2005 Dodge Dakota Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2005 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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10
Known Problems

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

The transfer case in the Dodge Dakota has multiple gear ratios, which can be selected by moving the switch in the cabin to 2Hi, 4Hi, or 4Lo. It has been known to shift to 4Lo without warning, at any speed, and whether the vehicle is on or off. If this occurs at highway speeds, the result can be catastrophic failure of the transfer case.

This is caused by a faulty four wheel drive shift motor, selector switch (in the cab) or the wiring between the two. The most common cause is the transfer case switch, which is an electric motor mounted on the transfer case. 

To correct the issue, inspect the wiring to the transfer case switch motor for damage, and replace the shift motor if needed. Disconnecting power to the shift motor will lock the transfer case in its current setting.  

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»

Front and rear differential pinion seal leaks are common. The leaky pinion seal and differential fluid will need to be replaced.

If the vehicle has been parked for an extended period, and the transmission takes a few seconds to engage when shifting into gear from park, it may be caused by the torque converter draining back into the transmission. If the fluid level is correct, a "drainback relief valve" is available that installs in the oil cooler pressure line.

Various drivability problems can be caused by vacuum leaks. This engine has plastic tubes that become brittle and crack over time. These tubes can be replaced by normal vacuum hose but be careful when changing the Tee fittings or hose connectors because some have built in restrictor orifices (usually color coded). If the restrictions are missing, drivability problems will most likely result.

If a belt chirp is heard when the steering wheel is turned all the way to the left or right, a revised alternator pulley was released to solve this issue.