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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,339 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.

2003 Dodge Dakota engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 042010

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 60,745 miles


Original owner of a 2003 Dodge Dakota quad cab 4.7L V-8. it experienced sudden loss of oil pressure and catastrophic engine failure. Vehicle had only 60,745 miles on odometer, it should have been covered by Chrysler's 7yr/70,000 mile powertrain warranty but Chrysler refused to cover as with all the other similar complaints. How many of these engines have to fail before the government protects the consumer? this oil pump failure is a well known problem with Chrysler, but they refuse to cover any warranty claims for this problem. The engine is a defective design, these engines are failing at a very high rate. Speak with any engine remanufacturer and they will tell you about the design flaws of this engine and how many rebuilds they are selling to fix blown engines of consumers that have Chrysler vehicles with this 4.7L engine.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #15

Dec 012006

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 60 mph on the highway, there was a loss of all oil pressure without warning. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer, who determined the oil pump failed, and the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not alerted.

- Bellaire, OH, USA

problem #14

Aug 072006

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,231 miles
Oil gauge dropped to 0 while driving. Stopped to check the oil and it was fine. Drove about 3 miles and the truck died. Every thing locked up and unable to start again. Towed it to the mechanics and he said that we had sludge. We changed the oil as recommended. The warranty said that they will not cover buying a new engine because it was our fault. I have the receipts to prove that we did the oil changes. They had poor customer service. What's the sense of getting the extended warranty if it won't help. Our truck has 50,000 miles.

- Kaunakakai, HI, USA

problem #13

Aug 062006

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Oil pressure dropped within seconds, within 8 minutes engine died, couldn't start up again. Oil level was fine, did the oil changes prior to this when it was recommended. Chrysler stated that the warranty did not cover this. Oil sludge. Others have gone through the same thing.

- Kaunakakai, HI, USA

problem #12

Jun 042006

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,500 miles
On June 5, 2006 the engine light came on in our 2003 Dodge Dakota (approx. 25,500 miles). We took it to the Dodge dealership and they replaced a hose for the fuel line at a cost of approx. $250. On June 7, 2006 the engine light again came on and Dodge said an O2 sensor needed to be replaced (at a cost to us of approx. $300). With in the next 3 weeks our Dodge was in the shop 2 more times (for a total of 4 items in a month) due to the engine light coming on. The last time they told us the O2 sensor that was replaced was faulty and was the problem. This concerns me as the car was 5 weeks over the 3 year warranty so nothing was covered and the service we received at Dodge was the worst I have ever received.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #11

Aug 122005

(reported on)


  • miles
Email fm Mr. Robin suggs (nc) re an oil consumption problem with her 2003 Dodge Dakota pick up truck. The dealer told the consumer the vehicle consumes about 2 quarts of oil every 3,000 miles. The manufacturer stated it was normal. The emergency brake handle needed to be repaired, however, the consumer was told it was a cosmetic defect and was not covered under warranty.

- Robbinsville, NC, USA

problem #10

Aug 142004

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,540 miles


While driving down the road my engine lost oil pressure and I had it towed from the spot. Now I need to have Dodge dealer look at it.

- Painesville Twp., OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 302003

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,222 miles
At certain times the engine omits a high pitch whistle when driving. The noise comes and goes periodically and at different speeds.

- Tewksbury, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 162003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Vehicle stalled when driven at 50 mph or greater. The consumer stated the problem occurred at least 4 times.

- Reedsville, WV, USA

problem #7

Oct 302003

Dakota 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 405 miles
4X4 Dodge Dakota quad cab stalls periodically. Has stalled 12 times between the period 10/30/03 and 12/19/03. Dealership claims it cannot recreate. Usually occurs within a few minutes of starting. Typically has been at slow speeds (20 mph or lower), but has occurred as high as 40 mph. Typically restarts after sitting for a few minutes. Would not restart, however, after stall on 12/14/03. Currently on 5th service visit. Dealership tells me no error codes show up on the computer. I suggested installation of a co-Pilot. After lengthy wait for a co-Pilot (national backorder per Chrysler), event was recorded on co-Pilot and has been sent to Chrysler. As of yet, no word on results of co-Pilot data. I have begun arbitration process under mn lemon law to have vehicle replaced/repurchased.

- Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #6

Aug 012003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34 miles


When the truck is started and allowed to warm up for approximately 3 to 4 minutes and then put into reverse the truck dies. I have had the truck back to the dealership 4 times now. They have told me that they are unable to get the problem to replicate. I know that this is not true because I have had the truck for three months and it has died every time I have put it into reverse. The last time they called me to tell me that they could not get the truck to die so I made a trip to the dealership and replicated the problem for them. The dealership then called Chrysler and Chrysler told them to put a "co-Pilot" on the truck and hopefully that would catch the problem. I picked the truck up yesterday after they installed the co Pilot and today when I went out to start it, died six times when I put it in reverse. I took the truck back to the dealership this morning and they removed the co Pilot and said that they would send the info to Chrysler. I am hoping to get this problem fixed but as of right now I am not going to hold my breath.

- Mcclure, IL, USA

problem #5

Sep 022003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
While driving the vehicle hesitated then lost total power. There was poor idling, hesitation and sudden stops at intersection's, loss of power and the cruise control would shut off.

- Dellslow, WV, USA

problem #4

Jul 312003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 665 miles
Check engine light came on, engine locked up with only 665 miles. Oil pressure gauge also went to zero.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #3

Jul 102003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,624 miles
Brakes squeal and engine idle problem.

- Enterprise, AL, USA

problem #2

May 272003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,459 miles
Brakes squeal and howl, engine idels rough with A/C off in drive (wants to stall).

- Enterprise, AL, USA

problem #1

Jul 052003


  • miles
Consumer states that while driving and with no warning vehicle will stall, and it will be hard for consumer to control the vehicle. Dealer notified.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

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