pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
40,375 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. had new brakes installed (2 reports)
  3. replace proportional valve (1 reports)
  4. replaced front calipers (1 reports)
2001 Dodge Dakota brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #8

Oct 182015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


This damn truck has no f*cking brakes!! I tired of wasting my own damn f*cking money that I work my ass off to get, and I always be wasting it on this damn thing. The other f*cking day I hit a damn light pole at the f*cking Krogers... I WANT MY F*CKING MONEY BACK BITCH!! I f*cking hate this f*cking truck!!! Don't make a damn f*cking bitch ass truck like this again... YOU LITTLE BITCHES!!!!!!

- , Tullahoma, TN, USA

problem #7

Jul 072012

Dakota Quad Cab 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Dodge dakota. had 12 years. in last year, brakes started locking up. extremely hot. welded ceramic pads to rotor, had to use crowbar to bust loose. replaced front and rear brakes-completely. except lines. did it dozens of times since. traced to proportional valve. replaced with junkyard unit and it got better. replaced it with new from dealer at $250!! It worked ok for 3 months and then started. Seems to be heat related. only does occasionally now, when brakes and engine are both hot. in-town driving is bad. I stop and pop the brake bleed screws and it will release the wheel. Lasts until it gets too hot again. May have to do 2-3 times if running errands around town. Also, dumping ice water on the proportional valve helps.

- , Mobile, AL, USA

problem #6

May 012001

Dakota Quad Slt 5.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

This vehicle is still in our possession and the problem has intermittently occurred for the last 12 plus years. Purchased September 2000 brand new. Initially the logic was that we didn't drive it enough!!!! Several calipers, rotors , pads, and flushing the brake lines and new fluid as well as lines have been replaced in a vehicle that has been pampered with less than 18K miles. We have used aftermarket parts for the last right and left side for rotors, calipers, pads, and lines and they have done better than the oem crap that must have been laden with Gold. The truck has 4 wheel ABS brake system. Both left and right sides have intermittently failed as a result of calipers that don't release but yet the diagnosis is that we should drive the truck more often. Really!!!! I have a 79 W200 that sits and sits and have never had an issue with sticking calipers as well as several older vehicles without the problems that this Dakota exhibits. No help from Chrysler either even though most of our transportation is from mother Mopar. The garage is a Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep dealership that usually does a good job but not driving enough really sounds like telling you to turn up the radio to avoid noises with the vehicle. AARRRGGHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

- , Powell, TN, USA

problem #5

Jan 012002

Dakota SLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles


2001 Dodge Dakota----front brakes dragging to the point of smoke.

I have been researching this problem since 2002. At various forums, it looks like Dodge had a problem between 2000 and 2005--in '06 the brake problem disappears. Yesterday I replaced the front brake lines as recommended by an online "guru" and this AM they were smoking after a 20 mile run.

When I took the brake lines off the wheels were dragging lightly. I hooked up a vacuum pump to the caliper side, and the piston retracted nicely. Caliper not the problem. Brake lines not the problem. Looks like the master cylinder is the next thing to look at.

When I broke the brake lines, each had a little residual pressure (I think).

After bleeding the brakes, I had a pedal that dropped about 3/4" before engaging the brakes, and after testing this continued to be the case. This AM the pedal started feeling like a brick as soon as my foot touched it. Something is keeping the pressure on and not letting it relieve.

My Dakota is a farm vehicle with >20KMiles on it, in good shape and otherwise mechanically good. Following this complaint amongst Dodge Dakota owners has been enlightening. Input?

Update from Sep 6, 2010: Update on 6 Sept 2010:

Today I drove into town, a 35 mile round trip that should have resulted in dragging brakes to the point of smoke or as slight as warm wheels. This has been the case every trip for the last three months, usually just warm to hot wheels. But today I tried leaving the brake reservoir cap off. I took a good look at the cap, and it is unvented. Seems to me any warmth from the engine/radiator airflow will warm the brake fluid, and since this reservoir is big, some pressure will form unless vented. I got home and the wheels were COOL to the touch. This is unusual.

Is this a fix? After all the work I have done on this problem, I am sure as hell not going to call it a fix. It is, however, something that 2002-2005 Dakota owners can try out. I plan on making a permanent vent in the cap, and keep track. Can it be this simple? Nothing would surprise me.

Leave me a comment please. The more info I get the better I can attack this vexing problem. I'll get back to you within a week. I want to DRIVE A STAKE through the heart of this problem.


Update from Sep 12, 2010: I took the cap off the brake reservoir. The gasket underneath is a rubber bellows, which strongly suggests that the reservoir needs to be equalized for pressure. Underneath the bellows is a neatly cast channel to vent air between the reservoir and the cap, and this channel ends at the center of the cap where logically there would be a vent hole. NONE!

I drilled mine and added a small piece of pipe so I can hook it up to a small handheld vacuum pump. If the brakes start dragging I will pull vacuum on the reservoir and see if this releases the calipers.

It cannot hurt to drill a 1/16th inch hole in your cap. If you found it had none, please comment to me.

One trip into town with the new vent, no problems. But it was raining aan quite cool, which seems to have reduced the problem in the past.

Update from Oct 6, 2010: 6 October 10: Nope. The problem persists. My next avenue of investigation is to make sure the components that lets the caliper slide left and right is free and moving correctly. Disassembly required. I cannot detect that one side of the rotor is hotter than the other, which would be the case of the caliper does not slide open on the outer (non-piston) side. More later, maybe a lot later. Today it got hot, but not to the point of pulling or smoking or the smell of brake pad, which might be an improvement. Ted

- , North Bend, OR, US

problem #4

Jun 012009

Dakota SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I love my truck, but have an unfixable problem. The front brakes keep locking up. First one side then the other. And occasionally both at once and truck won't move. I just had my 3rd set of rotors put on in last 12,000 miles.

The first time I had the rotors and pads replaced didn't think much of the lock ups as rotors were warped. 7k miles later in comes next set of rotors with new pads, as well as new master cylinder and lower brake lines. Was told that could be the cause. 5k miles later ( now at 62k total for truck ), I've just put another set of rotors, pads, and now calipers on truck. Also had to replace wheel bearings on both sides cause they were shot.

I've put on on 300 miles since and still every now and then feel a faint brake tug. What is possibly left to replace? None of the 4 shops I've had look at or work on my truck know what to do.

- , Fultonville, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 152008

Dakota SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

I just love calling the dealer on things like this oh yea bring er n down an leave it an we might jus get to er in a day or so an all for the low price of $300 to put it on our just dodge has this mind you brake diagnostic tool and will be sure to get it back to with grease hand prints and dirt all over it!

- , santa clara, CA, USA

problem #2

May 142008

Dakota 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


- , Seelyville, IN, USA

problem #1

Jul 012007

(reported on)

Dakota Sport 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

This truck runs great. The only problem is the Brakes they are the biggest pain I have ever had . Nobody seems to know what the problem is. The passenger side wheel gets so hot they smoke and inside you can smell the burning brake fluid. I had the dealer check it out and he said it was a bad master cyl. Okay we did that and about a month later the same thing happened again. I took it to my personal mechanic and he did some research and found that the brake fluid had burned up and the dealer never changed the fluid when they did the master cyl. We also changed the rotors and pads. The truck ran fine for about 6 months and guess what the same thing all over again. What do I have to do change the whole damn brake system..... If any of you guys or girls out there had this problem and somehow had it solved pleaseeee drop me a line..

Thanks, Marty

- , Cranford, NJ, USA

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