2002 Dodge Dakota Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2002 Dodge Dakota as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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17
Known Problems

Fuel pump failures are common on higher mileage models, Resulting in a crank no start condition.

3.7L V6 and 4.7L V8
Exhaust manifold bolts commonly break, exhaust manifold gaskets should be replaced and replace bolts as needed.

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.

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.

If the HVAC (heater) housing is not properly sealed at the bulkhead (firewall), water can leak into the passenger compartment. Foam sealant should be used to seal any gaps and the evaporator drain tube can be modified to prevent further water entry.

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 3.7L 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.

A clunk or popping sound heard while turning may mean the intermediate steering shafts need realignment. Replacement of the upper intermediate shaft may be necessary.

The upper ball joints may fail due to moisture damage. Our technicians tell us 2000-2001 models were recalled for this issue. For more information on this recall, please click here»

On the 3.9L V6 and 5.2L V8, an intermittent connection in the crank position sensor wire connector can cause poor engine performance or the engine may crank but not start.

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.

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 5.9L V8 the engine oil leaks at the distributor can be misdiagnosed as leaks from the intake manifold seal, oil pan gasket, or rear crankshaft (rear main) seal. A revised distributor is available if oil is found inside the distributor.

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.