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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems

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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Hey, guys. I have an '02 Dak QC 4X4, 3.9l V-6, 42 RE, 3.55 gears, 195,000 km (=121,500 mi). Just got the truck a couple of weeks ago (LOVE IT!) but the trans does some funny things. Driving under normal throtle pressure (fairly light), it shifts just fine, if maybe at a little bit of a low rpm. If I get into the throttle a little bit right after the 1-2 shift, it will hang badly on 2nd gear, and will not upshift into 3 until I lift slightly off the throttle, and the shift quality is pretty hard edged. I have had it do the same thing when I kick it out of o/d down to third to pass. From what I have read here, I figure it could be one of a bunch of things (cables, elec. conections, o/d solenoid, lockup solenoid....). Where is the best place to start? Any help would be GREAT! Thanx in advance.

    regards,
    Orgasmatron
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    postman1postman1 Member Posts: 1
    I recently bought a dakota 140k miles it is now starting to pop out of first gear when I start forward is there a simple fix or does it have to go into the shop Love the truck great for hauling things locally but need to solve tranny problem
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    My first suspicion would be the Throttle Cable is sticking.

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Thanks, Dusty. I don't know if this will make a difference or not, but I noticed (just today) that my HVAC will not switch to floor, only defrost & dashboard vents....I'm thinking vaccuum problem?

    regards,
    orgasmatron
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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Sorry Dusty, I should clarify a couple of things; I am assuming that the HVAC doors are still switched with vaccuum motors? And that the 42RE trans is electronic over vaccuum? Or is it all electronic nowdays?

    regards,
    orgasmatron
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Well, unlike GMs, Chrysler transmissions never used manifold vacuum (no vacuum modulator). Instead, Chrysler has always used a straight mechanical system for shift modulation in older designs. Newer (545RFE) is completely electronic.

    I'm going to say that your HVAC problems are unrelated since the blend and mode doors in the heater housing are operated by stepper motors. However, a vacuum leak could influence engine performance and affect shift quality.

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    dungandungan Member Posts: 1
    was leaving a stop light and truck made a small bang.transmission will not pull in any gear.
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    scottgsscottgs Member Posts: 3
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    scottgsscottgs Member Posts: 3
    Hello, I have a 1988 Dodge Dakota Sport with the 3.9 V6 and a 5 speed Automatic Transmission with overdrive. I purchased this 2 months ago with 69,000 miles on it, it now has 71,000 miles on it. Since I got the vehicle most of the time when you put the truck into gear it will "slam" into gear. Some of the otger issues I am having: The truck would sometimes constantly shift up and down in gears at the speed of around 60 miles an hour, also when you put it in drive after the truck has been sitting for a day it would take a while before it would actually start to move, and most recently I've been having an issue with reverse gear,You shift it to reverse and can feel it shift into reverse but it will not go at all. Yesterday I put it in and out of gear a bunch of times and after about ten minutes it finally went. Can anyone help me out on these issues.
    Thanks,
    Scott
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    jpconardjpconard Member Posts: 3
    I don't really know exactly how to describe this problem. It started a few months back with occasional "cut-out" when gently accelerating. Seemed like it shifted (not motor cut-out).
    On a vacation when driving along in cruise (flat) it dropped out of cruise and turned on engine light. Got to an Advance and the code (don't remember #) was something about TPS. I had a bad TPS 2 yr. prior so I thought no big deal this will fix it. (but this one didn't cause RPM changes prior, etc. basically no warning).

    Put in new TPS went home, everything was OK.

    Now it has trouble going, particularly 35-55. Seems like not getting fuel (but see no drops in RPM). Almost could be desribed as a shudder at times, other times like something is holding it back. Easier to feel with OD off, and seems a little worse when hotter outside.

    Transmission fluid is OK, has been serviced 5 times (in 146,xxx). Always ATF+3, last service added 7.5 qts. ATF+4. Never flush, just drain and filters.

    Other weird thing, I put old TPS back in, returned new one and old one is not throwing a code. I don't think this time the TPS was bad, but why the code?

    I have read all posts here and nothing like mine, done tons of research (even found complete 45RFE manual online).

    There are just too many electronic sensors that could cause issues (maybe it is torque converter)? But I never see RPMs change. I can hit brake slightly at 45 and see RPM go up (unlocking torque converter).

    Currently no codes at all, but runs poorly. Idles fine, lower speeds are fine, just when to 30 (or 35) to 55 (or 60). Above that it doesn't run too bad.
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    jpconardjpconard Member Posts: 3
    I just read another article about controller programs getting corrupted for many reasons (including battery being disconnected).

    These require a re-flash at the dealer.

    Since I have a 2000 45RFE, I'm sure that there has been an update.

    Can I take it to the dealer and get it flashed for free? Should be just like an update to your trusty Microsoft Operating system.

    Just like my wife's Stratus that at 1000 miles downshifted so hard that the tires almost locked up. I guess it "learned" the wrong thing. Took it back for a re-flash.

    I don't want to spend $60 here, $120 there, on and on, for it to simply be a programming issue.
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    There is a Quick Learn/Re-learn procedure in the Dodge and Jeep factory service manuals for instances where the shift program got deleted. Unfortunately it is a lengthly thing to type in here. Ask your dealer if you can copy it out of the service manual. Most dealers are pretty cooperative about doing something like that for you.

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    First, your '88 is a four-speed automatic.

    Check the transmission Throttle Cable. If sticking it can cause most of your issues.

    The reverse problem could be something more serious. If this transmission has not been serviced I would suggest pulling the pan and checking for debris. It could be that the filter is very dirty and not providing enough pressure or someone used Dexron-Mercon ATF at one time.

    DO NOT USE DEXRON-MERCON ATF IN ANY DODGE TRUCK. USE ONLY CHRYSLER ATF+3 or ATF+4.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Who has performed the past transmission service?

    You've done a good job providing a symptom description, but it's kind of hard to say. I'm thinking you have more of a engine performance problem at this point. The transmission seems to be working okay.

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    scottgsscottgs Member Posts: 3
    Hello Dusty,
    Thanks for the info. Also I do not know if this is any indication of transmission problems, but it must be in nuetral on the dash indicator to be in drive, when you put it in drive it is in second, and reverse is close to park on the dash indicator. Also if it does need a complete overhaul, what do you think would be a fair price?
    Thanks,
    Scott
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    daddeodaddeo Member Posts: 2
    My son recently purchased a 2000 Dakota. Ran fine for a week. Seemed like all of a sudden truck started slamming into first gear. Now truck will shift up through the gears but when it reaches drive it does not respond to the peddle anymore. You push on the gas and nothing seems to happen.

    When coming to a stop the truck will downshift until it gets to 2nd and then thats where the shifting stops. When resuming motion, if you go slow enough it will drop down into first again and then shift up.

    Also when it does seem to be running fine it starts acting strange in the 50 to 60 mile an hour range. Its a constant up and down shift.

    At first I was thinking it was a fluid issue we serviced the tranny immediately and that did not make any difference.

    Anything I can check myself without spending an arm and a leg at a dealership on? Or am I doomed to spend 100 bucks an hour on it?

    Any help would be great, thanks
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    mcoreymcorey Member Posts: 9
    :confuse: I ask about this before. Trans has gone into limp mode. The code is p0748. 2002 dakota 3.9 42re trans 2 wheel drive. I have check every thing you said and few more. I replace the governor pressure solenoid and the pressure sensor, Speed sensor. Now for some reason that I can not furgure out the A/C will not work unless you ground the sensor at the ac pressure switch.

    Could the signal gotten lost from the PCM?for both the trans and the A/C ? Any help would be great as I'm at a lost now.

    Mike
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    jpconardjpconard Member Posts: 3
    Thanks Dusty,

    I did all work, used ATF+3, probably should have gone to dealer to get ATF+4, but used Valvoline +4 (7.5 qt. needed after drain) on last change with new filters.

    Went 500 miles or so this weekend, no real change, ran Lucas fuel cleaner through it. Seems to run better when cooler (in early morning than when hot, 95 or so yesterday, plus towing trailer w/ ATV). Not extremely bad symptoms, just don't want to go at times, have to put the peddle down a little more, like a brake dragging or something, but don't feel rough (not a noticeable misfire).

    I'm inclined to believe you about it being engine, if a tranny problem, I'd think I'd get a code or something, or it would get worse quickly. I'm still thinking fuel delivery.

    I'll get the new plugs in and keep at it.
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Ah. Sounds like the shift cable is binding (46RE) or you have a bad Transmission Range Sensor (mounted on the side of the transmission).

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Did replacing the aforementioned parts solve the limp-in mode problem?

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    What engine do you have?

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    mcoreymcorey Member Posts: 9
    No any other ideas? I'm thinking there may be ground or the tcc is not working I have looked everwhere I can see any hidden things? mike
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    daddeodaddeo Member Posts: 2
    4.7 litre magnum

    thanks
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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Sorry I haven't replied for a while.

    Thanks for all your help so far, but I think that my problems may run deeper than the trans. I have been having other strange issues with the truck...all seem to be electronic related. I just had my mechanic try to scan the computer and it would not let him in. He tells me that if the vehicle was improperly boosted, it could have burned the PCM, and given all the other things that it has been doing, he is pretty sure that is what has happened. Also, if I run a VIN search it comes back as an '02 SLT, and I have it registered as and '02 SPORT (which is how it is trimmed out). Computer might not be correct? Or screwed? How does one go about checking if the computer in the truck is the correct one, or if it has been changed? Any help would be great...thanks, Dusty!

    regards,
    orgasmatron
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Did you buy this vehicle used?

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Yes I did. Seemed fine when I test drove it (for an hour!) and then the problems started a couple of weeks down the road.

    regards,
    orgasmatron
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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Just had the dealership run a VIN search....says there is only one PCM listed for '02Dak QC 4x4 3.9l ($850.00!!!), doesn't matter if it's a SPORT or SLT. Also, listed as a single PCM, no trans control module. Hell, for that kind of money, I might as well get a "chipped" PCM.

    regards,
    orgasmatron
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    If a Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is replaced, the vehicle's VIN and mileage must be entered in to memory using a DRB3 Scan Tool.

    Unfortunately, there are cases where someone has obtained a used PCM and installed it into another vehicle without reprogramming. This has been known to cause recurring Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) or random faults.

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Okay, my mechanic finally got into the PCM using his big scanner (Genesis), and he had to go in via the OEM chip(will not let him in on OBD II side) and the PCM checks out fine. I checked the part number against the VIN at the dealership and it is indeed the correct PCM (I was wrong earlier, there is two PCM's listed for this year/model/engine). Once into the PCM, he found two things wrong; upstream O2 sensor on the left bank is a little out of spec, and the Throttle Position Sensor was WAYYY slow to respond. I changed the TPS, and all is well. He suggested that I don't change the O2 sensor until after the TPS, as he is figuring that it is causing the O2 sensor to go out of parameter.

    Hey, I really appreciate all your help on this one, Dusty. You are indeed the god of all things Dakota!

    regards,
    orgasmatron
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    mcoreymcorey Member Posts: 9
    Could you please send me your mechanic name and info I have been fighting a proublum like yours,

    2002 dakota mike
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    orgasmatronorgasmatron Member Posts: 8
    Jim is his name, his place is LJ's Auto Service, contact him @ (306)931-3933. And here's the best part...all the advice and TWO scans later, all I owe him is $20.00!

    regards,
    orgasmatron
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    mcoreymcorey Member Posts: 9
    Thank you for the infomation But I live in the Seattle area. I will look around to find someone here Thank You

    mike
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Well, thank you for the kind words but they are very undeserved.

    As many know in the Dakota forum, the Throttle Position Sensor causes a number of often unrelated problems, but is very often associated with shifting issues. Unfortunately there's not a good way to check the component itself with any commonly available diagnostic equipment.

    Fortunately, Mopars have the advantage over other makes in providing a fault read-out on the instrument panel. But this is a limited diagnostic tool. The OBD2 or OBD3 Scan Tools are extremely useful, but are unavailable to most.

    I hate to recommend throwing parts at a problem, especially since I once worked in the automobile repair business and know how this destroys confidence and alienates people. The Throttle Position Sensor is probably the one item that could be recommended since it causes so many different problems and the cost is relatively low for a do-it-yourselfer.

    Glad to hear this solved your problem. Mine is six years old and at 86,000 miles. I'm probably about due myself.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Dusty - I know you are "da man" when it comes to Dakotas...but please allow me to interject some comments:

    You are correct in saying that the TPS is a common failure item for Daks. It is also trivial to R&R.

    The TPS can pretty easilly be diagnosed using an ohmmeter. There are several websites that discuss the prodedure and even give some allowable paramators for measured values.

    The TPS does not even have to be installed in the vehicle to perform the basic measurements.

    BTW: The shifting of my manual xmission has NEVER been affected by the TPS.... LOL
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Hi Bpeebles. Are the tress starting to turn yet up there?

    You're correct if the TPS is bad enough. I've worked on three Daks that I could not determine had bad TPSs by using a DVM. However, I will admit that an old fashioned analog VOM would be a better instrument for "seeing" a spotty potentiometer across its range. I'm kind of sorry I gave away off my old Weston analog. It was big and clunky but darn rugged and reliable.

    Then again, I sort of miss the filament glow of a pair of 6146s, too!

    Yeah, you manual tranny guys miss out on all of the quirky shifting problems of an automatic Dak when the TPS starts going bad, but then again we know there's a TPS problem a little sooner!! :)

    Bests,
    Dusty
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Dusty,

    Yup, some trees have already started to turn. I am not ready for the snow to fly... but it is coming all too soon.

    I too liked the old analog meters with mirrored anti-parralax display for increased reading accuracy. I liked the Simpson meters which are still the very best at measruing the kinds of trends you spoke of. But at $250 each... I sure wish I still had my old Simpson because I cannot afford a new one.

    My Fluke DVOM also has analog display and peak-hold which, if used correctly, can detect flaky poteteometers (even the TPS wired as a rheostat configuration)

    ... and you might be happy to know that vacuum-tubes are STILL considerd the very best way to amplify a guitar. The worlds finest guitar amps use overdriven tubes to get their world-renound "tone". As you may be aware, a vacuum-tube is a "voltage" amplifier while most solid-state devices are "current" amplifiers. Even the top-capped 6146 has been used in famous guitar amps. (even though the 6146 is designed to be an RF amp)
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    I had a Simpson model 260, I think it was, that literally was one of the most abused instruments I've ever seen and yet never lost its calibration. This one had a cracked bakelite case and a cracked meter front. It was one I used in my television repair days. We use Simpson and Fluke DVMs at work. I know 6146s were used in audio, but I'm more familiar with them in transmitters.

    The temperature dropped to the low 50s here in Rochester, New York overnight, and I detected a slight hesitation in the old 4.7 when I first stepped on the accelerator pedal this morning. I also noticed a very slight bump-shift, the first I've ever detected. So I think coincidence might be striking. At nearly 87K and six years old I think I'm going to be replacing my first TPS on my own Dak.

    Start bringing the firewood in!

    Best regards,
    Dusty
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    vin757vin757 Member Posts: 1
    I've got a '99 4WD Dakota with the 5.2L V8 with about 130K on it. When accelerating from a stop, transmission won't shift from 1st to 2nd gear unless I let off the gas around 18-20mph or about 2000rpm. The transmission fluid level is slightly above the full line, I don't know if this would cause any problems. I've also replased the throttle position sensor and the problem still persists. Any sugguestions? Thanks.
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    cmcgrealcmcgreal Member Posts: 3
    I have an 02 dodge dakota 3.9L ...with 52,000 on it ... i have noticed recently when accelerating onto the highway the transmission shifts rough and occasionally goes back and forth through gears. Gaining speed it will shift into 4th but then drop back to 3rd and to me it does not feel normal. Is this just a throttle sensor? Could anyone help me out...Also will the throttle sensor enable me to have more power if it is that!
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    cmcgrealcmcgreal Member Posts: 3
    Also, The check engine light popped on about 3 days ago and I took it to Auto Zone and it said Emissions Control Leak ..Very Small..the guy told me my gas cap was loose but i have tightened it and got gas again and it still is on..could it be the sensor if that was the problem making the light stay on?
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    cmcgrealcmcgreal Member Posts: 3
    I have had the truck stall on me a few times as well. When I shift from reverse to drive sometimes it bogs down quite a bit and almost stalls or does stall. But it starts right up again and I have no problems. Sometimes when I put the truck in park and shift to reverse and back to drive it doesn't stick. The truck seems to not be able to find the gear I am putting it in. This happens once a week or so depending on how I am shifting it.
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Some gascaps have been known to rust internally and cause this problem.

    In any case, the built-in diagnostics are sensing a leak in the airspace above the gasoline in the tank. This diagnostic is performed by slightly pressurizing this airspace and then sealing it off and testing to make sure the pressure stays.

    Also check all 3 hoses are plugged into the charcoal canister. (mounted below the drivers door on inside of framerail)
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    07dakotaquad07dakotaquad Member Posts: 1
    Hi. Got this truck August 2nd, 2007 and Sept 16th, I was driving onto the freeway from a curved onramp, and the truck would not shift up from say 3rd gear to 4th gear. So I was going 50mph and the tach read 3800, which is not good. Then after I pulled over, it worked. It repeated this problem later that night. So the last two weeks, it hasn't done it since, and I dropped by the dealer and he had never heard of this happening on a truck this new. I have 1700 miles on it. So, it happened, but isn't doing it now, weird.... just thought I'd post this and see if anyone had this problem with a newer vehicle like mine. I do like this vehicle a lot.... Kinda wish the glove compartment held more than it does.
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    moparaddictmoparaddict Member Posts: 1
    Hey...looking at a 1992 ClubCab LS,with 180K miles. Intermitten issue with 2nd-3rd shift. It's an auto. Trans shop of course wants to consider overhaul...2k-3k...OUCH!!-if full tanny service doesn't do the job. Owner does'nt seem to be the 'regular service my truck' kind of guy. It's a 4x4. $1500 too much for it???? Wish it was a 2wd with that motor.. Original paint/decent cond/everything else works fine...What do you all think????
    THANX!
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    mcoreymcorey Member Posts: 9
    No same as before, Any other ideas? Or just take to to Dodge?
    mike
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    jfritschjfritsch Member Posts: 958
    I don't know what 'regular service my truck" means with that high of miles. 180k miles and 15 years is way at the end of the life of this car. You can get a much younger truck with fewer miles for 3000-4000. Offer him $600 at best,especially if he's fishing in one of the tradin publications.

    --jjf

    Hey...looking at a 1992 ClubCab LS,with 180K miles. Intermitten issue with 2nd-3rd shift. It's an auto. Trans shop of course wants to consider overhaul...2k-3k...OUCH!!-if full tanny service doesn't do the job. Owner does'nt seem to be the 'regular service my truck' kind of guy. It's a 4x4. $1500 too much for it???? Wish it was a 2wd with that motor.. Original paint/decent cond/everything else works fine...What do you all think????
    THANX!
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    cubanskycubansky Member Posts: 8
    My Dakota takes long to shift from first to second when it's cold. I sometimes drive slow for two blocks before it decides to shift, however it does not happen all the time. Could this be a problem with the TPS ?
    Thanks
    Robert
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    ebellebell Member Posts: 2
    I'm having trouble with my truck. We bought it used and it has about 130 thousand miles on it. The trouble all started with the RPMS jumping randomly. Just from about 1200 to 1500. Not a major jump. Now, you can feel it jump jump, it sorta feels like it's trying to shift but its not. It will only do it when you go over 50, and you it'll do it for a few seconds then stop, then start again. What could be the problem? And should I just take it to a shop? My dad suggested a tranny flush, but i've only heard bad things about that.... :confuse:
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    cubanskycubansky Member Posts: 8
    PROBLEMS WITH THE RPM AND SHIFTING IN THE DAKOTA COULD BE RELATED TO A BAD SPEED SENSOR MOUNTED ON TOP OF THE REAR WHEEL DIFFERENTIAL.
    AS FOR THE TRANNY FLUSH I AGREE THAT IT COULD BRING PROBLEMS IF ONE HAS NOT BEEN DONE BEFORE WITH THAT MANY MILES, GOOD LUCK.
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    ebellebell Member Posts: 2
    I'm not sure it's the speed sensor, i'm really not sure what it is. My brother was messing around with my truck when I bought it in august and tried out the 4x4. Ever since then it's been doing this shimmy thing. Its not a continuous thing, but often enough. The RPMs will jump slightly and it feels like the whole truck is studdering or something but just for a second and then it will drive fine for a little while, then start all over. Does that sound like a transmission problem or something else?
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