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Dodge Dakota Problems. Please help!



  • My heart goes out to you. It is unfortunate your Dakota has been a disappointment to you. I really feel Dodges quality is up there with the rest of the industry. I think what gives some people a bad experience is the dealership and a poor service department. Rick
  • Good Luck, John; I really hope that works for you. In my case, the sway bar bushings on my QC were lubed and the annoying intermittent squeaky noises returned in about 2 months.(see #673) BTW, I'm also a little puzzled with the documented NHTSA TSB Bulletin #1900900. Apparently, it states that a specific part in the steering column was incorrectly installed at the factory; however, there are no squeaks or noises coming from the column itself. I'm sure the squeaks are coming from the lower steering components. My QC is scheduled to have this part removed & re-installed correctly this Friday. I sure hope this fix resolves the squeaks. I'll provide an update to this thread next week.

    In the meantime, do any other owners have this squeaky steering problem? Comments please...
    Thank you in advance.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Gordon, Rick, who the heck is bill?

  • Hi folks. My 2001 QC (approx 30k miles) is in the shop for a squeaky front end. I lubed all of the front end bushings as well as the sway bar bushings to no avail; so I took it in under warranty. I suspected a ball joint on the driver's side; but was told that it appears to be the driver's side hub assembly. I'm supposed to get it back this afternoon; we'll see what pans out. Good luck with your trucks. Regards, Steve
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    Thanks Rick. I've pulled every fuse in the junction block to no avail. Like I said, the dealer is going to replace the switches, but I'm worried that something is wrong with the program, or now I'm worried that there is something wrong with the CTM. Not so much with the CTM because everything else is working. Dick posted on how to pull the ground, but I am using that as a last resort. I am hoping the parts come in today and I can take Eda into the dealer.

    I appreciate everyone’s input as I hoped for an easy fix to an annoying problem while waiting for the parts.

    These things happen and it has not deterred my opinion of the vehicle.

    Since I couldn’t send bill via mail (postage was too expense) I put him on the train to PA.
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    Ok, since I can't kill the door locks without disarming the entire electrical system or pulling body panels looking for the ground... I pulled everything out of the truck that someone might pilfer (hoping the truck itself isn't boosted) and I simply pulled the fuse for the interior lights (fuse #1 I think). Now, when the truck is parked outside at night and the damn doors unlock, the lights won't go on announcing to everyone that the truck is unlocked. I can't believe it has taken the dealer all week to get parts in. Is this typical?
  • I got my QC back from the dealer yesterday and the squeaks and clunks are gone. It was a bad hub assembly. Glad it was on DC's dime. Regards, Steve
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Is your Dakota a 4x4 or a 4x2?

  • jhorljhorl Posts: 89
    Its been a couple weeks and the squeaks are still gone. I hope that is all it was because My Quad and I are on our own. She turned 36,000 miles back in October. I give her a little pat on her nose everynight and hope to remain trouble free.
  • Got my 2001 2WD QC back late Friday after servicing under TSB #1900900. The Dealer advises that my vehicle did not exhibit the squeaks when they tested it in the parking lot. They emphasized that the TSB they applied may not resolve the problem. Guess what...the squeaks returned on Sunday (in 2 days time).

    This is the 3rd attempt to resolve this squeaky noise problem in 9 months. On the first visit, they lubed all the bushings and the squeaks returned in a couple of months. On the 2nd visit, they said the noises are normal and no Bulletins out for this problem. On the 3rd visit, they found the TSB and applied it and this is where we are today.

    These "intermittent" squeaks are NOT the normal power steering sounds that can usually be heard. They are not popping sounds either. I'm really frustrated now with these annoying intermittent squeaks. Squeaks are also heard (emitting from the rear?) when backing up in reverse during a slight turn out of the driveway. Could the bolts securing the pickup box be loose and causing these noises?

    Does anyone have any new suggestions? Help...

  • Hi Steve, I'm glad your squeaks are now gone from your QC.

    Can you please clarify what you meant by the driver's side hub assembly. Do you mean the driver side wheel axle components? What was actually done by the service department? Replacement of faulty parts or just lube or....? Was there a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) quoted by them?
  • Sorry for the delay in posting. Dusty, I've got a 4x2 qc. Bill, I didn't ask what was meant specifically by the term hub assembly. I took it to mean front axle hub and bearings. They replaced parts not just lubed. There was no mention of a TSB by them and I couldn't find one online. Hope this helps. Regards, Steve
  • Has anybody experienced this problem?

    When I first got my Quad (approx 30,000 miles ago) the steering was dead nuts accurate. Any little twitch of the wheel would impact the direction of the vehicle. This took some getting used to as my previous beater did not exhibit quick steering.

    Over time, i noticed this dead spot between left input and right input. It almost felt like one of the knuckles was loose and slipping. The steering wheel will move approx 1/2 an inch before the wheel feels like it is in solid contact with the wheels.

    None the less, I took it in to change the tranny fluid and had them look at the steering also. Of course the dealer said it was within spec. Imagine that. I called the mechanic out and explained the problem to him. He looked that the shaft as i was turning it and he said that the "play" was in the box and all vehicles has some play in the steering.

    Of course I think this is BS and will be taking my vehicle to another dealer, but I was curious if anybody else has had this problem?

    As always,

  • Dusty & Steve,

    Thanks for your comments. My 2001 QC is also a 4x2. I'm told that the TSB(#1900900) recently applied to my QC consisted of reversing a part in the steering column (incorrectly installed at the factory) and securing up some loose attachment bolts. The service dept advised that the TSB MAY NOT resolve the squeaks. They were right...the itermittent squeaks have returned. I'll return to the dealership soon for a 4th attempt to resolve.

    Good luck with your Quads.
  • I had the same problem with my 97 Dakota. By coincidence I discovered the low beams would work when tilt steering wheel was at top position. When brought down to drive position, low beams would go off, high beams ok. I was told by several sources it was probably the switch. Replaced the switch and same problem existed.
    Today I checked the connector and sure enough the wire connector (#18, lower right position as you look at the plug)for the lights dim was loose in the plug. Took needlenose pliers and made a tight connection and problem is fixed. Time will tell if it stays fixed as may work loose after time. Then I'll have to work more on the mechanical connection but I'm sure that is the cause of the problem.
    I wonder how many $80 switches they have sold correcting this problem.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    AKA the "BOB" email me if interested.
    Covers the 4.7 motor and the 45RFE trans.
    In perfect condition.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    There have been a couple of posts relating some type of horror when removing the oil filter on a 4.7 equiped Dakota. I changed mine for the first time this past week and I didn't find it difficult at all. The oil filter is located on the front right side of the engine and was easily accessible from underneath the vehicle. The process didn't produce a mess of any type.

    So, I must be missing something. Was this a problem on 4x4s only?

    As an aside, I actually was able to do the oil change without using my ramps. Kind of a nice change having enough clearance to shimmy under the truck.

  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Dusty, the oil filter change and subsequent mess are related to the skid plates used on the 4X4. Other than using a Fumoto valve for dropping the oil, and an empty with bottom removed two liter plastic soft drink bottle for containing the old oil filter you may be faced with a considerable messy task. Even with the soft drink bottle, there is usually a mop up involved.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Okay. Hey, thanks for the quick reply.

    A couple of guys at work commented to me that changing the oil filter would be a nightmare on my truck. They stated it in such a way as to presume that it was symptomatic problem with the Dakota. Now to these three General Motors is a religion and anything else is "junk." I think you know the type. Anyway, when I changed oil last week I was surprized at how easy it was to get to the filter. So I didn't know if Dodge had made a change, or what. Now I understand.

    Thanks again,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Dakota owners with the 4.7 engine: When fully heated, where is the needle on your temperature gauge?

    Mine seems to be at about 1/3rd of the range, up from cold end of the scale. I get heat quickly, even in the +10F temps of the last few days. But I seem to remember driving another Dakota (3.9 engine) and I thought the temp gauge was 1/2 way.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (dustyk)Your description sounds about right.

    The reason that the 4.7L warms up faster than the ol' 3.9 engine is directly due to the technology packed into the 4.7L engine.

    The ol 3.9L used a simple thermostat mounted at the top of the engine that simply let some coolant out of the engine when it got too hot.
    The temp of the coolant from the radiator into the bottom of the engine was completely unregulated.

    The cooling system on the 4.7L is a 'bypass' system that has a constant flow of coolant thru the engine. The thermostat is mounted low on the engine and regulates the temperature by acting as a 'mixing valve' using both the HOT flow from the engine and the COLD flow from the radiator as input creating a constant temperature flowing into the engine.

    Even with my 4.7L engine, I still have a block heater (plugged in as I write this due to single-digit temps predicted.) I also have a cardboard 'shield' that I place over the radiator when the temps dip into the negitive teens. Just pop the hood and place it in front of the radiator. (covers about 2/3s of it)
  • How's Mike getting along these days?
  • slr9589slr9589 Posts: 121
    No replacement fuel pump yet after 8 days of driving on the "engine'warning lamp.Have kept the tank half full so not to lose a ton of gas when the work has to be done..
    The warning lamp stays on and only will blink briefly on harder than normal acceleration.Have found BG cleaner locally and will try it next tank of gas.
    vehicle runs ok,not great but I still can get to work.
    all for now,
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    Im back! After taking a work break from my life and working (75+ hrs a week was a SHORT week) the contract to meet goal before the calendar year end. I have begun reading the boards again. The Tire replacement post caught my eye.

    Refresher (altho mopar67, bpeebles and bookitty always remember the early posters): I have a 2000 QC, 4.7, auto, T&H package with the big 255/65R15 Goodyear rubber. Good tires, lasted till 64,000 miles for me and NO uneven wear. I shopped around and read all about Pirelli (sp) Dunlop etc.. and settled on BF Goodrich radial TAs but switched to 255 /70R15. A higher profile with a small % of spedo offset of +2.51 mph at 70 (I hope someone verifies this, since i got it from and am not a tire expert)

    The ratings for the tire suited me and my location here in N.O. and I have to admit they look great, ride smooth and quiet. I paid $74 each at Tire Kingdom.
    Also it fills the wheelwells better and teh truck does ride slightly higher.. to me anyway.
    Just my .02 but I am satisfied with this setup over $125 quoted by Goodyear for OEM.
  • danodwdanodw Posts: 63
    Thanks for asking about Mike. Would have gotten back sooner but I had computer problems. Think my motherboard was hit by lightning. Sent board off and they covered it under warranty and I told them the truth. Anyway just got it back and it was the wrong one so I have to wait another week or so. In the meantime I have put together an old pc that I made out of 3 junk PC's and used my hard drive. Forgot my password and needed it off my hard drive. I'll be up and down for a while. Plus I'm having truck problems with the check engine light, trans etc. I'll get it all worked out soon. Anyway, about mike, he saw the Doc in Nov. and he took X-rays. One bone in arm is doing good but the other we are not sure of. X-ray shows a slight bump that might be the bone starting to grow. We go back at the end of Jan for another look. Doc said if it is growing, it will be very slow because of all the damage. Next visit might be more talk on a bone graft. Will not let him do any work that requires lifting until he knows for sure. plus I think money has something to do with it. We only pay about $50. per month on a 8K bill. 30K total. Attorney is still trying to help but not sure if he can. Its all about time now, we'll just have to wait and see. I have never tried to put a pick on this site. I guess it can be done. If you want I could send you a pic of the bike and Mike after the wreck, by email.
  • This is just a heads up to all you R/T owners out there. Seems the 2000 to 2002 models have a faulty design for the rear drum brakes. Mainly, they don't work!! My 2000 had 27000 miles on it when Chrysler bought it back, they couldn't make them work. One good thing, they won't ever wear out!!! Found my problem when I stopped on ice, fronts skidded, rears kept turning at 10 mph on the speedometer with the brake pushed hard. Showed the dealer that the wheels couldn't be stopped while on a lift, they then believed me. Chrysler rep said it was "normal" and the way it was designed to work! Ha! This is a SAFETY issue!!
    Demand results if your's is this way.
    Fred Schutt
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