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Dodge Dakota Braking Problems

KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
Stop here to stop your Dak :)

kcram - Pickups Host
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    03dakota03dakota Member Posts: 3
    my wife has an 03 dakota that is under warranty. it was
    showing the classic signs of master cylinder problems
    ( brake pedal would slowly go to floor while sitting at light.) dealer replaced master cylinder....same problem.
    dealer then replaced power booster...brakes are soft , some pedal drop off is noticed but does not go to floor , and now notice a faint double hissing noise near the power booster/brake pedal area ...( like fluid being forced through a line and then returnning without letting up on the pedal. did dealer get a faulty replacement part , or improper bleeding or is there yet another possible problem?
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    manstang46manstang46 Member Posts: 7
    2000 dakota quad cab 4x4 5spd 4.7l. i have 4wheel abs. everytim i slow down to about 10-15 mph my abs is coming on. is this signs of brakes needing replacement as i have not looked yet. or is this something else maybe a sensor? i was told my rear brakes were out of adjustment...adjusted and no different any help would be appreciated.
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    cottoneyejoe94cottoneyejoe94 Member Posts: 4
    ok heres the story i have a 94 dakota with a 3.9 in it ok now the back drivers side wheel was locking up when i got to about 10-15mph and then i took off the back wheels and adjusted them cuz they were out when doing this the front shoe of the drivers side is wore more than the back the brakes only have 20000 on them so i out everything back together and went down the road and sure enough it did it again if ne one has ne suggestions please let me know thanks
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Let me ask you this: The 2000 Dak was available with (standard) Rear Antilock or (optional) 4Wheel antilock. Which system does your Dak have installed?

    Brake adjustment has very little to do with ABS light.

    The ABS light can come on for FARRR MORE than a simple brake problem. Oftentimes it is because a diagnostic fault has been detected in the hydrolic system. Also the sensor screwed into the rear differential can cause ABS faults. If the tires on the vehicle are not EXACTLY the same size as the factory reccomends, that can also trigger ABS faults. (Per factory shop manual - Changing tire size requires reprogramming the ABS system to compensate)

    I wonder if you have been replacing your brake fluid every 2-3 years? If not, then your brake system is likely to be full of corrosion. This can lead to very expensive ABS repairs.

    BTW: I have replaced the brake fluid at least 2 times on my 2000 Dak... it only takes about an hour in my driveway and one can of fluid. (I use a vacuum bleeder)
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    manstang46manstang46 Member Posts: 7
    my bad i have the optional 4wheel anti-lock, i remember seeing the front sensor wire when i took the front wheel off to check the brakes wich seem fine. the rotors do have some grooving in them though.
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    manstang46manstang46 Member Posts: 7
    the ABS light never comes on except for at initial start up when you first turn the key. i did have to have my whole rear end replaced at 52k miles too. they said the abs sensor in there got all mashed up but they were going to replace it. i wonder if they actually did. could that be the problem?
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    That 4-wheel ABS that you have is FARRR more complicated than the RWAL system on most 2000 Daks. I have the Facrory shop manual for the 2000 Dak and there is an entire chaptor dedicated to just that 4-wheel ABS option.

    If the light is coming on when you first start up (truck has not even moved) Then that fact can help isolate the source of the problem.

    Have you checked to see if the ABS light will come on by just turning on the key and NOT starting the engine? (This would show that the ABS diagnostics are failing some basic check) You should be able to "pull the code" to see what is throwing the error.
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    dakmandakman Member Posts: 4
    I am not an expert on anti-lock brakes, but your problem seems to maybe not be the anti-lock brakes. If the light does not come on besides at start up, you may not have an electrical/electronical problem at all. I know a very common problem on newer vehicles is cheaply made rotors. The rotors are designed very cheaply, and they overheat and warp quite easily. When rotors warp, they feel very much like pulsating brakes. The pedal pumps slightly, and the wheel jerks slightly as well. Beings you have grooves in your front rotors already, I would suggest having the rotors turned down or replaced. Most vehicles' replacement rotors are fairly cheap, so I would just have them replaced.

    A reputable brake shop should be able to tell you if that is indeed the problem. If it isn't, they may have a good idea where to start. If it is, it shouldn't be too pricey of a fix. Good Luck!
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    dakmandakman Member Posts: 4
    Sounds like the brakes weren't quite put back together correctly. If there has been no prblems with the passenger side brakes, I would suggest pulling off that drum, and double checking the drivers side brake in comparison. If they look exactly alike, but opposite, then they are put together correctly probably. There are a couple of problems with what you mentioned. If one shoe is wearing more than another, that points to improper installation. If the brakes are not adjusting out automatically, that points to improper installation. If, after checking the installation carefully, the problem persists, it may be a wheel cylinder that is not functioning properly. It will need to be replaced. Good Luck!
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    dakmandakman Member Posts: 4
    I have a 90 dakota, and the "antilock" light has come on in the dash, and I don't know what to check to fix it. I had the problem before on another dakota, and I just removed the bulbs and lived without the antilock function. I would much rather resolve the problem for this truck. If anyone knows how to reset this light or track the problem, I sure would appreciate the help. I seem to remember the first time I had the problem (on the other truck), someone told me that it was a very common issue, then they refered me to the dealer.
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    cottoneyejoe94cottoneyejoe94 Member Posts: 4
    thanks for the help i will try putting the new wheel cylinder on cuz the brakes were changed by the dealership b4 i bought it a year ago this month so idk what they did to them but thanks fer the info and i wil get back to u as soon as i change it thanks again
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    manstang46manstang46 Member Posts: 7
    the rotors do have a slight warp to them that i can feel. but i know that is not the problem. i pulled out the ABS Pump Fuse in the engine compartment relay box and it stopped the ABS from coming on. now i have an abs and brake light on in the dash. i did also try replacing all the hardware and the shoes in the rear thinking that was the problem....no help.....
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    manstang46manstang46 Member Posts: 7
    i also pulled the rear abs sensor which looked to be fine....i don't know how to test it or if it can be tested though
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    dakmandakman Member Posts: 4
    Ok, so removing the abs fuse stopped the undesired effect that was occurring? And before you removed the fuse, the light would only be on at the turn of the key? The light did not stay on during operation, before you removed the fuse? Does the pulsing or undesired effect come at less than 10-15 mph speeds? Or greater than 10-15 mph speeds? What, exactly, is the undesired effect? I am just assuming that it is pulsing. Let me know these answers, and I will do some more research on the matter. Thanks,Scott
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    ricsticricstic Member Posts: 2
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    ricsticricstic Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1989 Dokota Sport 4x4 with a 3.9 engine. My problem is I have a brake line blown on the drivers side rear, no one seems to be able to get me the part to fix it. I have been to part stores and a dealer. The dealer says that the line I need is a discontinued item. This is the short steel line about 6 inches long that goes from the spliter block on the fram to the rubber hose for the drivers side rear brake. The problem is the fitting that goes into the block no one seems to be able to find it for me. If anyone know where I can get this line please let me know?
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    kkochkkoch Member Posts: 3
    Truck stalls when coming up to a stop or light. Starts right up and runs great until the next stop or light. The check engine light is on. The speedometer also stopped working, it moves slightly every now and then. The brake light and (abs)light comes on after a few mn and stays on. ken
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    The ECU (Engine computer) needs to know the roadspeed of the vehicle to determine the best idle speed and for the ABS to work properly.

    Since your speedometer is not working... this means that the ECU does not know the speed of the vehicle. (It is the ECU which drives the speedometer and feeds roadspeed signal into the ABS computer.)

    There is a roadspeed sensor which feeds a signal into the ECU.

    In other words, the path of roadspeed signal is as follows;
    Sensor ==> ECU ==> speedometer & ABS system

    Given the above, I would suggest you replace the roadspeed sensor (screwed into the rear differential) This may fix ALL of the problems you describe.
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    kkochkkoch Member Posts: 3
    Thanks i will try that.
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    kkochkkoch Member Posts: 3
    Thanks, I changed the sensor and everything is fine now..Ken
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    You are welcome Ken. I am glad that it was as simple as screwing in a new sensor. The "trick" is knowing how the system operates 8-)
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    granpappygranpappy Member Posts: 5
    THIS IS FOR BPEEBLES. I READ YOUR FIX FOR AN ABS & SPEEDOMETER PROBLEM, OF REPLACING THE SENSOR IN THE DIFFERENTIAL. I HAVE BASICALLY THE SAME PROBLEM. THE ABS LIGHT COMES ON WHEN STARTING AND EVENTUALLY GOES OFF. JUST LATELY I NOTICED THE SPEEDOMETER QUIT WORKING, THEN STARTED WORKING OK SOME MINUTES LATER. I THINK ALL I HAVE TO DO IS REPLACE THE SENSOR, BUT JUST WANTED TO PASS IT BY YOU. THANKS!!!! GRANPAPPY
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    I hope that works out for you.

    BTW: I'm not certain if your 1996 Dak has the sensor screwed into the rear differential or screwed into the xmission housing...I guess you will find out 8-)
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    granpappygranpappy Member Posts: 5
    THANKS, GUYS! I HOPE IT WORKS OUT ALSO. GRANPAPPY
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    landgraflandgraf Member Posts: 3
    Can I replace the Brakes on My Dakota? Are there specialized Tools?
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    I cannot speak for your mechanical abilities... but the only thing I would call a "specialized Tool" would the the torque wrench that is useful in torquing the various bolts upon reassambly. (including the lugnuts!) If your Dak has rear disk brakes, then you may need a special tool to "retract" the calipers.

    To do the job right, there is a certain amount of skill and attention to detail.

    For example, when replacing disk brake pads, if the sliding surfaces are not filed smooth and lubricated with approprate hi-temp lube, you may encounter pads which do not retract properly.

    Another example would be to ensure that the sliding pins are lubricated with rubber-lube so the "fully floating" calipers truly do float as expected.

    Sitting in my dirt driveway, I can do each front wheel in under an hour. (even quicker when my wife helps!)
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    To add, if the Dakota in question has rear drum brakes a brake adjusting tool will probably be necessary to release the shoes before drum removal.

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Dusty -- the reason I did not mention the drum-adjuster tool is because I beleive the 2002 Dak has disk brakes in the rear.

    Also, I have always used 2 screwdrivers to get at the starwheel to adjust the drum-brakes. (Volkswagen drum brakes use a spring-loaded wedge ... really threw me for a loop the first time I tried looking for the starwheel on my VW pickup-truck)
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    datagurudataguru Member Posts: 95
    Bruce - I may be mistaken but, wasn't 2003 the only model year that rear disc brakes were installed on Dakotas from the factory recently? Perhaps, 2002 owners can respond whether their Daks have rear disc brakes?

    Cheers,
    dataguru (Bill)
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Don't know about other years, bit according to the factory 2003 Dakota service manual, rear discs were an option for that year. I want to say that anything over 6100 GVW had rear discs, and/or a Dakota with four-wheel anti-lock brakes..

    Best regards,
    Dusty
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    digitalclonedigitalclone Member Posts: 1
    For dataguru, I have a 2002 Dakota Quad cab, 4.7 L. I saw on one of your posts that you got a code "P0441", I was wondering what solution you cam up with as I am having the same problem. You can email me at digitalclone@hotmail.com

    I would really appreciate any help you can give me.

    Thanks
    Digitalclone
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    You can look up the code yourself on the internet and would find:
    "P0441 Evaporative Emission Control System Incorrect Purge Flow"

    All vehicles sold in the USA must have the OBDII (OnBoard Diagnostics version2). The EEC "Evaporative Emission Control" system is part of the federal-mandated OBDII.

    For problems with the EEC system. Please use search Edmunds to find my very detailed explanation about what it does and its possible failure modes.

    HINT: The purge flow test detected an incorrect value. The most common cause is gascap is not clicked at least 3 times -or- is defective.

    If - After you have read and understood the EEC system and you still need some help - Dont hesatate to ask specific questions about your Dak. pertaining to your P0441 code.

    ALSO: This specific forum is for BRAKING ISSUES - you may get more help in one of the other Dakota forums here on Edmunds.
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    ncnavymanncnavyman Member Posts: 6
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    ncnavymanncnavyman Member Posts: 6
    OK., now I know not to press enter from writing the title. Any ways, I have a 1988 Dak, 4 X 4, with the 3.9. Great little truck, has 105K on it. The other day driving home from work, I felt the brake pedal "slip" down a little further than normal for a stop, and also the brake light came on. The truck stops, as normal but the light is staying on. When I got home, poped the hood, and my fluid was a little low, so filled the reservoir back to normal with new fluid. The brakes are just feeling "mushy". What is causing this feeling, and the light to come on? What can I do to correct this problem, hopefully it won't cost too much, I'm still waiting for the new cooling fan for my other car. thanks
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    It sounds as if you have a leak in the hydrolic system. For safety, the system is actually 2 totally-seperate systems. Each half of the system controls the brakes on 2 wheels.

    I one of the systems springs a leak, the pedal will move closer to the floor and a sensor will detect an imbalance between the 2 systems and turn on the brake light.

    Suggest you have the brake system thoroughly inspected.
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    slickwilliedjslickwilliedj Member Posts: 252
    got a 01 q/c 4.7 60k with 4wheel antilocks. My front rotors are so warped that the truck hops sorta when braking especially from high speed stops. I did a front end brake job at around 30k new pads and had the rotors resurfed. rears are sill original. Wondering what others with this model are getting out of there brakes? when did u replace them? what did you brand etc did you replace them with.. I'm thinking I thinking of replacing the rotors even if they are resurfable and going with powerslots,hawk etc
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Factory front brake rotors are CR@P. Turning them just makes them even thinner and more susceptable to warpage.

    Suggest you get some QUALITY front rotors. (Raybestos or Bendix) and always use torquewrench on lugnuts.

    You asked when we replaced our front brakes... my origianl rotors were junk after about 1 year. I then installd expensive POWERSLOT rotors thinking they would be better. Here is what happend to POWERSLOT rotors after 3 winters. Once the cool-looking plating wears off, the unterlying metal is junk.

    I then installed Bendix rotors and they are still going strong after 6 years. I also used ceramic-based pads to reduce the black dust buildup.
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    For 2003 the Dakota rotors were upgraded with a slightly different configuration and stated improved quality. I don't know if Mopar improved the pre-2003 versions or not and I guess I wouldn't blame anybody from steering clear of factory rotors for a 2001.

    I got 52,000 miles out of my 2003 Dakota's factory rotors and the pads could' ve gone even farther. I installed the factory components and after 25,000 miles they are doing fine and should go at least that distance.

    Dakota people I've talked to have gotten varied results out of the various aftermarket rotors, but although I've had some tell me they swear by Powerslots I know two Dakota owners that had the same results as Bpeebles did.

    Since I haven't personally experimented with rotors or pads beyond factory components, I would defer to Bpeebles recommendation, especially being up there in Vermont where the environment is probably more severe than most other areas of the northeast.

    The only comment I would make is if you chose to use factory rotors I would highly recommend using the factory pads. Pad friction materials are matched by the manufacturers to the rotor for optimum performance and longevity.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
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    slickwilliedjslickwilliedj Member Posts: 252
    thanks for the info I'll take a look into those Bendix
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    slickwilliedjslickwilliedj Member Posts: 252
    thanks again
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    eharri3eharri3 Member Posts: 640
    First set of rotors warped at 7800 miles, 60-80% highway driving including a couple long road trips. All rotors replaced for free by the dealer. Second set started warping at 12000 miles but I lived with it till it got so bad at round 40000 miles that there was steering vibration and rear end hop on hard braking. The pads were still fine when replaced at 45K though, just the rotors were the problem..

    I now have Raybestos premium rotors and Bendix titanium metallic 2 pads on the front. Only been on there for 8000 miles but so far no warping and squealing yet so they already have the mopar rotors beat in quality. I'd say on these trucks it's a waste of time and money to resurface the rotors or use factory replacements. Soon as you get vibration just replace them and forget about it.
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    slickwilliedjslickwilliedj Member Posts: 252
    Like most of you Dakota owners the brakes on these trucks are not the best and factory rotors are known to warp like crazy. My 01 Dakota Q/C sport 4.7 with 4whl antilock brakes,60k was in dire need of a front brake job. I had the brakes replaced at about 30k with wagner thermoquite pads and the rotors turned. Well for the last 20k the rotors have been getting progressively worse to the point the entire truck would shake and vibrate So while in the market for brakes I recently came across the Power Slot cryogentic (Frozen Rotors).They actually freeze these rotors to -300f which strengthens the metal and allows them to run cooler.(ck out powerslot.com for all the details) I put a set on of these on my ride along with Hawk LTS pads and man wow what a difference!! truck has never braked this good! I would highly recommend this set up to any of you that are experienceing warped rotors,weak brakes, or tow or haul alot. I have put approx 1,500 miles on them so far and they are perfect..
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    beth_lbeth_l Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2001 Dakota, 3.9 L V-6, manual transmission. My truck emits a high-pitched noise that sounds similar to a squeaky brake. However, it happens when I am not braking. I notice the noise only when I make turns at low speeds. Usually the noise happens after I release the brake pedal when slowing down.

    Any idea what could be causing this? I had my brakes checked and cleaned recently and the problem keeps happening. Thanks!
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    My guess would be dragging brakes.
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    dudeman1dudeman1 Member Posts: 6
    I had let my truck sit in the driveway for a month without moving it, then drove it about 30 miles into Atlanta from North GA. Driving in was fine, then driving home was sitting in traffic going 5 to 10 mph for an hour. Once I got thru that, the tranny was laboring to keep up and my brakes were very pumped up on the pedal. Finally got home and a bad smell from the front tires and extreme heat on passenger side tire front and also drivers side. Any suggestions how to release that dragging brake? :sick:
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    dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Remove the wheels and open the bleeders. If the rotors rotate freely without any drag, the calipers probably got over pressurized from defective front rubber brake lines and should be replaced.

    If there's still drag then the calipers are probably frozen.

    In very, very rare cases, the master cylinder or proportioning valve might not be releasing.

    Regards,
    Dusty
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    dudeman1dudeman1 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advice Dustyk, it looks like it was just the constant stop and start traffic for an hour that made the brakes drag. I went on another trip yesterday 140 miles and no problems either way. Good to know other options when it comes to truck repair!
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    buzzypbuzzyp Member Posts: 1
    sometimes when i'm driving my 05 dakota[v6 auto] on the thruway, which turns about 2100 rpm,@ 70 mph, the truck will start to lose rpm's and slow down until it downshifts and comes back to speed and then it wil keep doing it for few miles and it will finally clear it self up. it doesn't do this all the time.anyone run across this problem, the dealer said that it would have to be doing it for them to tell
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    ppidgurskyppidgursky Member Posts: 2
    Took the truck out today and while I was driving I noticed it was slugish. When I hit the brake it had one hell of a shimmy. When I accelerated it was sluggish and also had a shimmy. I stopped and checked out the wheels and I noticed the front rotors were piping hot. It seems both of the front rotors locked, but not completly though, I was still able to drive just while using the brake. When I got home they smoked....bad. To hit the brake pedal while driving, it felt like when you pump the brakes with the truck off. Soft for about 1/2" then hard.
    Someone mentioned electrical with the abs, another said master cylinder... I am out of warranty and can't afford to put it in the shop for a week. Any help would be greatly appriciated.
    Thanks Peter
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    bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    From reading your description, it is not clear to me if you are saying if BOTH front wheels are doing this... or just one side.

    I have had front calipers on my Dak. get "stickie" and not realease properly. However, I have not seen BOTH sides fail at the same time.

    Since calipers are known to get stickie, you may wish to first examine them BEFORE digging into electrical or ABS components.
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