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Should I stay or should I go?

rotadrotad Posts: 1
Curious as to what the thoughts and expieriances of others are with the Dodge Dakota. I bought a 2003 Dakota, regular cab, V-6 base model, a few months back as a spare car and a handy truck to haul things. It cames "as-is" . The truck looks great , runs smooth, feels good...HOWEVER.....
I am concerned with reliability and major repairs. What I discovered since buying it is a small and slow leak that comes from the power steering unit occasionally, not a lot , a dime sized drop occasionally. And, once in a while there is a drop or two of coolant on the lower pulley. Most likely from the "weep hole" on the pump. And its not predictable, it just shows up on the garage floor once in a while.
Finally, at about 40 to 45 mph, with light pressure on the accelerator, I hear a "drone" sound that goes away after it shifts gears and the rpm's drop.
So, the question is sell or keep? Are these problems that are going to cost me a couple of thousand to fix, or minor annoyances? Is the Dodge Dakota a reliable truck, or trouble?


  • Had the same problem with mine...I was told it was the torque converter not coming out of lock up...spent 250.00 on solenoids...then told the TPS was as fault, replaced that in the parking lot along with the MAP sensor...did a full tune up, timing, water pump (same leak yours had) then finally took it to Tri City Dodge in Eden NC....after 2 days of diagnosing they discovered the intake gaskets were shot...sucking air causing it to run lean...and this confused the computer making it adjust shift points, timing, and fuel / air mixture...hard to figure it out without an engine code! But keep Grand Father in Law had 348,000 on his 3.9 before he sold it for 500.00 and used what ever oil was on sale at Oreilly Auto Parts that given week...their good trucks!
  • I bought a 2003 new and it has 187K on it now I'm retired and I think that I'll go to the boneyard before it does.

    It has a 4.7 V8 with 5 Speed auto trans and towing package. I've pulled an 18' travel trailer with no effort. You know that it's back there but it pulls fine.

    I do most of my own work on it. Things wear out and I fix or replace them. This truck is definitely worth keeping.

    Personally, I've always liked Fords but when I bought this the F150 was bigger than I wanted and the Ranger was too small.
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