really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
52,550 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace or rebuild motor (2 reports)
  2. complete engine tear down (1 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Dodge Dakota engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 112010

Dakota SXT 3.7L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


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oil sludge resulting in engine failure

I bought my truck on December 7, 2003. I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world! That was mistake number 1. I picked a truck for looks. (C'mon, I'm a girl. It's what we do!) My father bought the truck from me 5 months later. He drove it through June 2010. My father is a stickler for doing things by the books. He maintained the truck impeccably to ensure he did not void the 7 year/70,000 mile power-train warranty. He had it serviced at regular intervals and always ordered Mobile 1 oil. I took possession of the truck again in June 2010. I was ecstatic to have my baby back! On December 11, 2010 I drove a 70 mile round trip to drop my daughter off. 6 miles from home, as I approached a red light at a major intersection, the truck started to shake as I applied the brake. The more I slowed, the harder it shook. I panicked and threw it into neutral, which helped a little bit. As I sat at the light, I threw it into park. Barely any shaking. When the light turned green I hesitantly shifted back into drive. grun nun nun nun nun Shake, rattle and roll! It felt like I was in a boat that was ready to capsize during a perfect storm! People were staring, honking and I was panicking. Then - silence. The world went still. Wait, that was just my truck. It had died. By the grace of God, there was a 16 year old boy who jumped out of his own car and pushed me all the way to safety in a parking lot across the street. Whee! Had the truck towed home. Then to a repair shop. It should just be the fuel pump, right? Wrong. After an extensive engine tear down, it was discovered that the engine was covered in sludge. I may need an new engine! I was furious! I called Chrysler's Corporate offices and yelled, kicked and screamed! This truck was still a baby! It was 4 days after the warranty expired. No dice. They didn't want to help me with my "Dead-On-Day-Guarantee-Expires" truck. So the mechanic resumed work. I ended up needing new gaskets and cams on the left side. Along with them physically scraping what looked like moon rocks off of the engine, they also flushed it and did the standard oil change. Price? $2,200. Luckily it was only 1/3 of a new engine. Well, a few months later, check engine light is on. Code p0300. After taking it back to the mechanic, it looks like the right side needs to be rebuilt as well. I am now putting more money into the truck than I can reasonably afford. It shouldn't have ever been a problem, let alone at 45,000 miles. If there is ever a class action lawsuit, count me in!

- Katie H., La Quinta, CA, US

problem #3

Aug 072010

Dakota V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

ENGINE SEIZED! Has DODGE helped anyone with this same problem?

- feldmang, Absecon, NJ, US

problem #2

Feb 072011

Dakota SLT 4.7L Magnum V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles

now that it is out of warranty I am finding out that this is an ongoing problem for many people.

- cdhisman, Skagway, AK, US

problem #1

Sep 132009

Dakota SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,023 miles

My truck only has 74,000 miles on it and I now have to either have the motor rebuilt or replace it. I researched my problem on the internet and found a lot of other people with similar problems and they were saying that even with regular oil changes that the extended warranty would not cover engine sludge. Dodge make good on the repairs for this type of problem because of engine design.

- mojares, Arlington, WA, US

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