1997 Dodge Dakota Sport 5.2 318 ci from North America


Great pickup truck... I'd get another one!


Fuel pump and tank straps at 195,000 miles.

Timing seal, timing chain, and water pump at 195,000.

Steering shaft (lower) at 182,000 (common problem).

Not the best on gas; 13-18 MPG.

Rear spring shackles at 185,000.

General Comments:

Very dependable Dakota extra cab 4x4 5.2 automatic. Was one owner, and garaged and well taken care of.

Rust is a small issue, but typical with a vehicle this old and in the snowbelt area.

4x4 works great. Interior holds up well.

Parts are somewhat reasonable.

Getting new tires today; 31x105x15.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th August, 2012

1997 Dodge Dakota Sport - Club Cab 5.2L V8 (318 C.I.D.) from North America


This Dakota is everything I need, and extremely reliable and always ready to jump up and go


Nothing mechanically major... EVER!!!

Water pump replaced around 213,000 miles. Came to find out it wasn't the water pump, but a hose, but replaced it anyway.

Boots around 165,000 miles.

Had the entire truck re-painted at around 210,000 miles (most expensive thing so far), due to peeling, which is always going to happen on a Chrysler product around that generation.

Original CD player is finally beginning to give out, but is still operable.

General Comments:

I purchased this truck in summer of '97, just wanting a truck. I have not regretted it ever!

I have drove this truck just about every day since I bought it, have taken it on many trips over 1,000 miles, towed with it, used the 4X4 non-stop for over 250 miles one winter during a blizzard in Colorado, & it performed perfectly the way I wanted it to.

The 4X4 system is awesome! It always shifts right into and out of 4X4 & 2 hi without any delays, or problems.

I have never had to turn the key for more than 1 or 2 seconds, nor has the truck ever left me stranded anywhere.

The interior is still in near perfect condition; only thing is the power window/lock switch cluster on the driver's door pops off sometimes, & the CD player sometimes needs help when ejecting a CD, but I never expected a factory stereo to last as long as this one has lasted me... I am waiting for it to just die off completely, so I can install a new deck.

The seats show no signs of wear what so ever (maybe because anytime I spill anything, I clean it right away), the panels, and dash are in near new condition.

The 5.2L V-8 is a huge plus for me; it has been very reliable, and has more than plenty of power for what I use it for. Averages 15 city MPG, and 20 MPG highway.

My only complaint, which is very small, is the front seat cup-holders are a joke, will not hold anything, so I always make sure it is in a bottle, so if it falls, it will not spill.

I LOVE my Dakota! I will never trade it for anything else! After owning Chevrolet's, and Ford's that lasted me about 6 years at most, I have owned one Dodge Dakota for about 14 years, & have had minimal problems. Maybe it is the way that I take care of the truck, I always am precise with oil changes, transmission flushes, and differential service, that has made it so reliable, or just luck. I only use midgrade or higher gasoline, & use Valvoline 10W30 high mileage motor oil, and change it every 3,000 miles. There have been a few times I have gone 7,000 miles on a few oil changes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2011

1997 Dodge Dakota Ext. Cab 4x4 5.2 ( 318) from North America


Everything I could ask for


While I had the car, the only problems I had were routine maintenance, tires, oil change, tune up, etc. This truck NEVER left me stranded.

General Comments:

I drove this truck how a truck is supposed to be driven, and it never let me down. I live in an area that gets quite a bit of snow, and the 4 wheel drive was awesome. I pulled an open car trailer with my Mustang on it plenty of times, this truck really did it all for me. But towards the end, it started to show its age, and the problems started to surface.

I ended up selling the truck to my dad for a good price, and unfortunately for him, that's when the problems started coming. The exhaust rotted from the manifolds back, numerous check engine lights, and then the transmission went (I hear the trans is a common problem with these Dodges). All within a year of him buying it from me. I felt awful.

But for the sake of this review, I can't say anything bad about the truck, it treated me very well. I just wish I would have known those problems were going to happen, I wouldn't have sold it to my dad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2011