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.
Problems for specific Dodge Dakota years:
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Most reported 1998 Dodge Dakota problems
If the threads strip where the front brake caliper mounts to the steering knuckle, a steering knuckle repair kit is available. A new steering knuckle is not normally necessary.
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.
Front and rear differential pinion seal leaks are common. The leaky pinion seal and differential fluid will need to be replaced.
On the 3.9L V6 and 5.2L V8, rerouting the ignition coil wire and spark plug wires can help solve a misfire and/or surge problem that occurs at approximately 45 mph. A service bulletin was published that outlines the specifics of the repair. It states the rerouting procedure should be performed before other repairs are done for misfires, surging or spark knock.
If the engine cranks but does not start, or starts and stalls, the fuses should be inspected, especially the power door locks fuse. The power door lock fuse provides power to a module that sends the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) the "OK to start" signal.
Dodge issued an emissions recall in late 2006 to update the powertrain control module (PCM) software on certain 1997 - 1998 vehicles. As part of the recall, the catalytic converter will also be inspected for damage and replaced as necessary. To see if your vehicle is included in the recall you can visit the Dodge website (owners' section) that allows owners to input their VIN number and check the recalls on their vehicle.