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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • I bought a 2000 QC Sport in April. It has 10,600 miles. Friday, when I got home and turned off the ignition, what sounded like a fan motor wouldn't shut off. Apparently, it ran all night long because when I went out the following morning, the battery was dead. Called a tow truck for a jump and it took the guy about 10 tries before he could get it started. I was thinking that it might have something to do with the computer and when the battery died, it re-set it because I haven't had any more problems with it. Would you guys know what could have caused this? The lame dealership couldn't look at it until Monday but if it's nothing to worry about, I won't waste my time going back to the dealer. Thanks.
  • mrjakemrjake Posts: 27
    Just wondering if anyone has had any feed-back on any paint sealer products. I just turned 100 miles on my new CC, and wondering about the DiamondKote paint sealer the dealer offers. Being how my new truck is black head to toe, I am weighing anything to help it stay looking good and glossy. Also wondering what the general opinion is on the use of synthetic oil in the 4.7?
  • ohc_babyohc_baby Posts: 116
    Don't sweat synthetic in the 4.7. The only reason you might not want to use synthetic is if you have a worn or low-tolerance engine. These 4.7s have very tight clearances and are ideal for synthetic 5W30, per the manual. If you live in a very warm climate, you might want to go to 10W40, or try 0-weight oil in VERY cold conditions. I put 5W30 Mobil 1 in at 200 miles and have put 2900 miles on it in the month afterward. With the usual light-duty and high mileage that my truck sees, I'm feel better about the manual's 7500 mi service interval with synthetic in it.
  • Not sure that I would go synthetic at 200 miles. Two reasons - why change oil after 200 miles? And why risk it? To make sure that the engine has really settled in I would wait until a 'normal' oil change - say 3000 miles.

    I know that some performance cars come with synthetic in them new, but I just don't think that the benefit is worth the risk on very low mileage vehicles.
  • Hello, Has anyone had anyone else had their
    catalytic converter replaced on their dodge dakota pickup? I have only 35,000 miles on my
    pickup and i have had my catalytic converter
    replaced 2x's and each time i've had to wait
    atleast a month per time for them to get one into
    stock. Th reason i was given was that it was on
    back order and the supplier couldnt keep up with
    the orders they had. I wanted to know if this was
    a cronic problem with that years model and wether
    or not dodge had made any plans on fixing this problem ? I have written dodge but havent gotten a response yet. I would really appreciate your
    input. thanks
  • carls5carls5 Posts: 62
    I have not seen this topic discussed before but does anyone know of a reason why you should not use a fuel injector cleaner on the 4.7? Is any one brand better than another or does anyone have a preference.

    I will appreciate any words of wisdom.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (carls5) Have you considered just running a tankfull of high-quality fuel once in a while? Most major brands of gasoline offer a hi-test that contains cleaners/carbon-removers.

    I am not aware of any 'scientific' data on the effectiveness of fuel additives. (except de-icer which can save one from being stranded on a COLD COLD day.)

    I have tested injectors. (actually removed and observed the spray-patterns) after many thousands of miles and have NEVER found a "cleaner" to improve a poor injector.
  • carls5carls5 Posts: 62
    Bruce, no truthfully I never thought of it but it is a good idea and I will try it. I normally use either Beacon or AM-PM. I am not sure if these meet your definition of a major brand or if you were thinking more Shell or Chevron. Do you know what I should be looking for to determine that a particular brand will have the cleaner. When you say high test are you referring to going to a higher octane every so often to clean the injector. I hate to appear ignorant on these issues but I am. In the past with my older vehicles I have alway used a mid-grade gas from same stations that I now go to and every 3-4 tankfuls threw in a bottle of injector cleaner. I am not sure now if it ever helped or if I lucked out and the brand of gas happened to contain the cleaner you mention.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I was thinking of MOBIL because they tout their hi-grade as being "DRIVE YOUR CAR CLEAN" gas.
    I realize that not everyone has access to this stuff.I beleive Sunoco and Exxon may also have this 'feature' in their hi-grade fuels. Sunoco used to have a FILTER on each hose. (Have not been to Sunoco station lately, perhaps somone else can confirm)

    I am NOT saying that ALL hi-test will help to clean your fuel system. Think about WHERE the crud comes from in the first place....THE FUEL (Poor handling, dirty trucks, pooly maintained ungerground tanks...etc)

    The worst fuel problem I ever had was on my motorcycle... I bought fuel from a no-name station near a lake....I barely made it home and found a 1/2 inch of water in the fuel tank. I suspect their underground tanks were leaking.
  • livnlrnlivnlrn Posts: 76
    Okay, I found a TSB or maybe more than one that is similar to problems that I am seeing in my truck. Now what do I do? Print them out and bring it to the dealer? Do the dealers already know these things? Are these "approved fixes" that I shouldn't have to fight to get? What does a TSB do for me I guess. Thanks bpeebles
  • Best way I have found to clean fuel injectors, and carbon in various other locations, is an Italian tune up - it works wonders on my XJ-S and should work on most things. Combine it with a tank of the 'superclean' style gasolines and you should be fine.

    TSB is a heads up for the dealers of a potential problem, so yes they are aware - but take a copy anyway. They will probably try and convince you that your problem is unrelated, but bottom line is that a TSB is designed to fix a problem that was caused by a design / build weakness and you are entitled to get it fixed.
  • tuvtesttuvtest Posts: 237
    OK, I admit My good old American Muscle may not be as sophisticated as your Euro imports, But have to admit this "Italian Tune-up" has me scratching my my head. Marinara suace in the tank... garlic bread air filter...spagetti plug wires (OK,that I've seen), I'm just confused. Please define.
  • High rpm, high load for reasonable distance.

    In practice it means running the truck at 4500+ revs in 3rd or (maybe) 4th for 4 or 5 miles, or kicking the automatic into 2 from drive for the same distance. Gets the engine's juices flowing and cleans the crud. You can really see the difference in the exhaust of the XJ-S really kicks out some soot, I suspect it may be because the cylinders are fairly small (12 cyl / 5.3L) but the effect works on anything to a greater or lesser extent.

    Note - it has to be under load, sitting in neutral on your driveway won't do it.

    Spaghetti wires - oh yes - Lucas electrics :-)
  • tuvtesttuvtest Posts: 237
    Know the method, the term is new. the old Six-Packs and dual quads have the same problem with "gunk" build-up (yes, that is a technical term), and need the secondary linkages tested once in awhile.
  • carls5carls5 Posts: 62
    Thanks for the input. I will look into what the local gas stations have to offer.

    I appreciate your response.
  • bsparxbsparx Posts: 84
    A couple weeks ago I posted about my dealer looking at my QC before ordering parts for a recall which didn't seem to need any parts.

    "Parts" came in, took it in yesterday. They claim that some trans vent hoses are fine, some need the hose shortened, and some need it replaced - mine was in the 3rd category. I guess they fixed it; the service writer didn't know where it was, and the tech was already gone when I picked it up...

    I also had it in for the 'Wheel Grind TSB'. This was my 4th visit for this one - yes if I want to be a real problem I'm into lemon territory. They replaced right front diff axle bearing and seal "to correct noise (N/C)". But its still making the same noise. The boots on both ends of the right front axle have no fingerprints on them at all. What do I think happened? I'll leave it to your imagination...

    But the question now: Do I spend time trying another dealer? Do I go to DC Corporate? Do I tell the dealer I'm returning it? I love the truck, this is my only complaint. There is a legitimate TSB on the problem, and I think any decent service dept. should be able to fix it, Negherbon Dodge in Oakland, CA just dosen't seem to have a decent service dept. Advice would be most appreciated...sorry for the long post, but hopefully we can all learn something about dealing with uncooperative / ignorant service departments.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If you are suggesting that they only CLAIMED to replace the bearing. (But did not), this is pretty serious.

    They may not be cheating YOU but could be billing DC for warantee work not preformed. HOWEVER, I know that DC mandates that all parts replaced under warantee must be RETURNED to DC. (DC knows there are cheaters out there too!)

    BOTTOM LINE... your problem is not solved...keep the pressure on them.
  • I have a 98 ram 2500 that Bledsoe dodge in Dallas TX worked on a couple of years ago. My complaint was auto shifter linkage would jump from drive to neutral on bumpy roads (railroad tracks). Dealer charged DC warranty to remove/rebuild/replace transmission. I looked under truck and all bolts on tranny and crossmembers had never had a wrench on them. Took it back to dealer and made service manager put it up on rack and look at it. He admitted that the work had not been done on the truck and that he would check on it. No response for several days and when I called back he said that there had to have been a paperwork mistake and they had done the work on another truck.
    I called the zone office and made a complaint and several weeks later I got a call back from the dealer. He said "I thought that we had the problem resolved." How do you like that!!! The zone office just referred it back to the dealer.
    No wonder trucks cost so much.
    This one really makes my blood boil. I've been lurking for months, but had to respond to this one.
    This is not sour grapes as I own a 93 Dakota club cab 4x4, 318 ci with 176,000 miles and a 2000 Dak. Quad 4x4, 4.7/auto.
    I STAY AWAY from Bledsoe Dodge tho'
  • One of the best fuel injector cleaners that I have see was refered to me by a trucker (owner / operator.) He said a lot of the truckers used a fuel injector cleaner made by Lucas.

    Home Page:
    You can get it at truck stops, Hi-Lo auto parts, Oreilley, and Carquest. It is hard to find but at $7.00 per quart, it lasts a long time!

    My results in the last 5 yrs w/ Lucas:
    92 van w/ Fuel injected 318 154K miles
    95 dodge diesel truck 220K
    95 dodge diesel 100K miles
    87 toyota corrola - carburator 240k miles
    00 quad cab w/4.7 11.5k miles

    None of these vehicles have had an injector cleaned yet. The toyo will be going in for carb adjustments in the next two weeks, but it is for other reasons.

    I use 1 oz lucas for every 2 gals of fuel (gas or diesel) i.e.: 24 gal tank = 12 oz lucas. I do this whenever I see problems or sometimes every 4th or 5th tank so a quart of cleaner lasts a long time.

    I have used fuel from oilfield locations & farm storage tanks with no problems that Lucas could not clear up.

    Sorry for the long post - just wanted to give as much detail as I could. I really think Lucas is worth the money vs 200 - 250 for injector cleanings.

  • gsagnewgsagnew Posts: 10
    Just called knolwledgeable Sales Manager at 5 star dealership. Found out that recalls are mandated by the Feds. This particular recall pertains to a bent or pinched vent tube that affrects only certain vehicles that used certain parts from a certain vendor and manufactured during specific dates. The skinny?????....if you do not receive an official recall notice, don't worry, it does not apply to you.
  • gsagnewgsagnew Posts: 10
    Some of you have mentioned experincing a popping sound under the front of you vehicle at times when the frame flexes or going over bumps. There was a TSB about this (service bulletin#130100)

    Checked with a very knowledgeable and up to date Service Manager who was very familiar with this issue. I was advised that the problem addressed in the TSB #130100 affects vehicles with "torsion" bar suspensions, ie; mostly 4WD vehicles. 2WD Dakotas for the most part are not affected since they do not have "torsion" bars. They have front stabilizer bar and coil spring suspensions and therefore do not have the problem with the torsion bar not being seated all the forward in the a-arm etc.
  • carls5carls5 Posts: 62
    (cowtownaggie) Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at the web page.
  • themacguythemacguy Posts: 417
    Yep, I had it happen to me at about 10k (now have 28k) on my 00 4.7/auto/2wd/3.55/HD cooling package - the damned thing ran all night and the relay (under the hood on the driver's side) was so hot I had to pull it using some pliers. Took the relay in (didn't want the local monkeys working on it) and they handed me one over the counter. Took it to the truck and noticed all the relays were the same #. Anyway, changed it out & no luck. My fan motor had already fried itself. Must've been a bad batch of fans or something. O:-)

    Course I let the thing idle a 'bit' out in the W TX heat once in a while (110 degrees) - with the A/C running. Can't blame D/C for that one, eh? ;-)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Sorry to hear about your Fan woes. Here in VT my electric fan only runs a couple times a year.

    You bring up a good point I am not sure you realize.... DC is using ISO (International Standards Organization) relays in the Dakota.
    These relays meet strict standards and cost a bit more than "auto grade" relays. This also hints towards the quality that DC is trying to achieve.
    Even the connectors in the electrical system are above-average quality. (For an automobile)

    I have been working in the computer industry supporting 2 Million dollar computer systems at the WORLDS premere semiconductor FAB for 19 years. ... I KNOW quality when it comes to electronics.
  • I too have the "00 4.7/auto/2wd/3.55/HD cooling package" combo and have not had a problem yet with 12K miles. The temp were 110 up to a max of 118 this summer in Phoenix so you can be sure my air was on a lot too.

    Mine was made the end of February, how bout yours?
  • Thanks for the information. So far, fan problem hasn't returned but now I know what to look for.
  • Bruce,

    You must work at Big Blue, in Essex Junction? Intel, in Oregon, would give you grief over the "premier fab," they have a few out there that are pretty top notch....

  • jam12jam12 Posts: 4
    I just tuned in to this site and read about bassman43 problems back in post 144. I own a 98 dakota 4wd with 3.9 liter. The rear end shook real bad when braking. It would litterly jump off the ground. The dealer could never duplicate the problem. He even turned the front rotors when I told him it was the rear brakes. I then told them to check the parking break cable for sticking, they still couldn't find anything. I took the service manager out for a drive the next day after having driven the vehicle from home to the dealership. I had put the parking break on at home and released as usual before driving. We went about two blocks and I applied the breaks and he got the full shaking treatment. It took three visits but they finally found a sticking rear break cable that was causing the rear drums to overheat. I don't know if this your problem but it sounds just like mine. Sorry for the late reply.

  • myersedmyersed Posts: 102
    Back in June I noted that my MPG dropped from approx 18.5 to 17.5 MPG. I continue to track and chart every gallon of gas and; religiously use the same station and pump. This 5% reduction is very obvious, when you look at my chart. Initially, I began to think something was starting to fail. This reduced MPG remained well over the next 3 months, into September.

    Miraculously, my last 3 tanks have averaged 18.5MPG with ABSOLOUTLY NO CHANGE in my driving pattern over the last 6 months!

    How is this possible?
    1) Could the "extremely hot" mid-summer AC usage put a 5% efficiency drain on this 4.7 V8 engine?;
    2) Would one expect to see increased internal drag on the engine in these hot "dog days" of summer;
    3) Would hot humid air cause this efficiency loss?, or;
    4) Is there something changed in the fuel manufacturing process during the entire summer period?

    Any thoughts?
  • stnickstnick Posts: 177
    Myersed, On my 00 QC 4.7 auto 3.55 lsd truck I have averaged 16 to 17.5 mpg most of the last 5 months. It now has 5400 miles on it and I felt that AC did bring it down some as I would check it with the computer on the same route every day. Now has fallen off some due to colder weather, but strong wind and higher mph will really make a difference. My work trips are same road 13 miles each way, so not much variation. On a 900 mile trip this summer it did 17 to once 19.3, but havn't seen that high since. Nick
This discussion has been closed.