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100k Mile Service Dodge Dakota Truck 2nd Generation 1997-04

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Created on: 2020-11-09

Watch this video to learn everything you should do to complete a 100k mile service on your 1997 to 2004 Dodge Dakota!

Hey, friends. It's Len here from 1A Auto. Today we have 2nd Generation Dodge Dakota inside the studio. I wanted to go over the 100K service on it. Let's get started. Now, for this video, we're just gonna try to make it short and sweet. So we're gonna start off with just the things that you need to replace approximately every 100,000 miles. We're gonna start with the spark plugs. Your spark plugs on this particular truck should be iridium spark plugs. These are gonna be worn approximately every 100,000 miles. Typically they'll last about that amount of time. Sometimes you might happen to notice a runnability issue prior to that. It might be a good idea to go ahead and replace these and the wires at the same time. Most people do it that way only because, of course, if one's breaking down, the other probably is too. Also on this particular truck, you have this right back here. This is where your cap and rotor is, and that's where the wires are gonna lead to. Inside there, there's an area that you're gonna need to replace and this cap right here. Typically you would do this all at one time and that would kind of be considered a tune-up. Along with the tune-up, people might say that you would wanna replace the fuel filter. On this one, in particular, it's kinda above the gas tank and underneath the body of the truck so it's a little bit hard to get to and it's on top of the sending unit. What that said, you'd also wanna check/replace the air filter in here. Make sure it's nice and clean because if you're doing a tune-up overall, why not replace the air filter? This is what filters the air that gets into your engine. And while we're right here, let's not forget about the PCV valve. That's something that you're gonna want to replace approximately every 100,000 miles. I tend to do those every time I do a tune-up.

So now let's talk about cooling the engine. We're gonna talk about your cooling system. We've got this right here. This would essentially be considered your cap that makes it for the fill for your cooling system. It's also a great place you can check to make sure that your coolant's full. Right here's your overflow. That's also another place that you can check. Usually there's a little piton in there. You can pull it up and you can kind of gauge how full this is. For this one, it's missing. Take a peek down inside there and make sure it's at least half full. To check/service your coolant, you would come right up here. You wanna make sure it's cool before you open it. You're also gonna wanna drain out all the coolant in your system because what we actually need to do is get out the coolant that's in there and replace it with some new long-life coolant. That's what the manufacturer specifies, definitely not the green. You're gonna wanna do this a couple of times to make sure you get the majority of the old coolant out of your system. After you've done that, double-check to make sure that it's at the -32 where it's supposed to be at when you test it, and then take it for a road test. And, of course, don't forget to get the coolant out of your overflow and replace it.

Now, just as a small disclaimer, we have the two-wheel drive manual transmission version of this Dakota. So if you had the automatic transmission, that's something that you would wanna service at approximately 100,000 to 120,000 miles on this. 120,000 miles is kind of a long time, 100,000 miles, in my opinion, is still a long time. But Dodge does recommend it at 120,000 miles. So when you do service it, you wanna use ATF+4. You wanna make sure you drop that automatic transmission pan and replace the filter that's in there. If you were apt, you could, of course, try to adjust the bands, but that's not technically something that people generally do in their driveway. Other than that, go ahead and put the pan back up there and make sure you fill it up with the proper fluid, which, like I said, is ATF+4. While we're talking about the drive-line system, it really only makes sense to make sure that you're up-to-date on your driveline maintenance. What I mean by that is if you have a four-wheel drive, you wanna make sure that you're up to date on your front differential, your transfer case, and your rear differential. If it's a two-wheel-drive like this, you wanna make sure you're up to date on your rear differential service.

All right. So that's what I've got for things that are due every 100,000 miles on this truck, but there are other things underneath the hood that you need to pay attention to. I'm sure you've been keeping up with your maintenance, so you, of course, you've been keeping up with that oil change. But some things that people don't think about is if you have a manual transmission, have you replace the fluid inside your reservoir here. That's definitely something that you're gonna wanna service, and, of course, your brake fluid. Brake fluid's something that's easily forgotten about even though we use it all day, every day when we're driving, but you wanna make sure that you service that and you wanna make sure it's nice and clean. You also have your power steering fluid. That's something that you're gonna wanna make sure you're up-to-date on maintenance. People tend to forget about that. And, of course, for the last fluid under the hood, we're gonna make sure that that washer fluid's full. If you can't see out your windshield, well, obviously that's kind of a big deal.

We're also gonna wanna make sure you check your serpentine belt. That's gonna be on the front of the engine. Go ahead and give it a little twist to make sure you don't see a whole bunch of cracks, and, of course, give it a tug, that way there we can be sure that the tensioner is functioning as it should. While we're over here, why not just take a peek at all of our hoses? You wanna make sure that they're in good condition, they're not dry and brittle anywhere, and they're definitely not leaking, especially at one of their connection points. It's always a great idea to make sure you go ahead and check your battery voltage. You can do that with something as simple as a multimeter, and you wanna set that so it's that DC voltage. Make sure you're at approximately 12 volts, if not, 12.4. If you're below that, in the 11s or even 10s, well then you probably need to service/replace your battery. We also wanna make sure we check our fuses. Go ahead and lift this up. I usually just take a peek under here and make sure I don't see any funny colors and make sure everything looks like it's in good condition. Make sure it's closed back up.

Something else that we're gonna wanna do is make sure we take a look at our tires. We wanna make sure that they're set to the proper tire pressure, which is 35. You can do that right here. And you also wanna check the condition of the tires. Look inside the treaded area and see if you see a whole bunch of dry rot like what we have along here. If you see a lot of dry rot, that's obviously not a good sign. Theoretically, if it extends more than a couple inches in any direction, then you know that it's probably an issue. If you find a penny, pick it up and go ahead and measure with Lincoln's head to see how deep the tread pattern is. Typically, if you can go from the edge of the penny to at least Lincoln's head, that's to 2/32 of an inch, which really isn't very much, but the further up you go, the better the tire is. Overall, this tire is in pretty poor condition. Talking about the tread, you wanna make sure that it's nice and smooth. If it seems as though they're feathering or chopping, it's gonna be time for a tire rotation. Typically you'd wanna do that. You'd wanna go straight from the rear to the front and then crisscross the fronts to the rear.

Now it's gonna be time to check the front-end. Typically you're gonna wanna do that by putting a jack underneath the lower control arm and then you come right out here, grab the tire at three and nine, give it a little shake side to side. If you feel any movement, it's probably due to either an inner or an outer tie rod or possibly a lower ball joint. Let's go up and down. If you feel any movement this way, it could be the upper ball joint, lower ball joint, or even maybe the wheel bearing, which on this two-wheel-drive model is an adjustable wheel bearing. We don't only wanna check for movement, you also wanna check the condition of the boots to make sure they're not ripped like this. Check them all. We're also gonna check all of our bushings. We've got sway bar, sway bar bushings up here, and, of course, you have motor mounts up along the sides of your engine. You wanna make sure that those are all in good condition and not dry or cracked. Take a look at your coil spring and your shocks. Make sure they don't look like this. This one's definitely leaking. Make sure you check your rear shocks and leaf springs. Give it an overall check-over for leaks going down your entire driveline.

Speaking of your driveline, don't forget about your U joints. Give those a nice wiggle. Get on the front and the rear of the driveshaft here. I always like to take a good hard look at my exhaust to make sure I don't have any leaks. The exhaust is gonna go from both manifolds on your engine all the way down the entire length of your vehicle. And there might be some seams along the way, so make sure you check all the areas where it looks like there's moisture. Make sure you look for black soot in any areas. If you see black soot, it's probably a leak. Let's thoroughly inspect our rear brake cables. Give them a nice little tug. Typically you can hear them functioning. Go ahead and take a peek at your brake lines. And when I say that, I mean all of your brake lines.

Since we're talking about brakes, it couldn't hurt to take a peek at what we've got in the front. Typically you can do that either through the wheel on the outside and, of course, from the inside here. You can see the caliper. You can see your brake pad right in there. You can also see the condition of the braking surface of the rotor. This one obviously doesn't look very good. In the rear, you're gonna have what's called drum brakes, and that's something that you're gonna have to check by removing the wheel and the drum itself so you can look at the shoes. Obviously, you wanna get inside your vehicle and we're gonna check all of our lights. You wanna make sure you've got headlights, high beams, all your directionals. Look in the back, make sure you've got your brake lights, your reverse lights, and, of course, those plate lights. While we're in here, why not check the wiper blade operation? Make sure that these work well because if you can't see out your windshield while you're driving, that's gonna definitely be an issue. While we're in here, check the horn. When you need it to work, you want it to work.

Okay, friends. So that's what I've got for you for a 100,000-mile service on this Gen 2 Dodge Dakota. Hopefully you learned a little something along the way. If you did or even maybe you've got one of these and you've got some other service in mind, leave it in the comment section below because I always love to hear from you. If you like the video, smash on the like button for me. It would mean the world. While you're at it, subscribe and ring the bell, that way there you can be kept up with all of our latest content. Thanks.

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