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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • brucetntbrucetnt Posts: 1
    i think there is a resistor that controls the heater/ac motor. on my older dakota it was on the firewall, but i now have a 2002.......where did they put it?
  • ronslakie1ronslakie1 Posts: 57
    I have not had to look for mine yet (2K Dak) but I believe in other discussions I have seen that it is behind the glovebox for 2K and up.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    The blower resistor is in the air plenum on the passenger side. It's just to the left of the blower on the bottom of the air plenum. It has 5 wires running to it. It's held in with 2 hex head screws. It is a little bit of a pain to get the left-most screw out (you need to push the lower HVAC ducts aside).
  • brad50brad50 Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2001 Quad Cab. The headlights are always on from the point I start the truck, even with the lights switch off. I don't believe it's Canadian, because the headlights don't appear to be 50%, nor do they go off when the parking break is on. It's as if the headlights switch is always on.
    Any ideas?
  • brad50brad50 Posts: 2
    Should the doors auto lock before the car is in gear and moving? Tried to disable the auto lock feature, but no chime response.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    look to see if your Dak has the DRL (Daytime Running Lamp) unit installed.... if it is NOT installed but your headlights are always on... this may be a cause for concern.

    If the headlights are on only with engine running... this may not be a big deal... DRL is known to save lives and is not a bad idea to turn on lights anyway.
  • The fan clutch was what I just had replaced and that is when the noise started every single time I start the truck. The fan does spin freely when the engine is off. I've had it back to the mechanic that put in the new fan clutch and he says that nothing is wrong with it - it is supposed to cycle like that. I don't see this as a normal noise and have never heard another car make this roaring noise every single time it starts up. I also have a hard time believing this is normal since it didn't start on my old fan clutch until it went bad - and now the replacement fan clutch does it every single time I start?
  • I've had the roaring noise on startup on all three Dakotas I have owned (1997 SLT EXT-CAB 4X2, 2003 SXT Reg Cab 4x2, and 2005 Laramie QC 4x4). The service department always says "that's just what it does."

    There is no real consistency to the conditions under which it will do it, and when it won't. In fact, it did it this morning, but not yesterday.
  • Anybody here got a Grand to loan? Need about $1000 to get my truck back from dodge. They said the computer took a dump. So did I; right in my shorts when they told me how much. They said it runs fine....we'll see. Also, the pc had a core charge...never heard of that on electronics. :sick:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The noise produced by the fan clutch on your Dakota is normal.

    The Dakota uses a viscous clutch fan that permits reduced load and subsequent loss of horsepower at high speeds, yet increased cooling capacity at low speeds. These fans utilize a thermostatic bimetallic coil spring that reacts to ait temperature.

    The viscous clutch fans used by Chrysler on the Dakota are classified as high efficiency type, as opposed to older designs used by auto makers years ago. A unusual artifact of this type of design is the fact that often...but not always...upon start up the clutch fan will be fully engaged. When working properly the clutch will release within a few seconds of forward operation when the fan begins drawing cooler air through the radiator. As soon as the thermostatic spring senses the cooler air the clutch will release and the fan will spin freely. When this happens you hear the noise stop.

    Best regards,
  • I have the same issue with my 04 dakota and have been told that it may just be a problem that can't be fixed. I would be interested in anything that can be done about this too.
  • erictlerictl Posts: 3
    Am I correct in thinking that the thermostat is not opening enough in my 1995 Dodge Dakota if the temperature gauge rises to the maximum safe level (not over to the hot mark yet) at higher rates of speed (55-65mph) and not at slower speeds? It didn't rise to that temperature before. Someone said that it could be the water pump. Should I change the thermostat, it is the original one.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    In general, the higher engine speeds coupled with highway driving should OVERCOOL the engine. This is perhaps BEST CASE situation from cooling perspective.

    The cooling system is more heavilly loaded with stop-n-go, slow traffic due to little airflow thru radiator and low engine speeds (waterpump is slow).

    Given the above, you need to ascertain WHY the temp is going up when the cooling system has the LOWEST load on it.

    Given the age of your Dak, there are several things that should be checked out.

    **)Are the radiator fins intact and not corroded?
    **)Is coolant up to proper level?
    **)Is there buildup of crud plugging the system?
    **)Is waterpump moving the coolant? (check belt tension)
    **)Does thermostat function? (soak in hot water with thermomator and observe operation)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    A bad radiator cap can cause this symptom also.

    Since the system was opened you need to make sure that the radiator has sufficient coolant.

  • rlhouffrlhouff Posts: 1
    2001 Dodge Dakota, 5.9L. This was the message from engine diag. tool. Loss in power and sounds like it's blowing air.
  • tjfitztjfitz Posts: 41
    Hello again. I posted a history of a problem with a 1990 Dodge Dakota on June 5th. It is posting #4227. I was in the US all of July and had a look at the pickup at my sister's house in Minneapolis and all seemed OK, but I am certainly no expert on auto electrics. I am back in Ireland now, and my daughter and son have driven from Minneapolis to Bismarck with no problems until Saturday when they stopped in a parking lot and went to a grocery store. When they got back, the engine would not turn-over from the ignition key.

    However, when they tried the "jumper" trick described in #4227, the engine turned over fine and started and the problem hasn't repeated (as of today, Monday). While in Minneapolis, I spoke with my nephew who had the pickup for 3 years and also with the neighbor down the street who showed the nephew how to start the car. The technique is to take a piece of what looks like 14 gauge insulated copper wire like the kind used to wire outlets in the house, strip about 3/4 inch of insulation from either end and use that as the jumper. Then, near the battery, there is a push-in connector that, as I remember, has a red wire on the male half of the plug leading toward the firewall and maybe the ignition switch, and on the female side another red wire leading toward the battery. The technique is to pull the connection plug apart, stick one of the bare copper ends of the jumper into one of the two connector sockets on the female half and then turn the ignition switch to "on" and then touch the positive pole of the battery with the other bare copper end of the jumper. That engages the starter and starts the engine. My nephew says it was foolproof.

    This pickup has been to two or three garages and one of them replaced the ignition switch and some wiring that runs along the steering column. The other two garages charged big bucks for changing every electrical part possible connected with the ignition system except for the solenoid and the starter. The most recent garage is convinced the headlights were left on and the battery was run-down, and that was why the engine wouldn't start.

    The neighbor thinks it is a starter problem and thinks the garages were wrong for dismissing that possibility. He said when he checked for voltage at a time when the engine wouldn't start from the ignition switch (after the switch and wiring had been replaced, and after the pickup had been starting well for several months) he found voltage up to the plug I mentioned above, but nothing at all beyond it, even the dashboard lights not working. On this episode of Saturday, my son and daughter said the lights on the dashboard worked fine.

    We would all be very grateful for any ideas that anyone might have of what is happening.
  • just became a member.. but saw your message and i feel for ya.. new truck and stain... only i clean carpets and apolstry (sp) one thing i've found with coffee stains.. are this.. if not treated with a proper cleaner to start with,, this will set the stain basically making it perminant. Best thing to do is use an apolstry cleaner like you listed.. while it is still wet.. did you use something else before resorting to what you listed.. just curous as it may have set the stain.

    anway.. bla bla bla isall i hear from my self so i'll shut
  • Hey, i'm new.. i have a 1999 dodge dakota.. sport.. 2wd, 3.9 6cyl..
    anyway here is my problem.. i just had the tensioner replaced. .. was charged 181 bucks for the part i realize this is too much.. anyway.. so not after paying the stupid bill...i'm stuck with a fan the is roaring like a woken bear. what is going on.. i checked the fan.. and it is actually loose to the touch.. it.. moves front to back.actually feels loose..was it the mechanic's fault for not tight'n properlly .. or is this a comcon problem the just has to be fixed every once in a blue moon????
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    A national newspaper is looking to interview consumers who have decided to hold on to their current pickup truck, rather than purchasing a new one. Please send an e-mail to no later than Wednesday, August 9, 2006 by 2:30 PM PT/5:30 PM ET containing your daytime contact information and what pickup truck you currently own.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • HERE'S THE HISTORY: I have a 2000 dakota and wrote in a while ago about it running rough and backfiring. After COMPLETE tune-up, still running rough. I changed the throttle position sensor and it seemed to run fine for about a week. THEN...the check engine light came on and it began to run rough again. Took it to Autozone to check the code and it coded for a loose gas cap. (of all things). Just to be sure that it was a bad cap and not just loose, I had them reset the light and I ran it around for another week. It still ran rough and was back up to it's old pre-TPS replacement behavior. Check engine light came on again and again it coded for a loose gas cap. I replaced the gas cap yesterday and so far it is running better.
    HERE'S THE QUESTION: Will the bad gas cap effect the way the truck runs? I am perplexed because this rough running and backfiring thing had been going on ever since I bought this thing and neither I nor the mechanic can figure it out. I am getting really frustrated with it and any other help would be greatly appreciated. :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:
This discussion has been closed.