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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • I park it outside. I live in NC so it doesn't get too cold. It did start happening this winter when it got down in the 20's at night. I read some of the other posts, but if you can talk me through it I'd appreciate it.
  • Check out messages and pictures from stealthb2. I had the same problem as did dodgeo1dodge out here in the desert of CA. I have explained the problem and a simple fix that took dodge01dodge about 1.5 hours to remedy. If you have any questions, look me up :shades: . "Stealthb2"
  • cartbcartb Posts: 1
    thanks for all your posts stealth, but the little plastic connector on mine broke (snapped) so for now i can get it in gear with a pair of pliers do you what that part is called?
    i called the dealer and w/o looking at it he wants @200-300 to fix it i would like and try to fix it my self if its not too hard i didnt read through all your posts because i dont think your connector was snapped.
  • Can you be a little more explicit on the "plastic connector"? Is it anything I have pointed out in the pictures? Is it in the area of the pictures? If it in that vicinity and is a non-replaceable part, dealerships will rape you with the cost of a new column (~$1500-$1800 installed). If you give me some more information, I will see if I can assist you. Jeff "stealthb2"
  • I have a '99 dakota slt 4x4. Seems to have this faint whine only when tranmission shifts to overdrive. The whine doesn't seem to get any louder or softer but continues until I come to a stop. When moving again, it doesn't come back until it shifts into overdrive again. Transmission shifts smoothly. Noise seems like it's by the tranny and not the rear end like others have said in the forums.

    I researched and some say that it's normal and no wear on the tranny, then others say it's a problem. I also know that '99 dakotas are known to have tranny problems. Definitely couldn't afford a rebuild right now, even if I were to drop it myself, have it rebuilt, then install it myself to save money.

    Any advise would be really appreciated.
  • Hey stealthb2. I have a 2002 r/t that just started having the problem where it will not shift out of park after it has sit all night outside. Only started when temps have gotten below 15 degrees. After it warms up about 10 minutes it is ok. Sounds like might be same problem you have highlighted. Can you send me your ppt slides. You didn't mention what action is needed after you get the covers off. My email address is Thanks for the help.
  • I saw your messages between you and stealthb2. I am having a similar problem when the temps get around 10 degrees. I live in northern virginia and the temps have been below 10 every night for almost a week. Did you have success with the advice you got from steathb2?
  • I am having the same problem on my 2002 and would love a pass along set of slides or tips on fixing. thanks!
  • just did a eng/trans swap on a 2000 (3 pin)with a 2002 (5 pin) on the neutral switch. Now I get a check eng lite and some crazy shifting patterns and can now start it in any gear. Is there a pigtail that will adapt my wiring harness 3 Pin connector to the 5 pin switch?
  • Check out the pictures on my page of Edmunds. You will need to Browse Members using Dodge and Dakota as criteria. The pictures are THERE with explanations. "stealthb2"
  • I drove my truck to work and the tranny was working great not noticeable problems. I get don't work (12hrs later) and put the truck in drive and there was nothing no movement at all. I tried every gear and nothing. Is my tranny finished? or is there some sort of sensor that my be causing this problem.
    thank you for your replies in advance.
  • Does anyone have any ideas on the difference between a 2000 dakota automatic transmission neutral switch and a 2002 switch. The 2000 has a 3 pin connector and the 2002 has a 5 pin switch. I know that the 3 pin was only a neutral safety switch, but the 5 pin has a few more features, any ideas on how to adapt my 3 pin switch plug wiring harness to the 5 pin switch so this will work the way it is suppose to ?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Can't tell you anything about a 2000, but the pin outs for the 2003 Transmission Range Sensoris as follows:

    Pin 1 = Reverse Lamp circuit
    Pin 2 = Instrument Panel Transmission Range Display
    Pin 3 = no connection
    Pin 4 = no connection
    Pin 5 = Transmission Range Sensor 5vdc supply
    Pin 6 = Park/Neutral starting circuit and PCM input

  • Did you ever get a good answer or fix for this problem, I have a 01 dodge ram 2500 and put in a 02 tranny wnd the mechanic just grounded the neutral switch so it wouls start, it drove fine for a few months, then the computer went out not sure if the tranny cuased this but after i installed new computer the tranny has frozen or the torque converter is plugged up. thanks in advanced for your help.
  • I am thinking about a 2006 Dakota. Any pros cons?
  • 93dakota93dakota Posts: 2
    hey im having the same problems with my 93 dakota and i was wonderin if you replaced the tps yet or found the problem..if you could let me know as soon as possible i would appreciate
    also if anyone else know what might be causeing my automatic dakota to have delayed engagement into drive and reverse and also flair up between shifts i would really appreciate the info....thanx
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I replaced the tps and it solved my shifting problems. The other problem I had was that the truck wouldn't move when I inititially put the truck into drive after a cold start. I disconnected the battery cable for 10 minutes or so and it seemed to cure that issue. Apparently there's a software bug in the tranmission controller and this is a common problem. I also replaced the two filters in the transmission and replaced the fluid with Chrysler spec fluid. I'm not sure if Your 93 Dak has the same transmission and Your problem may be being caused by something else. Since I changed the tps and spark plugs fuel economy has been pretty good. Before doing any of that I could drive 3 miles to work and watch my fuel guage dropping dramatically. It was horrible on gas and I was sorry that I had bought the truck just when fuel prices where sky rocketing.

    Hope this helps

    My Dak is a 2000 Dakota Sport 4X4, 4.7 v8 w/ 4 speed automatic
  • 93dakota93dakota Posts: 2
    alrite thanx man i really appreciate it!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I had use of a 2005 some time back and I was impressed with pretty much everything about it except the interior appointment, which is a little too bland for my taste. I'm comparing this to my 2003 Dakota Sport. The 2005 was quieter than mine and was exceptionally solid, rode a little better and handled a little better.

  • topixtopix Posts: 1
    My 05 Dakota 4x4 4.7L w/ 7500 miles when cold stalls engine when coming to stop. After coming to a stop, the trans kick down to a lower gear pretty hard. It the brakes are set lightly it will surge forward slightly. If brakes are set hard, engine stalls. Only happens when engine and trans are cold - only first 2-3 miles of driving. Been to dealer a couple of times, and they can't find a thing. No codes set, and of course, cannot duplicate. Anyone else having similar problem or possible solution?

  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    check the level of your trans fluid... if it isn't low maybe try changing the filter could be defective...
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    try changing your throttle position sensor. it's about $25.00 from the local parts stores and may cure your problem for short money. The TPS doesn't toss codes but will make your 4.7 and tranny do odd things when it's all munged up inside. It only takes about 2 minutes to change it if You have the proper torx bit driver handy. Before I replaced mine on my 2000 Dak with 4.7, there were no codes, but the engine wanted to idle at lower than normal rpms and the transmission was acting strange. also, before You start Your Dak, pump the fuel pedal from closed to fully open a dozen times before actually starting the truck. You might just have bad contacts (munged up) and it's causing Your problem when it's cold (as mine did) and when it gets warm it makes a better connection inside because the components have warmed up and expanded and making a much better contact.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I was thinking the same thing.

    There is no single component on a Dodge truck that can cause so many varied and strange symptoms as the Throttle Position Sensor.

    However, I would first suspect the transmission cable sticking, especially since the symptom is related to temperature.

  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    no cable from the tps that I know of. the function of the cable is in the TPS itself. all transmission shifing is done by throttle position, engine load, and road speed.
  • Did you try changing the TPS. My 00 Dakota with the 4.7 was downshifting very hard when I slowed at stop sighs. The engine would idle near 1K and the gas miliage wasnt very good. I didnt have a scanner so I continued to drive the truck even on long tripps until one day I was driving to college and the torque converter kept coming unlocked and the trany eventually started down shifting on the freeway. I towed the truck to the shop I work at in the summer and checked the codes. The engine code said incorrect voltage for the TPS. The trany code said, tps voltage and map sensor voltage dont match. I drove the truck around for two days before I fixed anything. The problem didnt come back until I headed back on the freeway to school. I got almost the exact place on the freeway when the trans started down shifting again. I pulled to the side of the road and changed the TPS and had no problems the last 80 miles or the past 3months.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    In the Dakota of recent years there are four automatic transmissions used: the 42RE (six cylinder), 45RE (318 V-8), 46RE (360 V-8, R/T only), and the 545RFE (4.7 Magnum V-8).

    Each of these transmissions have what Chrysler calls a Throttle Valve Cable. This cable is used to controls shift speeds, shift quality, and part-throttle downshift speed (sensitivity).

    Look closely at the Throttle Body Lever where the accelerator cable is connected. You will notice a second cable attached to this lever that routes downward along the right side (passenger side) of the transmission.

    There is an adjustment procedure for this cable that must be followed precisely. If out of adjustment, slipping or shift flare, rough shifts, premature or late shifts will occur.

    If the Throttle Valve Cable linkage sticks, usually at the transmission end, it will cause your symptom. There is also a return spring on the cable bracket at the transmission. I've seen these broken or completely missing. In cold weather I've also seen the pivot shafts sticking causing long shifts. These get gummy after some years from oil and road grime.

    By the way, this very common problem accounts for many Mopar transmissions being "rebuilt" by shops that are less than honest.

    Good luck and best regards,
  • A few months ago, I purchased a 1999 Dodge Dakota R/T Sport with a 5.9L V-8(360)engine. Up to this point, I've had no problems. Yesterday, I noticed the engine revved to between 2500-3000 rpm when changing from 1st to 2nd gear. I thought to myself that I might need to have the transmission fluid flushed and filter changed. Later that day when I backed into my driveway, I could not get into Park. The indicator that shows what gear I'm in (P-R-N-D-2-1) is now off by a mark, ie. Neutral now shows as reverse, etc. The truck is still driveable right now but will not shift into Park. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Hi, I just rolled 140,000 miles today and my transmission started to make a low clicking when stopped at a light, only in drive or reverse not neutral, and today as I was pulling out of a parking space it hesitated it felt like I had let the clutch out to fast this seemed weired cause I have an automatic. It stopped as soon as I shifted to neutral then stalled out as soon as I put it in drive. I checked the fluid and it way above max then checked it again after it cooled off and it is at max when cold. The color was dark and smelled like motor oil. I have been losing oil, about a quart a month, but I have NO leaks any where and the exhaust dose not smell like burned oil. Could my oil be leaking into the transmission? And if so what would cause this?
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