Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions

bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Member Posts: 115
edited March 2014 in Dodge
world of Dodge Dakota Maintenance!

Bonnie Rick
Conferences Manager, Town Hall


  • firemedfiremed Member Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2000 sport 4X4 cc with 4.7 Love this truck so much!!! Concern is trans dipstick which does not seat this a problem??? Also planning on doing extreme condition scheduled maintence even though only tow a boat occasionally. Traded a 95 3.9 4X4 for this thought it was a great truck. Dodge has outdone themselves...just hopeing it holds up.
  • pttaylorpttaylor Member Posts: 34
    How does one bring up the fault codes on my 1998 3.9L - auto - 2WD?
  • myersedmyersed Member Posts: 102
    Thought it appropriate to post this in the Maintenance Forum
    To access TSB and Recall data, I suggest viewing
    Select Vehicle & Equipment Information" under Car safety. Then select Tech Service bulletins or Recalls.

    I have had better luck with the selection window on the left side of the screen by entering 2000, Dodge Truck, Dakota and leaving the last selection blank.

    Note the new April Recall Update on the main page. It contains a Dodge Dakota Recall for 1999 and 2000 Tow Hitch fractured receiver mounts. I mention it because it is not in the TSBs.

    A source for the details of a TSB is for a fee however.
  • sashley23sashley23 Member Posts: 1
    I just took delivery of my 2000 Quad 4x4, 4.7 auto with tire and handling group. It seems that my truck is crooked!. The truck id 1 inch higher on the drivers side than on the passenger side, measured from the frame to a level surface. I noticed this while following my wife down the road in my other car (the truck is visually crooked). I thought it may be an optical illusion, so I measured it on a level surface.

    Has anyone ever seen this before? Is it just a suspension adjustment?
  • pttaylorpttaylor Member Posts: 34
    I had front pads (lifetime pad warranty) replaced after 14k miles at TIRE KINGDOM where they were orginally installed. I noticed a chirping sound coming from the right front wheel when driving down the street. I took the truck back to the garage and the manager told me that the new pads must "seat" with the rotors. That was 500 miles ago and I still have the chirp. It goes away when the brake is applied but comes back and is constant otherwise. Almost seems like pads are chirping or don't fit properly? Ideas???
  • rotondimrotondim Member Posts: 27
    I would like to change over to Synthetic Oil at some point in my 4.7l but would appreciate some input from the members. I live in New Jersey where it does get hot and cold but not to the extremes that some of you experience. Given that DC is recommending 5w30 oil and my impression of synthetics is that they are thinner, should I go with 10w30 or stick with 5w30? Also, I was thinking of Mobil1 and was curious as to what the model # of the Mobil1 filter is. Thanks for any input.
  • rotondimrotondim Member Posts: 27
    Sashley23 - While at the service dept in the past I was told that the Dakota has 2 different size rear coil springs. I wonder if the taller spring was put on the wrong side in your case.
  • pttaylorpttaylor Member Posts: 34
    I pulled the right front wheel off and inspected the brake assembly. There seems to be a whole lot of play in the rotor (at least an inch) to me and back toward the engine! the caliper of course moves with the rotor. Is this right??? Just for comparison I looked at the left front assembly and it had some but no where's near as much as the right. I feel the rotors have not been put back on correctly when the pads were replaced by TIRE KINGDOM. There's just to much inboard/outboard movement it seems. Could this be the 'CHIRPING' noise? It does seem louder on the right then the left when driving down the road. -Peg
  • yooper_romadyooper_romad Member Posts: 11
    If you have 2 wheel drive there is definitely a problem with any discernible movement of the rotor, it would indicate that the wheel bearings are not adjusted correctly. Though with the amount of play that you described you would also have horrendous "wobble" when you drove. If you have 4 wheel drive there would be play without the wheel on as the wheel holds the rotor on the hub and without the wheel on there would be nothing to keep the rotor from moving, some small clips on the wheel lugs possibly. But if the tire shop removed the rotors when they replaced your brake pads they may have neglected to put them back on. More than likely your "chirping" is cause by the rotors being out of round or they have hard spots caused by overheated brakes. An other source is that your pads are glazed - again caused by overheated brakes. Lifetime pads should last considerably longer than 14K mi. Look for a sticking or dragging caliper or possibly riding the brake, often caused by left foot braking.
  • resqmanresqman Member Posts: 71
    I remember the tranny dipstick not seating properly being discussed in other older topics but was not able to find it. I to have that problem. Took it to the dealer and they have ordered a new tube.

    Wondering if anyone else had solved the problem and what fix they implemented.
  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    On post# 6 "Rotondim" asked the same Questions that I was interested in.Comming up on 3000 miles (2970)I'd like to know,the manual says 5w-30 is "preferred" on the 4.7L only,better gas mileage.But that weight is only temperature ranged to 100 degrees.Although it doesn't get to that X-trem here in up state ny,it does get hot,90+.
    By the way I am going to go with Mobil 1.Is the filter out(Mobil) for the 4.7L 2000 Quad yet?What is the #?
  • snowedinsnowedin Member Posts: 58
    I just picked up for the 4.7L 2000 Quad is marked M1-204.
  • colbatescolbates Member Posts: 37
    My truck is just over a month old. Last Monday I was doing a coffee run for the office and a large ice coffee (black with sugar) tipped over from one of those cardboard carry trays. :-( Every day this week I've tried different cleaners to remove the stain from my rear floor carpet. I've been able to lighten the stain, but not remove it yet.

    With my constant cleaning, the spot has not fully dried yet since Monday. So far here's what I've done/used:

    Bissel carpet cleaner/extractor with Bissel Cleaning products
    Tough Stuff Carpet cleaner
    Baking soda and water
    1Lifter carpet cleaner
    Resolve carpet cleaner
    One of those "As seen on TV" Spot Removers
    I've also taken it to a Car Wash/Deatailer and they used an extraction unit and some citris smelling Orange stuff.

    So far, Resolve has worked the best. It fully removed the stain from the rear floor mat, but I soaked the mat in my tub with diluted Resolve overnight. It has also done most of the lightening on the stain that remains on my floor.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. So far, I've had two recommendations from the car wash/detailer: Try an oxidizing cleaner (can't find one in the local stores, yet), or take to a full service detailer that is equipped to dye the rug if necessary. I've also called a few residential carpet cleaners to see if they would try to remove the coffee stain, but none was willing to do such a small job.
  • gsu1gsu1 Member Posts: 43
    Try to use a product called Spot Shot. It is in a blue silver and orange can. My wife loves this stuff. We have light beige carpet in our house and one day some grape juice found its way to the floor. Well she grabbed the Spot Shot and it came right up with a little scrubbing. Since then I have used it in my truck to take out grease and mud (Georgia redclay) stains. I hope this help.
  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    First off don't beat me up to bad..

    Does the 4.7L take the FULL 6 quarts with the filter change?...Be nice..
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    "Does the 4.7L take the FULL 6 quarts with the
    filter change?..."
    YES, nice enough? Rick
  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    Thanks "iowabigguy",that will be all..
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    you might just put in 5 1/2 to start, and then add the other 1/2 as needed. Just to be on the safe side. :-)
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    Shop manual calls for 6 quarts, 5.9 and 3.9 are only 5 quarts. 6 quarts puts it right to the full mark on the dipstick. Rick
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    just not on mine - & that's with extra oomph on the dipstick just to make sure. It takes 5.50 quarts, & I have the extra duty cooling stuff. Maybe I've got a short 'line' in there somewhere. I do use the Mobil 1 filter, maybe it doesn't hold as much as the oem job?! Who knows... anyway, I've seen several people here post similar fill results. Could be a 'build' issue, as mine was 'very early' in the 2000 run. I'd MUCH rather have the 6 quart fill. :'-(
  • ericschultzericschultz Member Posts: 5

    Quick questions from a newbie to this group.

    I'm looking at a 1997 Dakota Sport (V8 Automatic) for my son. There is a problem with though. The vehicle was wrecked (drivers side door, fender, etc). Looks very good now. I will have it checked carefully before I purchase it.

    Anyway, to the remaining problem with it. According to the owner, it is very sluggish when you first start to roll. After you get to five to ten MPH, everythings fine. He said that he did a tranny oil and filter change and found a ton of sludge.

    What are my options as far as rebuilding this goes? Will a rebuilt tranny work OK? While I'm doing this, should I get heavy duty torque converter and other parts?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Any other problems with this model that I should know about?

    Thanks in advance

  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    Man was that fun today!I really like the "HUGE" hole I had to put my arm through to get at that filter.Can hardly wait till my next Oil and filter change,only because I'll be sitting watching it happen.Oh well..
    Anyway I put all 6 quarts in,live on hilly ground.Next parking lot I'll double check it.The book does say 6 quarts not 5.1/2.
    "Jack" I hope it is not a build issue,that would mean they gave me the wrong manual..
  • cowtownaggiecowtownaggie Member Posts: 39
    Saw your post about the coffee stains. One thing I have used with excellent success is a product called Quick -n- Brite. I have had this stuff remove:

    Black "permanent" marker ink (a sharpie marker) from white jeans

    Axle grease from our lite beige living room floor.

    It has save 8 - 10 pairs of dress pants for me - I think it's the best.

    The URL for it is:

    for 25 - 35 bucks, I think it may be worth a shot for you. I have used it on lite gray auto carpet in my 92 van for years (red Kool-aid & a 3 yr old back when).

    For anyonelse also - this is one product I really like & has paid for itself many times over!

    Let me know if it works for you.

  • colbatescolbates Member Posts: 37
    I've got the stain so that's it's pretty light in color now, but it's still there. She-who-must-be-obeyed gave the go ahead to purchase the molded cargo tray from the Dodge Accessory catalog. Out of sight, out of mind. :-)
  • knkresortknkresort Member Posts: 79
    I found a major problem with my Quad Cab. Not
    only does it catch the eye of auto enthusiasts, it
    also caught the eye of a local constable.
    He claims I was going 61 in a 45 zone. I really
    wasn't, really! In fact, I was on my way to play
    golf and I had just turned onto the road leading to the golf course. The cop was coming from the
    other way. He made a quick u-turn, pulled behind
    the truck ahead of me and on went the lights. The
    first truck pulled into the enterance to the golf
    course to get out of the way.

    I pulled in also, to go to the clubhouse, when the
    constable signals me to pull over as well. After
    the traditional license and registration bit, I
    lamented that I could not being doing 61 since I
    just entered the road about 200 yards back.
    Obviously, he didn't believe me.

    To add insult to injury, my boss, with whom I had
    the pleasure of sharing a golf cart with for the
    next two hours, passes us as I am sitting there.
    Finally, as I am paying for the round, the person
    working the counter states that they were right
    behind me and had me pegged at 45 mph. But, they
    have expired tags and don't want to get involved
    (yeah, sure).

    Needless to say, the golf game was a disaster.
    Well, to sum it up: Ticket: $97; Golf round:
    $62.50, Loosing to your boss: $36, having to tell
    your wife: Priceless.
  • vmanvman Member Posts: 103
    Take pictures and fight the ticket.

    colbates: I'm not familiar with the other products mentioned, but I use one of two cleaners to eliminate stains: PRO 409 (any store) or Oil Eater (I get it at BJ's Warehouse).
  • pttaylorpttaylor Member Posts: 34
    After suffering over 1000 miles of the obnoxious chirping noise coming from newly replaced "lifetime" front pads installed at TIRE KINGDOM I took the offending Dakota to the offending TIRE KINGDOM shop and parked it in front of the door and informed the manager that it will remain there until it is fixed. Imagine how much scurrying took place! The, quote, "Natural Chirping til' the pads seat to the rotor", end quote, noise miraculously turns out to be a stripped caliper bolt. And of course they do not take responsibility for it!! Imagine that! When they have been the only people to touch the brakes the last two brake jobs! Brake GREMILINS, obviously...
    Is there a reputable auto shop on this earth??????
  • gbilhimergbilhimer Member Posts: 53
    Yes there are reputable auto shops but they seem to be getting scarce pttaylor. where do you live pttaylor? I have a great mech. but I live in the KC area.
  • pttaylorpttaylor Member Posts: 34
    gbilhimer-What a coincidence I was born and raised in KCMO! Grew up on the East side in the 50s & 60s. I reside on the gulf coast of Florida now, near Tampa Bay.
  • metallianmetallian Member Posts: 13
    Please advise me:
    The manual for my Dakota seems to recommend a 5W30 oil at all times for the 4.7 auto, and I have been adhearing to it. Is this what everyone is doing? Thanks.
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Sounds ok for Green Bay. I use 10W-30 Mobil 1 in super hot W. Texas. If you run a 5W-30 synth oil you'll get 40 weight protection (as compared to petro-based oils) on the upper end for hotter summer driving and towing. The 5 weight is probably good for 0 degrees. You might switch to the new 0W-30 when / if it gets really cold.

    Or just move to Texas where it's 60 in the winter.
  • raptor01raptor01 Member Posts: 45
    Yank,you posted you had a rear-end whine that the dealer fixed. What was done to solve this problem?
  • yank2yank2 Member Posts: 49
    They had to replace the rear end housing the hole was bored out of round. Had hard time with dealer but a friend who is a number one DC teck from N.C. told me what had to be done and they order the parts.
  • knkresortknkresort Member Posts: 79
    Somehow, in the past week, my entire front license plate mounting bracket fell off or was stolen. If they stole it, they pulled the screws out with it. Since it is only mounted to the plastic housing, it is possible.

    Anyway, dealer wanted me to buy a replacement. After a few choice words with the service manager, it was replaced at no cost. Of course, now I have to get new plates :(

  • guannerguanner Member Posts: 31
    Just wondering how long I should wait to wax my truck. keeps getting covered with dirt and I want to protect it as long as I can. so how soon should you wax a new truck?

    Thanx, Scott
  • knkresortknkresort Member Posts: 79
    My entire front license plate bracket and tag was returned to me yesterday. Seems it fell off in the parking garage and the attendant found it.

    CHECK YOUR MOUNTS! Mine was dealer installed with only 2 screws, not nuts and bolts as it is now.

  • bobsyveebobsyvee Member Posts: 63
    You can and should wax as soon as possible.
    The paint methods used today have the finish
    "baked" as the vehicle bodies pass through an oven. Just make sure you've cleaned the surfaces thoroughly, so thayt nothing gets between the wax and the paint. (clear coat)
    Jim h
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Waxing with some soft wax is fine - even some of the Turtle Wax products that spray on at the car wash (not their regular canned stuff) are fine. I used some Meguiar's spray wax the fisrt couple of times on my black Sport. Just don't rub it or clay it for awhile as the paint seemed soft to me for several weeks after I got it (and our weather was still in the 80's and low 90's early last Dec.). If it's dark (black or dark green, etc.) this is especially true, and when you do wax it please don't use circular motions if possible - you don't want the swirlies. You can e:mail me if you like.
  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    I am glag this was brought up.I waited 4 weeks to wax and polish.#1 because it was February when I bought it (cold in Syracuse,no garage)and #2 it came waxed when I picked it up.
    Like Jack I have been using Meguiars,not the spray but the 3 step #1 (surface prep) #2 polish(Deep crystal)#3(Gold class clear coat wax)all liquid and it seems to be a 4 hour affair(washing drying wax on wax off).I have to say I did a lot of looking around an Meguiars is suspose to to be one of the best.I'm not all that impressed.Seems like it needs to be 3 stepped once a month!
    Don't get me wrong I don't mind spend time but 4 hours,there has to be a better way.
    I have the Flame Red which is cake to keep looking clean compared to Black and the Green.But like I said before I am not all that impressed with Meguiars.($45.00 worth).
    What is everyone else using??I'd like to know.Maybe I'm not the only one who feels like this.I need to learn.......LOL
    PS.I have heard of the Zaino brothers,now that is expensive stuff plus I have not seen it applyed in person.Any other ideas????
  • vmanvman Member Posts: 103
    I always USED to use the turtle wax spray, but they must have changed the formula over the years--doesn't seem as good anymore.

    I bought the new tutle wax paste which is carnauba mixed with some other new ingredient with a funny name. I'm pretty pleased with it. I did it about a month ago, and with all the rain since then, and a few washings, it still holds up pretty nice.

    You'll probably have to experiment a little until you find something you like.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    I tried Meguiar's Gold Class clear coat liquid car wax. Went on fast and came off easy. I waxed a month ago and it is still beading rain like when it was applied. Took about 1/2 hour start to finish. My Quad is light driftwood so you don't see the spots I missed. Rick
  • mailman54mailman54 Member Posts: 111
    I tried Meguiar's Gold Class clear coat liquid car wax last night on my truck. Got a big bottle on sale for $7.00 at the local Target store. Don't know about the Meguiar's three step process, but the Gold Class clear coat by itself worked great. Used a buffer to apply it and buff it out. Took less than 30 minutes for the whole thing. Shined like glass. Don't know how it will hold up yet.

  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    I justed used the spray wax (Meguiar's) for the first few weeks till my paint was cured. then I switched to Liquid Glass - I have several concours level Porsches + a couple of bikes that I show (a bit). I'm sure the Zaino product is fine, I've just had spectacular luck with the L/G for decades as well as Mobil 1. I'm sure technology has come a long way with other products, and I'm sure I'll try 'all' for best future results. And of course I'll post the results over time.

    My main concern are Texas bugs and gravel chips that are quite common out here in the boonies. The L/G 'builds' coat by coat (w/o yellowing over time) into a barrier that keeps chipping and staining from being too noticeable. It was developed for the leading edge of airplane wings, and it works quite well on boat hulls as well. :-)
  • raptor01raptor01 Member Posts: 45
    Between wax jobs I use Meguires's Final Inspection #34. Great stuff, just spray and wipe; no haze. My Quad is Patriot Blue so water spots are easily seen. I think you'll be happy with the results....
  • tpmillertpmiller Member Posts: 45
    course the dealer had to wax it after I said don't. After reading many posts in zaino topic, tried it on wife's '89 cavalier and was impressed.Doing same thing with Dakota, will post pix after completed.
  • kwanderikwanderi Member Posts: 33
    After having used this product for a couple of years now, I could not think of using anything else. I applied 3 coats last March when I took delivery and have not had to wash it since. A light brushing with a Calif duster and then a cleaning with Z6 and it still shines like new. Even bugs just disappear with Z6 and a towel. Of course this in the AZ sun, so I've never been rained on yet
  • guannerguanner Member Posts: 31
    meguiar's is for me. will prob. wax in the afternoon tomorrow to calm down after my paramedic entrance exam.. wish me luck and thanx again for the posts..
  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    well, just moved from mississippi to virginia. boy was that fun , NOT!! anyway the trip was great and it took over 1000 miles and 18 hours pulling 5000lb boat and 600lbs of me and gear. i averaged 9mpg and the rearend gears had to be replaced when i got here fyi the rear end has to be changed to synthetic if your doing alot of towing, even if you have the tow package, my dealer in mississippi said the tow package includes the synthetic rear lube, NOT!!! but my new dodge dealer covered it with a smile. i now have 16000miles on my quad, 4.7, auto, new lsd, tow package and all the goodies. sorry been gone so long its hard to have all your stuff packed for almost a month. hope all is well with everyone and welcome to all the new people.

    p.s. i know double posting is frowned on but since the rear end thing happened just wanted to notify everyone, so i am posting in quad and maintenance.

  • bobsyveebobsyvee Member Posts: 63
    The wax I use is Zymol. This is a true wax, with no solvents. One coat is enough for a brilliant, deep shine. It comes in different variations, blended for color, type of paint, and even country of origin. While it is more expensive, each application lasts about 3 months. The detailer at Emmon's Coachworks gave a lesson in waxing, and I was surprised by how little product needed to be applied. Zymol's products use a higher amount of carnauba, about 30 to 40 percent of the container is wax, as opposed to the mass marketed types which might have 7 percent. It won't leave that whitish residue on your plastic parts either.
  • snowedinsnowedin Member Posts: 58
    I was searching for when/if K&N had an induction kit available for the 2000 4.7L when I found this site.

    <<A HREF="">;

    Obviously it's an Amsoil site and not objective but it has me wondering if I want to use a K&N air filter.

    Basically, it states that the K&N is no better at filtering out dirt particles than standard air filters- but does allow more air and with this increased volume of air also comes an increased volume of dirt particles therefore creating a "dirtier" engine than you would have with a standard filter.

    Any comments?

    (P.S. what is the official K&N web site address?)
This discussion has been closed.