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Dodge Dakota Braking Problems



  • 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

    I would really appreciate any help you can give me.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles 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.
  • 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
  • bpeeblesbpeebles 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.
  • 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
  • bpeeblesbpeebles 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.
  • dustykdustyk 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,
  • thanks for the info I'll take a look into those Bendix
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    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.
  • 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 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..
  • beth_lbeth_l 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!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    My guess would be dragging brakes.
  • dudeman1dudeman1 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:
  • dustykdustyk 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.

  • dudeman1dudeman1 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!
  • buzzypbuzzyp 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
  • 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
  • bpeeblesbpeebles 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.
  • Well I figured it out....unfortunatly. Spoke to a couple mechanics and thier opion was Master cylinder.
    So, I changed it. When I did I noticed the seals on the calipers were melted out...COMPLETELY.... form the heat. So needless to say I changed the calipers. Works fine now. Looks like the master cylinder fried in turn causing the calibers to seize. And yes it was noth front wheels. This truck only has rear ABS, so I know that was not the issue.
    Thanks For Your Time..

  • i have a 01 qc slt+ 2wd 4.7 auto and have gone through more front brakes in 80,000 miles than i should in 250,000 miles 1)factory 50,000
    2)drilled/slotted roters with titanium pads that wore through roters at 60,000
    3)cheap set from auto zone at 70,000, warped
    4)2nd cheap set [rabestos] at 80,000, now at 84,000 and i am getting constant squilling [stopping and driving]. as well as heavy grinding/vibration when i first start going after a stop that will disapear if i tap the also does it now while stopping. any suggestions? thanks.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    There have been a lot of complaints about the factory rotors in the 2000-2003 vintage. Some in this forum have reported getting no more than 25K out of them. I see yours went 50K.

    Assuming that your driving style has not changed in the last thirty-thousand miles, and you can get 50K out of factory brake components, then on the surface it looks like you are experiencing brake component material issues with the aftermarket stuff.

    My 2003 Dak went 57K on the factory pads and rotors, and the pads still had plenty of miles left on them when they were changed out. The replacements were Mopar service line rotors and pads and I had to replace them just recently at 83K because of brake pulsing from hard spots. I probably could've cleaned this pair of rotors up, but I've had such bad luck with lathe turned rotors I just gave in and bought new. I was actually tempted to use the pads as they had about 80% left on them, but my Dodge dealer gives me enough break on parts that I didn't want to risk it.

    I've noticed that the newer Mopar service line replacement rotors have a silver coating on them. I don't know if this is rust protection for shipping purposes, or what, but the technician at the dealership thinks they last longer.

    Just as a point of reference, I know there are Dak owners who are convinced that the Dak has inherently short mileage brakes, and compared to some of my automobiles I'd be tempted to say the same thing. Most of my cars gave me better than 60K. My '93 Sentra went nearly 100K on the factory brakes.

    But my two Chevy pick-up trucks gave up their front brakes pretty consistently at 40-50K, and our '99 Toyota Avalon didn't make 50K either. People I work with are reporting generally lower miles from front brakes on many trucks of different makes and models. One guy with a Titan has had three sets of front pads and rotors in less than 45K!

    Anyway, my suggestion would be to inspect and clean the calipers and brake hardware. Pay close attention to the pad contact points on the brake adaptors. They get deep pits in them after a while that can cause the pads to hang up and drag. Of course, the calipers could be sticking causing the same thing (look for ripped or deteriorated piston seals), as well as a defective master cylinder or the rubber brake lines.

    Good luck & best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I can attest to the words Dusty speaks 8-)

    When replacing pads on ANY disk-brake system, you must take the time to file smooth the pad sliding surfaces. Otherwise, the new pads may bind up and give you all kinds of problems after awhile.

    I went out and bought an new basterd file specifically to smooth out the sliding surfaces on my Dakota.... they were deeply gouged from the old pads and my old file was not up to the task.

    Also, the quality-pads I purchased (Raybestos QS) came with Stainless Steel spacers which covered over the crusty, old contact points replacing them with ssmmootthh stainless steel sliders..
  • Hi All, I have a 01 QC, 4x4,4.7 auto,4wd. I want to change the rear brake shoes. I notice parts list reference 2 sizes, (I only have the standard rwd antilocks). Do I have the 9" or the 11"????

    Also, I notice on some other dodge sites people use different oil filter #'s that are larger, but still fit with threading and gasket size. Seems to me the larger filter would be better so long as the fit did not interfere with anything? Any thoughts???
    Hope Dusty and Bpeebles are having good luck with their trucks. I have about 87k. Hoping not to have any big $ probs. in the future?? Time will tell.

  • thanks for writing back. dragging brakes would sound right. i failed to mention that i live in ct and drive in 95 traffic to work.stop and go followed by speed up to 50 only to slam on brakes. my factory roters and last set both warped, while rear brakes are fine.if its not the guides does anyone know how to diagnose master cylinder or balancing valve
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Hmmm. Nine-inch brakes on a Dak? From 2002 and up the only rear shoe size was 11-inch. I've done brake work on older Daks but I don't remember there being anything but one size. Maybe the four cylinder versions got 9-inch brakes, but I'm not sure that engine was available in 2001. I find it hard to believe they'd put 9-inch rear shoes on a Quad Cab anyways.

    Since many oil filters use a standard thread and have approximately the same bypass valve cut-off pressures, a larger filter would obviously give you more capacity for holding contaminants. You need to be careful, though, since different filter models are designed for specific applications where oil flow rates or bypass pressures are different. This usually translates into the filter using a different media which handles greater flow rates by using a less fine material. Most filters trap 12-14 micron size particles, but some go down to 8, which is typical of newer Mopar designs.

    Since I stick to regular oil changes I'm sure that my 4.7 motor is relatively clean, so the need for an increased size of filter is not desired. I would recommend that you check the spec's on any filter your considering before adopting its use.

    My personal opinion is you shouldn't ever need a larger filter if you've maintained the engine properly and used the correct oil.

    Best regards,
  • I have a 2K Dak CC, 4.7, 5 speed which I factory ordered. One of the options was 11" brakes with the 1800 lb payload for $40. If you didn't order these you got the standard 9" brakes. I'm not sure if this was the same for 2001 but I suspect that it was.
  • The front brakes locked and with great difficulty was able to drive home, the brakes and calipers were smoking.
    Lifted up the front end and could not move the tires by hand.
    I went after all the possibilities. I replaced the brake hoses and the o-ring and dust boots in the calipers. The rotors and pads were original with 85000 miles and the rotors were warped so I replaced them as well along with the pads.
    Took it for a spin and after a while they locked again. Replaced the master cylinder and flushed all the old fluid.
    Took it for a spin and after a while felt a little heavy so I lifted the front end and the tires are hard to turn by hand and felt hotter than usual.
    I'm considering replacing the calipers altogether cause I'm a little puzzled now.
    Any advise will be greatly appreciated.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    my goodness - it is FARRR easire to simply replace the calipers instead of trying to rebuild them with new dust boots.

    I can attest that both of my front calipers behaved like yours... when they heated up, they seazed the pads to the rotors.

    After cooling off, they seemed OK for about 10 miles.

    My rebuilt calipers are BETTER quality than the originals. (The originals use a non-metallic piston.)

    Also, one MUST MUST MUST replace brake fluid at least every 2 years due to moisture in the hydrolic system.... lest suffer the fate of replacing calipers due to internal rust.
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