1996 Dodge Dakota Base 3.9 from North America
Solid, no frills vehicle. The V6 has a great balance of towing, mileage, and performance
The check engine light came on about a week after I bought this for my son. We changed both O2 sensors (as indicated by the CEL codes), and the truck has been trouble free since.
Slight leak that wets (not soaks) the floorboard carpet when it REALLY rains heavily. From what I've read, it could be the windshield, which I plan on replacing soon, as it is chipped in a couple of places, or plugged drains in the vent. I'll update this review once the problem is solved.
I'm hearing chain slap, and the Achilles heel of these vehicles is supposed to be the timing chain stretching/wearing with age. I'll be replacing it with a double chain/tensioner setup soon, and hope to drive it for another 100,000 miles.
I bought this for my 18 year old son, and he enjoyed driving it and never had any problems. However, he's a big fan of the Old Jeep Cherokees, so I scored a deal on a Cherokee for him, and now use the Dakota as my commuter vehicle. I have never owned a pickup, and haven't had a manual tranny vehicle in years, so this truck is truly enjoyable to drive. With the long wheelbase of the extended cab, it rides like a dream! (Just don't try any tight u-turns.) She's great for hauling, and gets about 20mpg around town.
I'm 6'2", 225 lbs, and don't feel cramped in it. Seats are very comfortable. If you do your own repairs, this vehicle is very easy and affordable to work on - LOVE the space and accessibility of the engine bay.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 30th December, 2019
5th Jan 2020, 04:32
Get that timing chain replaced ASAP!!!
These are odd-fire V-6 engines, and they are rough on timing chains. Otherwise, they are very reliable :)
8th Oct 2021, 22:02
***I am the original poster of this review....
I coughed up a few hundred bucks to get the timing chain (upgraded to add a tensioner), water pump, rear main, and fan clutch replaced. 225K miles and she runs like a champ!
Another weakness of these trucks is the fan switch on the climate control. Mine burned up the connector every few months. I replaced the switch, the connector, AND the fan (in the dash). I believe the old fan was worn out and pulling too much current, thus burning the connectors. The new fan blows substantially more air, and seems to have done the trick.