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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I have a cap on my truck and visability out the back window is nil. Most trucks have no rear window at all. It took me a while to get accostumed to using the side mirrors but now I can back up as well as any trucker using just the mirrors.

    Perhaps you just need to start using your mirrors as they are meant to be used.

    Another option would be to keep a rag in your truck and simply wipe off the rear window on those rare occasions it gets fogged up.

    OR... you could always drive your Dakota like my wife does mine.... never EVER back up.
  • well, i would check and see how your mass air flow sensor is doing. what it does is regulate the ammount of air and gas mixture being put into the engine. that might be starting to go, and if the gas cap could have been bad, it could have been allowing moisture into the gas tank, and that moisture could have made the mass air flow sensor freak out
  • had warranty replacement of master cylinder and power assist unit. brakes are soft and need bled but dealer is either lazy or incompetent , puts more effort into smooth talking than into troubleshooting/repairing. I've been away from shade-tree
    repairs for a while , what is the procedure for a home hack without a manual to bleed ABS brakes? Sounds like you guys have been through all of this and I hope you still visit the site to help us other poor fools.
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    I replaced my Silverado extcab with the Dakota and that's how I used to back that thing up, with the mirrors. After posting the query, I got to thinking that putting in a rear defroster would not be a good idea anyway. I eventually want to get a cap and it would be 1 more thing to go wrong. Thanks for the feedback.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dakota does not use MAF (MassAirFlow)sensor ... instead it uses MAP(Manifold Absolute Pressure)sensor.

    MAF sensor is more accurate. It actually measures the mass of the airflow into the engine and automatically compensates for temparure and air-density. MAF is also more expensive and very sensitive to contamination. (Oiled-guaze airfilters can ruin a MAF sensor)

    MAP is just a vacuum sensor in the intake manifold. The computer has to also take temparture readings and other sensor inputs to CALCULATE the amount of air entering the engine. MAP based systems are cheeper... but tend to be inaccurate. As airfilter starts to plug and air-density flucuates, its calculations are less than accurate.


    ALSO: Moisture in the fuel has no affect WHATSOEVER on either MAF or MAP systems. The fuel never ever comes anywhere near either of the sensors.
  • Have you solved the problem with the gas gauge? I have a 2002 dakota quad cab with the 4.7/auto that started the same problem. It started out a couple of weeks ago,intermittently, when the tank got low on fuel, but today the tank was 3/4 full the gauge went to empty and will not move.
  • At the 70K maintenance servicing at the dealer, I was advised during fluid levels checks that the rear differential fluids had traces of metal in the oil and further visual checks indicated that the LSD clutch retainers are broken and the mechanism has begun to slide from its normal position. The parts are on order and will replace when they arrive. There is absolutely no noise whatsoever but, they said it is ok to continue driving. I wonder if the gears are damaged? Has anyone experienced this situation with their Dakota or can offer some information on this? I am a normal sedate driver and am puzzled what could have caused it. Any recommendations are muchly appreciated. Specs - 2003 Quad Cab 4.7L 2WD LSD 3.92 5-45RFE Auto Trans.

    Thanks in advance.
  • This is a known problem for the dakota with LSD rear differential. Good thing it was caught while under warranty. Should not cost you anything. Most in the know will change the rear differential fluid before 20K to check on the clips. If not fixed in time the differential will fail and cost big bucks to fix.
  • My truck has been making a strange squeeking noise. I can only hear the noise between 25 and 50 mph.Slower or faster then that and I cannot hear it. It sounds like it is coming from the rear passenger side. The sound speeds up a little as i accelerate between 25 and 50. Was at the dealership awhile ago and asked about it and they said it was probably just due to the new tires. Been a few months and it is still doing this. Any ideas as to what it is?
  • mike133 - thanks for your feedback.

    Was there a standard TSB issued on this or a recall issued? I can't find any details on this issue.

  • I am not aware of any TSB on it. Not all LSD rear differentials will have this problem. Check out other Dodge Dakota and Dodge Ram forums. The C-clips for the LSD will come loose or fall out and cause damage. Will usually happen under 20K and differential will fail after warranty is up. The only way to know for sure is with a visual inspection with the rear housing cover off. This is a problem in the current and past years.
  • THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT. I just hopped on here to find that someone gave a false explanation of the MAP/BARO system as well as the MAF. THanks for putting it straight. Have been ASE certified for years now and am considering a Dakota. I have read all about the brakes, etc and wonder mostly about fuel consumption / mileage. WHat are you guys getting for mileage on the 4.7, the 3.7 and the HO 4.7/5.2 motors. Would appreciate info.
  • THere are no rear defroster kits any longer that are worth a crap. It used to be that you could install a kit from Frostemp, Winzer, Clardy, Borg Warner or Wurth, but none produce it any longer.

    I was the service manager at an quto-electric repair facility for 4 years and we installed defrost, cruise, seat heaters, obstacle sensing systems, etc along with severe diagnosis and full scale repairs. Believe me, you would be much better off with a new window.

    Once you consider, really consider the costs, of an aftermarket kit, the wiring, relay, switches and blank fuse panel wiring and location for the load of 10-20 amps, then it is not even worth it. Besides, here in the NW, I have yet to see a parts store offer such a thing. Their repair kits, which are avail. for cracks less than 1 inch long on a grid line, are made by Permatex (c)and are junk as well. Try to stay far away from A/M kits for accessories such as you mentioned, if you don't want a migraine headache.
  • Has anyone been able to replace just the bearing on the A/C pulley? I have a loud grinding/squeaking noise on my '00 quad cab that spray lube won't quiet.
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    modanncnr - thanks for the input, after much consideration I have decided it would be better to just leave well enough alone. I lived this long without a rear defroster.
  • mike133 - thanks for the feedback and tips. The clutch retainer clips were replaced under warranty; however, I had to pay a $100 deductible fee to offset the repair costs.

    Has anyone heard of such a requirement for rear-end differential repairs under factory warranty?

  • It depends upon whether or not you're still under the 3/36 bumper to bumper warranty. I believe the 7/70 powertrain warranty carries with it a $100 deductible, while the B2B warranty does not.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    "Was yours the 8.25 or the 9.25 axle?"

    HINT: Count the bolts on the differential cover the 9.25" has 12 bolts while the 8.25" has only 10 bolts holding the cover on.

    BTW: I beleive that the 9.25 was only delivered on 4X4 Dakotas
  • I have a 2000 Dakota with a turn signal problem. Passenger side works fine but the drivers side blinks very fast.
    there are no bulbs burnt out. What could be the problem?
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Usually, that would indicate a bulb. You might try replacing the "flasher can" to see if that takes care of it.

  • It must be the flasher cause all the lights are working correctly. None burnt out.
  • I have an '01 4.7L Quad Cab 4x4. The key fob and door switches won't actuate the door locks or alarm system. PW work. Emergency flashers and turn signals work but dash lights and head/tail lights don't. Radio works but not with column controls. Idiot light on dashboard shows "Check 4WD". Engine, brakes and steering are fine. Any ideas????
  • had to replace a/c clutch assembly. $240 from dealer
  • tiiitiii Posts: 1
    First make sure it is the clutch bearing. If the noise stops when the engine is running and A/C is on, it is the clutch bearing. If not, it's something else. I was able to replace the bearing on my '98 Dakota. With engine off, turn key on and A/C on, and take off front nut. Turn key off and pry outer plate off. Next is a snapring to remove clutch rotor (part whre belt rides). As I remember, bearing is inside rotor, and I think held on with another snapring. Bearing I purchased was Nachi 35BG05S10G2DST2, got it from local industrial bearing/belting/hose supplier.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    BRAVO to you!! I like to hear when folks are able to go outside the "auto world" to fix somthing.

    When it comes to bearings... all the automakers just select bearings out of a book. There is nothing "special" about the bearings besides the specs. selected out of the bearing book.

    I often use local indristral bearing supplier when I need bearings. I just take in the bearing to be replaced, they measure it with a verniar caliper and usually have several "options" like "how many balls?" and "what kind of seals?". I rebuilt an out-of-production Itialian minibike (Benelli) and all the engine bearings and wheel bearings were in-stock items at indrustial-supplier.
  • I have a 2001 Dakota SLT Quad cab, 4.7L auto and I'm having the same problem at 68,000 mi. I'm wondering if anyone ever helped you with your problem. I couldn't find the answer. In another forum, I found someone mentioned a Timer Control Module for a similar problem in a 2002 Dakota 4X4. Please let me know what you found out. Thanks Dakotason.
  • dewaltdakota - thanks; that explains it.

    The 3/36 bumper to bumper warranty has ended and the 7/70 powertrain warranty is currently applicable.

  • Hi Dusty,

    If I recall, I believe the glovebox decal indicated Corporate 9.25 inch. I will double check.

  • Hi Bruce,

    Good point; I will do a bolt count to compare with the glovebox information to confirm and report.

  • Thermostat and blower working OK, but no heat. Heating is OK otherwise. Can anyone suggest how to fix?
This discussion has been closed.