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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Transmissions
Satisfied Customers: 1571
Experience:  16 yrs. experience with auto, manual, & CVT drivelines
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My son's 05 dakota, on longer trips it shifts into four

Customer Question

my son's 05 dakota, on longer trips it shifts into four wheel drive by itself. don't think the 4 x indicator lights but i have not been in the car when it occurs
JA: Do you have the trouble code? Do you have a code reader or scan tool?
Customer: had 2 tranny codes, i could find out whatt code numbers, have to call the shop where his mom took it. they say they want to put a rebuilt tranny in it for $4k. think there crazy!
JA: What is the model/year of your Dodge? I'll pass this info along to the Dodge Mechanic so that he can get you a quick fix.
Customer: 2005 dakota, V8 quad
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: not qualified - maybe a 60's or 70's vehicle but not now. what i've read, most people can't identify the problem i was hoping to research to tell a tech i take it to.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: my son is 17, been driving for a short time and not very mechanically inclined. i am working off his description of events, so what i know is limited
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Transmissions
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

If the transmission shifts fine but the transfer case is shifting into 4x4 on its own, then this is not a transmission problem it is in the transfer case, or the controller for the t-case. A rebuilt transmission will NOT solve this problem.

Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

If you can get it home I would be more then happy to help walk you through trouble shooting this problem, as well as making the needed repairs. As long as you have basic tools and a digital volt meter we can work together and fix this problem.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
i know a new tranny has nothing to do with the transfer case. NHTSA has multiple reports of same problem but no solutions. i have read potentially the 4x activator motor has short, the wiring to it has a short and in one case, one guy was told a leaking seal between tranny and transfer was allowing excess oil into the transfer case thereby engaging it. yes i have a volt meter and the truck is at my son's house.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

What time would be good for use to get together and do some testing?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
it will have to be tomorrow. have you had experience with this issue before?
Expert:  kalamykid replied 2 months ago.

I have, and 90% of the time the actuator is the problem.

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