Thinking about buying a Dodge Dakota

So I’m thinking about buying a new truck. In particular a 2002 Dodge Dakota extended cab with a 3.9L V6 and a manual transmission. Anything I should be aware of or check? It has 160,000 miles.
Im gonna be using it as a daily driver and to occasionally haul things. Thanks in advance.

Just the usual, pay an independent mechanic to thoroughly inspect the truck.
It is 17 years old. Probably have a few maintenance and/or repairs required.
Cooling system, exhaust system, brakes, clutch, ignition.


What do you know about the 3.9? Is it a reliable engine?

As @Purebred said, it’s 17 years old. Whether it was maintained well is far more important than whether it was considered reliable when new. Reliability now is a direct function of maintenance.

See for yourself 2002 Dodge Dakota Engine Sputters: 6 Complaints

Off the top of my head, with proper maintenance, generally reliable. is a good for info and discussion of Chrysler products. There’s lots on these trucks and engines.

It’s 17 years old and has 160000 miles so making a list as to watch for is easy .


That engine is a chopped off 318 v8 . They don t put out a lot of power and were known to be quite thirsty gas wise. 318 was a good engine .