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Dodge Dakota Engine and Underhood Questions



  • bstupakbstupak Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Dakota, 3.9L V6 4x4 SLT (73,000 miles). I recently had the catalytic converter replaced on the truck (under warranty) by the dealer. After I got the truck back I noticed that it has a buzzing sound while accelerating that was not there before the repair. It almost sounds like an old VW Beetle. I should also note that shortly after I got the truck back from the dealer, the "check engine" light came on and gave me codes P0132 and P0135. I had the dealer confirm the codes (at a cost of $90.00) and replaced both the upstream and downstream (before and after the cat) O2 sensors. Does anyone have any idea what might be making this sound and is it harmful to the truck? I'm hesitant to take the truck back to the dealer again and get charged another $90.00. Any info would be helpful.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My first suspicion is an exhaust leak.

  • budgurl07budgurl07 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota limited edition V-6 2WD.
    I am having what seems to be a possible motor issue.
    I took it into the Dodge dealer and they recovered 2
    stored codes. No check engine light was on. The one code was a bad o2 sensor. The other code said "fuel system lean". They replaced the o2 sensor thinking that would take care of it. It did not. When my truck is started it idels high, low, high, low etc. When my truck goes under 10mph it idels rough and when I come to a stop it sometimes stalls. I have noticed that when I am on the highway, it has a hesitation but recovers. It has not stalled on the highway. My check engine light is not on and there are no active codes stored. My transmission seemed to be starting in 2nd. but was not constant. Only when the truck has been running for a while. Since the O2 sensor was replaced, I have not really noticed the transmission issue but I took it to a transmission place and they did diagnostics and said that there are no "codes" for the transmission. That made me think that maybe my calipers are sticking or has something to do with my brakes. My brake pads are new, I need to replace the rotors soon though. Anyone have any idea what I can do to fix this? Every time I take it to the dealer, it seems they have no clue because there is no check engine light on or no codes. Also when they test drive it, it runs normal for them.....go figure. I don't want to replace parts that don't need to be replaced if they are not bad....Any help or ideas would be appreciated.....Thanks! Angi
  • tctwtctw Posts: 2
    Hey Guys,

    I've got a 3.9 engine with 170K. Recently the engine has developed a rattle and it does not seem to be consistent with the rev of the engine but it sounds very much like it is coming from the engine. I noticed that the engine is running a little rougher at start up and the idle is not as smooth. Over all there is not a lot of difference in the way it is running. Still has plenty of power and is not running hot or doing anything else out of the ordinary.

    Is there anything that comes to mind I may need to be concerned about at this mileage? I know engines develop history and even if they are well maintained they can start showing their weaknesses at high mileage. Could this be a timing chain with a worn out tensioner?

    Any ideas would be appreciated!

    Thanks, Tim
  • rob92rob92 Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem with my 2001 Dakota V6 5 speed. Power loss, poor fuel mileage and trouble codes P0201, P0205, P0206, P0171, P0131. Check engine light is on. The first 3 codes report "Injector Circuit Open" for Cyls 1, 5 and 6. P0171 = Bank One too lean, and P0131 O2 sensor Low Volt Bank 1 Sensor 1. I suspect a faulty upstream O2 sensor for bank 1, but why the P0206? It's in bank 2. Any ideas? What is your mileage, and do you have a rich Condition? (Black smoke and soot at the tailpipe)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    It use to be commonly stated that 3.9s had weak timing chains and I've seen a number of them accused of a myriad of performance problems, and later changed out. I have yet to see one changed that caused the problem it was accused of!

    My son was convinced that his '91 3.9 had a bad timing chain because everyone driving a Chevy or a Ford told him it was bad. At 210,000 miles he tore it apart. He asked me to look at it and, yes, there was slack. However, there were no signs it was hitting the timing chain cover.

    Convinced that so many people could not be wrong, he changed the timing chain. It did not solve his performance problem. (It turned out to be a combination of bad plug wires, distributor cap, and some cracked vacuum hoses.

    That being said, at high mileage I can understand why timing chains are usually first suspected for a noise condition. I would recommend using a stethoscope to listen for the noise generating area of the motor before you tear into the engine. It could be a worn chain or gears.

    Best regards,
  • Help! I have a 91 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 4x4 w/ the 3.9 V-6 & automatic transmission. When I put it in park the engine revs to 2000 RPMs. I used to be able to get it to idle by tapping the gas a little. Now it just revs higher & higher. Shop checked it and can't figure out why. Local Dodge dealer doesn't work on "old" vehicles like this (they said this with a sneer). Need help from someone who knows older Dodge trucks. My shop guys are willing to listen to any help I can find - they're not super familiar with this vehicle, but they're honest and the best thing I have to work with right now. My truck has over 200,000 miles, so I guess I'm at a point where I have to decide to fix or get rid of it. I'd rather fix it, but I can't just keep pouring money in either. The shop guys disconnected something so it idles really low (almost won't when cold outside), cause I've gotta get to work somehow. They're searching for answers to - trying to find a mechanic that used to work at the Dodge dealer back when they still fixed these trucks. Anyone have ideas?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    On a vehicle that old the first thing to check for is a vacuum leak. Rubber vacuum hoses get brittle and cracked after a while. You could have a bad throttle body base gasket. This can cause a high idle condition.

    On that vintage your Idle Speed Motor could be binding and not returning back to the correct idle position. This was an occasional problem in those years. If you disconnect the Idle Speed Motor and the idle goes to rest, you could have a bad Coolant Temperature Sensor, a Fuel Temperature Sensor, or a faulty computer.

    Make sure that the cables going to the throttle lever on the throttle body are not binding or sticking.

  • Thanks for the help, Dusty. Before posting, I read some of the others questions. I wondered about vacuum hoses, especially since I've had to replace some coolant hoses with leaks already. If I have a bad throttle body gasket, would anything be leaking besides air? I'm not totally ignorant with vehicles, but I don't know very much either. I was looking at the engine yesterday, and I see that the shop disconnected what looks like a big (about 2"), maybe insulated?, air hose, which looks kind of beat up, to the throttle (I think that's what it's leading to). Does that have to do with the Idle Speed Motor? I'm guessing it does. I believe they also disconnected the Idle Speed Motor, if that is a separate action. It idles very low now, almost stalling when cold, but OK when the engine is warm. I know that my shop guys checked the cables, because that was their first thought, as we've had unrelated work done. This vehicle is my only transportation, and I don't have tons of money (obvious, since I drive a truck built when I was just starting high school!) My husband is away, and I'm really struggling here. Any additional help is very much appreciated. Any questions to help refine the issue, I'll answer, if I can, and find out if I don't know.

    Thanks again,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If the Throttle Body gasket was leaking the engine would draw air through the opening, causing the engine to idle or run at higher RPM. I've seen this failure many times on Chevies and GMCs, but never on a Dodge. Still, there could be a first time.

    I'm not sure what hose you could be refering to, but nothing should be disconnected!

    If the connector has been disconnected from the Idle Speed Motor, then I suspect this is what's causing your problem, since you indicate that the high idle problem has not returned. As previously noted, the motors in that vintage sometimes had a tendency to bind and not allow a return to normal idle. Unfortunately, I have seen one that was caused by the computer sending a constant signal to the motor.

    Right now the throttle stop located on the front of the throttle body and contacts the linkage at rest is acting as the idle position. The Idle Speed Motor needs to be working correctly in order for the engine to operate properly.

    I think on '91 throttle bodies the stop was adjustable, but it is not recommended if you ever repair the idle speed motor issue.

  • i had a similar problem with my 97 dakota basically your saying the rpms are moving spiratically at times well you can check your distributer cap it may have moisture inside that may fix it well it worked for me
  • It was running ruff so I thought that i would do a tune up and I don't know if I have the wires in the right order.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    There is a reason why the instructions on the spark-plug-wire box says to replace ONE AT A TIME. (Often says to start with longest and work you way down to shortest)

    Before we can help you get the ignition-wires hooked up right... we needs to know what engine you have? (The Dakota is availabe with 4 different engines)
  • I have a 2000 Dodge Dakota R/T engine 5.9 360
    My problem is loss of power at high RPM’s at 60 mph if I floor it, it will down shift and no increase in speed. If I just give it a little gas so it will not down shift I can get as fast as I want. Well maybe not as fast as I want but fast enough.
    The auto parts store ran a code check and it is misfiring cylinders 1&3
    So far I have changes plugs, wires, cap, and ran two tank of fuel injector cleaner also my fuel presser in 48 lbs.

    I was thinking about changing the fuel injectors in 1 and 3. What would you say my next step be?
  • I have a 2001 Dakota 4.7 engine 230,000 mi automatic trans,4X4. Starting last year when it got below 35 degrees I get a engine fault code P0202. I know it's for the no. 2 injector control circuit but I am not sure if it is a problem. I get the same mileage after the code as before (17.3) so am wondering if this is more of a cold start problem? It starts easy when warm or cold any help is appreciated. Thanks, Frank
  • i have a 95 dakota with the 318, first off my truck was stalling going down the road and at red lights then it finally died and would not start just roll over ihad no spark and no fuel so i changed fuel pump and new plugs,wires,ect.. still nothing so tried a reman computer and changed all the relays,cam pos sensor, crank sensor still nothing,started tracing wires and found the red wire from auto shutdown relay to the computer was corroded fixed and the truck fired right up.
    now the truck has alittle miss at idle and going down the road if u give it alitttle gas and let i level off at a certain rpm the truck will backfire and start jerking also the truck would stall sometimes it will start and sometimes it wont. found out the plastic piece that hold the wire on the bottom of the coil was broke replaced the coil and the wires were loose so i filled the plug with dielectric grease. that seemed to fix the stalling problem but the backfire and jerking is still there and seems to be getting worse. yesterday i took the fuel rail and the injectors out inspected everything and cleaned everything. injectors seem to be electrically sound. also changed tps,torqued intake down, checked for vaccuum leaks none were found the only code i could retvive was code 12 (1 flash pause 2 flashes) and by the chiltons book is memory standby power lost. the book doesnt say what that is.
    the only thing that i can think of that hasnt been looked might be the catconverter or o2 sensor which the sensor was replaced 20,0000 miles ago
    is there any suggestions out there or any answer on the code im getting . by the way i have 107,000 miles on the truck
  • the fan is loose and i can't figure out whats wrong.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I looked up the code 12 on the official list of mopar codes and it confirms what you decoded. Code "12" equates to "memory standby power lost".

    Here is what this means...

    First of all, you need to understand that the computer on your Dak. LEARNS as you drive. Over the course of driving under differing conditions, it LEARNS the best setting for ignition timings, Idle speed, Shift points (automatic), injection timings and other critical things. These LEARNED datapoints are stored in a "map" which relate the proper settings to external conditions such as throttle-position, ambient-temperature, engine-temparture...etc.

    Then, as these same conditions are seen again, the computer can instantly apply the "tweaks" to tune the engine because it proviously LEARNED what the best settings were and stored them in memory. This "memory" is lost if power to the computer is lost. (battery is disconected, computer is unplugged, fuse blows...etc)

    Given the above..... we can now understand that "memory standby power lost" means that the power-supply that maintains all of the LEARNED datapoints was lost.

    The only way to recover from this condition is to DRIVE THE VEHICLE. Over time, the computer will reLEARN the correct datapoints. The errorcode will reset itself over time.
  • thanx for the reply on code twelve
  • I have a 1999 Dakota 3.9L and i am experience problems at a higher RPM both in gear and in nuetral. The truck just won't rev above 3,500 RPM's like it cuts out. But runs fine at low RPM's. Any ideas?????
  • I have a 1990 dakota with 5.2L. I want to put a 5.9L in it. The 5.2L is internnaly balanced, and the 5.9L is externnaly balanced . What else has to be changed? Jeg has a flex plate for 5.9L w/904tf, will this bolt to the A500 converter? Or does the converter/flex got to be switched? The engine is also getting a cam upgrade. Where can the computer get upgraded? Or can I leave it?
  • my 1999 Dodge Dakota start fine but after running a minute or two will act like its running out of gas, it will backfire, and create a smelly exhaust. This occures for maby 15 seconds then you can drive the truck for hours with no problems unless you shut it off for a few minutes.

    Does not seen to be as bad when the engine is real cool or after you fill up the gas tank.
  • I recently replaced the engine with a used one, everything went well in the change and started right up, but the Idle is very high, almost wide open, is this something to do with the computer settings, this was my first engine change and Im not up to date on the newer stuff with computers. Can anyone help me out?
  • did you check for vacume leaks?
  • used to be when the truck got hot sitting in traffic (temp gauge past center/normal) fan would sound like it was slipping or "whirring" as soon as i started moving air, it would stop and normal engine sounds and temp would resume. now it does it all the time. i could be wrong but i heard the fan had a "gel" type coupling that would "melt" when the engine temp got hot(ter) is it the fan? I dont know....a little help???
  • Very nice forum!
    I recently rebuilt the oil pump in my 98 Dakota 2.5-liter. But, I can't get any oil pressure. Do I need to prime it first? (is there an easy way?). Or, is there another possible cause? I'm pretty sure the oil pressure sensor is ok. Thanks!
  • I have a 1993 Dakota with a V6 and standard shift, I bought a wrecked 1995 with a 318 in it and a auto shift. I used all the wiring from the truck the 318 came out of and the computer also. The install went easy and the truck runs awesome, BUT now the code 12 Mem power loss and all the transmision codes for the automatic comes up because the whipes were left unhooked. Now the truck will run fine but when putting it in the forward gears it will drive for a undetermined length of time or distance and shut right down, the tach drops to 0 and the engine slowly dies down to nothing. Now I took it for a ride last week and it did ok but it of course died and wouldnt stay running when shifted from park to 1st gear etc. , I tried it in revearse and it ran great and I drove it in revearse all the way home about 5 miles and it didnt die out at all untill I pulled in the driveway and went to pull it forward into the parking spot and it died. HELP!!! I want my dakota back for the winter, Thanks ahead of time for any replies :confuse:
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