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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,070 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.

2005 Dodge Dakota drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Dec 102014

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 254,000 miles


"4lo" intermittently flashes when traveling at speed. "svc 4WD" may come on and go out for a few seconds, following by "4lock" flashing for a second or two. 4WD will engage/disengage on it's own with no indication. Transfer case motor will engage/disengage on it's own while vehicle is parked, turned off, and key out of the ignition. Today, the 4WD engaged and bound up the wheels. Transfer case was overheating. Pulled in parking lot and can manually "4lock", then "2hi", then pulled FCM fuse to disable 4WD. Manufacturer and dealer have not been contacted at this time.

- West Leyden, NY, USA

problem #18

Oct 112014


  • 71,102 miles
Warning indicator flashed "4lo" multiple times, "4lock", then "svc 4WD". 4lock autonomously engaged with no visual indication.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #17

Jul 142014

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 114,916 miles
Driving down the road at 55 miles an hour the 4lo light started flashing like it was trying to shift into 4lo. It also shifted into tow neutral without even being started. You can hear the servo motor trying to engage the 4WD with the truck parked. I'm worried about what would happen if the 4lo engaged on the interstate at 70 mph.

- Caruthersville , MO, USA

problem #16

May 012014


  • 120,618 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while parked on an incline, the vehicle shifted out of gear independently and rolled backward crashing into a house. The fender, tire rod, bumper and tail lights were damaged. There were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and later explained that they were not able to provide any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 120,618. Updated 8/29/14 updated 11/18/2014

- George Town, KY, USA

problem #15

Jul 052014

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Rear wheels locked up after pulling onto roadway from a grade and turning left. Accelerated to approx. 25 mph to enter roadway, heard loud bang and felt vehicle shudder. Drive shaft separated from rear differential, rear wheels would not move; vehicle stopped in middle of 35 mph roadway. Metal shaft appears sheared off. Used 4X4 mode to power front wheels to pull onto shoulder. Had I been merging onto highway my truck could have stopped without warning, potentially causing a serious accident. Vehicle removed by flatbed tow - again rear wheels would not roll. Vehicle serviced regularly including rear differential pinion seal replaced on 11/5/10 and again ON11/29/13 by Dodge dealer. 2005 Dodge Dakota laramie 4X4 quad cab with tow package; very little towing performed over vehicle life.

- Mcdonald, PA, USA

problem #14

Mar 162014


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while sitting at a stop sign, he heard a loud bang. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the rear end had seized and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 28,000. Updated 5/27/14

- Harpswell, ME, USA

problem #13

Oct 292013

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Upon slowing to enter a garage the truck slowed further as if it was about to stall (svc 4WD dash light came on) but regained power. After parking, the truck was turned off but I began to hear mechanical noises from the undercarriage. When departing later in the day, the same slowing motion started as I emerged from the garage but the truck regained full power and operated normally. After arriving home, I parked and locked the truck from my key fob but again the undercarriage noises started again and sounded like the power locks were running amok. A couple days later, the same occurrence. Took the truck to my trusted garage (not a Dodge dealer) who called Dodge (no clue) and another mechanic hotline service to check for any technical service bulletins/recalls, but no good results. Next, the chief mechanic road tested the truck and could not replicate the undercarriage noise but did see the svc 4WD dash light. The truck was returned with an admonishment to return if it crops up again. Two days later it did and I return where upon driving up, the chief mechanic heard the noises and declared it was trying to shift into 4WD. By this time I was seeing the 4 hi dash light in addition to the other warning light.the team at the garage went back to work and contacted another mechanic helpline that wasted no time in identifying the issue. As a matter of fact, after explaining the situation the helpline guy asked if the truck had rolled on it's own - because if it has not it would eventually. This is supposed to be a documented problem in these truck that Dodge has not seen fit to fix/recall for safety. Fix was test and replace the transfer case shift motor assembly.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #12

Oct 292013


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while traveling 55 mph, the rear wheels seized. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the differential along with several other components needed to be replaced. The vehicle was being repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Burlington, IA, USA

problem #11

Oct 012013


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle shifted out of drive. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis but was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Eeverly, MA, USA

problem #10

Mar 212011


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph he heard a loud grinding noise as the vehicle engaged into neutral independently. The failure recurred numerous even when the vehicle was parked and the vehicle shifted into four wheel drive with no driver or passenger inside the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis but the failure could not be duplicated. The failure continued to recur. The vehicle was returned to the dealer but again the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 70,000.

- Baden, PA, USA

problem #9

Mar 012013


  • miles


2005 Dakota club cab. Consumer writes in regards to problems with vehicle gears and rear axles. The consumer stated when he applied the accelerator, from a stopped position, the vehicle lurched slightly forward and a high pitched whining sound emitted from the vehicle. The consumer then realized, he didn't have any gears. He was able to drift the truck off the road, since he was on a slight upgrade. The truck was towed to a repair shop. An inspection revealed, the pinion gear had metal fatigue and fractured on the shaft behind the spline and ahead of the gear.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #8

Feb 192013

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering felt loose. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the trans cooler line failed and was leaking. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 85,000.

- Downing Town , PA, USA

problem #7

Mar 062011


  • 65,942 miles
The pinion gear shaft to my differential sheared off just aft of the tapered roller bearing in the front of the housing. The portion of the shaft still attached to the drive shaft through the universal joint and the roller bearing pulled out of the housing and fell to the ground. This appears to be a fatigue failure of the gear shaft. This occurred while driving on a maintained dirt road. No modifications of any kind have been made to the vehicle and aside from occasional use on maintained dirt roads, no off-roading or other severe driving conditions have been encountered. Considering the mileage and light usage of this vehicle, this is a very unexpected failure. A gear shaft of this type should not fail, certainly not before the U-joint itself. This would then seem to most likely be a result of a manufacturing defect. This is clearly a serious safety concern as this failure is followed immediately by the drive shaft dragging on the ground and a complete loss of power. A failure of this type at high speed would have been extremely dangerous.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #6

Jun 122010


  • 36,000 miles
There's an existing tsb (Chrysler/Dodge 05-002-06 supersedes 05-004-05) that covers the repair of the rear axle shafts and braking system. There was a defect in the design of the parts that can cause the rear wheels not to brake and can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle at highway speeds. Dodge issued the two aforementioned tsbs to correct the issue, but it wasn't widely performed. Lots of 05 and 06 Dakotas with the defect are still on the road.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #5

May 052010

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Problem is with the rear axle on the 2005 Dodge Dakota. I have had the dealership rebuild the axle at 15,000 and 50,000 miles. It's being rebuilt for a 3rd time by a independent auto shop. I tried to take it to a Dodge dealership in santa maria ca to see if they would repair it since it was a ongoing issue but informed me that it's not and would cost $2200. Of course the independent shop is doing it for roughly half that. I went to and filled out a complaint with them. I faxed the repair documentation with them and left messages but my rep (david) never calls back. I did receive a email from Dodge for a customer survey but it's funny how their links don't work and their website security certificates are out of date. I guess if they can't maintain a website it's probably asking too much to fix a truck.

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 102009


  • 77,513 miles
On my 2005 Dodge Dakota it randomly shifts in and out of 4 wheel drive. This occurs even after the vehicle has been shut off and the key removed. I disconnected the selector switch in the cabin and the problem still occurred. My mechanic pinpointed the problem to the crank case position sensor. After contacting the dealer for a replacement part he was told they are on national backorder and they dealer has no idea when they will be released. Now I have a vehicle that I can't drive because of a safety defect.

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #3

Feb 232009


  • miles
I have a 2005 Dodge Dakota slt. I purchased it in 10/2005. I have had problems with this truck since I first bought it. Recently I had to replaced the tire rods, sway bar and linkage, brakes, calipers, and rotors. Two days after I had all of these things fixed I noticed that the truck was still shaking and making a lot of noise. When I brought the truck to Dodge I was informed that the rear axle in the truck needed to be replaced. I was told that when the truck was manufactured the wrong size axle was put in the truck. This caused all kinds of problems. I was told that other parts are damaged and need to be replaced and repaired.(rear brake shoes, front disc rotors) I was told that the axle part is covered under warranty but I have to pay the $100 deductible. I was told that everything else that is damaged (due to the axle) and requires repair and replacement is not covered because it is considered "normal wear and tear". I was given a quote of somewhere around $400. (depending on labor) my complaint is simple, I am being forced to pay for damaged parts on my truck that are directly caused by the manufactures error. A problem that can be proved to be the manufacturers fault. I was sold a vehicle that had the wrong axle installed. Which then caused additional problems. When I bought this truck I was under the impression that the manufactures made the vehicle properly. They did not. They sold me a truck with the wrong part installed. Not only is this wrong but there should be some kind of an investigation into this. If the wrong size axle is in my truck, there are other trucks that also have the wrong size axle installed. It is dangerous and suspicious. I think it is even safe to say that it is fraud too! selling trucks that have the wrong parts installed and then making profit from the repairs and replacements. Sounds like fraud to me.

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #2

Mar 052007

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,963 miles
Consistent driveline vibration, unable to diagnose or repair. I took my 2005 Dodge laramie quad cab in for a front end alignment on March 5, 2007 to try and repair the previously mentioned problem. Since this time I have had the truck back to the dealership a minimum of ten times and it has been in their possession at least 60 days. The dealer has virtually replaced all of the front end parts, brakes, rotors, calipers, rotated tires, replaced and tried eleven (11) Michelin tires, balanced, high speed balanced, my rims have over fifty notches where they have placed weights to balance the tires without result. Similar complaints lead me to believe this is a safety issue and needs investigated since by their own admission they can not diagnose the problem.

- Moorsville, NC, USA

problem #1

Nov 132006

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
During stops the rpms on my 2005 Dakota will go erratic. The rpms will go from a few hundred to over 3000. The vehicle will stall and has to be put into park and restarted. No service engine light will ever come on. I have had it at the dealership were I purchased the vehicle 3 time for this problem and they can find nothing wrong with the it. The last time I took it in to have this problem it stalled in traffic that same day I was told they could not find any problem with my truck. This is just one of several issues I have had with this truck that the dealership could not find a problem.

- Cabot , AR, USA

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