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Dodge Dakota Problems. Please help!



  • ben221ben221 Posts: 8
    Say what you want but there should be laws preventing auto makers from selling V-6 engines that only get 13mpg,,,,,,for enviromental reasons if nothing else. And as far as your arguement that its a heavy truck and small engine then why would Dodge dump such mismatched [non-permissible content removed] on the market to begin with???????? I own an Intreped and I'm very happy with it,,,,,,but Dodge should stay out of the truck business,,,,,,I knew the Ram series of trucks only get 10-12mpg,,,,,,but who would have thought that their small trucks would get the same??
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Ben,we recently discussed your problem. The Dodge Dakota with V8 gets MPG that compares favorably with other trucks given the same type drive line equipment. Next time you purchase a vehicle or any other major product I would suggest that you utilize the power of the Internet (which you obviously have at your fingertips) "prior" to purchasing. All of this information is and was available to assist in making an intelligent choice. The 3.9 engine is old technology, yet you chose to select it. "It is better to light one candle then to sit and curse the darkness."

  • ben221ben221 Posts: 8
    So Bookkitty,,,,your telling me that its ok the DaimlerChrysler feeds the consumer full of B.S. about what they should be able to expect to get for fuel mileage on there trucks????? Why would any truck maker give misleading information about there product line if they didnt know that this [non-permissible content removed] wouldnt sell if they told the truth???? I dont know about you Bookkitty but when I do business in good faith with another party I expect I we will both get what we bargained for. Should any consumer expect anything less????? Would Like to hear from others on this,,,And by the way,,,Do you get the mileage on your V-8 that Dodge projected?????? Like I said before Chevy has full size trucks that get as high as 21mpg highway. Why is Dodge trying so hard to be 3rd rate??? Tell me again that I'm the one thats wrong here.
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    The ESTIMATED gas mileage figure of my truck is 14/19. 4.7L v8, manual tranny, 3.55 axle.
    By my calculations, the best so far is 16.5 mpg. Worst was 14 mpg. This is local driving. I have not been on a long trip yet so I don't know what all highway driving will produce.
    Only 2100 miles on the truck now, the mileage should get better as the enging breaks in.
    The window sticker states that actual gas mileage can vary +/- 3 mpg from the estimated figures.
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    My full size Ram 1500 Quad 4x4 (5.2L) gets mileage pretty much in accordance with the window sticker. 12-13 combined around town driving (sticker says 13 city). I have also gotten as high as 18 on a slow easy trip along the Ohio River to Cincinnati (sticker says 18 highway). A major player on this trip was that I had to keep the truck around 55mph along Rt. 52. Too many speed traps. This kept the tranny from dropping out of OD and kept the RPM's low, hence the good mpg.

    Bookitty's comments were geared more toward the knowledge arena. There is a wealth of information out there on every vehicle you can purchase. A little bit of research can go a long way. I would never purchase a vehicle without doing some background checks on maintenance histories, engine capabilities and mileage comparisons.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Ben, I don't want to argue with you or attempt to change your opinion. I also cannot buy into the fact that all of the trucks made by Dodge miss so severely, the EPA estimates (accent on estimates). My particular truck (2000 Dakota Quad with 4X4, 4.7 V8, 5 speed 3.55 differential(s) delivers as much or more than the posted estimates and may be attributed to the following. Garage kept where the temperature never falls below 38 degrees, driving for the most part in cruise control on relatively flat highway @ 60 MPH. The use of an A.R.E. tonneau cover reduces somewhat the wind resistance. Selection of a drive train combination with sufficient power to keep lugging at a minimum. Good driving habits as related to acceleration and braking (anticipating traffic conditions to keep lower gears at a minimum). Perhaps as bobs5 mentioned, it is the formulation and or quality of the fuel, although the majority of my fuel is purchased in South NJ and some in Eastern PA. I continue to think that if your MPG is correctly calculated, that there is a problem with your particular vehicle. If you really think that Dodge is trying to rip off consumers, then I feel that you should pursue that issue with a consumer agency. I feel, as do others on this forum, that the Dakota is a good truck, and I am very satisfied by mine. I also can see your frustration with your truck's performance and feel that you should seek satisfaction. The tenure of my previous posts were not to anger and upset you Ben, but to imply the importance of researching "prior" to any major purchase decision to assess whether the product will suit your particular needs. Good luck, and I hope that you find a viable solution to your problem.

  • wilmar1wilmar1 Posts: 32
    Received a recall today to repair transmission filler tube. Anyone else?
  • mfd1700mfd1700 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Dakota Club Cab, 2 wd, 3.9L, 5 spd, & 3.55 axle. The only mod's I have made to the truck are a K & N Filter Injection Performance Kit, a Gibson 3" cat-back exhaust & some 16" rims & tires. Right now my pickup is getting around 16 to 18 combined city driving. The last time I took it out on the freeway (2 weeks ago) it got roughly 24 mpg. I drove approx. 242 miles round trip & it took right at 10 gallons to top the tank off. Not bad I thought. I have had a couple of problems with it though. The biggest problem I have had has been with the catalytic converter, I am on the third one. The first one went out 8 months after I got the pickup. It was replaced, then 9 months later that one went out. Now i am on the third one & it has been almost a year & still going stong. The only other major problem was when the left front wheel bearing went out at 18,000 miles. Other than that there has been nothing else major wrong with it.
  • stnickstnick Posts: 177
    Okay Ben, you made a point about your mileage being poor and I understand that, however, I don't feel you're blaming the proper people. As I understand, the EPA is the entity that tests and posts the information on manufacturer's mileage stickers. Dodge, GM, Ford, etc., are not the people that are responsible for the testing of the vehicles. My Quad Cab 4.7L, auto., 4X4, sticker lists 14 in city and 19 highway. I have experienced 19 on the highway twice with 2000 miles on vehicle at that time. In the worst winter this year, it has not dropped below 13.5 MPG. I feel it has been well represented. My previous truck '95 Ranger V-6, rated 16 city and 21 highway, also performed at or above sticker, most of the time. I have friends with Fords and Chevys and they too seem to be near sticker rating on mileage. I feel your vehicle has a problem specific to that vehicle. Take it in and have it checked. Good Luck, Nick.
  • Listen to the words of bookitty he is wise beyond his years . . .
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Gerry, that might be possible, if there were not that many years to be wise beyond. Unfortunately, to be wise beyond my number of years requires surpassing the rank of "genius." But thank you for the very kind compliment.

  • erikheikererikheiker Posts: 230
    1991 Dakota, 318, Check Engine Light has been on for last 10k miles. Totals miles are 135k. Is there a way to reset the light? What are the most common reasons at this age for the light to come on? Truck recently failed emissions test soley because the light wouldn't go out. They look for it to light up at engine start so unplugging, although the obvious solution, isn't an option. Thanks for any input.

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    It may be advisable to have the computer scanned for any error codes in the computer.

    Your truck may be equipped with a code retrieval routine which is initiated by the ignition switch routine:

    Good luck
  • erikheikererikheiker Posts: 230
    Thanks for the info. Only other question I have concerns multiple codes. If there is more than one problem, will more than one code appear? Are they prioritized? Thanks again.

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    If there is more than one problem, there can be more than one code displayed.
    They are usually displayed in numerical sequence and not by priority.
    Hope this helps,
  • ben221ben221 Posts: 8
    You guys are right,,,,In this day and age with all the enginering advances in the auto industry the average consumer can fully expect to get 30mpg with the average car on the market today. Where was my head when I was complaining about 13mpg highway driving that my little 4000 lbs. 4X4 Dakota gets on an average winter day here in the northern states. I mean with DaimlerChrysler working on fuel cells for the next generation of cars to be made, how could I have ever expected to get any better mileage than that with my Little V-6 combustion engine????????? Dodge assures me that this technologacally advanced truck is running just the way it is supposed too. Why would I have expected to do any better than that?????
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    13 mpg using a small engine in a 4X4 is not bad mileage. You have a truck, full time 4 wheel drive, low gears, high wind resistance and you bought an engine too small for your needs. If you had the 5.2 or 4.7 you would find that gas mileage would be better.

    Sorry but we can't help someone who did not do their homework before buying a truck. Maybe you would be happier trading it in on a Geo Metro?

    BTW, Do you really think anyone with a 4X4 is getting great mileage? If anyone tells you they get 20 mpg with a 4X4 they are lying through their teeth.

    One of the reasons I won't buy a 4X4 is because the gas mileage is so poor and because of that I cannot justify the extra costs for as little as I would need the 4 wheel drive.
  • haynes3haynes3 Posts: 1
    Hey guys,
    Great site. I need a truck that can tow 6000 lbs and I'm looking at the Dakota and the Ford Supercrew.. I would love to drive away in a new Supercrew but it is about 3500 more dollars than the Dakota. Does anyone have any towing experience with their Dakotas. Should I be worried about towing 6000 lbs with the Dakota? Piece of cake for the Supercrew but I have my doubts about the Dodge. Help me out. Are any of you having any tranny problems that I should be aware of? Thanks for your input in advance.

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    If you go with a Dakota, in order to tow that load go with a V8 with the 3.92 axle.
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    If you go with the Dakota, like the previous post says use the 3.92 gears and the V8. Use the 4.7 V8 and DO NOT go with the RT. Many people make that mistake because it has a bigger engine. The RT is setup for hot rod type performance and NOT towing. I would also add the LSD rear end.
  • stew2001stew2001 Posts: 9
    Currently has 42000 miles, got it with 26000 miles (Thats 16000 miles since 3/28 last year :D ) Problems have been few, never major and usually my fault, but the dealer has covered them! I average 10-14 MPG, mainly because I m a sucker for being pushed into the the seat at full throttle LOL. I actually got as high as 22 MPG on a long highway trip. It has been great, quick, and handles like a champ! It also has taken great to mods! Take care of it, it'll take care of you. I am hopefully picking up a 4.7 Dakota, another R/T or Ram SS/T in the next few months as the 99 R/T is now my little brothers.

  • gregalbrgregalbr Posts: 1
    I have a 1990 Dakota pickup 2wd that refuses to start unless I fiddle with the gear selector. It either doesn't start at all, no clicking, nothing, or it will engage and start the engine. The battery is new. Is this a starter problem, or switch? or something else...
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    It sounds like the switch to me. Not an uncommon problem with a vehicle 10 years old. Should be a pretty simple fix for the mechanic.

    At least that would be the 1st thing I would check. I had that "problem" on an older car, I just fiddled with the shift lever each time cause I was too lazy/cheap to fix it.
  • smatt11smatt11 Posts: 8
    D/C 5 star dealers are the worst service people I have ever dealt with (including the gas station that charged me $600 for two used fuel injectors for a 91 Grand Am)

    I have a 99 Dakota is a 3.9 2WD 5sp. My average mileage is 19 in the summer, and 14mpg in the winter. My 99 F-150 4x4 gets 14mpg all year round. I use only high quality synthetic oil, and at minimum 89 octane gas. Our Dakota has been in 4 times for the grinding noise that people have been complaining about in other messages. I was finally convinced by an Ford tech that this was a clock spring, and nothing to worry about. However, I am unsettled by the volume of the noise, and that extra bump in the steering while braking. I have had the exhaust changed twice, and the ABS recall was completed. They have never been able to figure out why my front speakers do not work unless the e-brake is engaged (acompianied by a large pop). I have only one circuits class in my life (I received a C-), but even I know that this is a short.

    I have gone to three different five star dealers, and each give my a different lame excuse about the same complaint. It would be nice if they actually read the other service orders in the computer before they lied to me. The average wait time I have had for any service is 4 days. Only once was I given a loaner, and that was after I yelled for a long time.

    Diamler/Chrysler will never make a profit until their service department shapes up. I had service problems with the Dodge Avenger I traded in for the Dakota. I would never buy a D/C product again until I was convinced that they can repair their products. Five Star Dealers make you diagnose your own problems, which is why they are incapable of fixing any problem. For example, my speaker short problem... I told them my speakers pop when I press the e-brake. They replaced the e-brake, but never tested the stereo because when I picked it up, the speakers did not work.

    I then said maybe the amp is shorted? They replaced the "amp" which is a lie because the amp is inside the dash unit which still has my initials carved in it. I finally yelled loud enough, and they replaced the wire harness. However, the driver power window creates a horrible buzzing in my speakers every time it is adjusted.

    I encourage every one who reads this to not purchase any D/C products, and if you currently own one to trade it in. If that is not possible, force the dealer to make the correct repairs, and on time. If they fail this simple task, get an lawyer, and pursue the lemon law. Do what it takes to make D/C financially responsible for their horrible products. This will force them to either shut down operations, or to fix their broken repair process
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    That has been my only complaint over the years with Chrsyler products. The products are good but the dealers service is really poor. Luckily for me I have few problems that require going to the dealer. Ususally when new there are a few trim issues and nothing "real".

    Hang on to your Dakota, find a non-Chrysler service dept to work on it and you may find that in the end you will love the truck.

    The dealers just don't do anything. I'll give you a short example. On a 99 Stratus, whenever the gas gets lower than an 1/8 tank and it is caold it is hard to start. The things to look at include the filter, fuel pressure. Both are fine. Next pull the pickup from the tanl and look for pin holes in the weld where the tube connects to the pick up. This happens with automatic welders . The dealer refuses to pull the pick up saying Chrysler won't pay it. So I have been living with it. Thankfully I am trading it in as soon as my Dakota 2 gets here.

    Get a stereo expert to look at it. It sounds to me like somewher the E brake is catching a wire and either shorting it out or pulling it enough to break a connection.
  • Hi I'm a first time user of this service, so bear with. I have a 2000 AC with a V6/sad. 5 speed. Recently I've been experiencing difficulty getting it into gear. This went on for two week until this weekend when the problem would not go away and the only way to get it into gear was to shut it off. It would creep with the engine running clutch in with the transmition in gear, and was very difficult to shift into all gears especially 1-2. If the truck was idled at a light with the clutch in for a long time a vibration would start up in the drive train.

    Its at the dealer now and I will make sure they go trough clutch/cranny well. I say all this to forewarn any of you who may have similar problems to make sure your service center replaces your clutch disc at minimum as this problem is most likely caused by the clutch not fully disengaging, this causes the disc to wear which won't show till your out of warranty. This problem was intermitent at first with no set pattern as to when it would occur.
    Otherwise its a great truck and I'm satisfied with it.Has 23,000 kms./13,000 miles.anyone out there have similar troubles? Thanks. RG
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    No problems with the clutch here.

    Were you experiencing grinding of the gears? This would lead me to believe that the clutch was not fully disengageing. Possible air in the hydraulic system.
    If it were hard to put in gear, then it is probably a linkage adjustment.
    Hope all goes well for your truck and please let us know of the outcome.
  • towmantowman Posts: 8
    I just bought a 2001 Club cab and was wondering if anyone could offer input on the automatic locks. Can this feature be disabled? If no one is riding in the passenger side and I am picking someone up I have to remember to unlock the doors before they can get in. Does anyone like this feature? Also, I have a low whining noise in the transmission at speeds of 35-40mph. Not sure whether thats just the way it is or not. I also notice the truck rolls forward or backward depending on which way I was going when I shift into park. Has anyone else noticed this? Is it normal?

    Thanks, Towman
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    Can be disabled. Look in your owners manual and the instructions are there. I don't have one handy so I can't tell you the details right now.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Jeff, here's a quote from one of our guys.

    79 of 79 15 mph Automatic Door Lock Deactivation/Activation (2001 Owner's Manual Typo) by skylerk Mar 27, 2001 (01:43 am)
    The instructions for turning on and off automatic door locking above 15 mph on pages 13-14 of the 2001 Dakota Owner's Manual are incorrect.
    To get the correct instructions, all you have to do is change step 2 so that the phrase "... ending in the ON position" instead says "...ending in the OFF position".
    In case you don't want to go dig out your manual, here are the complete, corrected instructions which I have verified to work on my 2001 Dakota (the word in green/bold is the one which needs to be changed in the manual):
    1. Close all of the doors.
    2. Place the key in ignition and cycle the key from the OFF position to the ON position for a total of four times ending in the OFF position, do not start the engine.
    3. Press the driver's side power door lock switch to lock the doors within 30 seconds.
    4. You will hear a single chime when programming is completed and the automatic door locks feature will be deactivated.
    5. To activate the feature again, follow the above steps again

This discussion has been closed.