1989 Dodge Dakota Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1989 Dodge Dakota 4x4 Longbed 3.9 from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 3.9 Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired302000 miles
Most recent distance311000 miles
Previous carFord Bronco II

Summary:

Great multipurpose reliable pick-up

Faults:

Ignition coil failed almost immediately when I bought it. Easy and cheap repair.

AC leaked out all of its gas. Had converted to R134a. Expensive, but works good now.

Dash lights don't work, short somewhere, keeps blowing fuses. I just live with it.

4x4 wouldn't engage. Repaired by cleaning out actuator, replacing vacuum switch, and replacing a hose. Only cost $25.00 for me to do it myself.

Currently the distributor is making a "dry bearing" noise. I figure I'll just take it off and oil it.

General Comments:

Best truck I've ever owned, as far as reliability and comfort.

The 3.9L V6 is an amazingly reliable engine... with 300K on it, its oil stays clean within 3K miles, and it only "burns" about a cup in that time. Never seen a puff of smoke come out of this one.

Due to throttle body injection as opposed to multi-port, it takes a bit of cranking to start, but as soon as it does, I put it right in gear and go, because it gets HORRIBLE gas mileage... for a V6, I'm talking only 12 to 15mpg.

I suppose it's because it's a 4x4, but still, that's bad.

It only has a 15gal. gas tank. Would be nice if it got better mileage.

Kinda gutless on the highway, shifts back from overdrive if a gust of wind comes up against me, or a little hill.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2005

1989 Dodge Dakota S 2.5 I4 from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1991
Engine and transmission 2.5 I4 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance116000 miles
Previous carDodge Omni

Summary:

This was an economical and reliable first truck that kept me out of trouble

Faults:

The $70 ignition pickup-coil failed, and the subsequent erroneous diagnostic performed fried the $1200 computer at 107,000 miles.

The instrument panel trim plastic began cracking at 41,000 miles, and by 65,000 miles was mostly held together by glue and tape.

The paint began flaking at 45,000 miles, and got progressively worse each passing year, with Dodge dealerships failing to repair because I was the second owner.

The AC system failed almost every summer, with defective hoses and leaking compressors compounding the problem.

The first gear bearing shelled out at 65,000 miles, a month after the original clutch was replaced because of excess slippage. Pulling the transmission TWICE was expensive.

Brakes were replaced at 65,000 miles, shock absorbers at 85,000 miles.

Radiator tanks began leaking at 85,000 miles and the unit was replaced.

Differential needing rebuilding at 121,000 miles.

Transmission output seal needing replacing every other summer.

General Comments:

Acceleration was anemic, but economy ranged from 23 city/27 highway. Handling and cornering were excellent, and ride was surprisingly good for a short bed.

Bench seat needing stuffing every few years to keep comfortable on long highway trips, but otherwise was decent for around town driving.

Cable winch spare tire carrier was very convenient considering how many flat tires I would get a year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2004

1989 Dodge Dakota from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission Don't Know
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance200000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Ciera

Summary:

A good truck for her class, long life if taken care of.

Faults:

Front end; oil leak, easy repair, gasket; driver side door latch (wore out) ; water pump; brakes; upholstery wore out; roof cloth wore out; needs paint.

General Comments:

I still have my ole gray mare - 1989 Dodge Dakota 4 cylinder. Close to 200,000 miles. A good work truck. Hauls dirt, rocks, lumber, you name it - anything and everything. Could use a new paint job and the AC fixed, but I can live without both; not a necessity for a work truck. I don't know what I would do without my ole gray mare. She has had general maintenance over the years (I got her second hand in 1994) ; but nothing serious - thank goodness. I hope to keep her around for a very long time. She runs fine, gets good mileage, doesn't burn oil, she likes to work hard.

P.S. I also own a nice black flawless 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4WD. She just rolled over 20,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th September, 2004

1989 Dodge Dakota Standard Cab-Long bed 3.9 Liter V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.9 Liter V6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired114000 miles
Most recent distance127000 miles
Previous carOpel Kadett

Summary:

No guts, per se, but a damn good truck anyhow!

Faults:

Brake master cylinder went out 3 times in as many years (due to poor (Schucks) Auto Parts)

Front CV joint went out; easy replacement though.

Sensor for Rear Wheel ABS had water get into electrical connection (right over pumpkin on differential) and needed to be dried out.

That's it!

General Comments:

I would say that as far as smaller trucks go this is the best you can get, and still have the utility of a truck. The other brands lack a bed that you can fit anything into!

It has decent acceleration off the line, but after that it bogs down terribly, I feel more due to the automatic transmission being slow to shift than the engine being weak -but I think the engine is a factor as well. But at 17 MPG in town I am not complaining too much.

I ran a small handy-man business with the truck as well as remodeling my own house. It made me realize the importance of having a huge bed to get the job done.

The only reason I sold it was an addition to the family, so I am getting an extended cab, hopefully a Cummins diesel. I hear good things about them!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2004

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 13 reviews