Should I buy a Dakota?
Ok so i'm looking at 1997-2000 Dakota's real heavily for my next vehicle. What kind of reliablity should i expect, fuel economy, should i even bother looking at those trucks? any opinion would apperciated
I've owned 2 of them, fantastic trucks. look great and I have had very few problems with them. That generation extends to 2004, the interior changed in 2001 (as well as a few other minor things) and if you like the newer interior you might look into a newer truck. 2000 year was the first to get the 4.7L engine to replace the 5.2, it has slightly less power than the 5.9 but with much better fuel economy.... the 5.9 and 5.2L engines are great engines but in a 4000lbs+ truck they get terrible fuel mileage. 2003 and 2004 had the option of rear disc brakes and I believe larger brakes up front as well. If you want to know anything specific just ask
What kind of problems? The only reason I'm looking at 1997-2000 is one: i can afford that range, second: I prefer the older style interior. It doesn't look as fussy
I also prefer the 97-00 style interior The only problems I've had have been.... 2 cam sensor fail, very easy to change. The original battery finally failed on my 2000 a few months ago, and the plenum gasket failed as well (only on 3.9/5.2/5.9 engines). That is a bit of work to replace but if you have any mechanical skills you can do it yourself and save a lot of money. Some trucks have clear coat problems, it's kinda rare and if it's not present when you buy you shouldn't have a problem. Some 4x4 trucks had a ball joint recall, most used trucks should have that taken care of already but if it hasn't been the dealership will cover it. Like I said they are great trucks
My first Dakota was a '93 V6, 5 spd. Great truck except it was two whl drive and not too great on ice or snow. The one I have now is a '02 SLT with a 4.7 V8 4x4 that I bought in '09 and I've had to do 2 brake jobs, replace the power steering unit and rack and pinion system. The truck had had 80+k when I bought it, it now has 140k. My Dakota gets about 14 mpg around town and 18 mpg on the highway. Before I purchased it, I had it completely inspected by a personal mechanic, then after the purchase, we drained and replaced the fluid in the transmission, transfer case & both differentials, did a complete tune-up including oil change,, air, fuel and oil filters, spark plugs, radiator flush. We inspected the brakes when I first got it and did the first brake job. I did only rear brakes last year. I recommend that you have the truck completely inspected and change out the fluids because you don't know how well the previous owner maintained the vehicle. But I also recommend you go through this process with any used vehicle that you purchase.
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