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Dodge Dakota Problems. Please help!

puma14puma14 Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I would like anyone's help regarding my problem.
Here's my problem: I own a 1999 Dodge Dakota CC
Sport 4x4 3.9 liter 6, and I have had problems with
my engine, steering column, and rear brakes. My
engine sounds like a diesel(they say pings), my
steering column pops when I turn it hard left or
right, and they recalled my truck to fix the rear
ABS. They updated the computer with a flash for
the engine and replaced the steering column after
the fourth time. There was only 5K miles on it
when I first brought it in for the problems, and it
has been in almost every other month. They want
me to bring it in so that they can fix it again,
but I am getting sick and tired of it! Any
suggestions, or help, would greatly be appreciated.


James A. Balsdon II


  • amoraamora Posts: 204
    see a Lawyer about a BUYBACK immediately...
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    business days, it automatically qualifies as a lemon. Your other option is to seek out another dealer if in your opinion this one lacks the technical expertise to solve your problem. No matter which path you take....document, document, document anything and everything cause you will need it should you pursue buyback. Good luck!!
  • Thanks for your help everyone. I will let you know how things went.


    James A. Balsdon II
  • So far I have had no problems for the past 2100 miles. I've been smokin' mustangs and suped-up hondas these past couple months. But I'm always reminded to take it easy when I have to keep filling my tank every three days. But I know what I got into so no complaints here. If any of you people out there have any news about R/T's...then let me know and I'll post anything I here about them, too. They're pretty darn good in the snow too if you ask me. At least i save gas!!!
  • amoraamora Posts: 204
    Does anyone know if the Towing capacity for the R/T 5.9 was resolved?
    I read in several articles that the towing was compromised due to
    suspension design. I would like to haul my Jayco to campsites is all plus have a tire burning hot rod truck...

  • cs18cs18 Posts: 10
    my sympathy to puma 14,and his truck av6 3.9 also sounds like a diesel...the dash was rattling but they fixed only gets 15 miles a gallon...and the spark knock which is expected now a days,,is way excessive in this vehicle...i have wrote dodge a three page letter and will continue to hound the hell out of them until i get some satisfaction
  • Steering gearbox groans badly,NOT p/s pump!Another dealer said they have replaced bad gearboxes due to mis-machined parts.Anyone else with troubles? Rear brakes squeal,whine when hot,dealer say's they see no problem.Yah..right! Told them to adjust the brakes!Truck has about 1700 miles on it.Has not been used for any hauling etc.Any help would be great!! Anyone know of t.s.b. sites?
  • My truck had problems from the beginning. First when I turned the steering wheel there was a rubbing noise so they had to fix it. It still makes a slight pop noise as if the steering wheel is loose. the wiper motor went bad. The most annoying thing is this rattle sound that comes from the dash at first they said that it was pre egnition but super unleaded does not help then they updated the computer software and said that would fix it. They even took it for an test drive and said that there was no ping. But of coarse when I drive it home the same noise is still there. I guess we must be listening to different things because this is an obvious noise from the dash area. It's at it's worst at around 2,000 to 2,500 RPM's. Does the Tachometer have a cable that spins in a cable like the old seedometers? Any input would be nice.
  • greenogreeno Posts: 13
    Anybody else with 4-speed auto tranny with the 4.7L engine in their 2000 Dakota notice a "bouncy" shift from 2nd to 3rd gear? I've noticed this especially when the fluid is cold and/or going uphill. My truck has 8,000 miles on it and it's been doing this for a while. But it will also do it sometimes when it is fully warm? Let me know guys.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Chris, there have been many postings on other forum topics (Dodge Quad Cab and Dodge Dakota Owners Club) regarding bumpy shifting on the multispeed 4.7 combination. Because there are 2 second gears, it tries to hunt and select one or the other (I have a 5 speed so I cannot comment). Try posting your question in the Owners Club and reach a much larger audience. I don't think that it is a problem, but could be an annoyance. Hope to see you there.

  • I have a couple of probs on my 2001 Quad Cab. The dealer has seen it twice. The Service Manager's best response is that he, too, can feel and or hear the problems, but there is nothing he can do until D/C comes out with new software for the engine management system and the trannie. I want to write a letter to Dodge and/or D/C but I don't know where to write. HELP!
  • stnickstnick Posts: 177
    Greeno, I have a 00 QC 4.7L auto, 3.55 lsd. I know what you are referring to, and have a suggestion to try. From a start, If you accelerate slowly and feel the shifts, you should get a smooth 2-3 shift. Then, from a start again, this time give it a large amount of steady throttle, and again, it should be a positive 2-3 shift. Now, start again, and this time try to give it an amount of throttle BETWEEN the last to takeoffs and see if this produces the hunt type of 2-3 shift. I have experimented with mine as described above with those results. Dealer service suggested as bookitty, that at a certain amunt of steady thottle that the tranny will seem to hesitate or hunt for a second. Mine will do what I described above, every time, hot or cold. 8300 miles on it now. Hope this helps, Stnick.
  • I have a 2001 Q/C with the 3.9l v6. The engine seems to be a little noisy after it reaches normal operating temperature. I want to say that it sounds like the lifters or rocker arms making a tapping noise. It does not make this noise when the motor is first started up. I've taken it in to get looked at but they say everything tests good. Anybody out there with a similar problem? Also is it a good idea to add oil additives such as Prolong to new engines?
  • greenogreeno Posts: 13
    I appreciate the help with the bumpy shift from 2nd to 3rd. I tried the advice and found that it does work. Under hard throttle or low throttle, it will not hunt for the gear. Medium throttle produces the bumpy shift. Thanks.
  • Anyone experience problems with your Dodge Dakota's paint. I knew better but took it through a carwash with brushes and now have swirl marks. I know, over time, that practice can cause that but it's only gone through one. The dealer has given me no hope. Any suggestions for the next step?
  • Flapbreaker,

    Newer vehicles do not have a spinning cable for the tach. In fact, the speedometer doesn't even have a cable. The speedo cables went away starting in the 1980s. For the most part, tachs haven't had cables since the early 1960s. The speedo gets an electronic trigger from a sensor on the output shaft of the tranny. The tach gets a similar trigger from the crank pick up via the EECM. Some vehicles with distributors and a single coil have the tach trigger taken from the coil itself.

    Sorry to hear about your truck. It seems like there's a few gripes in here, but on a positive note, I have a 1995 Dakota Sport with a 318/auto and it has 128k miles on it. The miles have been trouble free too! I think I'm going to have to break down and put a radiator in it this spring (it's getting a little green around some fins). This will be the first replacement part it's had other than normal stuff like brake pads, oil changes, etc. In fact, it's still on it's second set of pads with the original rotors. I like this truck so much I plan to buy a Dakota R/T next year....if they're still making them.

    The Dakotas have actually been pretty good trucks overall, but anyone can make a lemon..or two. If you have a lemon press hard through arbitration or an attorney who knows the lemon laws. My neighbor just got their vehicle replaced under the Michigan Lemon Law.

    As for all of the stuff I see here on the 3.9 V6....well, I have to agree. I never have liked that engine. It wasn't very well thought out. It's not balanced well becasue it's really a 318 less two cylinders. It started out that way and with no counter balancer. It also does tend to make more noise becasue it isn't well balanced and I have heard of lifter problems with it. I suspect this might be coming from the fact that the oiling routes were changed somewhat from the 318 when they made the 3.9 (lifters might be bleeding down when the engine is off as well). What's even worse is that the 3.9 gets the same or worse mileage than the 318. Heck, it is sometimes worse than the 360 in the R/T! The only benefit to the 3.9 is that the insurance costs less than a V8 version. The new 4.7 V8 seems like a nice mill, but I have to admit I'm a little old fashioned. I actually like those pushrods and brute force torque that comes with the 360 and 318.

    Anyway, keep up the good fight!
  • I'm considering ordering a Dakota Quad Cab with the 4.7, LSD, and 5-SP Manual. I've heard a lot about problems with the auto tranny. Has anyone heard anything bad about the manual?
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Bryan, the five speed is a good solid manual shift transmission with no problems. The new multispeed automatic transmission is also very good, but there has been a learning curve to which owners had to adjust themselves. The only people who incur problems with all types of transmissions, are the "shiftless."

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    Like bookitty, I have the 5 spd manual trans.
    See my profile for more details.
    Definately a nice smooth shifter.
    The throws are a bit long, but its a truck, not a sportscar.

    The only "problem", is some people experience a slight clunking sound when shifting.
    It is heard when the clutch disengages / engages.
    Relatively minor sound and the service department people call it normal.

    If I were to do it over again, it would be equipped with the 3.92 axle ratio.

    Are you going with a 4x4? If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
    Good Luck,
  • I too have the 5-sp. tranny and have no problems (25K miles). It shifts great - smooth and fast (especially for a truck!)
  • I anticipate buying a 4 x4 quad and cannot find a reply to the owner who had engine ping in his v8. Is this a common happening or is it an easily fixed one? Thanks for any help. tigercat2
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (tigercat2)Which V8 are you referring to.... depending on the vehicle year there are 3 to choose from.

    That said...Ping is generally not considerd a "problem". It is a phenomena that occours when an internal combustion engine is running at its most efficent fuel-mixture and ignition-timing especially under a heavy load on a hot day.

    There are conditions when pinging is caused by carbon build-up in the combustion chambers or an out-of-tune state.... but this is not a "problem" with the engine design itself.

    A related phenomena... pre-ignition can cause engine damage under some conditions.
  • Yeah ! Congratulations Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth
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    Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth great looking vehicle unfortunately for the unsuspecting consumer even to date Transmission failure, head gasket failure , too many more serious problems Etc...
    Just read this Newsgroup 2% Satisfied , 98% Unsatisfied . Surf the internet U will find 100s of thousands of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle owners that are Big Losers. Telling there Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle Horror stories.

    Now that Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth consumers have read the book by owning one of the worst Engineered vehicles on Earth. Consumers worldwide learned a costly but valuable lesson.

    Now we have come to realize. Yes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth they are the Winners.

    Yep we the "Consumers of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicles are the BIG LOSERS" !

    Were losing vehicle trade in, Value its Awful.
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    Even Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth Dealers are offering 50% of Galves. Now we are driving around in a nearly worthless Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle and paying for Major repairs :O(
    Its not going to get any better cause Smart Consumers are not Buying a New or even thinking of buying a used Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicle.

    We sure learned a Valuable Lesson > Never again buy Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth vehicles. For those few Die Hards remember( Only a Fool Loses Twice )

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    Let Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth become the final Loser.
  • time to have your medication adjusted.
  • I have a 2001 Dakota Quad cab with the following features: 4X4, 3.9L, P265/70R16 OWL tires, manual tarns with 3.55 rear. I have two problems that the dealer can't figure out (of course). One is a loud whine (hum) coming from the rear when coasting a 40 MPH and at power at 60 MPH. When coasting at 40 I put the tarns in neutral and it still whines. I have also eliminated road conditions as a possibility. The other problem is a rattle in the right front side when going over a bump.

    Does anyone have any ideas or run across this problem before?
  • bobcat12bobcat12 Posts: 1
    I have 3400 hi on mine and hearing the same whine and front end bump at times. Until now, I have not had any reason to go back to the dealer for anything, so it was not checked out. I am a mechanic and the whine sounds like the rear was not set up properly when asembled. I am a little disappointed in the 14 mpg, but even in 2wd. it is a tank in snow, better than the A.W.D. Explorer it replaced. if anyone finds a solution, please let me know.
  • 2nddak2nddak Posts: 44
    Jack, Your problems run deeper than the vehicle that you own!
  • ben221ben221 Posts: 8
    I bought a 2000 Dakota excab.V-6 3.9 and I agree with chrydodjeep. The best I get on an average winter day here in the great northeast is 13mpg. In this day and age there shouldnt be a V-6 engine on this planet that gets 13mpg highway. Dodge has fallen back into there old way of thinking from the 70's (what a shame). The thing that gets me the most is the lying the dealers have to do in order to sell this SCRAP IRON to the public Like posting EPA stickers on their trucks that estamate 18mpg average. There in know way on this earth that this truck could ever come close to that mileage and Dodge knows it. I've always try to buy American but now that the Germans have taken over the company I beleive the next truck I own is going to be a Chevy. Most of my friends drive full size Chevy excab w/ V-8 engines and all of them get between 16-21mpg highway. Lets face it folks,,,,,,the Germans have ripped us off.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Ben, unfortunately you did not access the Pickup Forum prior to purchasing, but if you had, you would have been informed via postings that the 3.9 is at best a marginal engine for a truck the size and weight of a Dakota. In 1995 before purchasing my Dakota club cab, I test drove the the 3.9 and opted for the 5.2 V8 which got decent mileage as well as generating more than sufficient power. My 2000 Quad cab (4X4, 4.7, 3.55 and 5 speed) averages about 18.3 for mixed driving (no heavy traffic). Your mileage report seems excessively poor, and perhaps there is something in your particular vehicle that is malfunctioning to produce that type of MPG. There are various reasons for poor mileage ranging from driving habits to engine governing computer error. I along with many others am well satisfied with my Dodge Dakota, but I will not attempt to defend Dodge because I don't have to. Nor will I defend and/or agree with the ravings of chrydodjeep because they are totally indefensible and without any real documentation. If you haven't visited your service department regarding the problem, I suggest that you do so. If that offers no solution, ask to meet with the area representative. In any case, have written documentation of fuel consumed over mileage driven and brief notations as to type of driving, traffic situations, temperature, etc. I hope that you can get this resolved in a reasonable manner. Good luck.

  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    I have a 97 club cab, 5.2 2 wheel drive. I now have 45000 miles on it with zero problems. In fact it has been so good I just ordered a 2nd one on Saturday.

    What I can tell the folks that have problems is that it is most likely the dealer. One thing I have always hated about Chrysler was their dealer service. They expect you to find the problem and then they might fix it. I have a Stratus that I bought in 99 (that I am trading for the Dakota) that is hard to start when fuel is at 1/8 tank. I had the dealer look at it and they insist nothing is wrong (of course) I told them to pul the pickup and check the welds. They said I would have to pay because that isn't part of the warranty service say what? The idea is to fix the damn problem not make the customer solve it. BTW, the reason I wanted the pick up checked is because if a pin hole is in the tube by the pickup it can cause it not to want to pick up the fuel. Once it starts its okay. Point being, Chrysler needs to get a better dealer service organization together. I will bet that if the people here with the biggest problems had a better dealer they would actually be happy campers.
This discussion has been closed.