correctly. Is pump replacement the only cure? :confuse:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The powersteering system on the Dakotas was totally new starting in the 2000 model year. (Power Rack-n-pinion) The very next year, Dodge switched to recommending ATF+4 fluid in all Dakotas. (The new system would burn up normal PS fluid.)

    Additionally, I noted that in cold temps. (below -10F) the steering would be too stiff to be able to turn the steering wheel.

    I switched to RedLine Powersteerig fluid years ago. It has better specifications than ATF+4 and has solved the stiff steering and noise I was having.

    Here is the technical details for RedLine PS fluid.
  • well thanks, I know the tranny fluid hasnt been changed since Ive owned it for about 7 months now, Ill try that, could it possibly be the throttle position sensor? or stuck tranny valves? thank you
  • I have a 97 with a 3.9 with a intermittent voltage problem. The vehicle runs fine for a while (engine can be cold or hot)then battery voltage stops to the ignition coil, fuel injection etc. Initially the vehicle starts with a light bucking during operation and continues to get worse until the engine completely dies (normally 15 to 20 minute duration). I've put a voltmeter on the ignition coil battery side and the dark green and orange wire at the distribution center and watched the voltage go from approximately 14 VDC to 0 when the problem is occurring.

    I performed a ASD relay check which showed the relay as good and even changed relays just in case, but have the same problem. Once the engine gets to a point to where it completely dies, normally if I let it set for a couple days it will be driveable for about 10 to 40 miles and starts again. If I let the truck sit until the engine is cold from the last operation it normally won't start. Any ideas would be helpful!
  • replacing your air idler motor located on the carburator solved my idle problems.something to consider
  • haselhasel Posts: 64
    I had a problem where my 99 Dakota would not idle, replaced Battery, this solved problem, engine would only run above idle speed,
  • When it gets cold, below 40 degrees outside my 2001 Dodge Dakota Quad has an intermittent whining noise at around 1700 rpm. If I accelerate or decellerate it fads away. Sounds like a noise in the drivers front side. Could it be transmission shifting problem? Does same in or out of overdrive. Once the weather gets warm, no longer a problem.
  • Hey Guys-Last winter my truck began having problems starting when it was raining heavy? It will turn over, but not fire! Then if I waited a couple hours it would start. Then when it starts it'll idle very low (almost a low chugging sound) and if I step on the gas, it stalls. I changed the plugs, rotor and wires? Still happens...where could water be affecting this or getting in?? Please help!!
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Certainly sounds like it could be a moisture problem. Did you change the distributor cap also? If not, I would try that next.
  • Have you heard of the service bulletin 05-004-05 REV. A?
    This addresses vibration in the brake pedal when the brakes are applied at highway speeds. It calls for replacement of the rear axles and brake shoes.
    In my case it still does not address why my front and rear rotors are warped for the second time in a truck with 10,000 miles. I have had other problems with this truck as well. I am going to sell and never buy Dodge again.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Thinking about putting a ham radio rig in my 06 Dak and wondering about RFI issues with all the electronics nowdays.
    Haven't run mobile in years so not up to date on whats going on in the mobile world.
    Welcome any information from anyone about this issue.

  • In cool/cold temperatures, I can put my vehicle (after a little warm up) in drive and go without hesitation. However, here is my problem.... if I put my vehicle in reverse before allowing it to warm up to normal operating temperature, the vehicle will stall. The vehicle will not operate normally in reverse until the temperature indicates normal running temp. which normally takes 15 - 20 minutes in cold temperatures.

    My vehicle is a 2001 Dakota, 4WD, 3.9l.

    Can someone please help!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Sounds like yo uare describing the ol' powersteering whining issue.

    Change your powersteering fluid to be RedLine synthetic.
  • hi there we just bought a used dakota, 150,000 Km, when we test drove it we had no problems. now after a week we notice a roar/rumble once we hit 50km per hour---sounds like it comes from uder the bed up to the cab. truck was saftied, e-tested. any ideas?
  • I own a 97 dakota and the truck just started stalling. It is an itermitent problem and is hard for the garage to diagnose. I really do not want to spend piles of dollars changing parts that do not need to be replaced. I had the battery load tested the TOPS sensor cleaned and tested, the throttle body cleaned. All tests seem to show good according to the garage and of course will not act up for them. The truck will stall if it is cold, warm or when everit feels like it. I can keep it running by keeping my foot on both the accelerator and brake for a short period of time then as fast as it comes on it leaves and no more problem for a few days. I need help or dynamite. :sick:
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Davea2, I have a 93 Dakota that does the same thing. Started when it was approx 3 yrs old and no one has ever been able to diagnose it either.
    Only solution I have come up with is to look at it as an exercise in foot-to-foot coordination and live with it!!
    I initially thought that sooner or later something would completely fail and then would know what the problem was but now several years later it's still going strong... :cry:
  • Back to the forum after a time out. 94 3.9 Dak with 64K now has brand new "All Metal" radiator after the dreaded plastic tank separation. Went to and got the all metal one for $4 less than OEM replacement. She's running smoother with less missing after several Amsoil PI treatments but it's still there in the background every once in a while. Still need to clean IAP. Keeps on trucking at 20 mpg around town.
    Great Truck. :D
  • Hi

    I have a 94 v6 Dakota. The problem I'm having is that the heat never seems to get very warm. Especially if the blower is at maximum. It seems to get colder if the blower is at max.

    Would this be a broken/dead resistor? Anyone have any ideas?

This discussion has been closed.