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tsmith
Dodge Dakota
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4/16/2005
15:52:56

Subject: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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03 Dakota Quad 4x4, 4.7, auto, 3.55 axles, HD cooling
First time pulling trailer bigger than 4x8 utility (<2k), transmission downshifted and would not shift back up.
Conditions at time:
Pulling a 3800# Trail-lite camper, completely empty (just picking it up)
Had already driven 100+ miles w/o any problems, truck seemed to be pulling it easily
OD off
Cruise on
60-65mph
2.5-2.7krpm
Downshifted to 3rd (4-4.2krpm) on slight grade
I waited momentarily to see if it was going to shift back up when the grade ended. When it did not return to 4th I disengaged cruise, trans still held 3rd and started backing down engine (engine braking). The shifter had not been touched and the gear indicator read drive. I moved the shifter slightly to feel the detent to confirm position, then accelerated and let off to see if that would prompt an upshift. When this did not cause the trans to shift back up I shifted to neutral, let the engine return to an idle and then put it back into drive, the trans promptly shifted back onto 4th.
The problem did not occur again for another 50m. When it did happen again, I don't believe it should have even downshifted at all. This time I had been very careful at watching the reaction to grades and know that it had pulled steeper grades w/o any downshift. Actually since being on the freeway the only other time that it had downshifted at all was because I had stepped into it on a grade to see when it would downshift and how it would react. This time I also tried switching the OD on and off to see if this had had any effect, it did not. The only way I could get the trans to find 4th again was to shift into neutral and back into drive.
Another possible glitch was twice after a re-start the trans apparently did not lock up the torque converter until the OD was locked out (it was cruising at 3krpm). I was curious when it dropped the rpm to 2.5-2.7k immediately after locking out the OD, so I re-enabled the OD with no apparent reaction, it just continued cruise at 2.5-2.7krpm.
This seems to me like a firmware issue (faulty software reacting incorrectly to learned driving conditions).
This just happened at 35950 miles the ODO read 36005 when I got home. Considering prior experience with Dodge I don't expect them to stand behind their product and am looking for alternate sources and/or information to pin them down. I have looked at the TBS headings on alldata.com and didn't see anything that resembled this issue.
Any thoughts?
Possible resources to check with?




Pittdawg
Dodge Dakota
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4/24/2005
17:37:38

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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tsb 18-013-04...flash:tranny/shift improvement




tsmith
Dodge Dakota
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4/26/2005
22:43:32

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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The dealer told me there was a flash update, but when they checked the vehicle they found this was already done.
Thanks for the information anyways. I will follow up and confirm the TSB number you gave me. I have in the past, had dealers tell me that there were no TSB's on issues and later found out there were.



m10rules
Dodge Dakota
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5/15/2005
13:57:02

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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I have an 05 that did the same thing to me. I found that if press the cancel then resume immediatly it will shift back into 5th and run fine for several miles and then do it again. It also started happening when I was 100-200 miles into a trip hualing 1500lb trailer. Dealer went through tranny and couldn't find a thing. Next morning the truck wouldn't go over 10mph so it went back in and they have it trying to figure out whats going on. I have the V8 w/tow package so there shouldn't have been any problems. Dealer seems to think its due to cold weather, fluid not heated up all the way but is not sure why it would have waited that far into a trip to act up.



m10rules
Dodge Dakota
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5/15/2005
13:59:05

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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BTW, where do you live and what were the conditions when it happened?



tsmith
Dodge Dakota
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5/18/2005
23:35:23

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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SE Michigan.
Approx. 600ft
60dF
Highway only gently rolling
(I80 in OH, I69-I94-M59 in MI)

You may have 3.93 axles if you have the towing package. With the 3.55's 5th gear is steep (only 2k RPM at 70mph). The difference equals 2000/2214rpm for 3.55/3.93 ratios.
It doesn't seem like that much but Dodge says its worth an extra 1300lbs towing capasity (see: http://www.dodge.com/for_your_business/index.html?context=dodge_hompage&type=centerNav).
As posted, my problem is the trans dropping to 3rd and not shifting back up. I didn't really expect it to pull 5th gear with this trailer as it can hardly get out of its own way in 5th w/o the trailer.
I have pulled my utility trailer (2k max) with out any issues at all, but it doesn't have the frontal area of the travel trailer.
As to your problem, you don't state why it wouldn't get over 10mph (do the RPM's rise drasticaly w/o the torque going to the wheels or does the engine sound good but feel like it is lugging). I would suspect that you have an engine related power problem which could also cause an abnormal downshift.
Either way if your dealer is saying it is a low temperature problem after 100 miles, you either live in Siberia or you need a new dealer.
I would be interested to hear more on your problem and how it is resolved.
I have not pulled the trailer for any distance since having the problem but will be pulling 200m each way this week end and will be loaded for the first time.



m10rules
Dodge Dakota
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5/19/2005
17:37:19

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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Mine is Quad Cab, 4.7V8, 5speed auto, 3.55 gears. I was pulling open 2 place snowmobile trailer with 2 sleds on it, about 1500-2000 lbs. I was coming form Manistique, MI to Mason City, IA when it happened. I was just outside Wausau, WI when it happened first time. It shifted to 3rd gear while going down a small hill, running about 70mph. Figured when I got on flat it would shift back to 5th, but it wouldn't. Finally hit the "cancel" button then immediatly hit "resume" button on the cruise and it shifted back to 5th and ran fine up and down hills for about 5-10 miles then did it again. Did this the rest of the way back. Never had any lights flash and no trans temp guage on the truck so not sure where that was running. Temp was in 40s most of the way with no snow on the road. Dealer went through the transimission checking fluid, pressures, etc and couldn't find anything wrong. Said fluid looked great. Truck had about 7000 miles on it at the time. Truck was in Michigan to go back to dealer there when the other problem happened so not sure exact conditions on that (had family member take it for me).

Dealer has had it for almost week and has been trying to recreate problem with no sucess so far. I will have trailer behind it again next weekend so I will find out then if its any better.



m10rules
Dodge Dakota
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5/30/2005
18:34:14

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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Pulled trailer with it this weekend. Pulled fine for first 500 miles then started having trouble going up the hills, was going up and down bigger hills first part of hill without tow/hual mode on. Put it in tow hual mode and ran fine from then on (stayed in 4th the whole time).



RadioMan
Dodge Dakota
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5/31/2005
08:17:43

RE: 5 Speed Auto Shifting Problems
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No more autos for me after reading all the aboves.




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