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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 2003 Dodge Dakota

2003 Dodge Dakota

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2003 Dodge Dakota Problems

Exhaust & Emissions -- Verified

Exhaust manifold bolts commonly break, exhaust manifold gaskets should be replaced and replace bolts as needed.

Engine -- Verified

Engine overheating can result from coolant leaks which are commonly found at the thermostat housing gasket, water pump, heater return tube O-ring at the water pump, intake manifold gasket, and timing cover gasket. Our technicians recommend a complete inspection of the cooling system after any repairs are made to be sure there are no other leaks.

Exhaust & Emissions -- Verified

On 3.7L V6 and 4.7L V8 engines the camshaft position sensor may fail causing the engine to crank but not start or it can cause intermittent stalling. A failed camshaft position sensor will require replacement.

Engine -- Verified

On the 3.9L V6, 5.2L V8 and 5.9L V8 the Oil leaks commonly from the valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets (front and rear), timing cover gaskets, distributor O-ring, and the rear main seal area. Using fluorescent engine oil dye can be helpful in determining the source(s) of the oil leak.

Engine -- Verified

On 3.9L V6 and 5.9L V8 engines, the intake manifold gasket may leak and cause increased oil consumption and a spark knock during acceleration; the gasket should be replaced.

2003 Dodge Dakota Recalls (Recent)

Body, Interior & Misc., July 12, 2004

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Chrysler is recalling certain 2002-2004 Dodge Dakota and 2002-2003 Dodge Durango models because the front windshield wipers may stop working. This is a result of corrosion in the wiper motor due to water intrusion. Failure of the windshield wiper may result in reduced visibility, increasing the chance of a crash. Dealers will replace the front windshield wiper module to correct this concern.

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Electrical & Lights, November 3, 2003

RepairPal Expert Overview:

The dashboard wiring harness may be damaged by operation of the clutch pedal. This can cause erratic operation of the wipers, turn signals, horn, or lighting systems, which could increase the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect, repair if necessary, and reroute the wire harness to correct this issue.

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Electrical & Lights, December 23, 2002

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Chrysler is recalling certain 2003 Dodge Dakota and Durango models because the right headlamp low beam may stop working. This caused by an internal fault with the central timer module (CTM). Loss of the right low beam can cause reduced visibility, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the CTM to correct this issue.

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Suspension & Steering, December 21, 2004

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Chrysler is recalling certain 2000-2003 Dodge Dakota and Durango 4WD models because the front upper ball joints may wear out prematurely. Water intrusion can cause rust to develop, which will accelerate wear and cause a clunking noise in the front suspension, which may or may not be heard by the vehicle occupants. Excessive wear may allow the ball joint to separate, which could result in loss of vehicle control. Dealers will replace both front upper ball joints to correct this issue.

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2003 Dodge Dakota Questions and Answers

zink_man101, 2003 Dodge Dakota, 3.9L V6, Sweet Grass, MT

I have the spark plugs out of my dakota. When it gets turned over im spitting collant out of cyl's 1 and 3 but still getting pressure in both. When i pressure up my rad no air comes out of t...

gchopper11, 2003 Dodge Dakota, 4.7L V8, Coden, AL

where is the cam sensor located

345hemi, 2003 Dodge Dakota, 3.9L V6, Huntsville, AL

head lights won't come on and the delay operation on windsheild wipers doesn't function, they function on continous low and high whats not working?

dalejack, 2003 Dodge Dakota, 4.7L V8, Saint Charles, MO

The blower moter will not run on any setting the moter is good I checked it, also checked all of the fuzes, I think, but controles on dsh will not turn the moter on. What else can I check

giarc, 2003 Dodge Dakota, 3.9L V6, Naples, FL

truck is tuned, plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor, but still gets poor mileage although it runs smooth. maybe a little slugish,could exaust sensors have anything to do with this ??

Write a Review About Your Car

2003 Dodge Dakota Reviews

I bought my Dakota from a Dodge dealership in 2004 with 30,000 miles on it. All maintenance has been done by the selling dealership, and for having 160,000 miles now, maintenance requirements have bee acceptable with two exceptions. I have an extended cab SXT in 2WD with the 3.9 V-6 engine. Unlike my previous 1997 Dakota, which had the exact same engine and displacement, same transmission and differential, this truck has had poor engine performance. No bottom, mid-range, or top end through all gears, and just downright sluggish. But even worse than that is the water pump. I've just recently been told the 4th water pump that's been in the truck is now going out. Aside from the original water pump that went 70k, I've averaged from 13-31,000 between water pumps!! And its unfortunate, since I have liked the look of the Dakota, the handling, and the mid-size.

I have had my Dakota tor 2 years and other than the brakes I have had no trouble. This vehicle has well over 100,000 miles and runs great. This is a quad cab with no issues and is m favorite vehicle to drive. In my driving life I have owned several of all brands of pickup trucks including some Dodges and find then a reliable vehicle with the exception of the brakes and this has been an issue with Chrysler since the late 1960's that I am aware of.

Had this truck for 3 years now. Very well maintained since new. Had no issues until just recently, at only 88k miles, the head gasket blew. After fixing, I decided to sell & buy a Toyota.

Good vehicle that does almost everything a full size truck can do but still fits in a standard two car garage. I have towed filled trailers across the Rockies during the hottest part of the summer with ease, but it is still my daily driver.

The rear differential of this vehicle (at least in the 2003 model year) has a flaw that will go unnoticed until you are broken on the side of the highway, unless you change your own differential fluids. When I did this at 30K miles I noticed large metal shavings and took it in to the dealer. It was covered under warranty, but if I didn't do my own minor repair work, this would have gone unnoticed until the rear differential self destructed.

2003 Dakota Sport Plus Quad cab, 4x4, 4.7L V8, I had very few isses with this truck and have 115K miles on it.

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