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Dodge Dakota, Truck
#2 of 840 My Dakota Horror Story
Jun 24, 2000 (12:22 am)
On April Fools Day 2000 (no kidding) I purchased a 98 Dodge Dakota Sport with 29000 miles that included the original as well as a transferable extended warranty. I was happy with it for about a month and then.........
The automatic shift lever comes off in my wifes hand as she is putting it in gear to back out of the driveway. No big deal. It is covered and they put a new one on.
Appointment 1: The shift lever is fixed.
Then one morning a week or so later I shift in reverse to back out of the driveway and was greeted with a tremendous "CLUNK" coming from the drivetrain. This clunk is present nearly every time I shift in reverse from this point forward. A few days later, upon engaging reverse to back out of the driveway what do I hear to accompany the clunk, but a really obnoxious buzzing noise that lasts until it is shifted out of reverse. Schedule an appointment.
Before the day of my appointment, I turn the key over one morning and woe is me, the fuel pump starts making a hideous whine. Oh wonderful, my confidence in this POS is hitting overdrive now. I call and add this to the list of problems they need to address.
The night before my appointment I figure I better give the Dakota a once over just to make sure I have not missed something. Hmmmm, a slight antifreeze leak near the thermostat. That wasn't there when I bought it, oh well, I will add it to my appointment.
Appointment 2: They only fix the antifreeze leak and order parts for the tranny buzz and tell me the fuel pump is OK. When I pick it up, I take the service manager by the hand and have him listen to the fuel pump. He finally agrees there is a problem with the fuel pump and says the clunking noise in the tranny will be fixed with the parts they ordered for the buzzing noise. Reschedule.
Appointment 3: They fix the fuel pump and buzzing noise (so far, anyway) and tell me the clunking noise is natural and all 98 Dakotas will do it to some degree. After bickering with the service manager again he agrees to call DC and talk to the engineers about it. Reschedule.
Appointment 4: They replace most of the parts in the differential. It still clunks. I am losing my patience. They call the engineer again. Reschedule.
Appointment 5: They go back into the tranny, replace the valve body, service writer says it is fixed. I go to pick it up, slide er in reverse (CLUNK!!!!) I am pissed, I wanna kill. I decide it is prudent to drive home to avoid a heated battle with anyone connected to this organization (this is a 5 star dealership by the way) confrontation and decide it.
I show up the next morning to discuss this with the GM. He is out, how convenient. I talk to some manager and the shop foreman. They tell me the clunking noise and slop in the drivetrain is natural and will not take the vehicle back for that problem.
I call Chrysler and get a file number......what a joke that process is; they side with the dealership.
I take the Dakota to two transmission shops, one drivetrain shop and one general mechanics shop that after noon. 5 different mechanics from these 4 shops look at it and all agree that there is excessive slop and clunking in the drivetrain.
I call the dealership. They don't care what anyone else says. "We will not take for that problem again." I call DC customer service center, they back the dealer's position. Loud clunking and excessive slop is natural in the drivetrain of a 1998 Dodge Dakota.
What do I do now?
#3 of 840 magenta 1997
Jun 25, 2000 (8:15 pm)
does anyone know where Ican find production for my model and color
#4 of 840 Way to get off on the wrong foot..
Jun 28, 2000 (7:53 pm)
"Dakotahell" that is a horror story sorry!
"Lemon"? I don't know what to say...
"rollybc" what is your model and color of choice??Can't help without this info..
Guys, I hope this gets better."Bookitty","thermacguy","Aj"All of a sudden I'm depressed.
#5 of 840 bigal31, More to the story.
Jun 28, 2000 (10:04 pm)
Allen, please do not get depressed. There may be more to the story than meets the eye. I do not mean to infer that it didn't happen, but it reeks of a dealership that cannot address or does not care to address the problem. With a remainder of the warranty intact, responsibility may be referred to the seller (I don't think it mentioned if the unit was purchased privately or through a dealer. There may be legal ramifications
as well. If you ever accessed the web site-www.madisoncountydodge.com you will see another horror story, but it seems to fall mostly on the dealer. The thing to do, is poll other owners with the same year and specifications to see if it is indeed, "normal." I can certainly emphasize with dakotahell, and I hope that his problem(s) is resolved with all haste. I feel for the guy. He may need to see someone like a consumer advocate, or a State Representative to give him an idea as to where to go next.
Jun 29, 2000 (12:15 pm)
Turned the key over to the Demon from Hell Dakota yesterday to come home from work. Fuel pump started whining louder than it did before the dealer addressed it the first time, a few hundred miles ago. Clunking in drivetrain still loud and clear. Leaving for a vacation and an appointment with another dealer in that area. At this point, all I can say......Lemon Pie, anyone?
#7 of 840 My SOB Story - Update
Jul 06, 2000 (1:43 pm)
I am the unfortunate owner of a 2000 Club Cab with a 4.7l that had only 2000 miles on it when the oil pump failed. My initial thought was that because this is a new truck I should get a new engine. This was echoed by the 5 star service department, other members here, and even at the 800 customer service center. Unfortunately I was told this was not possible, the decision is made at a higher level. I proceeded to escalate this issue well above the service department and was told by DC corporate that if the engine failed with less than 1000 miles the engine would be replaced. No matter how much pressure I tried to apply the answer was the same. We must break the engine down and repair it. What was found was that the crank shaft was scuffed by the bearings. No metal shavings were discovered anywhere and the engine looked in very good shape. The components that were replaced were the crank shaft, bearings, oil pump, and associated gaskets. I pushed to get the rings replaced but was told it wasn't necessary. When I walked into the service area and saw the engine removed from the truck sitting in the cradle with it gut's exposed I felt very ill. To make a long story short I finally got the truck back after 2 weeks. I drove it less than 1 mile and the check engine light came on. The oxygen sensor had to be replaced, probably got damaged when the engine was pulled or put back in.
Needless to say I am not a DC fan at this point. I have a few minor issues with the vehicle I assume are a result of performing the work that was done. I will schedule something in a few weeks when I discover all the little things that are wrong.
My experience tells me that DC does not really believe in fostering there customers so that they are repeat customers. The lack of customer service from DC corporate is amazing. Had DC stepped to the plate and done the right thing, replaced the engine, they probably would have me as a repeat customer. Chances are I will never buy another DC product and anyone I can persuade not to will never buy there product either.
#8 of 840 Score Deer 1 Quad 0
Jul 07, 2000 (2:25 pm)
Remember a while back I mentioned putting in brighter headlamps to help see the deer in time because there are more deer than people in Iowa. Well they didn't help! Yesterday about 9:30am one ran into the side of the Quad while my wife was taking my dog out to a local park for a walk. She was doing about 25 mph when this deer came out of nowhere, hit the side of the bed on the drivers side behind the rear wheel, bounced off and took off running. Caved in the side of the bed. I removed the tail light and managed to push out most of the dent but now the fender has wrinkles. Oh well, like they say "stuff happens". My tears still haven't dried yet, its too humid out here!Rick
#9 of 840 Rick............Deer..
Jul 07, 2000 (5:21 pm)
Sorry to hear about your accident.Was your wife hurt? Or just shaken up?
I don't know about anyone else but up here in the N.East will KILL and EAT them there deer for things like that!
How did bambi end up anyway?
Jul 07, 2000 (8:00 pm)
Thanks for the concern, wife, dog and deer all ok. Only one hurt was the Quad. If it had been me I'd be making my first batch of deer jerky right now but deer too fast for the wife. ;-} Rick
Jul 07, 2000 (8:45 pm)
In northern Pa I have seen people swerve to hit deer! These would be folks who's freezer is worth more than their vehicle.