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Dodge Dakota Engine and Underhood Questions

KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
The place for all your Dakota engine and underhood queries.


  • gafogafo Posts: 4
    In June, 05, my mpg dropped from 22-23mpg to 17-18mpg on the highway on on tank of gas and stayed that way until today. 2 dealers have looked at it. One charge over $400, kept it a week and didn't fix anything. Other dealer had it a week and wanted to do over (and charge) the same as the first one. Both told me that there were no codes so there was no problem. Wanted to replace "points, plugs, wires, distributer cap, condenser and rotor". After the first I replaced the plugs with Bosch Platinum and was told by both dealers that Bosch Platinum would not work in a Dakota. The second dealer kept it for a week and found nothing (but charged nothing). The last week in Mar,06, I contacted the service manager of the second dealer who had me bring it in. They run a fuel test resulting in 17mpg. The factory rep told them that was acceptible and that it was attributable to "oxegenated gasoline". That trip was from Las Vegas to Salmon, Idaho then to Jackson, WY, Yellowstone, Cody and then to Deadwood, SD, Mount Rushmore-a lot in mountains often running the AC. On my second fillup in Deadwood, we started home at when I gassed up in Cheyenne, WY the mileage dropped and remained that way to this day. Also, high gear, 60 mph plus has little throttle response but will kick down to a lower gear then accelerate. No one has ever heard of this and blaming it on oxegenated gas is stupid. If many others had experienced that loss there would be a loud complaint launched at the gov for imposing the gas on us. I am retired and current gas prices impact me severely. Any suggestions?
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Either you misunderstood what the dealer was telling you or they were blowing smoke at you. I don't know of any modern production vehicle that uses ignition points and condenser.
    I'd look for another shop.
  • gafogafo Posts: 4
    That's why those items are in "quotes". The first dealer wanted to do a mass parts replacement to troubleshoot the problem but $200 for a set of plugs was simply rediculous. They did find a vacuum leak so I let them replace all the lines. Also flush the injector system. The second dealer advised me to do all of the same. When I told them I had replaced the plugs with Bosch Platinum, the advisor looked me straight in the eye and told me that was the problem and that platinum plugs didn't work in Dodge engines. So far, everyone I told about this laughed. They kept the truck for a week and did nothing so I retrieved it on a Saturday. On Monday, he called to ask what we were going to do and did not know that I had picked it up. Now several months have passed and I contacted the service manager of the second dealership and we agreed to try again. He kept the car a week ran and fuel economy tests. They drove it around with some readout device connected and watched several parameters. I don't know if this is all smoke but he said everything is normal. So he contacted his Dodge rep who told him the mileage is normal and that the problem is oxegenated gasoline and at this point I realized that Dodge was "blowing smoke" as you so aptly put it. If you are a mechanic, what should the tailpipe look like if the truck was running normal? Years ago, I was taught not to buy a car if the tailpipe was any color but a mild grey. Thanks for you response. I hope to hear from you again. Gary
  • hey, My 02 dakota has the same problem with the fuel economy but i havn't figured it out yet. I also have a bad stalling problem at idle speeds, i sure would like to see 20+ mpg, if i find anything out i'll let you know, i find too that dealerships are just stupid, all money and no brains.
  • gafogafo Posts: 4
    I just came back from a trip to Mexico. Drove a liitle over 1k miles and averaged 20mpg with ac running. It is improving on its own. I haven't changed anuthing. Thanks for your response.
  • slededsleded Posts: 4
    hey guys im new this the board and i love it already!! i was wondering if anyone knew what that code means? i took the truck in the other day for the check engine light and it was the gas cap!! so he fixed it and today the check engine light came on again. i think its the gas cap but who knows hope u guys can help me out


  • dritten01dritten01 Posts: 3
    this is my first post, and I am glad I found this site. I have a 2000 4.7 dakota 4x4. Check engine lite on with these codes, but my bigger problem is that all of a sudden a couple of weeks ago my truck is taking 2-3 cranks to get started. Once started it runs great. any ideas? I thought maybe a bad injector, but getting same fuel mileage. today I am also hearing a loud ticking for the first 5 min or so after starting. It eventually goes away
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    Depending on Your mileage, start considering the crank sensor to be at fault. I've had this problem myself and found the crank sensor to be the issue. You may have other underlying problems, but replacing the crank sensor or keeping a spare handy just in case isn't a bad idea.. especially if You're stranded on the side of the road some place and all the engine does is crank... providing Your fuel pump hasn't puttered out. Not all sensors cause driveability problems. Also take a good look at the EGR/Solenoid. That can cause irratic cold idles and starting problems... but won't prevent You from starting the engine.
  • It's your fuel pump for sure. I just lived through this. The check valve has most likely failed causing your fuel to drain back into your tank when you shut it off. I too have a 2000 Dakota quad cab 4X4. I thought it was injectors at first but after taking it into the garage they isolated certain areas of the fuel system and found that was the issue....a minor $700 (canadian) it was fixed. Hope this helps although it is not good news.
  • cdrinkercdrinker Posts: 1
    I have 2000 with 4.7, in the last couple of weeks the check engine light came on and started running rough. They found the power steering switch was bad, they also said I needed a tune up. While changing the spark plugs I found the plugs from the right side of the motor were black the right side was fine. After changing the plugs the truck started to miss while idling and while driving it. The computer then showed I needed a new O2 sensor. After changing that and a new injector the plugs on the left side are black again. The truck is still running rough while idling and driving. Any suggestions or ideas.
  • I believe you should look at the durango forum i believe you will find your answer start with 197 and work your way up through I found it very helpful here is the link roxybluems, "Dodge Durango: Problems & Solutions" #191, 30 Jun 2006 9:46 pm
  • I have a 5.2l 5-speed and when I depress the clutch the idle goes down, but it settles around 800rpm then goes to 500 then back to 800 and so on. Any ideas on what I need to do to get a consistant idle?
  • my 1993 3.9 dakota has a persistant problem, and it is getting worse. when cold (and sometimes when warm) it will suddenly lose power and start bucking and valve rattleing like it is out of time, if I shut it off and restart it will run as it should until it does it againsometimes 3 or 4 times, while it is in the backfire , rattle sputter mode it will idle as if there is ni proble, the check engine light does not come on and i can retreive no trouble codes,???????????
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Aside from the usual ignition components being suspect, it could be a clogged catalyic converter or a bad intake manifold gasket.

  • Thanks Dusty, all the ignition stuff except the coil has been changed. I really hate that intermittant crap, it won't do it if you want it to. I have never experianced a clogged converter before so don,t know what to look for exactly. I tried to retreive the codes using the method in my manual but could get nothing from that. thanks again for the suggeation. oldrusty
  • Recently purchased a used 2001 Dodge Dakota, V6, 2WD. At 50-65 mph, on level road, it surges. The RPM will be at 1500 and move up to 2000 and then back to 1500. Sometimes moves up to 1700-1800 and then back to 1500. Dodge dealership won't try to repair it until they feel the "surging"...Any thoughts on what it could be and is it expensive? Thanks..Jim
  • Change the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS); $35 to $45 bucks.
    Easy to replace,,,,,fixed mine.

  • I just bought a 91 Dodge Dakota with a 3.9 engine. I have checked with everybody I know to determine the rated hp. Does anybody out there know?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    1991 3.9 was rated at 125 ponies

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • Thanks, I just installed a performance chip to boost it to another 25hp.
  • I have isolated the "surging" problem a little more and wanted to get some more input from this forum...I usually keep the cruise on when on the open highway and that's when the surging happens..Today I left the cruise off and there was no surging.....Any more ideas of what the problem could be? Thanks..Jim
  • Have you cleaned the throttle body?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The most common cause for this type of problem on single-point systems, especially on older, high mileage vehicles, is a dirty idle air port in the throttle body. The Idle Air Solenoid can easily be removed with one screw. Then the neoprene plunger and the associated port should be thouroghly cleaned with the proper solvent.

    If this is a multi-point fuel injection system, the injectors could be very dirty.

    Also, check for a sticky PCV valve and crackes in the vacuum hoses. Deteriorated rubber hoses are very often the cause for irratic idle and surging complaints on Dakotas.

  • deej63deej63 Posts: 1
    my 1987 dodge dakota has a 3.9 lit is carburated. When i
    start my truck it idles very high. But after it warms up
    it idles normal. That isnt the big problem. I can only drive
    the truck about 10 to 15 miles then it dies. I try to restart but it wont start{slow crank} If i let the truck
    set for about 3-5 hours It will start again still fast idle.
    I have replaced the coil,battery,plugs,wires,pickup coil.
    please can you tell whats going on??????????????
  • nbassnbass Posts: 1
    94' 239 2wd
    The heater works only well enough to slightly warm the cab. It will not get HOT inside the cab at all. Normal operating temp, normal working blower, and no leaking inside the cab from hte heater coil. Any suggestions?
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