My wife has a 2007 dodge dakota 4x4 v8 quad cab. She has complained of severe shaking and loss of power on 4 occasions within the last 6 months. I have taken the vehicle to an ex-chrysler dealership who has not been able to find what the cause is. Yesterday we were running errands and I noticed the truck start shaking, almost like when you have a bad belt on a tire. I could tell that my wife was in stress and she told me “I told you so”. The accelerator was to the floor and we were slowing down, I had her pull over and after I checked the tires I took over driving. The tach showed engine was running normal, the rpm went up when I hit the gas and back to normal when I let up on the gas, there were no idiot lights lit. The truck had no power and continued shaking. We got to our destination and shut off the engine. 20 minutes later we started the truck and it ran perfectly just as it has on each other occurance. I know the dealer cant fix the issue if it does not happen when they have the vehicle but how can I get this problem fixed the wife is getting very upset.
Question: Does the check engine light work? It sounds like you have a severe miss on one or more cylinders—it could be an ignition coil or many other things. Normally this would turn on the check engine light immediately. If it’s under warranty, take it to the dealer. If it’s out of warranty, find an independent mechanic. (not a chain like Midas)
Does the problem happen some times more than others? For example after the engine warms up but not when cold? You may need to leave it with the mechanic to be tested/driven until they can find the problem if it is intermittent.
There’s got to be a check engine light associated with this - probably a flashing one. When you turn the key to start without cranking it, will the check engine light come on with the other dash lights? Either way I would start with a code reader to scan for existing or pending trouble codes. (I don’t think that all code readers get pending codes, so you’d want whatever one is used to do that). Large chain auto parts stores will read these for free. If you come up with any write down the exact code(s) (like P1234) and post them.
Other than that its becomes throwing darts with a blindfold on. What, exactly, did this dealer do in terms of diagnosis? (e.g. fuel pressure? compression? ignition components?) And what is the state of basic maintenance items - plugs, wires, filters…?