2003 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 3.9v6 auto trans problem

dodge
dakota

#1

My 2003 Dodge Dakota does not shift properly. I have to lift my foot off the accelerator for it to shift. If I don’t it just screams at a high RPM and sounds as if it is about to blow. It has a hard time making it up a small incline such as an overpass. Truck will not shift properly when going upgrade. Engine will rev at 4500-5000 rpm but will not shift until I slightly release the gas pedal. Truck will also perform multiple hard up shifts when in cruise control going upgrade. Took the truck to the dealer reprogrammed the computer with a “flash update” that was no help. The technician is now saying the original shifting problem is normal because dodge reprogrammed the transmission to avoid multiple up & down shifting when going up a grade. This was down to put “less stress” on the transmission. Doesn’t make sense, dodge is saving the transmission by making it work less and destroying the engine by letting it rev at 5000 rpm. Automatic transmission will not shift to third gear unless the gas pedal is almost fully released. Transmission will not downshift to pass.


#2

You would have been better off updating/bumping your standing thread on this issue: http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2284241/transmission-shifting-problem#Item_10


#3

This is a common problem on this truck. As far as I know the only fix is a rebuild


#4

I have to agree with Pumpkinkrasher, these trannies are not very good at all. Good luck finding a good used one (HA!), I have to laugh, because these slush boxes were junk right off of the showroom floor. Rebuild and perhaps upgrade if available. Many rebuilders know what the Achilles heel is for this unit and can probably rebuild it better than O.E.


#5

Remember me??? Had the transmission rebuilt. Still have the same problem!!!


#6

So I guess that’s just a report.

You never did say anything about what was done to check things out, including whether or not the thing was setting any error codes. Shifting problems do not necessarily mean a transmission problem. But without knowing what any shops actually did to diagnose your problem there’s not much to say. (E.g. did anyone every take a look at the behavior of the TPS? MAP sensor? Speed sensors?..) As such, I’m not sure what more anyone can actually say about it.

Then there’s apparently the possibility that the transmission is acting according to design…which I tend to doubt.


#7

I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab pickup that has done the same thing since I bought it. It only had 50 miles on the odometer when it was purchased. It was a dealer demo. It currently has about 97K on the clock with the 3.9 V6 and the automatic transmission. I believe the problem is with the engine/transmission combination. It shifts perfectly on a level road but you can’t be in a hurry with this vehicle going uphill.

I have driven a couple of different Dakotas of this vintage with the 3.9 V6 automatics and they still do the same thing. If you want to go fast uphill then I suggest you trade for the V8 model or one with a manual transmission. I love the truck except for this anomaly and intend to drive it until it falls apart.


#8

To me it sounds like your tv cable needs adjustment.


#10

Smart a$$? I don’t get it. For replying to an old thread?


#11

You are right…poor choice of words… I apologize. I deleted my comment


#12

[quote=“Amylove14.rm, post:8, topic:71605, full:true”]
To me it sounds like your tv cable needs adjustment.
[/quote]You are probably right (I think this vehicle has a TV cable). Or it could be the governor. But the OP has likely moved on from this vehicle by now.


#13

Sounds like a tv cable problem to me too. The transmission needs the know the throttle valve position to shift properly. Presuming that’s the way it is configured, there’s supposed to be a cable running back to it which is connected to the throttle valve linkage in the engine compartment on the other end. Some transmission use another method, a vacuum modulator. The vacuum modulator method is more forgiving, it the VM stops working it won’t shift correctly, but it doesn’t damage the transmission. But if the TV cable breaks or isn’t properly adjusted, that can damage the transmission.