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Dodge Dakota Problems. Please help!



  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    On my 01 I also have "the noise" I have detemined it is minor. It is the inner febder wells moving around as they are just pushed in place. Originally I didn't have the noise then I noticed the fender well coming out. After the dealer reinstalled (pushed it into place) the noise began. I don't worry as it doesn't affect anything but it sure sounds bad.

    97 CC SLT 5.2 Auto 3.55 Brilliant Blue/Silver
    01 CC SLT 4.7 Auto 3.92 LSD Flame Red/Silver
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It is good to hear from a fellow Vermontesian. (I now know of 3 here in the Dakota forums.)

    I am curious... you mentioned that your dealer was "lubing" the front suspension. Just EXACTLY what are they lubing? There are no servicable parts on the new-style 4WD front end. (Starting in 2000)

    The only "squeek" I have on my front end is on the passengers-side and intermittant. It seems to be subtle while traveling slowly thru parking lots over dips. (Just while there are folks around to hear it.) The outside temparture seems to affect it too.

    There have been some folks report that pulling the swaybar bushings and using rubber grease on them fixed their 'squeeky' front end.

    Bottom line: A noise may be irritating but is NOT a problem.
  • stnickstnick Posts: 177
    Your milage is about the same as mine, and I have the same setup. 4.7L auto lsd 4x4 31.50 tires and 15,900 miles. Worst ever winter 13 mile drives each way, 14mpg. Best ever 19.0 500 mile trip. But most tanks yield 16.5 to 18.5 warmer weather, and 2 mpg less colder weather. Nick
  • ozzy3ozzy3 Posts: 3
    Hi everyone,

    Today my truck rolled over 3000 miles, and I wanted to change the oil myself.. No biggie. But I could not, for the life of me, remove the oil filter. I have numerous cuts and scrapes because of the 3" hole you're supposed to be able to fit your arm through and get leverage, meanwhile keeping the oil fitler wrench from slipping off. In any event- has anyone been able to get the oil filter off for the first time? What did you do?
  • ozzy3ozzy3 Posts: 3
    I should mention: 2001 Dodge Dakota Club Cab, 4.7L V8 engine.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Get a METAL, not plastic, (I broke one I tried to use) cap style wrench and give that a whirl. What I had to do on mine was punch a screwdriver thru it and twist it off that way. Next time I used a cap style metal wrench and it came off pretty easily.
    THe band style wrenches are good when you have clearance but as you already know, there just ain't much under there.
    Maybe someone here has advice on how to get the entire plastic shield out of the way?
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    You're right, the factory filter is on there VERY tight. I bent the crap out of it trying to get the thing off. I got it off with a metal strap wrench.

    Every additional filter I've put on has come off quite easily. I generally don't gorilla-hand on the new filters, just tighten them up a bit, and they come off pretty easy.
  • tuvtesttuvtest Posts: 237
    every time I change my oil, I end up eyeing the Sawzall hanging on the wall....
  • I took my entire plastic shield of when I installed my safari bar. I talked to some people who work at the Darango plant in Delaware and it is listed as a snow shield. It keeps deep snow from packing in front of the engine so they say. Since we are lucky to get a foot of snow on the ground so I left it off. I have not noticed a rise in engine temp. or a lowering of gas milage. Boy it sure does make changing the oil a hole lot better.
  • Get one of those metal cap style oil filter removers that you can hook a socket set handle to.
    The thing will come off with that. (Th one on my new 4.7 was really on there) Do not get a plastic one as they aren't that great. Also I would NOT drive a screw driver through the filter cause if you still can't get it off you got a major headache. Just take the few minutes ot go to AutoZone or Pep Boys or your local auto supply store to get one of those metal caps in the correct size. Bill in NY
  • A hint/ trick: After you reach up through the access hole and get the filter slightly loose take an empty plastic soda bottle with the cap on it and the bottom cut off of it. Now, slide the cut / open end of the plastic soda bottle over the filter and squeeze and unscrew until the oil filter is free then let it slide down into the soda bottle. Now just slide the bottle with the filter in it out of the access hole and you will have little to no mess. That plastic soda container can get hot fast so I wear a pair of light plastic gloves to insulate the hand from the heat. Bill in NY
  • Also consider:

    For those with skid plates and oil change messes and for those that just want the convenience check this little goodie out. Place a hose on the nipple and drain into a container and not onto the skid plate. This and the 2 liter Pepsi bottle trick when changing the oil filter will eliminate lots of mess.

    For info Fumoto oil drain valve go to:

    For sizing on various vehicles go to:

    Buy from Summit Racing for $19.99

    Bill in NY

  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Dan, if you are having that many problems, I certainly don't blame you for feeling angry. Perhaps, that anger should be directed towards the manufacturer and dealer, as we folks on the forum are naught but "civilians". As far as the members being satisfied with a product that may exhibit a few minor flaws (or none at all), that is really our call. You have no justification to be angry with us. I for one, absolutely love my 2000m Dakota Quad and loved my 1995 Club cab as well. As far as passing along the dissatisfaction with your Dodge Dakota, perhaps that should also be directed towards the manufacturer through the dealer or otherwise. I hope that your problems are resolved to your satisfaction.

  • Of course you are entitled to your opinion as are the MANY others here that think the truck is very good. Again, you are entitled BUT why not vent to Dodge Customer Relations versus this captive audience that really can't do a thing for you.
    Bill in NY
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    While I too have had problems, I trust and respect that others here have had no problems and that they love their trucks.
    Some of us got lucky and got a good one,some of us were not so lucky and got some problems. I got most of mine fixed; my issues go beyond assembly and fit and finish. My issue center around design of brakes and transmission. ON the later, I did have a choice to get a manual but did not. So I have to live with my decision, can't undo that. But on the former, I had no choice on brakes and trusted dodge to use quality parts designed for the vehicle, not for a Neon.
    THe dealer has been pretty good in helping me thru these problems and has tried mightily to fix things. Heck, they even replaced rotors and drums and pads and shoes AFTER the 12K limit! So, I have a lot of praise for the dealer.
    At any rate, your comments are best directed towards DC directly instead of here. ALlwe can do is say yeah, I agree or no I don't agree. We can't make you like your truck if you don't want to. You need to deal with it and get on with life and get a vehicle that suits you. Maybe a Toyota is right for you. Who knows? The only way to find out is to buy one and see how it goes.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Have you spent much effort working with a Dodge dealer to get the problems resolved?

    Sure, my dakota has been into the shop more in 2 years than my Honda has been in 11 years. But the Honda is rusting badly... My extensive research tells me that the body on my Dodge will LAST longer than any truck from the point of view of RUSTING. I can replace brakes in my driveway but REFUSE to do bodywork.

    You mention Nissan... My last truck was a Nissan. It ran great... but the holes in the bed were large enough to loose a 55gallon drum thru them. You mention Toyota, these rust even WORSE than Nissan.

    You are correct about the automatic on the Dakota... again, my research told me to stay away from it and I am glad that I did. Just the recommended PMs would bleed my budget dry.

    I have my eye on the plastic-composite truck-beds that Ford is starting to use. (BUT I WILL NEVER OWN A FORD!!)

    I guess I am saying that there are trade-offs when choosing ANY vehicle and my Dakota was the best choice for me. (Sorry that you were disapointed with yours and I trust that your Tundra will please you.)
  • Although I respect and agree with what just about everyone here says, I think you guys are being a little too understanding with DANODW. I mean, come on! This is not the place for rampant complaining and finger pointing. Maybe if DANODW learned some basic grammar and spelling skills the dealer (and forum members) would be a little more understanding. I, for one, have a hard time tolerating the nonsensical ravings of an angry lunatic. We all get pissed off at our various problems and "junk cars", but there is a proper way to communicate issues (look at MOPAR67's fine etiquette compared with his problems). How do these people handle a flooded basement or a gas leak? S#$% HAPPENS and S#$%& BREAKS! These are complicated mechanical devices and they are not perfect!
    We don't even know if this person actually owns a Dakota! It could be a 12 year old girl who loves Toyota's just looking for a rise out of somebody!

    OK, sorry, now I'm the one who is ranting.

    By the way, I finally found my "upshift indicator light". It doesn't work on the 4.7L manual, but it is indeed there. First tank of gas 16.5 MPG. Not bad.

    2002 4X4 QC 4.7L manual, 3.92 LS.
    oh, and I do know how to use a dictionary, spell check AND this website.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    (Laughing) You have never seen me after a trip to the swamp, 2 ducks in tow, with the 835 Ulti-jam opps I meant Ulti-Mag being slung over shoulder. ANd you thought DANODW was irate! Thats why I got a Benelli, I got tired of jams and missed opportunities.
    Now I stay nice and calm.
    Then I take off in the Dak, and WHOA!~~~~ there's that **#*#*# slam on the 2-3 upshift! Coffee goes on lap and seat and yours truly goes off.
    Not a pretty sight, mud and a pissed off driver.
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    mopar67, enfurio and all.. we cant be taking JESTING so easily, now. As a duly dubbed jester, idle club charter member, the (apparently) one-and-only registered member of the dak relay/fusebox BBQ club (beer required).. looks like the main thought here is while most of us have had some maintenance issue.. OVERALL the QC is still the truck "we" would HIGHLY recommend. Keep in mind the auto/manual prefrence is still just that, a prefrence ($$ for PM vs MPG etc...)

    just my .02.. well that and $4.75 wil get me that 6-pk my cooler needs to remail full
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    immediately replace all brake parts with aftermarket and you're good to go.
    Beer not included!
  • danodwdanodw Posts: 63
    Yes I was venting, but I feel I have the right. I started with my front-end problems from
    the very first day I picked up my truck. I had about 25 miles on it when in the same day I
    picked it up, I took it back saying it was pulling to the right. I was told to drive it, get use
    to it and they checked the tire pressure. Was told it was the tires. Didn't help. O' it stopped
    for a little while. Also on the first day I told them that my oil gauge was not working
    right. It took four trips to a five star dealer to get the oil pressure gauge fixed. All the time
    I was telling them about the front-end making noise and pulling, plus by that time summer
    was here and my ac was not working right. I wrote and called dodge twice. I was very
    nice and said all I wanted was them to fix it right the first time. Couldn't get that lucky.
    You must understand that I use my truck everyday and can't be without a ride. Very, very
    busy. Most of my problems getting it fixed was because of the dealer, but Dodge was not
    doing anything about it. All I wanted was some true answers. I wanted to go to a different
    dealer that I knew would get it fixed or give me a good reason why. The thing about that
    was, I could only get a rent car from the dealer I bought the truck from and I could not go
    without a ride. After talking to Dodge last week, my truck has been in the shop going on 4
    days now. No answers yet. Someone I know said they are most likely are going to rebuild
    the brake system and front-end with all new parts but, did not know far sure. It took
    13,000 miles and 8 months to get this far. Hows me spelling a grammar. I did the research
    with no indication of problems. Now many people are having the same problems. What
    really gets to me is all the reviews still does not relate to any of the problems people are
    having. I always here how tough Dodge is, so why and I like the neon version of the
    brakes, did Dodge build such a lousy brake system, front-end, transmission that needs
    service about every 20,000 miles and windows that scratch going up and down, plus all
    the popping noises. Many people have had these problems. Like I said, I have many years
    and miles on Nissans and Toyota with no problems. I take that back, I've had to replace
    the tires about every 40,000 miles and once I had to replace the spark plugs at 115,000
    miles. O' and I did change the oil every 6,000 miles. I guess I got spoiled by quality. I also
    have another Dodge that I have never had much problem out of. Its a '94 full size, 318,
    auto. Had one warranty problem, about 10 recalls that never gave be a problem. Replaced
    water pump at 100,000 and my bed is breaking welds now. No front-end, brake,
    transmission or power window problems. Dam the luck. As for as Nissan or Toyota
    rusting out. Never had that happen and have put over 100,000 on each with the longest
    ownership of 8 years. Have a friend with two Toyota trucks over 10 years old. No rusting
    and one has over 200,000 miles, the other almost 400,000 miles and that one he had to
    replace the head. Dam the luck again.
    By the way, I am not a 12 year old wanting to get a raise out of somebody. I'm 44 and
    have a D/C. How would you like me to prove it. I have communicated my issues in a
    proper way, now I am mad. All the problems I have had, they at Dodge, have no record of
    ,except for the oil gauge replacement and told me they will not have a record of
    complaints unless something was replaced. They don't even have a copy of the 2 letters I
    sent. Maybe because I wanted them to take back this truck. Didn't even get my order right
    from the factory. As farrrrrrr as me grammar aanndd spelling, never been good at that.
    Shouldn't be hold a gainst me. Know what I mean. That tells me someone thinks thiererer
    beetter than me. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know when something is wrong and
    not being fixed. I guess I should hire a writer to talk and write for me so they will think I
    am someone important and maybe I will get results. Quality is the main issue with Dodge.
    Now I know why they only offer 3/36. I'm posting all this because people have the right to
    know what is going on before spending their money and time and maybe with enough
    attention Dodge will have a recall on some of the problems that will cover us after the
    warranty is out or maybe they will at the very lease make changes in the up coming years.
    One change I can't understand is why they changed the motors and transmissions in the
    full size. I really like the size, power, and looks of dodge but quality is a problem. I know
    I'm venting again. Next time I want write such a long letter. I am not mad at anyone in this
    form, but I am mad at the reviews at this site. We are here to help each other, knowing
    and venting is part of it. If you can't handle the truth then don't read it. Sorry to all if I got
    out of line. All the things I said today I forgot, I also have a problem with the Q/C dying at
    times. About the complicated mechanical devices and they are not perfect! You are right. Tell me this, why are Nissan and Toyota much more dependable. We have been building autos longer than I have been around. Don't you think its time to get it right before making any major changes.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    and don't forget the beer!
  • danodwdanodw Posts: 63
    I will keep everyone up to date after I get it back from the shop. I do have one question for MOPAR67 # 292. You said, "immediately replace all brake parts with aftermarket and you're good to go". Why would you want to pay $20,000 or more on a new truck and have to replace the whole brake system yourself at your expense. Maybe Dodge should replace the brake system with aftermarket parts before they even ship them out.
  • danodwdanodw Posts: 63
    I will help all here as much as I can. And I thank you all for some of the help I have got from this form.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Good luck in getting a multi billion dollar company to admit something is wrong. My sage advice was to just beat the trap and get good stuff to start with. Seems most people on other dakota sites have done the same.
    You will have to replace the stuff eventually so why not just do it from the get go and be done with it?
    I was lucky I suppose in that the dealer agreed to replace my brakes with 20K on the clock. I would venture a guess that a lot of dealers would say too bad so sad, read your manual buddy 12,000 or 12months, whichever comes first.
    So I took a chance with re engineered pads and shoes which are supposed to shed heat better. We will see. But if I have probs in the future, its aftermarket for me.
  • You may actually have a point about hiring a writer, an office geek or a lawyer to help you with your correspondence. I work in the automotive industry and believe me, there is a considerable amount of arrogance and apathy after the deal is over (I apologize for mine, apparently you are not a 12 year old girl). The fact is no one will listen to you unless you have well documented and recorded facts and issues compiled in a concise fashion (the engineering mantra is "if you don't have the data, you are just another person with an opinion). I'm not saying you don't have records, but if you present a well documented file (with receipts, work orders, etc.) to a competent dealer, then shame on them for not attending to your needs. Contact your local rent-a-wreck, investigate the lemon laws for your state and find a new dealership (or even a competent home grown mechanic).

    As far as quality, cheaper materials are always favoured over more reliable materials and it makes me sick. The bean counters and the suits in purchasing truly run the show (I should know, I've worked as an release engineer at suppliers for the "big three" and foreign car companies for 8 years). There are the same problems across the board and It's a shame because the end customers are always ourselves. Roll in all the union issues, NAFTA, employee turnover and luck and I truly think it's a crap shoot when someone buys a new vehicle. People will argue about Honda vs. Ford or whatever, but if you truly want quality (not as some [non-permissible content removed] buzzword or a manager's pet project) then you have to buy into the high dollar car companies. It is as simple as that.

    MOPAR67: What aftermarket brake equipment have you investigated? If that's all I have to worry about on my QC, then I will consider myself lucky.
  • danodwdanodw Posts: 63
    Just checking things out before bed. I agree with you. I'll let you know what happens.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    and Bendix. Raybestos is avail at NAPA, Bendix was aval at Advance auto.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085

    Also the following URL should be in EVERYONES truck bookmarks. This website is easy to locate many items like Cat-back exhausts as well as brake parts.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    We cannot leave JCWhitney of of our list

    Just changing to their Titaniumti (about $30US) brake pads alone will virtually ELIMINATE that black dust on the front wheels. They are LIFETIME GAURANTEED too.

    Of course, NAPAs best pads meet all these criteria too... at a slightly higher price.

    JCwhitney also has several different brake rotors available too.

    Changing brake pads is easier than changing the SPARKPLUGS in the 4.7LV8 hemi. (and cheeper too!!)

This discussion has been closed.