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transmission problems?

11-14-2002, 03:01 AM
I am considering buying a 4wd Dakota, automatic trans. between 1996 and 2001, I have heard second hand of transmission and transfer case problems. Has anyone had a lot of problems in this area? Thanks

01-04-2003, 02:56 PM
i have also heard of problems, but my 95 (i'm pretty sure its the same drivetrain, could be wrong tho) i have had no problems, the automatic still shifts perfectly and the 4wd has never had any problems, i think some of them were just bad apples and created a bad name, but then again maybe not...

07-10-2003, 11:16 PM
I own a 2000 Dakota Sport 4x4. The 4.7L engine runs like a dream though I do have many complaints. First, I have had the tranny serviced every 15k miles. Starting about 10k miles, it would hesitate before shifting in to 1st or Reverse. Dealship said it was normal. At 50k miles, it began searching for gears at highway speeds. I would see the tach rev up about 500 rpms while driving on flat ground. This was not consistent everyday, but it happened enough to concern me. The dealership was not able to locate a problem. The computer did not show any codes and the service bulletins did not apply to my vin number. Im afraid that this is a computer issue rather than the tranny. Please be aware though, that through extensive research, Dodge has and continues to have serious problems with tranny's. A good friend who owns a tranny shop has said that the normal life expectancy of a Dodge tranny is about 50-100k miles. Im very impressed with the truck but will never buy another Dodge truck due to tranny problems. With repairs ranging from 1500-3000 on tranny's, your better off buying a FORD or CHEVY. Im sorry to say, but stay away from Dodge Trucks.

08-20-2003, 08:22 PM
I own a 1993 Dakota 2WD with the 4-speed automatic. I bought it new, and used it for mild towing quite often until 1996. In 1995, at about 25k miles, it started jumping out of overdrive when I had the cruise set (on the most gentle of hills....)

Since then, I've driven with the Overdrive lockout set "On" for city driving, and only using the cruise control on flat interstates. I also began servicing the tranny every 30k miles (since the first service at 25k). Every time it is serviced the technicians tell me, "Whoa ! You need an overhaul, there is band material and metal shavings in the pan !"

A friend told me all Dodge transmissions have that in the pan - if it pulls the truck forward, don't overhaul.

I now have 147k miles, still haven't overhauled it. In the last 4-6 months it has started to slip out of overdrive on flat interstates even when decelerating. Without the cruise control on, I just lift my foot off the accelerator and immediately the RPMs jump to 3 grand.

It's annoying as anything, but I'm just going to keep on driving it and servicing it until it quits moving.


09-23-2003, 09:31 AM
I am driving (not today) a 2000 Dakota Quad Cab with 130,000 miles on it. For the last year it has hesitated shifting out of second and into drive - but only when the weather was wet or cold. Last night driving home it decided to act up on a high interstate off ramp. It ram loud and rough the rest of the way home and seemed to not want to run in drive - but the tachometer was normal. This morning it didn;t want to leave first gear, then second, and still runs rough and loud. Transmission fluid is clear, at the right level, no aroma or other tell tail problems. No leaks that I can find. No other reason I can think of to cause this. Before I go hauling it into the shop for expensive repairs, is there a relativeley easy check or fix (vacuum hose connection?) that I can try first?
Does it even have a vacuum hose and where would it be if it did?

01-24-2004, 10:41 PM
i've had nothing but problems with my 99 dakota....while still under warranty i had to have a new motor and an oil pump put in. Now it's my transmission, revs out and won't shift.
I highly recommend something other than a dodge!!

02-07-2004, 02:17 PM
Here's a quick answer - I would not go for the automatic transmission, but it's been my experience that manual transmission Dakotas are very reliable.
Now for the long answer - I manage a welding shop and have become good friends with a guy who runs a transmission shop. We both drive Dakotas - mine's a 1989 4x4 automatic, his is a 1992 4x4 manual. When my transmission went out at 140,000 miles, I took it to my friend. In his professional opinion, that particular drivetrain was a very bad mistake by the Dodge engineers. Basically they took a car transmission, bolted on an overdrive, and then bolted on the transfer case - it was never a new design, just something that was thrown together. So we put our heads together and installed a Chrysler 727 in my Dakota (we had some custom work to do). After 50,000 miles it has never given me a problem, and there are no shavings when I change the fluid.
Also - he has seen many dakota transfer cases come in that do not work. However, in 90% of these cases, it is simply a worn seal in the extension housing, which causes all the fluid to leak out. With a new seal and a fluid refill your transfer case is as good as new.

06-27-2004, 11:22 AM
in my 95 dakota, 4x4 works great even tho the transfer case leaks. and the manual transmissino i have is very reliable and works wonderful

06-29-2004, 11:50 AM
I have a 99 Dakota and just had to replace the tranny at 87,000 miles. I'm of the opinion that that is too soon, and the dealership and Dodge are telling me--no warranty, not our problem. When I confronted them with the web research I'd done, they just listened and repeated their position. "Dodge is not taking responsibility for transmission failures after 50,000 miles". I'm out $3,000 and have a rebuilt transmission with a 36,000 mile guarantee. So my advice to those of you buying Dakota's is the buy the extended warranty because you are likely to need it.

07-03-2004, 12:10 AM
yea, i have a 99' dakota sport 4x4, and basically the same as the last, i replaced a valve body and bearings inside the tranny. it would hesitate to shift to reverse, and couldnt find second gear on highway driving. with that, and the catalytic converter just vaporized, cost me around $1700

07-03-2004, 02:20 AM
I own a 1993 dakota 4x4 5 speed I have had it since 99 it had 80,000 on it when I bought it now it has over 160,000 and I have never had trouble with it.

07-09-2004, 10:39 AM
[You don't say how many miles are on your 2ooo dakota.If your trans has not been out of truck why due you think this is trans related.If the problem you describe is occuring on the highway you may want the sparkplugs pulled and checked regardless if you say the truck runs well.Any miss in the engine will result in torque converter locking and unlocking causing a rpm change in the engine.please note i'm the trans rebuilder at a dealership and other than governor pressure solenoid problems(a couple of hundred dollars) these transmission do not usually have problems if they are maintained like yours. terry

10-19-2004, 08:31 PM
i have a 1993 dodge dakota that takes a long time to shift into overdrive
once you drive it for awhile it shifts fine

10-20-2004, 10:18 PM
I would be looking for a 4.7, 45rfe auto trans combo. Best motor/ trans Chrysler ever made. take my word for it. I would buy a service contract though just for safety.

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