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Dodge Dakota Problems

Find the most common issues based on Dodge Dakota owner complaints.
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Most Common Dodge Dakota Problems

3.7L V6 and 4.7L V8Exhaust manifold bolts commonly break, exhaust manifold gaskets should be replaced and replace bolts as needed.
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 ...
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.
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1 Known Dodge Dakota Brakes Problem

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.

8 Known Dodge Dakota Drive Train Problems

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

2 Known Dodge Dakota Electrical & Lights Problems

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 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 an...

10 Known Dodge Dakota Engine Problems

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 timi...
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 a...
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.

9 Known Dodge Dakota Exhaust & Emissions Problems

3.7L V6 and 4.7L V8Exhaust manifold bolts commonly break, exhaust manifold gaskets should be replaced and replace bolts as needed.
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 ...
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.

1 Known Dodge Dakota Heating & Air Conditioning Problem

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 d...

1 Known Dodge Dakota Maintenance Problem

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.

2 Known Dodge Dakota Miscellaneous Problems

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 drai...
A water leak from the roof seam at the rear of the cab can look like the windshield seal is leaking at the upper corners. If the water leak is not from the windshield, the roof seams and fasteners ...

2 Known Dodge Dakota Suspension & Steering Problems

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»

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Known Dodge Dakota Problems & Complaints

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.
Under certain conditions, some models may shift into neutral even though reverse is selected with the gear selector. A software update to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) will allow reverse enga...
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 C...
On the 3.9L V6 and 5.2L V8, rerouting the ignition coil wire and spark plug wires can help solve a misfire and/or surge problem that occurs at approximately 45 mph. A service bulletin was published...
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.
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 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 an...
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 drai...
The outer exhaust manifold studs can break and cause exhaust leaks. The outer studs, clamps, and nuts will need to be replaced and are now being tightened to a reduced torque value (20 Nm/180 in lbs).
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 i...
Common areas for engine oil leaks include the camshaft plug, camshaft seal (sprocket end), valve cover gaskets, cylinder head gasket and distributor.
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.
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 bl...
Black smoke from the tail pipe, hard starting, and a rough idle can be caused by a leaking fuel injector. With the air cleaner removed and the engine idling, fuel can be seen leaking from around th...
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