Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,753 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Dodge Dakota engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 192007

Dakota 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,700 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Dakota. When starting the vehicle or after the vehicle becomes cold, the gear will not shift out of park for 30-40 minutes. While driving between 35-40 mph, the engine light remained illuminated. The contact drove to the dealer and they replaced the battery, the gas emission canister, and the hose package for emissions, the timing chain, the manifold exhaust on the left side, and the insulator steering gear. The vehicle was still under warranty. When the contact retrieved the vehicle, it was rattling and revving up to 2,500 RPM's. the vehicle was towed back to the dealer and remained there for over a month. When the vehicle was retrieved the second time, the alarm system was not working. The contact does not want to take the vehicle back to the dealer because everytime he gets the vehicle back something else fails. The current mileage was 80,552 and failure mileage was 79,700.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #9

Oct 162005

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
The contact heard a rod knocking in the engine. The knocking J started where it could be heard. There was a diagnostic test performed by the dealer, and it confirmed it was a rod. The truck is in the shop for repairs at this time.

- Country Club Hills, IL, USA

problem #8

Aug 122002

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 447 miles
The contact had a problem with the oil pressure staying on high most of the time since August 12, 2002. In September 2002 the obd light came on. She kept taking vehicle to the dealer to be repaired. Every time she took it in to a dealership they would say that there was no problem. While driving in August 2005 the oil pressure dropped, causing the vehicle to die. The contact heard a sound, the check engine light came on, and then three seconds later it died. Afterwards, she took it to a dealership, and they said that it was due to lack of maintenance. The contact has copies of most of the oil changes. The contact has the oil changed every 3,000 miles. She found that there are many other people having the same problem online. The dealership told the contact that there was sludge in the engine. And that the whole engine needed replacement.. the contact called the customer service of Dodge, and they said that it was covered under warranty. The area representative told Dodge that there was sludge in the engine and that there was lack of maintenance, and that the warranty expired.

- Longwood, FL, USA

problem #7

May 212004

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


On our way to the hospital (after dark) when the oil pressure went to '0' and check engine light came on. Truck started slowing down (as if downshifted) and smoking. About the time we got to the shoulder of the road it backfired and a flash came from the back of the truck and it died. I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota. We had to call 911 and get a deputy to pick us up and take us to the hospital.

- Bastrop, LA, USA

problem #6

Jun 012004

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,305 miles
While driving, noticed that the check engine light was on and the oil pressure gauge was incorrect. Notified dealer of this issue and also an issue with grinding noise when turning left or right. The dealer has replaced the upper and lower ball joints on the front and even admitted that they have seen a high failure rate for this. Also they replaced the vacuum tube harness under the gas tank. The oil pressure gauge sensor was loose and was corrected.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 272003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The vehicle stalled while driving. The vehicle experienced the following: Knocking in the suspension(4 attempts to fix), the vehicle pulled to the right, the driver door had a wind noise and water leaked, the tailgate handle was loose on the right side, the lower steering column coupled, and the upper control arm bolts were found loose.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 012003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2002 Dodge Dakota quad cab w/ 5.9 liter engine. My truck suffers from a shaky idle, very prevalent when releasing the brake and rolling. Is worse at cold start up. I suspect ignition system= location of coil may be the cause due to being so close to the tensioner pulley or a out-of balance harmonic balancer.

- Ballwin, MO, USA

problem #3

Feb 142003


  • miles
The vehicle stalled at 30 mph.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #2

Jan 172003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35 miles
Warm engine idle on 4.7L engine in 2002 Dakota quad cab stumbles when idling at traffic lights. RPM at normal idle only 500 to 550. When fluctuation occurs idle speed ranges between 450 rpms to 650 rpms. Engine vibrates due to low idle RPM and has stalled on one occasion. To prevent stall out I need to shift automatic transmission into neutral. Have been to dealer twice and was told they can't fix as no tsb has been received allowing for change to computer. This has been an ongoing problem since I bought the truck new last June. Not just date specific as requested by an incident date.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #1

Mar 072003

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,042 miles
Pickup truck drive train binds up during 2 wheel driving. The front axle (4X4) does not allow the front wheels to disengage. Truck has been to the dealer 3 times and Dodge says this is the way they all are. At 4272 miles the front tires show significant feathering, and is stalling out when driving around corners in low gear mode (@ intersections and parking spaces). Dodge says that the front and rear axles are not limited slip but positive traction and recommends that I push in the clutch to keep from stalling. They want me to double-clutch to get through an intersection when I make left hand turns? I feel that this is a design error with safety implications.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

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