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Dodge Dakota Radiator and Cooling Problems



  • Hello to all, I got a heat issue with my 2000 Dodge Dakota 3.9L. The truck puts out warm heat. I checked the anti-freeze, put in new thermostat and checked the heater core. They all seem to be working fine. The hoses that go to the heater core are warm, where I think they should be hot. The truck is running at operating temperature. Water pump sees like it is working fine and circulating the water.

    Any solution
    Thanks, Pauly
  • Bruce,

    I have a 2000 sport v6 with over 300,000 km on it. What you describe is a leaking heater core. I have just put in the 3rd one. Not a job for the meek.

    I am actually reading through this to see if anyone else has had experience with 2 heater cores going bad, first one original mopar part went after 250,000 km. second one went after 14 months (12 month warranty on the part) and was an aftermarket copper heater core.

    New one is an aftermarket aluminum heater core. Part is about $40 (US). Labour is 8+ hours.........

    I want to know if anyone else has had any luck in trying to determine possible causes?

    I check for electrolysis (none to speak of, cannot remember actual reading)

    Suggested too much pressure in system. Rad cap is original and has been tested. Rated at 21 psi and still good according to test. local garage says it should only be 18 psi. Cannot confirm this.

    I was also told that it was running cool. (195-200 F) cannot confirm correct op temp either.

    IMO if pressure is too high than temp should be too high too?

    can anyone elaborate or help with trying to prevent a 4th heater core from being installed.....
  • Lisa,

    Also have a 2000 V6 sport.

    I have a subscription to AllData and also checked an online resource link title

    I could not find the code P0045 either. Not saying it doesn't exist, just cannot find any info about it.

    I do get a code somewhat regularly which is P0455, Large evaporative leak detected. Usually goes away and cannot find the real cause. Sometimes gas cap isn't on correctly or the evap. canister has issues. I believe dusty has dealt with this more thoroughly than I have (or want to)
  • thank you for the reply. I just bought a new aluminum one and going to put it in tonight. Ya its not a fun job thats forsure!

  • wanting to know if anybody had a fix for your problem cause i have that same problem with my 98 dakota
  • I am having issues with a bad burning smell of radiator fluid, but I cannot locate a leak. I have a feeling that it may be related to my heater core as I can smell it through the vent in my cab but regardless, fluid level is consistantly draining and now the truck is having problems idling (maybe as a cause of this radiator fluid problem.) Cab floor is dry (as I have noticed that a bad core may leak on the cab floor.) Oil has a good consistancy, (no froth.) Anyone have an idea?

  • Can someone help me please? Does anyone know what would cause the radiator in a Dodge Dakota to hold pressure even when it has been turned off all night long? And also, is the water pump supposed to be turning clockwise or counter- clockwise when it is turning? Thanks to all for your help. - Wayne
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Not sure about what direction the water pump should turn.

    On the radiator pressure - keep in mind that much/all of the pressure increase in the cooling system is due to the coolant heating up when the engine runs. Once the engine is off and cools down, the pressure should pretty much return to what it was before. That's why there are warning notices posted around the radiator to not remove the cap unless the engine is cool.
  • yes, i have a 2001 dakota with the 4.7 its a quad cab and 2wd, it has an overheating problem. ive replaced the thermostat 2 times, water pump, caps, belts, fan clutch. its weird because it only overheats when going below 40 mph but when you speed up it cools off to normal temp range. im wondering if my electric fan on my radiator is going out or maybe ive blown a head gasket, any ideas how to check the fan? ive already looked for leaks or coolant in my oil and found nothing out of the ordinary. its also been starting rough, its only rough at start then it idles smooth. any ideas?? thanks
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    To check the fan, disconnect the connector to the fan and CAREFULLY apply 12V across the input terminals to the fan using a battery charger set on low (couple of amps max output) or a current limited power supply

    Could also be the fan relay.
  • ok got tht knocked out, fan and relay were workin like they were designed to do, any other ideas??
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Could be a head gasket. I had to get mine replaced on my 2005 Dakota with the same engine as yours, with only about 20,000 miles on the truck. Though if it were a head gasket, I don't think it would cool down when you were moving.

    I would poke around the fan control stuff a bit more. Maybe let the engine warm up and, with it idling and parked (in your driveway or on the street), try to get the temperature up and see if the fans kick in or not. If not, it could be the module the controls the fans, ECU or PCM??? You will probably need a wiring diagram in order to probe back into the connector coming out of the control module.
  • The aux fan stays on after I turn the car off. It ran for 30 minutes before I disconnected the battery. Temp outside was only in the mid 80's. Reconnected and it came back on. Disconnected and let the truck sit over night and then reconnected and all seems fine. Any ideas?
  • ok guys need yall help once again ive got a 94 dodge dakota lately weve been having overheating probs yesterday my son returned from a short trip to town and it seems i have a leak under the truck it is water and when i got under it the leak is coming from above the starter i need to know if this is major as to not drive it it seems to run but now im worried when i accelerate it makes almost like a grinding noise i have heard that before i know it has to do with the water since it leaks from this position could i have a cracked blocked i know my raidiator has been not circulating the water im in the country and i dont want the truck on the side of the road please help :sick:
  • I had an 02 ram with the same motor mine was a bad radiator and I sold truck to a mechanic before replaceing that and all he did was replace the radiator and has a good truck for dirt cheap. Mine only overheated at low rpms you might get the radiator checked out
  • hey need some help ive been having cooling probs for some time now ive replaced fan clutch,radiator. water outlet and even added a thermostat which i had not prviously had but she is still bubbling when i replaced the water outlet there were rotted shaving on top the block which i cleaned out i had replaced the water pump in the last year im thinking maybe some of these shavings fron the rotted water outlet had made it into my water pump causing some blockage but i need an experts advice i dont want to call a shop just to hear them say bring it in and well check it then dip into this hawaiians almost empty pockets so i come here where i know i can get the help i need ;) thanks
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
  • hey all i just put a new radiator in my 94 dakota looking at my old one on the bottom there are two nipples that have pin hole in them but what they slide over there are no holes just a steel peg should there be a pin hole on the peg i seem to be leaking tranny fluid from one side on the new radiator and its not from the hose that goes on the side :confuse:
  • hawaiipuphawaiipup Posts: 28
    ok i assume it was a head gasket ive tore the engine apart couldnt afford a shop when i got in there was alot of black goo under the intake as well as under the valve covers so ive been cleaning and cleaning a friend di look at the heads and said he didnt see any cracks but in the head gasket set there are some things i havent come across yet little metal pieces with black bands gotta figure what im missing under the valve cover i did remove the push rods and i believe they are called the rocker arms they were encased in goo i cleaned them with gas and noe they can rock do i need to grease them when i put them back i did keep both sides in order in separate boxes ill check back often to get some tips from yall :confuse: :P
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Yes, I would apply some grease to the sliding/rolling surfaces of the rocker arms and lifters. There's some special stuff they make that's intended to be used just for such an application - rebuilding an engine. I don't remember what it's called exactly, but any auto parts store should have it.
  • hawaiipuphawaiipup Posts: 28
    thanks srs 49 well ive found out the things ive havent seen are the seals under the springs does anyone know what the tool is called that allows one to remove the springs with out using air compression
  • hawaiipuphawaiipup Posts: 28
    hey guys just finished doing head gaskets and cleaning all the gunk from my motor didnt get it sparkle clean but did do the best i could put her back together she s not leaking and sounds smooth but at the connecting point of the exaust manifold and the exaust pipe we are getting smoke theres something burning and i refuse to get her on the road we are talking the drivers side was thinking maybe some of the gunk had dropped into the pipe that was exposed believe me we were flicking gunk every where had covered the timing chain opening but didnt think of covering the pipes only smokes on drivers side i was thinking that maybe the exaust pipe wasnt up all the way before she did occasionally smoke out the tail pipe so maybe we need to get under and re set the pipe again any suggestions :confuse: :cry:
  • dakota321dakota321 Posts: 1
    can ac be added to a 88 dakota?
  • Of course my 2000, 4.7 is overheating. It's building up pressure and forcing coolant out the reserve overflow. I did a combustion, CO2 test, and it comes out negative and there appears to be no water in the oil. Does this mean it's not a blown head gasket. If not - what else could it be? Thanks.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I did a combustion, CO2 test,

    Did you mean a compression test? That should detect a cracked head gasket. Bubbles in the coolant sure sounds like a leak between the cylinder and the coolant passages.
  • Thanks for replying, srs 49. I used a combustion gas tester, checks if there's CO2 inside the coolant, it was negative. Have yet to do a compression test. Will probably do that next, but the truck runs great (when not overheating).
  • One day while running errands in town, I noticed that it was overheating. By the time I got home it was pegged. So I called around and took it to a repair shop that I knew. After a couple of test they told me that water was not flowing thru the radiator and the overheating blew the head casket. It had exhaust fumes in the radiator water. So it was going to cost $2800 to rebuild the top half of the engine and replace the radiator. They thought that the new style synetic antifreeze was mixed with my old style glycol based antifreeze. Which turns to gelly and gloggs all of the channels in the radiator.
    So a year goes by and it starts overheating again. This time I got it to the shop before the engine over heated and it only cost $800 to replace the radiator the second time. This time they were able to meassure the radiator temperatures with a gun base thermomiter. Cold in the center and hot around the edges, should be the other way around, if the water was flowing properly. These have fine diameter channels that are easily plugged. Electroysis is another theroy.
  • Radiators on these are aluminum and a have a tendency to corrode if
    the antifreeze turns acidic. That is why the rad and engine block and the
    heater core should be reverse flushed before adding any new antifreeze.
    If the rad corrodes and the channels get blocked, the engine will overheat
    and other failures can occur, like the water pump seals or even the thermostat.
    2 rads does sound unusual for a 2000. (Mine is a 98 with the
    original rad and no problems with overheating).
  • mkfarnammkfarnam Posts: 6
    edited November 2011
    I'm with you Carverman,
    I have a "93" Dodge Dakota LE,4x4, 3.9 eng, 5 spd trans. (Calif, Compliant).
    Iv'e had it appox, 5 yr's now. When purchased it had appox, 920,000 miles on the odometer.
    I've driven from California to Oklahoma pulling a trailer loaded to capacity. Through desert sand storms, mountains, snow/ice storms and red clay.
    I've never had any problems with the cooling system, or for that matter, the only problems I've had at all(knock on wood) were minor and pretty much normal wear.

    My Pastor has an 1988 Dakota that's having a major overheating problem(s).
    My point is that I am very happy to have found this site. Some of the post have already answered some questions and some have given me an idea on what my next step should be.
    I will be posting more questions according.
    Thanks y'all
  • Yup... blown head gasket. $2,500 at the dealer to fix (gasket kit alone costs almost $400). 70,000 miles on a 2000 Dakota 4.7 4x4: heating core went south, freeze plugs needed replacing, transfer case linkage just fell off, and now the head gasket... think I'm going to buy another Chrysler product?
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