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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • matty8matty8 Posts: 1
    I just got back from a weekend trip and had the same thing happen to me... The advice I got was to get some cleaner and try to find the leak first. There are a few places where it could leak. Where the dip stick goes in and where it connects to the engine were a couple suggestions.
  • I have a 1994 dodge dakota 2wd with a 318V8 and an automatic transmission. Same as #43, mine was rebuilt by a guy who does this on the side.He put in an overhaul kit,new filter and new ATF. Also replaced solinoids in transmission. He checked and cleaned allelectrical connections including dash on/off switch. It shifts fine for 1,2 &3 but will not shift into OD. He claims that it needs a new SMEC computer. I would like a second opinion before i buy . Thanks in advance Donavan2
  • i have 1990 dodge dakota 4x4 with a(a500transmission with overdrive),,the problem is ,the transmission chatters when i step down on the gas to hard,it also bucks when i drive down the road? any suggestion,,and does anyone know if i can put a 4 speed in it and if so,where do i find it?
  • My 2007 Dakota started lurching when shifting to first in traffic about 3 months after purchase. I took it in and they "upgraded" the software and the problem went away. A few months ago the same problem occured. Then 2 days ago it dropped from second to first while accelerating normally and just reved. I let up and it corrected. Next morning doing about 50mph it again dropped to first and stayed there. I limped home in forced second gear. Drove it to dealer later with no problems at 60-65mph. They are telling me I have dark fluid and Pressure Alarms. They are saying it needs an overhaul. I just had the Fluid and Filters supposedly (I paid for it anyway) changed about 2-3 weeks ago. Any advice?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Who did the fluid change? Sounds like they may have used the wrong fluid... Chrysler transmissions can not use Dexron, Mercon, or "universal" transmission fluid - they will die running those. You absolutely must use Chysler-spec ATF+4 (or if it's old enough, ATF+3 if +4 is unavailable - your 07 can only use +4).

    The dealer would never have used anything but ATF+4 - if an independent shop used the wrong fluid in your car, you may have a small claims case to have them pay for the repairs.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • Thanks so much for the information! I will definately look into it. Any idea how long it might take if they used the wrong fluid? Furtunately I bought additional coverage with the truck after having 2 Rangers die on me way too soon (reason for Dodge oh well...). But still it would be a good thing to get my money back for incorrect repairs. Thanks again!
  • I have a 1994 dakota 4x4 with an overdrive problem. I was coming back from CT one time and while driving along i heard this loud cluck, almost like li dropped the driveshaft. Now there is no overdrive. The tranny will shift perfectly when the overdrive button is off, but if the button is on, meaning overdrive is engaged, at about 35-45 mph the tranny will start to make this annoying high pitched squel, almost like a bearing is shot. I changed my fluid twice since then, the first time there was stuff in the pan that looked like cardboard, think it might be old gasket. I flushed it not long after that through the cooler lines, the fluid wanst burn, just dirty. Think the problem could be the overdrive solenoid not engaging all the way or do i need the tranny rebuilt? thanks chris.
  • i had the same proble with the heat on my dakota not to far back, i flushed the coolant, but that didnt help. I found out that the heater core was plugged. Theres a couple of options to solve the problem, try n flush out just the heater core, use compressed air(not more than 50psi) to blow it, or replace it. I ended up using compressed air n it worked fine, but i would suggest to get a new one b4 you do that. But i noticed you live in florida, what do you need heat for? lol As for the tranny, the best thing for a wuick fix is change out the fluid and filter, i have the same problem on mine and that usually cures it. The only problem that i have is the overdrive doesnt work, hasnt worked for a while. Hope this helps.
  • I just had the 42RLE auto trans on my 2006 Dakota changed out at 79K miles. I bought it new, light use, and had the Chrysler dealer do the trans fluid/filter at 30K and 60K, as recommended. I have an excellent (private) mechanic who changed it out for me. I'd rather not ever deal with the Chrysler corporation again. Google in "42RLE" and read about this trans. it wasn't built to do any work, it was built for minivans and crap. I'll get rid of this dog as soon as I can, and buy a Real Truck.
  • I have a 95 dodge dakota that my wife was driving last night and she stopped at a stop sign and it wouldnt drive anymore but the reverse worked when i picked her up i was having problems for awhile with it having a hard time shifting between 1-2 i checked the fluid and it was at the right mark could someone before me put the wrong fluid in it? i was told first and reverse work off the same band so that would mean to me that it wasnt the bands it would be a valve body problem am i thinking in the right direction?
  • i have a 99 dakota sport 3.9 the trans don't want to shift right and is getting stuck in 1-2-3 and not up shifting. sometimes it wilL shift but only when i let rpms drop or jumps hard. I read about the governor presser transducer and presser solenoid /d lockup. where are they located at and any other out put would help!
    thank you for your time!
  • purrjpurrj Posts: 5
    Hi, all - I have a 97 Dakota 4WD, automatic transmission, V6 with 52k on it. The transmission has been slipping when it shifts from 2nd to 3rd for about the first 10-15 minutes of driving, longer when the outside temp is below 60 degrees. Once up and running, it shifts fine.I replaced the TPS awhile back, but that made no difference. Just had an O2 sensor replaced, but that, too, made no difference. Shifts fine in all other gears, and the Overdrive works fine, too. It was garaged at my Dad's place for a long time and I don't think he ever did anything to maintain the transmission, just the routine fluid changes. Mechanic said tranny fluid is at the proper level but smells a little "burned. Any ideas? Would atranny flush help, or am I looking at replacing the transmission? Thanks for any help! Janelle. PS What happened to Dusty?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I would not "flush" the tranny, but dropping the pan, cleaning or replacing the filter and refilling with the right transmission fluid would be the first things I would try. If you can do the work yourself, shouldn't cost more than $50.
  • Hi, I have been a Chrysler mechanic for 15 years. A delayed 2-3 upshift, expecially cold, is caused by a worn front clutch seal. A trans overhaul is the only way to fix this problem.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The following list of possible symptoms associated with defective Throttle Position Sensors on Dodge trucks are a compilation of actual field experiences, both observed and reported:

    off-idle hesitation
    hesitation at speed
    rough engine idle
    intermittent rough engine idle
    rough idle then stalls
    engine RPM fluctuates at idle
    engine RPM flairs after start, then stalls
    engine stalls when placed into any gear
    engine stalls after start unless throttle pedal used
    engine stalls when throttle opened
    engine surges at speed
    engine performance poor: engine misfires under load/acelleration

    irratic shifts
    irratic torque converter unlocking
    irratic or over sensitive 6-5 downshifts at speed (68RFE)
    irratic or over sensitive 5-4 downshifts at speed (545RFE)
    irratic or over sensitive 4-3 downshifts at speed (RE, RLE)
    3-4 driveline clunk
    delayed 1-2 shift
    delayed 3-4 upshift
    3-4 upshifts occurs abrubtly after 2-3 shift
    no 3-4 upshift
    no 4-3 downshift
    no kickdown at speed
    no or irratic torque converter lock up
    no or irratic overdrive shift
  • hey i have an unrelated question..My front left wheel area on my 06 dakota is making a metallic click sound when I hit a bump or brake alittle harder than usual..I suspect either the sway bar bushing or the outer tie rods..any ideas?
  • Have 01 Dakota 5.9/4x4/46RE/114,000mi - bought truck with 48,000mi and went round with the dealer about trans not starting in 1st gear. Finally replaced gov (I think) and got 1st gear back. Since then, trans has tended keep LU engaged until heavy accel. and then unlocked/downshifted immediately to passing gear (UGH!). I lived with that. Recently, LU converter has begun to stay unlocked with increasing frequency. Last week, trans started whining in all gears except PARK, and rapidly began to loose OD. Whining was loud and accompanied by rattling-type noise. Started truck today and whine far less but louder in Reverse (trans was cool). Question: other than taking it in for code reading, what do you think has happened to it and how to fix it?
  • Generally a whine noise is a low fluid condition or a front pump noise. Now that being said a condition known as reverse buzz exists in these transmissions that can be caused by a worn seperator plate in the valve body. Even with a new trans however a cold reverse buzz can sometimes be heard. If your torque converter fails to lock when the PCM wants it to a DTC will set. Most likely P0740 TCC no RPM drop at lockup. A torque converter stall test can be ran by your dealer with their DRB scan tool. Check your fluid!
  • circuitrydercircuitryder Posts: 30
    edited February 2010
    Thanks, dasboot. I read that a clogged filter can cause this whine, too. Can a clogged coolant line/cooler/check valve do this too? Should I flush just the coolant lines and cooler and replace the check valve?

    I plan to change the fluid and filter, then take truck to AutoZone to have the code(s) read. I don't want to chance doing more damage to the trans by driving truck without a good filter and fresh fluid. The check engine light is on. If the converter is damaged/worn or the pump is worn, at least I can eliminate the possibility of the problem being just a clogged filter. On the other hand, if the trans is good and converter is good, and just dirty/overdue for a filter/fluid change, then the change will help clean out the trans. If the trans pan is gunky, but no appreciable metal, I'll just change the fluid again after a month or so. If the codes turn up a trans problem, I'll deal with that at that second change. Does this sound like a good plan?
  • If your cooler is plugged you would only be able to go a couple of miles and your trans would be completely fried. You are right about the check valve making noise but not all dakotas have one. If yours does it will be a brass fiting looking piece on the end of fart of the rubber section of one of your cooler hoses. If you have a DTC you would have had a check engine light come on, and it can't hurt to change the fluid and filter. You should do that every 30K anyway.
  • Update: removed trans pan and pan was very clean! Good news! But, I found a bolt lying in it. I'll update again when I get it back together and test drive it.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    But, I found a bolt lying in it

    That doesn't sound good.
  • What does the bolt look like. What size and what type of head?
  • Dasboot, thanks for checking back. Turns out the bolt goes to the governor solenoid manifold/base. Must have not been sufficiently tightened by the dealer several years ago when the solenoid was replaced. I just put it back in!
  • 2nd update: test drove the truck; drove great! It's amazing how much a filter/fluid change can make.

    BUT... the lock up is still gone. I'm guessing it is either a PCM issue (I'm going to do the reset), or the TV cable or TPS.
    If I get the PCM codes read, will the reader reset the PCM and the check engine light?
  • They don't have to clear the codes, just tell them you don't want them to. I can't stress enought though that a no lockup AT ALL condition is most likely a failed torque converter. Again the easiest way to find out would be to have a dealer run a TCC stall test. They would probably only charge you a half hour diag, maybe less if you went in there and told them that you just want that specific test ran. It only takes a couple of minutes. Then you are not guessing.
  • circuitrydercircuitryder Posts: 30
    edited February 2010
    3rd update: After driving some, lock up is not gone, but it is weak. At highway speeds (with cruise control on), RPMs are steady on fairly level ground, but uphill RPMS increase MOST OF THE TIME. Once in a while, the RPMs will stay steady with road speed even going uphill. Once in a while, even pressing the accelerator slightly won't increase the RPMs while at highway speeds. There is no shutter; trans shifts smoothly (there is a little flare at low speed accel very infrequently - mostly when turning, I think). I'm planning to have the TCC test dasboot recommended. I cleared the codes; the check engine light is NOT lit. Is it possible that the converter is okay, but the solenoid is bad? I checked the TV cable, and it appears to be adjusted correctly. I am considering replacing the TPS.
  • Ifyou feel that you have some lockup capability then the TCC solonoid is working. When that solonoid fails electrically it will set a TCC solonoid circuit DTC. If you truly have a weak lockup that should be discovered during the TCC stall test and that would point to a failed torque converter or one of the seals on the input shaft that is responsible for sealing the path the fluid takes to the torque converter.
  • Thanks for the response! I have detected one further thing, and I wonder if it sheds any light on this. The lock up seems to come in around 37 (not 47) (with RPMs at about 1700 at 50/55 MPH) and tends to be solid up to about 50 MPH. Over that, the lock up mostly goes away.
  • my 2000 dakota shifts fine when cold but does not downshift to low when parked and then put into drive. I have replaced the tv cable and adjusted it to the .32 in. as required by the manual. I am wondering why it seems to slip only when it is up to temperture. Anyone, please help ,as I am afraid the transmission will eventualy burn out.
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