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Dodge Dakota Engine and Underhood Questions



  • I have a 2001 dodge dakota 4x4 with the 4.7 in it I had the same exact code for sevaral months and i cahnged the gas cap three times 2 of wich were from the local auto parts store and the third one i bought from the dealer and that did not work i called every body and no one could figure it out so i started looking at all my evaproative hoses o bye the way that (code p 0455 is an evaporative emmision control small leak.) and there is a vacume canister under the truck right in front of the gas tank and there is a couple of hoses on there that were cracked all i did was wrap them with electrical tape to see if that was the problem and it worked. also on the throttle body the driver side there is a hose there it was also cracked my light hasnt come back on since and it has been a couple of months now.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    This could be a bad throttle position sensor issue as well.

  • If you'll allow, I'd like to pose the following...

    I own a 2002 Dodge Dakota 2X4 regular cab. Several months ago (around the time I passed 30,000 miles) a klunking noise started occurring underneath my feet at or around the base of the steering column. When I took it to the dealer the service manager (who also owns a 2002 Dakota) told me that he issue is in the "steering knuckle" and the only fix to to grease it, but other that hte klunking noise and feeling there's nothing mechanically wrong with this issue.

    I find this hard to believe as this has gotten worse since it started and the manager told me this is normal occurence for Dakotas once they reach around 30,000 miles.

    This doesn't seem right as I wouldn't have bought the truck if I had know this.

    A second question I have is whether any other Dodge owners feel their windshield has become too pitted and scratched through normal wear and tear on the vehicle. I've never had such an issue with ANY other car I've owned.

    A third question is does the insterior side of anyone's Dakota or Ram winshield frost up as much or more than the outside on days when the temperature is and stays below freezing?

    Thank you.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Are the symptoms a normal occurrence? Yes, if the upper ball joints or the intermediate steering shaft is worn, the two most common causes of this type of symptom.

    But it is NOT a normal thing to expect from a Dakota. You might think about seeking another Dodge service department. The service manager at your dealership is full of BS.

    This issue can be isolated to the ball joints by greasing them. If the klunking stops or is greatly reduced, worn joints are a likely suspect. A worn intermediate steering shaft can cause this, too, and is also somewhat common. The upper joints should have been recalled and replaced.

    My 2003 Dakota at 70,000 miles has some pits but I would not judge them, or the condition of the glass to be inordinate. My ex-wifes Toyota Avalon is much, much worse at 98,000 miles.

    Regarding moisture forming on the inside of the windshield glass, yes, in rainy weather I do experience some of that, but the defroster clears it readily.

    Best regards,
  • Hi Guys its been a while. I have 64k miles on my 01 QC 4x4 4.7L and have been getting a check engine light on. It seems to do it more when the truck is under high speed and or load on a long drive. I believe P306 is cyl.#6 misfire. I have approx 15k on new plugs, same that came with the truck. Does anyone know what can cause this. Should I change #6 plug and if so what one is that one. Any other possible causes.
    Thanks for any responses.

  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    I would either swap #6 plug with another one and see if the code changes or just stick a new plug in #6 and see if the code goes away.
  • A second problem I have with my 70K truck is also sporadic and 2 dealers couldn't figure anything out. The truck will start to increase engine speed, in gear, when stopped with foot brake at an intersection. It will almost send me into the intersection! I have to apply more pressure to remain stopped. You would think Dodge dealers would consider this pretty serious, I do. After sevral failed visits to find anything to fix, they suggested changing plugs, air filter and pvc valve which I did. No small task and I am a mechanic of sorts. This seemed to work immediately, but 2 weeks later, it returned. I have not done 70K service yet as I don't trust dealer and want to perform myself, as much as possible or find a good mechanic in this new area for me of Portland, Oregon. Thanks, signed Speedy!
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Which engine/transmission do you have?
    Have you checked for codes? If so, what were they?
  • I have the V8, auto trans and don't kow what you mean by codes? Thanks
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    I assume then that you have the 4.7 V8/automatic combo.
    You stated in your first post that you are a mechanic of sorts but you don't know what trouble codes are??
    The main computer detects and stores codes for any problems it detects. The Check Engine light will come on and normally stay on until reset but this isn't always the case.
    Go by AutoZone and they will check/read any codes for free. If there are any stored codes, come back and post them and someone may can give you further guidance.
    The only thing I can suggest, assuming that you did a competent job on what you have already done, would be to change the throttle position sensor. This is usually the culprit in a lot of drivability problems such as yours.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I guess there are several folks that think they are mechanics 8-) ... There is no need to take your Dakota anywhere to "pull the codes"

    I have posted this about 50 times and will say it again -
    To get the codes from Dakota, do the following...
    Without starting engine, turn key ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (then leave ON) - The odemeter display will now show the diagnostics running and will display any failing codes when it is complete. Write down any codes then turn the key OFF.
  • Well lets not get picky about being a mechanic. I don't have diagnostc systems for moderns, I restored antique vehicles. Anyway, Thanks for the trick, will use it.
  • Thanks, I will change out the tps, and am changing brake/tranny fluids with a flush just for grins as well.
  • i have a 2000 quad cab 5spd w/ the 4.7l engine with 63k miles. my trouble is when you go to start the truck it will crank for a few seconds before it starts. sometimes you have to stop and start cranking again. occasionally it will spit and sputter before it actually starts, and runs smoothly, i replaced the plugs and that did nothing. i have read a couple differernet string saying maybe a crank sensor or maybe the fuel pump. also seems like the low end power isn't there like it was. thanks guys
  • my engine light on my 99 dakota has come on with a temporary code for the evap purge solenoid. I had solenoid replaced but the light came back on with the same code. Any idea what this may be? and how to fix it?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The evaperative emmissions system has several diagnostics it runs thru and can throw several codes based on the outome of the tests. One should NEVER just replace the part that flagged a fail... it is most often NOT the source of the problem. (just a symptom)

    To isolate a problem, one really needs to understand what each of the diagnostic tests are checking and how they are doing it.

    For example, one of the evaperative emmissions diagnostics uses a soliniod to seal off the airspace above the fuel in the gastank, then runs an airpump to build a slight pressure in this airspace. A timer is then used to make certain the the pressure "holds". This test will flag a failure if any hoses are leaking or the gascap is not sealing properly.

    #1 thing you need to do CHECK YOUR GASCAP!
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    "I guess there are several folks that think they are mechanics 8-) ..."

    I have "been thinking" I was a mechanic for over forty years now since I went thru my first schooling in the military but guess I have been wrong all this time.

    I advise people to go by Autozone as most people find it easier and more convenient to have them read and told what they mean than trying to find out for themselves what the different codes mean.
  • Tried the gas cap with no luck. The light was off for that night as I drove around but the next day the light was back on. Any other ideas??
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The gascap was just the most common thing to check... you have still not told us what code(s) you are getting. Are you CERTAIN that you replaced the gascap with a known-good one? (Some Dak gascaps have been known to go bad internally and it is not easilly seen by looking at it)

    The MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) is expected to go out and come back on. This is due to nature of some types of codes self-resetting. When the auto-diagnostics run again, the fail comes back and re-lights the MIL.

    The EEC diagnostics DO NOT run every time you drive.... thus they cannot fail every time you drive.

    If you really want to work thru this yourself, you should start "boning up" on the EEC diagnostics. There is all kinds of reading material available on the web for your browsing pleasure. If you research it for a couple hours, you will likely be better educated than many mechanics (who seem to just blindly replace parts and charge you for it)

    I have always wanted to see a LAW that forced mechanics to refund your money if they replace a part that DOES NOT fix the problem. I would bet that would weed out some of the bonehead mechanics. 8-)
  • I have a 97 Dakota with 154K on it (5.2L man 5-spd). Recently the oil pressure guage will drop to 0 when I come to a stop and then go back to a normal pressure. This has happened twice in the past 3 weeks. Anyone help?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    What you describe sounds as if the oil pick-up is "sucking air" for a moment. When you come to a stop, the oil sloshes forward in the oilpan. Usually, the design of the engine will not allow it to "suck air" when there is sufficent oil in the pan. I assume you have checked the oil-level.

    Another possibilty is the the oilpump is starting to fail at very low engine speeds. One test for this is to put a can of "STP oil treatment" in the crankcase and see if the problem goes away. (STP oil treatment is a viscosity improver... makes oil 'thicker' so it is easier for oilpump to maintain pressure.)

    Let us know how that works out for you.
  • Thanks for the suggestions. I checked the oil, (changed it tonight actually.) I thought about the pump starting to fail. I will try the STP and if it doesn't work, I'll come back to you. Thanks for the help.


  • All,
    This is my first post on this site and was looking for some assistance on check engine code P0138 for an '03 Dakota SXT 5-speed 3.9L. The light comes and goes every few weeks. I have checked the usual oil, fluids, hoses, etc. Called the dealership to get the info but they say they don't even have a book that has the P codes. They just have the computer that gives the problem. Am trying to save a few bucks if its something I can replace myself.


    Dan O
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    P0138 = O2 sensor circuit high volts (Bank 1 sensor 2)
  • Dan O - Keep these sites explaining trouble codes for future reference.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I beleive "bank 1" is the drivers side of the engine.
    I know that "sensor 2" is the O2 sensor AFTER the precat.

    (SURPRIZE -- you have 3 catalytic converters 8-)
  • anyone know what would cause my truck to crank over a few seconds before starting, just had the crank sensor replaced thinking that was the problem, and it wasn't
  • I have the same problem with my 2001 4.7 5 spd. with 168,000 miles. I changed the idle air control motor, had the pcm re-flashed and finally chg'd the throttle position sensor. The last item seems to have fixed it so far. hopefully.
  • I actually haven't had the problem anymore. When the truck is cold, it idles a little higher, but other than that no problems. Maybe just a fluke...I don't know. Thanks anyway.

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