My Chrysler dealer recently told me my 2001 Dakota has a leak in the intake gasket. it was detected while they were doing a recall repair on something else. He indicated that the “symptoms” would be smoke, burning oil, stuttering uphill,smudge/grim in the spark plugs, and you could detect a vacuum pull when you put your finger over the oil dipstick opening. The dealer service guy said the leak could also knock out the catalytic converter, etc. I took my truck to my local mechanic and he didn’t see any indication of such an intake gasket leak and i’ve not seen any symptoms. Are we missing something? Could the dealer service dept been misleading me? Are there other signs to look for?
If your trusted mechanic did not find the issue, then I would let it go. There is a variety of reasons why the dealership could be wrong or misdiagnose.
This was a known problem with the 3.9L, 5.2L, and 5.9L engines, and the dealer pretty much nailed the symptoms. What he didn’t tell is that it can result in catastrophic oil loss (it’s sucked into the intake and burned very quickly), possibly leading to complete engine failure.
But since neither you nor your regular mechanic can detect any symptoms, I have a feeling the dealer was, ahem, blowing smoke. Keep a close eye on your oil and coolant levels, and watch out for those symptoms.
And stay away from that dealership!