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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • This tale is about a 2000 Dakota Sport Quad Cab, 4.7 L. engine.

    Does anyone know what can happen to a 4.7 L. engine in a Dakota Sport if driven with the "check engine" light on? My truck went dead, I checked the code: p0207 & p0307 came up. I phoned the dealer, they said to drive it in to get it checked out. I did, with some dificultly. I had to drive in second gear, go to neutral when slowing down while keeping the rpm up above 1700. The dealer STILL doesn't know what is wrong, after installing a new injector and "brain", and now they're down into the engine.....$1250 later!

    So, my question is: If I'm told to drive it in after telling them the codes, can a ruined "brain" do this kind of damage? It has no compression on cylinder 7, which says to me that the valve is kaput. Any ideas out there?

    Many thanks.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    YIKES!! This would be the very first time I have ever heard of a 4.7L V8 having mechanical problems. How many miles do you have on it?

    It is time to STOP LOOKING AT THE CODES and do some REAL mechanic work. Pull of those magnesium valvecovers and inspect the OHV mechinism.

    How can they charge $1250 with a straignt face and NOT FIX THE PROBLEM. That is a bunch of BS!! Tell them to put the old parts back in and get your $$ back. This is not supposed to be a "guessing game" financed by your bank account.

    I would be raising holy h$%#@$ with the service manager and seriously consider calling the States Atturney. This is an OBVIOUS swindle job they have pulled on you.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Depending on the axle ratio and tire size, 42-44 mph is about the speed you get torque converter lock up. But there are a lot more things to check first.

    Drive shaft zero, drive shaft inclination, bad u-joint(s), bent wheel, poor tire-to-wheel radius match up, broken motor mount, or engine performance problems are possibilities.

  • dhathcockdhathcock Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info. My tire dealer had checked and determined that I had two wheels out of round. One was replaced by the dealer and the other one was determined to be within specifications. I've had the ball joints replaced, sold the 2nd set of tires to a friend who said they were fine ( I told him up front about my problem). My truck rode smooth until I had pulled a 12 foot trailer with 2 four wheelers on board, combined weight of 2500 lbs or less. I'm beginning to wonder whats going on with dodge. I've had two different dealerships look at the problem.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Dodge-built vehicles have tires and wheels that are matched-mounted at the factory. Match-mounting means that the radial runnout of the tire and wheel are measured and the high spot of the tire is mounted at a point directly in line with the low spot of the wheel.

    If you've ever noticed on Dodge trucks there are little round brightly colored sticky dots placed on the outboard side of a tire when the vehicle is new. These mark the apex of the tire's high spot. Chrysler measures the radial runnout of each wheel and places a mark, either a sticky dot or an embossed symbol ("x", "o") on the inside of the rim. When unmounting a tire on a new Dodge truck, the tire should be marked to ensure that it's remounted exactly in the same location.

    When a dealer unmounts a tire they almost never remount correctly, and I know of no truck dealer or national brand tire dealer that checks tire and wheel runnout and match-mounts a tire. Some specialty tire dealers a a few wheel shops around here will do this.

    Lately I've heard of more high tire runnout stories than I ever could remember, although lately they've been almost all F-150 stories. I do know of one person that had a RAM with one wheel having high lateral runnout (wobble).

    Best regards,
  • mystymysty Posts: 1
    I got my 2005 dakota in March. I only have 1850 miles on it. I brought it to the dealer because it developed a really bad shimmy especially when I applied the brakes. It seemed to bump. They also felt the shaking and put in new front rotors. When I picked up the truck the shaking was still there especially as I was going down a hill and then putting on the brakes for the red light at the bottom of the hill. I turned around and brought it back to the dealer. They again felt it and said it was a shimmy in the rear end. They checked the rear brakes and said the drums were manufactured incorrectly and had to machine the drums. I now have the truck back and it still has a shimmy although not as bad. It does shake slightly when I brake. I don't know a whole lot about trucks but it doesn't feel right to me. Are they supposed to drive so rough or should I take it back again? :confuse: (3rd time)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    No. Based on what I heard from '05 owners, the new Dakota is exceptional smooth for a truck.

    Sounds like your dealer's service staff is doing a little guesing and not troubleshooting.

    Keep us posted.

  • dhathcockdhathcock Posts: 4
    I think my problem was a little different than yours. My truck did ride extremely well when I first purchased it, until the vibration or shimmy started. After two dealers, and the 2nd dealer I believe would have liked to repair the truck, stated that he couldn't just start changing parts because chrysler would charge him back if they hadn't identified the problem. One of the reasons that I purchased a dodge was for the warranty. However, with a vibration present, what would be the condition of the truck, the day after the warranty runs out. I couldn't stand it anymore so I got rid of the truck. Sorry but what good is a warranty if it can't be fixed. One thing I did notice with my truck, the brakes just aren't that good, try pulling about 2500 lbs. (1/2 of what they claim) and see how long it takes to stop. If you're planing on keeping your truck stay on your dealer and by all means get a copy of each service for later reference. Good luck!
  • rich14rich14 Posts: 15
    my truck developed a miss last week, starts ok and idels ok but when your driving along and give it gas it misses , any suggestions will be very helpfull.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    How many miles?

    The first thing I'd check is all the connections to the spark plug coils. If they're okay you might have a worn or cracked spark plug or punky coil.

  • Ok,

    Before I get AAA or the service center involved I wanted to check on the boards here. I've got a '02 Dakota Quad 4X4 Sport 4.7, which I absolutely love. I haven't had any problems with it...until now. It has 61k miles and wouldn't start today. It seemed like the battery (little to no power and clicking noise when start). After jumping however the car would idle very briefly and then die. My initial thoughts are 1) the battery is totally shot and can't keep a charge to no matter what's happening the alternator won't help. That being said, I'd think it would keep running even then with pass through voltage. 2) It could be the alternator, I have a little juice left in the battery, however it won't charge up.

    I can't drive it in it's current condition because it won't stay running. Is there anyway I can diagnose whether it's an alternator issue without a voltimeter?

    Thanks in advance.
  • rich14rich14 Posts: 15
    dusty, you was right on the nose. it has 80,000 miles on it , i ordered a set of plugs yesterday and installed them last night and one plug looked like the porcellon (spelling) was stained, like it was leaking. no miss now!!! thanks
  • haselhasel Posts: 64
    Sounds like you need a Battery
  • ron35ron35 Posts: 134
    Sounds to me from everything you describe that it is the battery. They are usually good for about 3 years, even my heavy duty only lasted 3 1/2 years. Also sounds as though you are going to need a new battery no matter what so I would definitely start there. Another factor is that I haven't heard of many alternator problems with the 4.7 engine in the 5 years I have been monitoring this and other Dakota boards.

  • ccrfanccrfan Posts: 2
    I need help! When I use my cruise control, it misses and drops anywhere from 100-200 rpm. The slower I go, the more this occurs (2001 V6 Quad cab). I just got the truck back from the Dodge dealer yesterday and they were unable to solve the problem. I've read that there is a black ball that is connected to a vaccum hose and if this hose has a crack, this could be the problem. Does anyone know about this so-called black ball and where it's located?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    There appears to be a strange relationship between the battery and the rest of a Dakota.

    Something about the electronics makes the Dak very sensitive to the condition of the battery. I have witnessed rough idle, stalling, intermittent illumination of all of the instrument cluster gauges or just a malfunction lamp, erratic "P" codes, the door chime going off randomly, and even poor fuel consumption, conditions that went away for a long, long time as soon as the battery was replaced.

    There's also a certain population of the factory batteries not going very far. I think one individual in here had to replace a battery under two years.

    My recommendation is to replace the battery with a good unit and re-evaluate your charging and electrical system. I'm guessing that once the battery is replaced it'll be okay.

    Please keep us posted.

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think you'll find that on your 2001 Dakota everything in the speed control system is electronic, so there's no more vacuum line going to the speed control servo.

    However, you could have a cracked vacuum hose somewhere else. I would suspect that the vacuum line going to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is okay because you're not indicating any other maladies. If there was a vacuum leak to the PCM I'd suspect there would be other symptoms. not sure as of yet how the cruise control being enabled could cause this problem.

    Have you been able to pull any fault codes out of it?

  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    Many of the newer vehicles are VERY sensitive to the condition of the battery.

    In the case of the Dak in mention, I am actually suprised that it was able to be 'jumped off' at all.

    With regard to vehicles in the 21st century, I would not (and do practice the same) even consider 'jumping one off'. Just go ahead and use that time and energy to get a new battery, paying close attention to the type battery and installation procedure.

    Newer vehicles work solely off an electronic chain of command, directed by a computer. Just like any computer, they are very susceptible to electrical interference and/or deviation.
  • I have a 1991 dodge dakota 4X4 with a automatic transmittion and a 318 V-8 motor, it has electric locks and windows along with air conditioning, pretty much loaded and it has 192,000 miles. Here is my question i have a charging problem it has a nippendenso alternater, i had the alternater checked out it is putting out 18 volts and 92 amps so it is working good. I asked about a voltage regulater and what i have heard is the voltage regulater is located in the computer, is this true and if it is true where do i find the computer and what does it look like. I have looked under the dask and even took the dash apart as much as i could and didnt see anything that i thought was a computer but then again im not sure what it looks like. Can you please help me locate the computer and can you tell me if this is true that the voltage regulater is in the computer. I also forgot to tell you it does charge just enough to not run the battery down unless i use the lights and a bunch of electrical things. Thanks for your help on this.......
  • forester1forester1 Posts: 1
    I recently had the transmission on my 01 Dakota 3.9L V6 4X4 overhauled due to O.D snap ring chunks found in the transmission, and bad Gov Sol. After getting the truck back, I've noticed an annoying squeeking/soft rattling sound coming from below the dash or floor, but only when the truck is in gear. The transmission runs great, but I can't figure out whats causing this noise. I just wanted to check and see if anyone has heard or experienced this, and if so, what was found as the cause.
  • rich14rich14 Posts: 15
    well this is the second problem in a week, blower motor just quit, wont work on ac or heat,, anyone have any ideas??? please help!!! im wilting in the heat...
  • rich14rich14 Posts: 15
    ok i fixed the blower motor problem.. it was the blower motor resistor, a $10.00 part.. the parts manager said i should buy a few of these,, thats nice to know
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think they were ECMs on your vintage, but my son had a '91 and I believe the computer is behind the foot kick panel on the passenger side. This would be the plastic panel that covers the area just below the dash on the right side.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Check for something loose underneath the floor area that might have been disturbed when the transmission was removed. A lot of times these types of problems are caused by not having everything tight or in the correct position.

  • sundevil99sundevil99 Posts: 20
    I've posted this in a couple of different Dakota forums.

    I just purchased a used '99 Dakota, RC, 5spd Manual, 4x4. It doesn't have a single cup holder in the entire cab.
    I would like to have something on the floor, but there's not much room around the sticks for the transmission and 4WD.
    Any suggestions?

  • 03ram03ram Posts: 4
    i recently bought a mopar push button start kit on ebay and i need to know anything and everything i will need to wire this thing. my understanding is that i need to buy 2 wires for this job (kit came with no wires). one wire goes to the power wire and one goes to the start wire. i have no idea how to do this... o dont know how to even access these wires. do these wires have a specific color that could tell me which ones they are? anything would be helpful.. thanks alot
  • pentastarpentastar Posts: 4
    I am going to replace that same sensor on a family Dakota soon,it is a '99 4WD sport and I just got the part from Tenefly.The part # they sent was 05013660AA and I cannot find a pic of the part anywhere but the part I got has a small square shank coming out of the bottom that looks like it would go in a speedometer drive and I am wondering if it is the correct part.My understanding is that the transmission also has a speed sensor on it and I am worried that the part they sent was the wrong one.
    The vehicle in question is hard to get standing still long enough to work on it and when I go under there I want the right part in my hand.
    I posed this question to Dwane at Tenefly and he could not answer me or at least did not give me an authoritive answer so I am asking anyone that knows if they can remember what their part looked like before it was installed.
    I have a '95 1500 SLT 4WD and have the FSM for it but comparing what I have and speculating is not good enough,I am sure his is different.Mine has a tone wheel on the ring gear but his may not.My pickup sure looks like the one they sent me on the outside but that does not mean a whole lot either.If anyone can help me I would appreciate a reply................Dwayne says to give him the part number off of the old one...............NS.............I will know by that time if it is the right one or not.....LOL Ron G
  • dnjonesdnjones Posts: 1
    I was curious if you had any luck in figuring out your electrical problem with your Dodge Dakota? I just had a very similar thing happen to my 01 Dakota. I was out of town for a week and when I returned, the truck was completely dead. I jump started it. It took a while to charge, but finally started. Now everything works besides I have no headlights, parking lights, and the electric door locks do not work. I found that if I turn the headlights to high beam, they come on but flicker a lot. The brake lights also work fine. I also noticed that the interior lamps flicker a lot and the key buzzer sounds very strange.

    I have heard a lot of problems contributed to the battery and will probably change that, but was hoping to hear from you on what you found.


    David Jones
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Cop holders are a big deal with you and you didn't notice there were none when you bought this? Go down to your local auto parts store, Wally mart, etc. and see what kind of accessories there are.
  • jimqjimq Posts: 14
    On 1999 models if you have the split bench seat the cup holders are located
    underneath the center portion. Just pull on the plastic piece located on the front of the center portion and they should fold out. At least that is the way it was set up on the vehicles with auto trans.
This discussion has been closed.