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Dodge Dakota Problems. Please help!



  • maddog, need to qualify my answer after reading a post in one of the other forums. If your engine whine is barely audible (I have to be outside the truck to hear it) and while idleing my answer still applies. If your whine is louder and while running in gear check out the other forums. Recent poster states he had engine whine in a 5.9. Had to have his gears redone twice.
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    So would that be per rotor, per wheel, per PAD (hmm 2 pads per wheel, 2 wheels, 2 rotors... is that 2x2x2?) OR the extra 2 is BEER lagniappe... that or I got a B- in college math...
    anyway I see a new title brewing... DAK work/beer compensation gurus..
  • pokeapokea Posts: 6
    I've had my '01 Dakota QC w/auto 4.7 v8 for about 35k miles know. I can always remember smelling sulfer and hoped it was a break in thing. Guess what?....its not. It dosnt appear to be coming from the tail pipe but more from the passenger side engine compartment. Damn was it bad today. Can any one shed some light on this?
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Right side passenger? Hmmmm
    Brings two things to mind. One might be a leak in the exhaust or manifold. Or could be you have stinky AC syndrome due to plugged or restricted drain tube. I hear its a common affliction on Dakotas.
  • zonkzonk Posts: 208
    Maybe the catalytic converter? I had one go bad on me years ago, and that was the smell I got.
  • 00 Dakota Club Cab have changed the rotors 3 x's
    first at 12k 14k 24k. I continue to have rippling at stops. They say I must be doing something wrong, man I've had alot of vehicles and driven them all the same. Something is wrong with this picture. This truck is a piece of junk.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (dbernabei) Perhaps you are being a bit too harsh on your Dakota. It is a very well known problem that the brakes are the weakest "link" in the Dakota. Many folks (Myself included) have procured some powerslot rotors in a "group buy" and will be using QUALITY brake pads (Carbon-based) when they are installed.

    Calling your Dakota a "piece of junk" just because the bean counters at DC decided to install cheep materials may be unfair to an otherwise GREAT truck that is unrivaled by any other.

    Do not forget that ALL vehicles have their weak spots. In my mind, a piece of junk, would be far worse than somthing as simple as replacing the brake rotors/pads with quality components.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Rotors are a weak point on the dakota and for that matter, lots of other vehicles.
    The solution is to get better aftermarket units. I know DC should have done this from the get go but alas, they chose not to. Therefore, we need to take the initiative and get better units.
    Meanwhile, it does not hurt to write to DC to express your frustrations. That is what I did. True, they cannot "undo" what has beendone, but you might get some help that way.
  • Has anyone had success in eliminating the goop form thier oil filler neck? I have already installed the new cap and baffle per TSB ,no change.
    2000 4.7.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I'm going to collect it, place it in a ziploc bag, and send it to Dr. Zeitche (sp?)aka Dieter.
    I'm sure as an engineer, he will appreciate the fact that a plastic oil fill tube has no place on our Daks or any internal combustion engine for that matter.
  • I changed over to Mobile one and the white/yellow goop is just as bad as with dino oil.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dont get all worked up about this.... ALL internal combustion engines exibit this phenomina.
    It is a nature of the beast.

    The 4.7LV8 hemi is just very efficent at removing it from the engine and depositing it in the filler neck. The cold-air blast from the radiator fan causes any evaperated water in the crankcase to condense in the filler neck. Wipe it out regularly and your engine will be fine.

    Short drives certainly exaggarate the problem. You have to get the engine >HOT for at least an hour in order to boil off all of the crud and allow the PCV system to remove it.

    Synthetic oil improves the situation too. It has less of a tendancy to emulsify with water. Also some folks have applied insulation to the oil-filler-neck which helps keeps the moisture from condensing.
  • amend1amend1 Posts: 98
    I have a '00 QC with about 20K on it by now. I had the rotors and pads replaced at 9K under warranty by Dodge. At 18K I brought it to their attention again and the rotors were again replaced. Please be advised that Dodge has a 1 YEAR, 12,000 MILE replacement warranty on parts. My dealer honored the warranty and replaced the parts. It's their responsibility and you should know this. Other than a minor problem with the front driveshaft (replaced) and the air bag module (replaced) I couldn't be happier with this thing. And I don't baby it!! Happy Quadding!
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    I think the problem some have may be the particular dealers. I had a similar brake problem on a '97 Ram and was told it was a wear item and not covered, period. I've heard many similar stories about dodge dealer stonewalling over warranty repairs. I suspect that Dodge doesn't pay the dealers/mechanics enough to do the work, so if they're busy, they try to deny the warranty claim. I'm still considering a Ram, but if Toyota made another Truck I liked (I have a tundra, but think having 2 would be boring) I'd stick to a more reliable brand. The Dakota I liked a lot, but it's out because of the way-too-numerous horror stories I've read here and elsewhere on the web about them. Far in excess of any other make or model. It's not totally scientific, but I don't seem to read many Lexus horror stories. So there is a pattern there.
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    how many people who shelled out too much for their over-priced Lexus would actually admit to having a problem with it? I've heard a bunch of BMW horror stories though...
  • The Dakota really seems like a nice truck (features, not reliability). I've heard enough horror stories here that I'm leaning away from getting one though. What about extended warranties? The 7/100 warranty from Dodge seems nice, do they actually honor it?
    As for BMW horror stories, I drive an '87 325es in the summer (never seen snow), manual 5-speed and it's been in the shop 3 times now, yes in it's life. Of course, I've replaced brakes and exhaust and shocks, those are wear items. The only MAJOR repairs I've had is a new clutch at 140k miles, a new alternator and a repair to the rear truck lock (Someone tried to break in, unsuccessfully) Like anything, even a Dakota, some are good and some are lemons, my BMW has been beyond perfection. Think I'm lucky enough to find a Dakota to match? Hmmmmmmm My 170k Toyota Tacoma was almost as good... maybe I shouldn't tempt fate, I'm in line for a lemon!
  • I've been reading "all these Dakota problems" and got to wondering is Dakota the only problem vehicle on the market? I started reading some of the other owners groups. Seems that maybe Dakota isn't unique in having problems. Do you know Toyota and Lexus engines in 1999 and 2000 have sludge problems even with regular oil changes? Bad enough to cause engine failure. The Hyundai Santa Fe has severe engine failure problems, parts break internally in the engine, causing total engine replacement. And I just started reading..........................Rick
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Guys, one of the reasons that more problems may appear on the Dakota sites, is the number of entries in correlation to the number of vehicles sold (for instance, the numbers do not approach those of the Ford and Chevrolet trucks. Beside that, we are a very vocal and lively group which makes for an active site. For example, I posted a towing question on the Jeep Wrangler site in September, and never did get a response. Finally in desperation I posted it on a Dakota topic and received immediate and intelligent answers from Rick another Dakota poster. So, it turns out we are more involved as well as vocal, thus appearing to be more problematic, but believe me that all problems are in proportion to other makes and models.

  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    I agree with Bookitty. We are all very lucky to have members in this forum that we can all feed off of. You will notice that the old saying is true, If you have a problem you will tell 10 people, if you dont have a problem you dont say much at all. Thats true on here x infinity! Take me for instance. I have had many problems with Dakotas and I still keep coming back. Although I will probably try another brand next I can honestly say that when I cruise the other boards they all have their problems too. We are just really lucky in this Dakota forum that we have a very vocal, intelligent and understanding bunch here. Luckily we dont have alot of mine is better than yours like on alot of the other forums.

    The End.

  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    We can only go by the anecdoteal evidence we can manage to gather by roaming the internet and talking to people we know, as well as our own experiences, plus providers like Consumer reports (spotty methodology). But in total, I just see more Dakota problems than others when you factor in numbers sold. But what disturbs me more is the repeated stories about not being able to get problems fixed. I had a small problem with my 2000 Tundra, a bad oxygen sensor, but they never hesitated to fix it and once a part was located they did it w/o any problems. My Dodge repairs (tranny 3 times, CD player quit working 3 times, Brakes never were fixed right in 3 visits) all took more than one try to get fixed, and I never had any faith in them. That said, I may soon be getting a 2002 Ram, since I prefer it enough over the competition to live with the problems.

    Since I've always had a pet theory that the compact truck class gets short shrift in terms of material and engineering quality because of a preference for low costs in such a price sensitive segment(remember, a $30,000 loaded Dakota is essentially the same platform as a $15,000 model), I may play it "safe" and go with their full size model.

    Drove my brother's '98 Ram with 60,000 miles on it today. He says he thinks the transmission is slipping a lot lately and about to go out. The bad thing is that it was completely rebuilt only a year or so ago already. I've owned 5 toyotas and never had a single transmission problem in hundreds of thousands of miles, many of which were heavy duty use. I can only go with what information is available.
  • danodwdanodw Posts: 63
    I too have read more on this site about all the Dodge problems. I really like the truck ( looks and features ) but that is all I like about it. I've had way too many problems out of this truck and can't get the service done right. In 3 weeks I have had my truck for one year, 20K miles, been to shop O' I guess about 10 times, put in the shop over night about 3 times, another time it was there 6 days and two days later was there 2 more days. Still not fixed. Whats bad is I amfeeling bad about this. I mean I am having more small problems now. I could go on and on to the dealer but I want bring up the new problems becausethey have not even took care of the old problems and its taken a year to get to meet with a rep. They talk to me like this is my first time driving and owning a truck or car. I could fix everything myself for $1000 to 2K but I paid too much for this truck to let it go and the problem has been since day one. I will never trust or buy another Dodge. Wouldn't be so bad if they would just fix the thing the first time. I know every auto maker out there has problems but Dodge has too many and not fixing them. March 1st I am having a meeting with a rep at the dealership. I can't wait. I almost just want to get it all off my mind, kick their [non-permissible content removed] and fix the thing myself or just get rid of it. It will be hard to get rid of it around here because used Dakota's are for sale everywhere and the word is out that they are junk and Dodge will not stand behind them. Anyway I
    expect more bull crap from the rep. Most people do not have time to fight for a warranty. I will do my best to keep someone from buying a Dodge. Please don't tell me its my fault or I should chill and give them a chance. My attitude is because of the poor quality of dodge and them not knowing or willing to fix it. In my 30 years of owning and driving I have never gone through this much crap and been taken for so much money. Way to much trouble. I do know there are some good one's out there but not many and I'm wondering if some of the good one's are coming from owners who have never had a quality truck, like Nissan or toyota. I do want to think all the people on this site for the help and advice I have gotten here. You know if the rep says fix my truck, I bet its with the same crapy parts. I will request after market parts mainly on the brake system. I have been printing out the problems on brakes and other things on this site so if anyone wants to post someting on here before the 1st of march, Iwill print it out and give it to the rep I am seeing. I want them to know that I am not the only one having problems and that I know this. Recall Recall Recall.
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    What problems are you having besides the brakes that would cost 2k to fix?

    I've had my Dakota since Oct 30, 2000. The brakes are fine, 12k miles. No sign whatsoever of rotor warpage. The pads looked fine at the October inspection. I had a noisy vacuum hose in the engine at one point, but the dealer replaced that and all is well. No other real troubles at all. Perhaps my experience is not typical, I don't know.

    If you are complaining solely about the brakes I would have to say bite the bullet and put the required aftermarket parts on to fix your problem. It seems to have made many of the folks here happy that were having problems. Perhaps not the fix you are looking for after spending the amount of money you have, but look at the loss you would take if you sell the truck when you could have cured the problems with it.

    What are the other problems that you are having that are so bad?
  • stnickstnick Posts: 177
    I feel for those of you that have had more than your share of problems. All vehicles have problems. But a good dealer and servicer is worth his/her weight in gold. They can make or break your problems, amplify your frustrations by lack of understanding, incompetence or just don't give a poo. Or they can treat you as they themselves would like to be treated. They are I think 60% of vehicle owner satisfaction if you do need service. Talk about scary problems, I was researching the new GM trailblazer/Envoy twins in their owner club, as possible future purchase. There I found reports of catastrophic front end parts failures, and more important, cylinder sleeve crackes in the new in line 6 engine, that require engine replacement, and more than a few owners reporting this. One guy said he was on his 3rd engine! At least we Dak owners havn't had that to contend with. Knock wood.. Nick
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I have had the same experience with my 2000 GMC Sierra over 18 months of ownership. It has been back to the dealer at least 12 times; once for a new engine. I asked GM for an extended warranty to compensate me for the inconvenience. They told me there was "no business case" for doing so.

    So, now I plan to get rid of it. I was considering a Dakota until reading of all the problems. Now I am looking at a Mazda B4000 - I don't read of many problems reported with them.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Are you aware that many MAZDA and FORD are made on the same assembly line. Somtimes they put FORD badges on .... then they put some MAZDA badges on.

    Personallly I will NEVER own a FORD (and that means MAZDA too.)
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    You got a PROBLEM with FORDS?? Huh? HUH?

    In truth, I would like to hear your agument why you would NEVER own a FORD.

    As many wise folks here have said, every manufacturer makes their share of junk, even DODGE.

    The only reason I broke and bought a dodge this time around is because they were the only manufacturer that had the configuration I wanted in a vehicle. Next time Chevy might make the one I need.

    Brand loyalty is over rated.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I totally agree with you... a savvy consumer does not succumb to brand loyalty.

    I am not 'loyal' to any specific brand... I am certainly biased againsed some brands for specific reasons.

    There are many reasons I will not own a ford. One of which is their marketing tactics. When it comes to Toyota... They pay a certain political activist monie$ to look upon them favorably.

    For example... Ford claims that the F150 has been the #1 selling truck for 15 years or so. This is because they add in virtually ALL rental vehicles, fleet purchases, and anyting else that makes the numbers look good.

    If GM would add up all Chevy and GMC trucks (including renatls and fleets) Their number would FAR exceed the Ford claims... (I applaud GM for not lowering themselves to Fords tricks.)

    Besides... I like to be DIFFERENT and will often stay away from what everone else is doing.

    I bought my Dakota because it was the ONLY choice with a V8 in a small(er) truck. I also live in Vermont where DC vehicles tend to shun off the rust caused by the copious use of roadsalt. (Chevies and most asian vehicles RUST quickly.) Also, A US-named vehicle usually has cheaper parts when it comes time to replace things such as brakes or airfilters.

    I realized that I may be sacrificing some 'reliability' when I went with a US-named vehicle... but that was my personall priority. (There is no longer such a thing as a US-made vehicle.)

    The other 2 vehicles in my driveway are Hondas. One has over 204,000 miles on it and the other is only around 156,000 miles. The service at the Honda dealership is FAR FAR superiour that what my Dakota dealer can even imagine. It is not cheap... but I am treated like royality each time I call or show up at the Honda dealership. Even the salesman that sold me my 1991 4WD Honda Civic still makes it a point to say "HI" when he sees me. (Too bad our Hondas are starting to rust out... Honda no longer makes the 4WD civic and my wife LOVES that car.)

    Saturn makes PLASTIC cars that will NEVER rust. I am hoping their new 4WD wagon will satisfy my wife to relace her 4WD civic.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I think it can be summed up in value, reliability, and resale value. Not to mention usability(in other words, does the vehicle PERFORM as you expect)

    All vehicles have their quirks, some more than others. On the whole, I used to have terrific satisfaction from Chrysler products. Then, beancounters and cost cutting reared its ugly head and no longer does DC make a vehicle which can measure up to past examples of reliability.

    For instance, its a well known fact that Dakota brakes leave much to be desired in terms of durability. (just check other Dak sites on this specific issue) I have heard one argument after another about "well, all vehicles these days go thru rotors...." Its as if we're all supposed to buy that half bakes horse manure arguement and trudge off to Midas or Munro and spend $600 for a 30K brake job.

    Sorry, I have a slightly higher level of intelligence than that. What happened to the days when you replaced just the pads or shoes and never the rotor or the drum unless you ignored the squeals and let the shoes eat the drum/rotor? I suppose that's a thing of the past.
    I feel it's an attempt on the part of dealers/service managers to lower the customers expectations so when we show up for service and get presented with a huge bill, we're supposed to accept that and go on.

    The point is, DC made some errors in judegement or cost decisions and unfortunately it has clouded my enthusiaism I once had driving my truck.
    What disappoints me greatly is my prior Chrysler products performed admirably, often under extremely stretched maintenance intervals (anyone remember their college days and the lack of cash to spruce up your ride? I sure do!)
    Now here is my dak that has never had to:
    1. Haul loads like other trucks have.
    2. Never to towed a boat, trailer, camper etc.

    In other words, I have asked only that the brakes slow down the truck plus my 200+ body.
    Not too much to ask is it?
    And yet 4 sets of rotors and drums and I have yet to hit 30K......somethings rotten out there....... and its not in Denmark!

    I stand firmly behind my previous comment in that if I had it to do all over again, knowing what I now know, I would NOT buy a Dakota. Best thing I can say is 2 1/2 years more payments and I will have the title free and clear. Not too sure what I will buy next, maybe my old Dodge Dart with its quirky slant 6 and carter BBS carb or find a Cordoba with a 400 4bbl and t-tops (like my old one) or maybe just settle for a slightly used Dodge Spirit, a wonderful if unrefined car.
  • Hey folks,

    Lot's of griping here, but for what it's worth, I'm on my second Dakota (first one had a 318, second one has the 4.7L). Here's what I can tell you about each:

    Dakota #1 was a 1995 and I put 136k miles on it before sellign it. The ONLY thing I had to do outside or nomal maintenance (oil changes, tires, etc) was a radiator at 130k miles. Salt got to it. I replaced the pads and shoes once and it still had the original drums and rotors. It was an outstanding truck. The only gripe I had was that it still had the 1980s vintage type interior so it didn't look or feel very high quality.

    Dakota #2 is 2000 (currently has 9k miles). I had one problem with it. The left front shock came loose and the dealer fixed it on the spot when I rolled in. As far as the brakes go, so far so good and they stop better than most sedans I've been in save the BMW 325i I just test drove (still drooling over that one, but it's not a truck :-) ).

    Anyway, if brakes are the only issue, I agree with whoever said to suck it up and just fix 'em. If that's the only problem you ever have be thankful becasue all of them have their good points and bad.

    As for Honda, I have a 92 Accord in the driveway as well with 138k miles. Great car. Had to replace the timing belt (normal), CV boots (sometimes normal), and a wheel bearing (not normal). That's it to date, but my first Dakota actually had fewer woes. Also, for those of you who may remember, Hondas had notorious issues with eating rortors from about 1991 until 1996.

    Here's the key, this really isn't a major problem. Yes, we pay good money for vehicles and they should be right the first time, but sometimes they're not and as long as it's not serious stuff I can live with it. I don't like squeeks and rattles either so thanfully the 2000 Dakota doesn't have that.

    I have no idea where these prices for brake jobs are coming from. If that's what people want to charge then pull out the wrenches youself. My God don't be such wimps! Excellent quality rotors can be had for $35 - $50 ea and a high quality pad set can be had for about $30. This and an hour of your time and the problem is gone. The gripers have probably spent more time than that hollerin' about it in this forum! :-)

    Lastly, on the good side of the ledger, I've been greatly surprised at how well my 2000 Dakota Sport handles. For a truck it is absolutely outstanding and when compared to most cars, it's at least "good" if not "pretty good". It goes around corners better than my Accord and better than most anything else I've looked at in the car lines except a 'Stang and of course the high end sports sedans. In fact, the steering is weighted a lot like a sports sedan and I love it! Yeah, I plan to keep my truck, but I'm also looking for a nice sedan to go with it. I'm a MOPAR guy and have been one for a long time (even back when they were horrible cars in the late 70s and 80s!). Only problem is they don't have anything that turns my crank right now. I'm looking for horsepower, rear wheel drive, and a 5 spd manual. Chrysler/Dodge only has one of the three. I'd take 2 of three if they had it. So, I've been off in BMW land. I'm hoping to see a Hemi powered 300 with a manual trans in the next several years. If they make it I'll be in line to get one. Until then, I plan to enjoy my Dakota.

This discussion has been closed.