Dodge Dakota Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Dodge Dakota as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.Refine by vehicle
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.
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.
A surging or bucking during acceleration can be caused if the distributor is moved or mis-indexed. This is a result of the cam and crank position sensors being out of synchronization. Wear of the oil pump drive gear can cause similar symptoms because it allows excessive free play in the distributor drive. The distributor drive gear and bushing should be replaced if the rotor tip moves back-and-forth more than 3/16th of an inch when checking drive gear free play.
The distributor pickup plate commonly fails causing intermittent stalling, or the engine may not start (usually when the engine is hot).
Front and rear differential pinion seal leaks are common. The leaky pinion seal and differential fluid will need to be replaced.
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.
The timing belt may need replacement at 60,000 miles or sooner in hot climates. The square-toothed design and high heat contribute to the accelerated wear.
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.