05 Dakota a couple of issues

I own a 2005 Dodge Dakota with a 4.7 4x4 extended cab truck. I am not a mechanic by any means and some of the lingo I do not understand. My truck has been acting up for a few months now. One day while I was driving the truck barely would go over 50 when it would get to 50 it would start chugging and it would do that until it got to 55. I noticed that the cruise light would turn off during this, so whenever I would leave I would start the truck and press the cruise button, if the light turned on then the truck wouldn’t do the chugging at 50. If the light didn’t turn on I would need to shut the truck off and then turn it back on and see if the light would come on. I took it to a couple of mechanics who just laughed and said “yup, that’s a dodge. Just turn it off and turn it back on again”. They always seemed to have a story about how their dodge insert model would do something and they had to turn it off and turn it back on. So I just dealt with the issue.

Anyways recently while driving the cruise light will shut off and the truck will start chugging again, and now when we shut it off and turn it back on the light won’t come on. We have to do that same process 2-3 times. The other day while I was turning on to my road the truck just stalled out, I barely missed the light pole. Some people have told me that the transmission is bad but I don’t know, it shifts fine and drives fine except for that. I could see it being the transmission if it did it all the time but once in awhile and why would it be linked to if the cruise light came on? My dad told me that sounds like there’s a couple of issues. If I remember correctly he said the stalling sounds like the mass air flow sensor and the chugging could be the speed sensors. He said given my limited knowledge if the speed sensors are in the transmission I should just get a new truck but he doesn’t know where they are on my truck (he lives 800 miles away). I know that my check engine light is on and that says I have a cam sensor that may need changed. My plan was to buy the mass air flow sensor, both speed sensors and the cam sensor and try to change them but I wanted to check here first on opinions. Like I said, i did take it to a couple of mechanics so I guess it’s up to me to fix. Is this something a novice could fix?

Thank you very much for any help and advice.

If you are willing to throw parts at it and see if the cel goes out why not.

Cel? I mean I am willing to buy the parts and willing to install them if thats the problem. However I can’t afford to just keep throwing money at it if the problem isn’t going to be fixed. and I certainly don’t want to throw money at it if I am not even able to install the sensors myself. Do you think the sensors could fix the issues or would they not have anything to do with the problems? Thanks for the reply

A competent mechanic can figure that out if you do not want to play the guessing game.

Before anything, you have to get the Check Engine light turned off.

Because anything you do before that is a waste of time and money.


I just spoke with my dad again and he said the first thing he would change is the output speed sensor. He said if the input sensor is bad more than likely that’s an internal sensor and that won’t be something I can do. He also said he thinks on Dodge you need to disconnect the battery and leave it sit for a bit and that will reset the light but he’s not 100% on that. I guess that’s what I will try.

As far as a competent mechanic, I live in a tiny town. I have taken it to a couple of places that have said what my original message stated…not much else I can do.

Your “Check Engine Light” (CEL) is on indicating a problem with the “Cam Sensor”

What is the code P0123 ?

Why in the world would you want to change the “Output Speed Sensor” ? When the problem is with the cam sensor.

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Dan, if you travel down this path, you will spend a lot of money and will not fix your car. Drive to a larger town, find a competent mechanic with the proper tools, maybe at a dealer, and spend the money to get the truck diagnosed and fixed properly. You will spend less time and money, even considering the travel cost.


You seem willing to work on the truck yourself. What are the OBDII codes? Maybe we can help you figure it out. At worst, we can help you explain the issue to a new mechanic that knows what he’s doing. Ask everyone you know for recommendations for mechanics either in your town or one nearby. It sounds like you need to try another town than yours.

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If you are willing to fix your vehicles, then you will buy at least a cheap live data scan tool. Otherwise just let someone else fix it. Come back with those codes.