pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
67,600 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. replace pads, rotors and brake cylinders (10 reports)
  3. replaced brake hose,caliper,pads,rotor (3 reports)
  4. replace both front brake lines (1 reports)
  5. tire size affects abs system (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Dakota brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Mar 062014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


Truck started having problems with lurching at stops. Mechanic adjusted back calipers, then found spindle had divet warn in it (he found it was a documented problem) , took forever to find a used one, new is $900 and Dodge quit making them, then he changed out brake lines, then new master cylinder. Nothing worked until mechanic had a Eureka.

There is a recall for the sticker listing appropriate tire sizes. After questioning the trucks history he realized all problems became apparent after getting new tires. The manufacture tire is small and an odd size making it expensive and often out of stock. So we switched to a more common larger tire size. Unknowingly this messed up the ABS which controls braking. We thought recalibrating the ABS code to match the tire size would fix the problem. It did for 4 days. Now the front brakes started smoking really bad. Took 15 minutes to put the smoke out with a hose I stole from a house (I did explain to the home owner my truck was on fire. He was accommodating)

My mechanic said before I was getting no front braking and now that he fixed the ABS system problem I have the smoking brakes, which happens to be a complaint of other owners. Back to the drawing board.

As far as recalls. I went to this site: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallprocess.cfm which list these phone numbers: 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9393. Folks complaining about safety issues is what makes a recall happen. I plan on calling today! Please join me. Brakes not working or catching fire is ridiculous.

Update from May 30, 2016: Mechanic made minor adjustments...no more smoking brakes have been working perfect for several years now.

- blueskies, Albuquerque, NM, US

problem #27

Dec 052011

Dakota LX 3.9L

  • Manual transmission
  • 77,455 miles

It seems that this problem had been going on with Chrysler for decades now. My first Dodge Dakota (1990) had the same problem intermittently and now my 2002 Dakota is having the same problem for the second time. My Dakota has less than 80,000 miles and I have replaced the right front caliper and that did not seem to fix the problem. I have come to the conclusion that Chrysler makes crappy braking systems and have vowed to never buy another Chrysler product again.

- Dave Z., DeKalb, IL, US

problem #26

Jul 182007

Dakota LX 3.9L

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I had the right front brake lock up on me when the truck had about 55,000 mi on it 4 years ago. I ended up going to the auto parts store and replacing the right front caliper myself. Now it is doing the same thing again with less than 80,000 miles on it.

- Dave Z., DeKalb, IL, US

problem #25

Jul 112011

Dakota SXT 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


Same scenario, have a 2002 dakota that peridocally has a brake stick on the front end, mostly the drivers side. I havent noticed much of a pattern of when this happens, but the other morning I had to pull over because smoke was rolling from the front end, and the wheel so hot you couldnt put your hand within an inch of it. When this occurs, the steering wheel pulls in one direction, feels like something is holding you back, then you smell the brakes burning.

I called Chrysler and got a case number and was reminded 10 times in one breathe that due to the age of my vehicle, financial assistance from Chrysler will not be possible, even though I never asked for such. Also, the Chrysler guy said there are no complaints of this problem on the 02 Dakota in his database. Every dealer says it's fine as the problem didn't occur while they checked it out, and Chrysler just says to take it back to the dealer and they will diagnose it, I just can't win:(

- tack77, Southgate, MI, US

problem #24

Feb 222011

Dakota Sport 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,500 miles

I was moving when this happened! I had the truck full of my furniture and stuff and it was raining (good I had everything tarped). In the downpour, I started smelling something burning coming thru the vents. I stopped under an overpass and the front wheels were smoking like a barbeque. A friend of mine helped me change the brake pads and rotors. The brakes were dried, cracked and flaky and had chipped off enough debris that it filled the space between the pad and the rotor and just burned up! I don't know if its a design problem, but I would really like to know if there's a fix available for this!

- Robert P., Lafayette, IN, US

problem #23

Jun 042011

Dakota SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Just recently I bought this truck private party from a guy who really took great car of it, he had included all service records, the truck was clean inside and out and ran perfectly. I thought I had found the right used vehicle.

Well after just a short time of owning it, I went to the landscape supply store and picked up a truck bed full of barkdust and headed home, after a few minutes of driving I noticed smoke coming from the front of the truck and braking became difficult. At the stop light my truck was difficult to move and had to push the engine hard to get it to move. Luckily I was close to my house so I drove home to find that the calipers on the brakes were completely frozen! The truck was also pulling hard to one side and then would switch to another side.

I took it to the shop, where they told me I needed to replace, rotors, calipers, shoes (in the rear), pads and new front and rear suspension. They told me the suspension was sagging, which might have caused stress on the brakes. All in all it was $1,000.00!!!

I was reading other people who have had this problem, and I really think that Dodge should do something about this. It seems like one of the biggest problems on this truck. I know I can't afford to keep paying a thousand dollars for this repair.

- Zach R., Beaverton, OR, US

problem #22

Feb 192011

Dakota Quad Cab SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


Just bought the dodge truck a month ago locked up the day we bought it!Bought the truck as is,I really love this little truck and wish we could find a solution to this!

- Jason G., Marion, IN, US

problem #21

Nov 102010

Dakota SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

locked up front end ruined rotor, pads, caliper assembly had to replace everything

- K K., Middletown, CT, US

problem #20

Oct 012010

Dakota 6 Cycle

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

I have had my right front brake caliper lock up several times on my 2002 Dodge Dakota pick-up, when this happens the right front tires smokes, it does not release until it cools down, this results in the brake pads getting so hot they crack, I have replaced all parts including the calipers several times and it keeps happening. Whats going on this is a serious problem! I researched this problem and found several complaints of the same thing! A definite manufacturing issue. We need to get this under a recall. Please call these numbers Chrysler Manufacturing 1-800-992-1997, Federal Trade and Safety 1-888-327-4236, you will get a complaint #. Thanks Kathy Moore for putting your number on this site so that I received the information I neeed.....debdeschenes@yahoo.com

- deschenes, Ctr Conway, NH, US

problem #19

Aug 162010

Dakota 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

The dealership took our truck Nov 4 2010 they had it for 3 working days ,not today we're getting our truck back without a solution,They say nothing is wrong with it. What a joke these people are, they are hiding something in these dodges

- Kathy M., Trout Run, PA, US

problem #18

Feb 072006

Dakota Sport 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,774 miles


The dealer had just replaced front right wheel bearing and less than 1000 km later the right front wheel brake locket up in traffic and smoked. Rim nuts where not tight. The front rotors, calipers and brake pads where changed. No problems so far at 80,000 km plus,, knock on wood. I like the truck, and the dealer likes the truck to.. keeps the food on the table.

- jasi, Victoria, BC, Canada

problem #17

Aug 152010

Dakota SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

my name is kathyshore-moore,I own a 2002 dodge dakota cab 4by4 slt plus 4.7l V8 I also have a problem with my front brakes . On Aug, 14 2010 they locked up. I as a consumer feel this is a manufacture problem, there should be recall on this year truck. We are all spending a lot of money on this problem and not getting it solved. I have filed a formal complaint ,the number to do this 1-800 424-9153 please call this number if you have this problem, My goal is to try to get Dodge to make a recall on this problems with the brakes locking up.

Please call me at home so that I can log your name ,my number is 1-570-995-5110 this is very important to take the time to do this,because I will not stop till I get this done.as a group just maybe we can get this done, but I need everybody help in this matter that has this problems, The manufacture should be paying for this not us. or e-mail me at kathyshoremoore@yahoo.com Please help. My truck right now is at the dealer trying to get fixed,also this happened to me when i went on vacation,so I am 200 miles away from home, and I have to drive it and Iam scared to death of my brakes locking up. going home Thank you so much for your help

- William M., Trout Run, PA, US

problem #16

May 062006

Dakota Quad Cab V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Driver's side front caliper locks up on random occasions. It has happened 4 times since I bought the truck new in '02. Have replaced pads, rotors, calipers, rubber hose, but still it will grab on the driver's side until it overheats and locks up. Nothing will fix it until it cools down. Then once I take it to the brake shop, they say that everything is fine and there is no problem. It will be months between episodes, but it comes back. I'm tired of it!

Update from Oct 26, 2010: I no longer own the truck.

- ernests, Mims, FL, US

problem #15

Aug 202007

Dakota Club Cab 4x4 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

The trucks brakes have locked up several times and we have had it in to mechanics and also the Dodge dealer and we have been told that the brakes are just fine. We have had to replace some many different rotors and pads it is ridiculous. They have started on fire and the Dodge dealer said there was no evidence of it on fire.... found that funny since we had the cops and the fire department there and witnesses. To this day 22May08 we are still battling with the brake problem and no help. I am tired of paying the idiots to fix it when they keep telling me there is no problem. Like I just want to throw thousands of dollars around to give them something to do.. Come on now lets be realistic.... A doctor will tell you that you know yourself and your kids best if you say your sick then you probably are so if we say are trucks are not working right don't you think we would know best about that.... My brother in law also has started having this problem also.... Are we looking at a defective part that the dealers or manufactures are hiding? What will they do when this happens to someone and it causes a severe accident and they are sued cause they new there was a problem and did nothing?. Anyway I think this is sh*t and if this many people are having problems with the same thing then it is not us it is the way it was made or something like that......

- Richard & Barb K., Stacy, MN, US

problem #14

Apr 112008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

'02 quad cab 4x4..passenger brake locked up..lots of smoke. next morning, no problems. 1 mo. later it locked up again. ok in the morning. Took it to the dealer and they agreed with my complaint that it appeared it locked up but was ok now. they had no solution so charged me $50 dollars and gave me a $900 estimate to replace both front calipers, rotors and brake shoes.

Went to autozone bought 1 rotor , caliper , and brake hose for passenger side and replaced both sets of brake pads for about $100. only been a few days so we will see if it locks up again.

Update from May 5, 2011: never updated this post but received lots of emails....after replacing the rotor(side that locked up cause it was warped) , caliper and brake hose( also drained most of the brake fluid and refilled) i havent had any problems.( i read alot of posts but none of the others mentioned replacing the brake hose( wonder if it just collapsed on the inside)

- Robert B., Nashville, TN, US

problem #13

May 122008

Dakota SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I had a minor issue with the front brakes pulsing when applied and figured it was time to replace the pads....went ahead and replaced the rotors too. I drove my truck around town while working, no problems, then started the 20 mile drive home and the front end locked up about a third of the way there. I called the shop that did the work and about an hour later they showed up (I had to force my way to a point about a half a mile where i could pull off, brakes just 'a smokin"!!!) When they got there the front end must have cooled off some, the wheels rocked pretty freely and I drove most of the rest without much issue (I still noticed some wheel hop) I have yet to find any answer........recalls anyone??

- Randy C., Niceville, FL, US

problem #12

Feb 242008

Dakota SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,500 miles

Both front brakes started locking up last summer, actually had smoke and flames coming from the wheel wells. Naturally the dealer and independent repair couldn't find problem after the truck had been sitting still. I had to leave the vehicle with repair and they drove it around and recreated the problem. Replaced rotors, caliper and pads last summer (only the caliper covered under warranty) and now brake burning smell coming from front again and rotors are so hot you can't touch them - just from short drive to store and back. Taking back to dealer for state inspection and brake diagnosis.

- dodgecny, Marcellus, NY, US

problem #11

Apr 252007

(reported on)

Dakota Sport 4.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My 2002 Dakota calipers have seized or locked up 4 times in the last year and a half. The first time it nearly burned the truck up, started a fire that I put out with soda. I replaced the calipers, rotors, hoses, and master cylinder and it just happened again the other day. The only thing I haven't replaced is the ABS computer. This is a huge issue that doesn't appear to be isolated.

Anyone have a similar issue with a fix?

- Darren T., Auburn, WA, US

problem #10

Aug 172007

(reported on)

Dakota Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Same problem of locking up and pulling to the side, but the vehicle has always stopped well. After first pulling to the right, I changed the caliper. After a few weeks, problem occurred again on both sides. Problem then stopped but the rotors were then warped and the brakes always squeaked. I drove it 5,000 miles with squeaky brakes waiting for the problem to occur again so I could troubleshoot it. Finally I changed the brakes and rotors and a couple weeks later - lock-up! I am clueless but think I might try changing the lines next and/or going with ceramic brake pads.

- beegle, Rootstown, OH, US

problem #9

Jun 152007

(reported on)

Dakota SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,057 miles

I purchased the parts at the local parts store and took them to the dealer or it would have cost $250 more.

- Wesley S., Knightdale, NC, US

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