Dodge Dakota Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Dodge Dakota based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
The AC/heater (HVAC) system may unexpectedly switch to the defrost mode when accelerating. This system is operated by engine vacuum and should be inspected for any vacuum leaks if this problem develops. There is also a revised vacuum check valve available to address this concern.
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.
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.