Question about 2003 Dodge Dakota Club Cab

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2001 Dakota Quad Cab Runs Rough

My Dakota started running weird the other day. To me it feels like it's in low gear but a friend of mine thinks it's the exhaust system. It doesn't sound like exhaust to me at all but I don't know too much about truck stuff. For city driving it goes from 0 to 15mph and shifts at 2000 rpms then up to 30mph and shifts at 2000 rpms. After this it seems fine.

On the highway it runs rough especially with cruise control on. Traveling at 65mph it's at 2250 rpms. Going up hills is the worst. With cruise on traveling at 55mph/ 1500 rpms then going up a hill it hits 2250 rpms and then goes up to 3750 rpms. It's running so loud I can't hear a passenger speaking. After all of this started happening, I had a part put in because it was idling extremely low. The idling is great now but this problem hasn't gone away. What the heck is wrong? Please help a lady??? I definitely appreciate any help from you guys who know so much!!!

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  • Laurie May 11, 2009

    There's no loss of power, no engine smoke and the tranny fluid is fine. It's not downshifting, it's upshifting but it's loud and the rpm's are high. When driving, it sounds like I manually shifted into low gear all the time but it's in drive. It rides smooth, just feels laggy. My friend says it's not laggy?????



    What would the cat sound like if it were bad and would it make it feel like I've shifted into low gear or make the truck sound like I'm driving around in low gear? Thanks, again, for any info and ALL your help!!!

  • Laurie May 11, 2009

    P.S. It's gas run

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  • Master
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Your friend may be right,The Dakota made from 1997 to 2003 all had issues with the catalytic converters going bad,I have a 2001 and have had to get mine replace 3 times already.

Posted on May 11, 2009

  • Randy Hough
    Randy Hough May 11, 2009

    By your second post,It sounds like everything is normal other than the sound and the only thing I have seen that come close to what you have described is the fan clutch being bad.I know this may sound weird,but it will make the "stuck in low gear" sound that you have described.I hope that this is it,Much cheaper repair than the other possibilities.

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  • Dodge Master
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Loss of power? Keeps downshifting? gas or diesel?Are you sure you have passengers? (Just kidding)
Pay attention at the shifting. like 1-2-3- od- and how frequent does it downshift and from what gear to what gear. does the engine smoke? What brand? Ok, don't get upset. just a little levity. Any smoke from exhaust? Have the transmission modulator checked. If defective oyt will cause eratic shifting, lugging, and transfluid consumption ( engine sucks it up a vacuum line and burns it. You can check the trans fluid to see if it is low. The modulator is on the transmission and is a inexpensive quick fix. Good luck :)

Posted on May 11, 2009

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 11, 2009

    ok, thank you. I'll try that and see if that works. just kidding.

    Do this . Stand near exhaust and without breathing it in and out, check for the smell of sulphor or rotten eggs If that is present than the catalyctic converter needs to be chk'd for restriction. Not uncommon. See if you vcan hear the exhaust wheezing and drifting more than blowing of exhaust from tail pipe. Hope this is it :)

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