04' Dakota Cold Clutch grinding/vibration?



Hey gang, new to the forums, Cartalk’s awesome though!

I was wondering if you could help me though, I purchased a new (used) 2004 Dodge Dakota SLT 4x4 recently, it only had 42K on it, and was the last model year of the old body style (before they moved to the chunky new designs which…really look terrible, to me, for some reason).

At any rate, usually when its cold out, around 20F and lower, if I start my truck, there’s this sound that comes with vibration through the clutch pedal – it reminds me of the sound a metal-legged chair in highschool use to make when you’d push your chair back to stand up.

I think to myself that its probably just that the clutch fluid lost viscosity in the cold and it took a bit longer to get the throw-out bearing into the right position, but that’s just guessing, and wouldn’t that mean a bad master/slave?

No idea, you tell ME. So I know if I’m in any danger of ruining my brand new trucks engine/transaxle.

Note: This sound sticks around longer the colder it is, sometimes continuing for 2-3 seconds after the motor has already started. That’s why I’m worried that, if the clutch isn’t completely disengauged when starting, that I’m just slowly grinding the clutch down and putting stress on the motor. Please help!


Hi, I agree about the later Dakota’s - they just look overfed…

The sound you’re hearing is doubtlessly the clutch throw out bearing, it’ll just get noisier for longer periods until it fails, which may or may not occur before your next clutch change.

Either way get a complete clutch kit installed when you get this replaced.


Thanks for the reply!

Hmm, I thought it might be something like that. Is there anything I can do to sort of help ward off the issue? More viscuous clutch fluid, block heater (not sure I can do that…no power plugs where I park).

How much should I expected for a proper clutch kit?


Yep, it’s probably the throw out bearing. The only clutch fluid is the brake fluid that operates the clutch. It would not be the problem.


'fraid not the wear has already taken place, you’re just hearing the effect of that wear.

No idea of price on a Dakota clutch but stay away from chains and find a good independent mechanic in your area, you could check the listings on this site for recommendations. You can price the clutch yourself and ring around, I’d get at least 3 estimates before you decide.

BTW - Throw out bearings can last quite a while they just make noise ~ unless it’s a Jaguar of course, they last about…ummm…7 minutes after the first warning signs.