Hi, I'm new to the group but just sifted through about 12k
messages. My 2002 Dodge Dakota (3.9 V-6, 5-spd, 2WD, Club Cab) was my
first ever new vehicle purchase. It'll be paid off around this time
next year and currently has about 95,000 miles on the odometer. It's
primary use is commercial (pest control) here in DFW (TX) area.
My primary question for the group involves the fault code: P0601
I know that this code indicates a failed PCM, but I'm wondering A)
Is there any way to suspend the code long enough to pass inspection
(since my sticker has already expired)? And, B) What's the deal with
"flashing" a new PCM unit?
I'm told that "flashing" is a method of installing my specific
truck's parameters onto the new PCM. One fellow (online forum) said
that a new PCM would be about $300 plus $100 to "flash" it. My local
Autozone has a PCM for my Dakota in stock for $237.00. A call to my
dealer returned an estimate of $535.60 (no mention of flashing), with
a $100 core charge if we didn't bring in the original PCM, *and*
didn't have one in stock (3-5 days from the warehouse).
Can anyone here shed any better light on this issue? I'm looking
for the correct, but least expensive solution.
My secondary question involves oil pumps: On my 3.9 V-6 is it
possible to replace the oil pump with a high volume unit without
raising the engine? I don't mind getting my hands dirty but I'm trying
to estimate the down time for such a job since I use the truck for
Like several other 3.9 owners have posted, my Dakota started
experiencing oil pressure and sludge problems at about 60k miles. And
as in Brant's case (a.a.d.t. - 12/26/2005), a local shop informed me
that a total rebuild was necessary. This despite regular oil and
filter changes. Fortunately, a local transmission expert (whom I was
seeing on unrelated issues), recommended draining the oil and
refilling with a combination of transmission fluid and Valvoline.
Apparently transmission fluid has something like 17 unique cleansing
agents and is much, much less harmful to a typical gasoline engine
than kerosene would be. The routine was to change it, drive it half an
hour or so, flush, rinse, repeat. After three times I refilled with
Valvoline and a new filter. The fellow also explained that Jiffy Lube
and similar oil change shops buy bulk oil in drums and that the
quality, no matter the brand name, is inferior to the stuff we buy at
Autozone, Napa and WalMart. He recommended Valvoline as the top
non-synthetic motor oil, and in my case recommended a slightly thicker
weight to compensate for the high temperatures of Texas summers.
I had been taking my Dakota into the shops for oil changes simply
because I was in a hurry. Now I make time to perform my own oil
changes using Valvoline exclusively. In any case, I continue to have
the occasional loss of oil pressure after a while and just accept that
as an indication that it's time for an oil change... which always
solves the problem. Apparently when the oil breaks downs and loses
viscosity, it becomes too thin to retain pressure.
No big deal, but I'd like to install a high-volume pump just for
extra piece of mind (especially after reading Mr. Lusardi's comments
on Chrysler's tendency to use small-volume pumps on everything).
Additionally, I may need more clarification on the heat/ac fan
problem, since my truck appears to share this same issue (fan only
works on high). Reviewing some of the pertinent posts it sounds as if
the most common cause is a "blower motor resistor?" Which is usually
"located on the passenger side firewall near the A/C accumulator?"
Other than these things I haven't had much trouble with my Dakota.
The (manual) driver's side window is hard to roll down for some
reason, and like an idiot I failed to take it in while still under
warranty. My transmission has this odd tendency to pop out of first
gear on initial acceleration from time to time. I had a P0455 fault
code that was traced to a U-shaped hose under the truck that connects
to the canister (so other owners might check that area first if they
see that code). And I had to replace an entire front hub once when a
wheel bearing went bad, but overall it's done pretty well.
Anyway, thanks in advance for any help ya'll might be able to
provide and it's nice to find a group dedicated to Dodge trucks.
CrashTestDummy - '85 RM 250