Coolant can leak from the area where the water pump mates to the water pump housing because the sealant degrades over time. Coolant can also leak where the water pump housing mates to the engine block, which is sealed with an O-ring.
Problems for specific Dodge Dakota years:
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Clogged or restricted oil cooler lines can cause premature automatic transmission failure. If the transmission fails due to lack of lubrication, the oil cooler and lines should be inspected for kinks, blockage or restriction.
If the automatic transmission intermittently stays in second gear (will not shift into a higher gear), restarting the engine may fix the condition temporarily. Updated software for the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) can solve this concern.
One the 3.9L V6 and 5.9L V8 the carbon buildup on the top of the piston is common. As the buildup increases with mileage and over time, symptoms may vary from light ticking, to ticking/hammering, to hammering/knocking noises. Fuel injector cleaner often solves the problem.
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.
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.
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.