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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • mitt98mitt98 Posts: 1
    Your starting in 3rd gear is a Governor solenoid and/or pressure sensor. I had the same problem with my 04 grand cherokee(42re tranny) and while I was in there I replaced both just as insurance parts cost about 150.00 with fluid and filter. With the 3.9 the 42re and in some cases the 44re was offered you can be sure by looking in your glove box on the sticker it will tell you everything from tranny,transfer case,brakes,paint code axle ratio and so on. The o/d light coming on after driving and not leaving 3rd is a limp mode the computer tells the tranny to do this to prevent and further damage to be done. Im not sure if the solenoid or sensor will cause this problem but it might be call a tranny shop and ask them most will be happy to answer your questions.
  • stosh3stosh3 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem thow i have 2 wheel drive can you tell me what the cure was,
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    HuH? I don't understand what you mean "goes up to 2 1/2 when I first start it and idles down the road"

    If you have the 46re transmission with the shift solenoid, the PCM
    will shift from 1st to 2nd around 2500 rpm, then from 2nd to 3rd around
    2200rpm. Once in 3rd gear, it will shift to OD and the rpms will drop down
    to about 1500rpm as long as you are at low speeds. This is the way
    my truck shifts. The shifting is done by the PCM as it learns your driving
    habits. The sensor that determines this shifting is the TSS (Transmission
    speed sensor or vehicle speed sensor) located on the transmission.
  • scottioscottio Posts: 1
    1987 dodge dakota 3.9 v6 automatic 2wd . tranny started rattling and vibrating without any type of indication. any ideas as to what is causing this would be appreciated
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    1987? Maybe the u-joints on the driveshaft are gone?
    These don't have grease fittings, so in time (24 yrs), you have to figure that the U-joints have served you well, if it's just starting to vibrate now.

    Don't leave it that way for very long, as that vibration is hard on the tranny and it could result in some expensive transmission repairs!
    If it was mine, I would have them replaced ASAP.
  • Hello, I have no idea whats wrong but when I first start my truck when its cold it seems to have no presure in the transmision for about 30 seconds and then it finally grabs and from their it runs and shifts fine... no trouble codes yet... anyone no possible solution to this issue???
    its a 05 Dakota 4.7l v8 qaud cab 2 wheel drive... has 60,000 miles runs strong just the initial stall till it ingages..
    I thank Anyone that has any knowledge bout it....
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited September 2011
    Not sure what transmission type your truck is using but the way the Chrysler automatics work is that in Park, the torque convertor is not completely filled. Once you start it up and
    shift into Neutral, the transmission fluid pump (running with the engine idleing) will fill up
    the torque converter so that when you switch to Drive, the torque convertor is operational.
    That is why you should always check fluid level on Chrysler transmissions in Neutral, not

    There is a drainback valve located in the transmission line next to the radiator that prevents
    fluid drainback when the vehicle is parked for a lengthy time. Maybe it's blocked and restricting
    fluid flow to the pressure pump in the transmission.

    The other thing is that it takes a second or two, to build up the pressure in the govenor pressure solenoid/regulator valve on the transmission control body to allow the PCM to shift for you.
    There is a fluid pressure sensor in the govenor regulator transmission that feeds back
    pressure information to the PCM to allow shifting.
    There is also a temperature sensor that tells the PCM when the correct transmission temperature is reached (thermistor) for overdrive operation, but this shouldn't affect
    the lower gear shifts.

    Auto transmissions are very complicated, so it's hard to zero in on what the problem may be
    in your case, as there may be a simple cause for the delay in your case.
    Inside the transmission control valve body there are 1-2 , 2-3 and 3-4 (overdrive) shift valves, as well as the planetary gear set and a forward and rear clutch and bands that control shifting. Correct fluid pressure is required for these to function in normal operation.
  • scat2scat2 Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    I've got a 92 Dakota with 177K miles that just stared doing this almost exactly as you describe your issue. At first it would rectify itself after a couple of minutes but now it continues until I come to a complete stop. Did you ever find an answer?
  • The sensors seem to be the first place to start. My problem has persisted and now is worse. The transmission is slipping. It's at the dealership again
  • So a year goes by and it is up to 90,000 miles. So I go to the shop and ask them to do an oil change and replace the transmission and the rear deferential fluids. So I get it back and I notice that it is running poorly. It will race up in RPM, then dies. During acceleration it will race before it shifts gears. While slowing down to a stop light it will die. This goes on for a week before I take it back to the shop. They take it for a test drive and yea we see what you‘re talking about, but no not sure why. So they have it for an entire day testing it. They open the transmission, no problems there, they test the accelerator switch. They check the computer, no codes, they call a transmission expert. They reset the computer to factory. I drive it for a week, it is better, but now it will not hold a steady speed on the freeway. It keeps arguing with who is in charge, fighting itself. So back to the shop for another day of testing. This goes on for several more weeks. So one day, late in the day they call me at home, they have a driver on the way over to pick me up. It is fixed. So I get to the shop and the owner greets me in the parking lot with the lead mechanic. They were real close to pulling the transmission when they decided to go back into the computer programming. They had remembered that the fuel rail had low fuel pressure when the car was off. The bad check valve on the fuel pump problem had never been replaced. They tweaked the programming to tell it that it was ok to have low fuel when the car was off. It runs great now! So the computer does not like low fuel pressure when the car is off. ! And resetting the computer will erase what it has learned about the other systems.
  • The hard shifting sounds like the same problem I had. No computer codes
    until after a few weeks, finally I got the transmission related P7xx series
    code come up and it was the TSS (transmission speed sensor or OSS
    Output speed sensor) P-0722, that was causing the high rpm/hard shift problem. I had the transmission speed sensor replaced and shifting
    returned back to normal. No re-programming was necessary as the PCM
    relearns the shift points from your driving habits.

    As far as the low fuel pressure, that will drop off over time when the
    truck is sitting there overnight, but as soon as you turn the the key
    on and the fuel pump relay operates, the fuel rail should be pressurized
    to 45psi within one second, before starting, so that part doesn't
    make any sense to me. I use a aftermarket fuel pressure guage to
    check my fuel rail occasionally and it maintains pressure for a long time
    with the ignition off.
  • dpezfivedpezfive Posts: 2
    edited September 2011
    Having problem with automatic transmission. daughter starts truck up cold, goes about approx half mile.stops at traffic light, then truck start shifting only at low speed. , rpm revs up to approx 400 rpm, but will not hardly move. goes about 20 mph. this dont happen all the time. can truck transmission be tested electrically? any ideas. can regular automotive shop check this out, or do i need to take it to transmission specialist?
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited September 2011
    Do you mean rev up to 4000 rpm? At 400 rpm it is below normal idle
    rpm for an automatic and it will hardly move at that rpm.
    If it revs up to 4000 rpm and is only going 20mph, it appears not
    to be shifting out of 1st gear.

    It depends on several factors: mileage, when transmission was last serviced etc..
    a 2002 is 9 years old and requires fluid/filter/adjustment service
    every 3 or 4 years.

    There are 3 sensors and and 3 electrical solenoids operated by the PCM
    in the transmission. There is also a throttle position sensor that feeds
    back information to the PCM to help it determine parameters for shift
    points as well as a transmission speed sensor.

    These can be scanned by a DRB scan tool which most dealers have, to see
    if any faults occur. (Transmission shops may also have the DRB scan tool. )

    Also, most electrical failures in the sensors, or transmission control solenoids may bring on a "check engine" light, that can be scanned by any OBDII scan tool, which most owners can afford,
    or have read by someone with one of these.

    Mechanically the transmission is complex, with 2 planetary gear sets and
    a system of clutches (front/rear, overriding and direct) as well as
    bands (front/rear) to operate these for gear shifting.

    These require proper fluid pressure in the control valve body to operate
    bands and servos that facilitate the shift points under control of the

    So it depends on where the problem lies, when the transmission is placed
    in D and the engine rpm and transmission pump fluid pressure inside
    the transmission determines when gear shifting occurs
    1-> 2 upshift point.....or 2->3 upshift point or 3->4 upshift point
    (when the over drive unit kicks in).

    Proper shifting requires proper operation of each section of the transmission
    responsible for the gear change, be it an automatic upshift or downshift.

    Here's a simple test. Does manual shifting from 1->2 or 2- D work?

    If so that will provide a clue of which parts may be still operating and which
    parts under automatic or PCM control or not.
  • dpezfivedpezfive Posts: 2
    edited September 2011
    Thankyou for advice.mileage is 97.000.dont knoe when transmission was serviced last.bought from private owner bout 8 months ago.Brang to walts trams shop.Told me we would have to drop pan and inspect transmission for contamination. called back and said yes , their is. would cost 1.300 to replace transmission. or he could replace sensors and solenoid for 300.00 but could not guarentee it would fix problem. said could last just around the corner when driving, or could last six i told him to just put it back together for 75.00. daughter could not effort it at the time. do you think i should i get 2nd opinion? Thanks again for all your help. dpezfive.
  • I have a 2006 Dakota 4.7L 4X4 with under 50,000 miles. For the Last couple of months the transmission overheat idiot light coms on intermittantly. Ther is no rhyme or reason behind it. Then the light does come on, the transmission starts shifting hard, and the engine will runn a little rough. It will only stay on for a couple of minutes, then the tranny is fine.

    It will come on both with in minutes of starting or after running for a period of time.

    Fluid levels have been fine. and the fluid didn't need to be changed.

    Any ideas?
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited October 2011
    Well there are no guarantees in life either. (97,000 miles on the truck transmission could also mean a band adjustment, as these like the clutches
    have material that is prone to wear over time. Nothing you can do if the
    the clutch material is worn, so some slippage may occur, but the bands (2)
    can be adjusted, once the pan is dropped.

    Throttle body valves sticking is the most common issue if the fluid and filter
    is not changed at regular intervals and this is something that should be
    done on a regular (50,000 mile basis or even 40,000 miles). The owners
    manual gives a schedule for routine maintenance and oil changes on the
    engine, why would someone ignore a complex mechanism like the
    auto transmission..I don't know, but if you ignore periodic maintenance
    on an automatic, sooner or later, you will have some trouble with it.

    The last thing that can happen with the Chrysler PCM controlled transmissions, is that there are solenoids and sensors that are controlled
    by the PCM to determine shift points and these can fail.

    The transmission shops usually don't have the time to spare for an accurate
    diagnosis of what has gone wrong on a transmission with practically
    100K miles on it, so he has offered a couple of options..
    replace the entire transmission and get some kind of 1 year garantee
    or replace the electrical components on it (cheaper) and hope that
    fixes the problem.

    Certainly a second opinion is worthwhile, if it was mine, and I knew
    basically what the symptoms were, I would go with the routine service
    first (fluid/filter)and have the bands adjusted and perhaps the solenoids
    replaced at the same time, while the pan was off.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    You must mean the transmission temperature sensor light?
    The Chrysler automatic has two sensors that are related to it.

    The first one is a sensor that determines transmission shift pressure
    and it's output to the PCM will vary depending on the pressure of the
    fluid available at the shift valves in the control valve body.

    The second one is a thermistor type that senses the temperature of
    the fluid in the transmission to determine proper shift points when
    components are warmed up. Ie: the transmission will not shift into
    overdrive (4 gear) until the sensor tells the PCM that the predetermined
    temperature range has been reached.

    Transmission fluid temperature is regulated by the transmission cooler lines
    (you have going to the transmission cooler tank on the side of the
    rad and the other coming back from from the rad to the transmission.
    These help to warm up the transmission fluid transferred from the rad heat
    and depending on how good your rad is at cooling the engine, keeps the
    transmission at some predetermined temperature, if the rad is providing
    adequate cooling.

    So in summary:
    a) It could an actual transmission cooling issue bring on the light, and the rad or the transmission cooler tank needs to be reversed flushed.
    On the rad/ transmission cooler tank, there is an anti-drainback
    valve at the fittingof the outlet line that goes back to the torque convertor. (This prevents all the fluid in the tank from draining back to the torque convertor when the engine is not running) and this being a one-way valve, it may be restricted somewhat.

    b) it may be the transmission temperature sensor itself, (this is a 5 volt
    If it is not functioning properly, the PCM will turn on a check engine
    light and you should be able to read a code:
    P-0712 Transmission temp voltage too low (under 1.55v)
    P-0713 Transmission temp voltage too high (over 3.76 volts)

    So obviously, if it is working, the voltage range that the PCM expects
    to see is between 1.55 to 3.75 volts (In other words, only a
    spread of 2.2v to determine the transmission temperature).
  • Heres the background. Bought this 2005 Dakota 4x4 in 2007 with 12,000 miles on it. For the last 4 years (ever since I got it) it will occasionally hang in 1st gear only when it is cold. I can tell when it is going to do this because the rpm at idle is a little too high when it is started. It will then hang in 1st gear for a few hundred feet, then shifts hard into 2nd gear, and it seems fine after that. When it does finally shift into 2nd gear, the doors lock, and the idle returns to normal. This only occurs 2-3 times per month, so it is more of an annoyance than anything else. The truck now has 52,000 miles on it, and has had all regular sheduled maintenance done on time. The tranny fluid was just changed. Any idea what this might be??
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    Don't know why the door locks are affected by shift from 2-3, as the door locks are controlled by the CTM Central Timer Module.

    Normal idle rpm should be around 1,000 when first started and engine/tranny is cold.

    The delayed shifts when cold from 1st to 2nd are normally controlled by the PCM with the shift solenoid (also called the variable force valve solenoid). The transmission also has a TCC (torque convertor clutch solenoid) and a 3-4 (overdrive) shift solenoid.

    Transmission output shaft rpm is sensed by the TSS sensor, which feeds back to the PCM to determine normal PCM controlled shift points. It may be starting to develop a weird symptom.
    Had it failed completely, you would get a P-0720 "check engine light"code
    posted by the PCM.
    "TSS output too low with vehicle speed above 15 mph".

    It's a possibility in your case.

    I recently had hard shifting problems with mine, until I finally got that code and changed out the TSS. Shifting rpm returned to normal under
    PCM control.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I have the same truck as Harleyman (2005 Dakota Quad Cab, 4x4 with 4.7L engine), and mine also hangs in first gear on occasion. It has done that since day one (bought new back in 2005). It only happens maybe 10%-20% of the time; it only occurs right after starting up; and like harleyman said, after the first upshift to 2nd, 3rd, etc it's fine.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    Automatics these days are complicated animals because the shifting is
    electronically controlled by the engine computer, or in the Dakotas, the
    PCM (powertrain control module).

    By hanging in first gear, you must mean a "delayed shift" where the engine
    rpm on the tach goes way up above the normal 1-2 shift range and finally
    excessive fluid pressure build up in the transmission pressure governor
    (which controls the shift valves in the control valve body) forces a hard shift.

    It could be that the temperature of the transmission is not reached yet
    at the beginning because the engine (and transmission) is still cold.
    A transmission temperature sensor feeds back the temperature range
    to the PCM, but this may only be needed for 3-4 (overdrive) shifts, I
    don't know if it is used for 1-2 or 2-3 shifts.

    The governor solenoid (PCM controlled shift solenoid on the transmission)
    the springs involved and the governor pressure sensor all play a critical
    part in shifting the transmission at the correct engine rpm.

    My 2000 Ram shop manual (46re transmission type) states that for
    delayed or erratic shifts, also harsh at times:

    1. Fluid level too low or too high.
    ( Fluid level on chrysler automatics needs
    to be check in NEUTRAL with the parking brake on. In park the torque
    convertor is not completely filled. It is only when the shift column is
    moved from P through N to D that the torque convertor fills up completely.)
    2. Fluid filter clogged
    3. Throttle linkage misadjusted
    4. Throttle linkage binding somewhere
    5. Gearshift cable/linkage misadjusted
    6. Clutch or servo failure
    (the chrysler transmission has several fluid pressure activated clutches,
    with two bands. The servos operate the two bands.

    7. Governor circuit electrical fault (Governor pressure solenoid)
    8. Front band misadjusted
    9. Transmission fluid pump suction passage leak
    This last one would be indicated by foam on the transmission dipstick

    So as you can see, there are just too many things that can cause delayed
    or erratic shifting,

    The PCM (in it's flash memory) has a stored program of shift points learned
    from your driving habits. It depends on the the TSS (transmission speed
    sensor data and governor pressure sensor to determine shift points.
    It also gets data from the transmission temperature sensor to determine
    when to shift..but this is a simple thermistor type and rarely if ever goes
  • Ok that tells my problem to a t. what did you do , it seems tranny shop is my next stop.
  • I have a 05 dakota with a automatic V8. I bought it used last year around March. In Nov. I drove to Illinois, Im in south, and noticed on my trip it started down shifting hard from od to 3rd. Once I noticed it I pulled over and checked fluids. They were fine. Then as I proceeded on it would race up in rpms like around 4500 when I would left off the pedal it would down shift HARD. I took it out of od and continued on(I was 8 hours into trip). It was cooler weather and when I topped a hill with cruise on it raised up in rpms again and then when it down shifted at the top of the hill it locked up the rear wheels and threw me into a gaurd rail. Had to leave the truck up north to get the whole drivers side repaired and when I spoke of the tranny they found no codes. Now here it is Oct the next year and I am starting to get the same shift problem again. Today was the first day I noticed it. Any suggestions on why this would only occur during certain months and or the weather? I will admit its scary to drive when it shifts like that back into 3rd. All other gears and such seem great. btw the truck has 100k on it and was last looked over 2 months ago and tech said the fluids in everything look fine.
  • I have a 1993 Dodge Dakota, 4x4, LE 3.9 eng, 4sp std transmission(w/OD)

    I need to know the proper size (tread pitch and length) of the bolts that hold the transmission mounting bracket directly to the transmission. NOT the insulator or tansmission mount bolts.

    Just the bolts holding the mounting bracket to the Trans.

    Thank You.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited November 2011
    That is very strange to have an erratic downshift on top of a hill climb that
    forced a downshift like that from 0/D to 3rd. With no codes available and
    the truck disabled and the diagnostic connector hooked up afterwards,
    any codes that might have been there maybe were gone?

    The only thing I can think of on that kind of hard downshift from o/D to
    3rd is that the transmission temperature sensor reported a high temperature condition in the transmission and the PCM forced a downshift
    on you automatically. This will happen if the temperature exceeds 260F
    (126C) and the the PCM forces the downshift to engage the convertor clutch
    and the rpms go up to allow the fan to turn faster to allow more cooling
    through the rad. The PCM will not allow re-engaging o/D until the temperature goes back down to 230F (110C).

    If this occured, then no codes would probably be stored.
  • carvermancarverman Posts: 101
    edited November 2011
    I thought it some more about your transmission problem, and there has to
    be more to this story than what you have described here.
    The transmission downshifting from O/D to 3rd is a normal occurrance and
    should not lock up the rear wheels as you have described, causing you
    to lose control.

    The transmission has electro-mechanical as well as pressure controls to
    facilitate up and down shifting. The upshifting is done by the PCM when
    the appropriate TRANMISSION RPM, VEHICLE SPEED and transmission pressure regulator sensor feed back information to the PCM to allow it
    to shift. The shift from 3rd to 4th (O/D) is controlled entirely by the
    PCM, but you send in a manual request (via the O/D switch on the stalk)
    to disable O/D and if you hit it again, enable O/D.

    The gear ratios for a 46re automatic transmission are as follows:
    1st 2.45 : 1 (engine crankshaft rotates 2.45 times to 1 rotation of
    the driveshaft).
    2nd 1.45 : 1
    3rd 1.0 :1
    O/D (4th) 0.69:1

    In overdrive the crankshaft turns more slowly than the o/p shaft of
    the transmission in order to lower rpms and save on fuel on
    Level Roads. Once you start to climb some steep hills, the O/D should
    be switched off manually, or the PCM may disengage it on you to protect
    the engine.

    This has a lot to do with throttle position, engine rpm and the transmission
    throttle cable that goes from the throttle body down to the transmission.

    If the TPS sensor is malfunctioning or the TSS (transmission speed sensor)
    is malfunctioning, shifting will be erratic forces hard shifts with engine
    rpm climbing much higher than normal when the PCM sets the shift points.

    For the rear wheels to lock up like that, either there was a temporary
    malfunction in the throttle position (sensor) or you pressed down on
    the accelerator so hard that the throttle position cable FORCED the
    downshifts into 2nd or even 1st gear..if that occurred, then the rear
    wheels would "lock up" because of the abrupt huge gear ratio change at
    speed and the engine torque delivered to the rear wheels at the lower
    gear ratio while the vehicle was still moving forward from the higher
    gear ratio selected before it happened.

    In other words, if you are moving at 60mph and all of a sudden you get
    an abnormal downshift to 2nd or even 1st..the engine RPM will shoot up to 4500rpm from a normal 1800 to 2200 rpm, and that corresponding horsepower will deliver a solid punch to the driving wheels at a lower
    gear ratio, causing them to lockup, vehicle skid and loss of control.
  • shrowe69shrowe69 Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    I recently had a problom with my dodge dakota that was in first gear and reverse I had no power, it acted like I was pulling a heavy trailer. I took it to a mechanic and they checked the trans, compression, cat, timing, O2 senser and few other thingsand they could not figure it out and gave me my money back. I took it to the dealer and it tured out that the timing chain was streched. My main reason for posting this is to maybe help some so they dont spend 4 days without a car and not being able to work.
  • You didn't mention the year of your Dakota or the mileage, but yes
    with older vehicles or high mileage vehicles, the timing chain does
    stretch and throw off the timing. Even though it's inside the engine, it
    is a wear and tear item and people don't realize that. The timing chain
    is very critical to maintaining absolute timing between the valves and
    the pistons. If the timing chain gets stretched, the engine timing is
    incorrect for producing the rated power of the engine because the
    valves are not bring in a fresh charge of fuel-air mixture or allowing
    the exhaust to be scavenged out by the piston on the exhaust stroke,
    so less fuel air mixture can be drawn into the cylinder on the INTAKE
    stroke because the valve opens too early or too late and conversely
    on the exhaust stroke of the piston where the exhaust valve is
    opening too soon or too late.

    The PCM can only adjust ignition timing a degree or two either way, it
    cannot compensate for a stretched timing chain where the relationship
    between each cylinder's intake and exhaust valve and piston position is
    off. That's why aftermarker ROLLER chains are preferred over the old fashioned link chains.

    You have to replace the complete set of crankshaft gear, camshaft gear when using a double link roller timing chain. (These come with the chain).
  • I have a 2005 Dakota SLT 2 wheel drive with V6 Magnum engine. The first time that it shifts from 1st to 2nd it shifts fine. Then the next, and all other times, it shifts hard. Also, has a little delay between shift. It shifts into 3rd gear fine. The problem is only from 1st to 2nd. Had the filter and fluid change, but this didn't help.
  • The delay is because it needs to build up fluid pressure in the control valve body to do
    the hard shift OR the clutch inside the transmission responsible for shifts between 1st
    and 2nd is worn or doesn't have enough fluid pressure.

    What does it do in the manual gear ranges?

    Here's what the 2000 Dodger Ram shop manual has to say about it (46re transmission)

    Slips in low gear (D) only, but not in manual 1 position.

    Overrunning clutch faulty. Replace overrunning clutch.

    In D 1st the only two clutches used are:

    To go to D 2nd, it needs the FRONT BAND and the REAR CLUTCH to function at
    the correct rpm. The PCM does an electronic shift using a solenoid valve
    (governor valve) in the transmission electronic control part of the valve body,
    which is responsible for operating the bands and clutches on the two stage
    planetary gear sets.
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