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2.3

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,599 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.

2004 Dodge Dakota steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #60

Jun 022014

Dakota

  • 54,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The steering is hard when the vehicle is cold.. when you turn the steering wheel is stiff and hard to turn and does not go back to a neutral position. You have to manually turn the steering wheel back to straighten it out. When the vehicle is driven for a hour the steering improves. I have seen many other complaints about the same problem with the same vehicle. It is a safety hazard.

- Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #59

May 142014

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 144,500 miles
Steering was loose at first but became very hard to turn at any speed.changed the rack, with same problem. I than changed the steering pump with little to no success.

- Lake Luzerne, NY, USA

problem #58

Apr 012014

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 110,600 miles
Noticed a problem with the power steering on my 2004 Dodge Dakota at the beginning of April. The steering is stiff and hard to turn. It requires assistance to bring the steering wheel back to center. It doesn't matter what speed you are going. It seems to get better after about 30 minutes of driving but after sitting for a while the problem is back. I bought the truck last year as a second vehicle and now regret doing so. I have had the truck to the dealership twice. 4/14/14 they replaced the lower ball joints, front rotors and power steering pump. That did not fix the problem. 4/24/14 they replaced the steering rack. $2,300 later the problem still exists. It is going back to the dealership 5/14/14 but I have my doubts the problem will be fixed after reading other complaints online. I have contacted Chrysler about this and have been assigned a case manager. I am waiting to hear what they have to say. I do not wish to spend anymore money trying to fix a design flaw in their steering components. The steering poses a safety issue and I do not feel comfortable driving it very far.

- Steelton, PA, USA

problem #57

Feb 172006

Dakota

  • 16,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

TL- the contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated while driving 65 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Middletown, MD, USA

problem #56

Jan 212013

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that when the engine was cold, the power steering assist would fail and the steering wheel would seize. In warmer temperatures, the steering wheel would easily move from side to side but would exhibit difficulties in returning to a straight position. The contact took the vehicle to a mechanic and they were unable to find a problem with the steering. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 120,000.

- Golden, CO, USA

problem #55

Apr 262013

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 220,000 miles
The steering in my 2004 Dodge Dakota truck would get stiff while turning and then would turn easy then back to stiff. It is very hard to control the truck while making turns. The steering is like very unstable and could cause an accident. Are there any recalls on this issue I see that there is alot of this happening to these trucks?

- Mount Wolf, PA, USA

problem #54

Oct 192012

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 166,650 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

A good friend of mine has the exact same truck and his whole tire fell off going down the highway. He thank god did not get hurt or hurt anyone else in the prosess. He told me that in 2004 their was a recall on the ball joints of this vehicle. I bought my truck from a private owner and do not have a recall notice of my own, is there a way now that I am the 2nd owner of this vehicle that I can still have this recall be taken care of at a dealership being that it is under 10 years within the recall time limit. I don't want to have what happened to my friend happen to me. Thank you.

- Ledyard, CT, USA

problem #53

Feb 152012

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 90,230 miles
On Feb.15, 2012 was driving and went to make a turn and the after a quarter of the way into the curve the steering locked up and became very hard to turn, causing me to almost hit the car setting at the light. And since that time the steering is hardest to turn when cold and easier when warm. The steering when it is cold is stiff when you are a quarter the way into the curve and then releases then hard again all in the same turn, making it very dangerous because it makes your vehicle swerve and become reckless. Dodge needs to issue a recall on the defective steering parts. I have been told it because of poor design and lack of lubrication points causing the failure. Please mandate that they issue a recall on this vehicle for this problem, thank you very much.

- Piqua, OH, USA

problem #52

Oct 032011

Dakota

  • miles
Around October started having trouble with steering would be tight then loosen up if it was warm. When it got colder it got very hard to steer. Changed the rack then every time you would turn it would pull tight and let loose and make truck swerve. Figured most have gotten a defective part changed steering rack again. Same problem decided to change steering pump this time. So much for that it didn't help either now I have a whining noise on top of the tight steering. I have already put alot of money into it and nothing seems to be working!!!!!!!!!

- Black Lick, PA, USA

problem #51

Jan 302012

Dakota

  • 120,000 miles
Began to experience heavy, difficult steering, especially when cold, and metallic clunking or grinding noises when turning tightly at low speeds accompanied by power steering pump whine on a 2004 Dodge Dakota 4.7L V8 4X4 quad cab. Steering has also become abnormally heavy at normal driving speeds with difficulty centering steering wheel and reduced power steering assist. Inspection of steering components revealed severe rust on steering intermediate shaft upper U joint caused by road salt and moisture, which resulted in steering difficulty and strain on power steering system. This condition is extremely dangerous due to the extra effort required to steer the vehicle. Lubricating the joint with grease temporarily alleviates the issue, but problem returns after a period of time and will require eventual replacement of upper/lower intermediate shaft(s) at a parts cost of approximately $226, plus labor. Internet research reveals this is a widely occurring issue on this generation of Dakota pickup caused by poor design (lack of lubrication, no protection from the elements, and inadequate rust proofing) of a critical steering component, where failure can result in a serious safety hazard by making the vehicle more difficult to steer, and thus Chrysler group llc should be held liable for repair costs of this component.

- Quarryville, PA, USA

problem #50

Dec 202011

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 75,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

No power steering assist in cold temperatures. With first start up the truck turns very hard. Even after drivig for several miles truck is still hard to steer and you constantly have to correct it.

- Palmerton, PA, USA

problem #49

Aug 012011

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Power steering went out and took it in to flush the fluid. Didn't do anything but was to give it a few hundred miles. I waited to see what was going to happen and after 1 month and nothing changing I replaced the fluid again with some correction fluid. Didn't work, then another month later the steering released back to normal in the middle of the turn. Two weeks later the power steering became intermittent and sometimes in the same turn. At this point I searched deeper on the intranet and found multiple complaints about Dodge Dakota steering and many that were specific to a 2004 Dakota and more than a handful that had about 70K miles like mine. After spraying penetrating oil on the U-joint with a short term correction, I'm convinced that I now have one of these faulty steering shafts.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #48

Apr 012011

Dakota

  • 62,500 miles
Truck has become very hard to steer. Like the power steering has failed. When going into a turn is very hard to turn and when coming back it sticks and have to turn hard on the wheel. This comes and goes, seems to work fine when the weather is hot out and seems to fail when the weather is cool or cold.

- Lasalle, MI, USA

problem #47

Oct 012011

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 56,109 miles
Steering became inconsistent. Vehicle was very difficult to turn, but would become occasionally easier making it difficult to control going into and out of turns. Dealer replaced intermediate steering shaft at a cost of $420. This fixed problem.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #46

Aug 232011

Dakota

  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated while making a turn the steering wheel locked in the direction the vehicle was turning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer, but the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 140,000.

- Grafton, WV, USA

problem #45

Jan 012011

Dakota

  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the steering wheel became increasingly difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the diagnosis stated that the intermediate steering shaft failed. The failed component was replaced and the vehicle was repaired.the manufacturer was notified. The failure and current mileages were 74,000. The VIN was unknown.

- Riga, MI, USA

problem #44

Jun 262011

Dakota

  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while turning at approximately 35 mph, the steering wheel locked up and was very difficult to turn. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the intermediate steering shaft needed to be replaced, but the parts needed to be ordered first. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and filed a claim on the contacts behalf. The contact was awaiting a response. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Riga, MI, USA

problem #43

Jan 012011

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated the steering wheel would become stiff while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they informed that the steering mechanism failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 52,000. Updated 06/03/11 updated 06/13/11

- Lititz, PA, USA

problem #42

Apr 152011

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Power steering goes loose-stiff-loose-stiff while turning.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #41

Nov 202010

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 56,955 miles
My 2004 Dodge Dakota began having steering issues last fall which became increasingly worse over the following weeks. The power steering seemed to have stopped working. When I made a turn it was stiff, then loose, then stiff again as you cranked the steering wheel. This would cause me to apply more pressure to turn the truck, then the steering wheel would suddenly loosen up, causing you to swerve. This caused me enough concern about my safety that I had a mechanic take a look. He first thought the problem was with the power steering fluid so he flushed out the system. Problem persisted. He then replaced the steering rack. Jerky/stiff steering continued to occur. After reading on a Dodge forum about this issue he tried the "temporary fix" of lubricating the lower U-joint on the intermediate rod and this seems to have returned the steering to a normal state. However, my mechanic feels this is a temporary fix and feels the rod should be replaced. Preferably with a rod that has grease fittings. Apparently there is a design flaw with this make and model which Dodge is aware of, but has failed to issue a recall for. Please look into this matter.

- Falls City, NE, USA

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