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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • snturnersnturner Posts: 2
    Dealer says it is the torque convertor. They are putting a new one in now. We'll see what happens :lemon:
  • ticc94ticc94 Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Dakota Sport, 4WD. The end of the shift lever with the Overdrive On/Off Switch is loose, and the wires have worn to the point of random shorting in the lever. Any ideas what wiring colors are under the dash coming out of the column to install a replacement switch on the dash?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I use a neat tool that I found at WallyMart (near the car-batteries) to test the charging system. It is a voltmeter that plugs into the ciggerete-lighter socket.

    I can monitor the charging voltage "insitu" while driving under all kinds of conditions. This is the only REAL way to ensure that the charging system is working properly.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If you are showing a charge then the alternator is charging the battery. Depending on the ambient temperature, the maximum charge rate would be something around 15 volts. Try to get a better instrument reading of the voltage at the battery terminals with an accurate voltmeter to verify the charging voltage. If it is indeed 16 volts it may be overcharging the battery and damaging it over time.

    The voltage regulator has been internal to the computer on Chrysler products since the early 80s at least. If your's is overcharging the computer is a likely suspect. Battery draw with the engine ignition switch in the off position and all lights and accessories off, should be approximately 20 milliamperes.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dont forget that there is a tepmurture sensor under the battery. According to the facroty shop manual, that sensor is used to feedback the battery temperture to the regulator . (Which Dusty correctly identified as placed in the computer)

    If that temp. sensor is wrongly sensing the battery, obviously, the charging voltage could be affected.
  • my motor knocks bad when the accelarator is pushed.??just started yesterday.
  • gtownguygtownguy Posts: 73
    Hello Everyone;

    I have a 01 QC 4x4 4.7l auto. Just today I noticed when I put my heat or A/c on the only speed that works is the high setting on the knob. The first three are dead- no fan movement. Any ideas what this may be???

    All responses appreciated

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Yep. I'm pretty sure you'll find that the fan speed resistor is open. The high setting draws current directly without going through the resistor. It is not an expensive repair.

  • gtownguygtownguy Posts: 73
    Hi Dusty;
    Where is it located, look like, and approx $..
    I have an extended warrantee so for my deduct.$50 is it worth it........
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    On your 2001 I think it's attached to the bottom of the fan motor housing. However, Dakota had a change where they were mounted to the floor pan. Not sure on your 2001.
    I'm pretty sure the resistor is under $20. Not sure what Dodge will get for labor, but you might be close to your deductible.

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    What you describe is "engine knock" or "pre-ignition"... is there any chance you reciently filld up with fuel? Too-low octaine fuel is the most common cause of knocking under load. Try a tank full of hi-test fuel and see if the problem goes away.

    If that does NOT cure the problem, then suspect lean-running conditions or carbon build-up in the combustion chambers. Somtimes, dirty injectors will not automize the fuel sufficently.

    Worst case, you may have a mechanical probelm such as collapsed lifter or failing bearing.
  • i think so on the mechanical.going to dealership tomm.thnxz
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    gtownguy, I also have a 2001 Dak. I replaced the resistor some time ago for the problem that you are experiencing. The resistor is about $10 at the dealer. It is mounted vertically in the fan case under the dash forward of the glove box. If you look under the dash on the passenger side you can see the five wires that go to the plug. It is easier if you remove the two attaching screws first and pull the resistor out with the plug attached. The plug has a locking catch that is a little difficult to figure out in place. Part # 4885635AC

    Good luck, Dick
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Here we were, tooling along on the Garden State Parkway and the "check engine" light came on. After affirming that I had oil, coolant and all of the belts in one piece, I proceeded to the nearest Dodge dealer in Manahawkin, NJ. It was late afternoon and I pulled the code, "P0442" and gave it to them. Got nothing but a dumb look and they asked for registration and mileage. I have an extended service plan with a $100.00 deductible. Well, it was the gas tank cap (not loose, but failed) and it cost me $100.00 plus $6.00 tax. But what could I do, as I was on the highway, and didn't have any options. As a matter of fact, I am taking the truck to PA on Thursday for routine LOF and probably could have had them read the code there. Anyhow, the light is out and I am also out; $106.00.

  • spzerospzero Posts: 1
    i have a 1990 dodge dakota.2 wheel drive. 3.9 liter v6. i recently tried to install a cd player by myself. i think i might have blown a fuse or wire somewhere. the headlights,panel lights,and brake lights dont work. any advice
  • gtownguygtownguy Posts: 73
    Hi Dick;
    Thanks Dick and all others who replied. I got the part (10.00) and replaced it last night. It works fine now. It was exactly where you said and thanks for the tip to remove it first before uncliping it. This site seems to be saving me more and more $, thanks!
    Bookitty- sorry about your cap, same thing happened to me, but luckily someone said to try a $12. gas cap first. I did and it worked. Afterwards I took apart my 01 oem cap and saw why it failed. It had metal discs in there and they had corroded. (looked like some type of valveing).

    Here's and update on my ride mechanically, 01 QC 4x4, 4.7 auto. 50k miles, at 2k bad injector,(warranty +poss. dealer trumped up to get work?),at 20k had sway bar bushings changed(warr.), at 30k had armrest hinge cover replaced(warr),had faulty headlight switch replaced under warr. at 35k, had bad fuel cap at 42k, had ball joint recall at 45k, changed plugs with oems at 47k (worn bad) , 50k blower resistor block, and recently used a lot of fuel inj cleaners and seemed to help idle.
    Other than synt oil changes at every 5-6k ,tire rotation every 7-8k, a k&n air filter at 20k, and changed rear end oil to mob1 gear oil at 30k.
    This summer plan to- change rear end fluid again(did not like some metal shavings in there), front diff, poss transfer and trans?, change antifreeze.
    In fall plan- poss brakes, shocks??? I have an extended warr to 60k, but most of this little stuff after 36k I do myself as its not covered.

    Thanks, I may not always post, but I do check frequently.
  • Okay, we were able to get a new battery and start the truck. We took it in to have the alternator tested on the vehicle. It was showing up as faulty. We purchased a new one and installed it over the weekend.

    By Monday, the battery was dead again and the engine died upon reaching work.

    Just prior to dying, the engine revved up significantly and the voltage meter moved further to the left indicating less and less charge.

    Two Questions:
    We plan to have someone look at the computer now to see if there is anything wrong with that. Any items we should be looking out for when we talk to the technicians about the computer?

    I have not seen the heat sensor under the battery... can you describe it for me?

    Thanks for all the input!

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I don't think the '91s had the battery temperature sensor. My son had a '91 and I don't remember seeing it.

    From your incident description it just sounds like your not charging. If the alternator is proven to be good, there must be either a wiring or a voltage regulator problem.

    Recheck that alternator. I've seen my share of aftermarket or rebuilt alternator fail quickly.

    Good luck,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I agree with Dusty. The worst alternators are the ones that are "guaranteed for life" The reason they are soooo cheeep is that they DO NOT TEST THEM after rebuilding... they save money by letting the CUSTOMERS test them (by installing them in their cars) I know this because I have called the rebuilders and they said that the internal diodes are not even tested....just new bearings and brushes.

    I have personally had to replace one of those "guaranteed for life" alternators 3 times before getting one that lasted longer than a month.

    Depending on the amount of labor involved to replace the alternator, this may or may-not be a good way to go. On some vehicles, the entire bumper and radiator must be removed to replace the alternator.... in those cases, I would just purchanse a better replacement part to begin with.

    A good rule of thumb to live by " A 'NEW' COMPONENT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS A 'GOOD' COMPONENT "
  • Well we took it in to have someone run some tests to see what was up. Now we are seeing cut wires, burned wiring harnesses and so forth, which we didn't see before. It makes sense to me that these could be causing shorts in the system that are draining the battery or not telling the alternator to charge the battery.

    We have it going to an electrical shop now to see there is anything they can tell us. We will have them test the "new" alternator too while it's there to see if there is any indication it is bad.

    We'll see what happens next.

    Thanks for all the input!

  • berettaberetta Posts: 1
    Hey Everyone,
    I'm new but need help, I have been told there are two oxygen sensors on the 92 Dodge Dakota but can't find it. Found one before catalytic converter on passenger side approx. 16 to 18 inches before converter, this is a V8 5.2 with single exhaust. Before I rip what is left of my hair out I need HELP!!!!!!
  • fmrvettefmrvette Posts: 3
    I've a week old 2005 Quad Cab. The truck has no body side moldings.

    Has anyone added an aftermarket set, and if so can you supply source?

    I added a tonneau cover and door edge protectors, but in my parking environment side moldings would be a paint saver.


  • fmrvettefmrvette Posts: 3
    If anyone has installed a CB and antenna in a Quad Cab - how did you route the antenna cable?


  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    During my days as an undergrad, I worked two summers in a non-union sweat shop that rebuilt starters and alternators. Whether or not they were typical of the industry I don't know, but I do know on the A-Line group of starters and alternators, everything was replaced except the case and rotor. The E-Line, the 19.99 el cheapos got little more than new brushes, bushings in the drive end, and a nice coat of paint. Solenoids on Mopar and Delco were checked for opens and put on.
    Matter of fact, the owner, who would rather run naked in the Indy 500 than spend a nickel, got his [non-permissible content removed] in the wringer with Delco when they discovered we were subbing eline units for A-Line but charging them full rebuilt price!
  • moaboveparmoabovepar Posts: 11
    I own a '02 Dakota QC 4.7L . My CEL came on recently and the code I got off the odometer reads "P 0601". I looked it up at and it says "Internal powertrain control module fault condition. (failed memory checksum)" What exactly does this mean? Is it bad? I do have an extended warranty, don't know if it covers this though.
    Please let me know what you think.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I cannot speak for the SPECIFIC problem that you have... but my training in electronics and programming can explain "failed memory checksum"

    All PROMs (Programmable Read Only Memory) have a checksum. It is basically all of the bits for the REAL program added togehter and saved as a single number.
    So at anytime in the future, the validity of the saved program can be verified by adding together all the bits and checking that answer against this number. Thus the name "checksum"

    Bottom line... if a "checksum error" ever shows up... the contents of the PROM has been compromized and is known to not match the original programming. Unfortunately a "checksum error" only can tell you that somting is wrong... not WHAT is wrong.

    This checkum is also used by the factory techs to tell if somone has been messing with the programming of their onboard computer. (usually to improve perfomance by injecting more fuel or changing the timing)

    If you have not been re-progamming your onboard computer, It sounds as if your computer may need to be replaced. It is a good thing you have that warantee.
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    Bruce is "right on the money" again. The Powertrain Diagnostics Manual addresses Code P0601-PCM Internal Controller Failure.
    Possible Causes: Powertrain Control Module.
    Action: Replace and program the PCM.
    I Would think that your warranty would cover it.

  • alakatosalakatos Posts: 1
    I need help finding the location of the blower motor fan for my 1990 Dodge Dakota.
    I'm 17 and trying to rebuild it. If the library was open I could get a manual for it, but not possible. Can ANYBODY PLEASE HELP ME?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My son had a '91. I'm pretty sure it's roughly located behind the glove box. You should be able to see the motor housing by looking upwards from the bottom of the dash in the area of the glove compartment.

  • dhathcockdhathcock Posts: 4
    I bought my Quad in may of 04. About a month later I started feeling a vibration at around 43-44 mph. It got worst the warmer the temp was. My dealer said I had bad tires. I bought a new set of tires, and no change. The dealer said those tires were bad so I purchased a set of really good tires and still have the vibration. Toward the end of summer the vibration seemed to slow down after replacing an axle and bushings. Now it is warmer and the vibration is back. My dealer cannot figure it out. Anyone else with this problem? :mad: :lemon:
This discussion has been closed.