really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
91,750 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. $5,000 or more will fix the problem (2 reports)
2003 Dodge Dakota engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #5

Mar 262012

Dakota V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,505 miles


I have owned a 2003 Dodge Dakota V6 for the past 3 years and never had a problem until I took it to the Dealership in Union City GA yesterday for a routine oil change. After waiting 2 hours, they told me they were having a problem getting oil in the engine because there was sludge in the engine which was causing the oil to go in slowly. They recommended adding an oil additive. An hour later they returned my car to me. I started driving out of the lot my car was running rough. Two blocks later the oil light came on, engine started a little ticking and ran rougher. I turned around barely made it back to the dealership. They said there was 6 qt of oil in the engine. They would have to start over. Then they came out and said now they had no oil pressure at all and they would had to remove the oil pan and replace the oil plump and other parts. I may need a new engine or have it rebuilt. They would call me today and let me know. Mind you, I have never had a problem until they did the oil change this time. Now that I check the computer, I find hundreds of people have a problem with sludge and loss of oil pressure in the Dodge Dakota for no reason. This is very dangerous. All of a sudden there is no oil pressure while you are driving.

- Ottellia H., Atlanta, GA, US

problem #4

Nov 012008

Dakota Sport 4.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I went to the dealership in 2003 and paid cash for my Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 with the 4.7 engine. 2 Years later after following regular oil changes and taking good care of my truck, I noticed chunks coming out with the oil being drained. Since I always had it done at Jiffy Lube, I never had the chance to see this. I just thought to myself, glad I changed the oil at 3000 miles and moved on. The next oil change showed the same problem. Since I am not one with a ton of money, I figured I just need to deal with it. After reading this site, I feel it's about time I say something since I know don't have a running truck. AND that Dodge knows about the problem. I would hate to look back to see how much I have wasted in money for gas and the impact on the environment. The truck does have 100K miles on it now, but I should be able to get much much more.

- laurencec, Frederick, MD, US

problem #3

Feb 102009

Dakota Quad 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

My husband and I got in our truck to drive me to work and the oil gauge went all the way to low. The gauge then went back up to the middle so we figured it was low on oil. We watched it. After I finished working we took the truck and got an oil change at Valvoline which cost $68.00. The problem still remained so the guy at Valvoline said he thought it might be our oil gauge sensor. We then took it to our mechanic who changed the oil sensor and they called me and told me that after making the change that wasn't the problem. My mechanic said he thought it could be the oil pump but that they couldn't fix it nor would they touch it because they had to pull the engine in order to change the oil pump. I figured that this was serious so I took it to a Dodge Dealer. The dodge dealer quoted me $750.00 to change the oil pump. Freaked me out about that much money because we have had a hard time in the past year and have struggled to keep up with all our bills. We went ahead and told them to look at the truck and then call us if it was the oil pump. I figured this was the worst news so go ahead and let them fix it and then there would be a warranty on the part if it went bad. A few hours later I got a call from the Dodge Dealership asking me to come down and take a look at my engine. The mechanic had pulled the manifold off and there was so much sludge in my engine that they couldn't see anything else in the engine. I ask if they could clean it but they told me the engine was toast. I ask how much a new engine would cost and they quoted me $7,000 dollars. I ask how much a new truck would cost but I still owe on my truck because we just bought the truck a year ago so that wasn't going to happen either. I had to go take a loan out to fix the engine and I am now getting a rebuilt engine for $4,000. Do not buy a Dodge they are junk!!!!! This is why this company is asking for bail outs from the government because they don't know how to build a car. The government should let them go under for taking advantage of the American people. They allow the American people to buy their junk. I wish I could say this was our fault but we have had the regular oil changes done on the truck. We just got taken advantage of. Hope it doesn't happen to anyone else.

- bethky, Mt. Washington, KY, US

problem #2

Dec 212008

Dakota XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Driving from Winchester to Lexington KY about 20 Miles, the oil pressure kept falling to zero them up, then down. I pulled off the interstate waited about 5 minutes thinking the gauge was messed up (after all it was only 4 degrees outside). The oil pressure was fine, for about 3 seconds, then the drop began again, we made it to the in-laws stayed a couple of hours, drove home, no problem, still assuming the gauge was messed up. WRONG!!!! when I got up for work it sounded like a marching band was under the hood. Called the mechanic, he came out to the house (great advantage of living in a really small town, if in winchester and need help call David Stanfield). Bad news, 3 days before Christmas I don't have any extra money to fix the problem, any where from $550.00 to drop the oil pan and replace the pump to $2500.00 to tear the motor apart. Who in their right mind would design an oil screen to sit at the bottom of an oil pan. (evidently the same people who want to keep screwing us over for an overpriced P.O.S., once a sucker always a sucker! If anyone has any suggestions other than leaving the car unlocked and running outside Mcdonalds while sitting inside enjoying a Big Mac give me a shout. God bless and Merry Christmas!

- James S., Winchester, KY, US

problem #1

Aug 092006

(reported on)


  • 55,000 miles

The truck oil level dropped in seconds and in minutes the truck engine stopped and can't start. Checked the oil and its level was fine, unbelievable! Called the people for warranty, said it is our fault. Only 50,000 miles. My warranty is for 70,000. Bet they don't drive a Dodge....

- karenhawaii, Kaunakakai, HI, US

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