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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems

mruhlmruhl Posts: 2
edited February 2017 in Dodge
Our 2000 Dakota quad cab has this problem sporadically. When you start it (sometimes) it won't come out of park. Usually after 5-10 minutes, we can get it into gear. The dealer can't repeat the problem so can't fix it. They did say the parking brake needed greased, but since we rarely if ever use that, I doubt it is contributing to the problem. Any ideas?
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Comments

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, since its fresh in my mind, this is a symptom that could be caused by a defective Throttle Position Sensor.

    Can you get a fault code to read out?

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    If you are parked on any kind of an incline, this will contribute to difficulty shifting out of park, especially if you don't use the parking brake. Best practice is to bring the vehicle to a stop, set the parking brake fully, release the regular brakes and let the vehicle rock to a stop, THEN shift to park. This relieves pressure on the parking pawl and makes it easier to shift. Also, an inlcine will cause trans fluid to pool downward, so you may need a minute or two when you start the engine to get the fluid flowing before shifting is sm,ooth.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • mruhlmruhl Posts: 2
    I appreciate the info, but the vehicle has been parked on a level surface each time this has occurred. It is not the same difficulty as when parked on an incline. It just plain won't budge at all.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Have the parking pawl checked. Sounds like it's not functioning correctly and allowing "lockup" when it's engaged for extended periods of time.
  • litus82litus82 Posts: 1
    Something like that happened to my civic, but it was my brake light fuse that got blown.
  • lhooklhook Posts: 5
    1998 Dakota/ 6 cyl/auto Xmission/ 4WD

    I'm a brand new member so I hope I do everything right.

    When I put the truck in reverse it will engage as long as I don't accelerate. When I accelerate it makes a sound as if something is disengaging. A local garage said it could be fixed for $2000.00 Is there a cheaper method??
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I recently bought a 2000 Dakota Sport 4.7 automatic. Recently it started bucking around 45 mph. I've also noticed that the tcc disengages periodically even though I have not depressed the accelerator far enough to actually cause it to unlock. My fuel economy has gone from despicable to phenominal since I changed the plugs. I think the sudden gain in fuel economy is because the engine simply isn't receiving enough gas and this is possibly causing the sudden increase in fuel economy. Lately when I fire up the engine, it revs upto 2000 rpms before dropping back to an idle. Is it possible the throttle position sensor is going fowl and causing all of these problems? the tranny sometimes gets irratic to. I honestly do not think there is a problem with the tranny, but rather something to do with the throttle.. I'm guessing here tho. I recently bought a Matco scan tool to check for codes, and there are no codes.

    Thanks!
    Ken
  • jim1958jim1958 Posts: 2
    The automatic transmission on my 1999 Dakota, 4x4 3.9 liter, 115K miles, has trouble shifting from second into third. This occurs when I accelerate normally from a stop. For example, after stopping at a stop light. The truck will shift from first to second fine but after that the engine will continue to rev up and the only way to get it to shift into third is to take my foot off of the accelerator and wait for the rpm's to come down. When it reaches a certain point it will shift very smoothly into third and drives normally until I have to stop again. Sometimes though it shifts normally and I don't have this problem. This problem has ben going on for about three years. Last year I dropped the transmission pan and replaced the filter and fluid. The fluid looked excellent. No sign of bad odor or any sign of wear. There was almost nothing in the pan as far as sludge. Very clean. Any ideas?
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    Jim,

    I had simular problems with my 2000 Dakota. Try replacing your throttle position sensor. It's a $23.00 part at most local parts stores. I replaced mine and it cured my shifting problems as well as the bucking issues. You can also try moving your throttle pedal from the idle position to full throttle repeatedly before You start Your engine and determine if it's a tps issue. Sometimes just doing that cleans the contacts in the tps momentarilly. If that doesn't do anything for Your problem, I'd suspect something wrong with the transmission.. also, make sure it's not filled with Dexron. I read some place the Dak transmissions are directly related to the same transmissions used in the H bodys and Dexron causes them to do all sorts of wild things. Did You put Chrysler fluid back in when You changed the fluid and filter? It's my experience that Chrysler 7176 atf is the only thing to use even though the owners manuals say You can use Dexron.

    Hope this helps

    Ken
  • jim1958jim1958 Posts: 2
    Ken:

    Thanks for the information. When I changed the fluid I used Valvoline ATF+3. It says on the container "Recommended for Chrysler vehicles", and "Recommended for transmissions requiring Chrysler MS-7176. You never know though, sometimes in spite of a message like that it still does not work like the original. As you mention I'll start with the tps. Thanks again.
  • me2butch4ume2butch4u Posts: 17
    I have a 2000 dakota 6 cyl automatic. When I first start the thing and take off with it, it is doggy and wont take the gas. It dies out and bucks and back-fires. Sometimes I can get it to come out of it by mashing the pedal to the floor until the passing gear kicks in and then let off it when it finally goes, but sometimes it wont work. Sometimes it just needs to go through its fit and then it will straighten out. Once I get it going, it will run fine as long as I dont shut it off and let it sit for a while. It also seems knumb on the acceleration when it is "running right", compared to my friends dakota. I have spent over a 1000 bucks at the garage trying to get it fixed. Mechanic says it is not showing any codes and he cant figure it out either. I trust this guy and have had 20 years of satisfied service from him. So far we have changed battery, complete tune up,O2 sensor, pcv valve, among other things. We are both pulling our hair out and I am going BROKE!!! Someone please help!!
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I would start with a $22.00 throttle position sensor. It controls the fuel going into the engine and the shift points of the transmission. It's a simple 2 minute parts swap and I'm almost certain You're going to see a major difference in performance. The throttle position sensor isn't going to toss codes when it's not working right since the ecm is just seeing the signals from it even when it's not working right.. but it causes all sorts of driveability problems because of the irratic nature of the signal it's sending to the ecm. BTW, if You have a small phillips head screwdriver, You can do this exchange Yourself by removing the two screws and the electrical connector and replacing the part with a new one. Just make sure the slot is installed correctly into the throttle plate shaft. the new part should just pop back into place, and You'll save Yourself a bundle on parts and labor costs.

    Hope this helps.

    Ken
  • amend1amend1 Posts: 98
    Bravo, Ken, for the accurate info on the TPS. I had cruise control issues with it (surging) and the dealer was a LOSER trying to figure it out and gave me the truck back with a transmission leak. After slamming my foot on the gas several times, it worked OK which got me thinking it was a bad TPS. I replaced it and all is well; gas mileage a little better too.
    Bill
  • ldc1ldc1 Posts: 2
    My 2000 3.9 Dakota was shifting improperly, particularly when stopping and then slipping on take off. Was also winding out too much before shifting until I let off the gas. After 15 or 20 miles it seemed better. I took it in and they drained and flushed the tran and put in a new filter. It drove like a new one from there to work. But when its cold its doing the same thing and then is fine after driving a while. They said the bands were within tolerance. Could it be the TPS or am I in big trouble?
    Larry
  • amend1amend1 Posts: 98
    These transmissions don't have bands. The Chrysler transmissions are NOTORIOUS for this "won't shift till it's warm" problem. I don't think that's the TPS. If they only performed a pan fluid change and not a system flush of the tranny, I personally would get to a trans shop that does a complete system flush and replace it with the proper synthetic trans fluid. At the very least, replace it with the ATF+4 by Chrysler, but do a full flush. Sometimes the governor valve (tells the tranny to shift) gets gummed up and requires a higher pressure to make it move.
    Bill
  • ldc1ldc1 Posts: 2
    Thanks Bill,
    Just after I posted it started doing the same thing even after it was heated up. Doesn't down shift until just as I'm stopping and then slips a bit when I'm taking off and then not shifting again until I let off. The tran shop did a flush until the fluid was pure red. But I think they had a one type fits all trans. fluid so I'll drain and replace with the ATF +4. And maybe replace the TPS?
    Larry
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I personally haven't had any transmission problems outside of the occasional harsh shift and it hasn't done it since I swapped out the tps. A lot of people think they can drive their trucks into the local Speedy Lube and get a quick flush, when what they really need is a complete replacement of the fluid and filter. The two go hand in hand and I personally wouldn't do one without the other, and after owning two Intrepids, I'll never use any fluid other than what the vehicle came with. a lot of fluid changes involve factory fluid being replaced with Dexron, and like I said in a previoud post.. Dexron makes Chrysler trannys behave irratically.... NOW!! if I can get my 2000 Dak 4.7 to stop lugging at the 42-52 mph range, it'll be perfect. That's my only complaint with mine at the moment besides the torsion bar adjustment which I'm going to post about after this reply.
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    OK. This is a quick technical question regarding torsion bars. Bought my 00 Dak with 64K on it back in November. To me it seems like the previous owner cranked the torsion bars too much and my Dak has a tendancy to roll torwards the right rear and on left hand turns all most seems like the truck is going to roll over on it's right side and take a nap. Right hand turns are nice and flat.. I'm guessing the left torsion bar has too much adjustment on it and is causing this condition. Years ago, Chrysler torsion bar rule of thumb was, ball joint level with the adjusting bolt. Does this still apply to the Dak? My Dak also has a slight rightward list which is pretty noticeable on the highway.
  • dervin1dervin1 Posts: 9
    My dakota just started to delay in shifting from 1st to 2nd gears. The RPMs have to get to 2500-3000, the speedometer isn't working until the RPMs get to around 3000, then it shifts into 2nd gear and the speedometer starts working. No other shifting problems, no slipping.
    Any suggestions on what it needs? Speed sensor?
    Thanks,
    Dave :confuse:
  • dervin1dervin1 Posts: 9
    My dakota just started to delay in shifting from 1st to 2nd gears. The RPMs have to get to 2500-3000, the speedometer isn't working until the RPMs get to around 3000, then it shifts into 2nd gear and the speedometer starts working. No other shifting problems, no slipping.
    Any suggestions on what it needs? Speed sensor? How much and where located?
    Thanks,
    Dave
  • my mom has a 1999 dakota, 3.9l v6 2WD with an automatic transmission that is acting up. It seems strange to us that it is having problems because it only has 74,000 miles on it. For some odd reason the transmission sometimes will not shift out of first gear. We took it up to the mountains a while back and i got to drive (yay!) on the mountain roads all the way to the main road. When we switched drivers and started on our way it revved up to almost 5,000 RPM before my mom and i felt there was something wrong. We had to pull over and go again and this time it did shift but only after it was revved and my mom let off the gas. Then the check engine light came on. The rest of the gears shifted OK but abnormally harsh. Now it does this every time almost. we had the tranny flushed and it didn't help. Has anyone ever had this problem and is there anyone with the slightest idea?
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    After the check engine light came on did you have the codes read?? If so,what were they?? If you didn't have them read, go to AutoZone and they will read them for free. Then post them back here and that will give someone a bit more guidance to go by.....
  • no we havent yet. is there any ay we could do it ourselves? for free huh? i think i like that price
  • cshell93cshell93 Posts: 1
    My 95 with 139,000 is suddenly giving me a difficult time with shifting once it hits OD. It won't do it all the time, but it shifts back up @ about 40-55, shooting the RPM, then shift back down to normal. The vechicle has been very well taken care of, and I have been quoted a new Tranmission, almost costs what the truck is worth...any advice or similar experience???
  • carlsbaddcarlsbadd Posts: 1
    Bravo to Ken on his tip about the TPS
    I had a slip in my tranny and shifting problems , rough idle, followed by a check enginge light in my 2000 Dakota.

    I pumped the gas pedel a few times before I started it the next day and it drove fine. When I came out of the first stop on my errands the check engine light was no longer on. I replaced the TPS this morning and truck runs better than it has all year.

    THanks Ken for saving me a bunch of money!!
  • jlanhamjlanham Posts: 2
    other than the transmission problems that dodge is notorious for, what in the world causes the ABS light and brake light to come on. my wife's 97 dakota has this problem and at the same time the brake lights, turn signals and tail lights quit working. this all happened the same day all at once :sick: . she also has that problem with the tranny everyone else seems to have. TPS???
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Check your fuses. This could explain why a number of things have gone out at once. If the fuses are good, you could be low on brake fluid. This will cause the brake light to come on. The the signal, brake, and taillight issue would be a different issue if the fuses are okay.

    Neither I or anyone I know personally with a Dak of any year have had transmission issues.

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • handymexhandymex Posts: 5
    Hi to all members,

    I recently bought this 96 Dodge Dakota,3.9l with 115k miles. One time I got off the freeway,and as I was waiting for the green light the truck would not move forward.

    As I was looking for a tow truck to tow the truck away because I thought the transmission had gone bad (after only a few miles of owning the truck),the truck would run OK again.

    I have also noticed that when I go from park to drive, it takes the transmission a few seconds to engage.Moreover, when driving the truck on the street, some times the RPM's would go up to 3k or 3.5K before shifting gears.

    I took the truck to the mechanic and he told me that the transmission is staring to slip. I still have not done any transmission tune-up but I am going to before moving to the the more expensive step of replacing transmission.

    Since I have only own this truck for a week or so, I would like to ask your opiniong as to what may be wrong the the trasmission and if there are steps that I can take to improve the problem.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Sincerely,

    Handymex.
  • me2butch4ume2butch4u Posts: 17
    Just developed a new problem with my 2000 dakota. 6 cyl / auto / 4x4 with 86,000 miles on it. Went out to start it today and it started right up and was making a knocking noise. Shifted into gear and noise went away. Seem to run and drive same as it ever did. Noise is like a knock or like something is hitting something when engine is running but only when in park. Any clues??
    Thanks
    Deb
  • jlanhamjlanham Posts: 2
    yea i checked all the fuses (figured the obvious) but none were blown. after you said to check the brake fluid i thought yea that might fix the brake problem but it wasn't low and i don't really think that would cause the ABS light to come on also.
    thanks
    jlanham
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    My first step would be to have the transmission flushed and filter changed. Make sure the shop puts the proper fluid back in it.
  • me2butch4ume2butch4u Posts: 17
    THANKS Ken!!! I went the next day and purchased one and installed it. No more bucking and backfiring!! I also noticed that it shifts smoother and accellerates better. The TPS for my Dakota was $83 bucks. A little more than the 22 you suggested, but WELL WORTH IT!! It was easy as pie to install. Took about 7 minutes and that included dropping a screw down in the engine compartment and having to locate it and fish it out. I am very happy now and so is my mechanic. Now he can fix all those other Dakotas that he was pulling his hair out over. :) :) :)
    Thanks again,
    Deb
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I'm guessing You bought a factory part from Mopar. Either way, I'm glad it helped You with Your Dakota. Congrats My Friend!! Back yard tooling is still happening and I like that. It's good to see people fixing their own trucks and stuff and keeping the expense money in pocket for other things.. like headers and dual exhaust :)
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Hi, I've had this truck for over a year. When I purchased a pop-up camper, durning our 1st trip, after getting "unhitched", I noticed the truck acting up while driving. The truck ran great before hitching up and then sometime durning traveling it starts. While driving, it bucks, the tac jumps up 1-2 rpms. It feels like it's missing but the tac jumps up. Then down. Short hits, Sometimes in long episodes. Morning warm-up the tac goes up & down, up & down, like your reviving the gas pedal. In past history, it will act this way only after camping with the pop-up. It is commom for this to happen for 4-6 weeks then it goes away. Nothing comes up on the shops computer. Any Ideas? One advice was that the coolent sensor was bad. I bought a new one but can't locate it on the engine, I had the complete flush done. I lived through this problem for a couple of years now, knowing what to expect when we go camping and I think about those good old days with just a tent! Anybody with an idea??? I can't possibly be the only one with this condition. Thank You
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I'm not sure about this, but according to some of the information I've read about the Dakota transmission, it's some sort of spinoff from the Intrepid transmissions. At any rate, they have the ability to learn Your driving style, or so it would seem after my wife took my 95 Intrepid the day.. when I finally got it back, it had to relearn my driving behavior..thusly.. the Dakota is capable of the same thing, and when You have towed something.. like the 21 foot Maxum that I tow with my 2000 Dakota, unhitching it usually results in some abrupt transmission shifting.. usually after running it for a few miles, it seems to clear itself. There's probably somebody else more informed about these trannys.. I would much rather not have the feature than have it. It just seems kind of pointless to me.
  • dervin1dervin1 Posts: 9
    My dakota just started to delay in shifting from 1st to 2nd gears. The RPMs have to get to 2500-3000, the speedometer isn't working until the RPMs get to around 3000, then it shifts into 2nd gear and the speedometer starts working. No other shifting problems, no slipping.
    Any suggestions on what it needs? Speed sensor?
    Thanks,
    Dave :confuse:
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Thanks, It looks like another trip to transmission shop. Hopefuly it will still be acting up.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Erratic behavior like that (erratic idle, bucking, etc.) can often be caused by a bad throttle position sensor. It's fairly easy to replace and can be found in most parts stores for under $20.
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Thanks, Sunburn.......I'll try it.
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I tow my boat which is identical to this boat and trailer except no surge brakes on my trailer http://www.ablboats.com/details.asp?ListingID=74006 with no problems except when it comes to stopping.. Dakota brakes are fine for Dakota size pulls :)) . Pulling power is good since I changed my tps. A little slow to start out, but goes like a raped ape once it's steaming up the highway. Little truck.. Big heart!!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The fact that the speedometer isn't working would cause me to consider the distance sensor right off. This sensor is located in the rear differential. I think it's about $30. A failed sensor is often accompied by an errant ABS fault indication.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    Here's something that's happening lately, and quite frankly, I expected it at some point in time because I've had an identical issue with an Intrepid in the past.. Start the truck, slip it into drive, and it does nothing.. a couple of light taps on the gas pedal usually cause it to get under way. It's been shifting erratically once in a while to. I'm just worried this is going to lead to a complete failure of the transmission. Does anybody know what causes this and if there are any back yard cures for it? I've spotted rebuilt units for my truck on Ebay.. I'm almost certain that I'm going to have to invest in one just to have a spare kicking around in the event my automatic goes belly up. In the mean time, maybe there's a simple cure?
  • I have a 1996 Dodge Dakota,2WD,3.9l with automatic transmission. . The transmission was "rebuilt"by a guy who fixes trasmission of the side. I drove it in the freeway a few days ago and the overdrive was working ok. I drove in the freway today and the overdrive is not working anymore . Any ideas what can be the problem?

    Thank you for you help. :sick:
  • deac3deac3 Posts: 1
    Recently my 2001 dodge dakota stated not shifting going into 3rd it would rev up rpms I would let off and it would shift. I changed the fluid and filter and now it will not shift at all. I dropped the pan and it had a small drain plug above the pan I opened it and only a little fluid came out. I am not sure what the problem is can you help?
  • I have a 1989 Dodge Dakota 3.9 V6 stick shift, it has a fairly new clutch, gear box in good condition with 90 weight gear oil regular change..

    I noticed when I am idling and my foot is off the clutch, the clutch makes a dry spinning noise, when I depress the clutch it stops making any noise any clues as to a sollution to quieten the clutch noise and why it makes this noise?
  • I just bought this 1993 4wd with 153,000 miles on it. Runs great except it wont downshift from OD to 3rd. Shifts fine in every other gear. I unhooked the od solenoid manually so it stayed in 3rd and downshifted fine. When I shut off the OD button on the dash it doesnt turn off. CHanged the filter and fluid and adjusted bands. The code if I remember correctly was 45 which showed transmission problems. Is the OD solenoid an obvious answer? Just want some suggestions before I pull the pan off again. Thanks
  • that sounds like it should be on a different kinda site. anyway, i got issues with my automatic tranny, it seems to be stuck in one gear. i got a diagnostic and it said open/short wire. any suggestions? it's a 2001.
  • Hi Jim... Unfortunately I have no assistance to offer you. I wish I did. I am curious if you located a solution to the problem. If you haven't figured it out yet, let me know, and when I do, I'll write you back.

    I have a 98 Durango with the exact same problem. Fluid is extremely clean, no wear displayed... just the occasional refusal to shift into third... typically, mine will not shift when cold... so I drive slowly about 2800-3000 rpms in second until it begins to warm up... then let off the accelerator and presto... smooth shift into third.

    I've been researching this extensively for the past few weeks. Still no luck.

    I was able to obtain a manual online. You're welcome to a copy if you would like... High speed internet is a must... it is 61 mb compressed!

    The manual has the troubleshooting/diagnostics in it and that's where I'm headed now. Laying in the driveway... one of my favorite spots! Nothing like the soft feel of pavement under your spine... or a creeper wheel to tweak your fingers... :-)

    I was hoping to find an easy electrical problem, but my instincts tell me that I'm in for a lot more than that. I'm prepared to rebuild my tranny myself if necessary. Twenty years ago, I rebuilt transmissions frequently.

    I'm confused and intriqued as to why Space Shuttle Engineers have to sneak their way into the development of our automotive transmissions... I suppose that there has to be something for them to do when they get out of college... :-)

    Hmmm... on second thought... for the astronauts sake... I'm assuming that the engineers who don't get to work on the space shuttle, obtain jobs in the automotive industry...

    :-) (if it is any consolation... I'm an engineer myself)...

    Thanks!

    Walt
  • Ken, thanks for being very clear and simple with your advice. Though I haven't replaced my TPS yet, this will be the first thing I do! Damn, I thought I was screwed and would have to go to a tranny shop, or worse yet, the dealer! Thanks!
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