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Dodge Dakota - General Topic

bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Member Posts: 115
edited March 2014 in Dodge
owners! This Club's for you, finally! Your
designated spokespersons are andy_jordan and

Okay folks...start here!

Bonnie Rick
Conferences Manager, Town Hall


  • dakotahelldakotahell Member Posts: 6
    On April Fools Day 2000 (no kidding) I purchased a 98 Dodge Dakota Sport with 29000 miles that included the original as well as a transferable extended warranty. I was happy with it for about a month and then.........

    The automatic shift lever comes off in my wifes hand as she is putting it in gear to back out of the driveway. No big deal. It is covered and they put a new one on.

    Appointment 1: The shift lever is fixed.

    Then one morning a week or so later I shift in reverse to back out of the driveway and was greeted with a tremendous "CLUNK" coming from the drivetrain. This clunk is present nearly every time I shift in reverse from this point forward. A few days later, upon engaging reverse to back out of the driveway what do I hear to accompany the clunk, but a really obnoxious buzzing noise that lasts until it is shifted out of reverse. Schedule an appointment.

    Before the day of my appointment, I turn the key over one morning and woe is me, the fuel pump starts making a hideous whine. Oh wonderful, my confidence in this POS is hitting overdrive now. I call and add this to the list of problems they need to address.

    The night before my appointment I figure I better give the Dakota a once over just to make sure I have not missed something. Hmmmm, a slight antifreeze leak near the thermostat. That wasn't there when I bought it, oh well, I will add it to my appointment.

    Appointment 2: They only fix the antifreeze leak and order parts for the tranny buzz and tell me the fuel pump is OK. When I pick it up, I take the service manager by the hand and have him listen to the fuel pump. He finally agrees there is a problem with the fuel pump and says the clunking noise in the tranny will be fixed with the parts they ordered for the buzzing noise. Reschedule.

    Appointment 3: They fix the fuel pump and buzzing noise (so far, anyway) and tell me the clunking noise is natural and all 98 Dakotas will do it to some degree. After bickering with the service manager again he agrees to call DC and talk to the engineers about it. Reschedule.

    Appointment 4: They replace most of the parts in the differential. It still clunks. I am losing my patience. They call the engineer again. Reschedule.

    Appointment 5: They go back into the tranny, replace the valve body, service writer says it is fixed. I go to pick it up, slide er in reverse (CLUNK!!!!) I am pissed, I wanna kill. I decide it is prudent to drive home to avoid a heated battle with anyone connected to this organization (this is a 5 star dealership by the way) confrontation and decide it.

    I show up the next morning to discuss this with the GM. He is out, how convenient. I talk to some manager and the shop foreman. They tell me the clunking noise and slop in the drivetrain is natural and will not take the vehicle back for that problem.

    I call Chrysler and get a file number......what a joke that process is; they side with the dealership.

    I take the Dakota to two transmission shops, one drivetrain shop and one general mechanics shop that after noon. 5 different mechanics from these 4 shops look at it and all agree that there is excessive slop and clunking in the drivetrain.

    I call the dealership. They don't care what anyone else says. "We will not take for that problem again." I call DC customer service center, they back the dealer's position. Loud clunking and excessive slop is natural in the drivetrain of a 1998 Dodge Dakota.

    What do I do now?
  • rollybcrollybc Member Posts: 3
    does anyone know where Ican find production for my model and color
  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    "Dakotahell" that is a horror story sorry!
    "Lemon"? I don't know what to say...
    "rollybc" what is your model and color of choice??Can't help without this info..

    Guys, I hope this gets better."Bookitty","thermacguy","Aj"All of a sudden I'm depressed.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Allen, please do not get depressed. There may be more to the story than meets the eye. I do not mean to infer that it didn't happen, but it reeks of a dealership that cannot address or does not care to address the problem. With a remainder of the warranty intact, responsibility may be referred to the seller (I don't think it mentioned if the unit was purchased privately or through a dealer. There may be legal ramifications
    as well. If you ever accessed the web you will see another horror story, but it seems to fall mostly on the dealer. The thing to do, is poll other owners with the same year and specifications to see if it is indeed, "normal." I can certainly emphasize with dakotahell, and I hope that his problem(s) is resolved with all haste. I feel for the guy. He may need to see someone like a consumer advocate, or a State Representative to give him an idea as to where to go next.

  • dakotahelldakotahell Member Posts: 6
    Turned the key over to the Demon from Hell Dakota yesterday to come home from work. Fuel pump started whining louder than it did before the dealer addressed it the first time, a few hundred miles ago. Clunking in drivetrain still loud and clear. Leaving for a vacation and an appointment with another dealer in that area. At this point, all I can say......Lemon Pie, anyone?
  • rotondimrotondim Member Posts: 27
    I am the unfortunate owner of a 2000 Club Cab with a 4.7l that had only 2000 miles on it when the oil pump failed. My initial thought was that because this is a new truck I should get a new engine. This was echoed by the 5 star service department, other members here, and even at the 800 customer service center. Unfortunately I was told this was not possible, the decision is made at a higher level. I proceeded to escalate this issue well above the service department and was told by DC corporate that if the engine failed with less than 1000 miles the engine would be replaced. No matter how much pressure I tried to apply the answer was the same. We must break the engine down and repair it. What was found was that the crank shaft was scuffed by the bearings. No metal shavings were discovered anywhere and the engine looked in very good shape. The components that were replaced were the crank shaft, bearings, oil pump, and associated gaskets. I pushed to get the rings replaced but was told it wasn't necessary. When I walked into the service area and saw the engine removed from the truck sitting in the cradle with it gut's exposed I felt very ill. To make a long story short I finally got the truck back after 2 weeks. I drove it less than 1 mile and the check engine light came on. The oxygen sensor had to be replaced, probably got damaged when the engine was pulled or put back in.

    Needless to say I am not a DC fan at this point. I have a few minor issues with the vehicle I assume are a result of performing the work that was done. I will schedule something in a few weeks when I discover all the little things that are wrong.

    My experience tells me that DC does not really believe in fostering there customers so that they are repeat customers. The lack of customer service from DC corporate is amazing. Had DC stepped to the plate and done the right thing, replaced the engine, they probably would have me as a repeat customer. Chances are I will never buy another DC product and anyone I can persuade not to will never buy there product either.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    Remember a while back I mentioned putting in brighter headlamps to help see the deer in time because there are more deer than people in Iowa. Well they didn't help! Yesterday about 9:30am one ran into the side of the Quad while my wife was taking my dog out to a local park for a walk. She was doing about 25 mph when this deer came out of nowhere, hit the side of the bed on the drivers side behind the rear wheel, bounced off and took off running. Caved in the side of the bed. I removed the tail light and managed to push out most of the dent but now the fender has wrinkles. Oh well, like they say "stuff happens". My tears still haven't dried yet, its too humid out here!Rick
  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    Sorry to hear about your accident.Was your wife hurt? Or just shaken up?
    I don't know about anyone else but up here in the N.East will KILL and EAT them there deer for things like that!
    How did bambi end up anyway?
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    Thanks for the concern, wife, dog and deer all ok. Only one hurt was the Quad. If it had been me I'd be making my first batch of deer jerky right now but deer too fast for the wife. ;-} Rick
  • tpmillertpmiller Member Posts: 45
    In northern Pa I have seen people swerve to hit deer! These would be folks who's freezer is worth more than their vehicle.
  • s4016s4016 Member Posts: 12
    I bought a bra for my new dakota a few years back and noticed marks almost immediately on the fenders and hood. I didn't want to find out how long it was going to take to completely work it's way thru the paint so I had a local upholstery shop cut off the portion that covered the fenders and rework it to follow the lines of the bumper. I canned the part that covered the hood and installed the standard bug shields on both the hood and fenders. spent a little more but looks great!
  • kmennekmenne Member Posts: 15
    Does anyone know of a website that I can access to decifer the VIN on my QC?

    I bought mine used (300 miles) and would like to confirm a few of the powertrain options etc..
  • wantaquadwantaquad Member Posts: 11
    go to the DML site (don't remember the url off the top of my head). They have a link there to do just what you are asking.
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    I admit that I didn't lift a finger to help convert our "lively" forums over to club status but it seems to me that the "electricity" has decreased. In the "old days" there might be 20+ new postings a day on any one subject. It might just be a slow week (been out of town for a while and missed the transition) or maybe its the natural progression that occurs as everyone finally gets a Quad and goes back to liven' life.

    Just a thought.
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    In 1980, a nice 9 pt buck crushed the front of my 1973 Volvo wagon (245) to the tune of $4,700 (1980 dollars), $150 away from being totaled. The buck was still struggling after the impact so I used the knife.

    The cop that arrived at the scene of the accident, had me wait until another cop arrived to check out the buck that he'd been spotting and still hoping to get during archery. They called the local game warden to report it and that guy could be bothered but gave me a bunch of grief the next day and took the head and antlers for "educational purposes".

    So I could drive home with my "prize", we pulled out the the fender which had already taken a hunk out of the tire and were careful not to get into the sulfuric acid from the leaking half empty battery. I finally got home at 2 am and strung it up under the deck and gutted it. Got it to the butcher shop with the proper tags and paperwork and it still weighed 178 pounds.

    My point is that, since I started hunting again, I've never gotten a bigger one than that one. Maybe I should should get some safari bars.
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    It's my fault. I asked everyone to step back and take a look at what the other owners clubs were doing. And after digesting that, to come on in and post. It seems like others seem to think they should / shouldn't do certain things because of that statement. I'm truly sorry. #-(

    What I'd hoped for - and I'm sure andy_jordan as well - was that we wouldn't just 'port over' from the regular Topics all at once and proceed to cause duplicity in the two areas (here and the regular truck topics). Well, there certainly hasn't been a log jam - quite the contrary; it's just the opposite that's happened. Maybe some of it has to do with summer vacations, and maybe a bit also because everybody's bummed out that OPEC and I've raised their gas prices at the pump. LOL

    Oh, and lest I forget. You said you didn't lift a finger to help with getting this group up and running. I have to agree with you - you didn't.

    You lifted 10.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    I feel that the "regulars" have signed in, but there are fewer mentions of the club in the Dakota topics, so newer posters are not aware of the club status. After all of the work performed by Jack, Andy and Bonnie, I would have hoped for a more significant response. People can't join whatever it is that is not in their circle of awareness. Perhaps some further invitations via the regular topics are in order. I also agree that
    this is the time of the year for more outdoor activity. It certainly is as far as yours truly is concerned. From the beach, this has been;

  • rollybcrollybc Member Posts: 3
    thanks bigel31 for offer- 97 standard short box 39v6 magenta 2wd
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    I didn't catch the post on "taking a look at" the club format before seriously moving forward. Think its a good idea before tangents are created that need fixing later.

    I agree that people will be out more and not on the computer recreationally. I hope I didn't anger anyone, was just sitting wondering. I'll look at the big picture (club) before commenting.
  • tpmillertpmiller Member Posts: 45
    Us flatlanders don't know how to hunt deer with vehicles. In N.Potter co., you will find junk cars around every house and farm. These are your preferred caliber. You will not find a volvo among the lot. When they tag a bigun', the only call they make is to insure driveability and that the trunk still opens. Heavy steel '50's vehicles are favored. Engines don't matter much, an old john deere diesel works fine. Accuracy over speed is the watchword.
  • ken1776ken1776 Member Posts: 41
    I have a 1998 Dakota 2 WD Sport. I was driving it the other day and went to turn on the radio, clock went off and heard a little pop in speakers, "no radio". That night I also noticed that the dome light and ignition illumination light do not work. Checked the radio fuse, it's OK, checked power to the dome light, "no power". When I turn the radio on I still get a pop from the speakers, but thats it. Any idea if this is all connected, or should I just go to the dealer?
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    I believe there are 2 fuses involved. There is a constant 12v source and a switched 12 source. Check other fuses, owners manual should help identify the other one. Rick
  • ken1776ken1776 Member Posts: 41
    Fuses on the dash and relays under the hood are all OK. Other then that the owner's manual is not much help. Thanks anyway. Ken
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
    For lack of a better place to put this, I'm posting here...

    My CD player decided to not eject the last CD I inserted. The CD is an Allman Brothers bootleg (soundboard) that was given to me as a gift. It is very hard to replace. I took the truck to the dealer to have the unit replaced/repaired with explicit instructions that the CD MUST BE RETRIEVED. I even went so far as to say, if it comes down to the CD or the head unit, I'll probably take the CD. I was told that this occurs frequently and that the CD would be returned. Well... what do you know, the new radio came back sans the CD. The dealer says that they're trying to track it down and are doing everything possible (they've been great until now) but I'm quite annoyed.

    Have any of you had a similar issue?
  • wetwilliewetwillie Member Posts: 129
    I've found that home-burned CDs are a little more temperamental than store bought. I've got a Little Feat bootleg that likes only certain players. Maybe the Dude (or Dudette) that gave you the original could burn you another copy? In any case, the dealer positively needs to track it down. Good Luck!
  • yank2yank2 Member Posts: 49
    Did you have any luck with the dealer. I had the 50 to 40 rear end whine. It took them 24 days trying to get the right parts but so far the whine is gone.A lot of dealers just don't want to check with DC and there so called mechanics don't know anything. I was a Chev line mechanic some 30 years ago but I don't call my self a mechanic any more. But I keep up all my old stuff and seem to know a lot more then the people at the dealer ship. But if it is under warranty if I have no luck with the dealer I get a hold of a Dealer Rep.
  • ohc_babyohc_baby Member Posts: 116
    I've posted a few pictures in the gallery of the '01 Quads, for those of you who are looking for them.
  • raptor01raptor01 Member Posts: 45
    I've been out of town (Bell Helicopters-Ft Worth TX) the last several days and haven't had time to visit a different dealer. My original dealer told me it's normal. I'll check with a different dealer this week....thanks
  • raptor01raptor01 Member Posts: 45
    thanks for the advice. Had my quad looked at by a different local Dodge dealer. The rear whine (50-45 MPH) is not normal. New rear end on order. Also, had a slight pull to the right so they re-aligned the front end.
  • xena1axena1a Member Posts: 286
    So, I'm at the car wash, giving my 2 week old 2000 Dakota it's first bath. I pull forward and start wiping off the excess water when the guy in the next bay asks me if I've got a V8 in that Toyota!
    "Well, it's not a Toyota, it's a Dodge. And yes, it does have a V8."
    "That's a Dodge? A Dodge what?"
    "A Dodge Dakota."
    "Wow. That's a nice looking truck. I didn't know Dodge made trucks like that."
    "Well, thanks. I like it so far. It's a fun truck to drive."
    "Hmmm. I might have to check those out."

    Lord, give me strength. I hope he bought one yesterday. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!!
  • brad64brad64 Member Posts: 2
    I have read in owners manual &told by dealership not to tow inoverdrive with my 98 dakota slt,having just read comments on tire sizes improving mileage &towability in o/d ,I am confused, should you should you not tow in o/d?
    Thanks Brad64
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
  • mailman54mailman54 Member Posts: 111
    Looking for spare tire lock for 00 Dakota. Have the tire and handling package and worry about spare tire and rim being stolen. Anybody have any good experiences with spare tire locks they would like to share. Leaning toward Quick Lock spare tire lock at $14.95 plus $5.00 shipping found on internet.

  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
    FWIW... the CD has been returned. I'm pleasantly surprised.


  • fat_fendersfat_fenders Member Posts: 96

    Try Quadratec @

    They have a catalog you can order from their website (mine came in three days). '97 - '00 Dakota spare lock is $19.95.

  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Member Posts: 215
    Just noticed in the Dakota brochure that DC recommends a weight distributing hitch for trailers exceeding 2,000 pounds. That seems awfully low to me, and it presents a problem.

    My trailer, which weighs about 2,600 pounds fully loaded, won't take a weight distributing hitch (there is too much flex in the frame).

    Anyone out there towing more than 2,000 without a weight distributing hitch?
  • mailman54mailman54 Member Posts: 111
    Thanks Fat Fenders, I will check it out!

  • sorcerersorcerer Member Posts: 28
    How much does the Leather cost?
    I'm pretty sure that you already posted it, but I am unable to find where that post is. I am preparing to order my '01 Quad, but the Dodge site still only has '00 stuff, & does not have any pricing info for the leather yet.

    It looks great in your Pics, & now I am wanting to have it in mine.

    Thanks in advance!
  • fat_fendersfat_fenders Member Posts: 96

    The leather MSRP is $580. Invoice was right around $525 (me thinks). It's pricey, but when this is the first NEW vehicle I've personally owned, I went all out. My wife usually gets the new vehicles but she's more than happy with her '97 LHS so it was my turn :-)!!!

    I plan on updating my pics as I've added a safari bar, headlight covers, Lund bug shield, DC mud guards and a spray-in liner. KC Daylighters, in black of course, are my next aquisition for the safari bar.

    A Pace Edwards roll-top tonneau, Hella OPTILUX Xenon headlight bulbs and Lund fender eyebrows are all on order. I felt the Roll-N-Lock was a bit over priced. Got my PE rool-top for $535 and I'm installing it myself. I looked at one at a local dealer it it appeared to be well engineered and easy to install.

    Keep us posted on your Quad Order.

  • victxvictx Member Posts: 108
    I pulled a 16 foot trailer carrying a junk car to the recycler. I would assume the weight to be about 3k total for the trailer and contents. I don't have a weight distributing hitch. I probably should be using an electric brake on the trailer. The trailer was stable, but the OEM tires have thin sidewalls and allow side to side movement of the truck. (Go out to the bed of your truck and push it sideways to see how much it gives). I didn't have problems, but tires with stiffer sidewalls would be a very good idea.
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Member Posts: 215
    Thanks for the info. Did the rear of the truck sag noticeably under that load?
  • sorcerersorcerer Member Posts: 28
    That price sounds more than reasonable for a leather interior. I was figuring close to 2k!

    With any luck, I should be placing my order within the next week or two.
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    Last night on the way home after class, I found myself at a red light beside a new Audi A6. I can't say it was a "spirited" departure but I used 2nd gear and was keeping beside the A6. I don't know how it happened, but in the next second we were "racin". I saw no hesitation in his vehicle, so it was probably an automatic and I'm in my 4.7L 5 sp QC. At about 35-40 mph he's pulling away strong and I hear his engine with my windows up. Do they have turbos? Well, at about 60 mph and three "truck lengths" back and just before white stripes on the road where the cop sits, I backed off, soundly beaten.

    Its interesting how testosterone can still make one do "things" at 50.
  • piercypiercy Member Posts: 2
    This is my first posting, so forgive me if I'm doing it wrong. I have a 2001 Dakota Quad with the 4.7 engine, Auto and about 1200 mi. i've noticed from the beginning that the oil pressure, at operating speed, runs at or just a hair above the upper range "tic" mark on the gauge.

    I took it to the dealer and he checked another brand new 4.7 and found it doing the same thing. He said not to worry, but it seems wrong for it to runs so high. At idle, it returns to the normal, straight up and down position.

    Does anyone else have a similar experience?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    (piercy) THIS IS NORMAL!
    The 4.7L V8 Hemi is a MODERN engine. It has a completely different oiling system than the engine it replaces....Direct-drive oil pump, hollow camshafts to deliver oil to 1/2 the cams... etc. This one reason this engine calls for 5W-30 oil. (NOT 10W-30!!)

    You will find that when the engine is REALLY warm, the idle oil-pressure will be even lower than what you described.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    My quad (4.7) runs up there as well. Remember that
    the accuracy of a presure sender that transforms pressure into an electrical signal is not nearly as accurate as a certified direct pressure driven gauge. Don't sweat it and your post was fine. Nice to see you here.

  • fat_fendersfat_fenders Member Posts: 96

    Just a note to let you know my 01 QC w/4.7 runs at the same reading yours does as bpeebles and bookitty also indicated. Oil pressure-good, no oil pressure-bad. ;-)

  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    You're normal. Of course if you live in W TX with the normal summer temps at 110 degrees + it'd be ok to run a 10W-30 synthetic like I do instead of the 5W-30 those cold natured yankees run. ;-)
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Have you noticed your caps lock key is engaged when you post? (Everything shows up in all caps, which might be a bit annoying - aka, shouting on the web - to some members of our little troup.) Don't have experience (yet) with your light & power outlet, but it's in at my dealer and I expect to install it soon. I'll followup with some details when I do the install. Don't have the invoice either (yet), will post my price then too.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Is there a particular 'Yankee' you are referring to? Today was the HOTTEST day I recall all summer here in Vermont... almost 83F degrees. ;-)

    I know you are an "oil man" but lets not forget that the UPPER number in the SAE designation is supposed to mean the viscosity while the oil is HOT. Thus... 5W-30 and 10W-30 are SUPPOSED to be the same while HOT. (I confess that I have never actually tested the oil viscosity myself.)

    Given the above info... I believe the reason that CD specifies the 5W-30 is to ensure proper lubrication while the engine warms up. (PUMPABILITY of the oil.)

    Let us NEVER forget that an internal combustion engine wears the MOST during warmup. This fact is due to oil PUMPABILITY as well as differing thermal expansion properties of the various alloys within the engine. (Aluminium, Steel, cast-iron, Magnesium, Brass/copper-composite[bearings] )
This discussion has been closed.