hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,872 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.

2004 Dodge Dakota steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Apr 242009


  • 56,000 miles


While driving normally I noticed a knock in the front end while I just went down the street, thought it might be a ball joint or tie rod. Then one day while driving down the highway the steering became close to impossible. Very jerky and it felt gummy. I had the rack replaced as suggested by the "5-star dealer" and that only fixed the noise, not the steering issue. Read online about it being the intermediate steering shaft and U-joints, so I sprayed them with lubricant and am going to see how the truck runs later. Some of those engineers really need to design greased fittings into the vehicle.

- Perkasie, PA, USA

problem #22

Feb 162009


  • 47,280 miles
Steering very tight found that intermediate shaft freezing up poor design cause accident due to lack of steering response with spray oil freed up dealer said should replace knuckles on shaft.

- Guttenberg, IA, USA

problem #21

Feb 102008


  • 32,457 miles
Steering very tight - takes two hands to turn steering wheel - read Dodge forum and found that the intermediate shaft was freezing up. I soaked with penetrating spray oil and it immediately freed up. Now concerned that the knuckles are weakened and should be replaced. Poor design that may cause an accident due to lack of steering response.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #20

Jan 032009


  • 39,933 miles


I started having difficulty to steering my vehicle. As each day passed it became more and more difficult to turn the steering wheel. It felt as if it had no steering wheel fluid. And by January I could barely turn the wheel at all. I could barely make a turn. This occurred every day and I was afraid I was going to have an accident. I changed the steering fluid and the tires thinking that was the problem. Brought it to the dealer last week who replaced the steering shaft. I have never heard of a steering shaft failure before in a vehicle.

- Glenwood, NJ, USA

problem #19

Dec 292008


  • 70,000 miles
Steering began to feel loose and heard a clunk infront end. Ball joints were bad and had to be replaced. After work was completed still had steering issues. Dealer said that it was normal, local mechanic found that the intermediate steering shaft was failing. When it was removed to be replaced the lower U-joint came apart. Imagine that happening at 55 mph.

- Ozone Park, NY, USA

problem #18

Dec 012008


  • 45,500 miles
Groaning occurs whenever the vehicle moves in reverse and the wheel is turned one rotation left. Also recently, a loud squeal has occurred on forward vehicle movement. I am concerned with similar complaints of ball joint failure and vehicle safety.

- Johnstown, CO, USA

problem #17

Dec 232008


  • 125,000 miles


While driving on the highway, steering wheel felt a little loose. Luckily only while backing into a parking spot - the steering wheel fell off into lap. The metal bracket was cracked. Car was brought to a dealership and a new part was ordered, currently waiting to be fixed. Dealership does not seemed concerned, nor can they determine if it's a manufacturing default. A claim was started with the Chrysler corporate office. Will have to see if retribution will be made. Truck has 125K miles, however regular maintenance has been performed. No other issues occurred previously. A 9-month pregnant wife and husband could have been killed if this happened on the highway. Dodge should investigate before a tragic accident or death occurs.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #16

Mar 152005


  • 18,000 miles
I just read about the steering problems being experienced on the 2004 Dodge Dakota club cab models. I have twice experienced the same problem. Once under warranty and once at my own expense. The steering just freezes up and the wheel cannot be turned with out a lot of effort. When you round a corner, it does not recover and you must turn the wheel back yourself to have the vehicle continue on a straight course after the turn. Both times I was required to have the "middle steering shaft" replaced. Apparently there is a top, middle and lower steering shaft and both times at different repair facilities it was diagnosed as the middle shaft that had failed. It completely freezes up on you.

- Amesbury,Ma, MA, USA

problem #15

Aug 012008


  • 26,000 miles
2004 Dodge Dakota power steering goes stiff, loose, stiff, loose, etc. There is obviously something wrong and judging by the complaints I've research on the internet many more people are dealing with this same issue. It is putting people's live in danger and a recall needs to be issues asap.

- Bethlhem, PA, USA

problem #14

Sep 182008


  • 51,000 miles
1) nothing out of the ordinary, just regular driving 2) its very hard to steer sometimes, its like stiff-loose-stiff-loose when I turn either left or right. This has been an ongoing problem and guys on dodgeforum.com have pinpointed the problem but dealers wont change the part, they want to change the power steering pump when the problem is in the intermediate arm, its expensive to fix and why should we pay for a manufacturer defect? the consequences unfortunately can be deadly. Sometimes its impossible to steer or make a quick turn, if someone cuts you off and you cant turn, well bad things can happen. 3)I cannot get the part (intermediate arm) because they are on backorder, coincidence??

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #13

Apr 122005


  • 240,000 miles


From the very beginning I kept hearing noises from the brakes and front end. This was going into the 2nd year of ownership. My Dodge Dakota has been in the shop at least 15 times for the same thing. They have replaced the steering parts, sway bar, brakes rotors, caliber and still make a a moaning groaning noise when ever I turn or go over bumps.

- Tinley Park, IL, USA

problem #12

Jul 152008


  • 84,900 miles
Intermittent hard steering. Seems like the power steering stops working. Had the power steering unit replaced but that didn't solve the problem. I did some research and found many people having same problem. Seems to be the U-joints on the steering shaft. Have to replace shaft.

- Stanhope, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jul 142008


  • 42,300 miles
Steering erratic and choppy. Steering wheel fails to center smoothly when released. Steering is hard at times. Wheel stays in turned direction unless manually turned to correct.

- Hudson, NY, USA

problem #10

May 012008


  • 55,000 miles
Steering wheel would stiffen as if there were no power steering ability. When he turns the steering wheel, it does not turn back unless he does it manually. This is a safety issue because it could lead to the steering wheel disconnecting from the rack unit. I believe that the cause of the failure is the lower steering intermediate shaft. If I spray the U joints of the steering shaft with wd 40 or pb blaster it steers great, but wears off when you least expect it!! now truck has 57,000 miles. Has had this problem since I have had it.

- Hartford City, IN, USA

problem #9

Jun 082008


  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the steering wheel would stiffen as if there were no power steering ability. When he turns the steering wheel, it does not turn back unless he does it manually. The failure began approximately one week ago. The contact feels this is a safety issue because it could lead to the steering wheel disconnecting from the rack unit. He believes that the cause of the failure is the lower steering intermediate shaft. The current and failure mileages were 43,000.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #8

May 152008


  • miles
In reference to ODI complaint 10224785... I have experienced the same failure on my vehicle twice. It is the same make and model, that being 04' Dakota. I believe the issue is known to Dodge as they have a very small notation in the owner's manual in reference to the steering shaft. At present this failure seems to occur every 2nd spring (after spring thaw and wet roads), and in my opinion it's due to a lack of grease fittings on the steering linkage. Aftermarket replacement parts have these "grease tips", however the standard Dodge supplied parts do not. It is an extreme safety issue as it occurs without warning and simulates the feeling of complete power steering loss. Personally it almost resulted in 2 accidents, however I was able to correct my vehicle before any oncoming traffic became involved. As I am Canadian I have filed a report with Transport Canada, however felt it important to report to ODI as well.

- Sault Ste. Marie, 00, USA

problem #7

Oct 252007


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. While driving at any speed, the power steering failed and does not allow the contact to turn the vehicle in any direction. There were no warning indicators prior to the failure. The failure occurs everytime the vehicle is driven. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current mileage was 62,000 and failure mileage was 59,000.

- Westfield City, NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 162008

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,131 miles
I am reporting the premature failure of the intermediate steering shaft resulting in loss of steering. My meticulously maintained 2004 Dodge Dakota quad cab exhibited intermittent binding of the steering making the vehicle extremely difficult to steer. The Chrysler dealership confirmed my suspension that it was the intermediate steering shaft that was binding due to "rust" and replaced the component at a cost to me of $310 parts and labor. This component had surface rust only on a sealed non-greasy fitting and should not have failed with a vehicle less than 4 years old with only 58,000 miles of use. I contacted Chrysler directly to address this serious safety issue and they indicated there was nothing they could do since the vehicle was out of warranty.

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #5

Dec 242004

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am looking for all people that are willing to speak to my attorney about problems they are having with their 04 Dakota's. I have had clunking noise coming from front end, whirling noise at idling gets louder when blinker on, windows make clunking noise while rolling up or down, sever E shaking while braking ( warped rotors), transmission leaking, and the list goes on. I am in the middle of lemon law and it took me a long time to be able to find an attorney. This one is excellent.

- Zephyrhills, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 252005

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,555 miles
Contact stated when applying the brakes a noise was coming from the steering when making a right or left hand turn. He contacted the dealer, who replaced the steering column and the connector part twice. When driving the vehicle without touching the brake did not hear the noise. Updated 12/7/2005. The dealer replaced the upper shaft per the star hotline and the steering intermediate shaft. The consumer stated that the problem is more prevalent in warm/hot weather.

- Titus , AL, USA

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