Last post on Oct 18, 2006 at 8:06 PM
You are in the Dodge Dakota Owners-Archived Discussions
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Dakota, Truck
Jul 07, 2003 (8:01 pm)
Hello, with 33 threads this board is pretty active, I would like summarize my Dodge Dakota owner experience. Had the the truck for 4+ years 50k. Used for work trans. and hauling my boat for all 4 years. V6 5sp, X2, 1999, Sport, Flame Red
First off the folder I had in my filing cabinet started off as one folder, then grew to 2 folders over 4 inches thick full of repairs!!! all under Warranty!!!
I liked the truck due to its looks, and grunt, and it was discounted 2k off MSRP/Invoice. So I was sold!
I knew it was bad from the start, I pulled away from the dealer, and the cig. lighter was missing? 6 miles on her, Made a U-turn back into parking lot, got cig lighter, guess what It didn't work!!! HE HE, 1st repair, 8 miles on her! LOL I still have the Paper work, they fixed it right away, 2 hours later!!! seems wiring wasn't hooked up at factory? Oh well here is a summary of some of the repairs!
-radio comes on and off fixed 3 times, never could figure it out, replaced twice!
-3 cat. convertors, every 10k they rotted out, from the inside out, sounded like your dragging a bag of cans! 3cat convertors!!! MEANS 4 on truck!
-thermostat leak, coolant pis sin out houseing? pin hole in casting?
-idle sensor, kept stalling, this happened on a bridge, -5F out, winds at 50MPH!!! Thankfully I was on the downslope! I coased for a mile and she started up again!!!
-running lights did not work!, found this one out by a State trooper at 3 am in the morning!! Thank god I was coming home from work! CAuse was a short in licence plate bulb wiring. completly fried!
-front seal leak
-rear seal leak
-transmission leak, top of shifter, was leaking 90 W out of top? dripping on exhaust, causing smoke to come into cab at lightstop. Found that the bolts were never tight on shifter plate from factory?
-paint was peeling off front fender
-corrosion was starting in the corners of the bed! Was never touched by me or anythin in bed! They would not fix this, so I rhino lined it!
-Warped rootters at 4 K
-Leak in the Inside of radiator? That was a weird one, at first they thought a stone hit it, then I showed them it was peeing out the back side!!! LOL
- The factory tires lasted 10K, they were horrible! Goodyear wranglers!
-OK i traded this thing in, I could not sell this it anyone personnally! The radio never worked! It would fade in and outm they tried everything, antenna, 2 radios, wiring, they could not figure it out!
- To top it off a Pizza Delivery guy smashed in the front end on a side street, his car was totalled, it was a Grand AM GT brand new, I had only $4900 in damage!!!
-A basic truck, they gave $5500 for a trade in, Not bad I only Paid 12500 for it in 99,
- So people I took car of this vehicle like you wouldn't believe, changed oil every 2500 miles, had all the paperwork to proveit, changed all fluids and filters, and this is how Dodge builds trucks
Good Luck, I hope you have better luck than me!
PS it never burned oil!!!, it only leaked on my new driveway!!!, had to park on the grass!!
#2226 of 4362 Commiserate with aldan93
Jul 08, 2003 (7:35 am)
I can really feel the pain of aldan93. I owned a 2000 Dakota, SLT, 4.7 L, 4x4, manual trans with limited slip. In three years (60,000 miles mostly highway, no towing) this is what went wrong:
- 5 sets of rotors, even went to Bendix rotors to try to fix the poor design and it did not help.
- Manual trans had to be pulled and completely resealed at around 20k miles, it still leaked and left a mess in the garage and I was without the truck for a week.
-Upper heat/AC vents stopped working, $13 plastic part located inside the heater box took 6 hr of labor to fix.
-At 58k miles power steering pump went, $700 bill.
- At 60k miles upper ball joints went, estimated $500 to fix but the upper ball joints are (or at least were last month) on a national back order (hints at how many Dakotas are in need of this part. A good ploy by Dodge, make more money on cheap original equipment).
- Both front seats squeak very loudly.
- Rear fender flares separated from body within first 8 mo of ownership.
My solution: I got rid of it before it drained me. I am very disappointed with the truck and I may never purchase another Dodge in my lifetime. If I were a Dodge engineer, or worked for Dodge, I would be extremely ashamed at the poor quality of the product. The word cheap comes to mind and further erodes my faith in US made vehicles. Someone stated that "if you want to get rid of those kind repair bills, buy a forgien vehicle."
So my new Toyota truck sits next to the Audi in the garage.
Jul 08, 2003 (7:48 am)
A Toyota was our first choice. But the regular cabs are too small inside and the extended cabs still aren't cheap. Rangers aren't bad but I'm not crazy about how the interior looks or how they drive. You have the Nissan but we do not like the exterior. So maybe this Dodge is a mistake, but maybe it will be a good one. Luckily, it's cheap enough to where if it is a piece of junk we can sell it and not take a bath in the loss.
Audi's aren't known for their reliability either but some people have no problems with them. We have 3 other cars so if there is a problem it won't be a big loss while it's getting fixed.
#2228 of 4362 Power Steering Pump
Jul 08, 2003 (9:34 am)
This is the item I am most concerned about on my 2000 Dak. I have read enough stories about these having problems after about 50k miles.
My original fluid smells burnt after 50k miles and I need to replace the fulid ASAP in an effort to avert disaster.
QUESTION: What was the failure-mode of your pump?
#2229 of 4362 Back-up lights
Jul 08, 2003 (9:36 am)
I have had virtually no problems with my 2000 Dak for the last 30k miles.
This weekend, my wife was helping me back into a tight spot and noted that my reverse lights are not working. I am suspecting the switch on the tranny is the problem.
BTW.. I have the manual tranny.
#2230 of 4362 Power Steering Pump
Jul 08, 2003 (12:34 pm)
The power steering pump failure was first noticed by a slight jitter in the steering wheel at slow speeds. Then some fluid needed to be added, not unusual. Sooner thereafter, about 1 week, the tell tail sign of lots of leakage on the garage floor and around the pump itself.
No burnt smell was detected before the failure.
#2231 of 4362 Aldan93, Ibis994..........................
Jul 08, 2003 (2:36 pm)
I know this isn't going to make you feel any better, and I'm not trying to be an apologist, but every auto and truck manufacturer will have a number of units that exhibit flaws of one type or another. Your experiences are not typical for Dakota, in my opinion. Fortunately the vast, overwhelming people I've talked to that own Dakotas have not had anywhere near that level of problems, despite the fact that I recognize that Dakota quality wasn't as good a number of years ago as it is today.
The bigger problem, in my opinion, is the apparently poor level of service support you folks got. A dealer makes the all the difference in the owning experience.
#2232 of 4362 good point dustyK
Jul 08, 2003 (3:50 pm)
but just remember, the dealer does not build nor design the truck, the factory does and the engineers and product planners have a hand in the first impression the customer has of the new vehicle.
If Chrysler has used better parts, then the whole issue of dealer service would be moot because the customer would not have to return there to have things made right.
#2233 of 4362 I agree with Dusty
Jul 08, 2003 (5:45 pm)
If a dealership fixes a problem right the first time, buys me breakfast while I wait and foots the repair bill... they can expect me to come back years later when I am paying the repair bills.... and even when I am looking for a new vehicle.
Beleive it or not, there ARE dealerships like this around.
Jul 08, 2003 (6:37 pm)
I left out the whole discussion about the loose steering column, and rubbing front end etc... This was never figured out, and was with the truck from day one!
Maybe the thing got dropped off a train? Nah
PS while my truck was serviced I totalled one of there loaner cars!!! LOL, I got sued, long story.